Pictured: Yoni pouring the first glass of cold brew coffee from our in-house kegerator.
Thanks to Sam for sharing this link with me - “Confused by REM and EM?”
Owners of Xbox One consoles - rejoice. The February update has begun rolling out to the masses according to Major Nelson (http://majornelson.com/2014/02/14/xbox-one-february-update-is-now-starting-to-roll-out/). I just got my update tonight as I woke up the One so I could watch Season 2 of House of Cards on Netflix. All this good stuff followed by Titanfall next month sums up to an awesome time to be an Xbox One owners
Here is a picture from our MMS showing how we’ve reduced hits to our MongoDB cluster by using cached clients for services in pages with high amounts of traffic!
The pattern is pretty cool because it moves the cache out from our web app written in the Play Framework to the service client, which means that the web app doesn’t have any of the code for handling refreshes or the lifecycle of the cache! Clean code FTW!
Get (and keep) my work inbox down to under 20 email messages.
I’m resurrecting something I used to do on Krunker.com - a list of interesting links for a given day. This time instead of focusing on gadgets, I’m going to expand it to things related to startups, entrepreneurism, and tech (in no particular order). Here goes nothing!
OK. I’ll admit it. I miss the days of attending CES in Las Vegas. The endless number of booths and press releases. The countless number of products being launched (or relaunched). The hours of talking but mostly listening (and pretending to be interested at times). The enormous amount of SWAG (nowadays mostly just USB keys, phone cases, and of course your requisite t-shirt).
OK.. so maybe I don’t miss it all that much but if you’re a gadget fiend (geek) like myself, then CES is absolute heaven. Damn the sore feet. Damn the long lines for buses. Where else are you going to see the latest in upcoming hardware? Yes it’s a gadget lover’s wet dream.
I’m reminded of all of this after coming across this article over at the new recode.net (they were formally the editors of AllThingsD if you’re not familiar with the site). The article talks about the upcoming Spring release of the new LyveHome - a $299 device that promises to be the solution to sync all of a person’s media. From what I can gather, it’s basically a multi-terabyte box that syncs your media (photos, videos) across your devices - whether they’re on computers, mobile devices, or online storage services. It promises to maintain at least two copies of the files across various platforms/devices. Finally, there’s a touch-screen that shows the health of the system.
To make this work, you install Lyve apps on your respective devices and the apps will automatically sync your media to the LyveHome device at home. It’s an interesting concept which if executed correctly could be a great solution for the average consumer. It probably wouldn’t work well for me given how much media we have here in this household. (I’m currently the owner of a Synology 5 bay DS1512+ with 12 terabytes of disk space - most of which is filled). Yet - I might be interested in it for a subset of my media - in particular my photos. If there’s one thing I treasure the most across all of my terabytes of ridiculousness, it’s my photos. I suppose it’s because I can be nostalgic at times and it’s nice to go back to images from yesteryear.
No word on pricing or storage capacities.. or really any major details. The market’s certainly packed when it comes to NAS’s and backup solutions but when you think about it - there’s no automatic, fullproof solution out there. Time Machine comes close but that’s really about backing up machines. What we need is a simple, easy to use, idiot-proof media backup solution that just works in the background. Here’s hoping Lyve will fulfill that come spring 2014.
And this my friends is why I miss CES.
As 2013 draws to an end, I think it’s fair to say this was the first year I fully embraced running as part of my lifestyle. I went from a person who didn’t enjoy running to someone who looked forward to hitting the pavements on a regular basis. A great deal of credit and inspiration goes towards my former colleagues (Stephane, Mark, Mike, Yoni, Kent) at Gilt Tech who have motivated me to push myself more and more each subsequent week and month as well as the awesome New York Road Runners and their regular races. If you’re not sure about running and you’re here in NYC, I do encourage you to sign up with the NYRR at nyrr.org or at least sign up for one of their beginner races to see what it’s like to run with thousands of fellow runners.
I thought it’d be interesting to see the stats I compiled for 2013 via RunKeeper (and also some information from the NYRR) so here goes nothing:
Some other tidbits along the way:
I started the year by experimenting for the first time with minimalist shoes. As anyone who run in minimalist shoes will tell you, take it nice and slow in the beginning weeks and months. Even if you regularly run 3-6 miles in regular running sneakers, don’t do more than a mile or so in minimal sneakers at the start - your feet and legs will need time to adjust. Slowly integrate these sneakers into your running routine - or heck your regular walking routine too (I would walk my dog with my minimalist shoes on).
My first two pairs were Merrell Trail Glove Running Sneakers which I highly recommend if you’re not sure about jumping into Vibram Five Fingers (which I ended the year with). Along the way, I also experimented with New Balance minimalist shoes which were OK but still didn’t give me quite the feel of the road like the Merrells or Vibrams.
My current go-to sneaker is the Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa which yes, still occasionally solicits awkward stairs when I walk onto a subway train with them on.
Do I recommend minimalist shoes for everyone? I think that really depends on the runner. Minimalist shoes changed my approach to running by teaching me how to run with much better form than previously. Could I do the same with regular running sneakers? Probably. Do I want to go back? Not at all. I’ve come to really enjoy “feeling” the road as well as improving my overall nimbleness while running the streets of New York.
(Updated - I forgot a few other things).
I can’t emphasize the importance of hydration. If you’re going on a long run, it’s so important to make sure you’re well hydrated leading up to the run especially if you’re dealing with warm weather. In fact, you can make the case that 2013 was the year I transitioned myself away from the world of diet soda to the world of.. H2O! I know. Amazing (and about time).
Another area I’ve been working on (and still working on) is taking in calories while on my long runs. I’ve been experimenting with using PowerBar PowerGels so we’ll see how that goes in 2014 as I have three half-marathons in the first three months of the year.
Other equipment I’ve been using in 2013 include the fitbit flex (I started the year with a fitbit ultra but switched to the wristband solution once that came out). I credit fitbit for helping me become aware of my personal health numbers; whether it’s the number of steps I take in a day; how many quality hours of sleep I get at night; how far I’ve gone in a week; yada yada yada. Yes it’s not accurate but that’s not really the point here. The point (at least for me) is to help me lead a more healthy life by helping me be more aware of what I’m doing; what I’m eating and drinking and what I need to do to hit my daily; weekly; monthly goals.
The last gadget I purchased at the end of 2013 was a heart rate monitor - if only to know what my beats per minute is as I crank up the miles. My immediate goal is to determine my max heart rate so I can determine my heart rate zones (check out this interesting article: http://running.competitor.com/2013/04/training/running-101-running-with-a-heart-rate-monitor_22482). Stay tuned here.
Finally, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading the following two books in 2013: “Born to Run”` by Christopher McDougall and “Eat and Run. My unlikely journey to ultramarathon greatness" by Scott Jurek. If you get a chance, do read them as they’re incredibly motivational and inspirational.
So that’s it for 2013.
I’m looking forward to 2014 and my very first NYC Marathon (hopefully I’ll finish it!). Happy New Year everyone!!