Category Archives: General

Grateful for you.

I often say that the most important thing in my life is my friends.

And I’m pretty fortunate to have many friends in many different places.

A few months back I lost a dear friend, Matt Ryd, when he took his own life. Someone who I was close with, but honestly, regret not being closer to.

Since moving to Chicago in 2007 I’ve found myself in a wonderful community of nerds, artists, comedians, and musicians. One of the central figures of this community was Matt. We met through mutual friends, he welcomed me in with open arms, and we became friends. I’d look forward to seeing him at his shows or other ones in the community. Now, suddenly he’s gone.

Since he left, our quirky little community has banded together around his loss. We’ve put together three concerts in his name to raise money and awareness for causes he found dear.

Even departed, he still sits in the center. In losing Matt I’ve discovered a lot about myself and found some great new friends in the process. And I don’t think I’m alone in this. While I’d give anything to have him back, this is proof that every cloud has a silver lining.

Thanksgiving was a few days ago and various friends of mine were posting the things they were grateful for in their Facebook statuses.

I simply posted:

“I’m grateful for you.”

I meant it. Especially you though Matt.

Thank you.

Questions and Answers about ‘Tile’

The other day I came across this new crowdfunded gadget: Tile. The idea behind it is one I’ve wished existed for many years. Long and short: It’s a tiny little Bluetooth powered location tracker that you place on your keys, luggage, bag, bike etc. The benefits of this are great and their video does an excellent job of selling it.

I’m intrigued that it will prevent me from ever misplacing my keys in my own home again. However, as with any advancement in technology: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This product raises some technical and privacy questions to me and the company’s FAQ seemed to mainly exist to placate angry Android customers, so I fired off an email to their ‘contact’ address and here are the results.

You have your introductory price but what will the second year cost me? / Will you offer a recycling discount for sending you our old tiles?

Tile replacements are likely to be discounted for customers, but since we are still in development phase the final cost is not yet determined. Replacement Tiles will come with a return envelope with postage paid. All Tiles are recycled or refurbished depending on condition.

Tile requires no battery charging or battery replacement hassles, ever. It’s all about ease of use and being cost effective as compared fo similar solutions. You could buy enough Tiles to last you three years before you would match the cost of buying other solutions that require constant charging and are quite bigger, and not waterproof.

If I buy a tile, when does the year start? At manufacturing, order, or do I “activate” it somehow? If I buy two tiles now, can I hold off “activating” the second one until my first one dies? Will it hold a charge until this hypothetical activation?

A Tile’s year of use starts when you take possession of it. Withholding use of a Tile does not prevent a drain on the battery. Use them for a year and then replace. Easy. Also, Tiles are registered via the Tile app.

What kind of access to my tile data do you have? Could the NSA, in theory, demand access to your servers and see my tile’s location history? Or, with your permission, use another tile to locate my tile like your video shows with the bike?

Tile is still in the development phase, so we have many areas to address in our product plan, including a privacy policy. That said, like many devices and product features available today, our objective is to offer an unique and helpful experience to improve the lives of our customers. We have no intention of acting improperly, or without transparency, with any information that results from the operation of our product.

There you have it. While I’m not thrilled by the amount of companies going live without privacy policies set in place, I respect that they answered the question at all. For now, I’ve decided to purchase a Tile. We’ll see how I feel about it when year 2 rolls around.

An Event Apart Chicago 2012

ILD Bike MS: Tour De Farms 2012

I should have posted this much sooner but I’ve been busy. Perhaps too busy, but it’s never too late:

This weekend I will be riding, with my good friend Laura, in the ILD Bike MS: Tour De Farms 2012 in an effort to raise money to fight MS.

This is a cause that is very important to me. Growing up I saw MS devastate and eventually take the life of my “Aunt” Kathy , my mother’s best friend.

I’ve set a small goal of $400 but I’d like to blow it out of the water. If you’re interested in helping out you can donate here. It’s tax deductible and goes to a very good cause.

Thanks.