Thursday, June 30, 2016

Site of First Game in the NFL

Dayton, Ohio?  Are you kidding me?  Until I saw this historical marker, located less than two miles from the house I grew up in, I would have thought not too.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Best

According to the dictionary, “best” is defined as something that is “better than all others”. Seems simple enough and we throw the word around all the time without necessarily appreciating all the various flavors of “best” there is, and if we’re really using it properly.

At the very heart of defining “best” in more detail, I think it’s a good starting point to divide “best” into its objective meaning versus its subjective meaning. The objective form means that you can clearly state your objective, for example, that you’re looking for the most profitable solution or producing a product at the least cost. The second part is developing a means to achieve that objective that others can review and agree that it indeed results in the optimum answer. For example, at work we have a model that processes customer orders, dates needed, transportation costs and machine capacities to produce a solution that maximizes profit within those constraints. That model uses a branch of mathematics, linear programming, that will produce the optimal answer. Not saying that the inputs themselves are always right or that our model might not have room for improvement, but I can reasonably argue that we get the “best” answer. Room for debate exists, but not all that much.

On the other side of “best” is its subjective meaning, and that’s open to the wide variety of human opinion. Where is the “best” city to live? Who was the “best” basketball player ever to play the game? What is the “best” wine to serve with chicken on a cool spring evening? You have your choices, and I’ll have mine. But if you ask a million people and tally up all the results for that wine recommendation, you’re more likely to follow the advice of the crowd and not my particular taste for Viognier. I look for the crowd’s opinion of “best” all the time on, routinely searching only for products with at least a 4-star rating. But I also read some 5-star and 1-star reviews in detail, looking for some reason a particular product would not fit my particular purpose. The power of collective opinion in helping decide “best” is most useful indeed, as it rarely steers me wrong.

But what really irritates me are people that throw around “best” and can’t explain if they’re using the objective or subjective form, or the type and breadth of peer review defined above. They simply want me to accept their “best” designation without any level of substantiation. When pressed they deliver their finest “deer-in-the-headlights” look. It would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.

So the next time you hear the term “Best practice”, just think “Their favorite pizza”, and you won’t be far off.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Google Street View

Want to explore the world without the cost or jet lag?  Check out all the places available on Google Street View.  You can even check out whales without getting wet.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

U-Box We-Haul

While out on a noon-time walk, I noticed a couple guys packing furniture and boxes into a U-Haul container like the picture below. Turns out you can store or ship your belongings, yourself or with U-Haul's help, with this pretty slick service.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ohio Parks on Street View Trekker

We won't see the results of this effort to map Ohio's bike trails, rivers, lakes and more using Google's Street View Treker technology, but when ready will really showcase the region's outdoor assets.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Decode SSL With Wireshark

Warning, serious technical overload ahead...

Encryption is a wonderful thing ... unless you're trying to debug a problem, then it throws up a huge roadblock because all you see is gibberish instead of clear text.  For the Chrome and Firefox web browsers (sorry IE users, somebody is still clueless), the SSLKEYLOGFILE environment variable is the key to clarity.  Give its value a proper disk location (1st screenshot) and the browsers will log the secret keys. Then setup Wireshark  (2nd screenshot) with the same filename to decode the encrypted gibberish.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DevOps Tools

Warning, technical overload ahead...

This is cool interactive web page, besides appealing to my kid-like love of the periodic table.  Just hover your mouse over an area of interest and those items get immediately highlighted.  Click on a product to get further details.  Need an open source logging tool?  Find one in a few seconds.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


We have a nice flag shop nearby in Kettering, Ohio and recently purchased a University of Dayton banner to display outside.  These folks will also respectfully dispose of old, frayed U.S. flags.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lynda on Roku

Lynda is a LinkedIn company owned by LinkedIn (and soon Microsoft) that provides online training. What's really nice is their complement of streaming options, including Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast. At $25/month, it's for the serious learner, but they have a lot of cool instruction.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cached Search Results

The web is a living thing and pages change and get deleted all the time.  I found myself needing the page below, but it was gone.  Google came to my aid with a cached version of the page, an older copy that it kept around just for situations like this.  If one or more are available, you can find them by clicking the green down arrow to the right of the web page link.

Monday, June 6, 2016


The Amazon Echo is the coolest tech I have and its voice recognition is remarkable.  Want to give it a test drive before throwing down $180?  Echosim gives you that opportunity.  You sign in with your Amazon account, click-and-hold the speaker icon and ask a question, such as "What's the weather", and let go.  Give it a few seconds to process the question, unlike a real Echo which is blazingly fast.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Killer Brownies

Killer Brownies, made by Dorothy Lane Market in the Dayton, Ohio area, are perhaps the tastiest dessert on the planet, and its 1/3 pound of chocolate, caramel and pecans are enough to put you into a caloric stupor. Best of all, you can get them delivered!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rescheduling a Meeting in Outlook

Rescheduling meetings is a fact of life, but rescheduling a meeting that has already taken place has hidden dangers. If you've already dismissed your reminders, your reminder is set to none.

Rescheduling doesn't take to back to your default reminder time, so if you want folks not to miss your meeting, remember to set it itself.