Twine and Spool

Twine and SpoolUnless you’re living in Bill Gates’ house, chances are most of the objects around you aren’t Internet-connected.  In fact, the vast majority of appliances, mechanical systems, and even doors/windows are “dumb” with respect to their ability to tell you much of anything unless you’re standing immediately in front of them.   Continue reading

Samsung’s Smart Window

Wow.  There’s been a lot of press lately about Samsung being the next Apple which is a pretty bold statement in and of itself but when you take a look at the breadth of products Samsung produces – as well as the high attention to user experience, quality, and design – it might be a little easier to imagine.   Continue reading

New Year’s resolutions

Out with 2011, in with 2012

12%

So you’ve wrapped up 2011 and kicked off 2012 with a bang – its time to get serious about your New Year’s resolutions.  If you’re like most people, there are a few areas where you think that a bit of improvement might be in order.   Continue reading

New Year’s Eve

Times Square

43 billion (43,000,000,000)

For some, the morning after New Year’s Eve comes all too early and the after-effects of a (long) night of imbibing has us wishing we could have just a few more minutes of sleep.  For others, New Year’s Day is filled with wishful thinking and hope that we can conjure the courage and commitment to lose the weight, get the new job, find a new romantic interest, etc. in the 365 days to come.   Continue reading

Internet as a diversion

Memes53%

When I first got involved in the “commercial Internet” (i.e., following the creation of the Web) back in 1993 we sold people on the idea that they could interact with people from around the world, access huge stores of information, and even – someday – sell goods or services directly.   Continue reading

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving dinner248 million (248,000,000)

Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. based readers!  For those of you who aren’t quite up to speed on the holiday, it stems from when the Pilgrims landed in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.  After a hard winter in which many people died and with assistance from local Native American tribes, 1621 was one of prosperity and to celebrate the bountiful harvest the Pilgrims held a three-day feast.   Continue reading

1,000 posts

1000On Friday, November 18, 2011 The Road Not Taken crossed the symbolic 1,000 post mark thanks to the loyal readership.  It only took 20 months or approximately 1.6 posts per day.  In honor of this dubious outstanding accomplishment, I’ve included the top 100 posts (and pages) of all time.   Continue reading

Step UP

Jawbone UP

When Jawbone (by Aliph) hit the mobile device accessories scene in December 2006, the bluetooth headsets took the market by storm and garnered high marks from nearly every reviewer and consumer alike.   Continue reading

Making HVAC sexy

The folks over at Nest Labs are doing something truly innovative and even sexy in the field of HVAC.  Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or HVAC as it is called by insiders) is responsible for keeping most of the U.S. civilized in the dead of winter or during the sweltering heat of summer.  It is also responsible for roughly half of the average household’s energy expenditure in a given year – roughly $1,100.  If you’re like most people, the thermostat is your interface point for more than 99% of your interactions with your HVAC system. Those interactions range from putting the system on permanent “hold” (a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found that as many as 50% of households are set this way) or trying to program it using a kludgy interface that conjures painful memories of trying to set the clock on the VCR in 1983. Continue reading

7 billion lives

7 Billion ActionsIf there’s one thing that can be said about this highly connected world that we – as members of the “developed countries” – live in it is that technology has afforded us the ability to “shrink” the planet.  As recently as 20 years ago a comparatively small number of people had email addresses or used the Internet and the Web as we know it was non-existent.  If you wanted knowledge you went to a library and if you were in search of news you could pick up a newspaper or watch your local newscast.  Today there are seemingly limitless options for understanding what is going on in far flung places like Tuvalu, Malta, or Palau.  Additionally, we have a higher degree of exposure to the terrible plights that face many people in the “developing countries” such as civil war, drought, famine, and disease. Continue reading