Saturday, September 26, 2020

iOS Feature Request

I use Siri and dictation frequently. My biggest frustration is when I go back to review my notes and I have no idea what I was trying to say because she heard, “Tickle your ass with a feather,” instead of, "Particularly nasty weather."


Wouldn’t it be great if iOS also recorded and stored my voice recordings, along with my transcribed notes, so I could replay it to hear what I actually said?

Can I get an Amen?


Monday, August 31, 2020

COVID is a Lot Like Driving

COVID-19 is a lot like driving. We look at the threats and calculate our personal risk vs reward.

I compare Coronavirus to a hurricane or blizzard. It is a blizzard where the snow is invisible and it can kill you; just like driving can kill you, even if you’re a pedestrian simply crossing the street.

If I’m jonesing for coffee, fresh fruit, etc, do I go out into the badness to get it? Most times... maybe nearly always... I’ll choose to say home rather than face the elements. But, every so often, I... we... go against our better judgement by increasing our risk to obtain a reward.

And, just the way we judge bad drivers, we judge bad citizens who take bigger risks than we’re willing to take, especially since their judgement can be our consequences.

One final thought I had about the car vs COVID analogy is that, a century ago, automobiles were more dangerous than they are now. No seatbelts or air bags with lousy intersection controls, etc. Today, we know how to deal with that when it comes to driving and the same is beginning to apply to COVID. We're learning how to navigate in a world with COVID until it passes.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Military Logistics vs. Commercial Logistics

Military logistics provides the means to translate national resources into combat power.

Specifically, logistics transforms human effort, natural resources, and industrial capacity into units, weapons, equipment, and supplies.

Logistics delivers these elements to the theater of operations at the time and place dictated by operational requirements and it sustains the military forces throughout the course of operations.

Logistics then returns those forces to their home bases when operations are concluded, rearming and reequipping them as needed in preparation for the next action.

Commercial Logistics

The term “logistics” is also used to describe activities in the civilian or commercial world. In this usage, logistics describes the process of procurement, maintenance, distribution, and replacement of resources conducted by corporations, firms, or industries. These activities have many points in common with military logistics and can serve as a source of concepts, techniques, and technologies of great interest to military logisticians. Nonetheless, civilian logistics lacks the warlike purpose that defines military logistics and is fundamentally different.

Source: Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 4 (formerly FMFM-4)

Friday, August 21, 2020

Tips Following a News Interview

From time to time, we're fortunate to be interviewed by a news media outlet on topics related to our profession. Whether it's a big media company or a small outlet, you should share and save it. Save the written article as a PDF or download the audio/video to build your CV. Also, be sure to have the Wayback Machine archive the webpage.


After your media interview:

1. Post it to LinkedIn

2. Save it as a PDF, audio, or video

3. Archive the content in the Wayback Machine (archive.org)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

How to Download and Save a Facebook Video

Click to enlarge
Sometimes you want to save and share a video from Facebook, but it's not sharable. 

Typically, on macOS Safari, you could simply right-click (or control-click) and save the video. But Facebook intentionally blocks this by running interference with JavaScript.

So, to save a Facebook video requires two steps, instead of one.

1. Disable JavaScript

2. Right-click on the video and choose Download Video which will be saved to your file system.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wrong Airport: Not Pilot Error


Occasionally, pilots will mistaken one airport for another, and even land at the wrong airport.

Today, though, an air traffic controller mistook another airplane for mine. It's an honest mistake by the controller and it wasn't a safety issue.

You can hear us discuss which airport I'm looking at in this two minute audio clip. (I compressed seven minutes of audio down to a couple of minutes by removing dead air and conversations with other aircraft.)

Here's what's happening in this audio clip from this morning...
(My call sign is "Skylane November Niner Three Bravo Zulu," sometimes shortened to "Three Bravo Zulu"):

1. I check-in with the tower controller at Palomar Airport in Carlsbad by letting him know that I'm 4,500' off the coast of Encinitas, south of the airport (heading north) and I ask for landing instructions.

2. He tells me to make "left traffic" (left turns) to runway 24 (two four), which makes sense based on my position.

3. About six seconds later, the controller changes his mind and tells me to continue north, up the coast, past the airport. He tells me that I'll be making "right traffic" (right turns) to the runway which makes sense since I'll be north of the airport. He clarifies that he'll tell me when it's time to turn in to the airport. This procedure isn't uncommon if there's other traffic congestion and the controller wants some extra time before having me join the airport's traffic pattern.

