Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Good, Bad or Ugly?

More from Shanghai, first up is pretty self-explanatory, then it's scary garden speakers!

Monday, July 30, 2007

N95 in China

So much for that plan! The N95 is about the same price (7,800RND) as the gray markets in the US.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shanghai Update

Got past the blocking & can finally get a post up! Shanghai, home of the all-you-can eat Dim-Sum breakfast, Blade Runner-esque neons & the 45 minute, $6 foot massage. Apart from the 105 degree heat & 100% humidity it's all been grand so far.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

See No Evil

My blogs from Shanghai may be a little weird as due to the censors here, I can post to, but not view mine or anyone else's blogs! Oh yeah & I have to figure out how to get blogger to display in English.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

While Supplies Last

Good news for both fans of the NFL and the NDFL. Nike has great apparel for your kids to show their love of both sports and right now it's on sale! No word on quantities but I'd get in quick.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mobile Phone Wish List

or What I Want In A Mobile Phone
  • touch screen or QWERTY keyboard
  • browser
  • e-mail client
  • hi speed 3G connection
  • WiFi
  • Instant Messaging & SMS
  • GPS with spoken directions
  • decent camera
  • fits in my pocket
So the current version of the iPhone doesn't cut it for me. The Nokia N95 looks to have everything but the keyboard which will make browsing/e-mail an issue. What's a guy to do?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

They're Back

Like Mr. Arnie in Terminator, our favorite RIAA scourges have returned, apparently unbowed! Like a house cat at night, who knows where they've been, but it's nice to see them on the proverbial kitchen window ledge in the morning anyway.

UPDATE - It seems as if the original parent operation allofmp3.com may have at least scored a temporary victory with Visa.

Texas or TX?

Hey Google Adsense, we were annexed in 1845!

Speedee Update

And the magic number is 18 lbs -EDIT, 17lbs, forgot I had the tool bag attached! Not bad for a Columbus SL, fully lugged frameset. Hmm, wonder what my Team Fuji aluminum would come in at as a single? Sub 14 lbs?

Added the Cambridge Cycles bullhorns & BMX brake lever. Waved goodbye to the rear brake and bolted on some $4.99 very-used SPD pedals. Now I can wear my ultra-comfortable Shimano MTB shoes. Final touch was some Cinelli cork bar tape and away I go.

Got about 10 miles on the finished product Sunday (it was mid-afternoon hot), fun = a 10 plus.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Currently On The Turntable

What's On Your iPod?

Cornelius - Point: Keigo Oyamada the man behind the Cornelius name weaves a complex web of disparate musical signatures. File under Eclectic and watch out for the unexpected.

Ellen Allien - Fabric 34: German musician, producer & DJ with the misspelled last name weaves a great mix of techno. Clocking in at well over 60 minutes it's a great album to get lost inside.

Shpongle - Tales of the Inexcusable : UK based Psych-Ambient. Combining middle eastern instrumentation, dub reggae, contemporary trance and flute Shpongle are hard to pigeonhole but not hard to listen to.

Single Speed Heaven...

...may be Boston, MA (at least around the MIT campus) where I saw a whole mess of single speeders this weekend. I wandered up to Cambridge Bicycle, apparently the high altar of One Speed Cycling. Great, grease on the floor store, fully stocked with both fixed track bikes and freewheel single road bikes. Found my bullhorn bars and a lightweight brake lever (should amuse TSA for awhile) so as soon as time permits it's on to phase 2. Stay Tuned.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Single Speed 1st Ride

Thanks to a break in the rain I got my first real ride on the single speed conversion. Had to make a few mechanical adjustments on the way but the overall impression is fun-fun-fun! Rode with a friend on his delicious, saved from the trash, old school Trek/Campy Nuovo Record. I kept up just fine although obviously if he'd dropped to the bottom cog on the downhills I'd have been dust in the wind. I've got a few chain line grumblings to look at and I'm still in the market for some bullhorn bars but otherwise this is shaping up to be a great thing.

Thanks AT&T (or whoever you are today)

Sitting at DCA waiting on a connection, saw the AT&T Hot Spot and remembered reading that premium home customers could now log on for free. Tried it & wow, it actually works! I hear T-Mobile may soon be offering similar to their phone customers so the traveler's best option would be to keep their home account but switch their mobile service? Probably not what AT&T had in mind though.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Back To Our Regular Programming

Here are some more criminals to hunt down -

mp3 Love-X (not porn)

Thanks to HubPages for some info.

Hmm, looks like a flood to me?

And Now For Somthing Completely Different

Inspired by a long wish to build a single speed bike & goaded into action by an article in MakeZine I finally got around to this. My old Oschner/Cinelli Columbus SL frameset with a Mavic bottom bracket, Dura-Ace 42 chain ring and a Shimano freewheel with only the 17 cog remaining (about 2.4:1). I used spacers to fill out the rest of the hub (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart for the inspiration) and removed all signs of gear shifting. Aligning the chain & getting the tension was surprisingly easy as the framset has fairly deep Campagnolo dropouts.

Maybe I should have called this post "How To Make A Really Lightweight Bike" as the first thing that struck me was the lack of heft, even for an SL frame. I imagine with a lightweight aluminum donor a sub 14lb bike could be easily done. Next to come on this one is some home-made (read cut down) bullhorn bars & a single front brake with a BMX lever.

So what's it like to ride? Well if it stopped raining for 5 minutes I could tell you! Actually first impressions are very good, it accelerates extremely well and the lack of weight really allows the aggressive frame to shine through. I found I topped out at around 22 mph which is totally acceptable. In all, a highly recommended project for anyone with a spare bike, some tools (the only specialty item is the $8 freewheel wrench), some time & about $20 to spend.
Are they moving again or have the authorities caught up with the International Men of Mystery at mp3sparks.com (formally allofmp3.com)? A check today referred me back to the OpenDNS site which perhaps isn't surprising considering the amount of blog activity generated by Sparks last week.

Just because they've caught these criminals doesn't mean the public should not remain vigilant. There are others out there including GoMusic.ru and MP3Fiesta all happy to relieve you of your hard earned money in exchange for dubious music.

Remain firm fellow citizens, if we all keep downloading expensive, low bit-rate, DRM encoded music we can beat these cyber-terrorists and their little dogs too!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sennheiser Kudos

I run with my iPod (imagine that) and a pair of Sennheiser PMX-70 headphones, these are really great sounding units & fit snugly even under the most strenuous workout conditions.

However, recently I caught the headphone cable on a door handle and ripped the connector clean off the end. Bummed, I went to Sennheiser's website to see about repairing them. There I found a very intuitive & simple web based RA system which even allows you to print a bar coded address label to their service center in CT. I clearly noted on the return form that this was not a warranty item since the damage was caused by my own carelessness and I was happy to pay for the repairs.

Here the story gets better. Having put the damaged pieces in an envelope I asked one of my teens to stop by the post office and mail them out for me. With typical teenager attention to detail, she put them in mailbox at the house where they were promptly picked up with no postage attached! At that point I figured I'd never see them again.

Two days later I get an e-mail from Sennheiser saying they had received my headphones and were processing them for repair. Two more days passed and I got an e-mail saying they had shipped out. Within five days I had a brand new pair of headphones at my door!

So in all, Sennheiser paid for 2 way shipping and a new pair of headphones. In these days of horrendous customer service stories I think they deserve a commendation & serious consideration by anyone looking for excellent audio products.