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    Friday
    Sep192014

    Jacket for your iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 3/4, Arc'Teryx Gamma Jacket

    I have an iPhone 6 (well it is on the Fedex truck now) and a Galaxy Note 3.  As fall weather arrives in Seattle, wearing  light weight jacket is the daily routine.  What jacket works?  Being able to quickly reach the phone for either left or right handed is nice.  Must be zippered pocket as accidental drops are too often disastrous from chest height.  

    The jacket I have found that works well is the Arc’Teryx Gamma Jacket.  It has two chest pockets.  Both big enough for an iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy Note.  You can put the phone in either pocket if you are left or right handed.  I often carry both the iPhone and Galaxy Note.  Why? Because I work on mobile solutions and each has its strengths.

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    REI customers give it 5 out of 5 stars.

    I use this jacket al the time when skiing.  The shoulder pocket is convenient for the RFID ticket card which if you place in the same pocket as your phone almost never works.

    With the popularity of the iPhone 6 Plus more and more people are going to be looking for what pocket to put their phone in.  I like having the phone at chest height.  Seems better ergonomically.  May not be the most fashion conscious way to carry a device, but given how ofter you are using the phone I vote for ergonomics vs. looks.  Guess that is what makes me an engineer. :-)

    Thursday
    Sep182014

    Learning from when things break, Seattle Tunnel-Boring Machine Repairs

    You ever notice how some of the so called experts rarely talk about the things that went wrong on their projects.  They make it seem like they are perfect in their execution and anything that goes wrong is an easy fix given how smart they are.  I don’t know about you but I know of some really bad data centers out there that have been the vision of some experts.  :-)  In general, their way of getting out of accountability is they say the operations crew is to blame. 

    The real experts know mistakes are made and they need to learn from them.  In Seattle is the largest tunnel-boring machine in the world and it broke.  The media went wild pointing the fingers of blame at politicians as if they know how to design and operate a tunnel-boring project.  The politician is going to say whatever they think they can to benefit their goals.  This is the mistake the so-called experts make as well, to think they can say whatever they think they can to benefit their goals.

    Well when you dig a big tunnel, things go wrong.  In the case of the Seattle tunnel-boring, they went really bad requiring repair work over the cost of the boring machine.  Popular Mechanics post on the repair project and the author jumps on the media.

    What do you do when the world's largest tunneling machine is, essentially, stuck in the mud? Bertha is 60 feet under the earth, and you're on the surface watching a squirmy public swap rumors of cost and delay on the $1.35 billion tunnel component of an even larger transportation project, and the naysayers are howling: Just you watch, Bertha will be abandoned like an overheated mole, boondoggle to end all boondoggles. Because, don't forget, when you're boring the world's largest tunnel, everything is bigger—not just the machine and the hole and the outsize hopes but the worries too. The cynicism. 

    What do you do? 

    Here's what you do: You try to tune out the media. You shrug off the peanut gallery's spitballs. You put off the finger-pointing and the lawsuits for now; that's what the lawyers are paid for afterward. You do the only thing you can do. You put your head down and you think big, one more time. You figure out how to reach Bertha and get her moving again.

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    The post tells the engineering story of trying to repair the tunnel-boring machine.  

    The YouTube video embedded in the article is available here.

    Thursday
    Sep182014

    Who wants to build a Data Center in Delaware?

    ZDNET writes on University of Delaware looking for someone else to build a data center after unanimously rejecting the The Data Center LLC.

    Despite the unanimous vote by the board of the University of Delaware to revoke the contract with The Data Centers, LLC to build a data center and co-generation plant on their STAR campus, UD is still actively interested in finding another datacenter tenant for the site. The trick, they say, is to find a traditional datacenter operator who just wants to connect to the public power grid.

    UD had been fine with the original data center plans, until the scope of the power generation facility came to the attention of community and environmental groups, who raised such a stink about the plan that it even became an issue in the most recent mayoral race in Newark, DE.

    As the complaints and protests reached a crest, UD caved to the public pressure and shut the project down, backpedaling with commentary as to how the project had grown too far beyond its original scope to be suitable for their brownfield recycled automotive assembly plant site.

    Do you know anyone who has a big demand for data center space in Delaware?  i don’t.  Looking at Level 3 network map it looks like the corner of Delaware is not relevant between Washington DC to NYC.  Philadelphia and New Jersey has more appeal for a data center site.

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    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    Amazon Announces 300ppi Kindle Voyage, $199, shipping Oct 21, 2014

    The Kindle is part of my regular reading and today Amazon announced the Kindle Voyage.

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    I live in Seattle and have known many friends who joined Amazon.  I use amazon.com for business and home supplies with 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime.  So I am regularly on amazon.com, and saw the Voyage was available to order.  And being able to have 300ppi black and white text is so geeky for those who worked on printing technology.

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    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    I picked iPhone 6, my friend picked 6 Plus, Why?

    A data center friend who is a loyal iPhone user and I both ordered iPhone 6s on Sept 12.  We were both going to order iPhone 6 regular, but then he decided to order the Plus.  I stuck with the Regular.  I tried logging on to the order websites at Apple and AT&T at 12:01a on Sept 12.  After 15 minutes of trying I gave up and went to sleep.  My friend stayed online and finally got his order in at 2:30a.  I was asleep.  :-)  Got up at 6a, tried ordering from Apple site. Got frustrated and went to AT&T.  

    We both ordered 128GB models.  Why?  Because pushing GB of data on wireless to devices takes time.  So, we both said let’s treat the iPhone 6 as a storage device.  Besides with a 10GB data plan you can easily go through the data use quickly.  As one of my friends said he knows of someone whose daughter gradually pushed the data plan spend to $2,000 a month as she watched Netflix anywhere she wanted.  Dude, disable the use of cel data by Netflix.  I did.

    My friend ordered the Plus when he realized his huge protective case for his iPhone 5 made it just as big as a Plus, and he figured why not give it a try.  Worse case he returns it or sells it.  He ordered at 2:30a and still has to wait 3-4 weeks.

    I ordered a iPhone 6 regular.  Why?  I have been a user of Galaxy Note since 1, and have a 3.  So I am used to having 1920x1280 display.  I carry my iPhone with me all the time.  The Galaxy Note 3 is more like my work device.  Having a Phablet for 3 years I know what it is like to have a phone that people make fun of because it is too big.  Now that the iPhone 6 Plus is coming out, Samsung has chosen to say how it is being copied.