I arrived back from Bermuda last night, a bit sunburned but otherwise intact. This having been my first adventure outside of the United States, I had no idea what to expect. So, to anyone who may be considering going to Bermuda, here's some things I learned:
- Stay in/near Hamilton. Hotels around Hamilton generally provided shuttles to places as part of your stay and buses can be found nearby. Otherwise, you need to either take taxis everywhere (which gets expensive) or rent a scooter (you can't rent a car).
- Restaurants aren't open all the time. This took some getting used to. There are set hours for each of the three meals and many restaurants close in between those times. Stick to pubs and fast food joints if you want a meal in outside of official meal times.
- Everything is expensive. It's an island, everything is imported, thus everything is expensive (especially food).
- Beware currency conversion. The Bermuda dollar is linked to the United States dollar, so dealing in cash is easy; many vendors will even give you United States dollars back. If you're using a credit card, though, beware. Technically you are converting your currency to Bermuda dollars (even if you're from the United States). This can bring currency conversion charges from your credit card company. It's best to call them ahead of time to find out.
- Everything closes at 5 PM. More or less, all shops close at around 5 PM. Additionally, most everything is closed on Sunday.
- Smart casual is in. Many restaurants require "smart" casual dress code, meaning slacks, shoes, and a collared shirt.
- Taxi drivers like to tailgate. Not unlike the United States, pretty much every taxi I took was up on the rear bumper of the car or scooter in front of them, thus making renting a scooter into a bad idea.
- Drive on the left side. Driving on the left side is really unsettling at first. I found myself being very jumpy in the taxis, thinking that someone was going to hit us. But then they'd move harmlessly along their way and I'd remember they drive on the left side. The next day the same thing would happen.
- Wear sunscreen. Unless you're from a tropical island, you're not used to the intensity of the sun in Bermuda. The pleasant overall climate makes you forget that the sun's rays are frying you. I am currently sporting sunburns on my head, face, back, arms, and feet.
It was not too long ago that the CEO of Opera pledged to swim the Atlantic if Opera 8 was downloaded a million times within the first four days of its availability (if you want to know the outcome, check out the command center). Now he's saying that Firefox's market share is being artificially inflated by Google's adoption of link prefetching.
The soaked CEO says that Opera's share of the market is larger than it seems, and Firefox's much smaller, but it's not accurately being recognized thanks to the link prefetching scheme. With a 1% share of the browser market, is the difference really that significant?
Seems to me like Opera's CEO is just doing everything possible to get himself and the company into the news. Instead of complaining about other browsers implementing technologies that help their case, why not just invest your time and effort into making sure your company does the same? Does link prefetching really bother you? Implement it on your own browser. And to really help your case, why make Opera use its own user-agent string by default instead of making it look like Internet Explorer? In my opinion, the only thing hurting Opera's market share right now is Opera itself.
I forget this every once in a while: I hate the mornings. I always feel lousy and dizzy and blech. For some reason, every so often, I try to convince myself that it's not true. Take this week for example.
I'm going to Bermuda tomorrow, and to get to the airport in time I need to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am. This does not make me happy. However, to prepare my body for the beating it will take I've been getting up an hour earlier each day since Monday. So Monday I woke up at 7, Tuesday at 6, today at 5. Yeah, today I'm not doing so hot. Sure it was nice to face little traffic on the way to work but this is definitely a one-time deal. As soon as I'm back, it's right back to sleeping until 8 every day. In fact, I'm practically falling asleep as I'm typing this and I'm hoping no one tries to talk to me for at least another two hours. In the meantime all I'm thinking about is my bed.
When I decided to become an author, I did so in the hopes of being accessible to the reader for conversation and discussion about the book, which is why I put my Web address in the "About the Author" section. I want feedback, I want to know what you like and what you don't like. And yes, that includes typos.
