Monthly Archive for October, 2007

Finally, a wireless solution for digital cameras!

A couple of my friends have started a “one a day” photo project, which I am thinking of joining. However, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of uploading a picture every single day, so my laziness won out. As a result, I started to look into Wireless Digital Cameras. Basically, you had three options.

1. The Nikon Coolpix S50c (old model, $210) or S51c (new model, $264). 4126zd1pakl_aa280_.jpg These are the most recently released wireless cameras. While it was nice to have an wireless 8 megapixel camera (on the S51c) combined with a small form factor, there was still a huge problem. The wireless component only allows you to upload to Nikon’s proprietary image hosting site, myPicturetown. From there, you must log on to a computer to transfer those files to Flickr or your imagehoster of choice. So there’s that additional step you have to take, and all the while, your photos are inaccessible to your friends.
2. The Canon SD430 ($250). 41n3xe45rl_aa280_-1.jpgWhile it has the good optics that we’ve come to expect from Canon’s digital lineup, the problem with this model is that it is old. Originally designed as a response to Kodak and Nikon’s original offerings, the technology in this camera is dated, with only 5 Megapixels. There’s no image stabilization on this model as with Canon’s newer models. But you can upload directly to Flickr. Again, on balance, not the ideal solution.
3. EasyShare One ($240). 41kw0b1dvbl_aa280_-1.jpgThis camera is so old Amazon doesn’t even sell it anymore. Worse, in order to get it wireless, you have to buy a separate Kodak Wi-Fi Card that sits in a second slot in the camera. Finally, it is only 6MP, with no image stabilization.

Moreover, the problem with all these cameras is that the technology in them will ultimately become obsolete.

Enter the Eye-Fi SD Card. 51cbxrk-q4l_ss400_.jpgIt is, in my opinion, a terrific solution to the mediocrity of today’s wireless digital cameras. It is a 2GB SD Card that, when configured properly, will upload to a plethora of different photo websites, including your own website with Gallery installed. It is compatible with almost any SD card-based digital camera. Now I can use this with the camera I actually want to buy, the Canon SD870IS ($325). And if that camera breaks or becomes obsolete, I can still use the Eye-Fi with the next one. Gizmodo says the Eye-Fi works flawlessly. I think I am going to bite.

ANGRY!

Goddamnit.

Me: so that stock I was talking about…I never pulled the trigger. Its up 30% today
Friend: nice.
Me: fuck ME.
Me: @!#$?@#$!@#$

Friend: some you win, dimsum you lose

The Odyssey Years

Published: October 9, 2007

 

There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey, the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.

 

The Way We Live Now

During this decade, 20-somethings go to school and take breaks from school. They live with friends and they live at home. They fall in and out of love. They try one career and then try another.

Their parents grow increasingly anxious. These parents understand that there’s bound to be a transition phase between student life and adult life. But when they look at their own grown children, they see the transition stretching five years, seven and beyond. The parents don’t even detect a clear sense of direction in their children’s lives. They look at them and see the things that are being delayed.

They see that people in this age bracket are delaying marriage. They’re delaying having children. They’re delaying permanent employment. People who were born before 1964 tend to define adulthood by certain accomplishments — moving away from home, becoming financially independent, getting married and starting a family.

In 1960, roughly 70 percent of 30-year-olds had achieved these things. By 2000, fewer than 40 percent of 30-year-olds had done the same.

Yet with a little imagination it’s possible even for baby boomers to understand what it’s like to be in the middle of the odyssey years. It’s possible to see that this period of improvisation is a sensible response to modern conditions.

Two of the country’s best social scientists have been trying to understand this new life phase. William Galston of the Brookings Institution has recently completed a research project for the Hewlett Foundation. Robert Wuthnow of Princeton has just published a tremendously valuable book, “After the Baby Boomers” that looks at young adulthood through the prism of religious practice.

Through their work, you can see the spirit of fluidity that now characterizes this stage. Young people grow up in tightly structured childhoods, Wuthnow observes, but then graduate into a world characterized by uncertainty, diversity, searching and tinkering. Old success recipes don’t apply, new norms have not been established and everything seems to give way to a less permanent version of itself.

Dating gives way to Facebook and hooking up. Marriage gives way to cohabitation. Church attendance gives way to spiritual longing. Newspaper reading gives way to blogging. (In 1970, 49 percent of adults in their 20s read a daily paper; now it’s at 21 percent.)

