Wednesday, October 31, 2007

20% off at Handango through November 4th

Handango is running a spooky special with 20% off all applications between now and November 4th! Just use the coupon code HALLOWEEN when you check out.

Blog: The Consumerist

How did I not know about this blog already!  Long time readers of the various incarnations of my blog know about my past dealings with Best Buy, Cingular, and most recently AT&T's handling of the Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for the Blackjack (and don't even get me started on AT&T's long distance service - that post is still coming). 

Well the Consumerist covers all this and more in addition to helping enlighten the general public on what their rights are, how to fight back, and how to send a strong message to companies that consumers care and can influence their business in a big way.  Congrats!

Link:  The Consumerist

Monday, October 29, 2007

ViNull: SilverLight: Using Web Services with SilverLight 1.0

Think of all the possibilities when you combine Silverlight with Web Services!  ViNull's latest technique requires some doctoring of the web server to add support for ScriptMethods (it's an ASP.NET AJAX thing), but if you dig back to his original version, you can see how to do all the nasty XML parsing in order to call any existing web service out there. 


Read:  ViNull: SilverLight: Using Web Services with SilverLight 1.0

Sunday, October 28, 2007

MIX University - WPF Bootcamp

Here are  3 days worth of videos (encoded in Silverlight, of course) all about the Windows Presentation Framework (WPF).  Start with a keynote from Ian Ellison-Taylor, then learn the basics, check out some great examples and demos, then move on to the virtual labs to hone your new skills. 

Read:  MIX University - WPF Bootcamp

Friday, October 26, 2007

Playing with Silverlight

I finally broke down and learned a little about Silverlight this morning. I created the clock-like control you see on my right sidebar in about an hour of fumbling through XAML code and the quickstarts. It's not a real clock, but more of an analog timer showing how long it has been since you refreshed this page.

Anyhow, I've downloaded the Blend 2 September preview, so I'll try to use that to make the clock look a little snazzier & will try to figure out how to wire the clock up to "real time" next.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Hypermiling we go...

Since I switched back to Blogger for my blog engine, I lost my original article on hypermilling with the Honda Civic Hybrid II (HCH-II).  So while I'm digging it out of a Google cache and re-posting it here, I thought I'd start by providing some links to some other useful hypermiling articles I learned from:

My best tank so far is still a whopping 58mpg, but lately I've been having trouble staying over 50mpg for a full tank.  As the weather starts to cool off, I'm hoping I'll be able to crank that back up since I won't be tempted to use the AC, and I can always wear a coat and gloves if it gets too cold.

Stop unwanted mail with Catalog Choice

Here's a simple online service that lets you quickly and easily opt out of receiving those unwanted catalogs in your mailbox every day.  When you consider the environmental costs to make the paper and ink, print the magazine, and deliver it to your doorstep, just to be thrown away and recycled (I hope), how can you not participate? makes it simple.  Just enter your address, search for catalogs you receive on a regular basis, enter your customer number in some cases, and you're all set.  What could be easier for the armchair environmentalist?

Read:  Daily Tip: Rid Yourself of Unwanted Catalogues with Catalog Choice (GreenOptions)

Monday, October 22, 2007

When will AT&T Release WM6 for the Blackjack?

Blackjack fanboys (myself included) have been following the dangling WM6 carrot for months now. Another rumored release date (today) seems to have come and gone without any official word on when customers will get the promised update.

Mike Temporale at Smartphone Thoughts seems to have lost patience too.

You can follow our misery on this 80+ page thread at the AT&T forums.

It begs the question though... why won't AT&T make a simple official statement to tell users what is going on? During the wait, early adopters and influencers are just getting more and more frustrated with the company. Might be time for someone there to read "The Cluetrain Manifesto".

Friday, October 19, 2007

Where's the Beef?!

From another post from Cassie at apparently it takes over 5200 gallons of water to bring 1 pound of beef to market! This takes into consideration the water that cattle drink plus the wate used to grow the corn they eat.

Here are the stats for some of your other favorite eats:
  • Potatoes: 24 gallons
  • Apples: 49 gallons
  • Chicken: 815 gallons
  • Pork: 1,630 gallons
  • Beef: 5,214 gallons

Read: Did You Know...? Conserving Water (

Vampire Power

I've heard this before, but I never really considered the impact. According to Green Options, 93% of the power consumption from VCRs and DVDs happens while they're idle/hibernating. So even though you turn off the power, you're still burning energy. The same goes for cellphone chargers. Their suggestion? Use a separate power strip for your device chargers and home theater equipment, and just shut it off when you're not using them.

Read: Did You Know...? Saving Energy (

30GB Zune for $99 shipped! has a blowout deal on the Zune for just $99 shipped! This is for the gen1 Zune, and gen2 devices are supposed to be out before the holiday season, but it's still a great deal on a 30gb player.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Honda Civic Hybrid is #2 Most Fuel Efficient Car

Under the new EPA guidelines for fuel efficiency, the Honda Civic Hybrid II is the 2nd most fuel efficient car next to the Toyota Prius. The EPA currently rates the HCHII at 42mpg combined, a number I laugh at as I consistently get 10mpg higher than that in combined city/highway driving. The Prius is rated at 48mpg city and 45mpg highway, but given that the EPA guidelines are light for the Civic, I imagine you can actually do 10-15mpg better in a Prius. For $7000 more than the Civic, is another 10-15 miles per gallon worth it?

Read: Top 10 Fuel Misers (

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Going back to Blogger...

You haven't seen any posts from me in a long time because my hosting account's database got filled up and I couldn't get an extension. Apparently, you can't even delete content from CommunityServer once your db is full... go figure.

So I've reconfigured the blog to use Blogger again. It's not great, but it does what I need. The new feed URL is:

Pretty simple, eh?

See you in the future!

Technorati Profile