You are currently browsing thearchives for April, 2008.

Purchased the Adobe Master Collection!

Posted on Sunday, April 27th, 2008 at 10:53 am

Adobe CS3 Master CollectionEvery since the Master Collection was announced by Adobe, I told myself that I just HAD to have it, and now, I do! Every application that comes with this master suite, I will try to learn and use to their fullest extent. I've been meaning to get into video editing and production for the longest time, as I have a high end HDR camera at my disposal. I think After Effects would be pretty awesome alongside video and flash animations.

There are a lot of new features in the whole CS3 suite that have intrigued me to make the grand purchase. Just the fact alone that I can work so easily between all the applications seamlessly makes it worth it for me. On top of that, performance improvements from CS2 to CS3 running on Intel Macs is great, too!

I always hear from people that Fireworks is a good alternative to Photoshop for creating web templates and layouts, and now that it's even more powerful, I'm stoked to give it a shot! Dreamweaver's new features supporting advanced WYSIWYG, CSS, and Javascript functions look promising and I'd love to discover the all the possibilities. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending A LOT of times with my new toy this summer.

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Posted In: Design & Code, General Stuff, Productivity

New MTA Subway Ideas & Improvements

Posted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 10:49 am

NYC Subway - MTAI am a frequent customer of the New York MTA subway system, and lately, I've been pretty observant as to what's been going on. How can things be improved to make traveling via the MTA a more pleasurable and (most importantly) desirable experience? I figured I'd be a bit productive on the train instead of just listening to my music or watching my podcasts. This is the list of things I've come up with that could possibly reshape the MTA into something amazing!

Before reading, I just wanted to say that I do realize that some of these might be a lot to ask for, but as time goes by, and as the MTA piles up on their multi-million dollar surplus, it would be easier to achieve them - eventually. Would you like these improvements in your city, too?

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Posted In: General Stuff, Green & Environment, Transportation

Are Magazines Worth It?

Posted on Thursday, April 24th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Wired Magazine CoverThis is an age old topic that's been on my mind for the longest time. Magazines - are they really worth subscribing and holding on to? In the past I've subscribed to a single video game magazine, and now I am subscribed to MacLife which is an Apple oriented magazine. My main concern here is the fact that there are million of magazines being distributed around the world every single day. All this paper comes from somewhere (trees!), and goes somewhere when they're disposed (landfills!).

These days with the internet, the moment you receive your magazine in the mail, the news and articles are already history - that's the disadvantage. The advantage of magazines, though, is the fact that you can take it anywhere and read it without the use of an electronic device. Also, on the plus side, if you're not exactly the news-junky, some outdated info won't hurt you too much.

So yea, the magazine business is a multi billion dollar industry ranging from Hollywood gossip to Pornography, and Automobiles to the latest Tech stuff. How much of an effect is this all having on our environment with all the paper that's being used? Chances are, most recipients of these magazines don't dispose them properly. Portable Readers are becoming pretty popular these days, being able to carry everything from the latest news, to your Harry Potter collection. These are worthy investments in the long run, and reduce your carbon footprint by a good deal - although, when will our world be ready for the conversion to digital, if at all?

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Posted In: General Stuff, Green & Environment

Happy Earth Day to Everyone!

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Earth Day FlagWell, it's that time of the year again - April 22nd, the day we recognize as the one to spread environmental awareness, and knowledge on how to be friendlier to our earth. For over 30 years, Earth Day has been promoting progressive actions towards our environment, letting everyone from children to educators to the average person know about what's going on, and how to help the problems of our Earth come to a screeching halt.

This day, a lot of people are doing many things different, but I will continue doing exactly what I've been doing to be green and environmentally aware, plus a little more. I post on this blog sharing my feelings, thoughts, and ideas about global warming, being green, and caring for our environment to get the word out to as many people as possible. Today, I will try to avoid having unnecessary equipment turned on even more, like my speakers, and so forth.

Remember, people! Shower efficiently, shut the water flow when brushing, flush as less as possible, shut unnecessary lights off, switch to CFL bulbs, avoid stand-by mode on electronics, and look out for energy star compliant products. Bonus: Walk if you can. Cycle if you can't. Use public transport if you can't cycle. Save on gas & money all while reducing your carbon footprint.

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Posted In: General Stuff, Green & Environment

The Art of Sustainable Living

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008 at 3:39 am

Sustainable House - Eco FriendlyIf you ask most people about sustainable living, they'll respond saying "sustainable what?" Of course, this whole idea of "green living" is still very fresh, and organizations around the world are beginning to recognize it more. This type of living means using solar technology as your primary source of energy, and having your house built with materials such as a bamboo floors, recycled steel and wood, etc.

Some people wouldn't care for this the slightest bit because it's a bit more expensive than standard materials, but I think that the aftermaths outweigh the cheaper and not-so-green side. Thankfully, there are blooming companies out there (amongst already existing ones) that are recognizing the beauty and significance of green design and living. I read an article over at talking about a company developing living quarters complying to LEED's Gold eco-compliance standards.

