Social Network Effect

Wow, interesting to visualize the effects of social networking. I very recently tweeted in an attempt to harass one of my co-workers (http://twitter.com/damniel/statuses/806693882).
The url in the tweet then got re-tweeted by 2 other people. Within minutes the traffic on my site spiked due to people viewing it ( 5X times the traffic ) . I understand this isn’t exactly a slashdotting, or digg like effect, but it is none the less interesting if you are into stats.

Real Productivity Tools

In this golden internet age of disruptive technologies, there are very few products that actually deliver on their promises. Software, and technology in general, is supposed to make our lives easier. Instead, it seems like we consistently find novel ways to waste time. No matter how much I love twitter, it isn’t a productivity booster. All of the GTD apps, and philosophies take more work to get started than they typically save.
I have found at least 2 tools that I use all day, that I love, and they actually do boost productivity. Oddly enough they both bring better “search” experiences to the desktop.

The first is Launchy (mac users have Quicksilver). I have been using this tool for a little over a year. If I am on a PC without it, it really pisses me off. Launchy is a great keyboard based app launcher. Set a hot key, and it finds all of your apps, folders, and files with the touch of a key.

The second is brand new to me, but I have seen other people in the office using it. Xobni is an awesome email search app that plugs into Outlook. They just announced their public beta, so anyone can download the client and give it a try. They give you a unique view of your email that you never had, and make searching it easy. Forget the built in search in Outlook, or Google Desktop. They look like suckers when you see what xobni is capable of.
If you can’t tell already,I have a serious crush on xobni right now.

Anyone out there have any other apps that you can’t live without???—drop it in the comments.

Virgin Islands Finale

We made it back from the US Virgin Islands despite all of the hard work from American Airlines. If anyone ever questions why the airline industry has problems, simply get on an American Airlines flight( or 4 like we had to do). They were consistent in only 3 areas:

  1. Poor Customer Service. Some family who was traveling with us were bumped from their flight with no warning, and had to fight to get on another flight.
  2. Rude, Rude, Rude. Each time any of the flight attendants was confronted with their bad customer service, they went on the attack. Really unprofessional. It’s not the customers fault you hate your job, or had a bad day.
  3. No Water. My wife was told to get water from the tap in the bathroom(she opted for club soda). I also heard other people asking for water, and the answer was “we ran out” . This was the 3rd of 4 flights where I heard them say customers couldn’t have water because they ran out. How hard is it to stock a plane with the right supplies. They fly thousands of flights a month, and couldn’t figure this out?

I know it sounds like I’m bitching, but I have never had such a bad experience with an airline(and I traveled for work for for 3 years).

In the end, it was nice to get a few days rest, and get used to traveling with a newborn. We also got to try out our new camera, and loved it.
cruz bay

St John – Vacation Day 2

We made it to the other island late in the evening, and I was greeted with a lot of family, and a glass of scotch. Not a bad way to end a long day of traveling.
Day 2 involved getting our bearings in the daylight, and looking for the basics (beer and food). The condo we are in is very nice, but the nearest store is a 20 minute walk, so we had to get a taxi to transport our food and booze.
The Condo has high speed wireless, and Sprint has full voice and data service here, so it is kind of nice to be on “vacation” but not totally disconnected from my day to day life.

Here are a few pics from our morning/afternoon thus far. Time to rest and look for a good beach.

Lucas and I at the Red Hook Ferry station – Carib in hand:
Dad and Lucas at Ferry station

View of St Thomas from St john:
View of St Thomas

Lucas and I and his first swim:
Dad and Lucas

Lucas by the Pool:
Lucas on vacation

Vacation Starts

Mary, Lucas and I just started a short vacation to the US Virgin Islands for my brother-in-law’s wedding.
This was Lucas’s first time on an airplane, and he did great.
I will blog more pics once we get there depending on the internet access.
Miami airport has no free Wi-Fi (wtf), so I am using the data connection on my crackberry.

Mary and I on Plane:
(That lady behind us wore a cool mask through the whole flight. She probably didn’t want to get any baby germs on her.)
MAry and Daniel

Lucas at the airport:
Lucas