4. The controller tells me to turn right when I'm over the (Carlsbad) power plant.

5. The controller then tells me to turn right a minute or two later, which I do.

6. The controller then tells me that it looks like I'm heading to the wrong airport (Oceanside Airport).

7. I tell him that I'm looking at Palomar Airport and he tells me that I'm looking at Oceanside Airport.

8. I tell him that I'm lined up perfectly with the runway's centerline. At this point, I'm only a couple miles from the correct airport in Carlsbad (Palomar).

9. He asks me to "ident" which means he wants me to press a button on my airplane's transponder to send out a signal that will flash on his radar screen.

10. He sees my ident and realizes his mistake by saying, "Roger," and tells me to continue flying the traffic pattern I'm flying. He briefly asks me to maintain my current altitude before letting me descend. He points out some other traffic which he wants me to follow into the airport and then clears me to land.

Tah-dah! That was my Sunday morning. All's well.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Seven Weeks of Solitude

It's been more than seven weeks since I last left my home for any reason. (Technically, I did venture a few feet into the street to put out the trash.)

As bad as it seems to be cooped up for several weeks, it pales in comparison to spending a year out at sea. But, I can’t really complain since I have everything I could need or desire in my home and yard.

So, it was time for me to finally venture out. There's only so much sun I can get on my hammock.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Operation: Grocery (Prime Now vs Instacart)

I haven't left my home in more than four weeks. I can count on one hand the number of people I've interacted with, in real life. All of my face-to-face interactions have one thing in common, they bring me food, groceries, and other things to eat.

For me, it's not as bad as it sounds. I have gone days without seeing daylight, while under the ocean in a submarine. Plus, I spent a year out at sea and I've gone many weeks without standing on land or venturing more than 200' from my bed. So, I can sit still. I can be a human being instead of a human doing.

Since I work from home, I see my coworkers everyday in face to face meetings, online. And, like many others, I attend online happy hours with friends and coworkers on most days of the week.


Amazon Prime Now vs Instacart

The only thing I need, from time to time, is food. My best option is to have it delivered which has been working well with Amazon Prime Now and InstaCart. I've noticed a couple key differences between these two services.

I've been using Prime Now for several years. Amazon always seems to know what they have in stock, so what I order is delivered when I place my grocery order. However, it's been a couple weeks since I've been able to get a delivery window with Prime Now. So, I moved to an alternative, Instacart.

I've had a couple deliveries through Instacart. They don't always know what they'll have in stock, a couple days out. But they have a shopper who alerts me when they start shopping. Through the Instacart app, I can chat with my personal shopper regarding replacements. It works very nicely, albeit, Instacart is more expensive than Prime Now. 

The best part is that I can continue to add items to my Instacart order up until the moment my shopper begins filling the cart. That's come in very handy as I've realized that I've forgotten items in the days leading up to the delivery. More expensive, but more personal. That works for me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Are You or Your Clients New to Working From Home? (Eye contact)

Click to see "Working Virtually Part 1"
Is your company new to working-from-home via teleconferencing?

One important point I can't stress enough, to set the tone for a close culture while apart, is to insist on using video.

I'm surprised how many people go out of their way to not use video. Look people in the eye. There's a lot more value than people realize.

Before entering a crosswalk, you'll look at a driver in the approaching car to make eye contact. The silent conversation goes something like this.

"Do you see me?" asks the pedestrian.

"Yes, I see you," answers the car driver.

"Great. Now I'm stepping out into the crosswalk in front of your car. Please don't run me over."

That entire conversation takes place with a momentary glance. That value also translates to teleconferencing. Do it via video.

We spend a lot of time looking at e-mail, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, computer code, etc. People are a company's most important asset, so don't forget to look at them, too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Moderating a Panel


Moderating a panel of crowdfunding entrepreneurs.
Over the years, I've moderated and spoken on dozens of panels on entrepreneurship and tech. As a moderator, I've learned a few key points to make a panel run smoothly.


Do


1. Advocacy
For starters, the moderator is an advocate for audience. Don't be afraid to dig a little if it'll benefit the audience. You are the voice of the audience.

2. Questions
Hold audience questions until the end.

3. Panel Prep Process
Prep your panelists with basic guidelines by telling them:
a. Be succinct with answers.
b. Do not repeat another panelist's answers


Me, being introduced as panel moderator by Jerry Sanders,
CEO of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and
former San Diego mayor and chief of police.

Don't


1. Don't moderate from a podium. A panel moderator should be seated with the panel.

2. Don't speak for a panelist. A good panel moderator can ask a question, even though they may already know the answer. The moderator should not show off how smart they. 

3. No PowerPoint during a panel unless it's virtual (online).