If more companies simply started doing things just like IBIS (Intelligent building = Integrated + Sustainable), it would kick in and become mainstream faster. This way, "green" housing and living would be a standard, and on top of all that, extremely afforable. More after the jump...

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Posted In: General Stuff, Green & Environment

New York MTA Going Green!

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

New York MTA - Going Green!I was on my way to the New York Public Library today and surprisingly, I saw something quite pleasing. The trash bins all throughout the stations now have this sign stuck on them! It looks like the MTA is trying to go green and get the thumbs up from the environmentalists! This is definitely good progress on their side.

One cool thing that made me smile is that as I was walking, I saw somebody stopping to read and acknowledge the sign! I'd like to see further developments with MTA's steps towards keeping the subways clean, and green!

In response to my excitement, I made a whole list of things the MTA can improve on to become greener, cleaner, and more efficient. I'll finalize this list and post in soon. Who wouldn't want to have energy generating turn-slides? From the millions of times these things go round and round, the carbon emissions will go straight down!

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Posted In: Green & Environment, Transportation

Disposable Cellphones Coming to Europe

Posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2008 at 2:04 am

Hop-on Disposable PhoneAfter all the advancements in today's technology, we're coming up with more things we can use once, and just trash it in the end. This time, a company by the name of Hop-on has created a phone with no LCD that apparently got lots of attention at CTIA. A European distributor bought 10,000 of these GSM based phones for a test run on how these would work out.

I know it's all good for business with the east profits and all, but I think this is just another way to use up more plastic and destroy our environment with plastics! Why can't we just stick with the awesome cheap phones that we can use many times over?

It's understandable that someone may not need a cellphone permanently, but may want a quick way to get in touch with someone. If someone is willing to pay $20 to use a phone for a short time and throw it out, why not just get a damn prepaid phone and keep the credit on that? If someone can give me a good reason to support this development, please do so!

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Posted In: Green & Environment, In the News, Technology

Bill Makers Say No to Quiet Cars!

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008 at 2:33 am

Toyota Prius - HybridI don't know if this is a good thing, or a bad thing, but it looks like we've reached the point where a law needs to be enacted so cars don't get too quiet! I thought it would be something opposite, like trying to put a limit on how loud those V8 muscle go! So yea, the bill is expected to be presented to the U.S. House of Representatives pretty soon.

AutoWeek reported that the reason why this bill was created is because cars that are too quiet pose a risk to disabled (primarily) pedestrians. This bill requires the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to undergo studies in order to determine whether or not a minimum sound level is needed. I understand the intention behind this bill and all, but I find it kind of humorous if auto makers were forced to make their engines go VROOM! More after the jump...

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Posted In: Green & Environment, In the News, Transportation

Internet Filtering & Bandwidth Caps

Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Browsing the webThe recent buzz around the blogosphere has been about ISPs capping bandwidth and charging by the Gigabyte. To some, this is a complete disaster while others couldn't care less. The idea of capping bandwidth is not new as companies around the world have been practicing this method of service delivery (like Australia).

With the recent advancements in transfer speeds alongside things like online HD movie rentals and video communication, these people decide to introduce the cap now, when they're supposed to be doing quite the opposite! Imagine how quickly an average internet user will suck through 30 to 40GB of bandwidth in one month - HD movie rentals, international video conferencing, browsing high bandwidth web content (Youtube!), and so forth.

I just don't understand why ISP companies want to be greedy and make more money this way now. They know that people will go above their capped limits and the easy money will flow right into their pockets. Eventually, I believe that internet access will reach a point where it'll be so cheap, companies will be forced to just have one monthly rate. More after the jump...

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Posted In: In the News, On the Web, Technology

iPod Shuffle Has Arrived! – Mini Review

Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 at 2:18 am

iPod Shuffle - SilverAfter an unreasonably long wait (about 1.5 weeks), my silver iPod Shuffle finally arrived and I love it! I've heard so many great stories about it and its awesome audio quality and tiny form factor. I primarily bought this for the gym but I know I'd be carrying it around anyway, albeit having an iPhone.

The battery life on this little thing is great, and the built in clip is probably the best feature of it - other than playing music and sounding great. I thought that I'd fuss over the lack of an LCD screen, but I realized how much I don't even care. The only songs that go on here are the ones that I'd listen to all the time, and not have to nitpick to find a song that I like. I didn't believe it when I read that the shuffle had a better bass response than the other iPods up until now. That's a nice one-up for me.

I have yet to have any problems with the 12 hour battery life, and the 1GB storage capacity is more than enough to last me through many hours at the gym. I was strongly leaning towards an iPod Nano but I decided that I didn't need the screen, and I didn't have the nerve to buy extra accessories to strap it onto my arm, or whatever. iPod Nano Arm Band = Not so awesome. iPod Shuffle Clip = Awesome!

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Posted In: General Stuff, Reviews, Technology