The job market is fluid. Graduating seniors don’t find corporations offering them jobs that will guide them all the way to retirement. Instead they find a vast menu of information economy options, few of which they have heard of or prepared for.

Social life is fluid. There’s been a shift in the balance of power between the genders. Thirty-six percent of female workers in their 20s now have a college degree, compared with 23 percent of male workers. Male wages have stagnated over the past decades, while female wages have risen.

This has fundamentally scrambled the courtship rituals and decreased the pressure to get married. Educated women can get many of the things they want (income, status, identity) without marriage, while they find it harder (or, if they’re working-class, next to impossible) to find a suitably accomplished mate.

The odyssey years are not about slacking off. There are intense competitive pressures as a result of the vast numbers of people chasing relatively few opportunities. Moreover, surveys show that people living through these years have highly traditional aspirations (they rate parenthood more highly than their own parents did) even as they lead improvising lives.

Rather, what we’re seeing is the creation of a new life phase, just as adolescence came into being a century ago. It’s a phase in which some social institutions flourish — knitting circles, Teach for America — while others — churches, political parties — have trouble establishing ties.

But there is every reason to think this phase will grow more pronounced in the coming years. European nations are traveling this route ahead of us, Galston notes. Europeans delay marriage even longer than we do and spend even more years shifting between the job market and higher education.

And as the new generational structure solidifies, social and economic entrepreneurs will create new rites and institutions. Someday people will look back and wonder at the vast social changes wrought by the emerging social group that saw their situations first captured by “Friends” and later by “Knocked Up.”

sad.

Great Friends

Like everyone else, I have real friends, and party friends. Real friends are the ones who you hang out with outside of the bar. Anyway, I didn’t really feel like hanging out with bar friends last night, so I stayed in and watched TV. A couple of real friends stopped by, out of concern, which was really nice. Apparently I party so much that my absence signals distress. Heh. Anyway, we went up to the rooftop and had cake and champagne, then watched The Office when it got too cold. I am sure I had a better time than I would have going out, looking at other people with a drink in my hand (like everyone else is doing) but not talking to anyone, and then going home.

Went to an Au Revoir Simone concert this past week. Was really great – I think I am in love with one of the girls in the band. There are three girls – she’s the one who is always in the middle for some reason in pictures and on stage. Check out the website, you will love their sound.

Two weeks ago, I went to two weddings in one day, one for a friend and one for a cousin. The wedding of my friend was awesome. It was small and intimate, excellently planned, and TONS of fun. Each guest had a picture of them with the bride and groom, and a thoughtfully planned seat assignment. I initiated the chair lift, like a good long island Indian from a predominantly Jewish area. The band was AMAZING. If you’ve never seen three old white people play Sean Paul, you should. I was shocked by how good they were. Everyone was young and we all had an awesome time.

The second wedding was an unmitigated disaster. The kid isn’t really a cousin by blood, my aunt married a widower with two kids. The daughter is a spoiled brat who has unfortunately been allowed to breed her own little spoiled brat. The boy is actually a nice guy. Their father is an uncouth troglodyte. anyway, it was horribly planned. There were almost no attractive people there. The wedding was on a SUNDAY NIGHT starting at 7:30 with a 2 1/2 hour cocktail hour. It was ridiculous. Then, they herd everyone out of the cocktail reception area to a hallway outside the main reception hall. Everyone is standing around for more than twenty minutes, but they won’t open the goddamned doors. What kind of shit planning is that? What is the obscene excuse for having your guests wait outside like that? Anyway, once we finally got in, we quickly realized that there were no assigned tables. Guess they weren’t delaying to set up the seats. What kind of wedding doesn’t have assigned tables? We sat down at a table only to have some bitch from the bride’s side ask us to get up so THEIR friends and family could sit down. At ten goddamned thirty. I was like, well, “you jobless retards may not have shit to do, but I have to go to WORK tomorrow.” Disgusted with the boorish manners of the guests, turned off by the poor planning, I decided to skip the cheesy family introductions and the entire dinner. I never even saw the bride and groom (they weren’t at the cocktail reception). My parents stayed and told me later that they STARTED serving dinner at 11:30. The whole wedding was selfish and rude to the guests. I’m just glad I escaped when I did.

What a study in contrasts.

Have been to a few restaurants that deserve mention:

Toloache: Food was meh. Constantly getting upsold by the waiter was annoying.

Blue Hill: Amazing. Highly recommended.

Babbo: I love this place. Try to go as much as you can. This time, we had the tasting menu, and some amazing wines.