Everybody’s doing it

VoIP gets an unlikely contender: Nintendo. Their new dual-screenie portable game player, the Nintendo DS, will be VoIP capable. Essentially it’s a PocketSkype derivative that allows free VoIP DS to DS phone calls in wireless areas.

Maybe that’s what that super-sekret headset jack was for. At this rate, it’s making the Nokia N-Gauge look like an also-ran. We’ll see in three months.

Seven revolutions

Speaking of the network becoming the computer, Rajesh Jain talks about his seven technological revolutions:

* Grid: Centralized services, processing and storage
* Virtual computers: Making the network the computer
* Ubiquitous connectivity: Cheap wireless and wired Internet
* Loosely coupled software: Modularity means flexibility
* Two-Way content: Interactive information. The formation of communities
* Humane interface: A new, cognitive GUI
* Tech 7-11s: Outposts that bring technology to the masses

Been there, slayed that

kol.gifTired of formulaic Tolkienesque derivatives? Finished with Final Fantasy? Wheel of Time have you going in circles? Write you own best selling fantasy novel with these invaluable tips, such as, “All fantasy worlds are roughly square. i.e. the shape of the double page of a paperback.” Hey, if Brian Herbert can do it, so can you!

While you’re waiting for “The Grue-ing Adventure” to get back from the publisher’s, dig into the web-based RPG Kingdom of Loathing. Choose one of six awesome character classes, such as the Disco Bandit or Turtle Tamer, and embark on a quest to loot the planet for Meat and obtain exciting items, such as the Asparagus Knife and eXtreme Mittens.

I’m quanta8, a Level 3 Pastamancer (Noodle Neophyte). See you there.

Mail and lickr

I got a GMail invite. Personally I’m a bit ambivalent about it all. I’m interested in the concept of using GMail is a cyber life recorder, but the practical me just sighs and says, “Ho hum, another email account to manage. And a web-based one too.”

To be frank, I’d rather have a 1GB of webspace than a fatty mailbox. Then again, someone suggested that I could keep photos in there and manage them via Organizr, so the GMail account may come in handy after all.

All in all, both apps seem fairly nice to work with. Some have suggested they have transcended to a level of usability that was once the sole domain of desktop apps. This means the Network Computer is closer than ever.

Aside: Have you noticed that if you type in “alcohol” in Google your first search result is not about the devil’s milk we all enjoy responsibly from time to time, but the Alcohol 120% CD copying software. Goes to show, geeks would rather rip music than imbibe.

Our house, in the middle of the park

Humber Bay Bridge 1.jpg First Excursion: The Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge. I actually knew the engineer who built it. There are three types of animals hidden on the bridge structure.

We took a stroll down the Western Beaches, and it amazes me how beautiful our neighbourhood is. Virtually all the lakeside all the way to Ontario Place is striped with trails amid parkland and beaches. And ice cream stands, which Silverlotus approves of.

Finished off the invigorating walk with a dinner at Yumi on Bloor West. It’s sugarpops to have a good Japanese restaurant close by, even if it’s a bit on the pricey side.

Portside.jpgSecond excursion: Tall Ship Kajama, facing aft on the port side as we travel westward in Toronto Harbour.

I took Silverlotus and her parents on a boat cruise on the Kajama, a three-mastered schooner. We sailed from her berth at York Quay due west to the mouth of the Humber Bay and back, for a total of 1.5 hours. Fortunately, the clouds rolled in just as we docked.

Not too long ago, Harbourfront was a grimy industrial complex. Now it’s a thriving tourism area with many docks for many ships.

An interesting observation: York Quay has fifteen gardens, all designed by local artists. My favourite is one composed of plants growing out of old television sets, by Janet Morton.

We spent the next hour whiling away browsing the tourist traps at Queen’s Quay.
I actually got Silverlotus to put on a hat – it was a giant $70 Tilley hat that you could hide a machinegun in, but a hat nonetheless.

Pimping yourself isn’t easy

V has a fairly nice job. Problem is, it doesn’t pay too well. He was promised a raise if he received a good quarterly performance review.

!>()http://gallerie.silentblue.net/albums/toronto/Sidewalk_Closed.thumb.jpg 150w 113h! His boss hasn’t given him a quarterly performance review in one and a half years.

Well, until two weeks ago. He got a “highly favourable” rating. As thanks, they bumped up his bonus limit. But no raise.

So on Saturday, I spent most of the afternoon helping V out with his resume. Time to look for greener pastures. Here are some tips I have:

* Make your name in a bold, big font. Place your name as a header on the second page, too. This is your time to shine, baby.
* Place categories in order of relevance to the job you’re applying for. If your Education is more relevant than your work experience, put it first – and vice versa. Yes, this means you’ll need to keep several copies of the resume.
* Place items within categories in order of relevance. The resume police won’t come out if you don’t follow chronological order.
* Remove all things not relevant to the job. That includes past work experience, and skills. The Activities category should be taken out all together.
* You don’t have to list specific dates for jobs, graduating, etc. The year should suffice. If the job or course was particularly short-lived, including the season is acceptable (i.e. Summer 2002)
* Quantify everything. If you don’t have an exact figure, estimate. How many customers did you serve? How many sales in dollars did you bring in? How many percent does your new brainchild improve operational efficiency?
* Everything should be able to answer the old age question, “So what?” You must be able to justify each point, each job, each accolade, each school project, and why it’s on your resume, and why it makes you the perfect candidate.