Case in point: a gentleman named Alexei has recently been posting typos and other mistakes to the book forum. He does so not to voice his displeasure with the book, as he's said many times he really enjoys it, but rather to just inform me on how I can better serve the needs of readers like him. I'm constantly impressed and rather honored that he has taken the time to read the book so closely as to find the sometimes obscure mistakes he finds. As a result of his feedback (and several others on the forum), not only does Wrox realize there was a quality problem with the book, but I know that if there's a next printing or a next edition, it will be even better.
So, everyone is certainly inclined to write a negative review if you're upset about the quality of the book. But if you actually want to help make the book better, I'd appreciate you either contacting me, leaving a note in the forum, or submitting an official errata notice to Wrox. That way, I can incorporate your feedback and help other readers along the way.
And aside from some errors, I still believe that this book represents the important concepts in such a way that is easy for readers to understand and learn.
I used to be a huge NBA fan. If there was a game on, I'd watch it. Now with the NBA Finals in full swing, I find myself not caring so much. Perhaps it's because I've seen my beloved Celtics fall from grace so far so quickly. I remember watching Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish playing the way the game was meant to be played. Now all these brash young players with their "gimme the ball" attitudes drive me nuts. But in any event, looking at the current NBA Finals teams, Detroit and San Antonio, it pains me to see what the Celtics could've been.
Consider that when Rick "Give Me Millions And I'll Bury Your Team" Pitino took over the organization, he did so knowing full well that he'd have two lottery picks in the next draft and since the Celtics had had the worst record, they'd have the best chance at grabbing the number one spot to draft the much-wanted Tim Duncan. Many believe this was the only reason Pitino took the job. As luck would have it, the Celtics didn't get the first pick, which went to San Antonio who drafted Duncan and is now looking at a third championship since that time. Strike one for the Celtics.
The Celtics ended up with the third and sixth picks that year, which they used to draft Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, respectively. I'm sorry who's that? Oh yeah, last year's Finals MVP Chauncey Billups. Why can't we get players like that? Well, because Rick Pitino was an impatient guy, he traded Billups away a year later. Strike two.
You know the Spurs' Bruce Bowen, the guy that everyone says is the best defensive player in the league? He was on the Celtics the same time as Billups. Once again, he wasn't seen as a part of the Celtics future and his contract was allowed to lapse. Strike three.
The Celtics also had a guy come in for a try out one year. He was undrafted but was 6 feet 9 inches tall and looked like he could be a player. They tried him out as a guard, but it just didn't work and he was cut before training camp. That guy was Ben Wallace, named the Defensive Player of the year for the second time and member of the Detroit Pistons. Strike four.
Could you imagine if the Celtics had a starting five that saw Duncan in the middle, Wallace and Bowen as forwards, and Billups at point? Sounds like a championship contender to me. Thanks a lot Pitino.
One of the worst kept secrets about me is that I'm a huge professional wrestling fan. Yeah, make your jokes, go ahead. I've paid an obscene amount of money to go to Pay-Per-Views and to see both Raw and Smackdown live as well as having been to see smaller regional, independent wrestling shows that seat only about 500. I can't help it, I'm a wrestling junky.
That being said, I think the decline in the quality of WWE's product is severe and noticeable since WCW went under. But most of all, I miss the ECW Pay-Per-Views, which were some of the best I've ever seen. That's why I was thrilled when WWE decided to have an ECW reunion Pay-Per-View, which was last night.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was scared that this would turn into a WWE show and be really boring, but they actually kept most of the show to the traditional ECW style, right down to the return of Joey Styles at the announce booth and cheezy television graphics. Plus, the action was excellent; I really wish it had been four hours long. I hope the quality of this show really makes WWE open its eyes to what true wrestling fans want: wrestling!
I still kick myself for not double majoring in computer science and electrical engineering, because I find electronics so fascinating. When my buddy forwarded me this article about how to modify the CVS disposable digital camera, I was completely enthralled.
The article takes you step-by-step, showing how to connect one of these cameras to your computer using a makeshift USB to download your photos. This effectively turns this one-time use camera into a multi-use camera for under $40! Amazing the creativity of people!