Jawbone Bluetooth headset

January 01, 2007

Update: For those of you using CDMA phones (i.e., Verizon or Sprint customers), please see this response from Aliph regarding the use of the Jawbone with such devices. Ed, thanks for sending this.

If the past five years are any indication, whatever I say here will likely make it into the top 10 Google results for "jawbone" and so I've decided to make this dead simple for everyone who arrives at this page through the search engine in the coming months: the Jawbone is the best Bluetooth headset I've ever owned. Period.

When I originally got my hands on this headset a couple of weeks ago (the day it was first released to the public), I was all set on describing its technology (the web site was a bare-bones "splash" page until very recently) and talking a little bit about my experience with it, but I've been busy and back in Florida for the past week and so anything I was going to say has already been said by others.

In any event, for those of you less inclined to actually click through and read something about it, allow me to quote from the manual (I'm told this information is now available on the about page):

Jawbone is the world's first adaptive Bluetooth headset for mobile phones. Its revolutionary Noise Shield technology combines the latest innovations in acoustics, audio processing and product design to produce a quantum leap in headset performance. Not only does the Jawbone technology virtually eliminate all background noise from your call, but as your background changes it also seamlessly adjusts the speaker output so you can hear your caller's voice better. Jawbone's intelligent system of sensors, software, and ergonomic features allows you to use your mobile phone in any environment without shouting or straining to hear.

Now, normally I wouldn't be so willing to quote from a product's marketing copy, but the fact is, it works exactly like it says it does. Indeed, I can confidently claim that the video of the Jawbone in action, while a bit hokey, is an accurate representation of its capabilities. In fact, I'm at the point now where I don't want to talk to anyone on the phone unless they're using a Jawbone on their end; why should they get crystal-clear sound from me while I'm left to suffer?  :P

As ever, if you've specific questions, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave an audio comment.

Session management for Camino!

January 01, 2007
Session management for Camino! This plugin, coupled with CamiTools, finally makes Camino, arguably the fastest Mac browser out there, real-world usable for me. Note that CamiTools is no longer available for download from the developer (it's not in active development), but you can still find it on the net. Note too that if you are installing it on an Intel Mac, you'll likely need to bypass the installer package and do it manually.

Freebording is no joke

December 30, 2006

A few days ago I finally got the chance to ride a Freebord1 (something I linked to years ago when I was using del.icio.us) and for what may be the first time in my life, I wasn't able to immediately master it. While that may sound a bit pretentious, I think that if you know me you know things like that (skateboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding, skiing, blading, whatever) have always come very easy to me.

But this machine, this fusion of snowboarding and skateboarding, felt very foreign. You see, the Freebord is kind of like a regular skateboard, except that there are half-bindings for your feet, the trucks are stretched out well beyond the width of the board, and there are six wheels. That's right, six. The extra two are spring-loaded caster wheels that sit in the center of the inside of each truck. The basic idea is that you turn (or, more accurately, carve) by giving the fifth and six wheels pressure, which is done by centering your weight on the board until the ‘extra' wheels ‘take over,' at which point you lean to either side and the ‘regular' wheels that are on the same side as the side you are leaning, begin to slide across the pavement and act kind of like an edge on a snowboard.

I felt so sketchy on this thing and had I not seen videos of what it was capable of (some of which are linked to directly from the main page -- watch them!), I probably would have deemed it broken after only a few tries. That said, I was starting to get the hang of it near the end our session, but not before my body started telling my brain I wasn't 16 anymore2 and my brain started telling my body I could die.3

  1. I was out with my brother and his roommate, both of whom bought Freebords minutes after I called my brother a couple of months ago and implored him to watch the videos of it in action.   

  2. I hurt. Still.   

  3. My brother's roommate cracked his skull open not a week after they got their boards; the incident left him in pretty bad shape. Did I mention that this kid was there when I was trying to learn how to do it? Yah, that kind of messed with my head a bit.   

This is your brain on Tetris

December 29, 2006
This is your brain on Tetris. "The Tetris effect is a biochemical, reductionistic metaphor, if you will, for curiosity, invention, the creative urge. To fit shapes together is to organize, to build, to make deals, to fix, to understand, to fold sheets. All of our mental activities are analogous, each as potentially addictive as the next."

Note to self

December 24, 2006

Next time you're thinking about taking a two-layover redeye from California to Florida the day before Christmas, don't; just shoot yourself in the face. Also, remember that the airlines are nothing if not fastidious -- they never fail to notice the pulsating "PLEASE LOSE THIS!" sign that you couple to all of your luggage.

I'm not dead

December 16, 2006

I've obviously been a little delinquent in updating this site for the last month or so, but I can assure you that my dereliction wasn't for want of desire or something to say. To put it quite simply, I'm busy, and still adjusting to ‘real-world' life as a first-year associate at a prominent IP firm.

There are a billion and one things I want to write about these days, hell, there a billion and one things I want to write about regarding the things I want to write about (e.g., Apple's upcoming "iPhone," which I portended, to much resistance, more than two years ago; the Pearl1 I just purchased; how I love my new office speakers so much that I'm probably going to buy another pair for my apartment; etc.), but time hates me and I can't seem to get her back on my side.

Everything about my life is rushed lately. Everything. This post included. To be honest, it's kind of always been that way, but never to this extent; never to the point where I've had to find so many backburners to keep all these neglected interests, people, and thoughts alive. Don't get me wrong, I relish the chaos and thoroughly enjoy sifting the signals from the noise — it's what I do best — but the number of things I'm currently attempting to juggle is ridiculous and I fear that at some point I'm just going to have to cry "uncle."

The only constant anymore is the fact that the job comes first. Period. Unfortunately, that means a lot of my other interests are receiving much less of my time than they have been given in the past. I'll eventually find a balance, but until then, the myriad pots I've my hands in will likely continue to suffer from inattention.

On a completely unrelated and unimportant note, Ari, from HBO's Entourage, is my new favorite TV character.

  1. Briefly, I'm in love with the form-factor and actually don't mind SureType, and may even hold out for an HSDPA model, even if the 8800-series (the successor to my previous 8700c), which will likely be out well before the next iteration of the Pearl, has HSDPA.   

Insect Lab

December 14, 2006
Insect Lab "is an artist operated studio that customizes real insects with antique watch parts and electronic components." Struggling with what to get me for xmas? Struggle no more.

For the USPS, a tip

December 06, 2006

Perhaps, before claiming that you offer a "tracking" service, you should look up the meaning of the word. My understanding is that I'm to input a tracking number, supplied by you, into your website. It is also my understanding that you are to monitor the package represented by that tracking number as it progresses from sender to recipient, and that I'm to be told where it is, where it's going next, and how long until it's in my hands.

Curious then that I wasn't notified of any pit stops my package may have made along its 1800-mile journey over the last three days. In fact, the only thing I received from you concerning my package's movement was a notification that it had been delivered. While it was great to receive confirmation that the package I was holding in my hand was the one I was expecting and not the one I wasn't expecting, it would have been nice to know when it was to arrive and how it was getting along in the interim.

Maybe you're just trying to set yourself apart from the myriad other parcel services that actually update you as to the whereabouts of your package. I'm obviously being facetious, or am I? Given that this is the third time I've experienced this non-communication, I'm actually starting to believe my own sarcasm. Keep up the good work.