Steak ‘n Shake 50/50 tea. (at Steak N’ Shake)

News Sources

A friend who is a long time Google News user contacted me, interested in trying some different news sources (Non RSS).

I never really liked Google News. I found the design (mostly the font and link colors) difficult to scan. It never seemed to have enough contrast to catch my eye. It’s just visually unappealing.

I guess I like a little more curation of my news too.

I don’t usually stick to one news source very long. I’m always changing up my preferences. The current sites/services/apps I find myself using are listed below.

General News

General Tech/News

Email Newsletters

Sometimes I use…

iPad/iPhone

  • Flipboard (With my Google Reader feed, but others as well.)

Other than my random social network feeds, that’s about it. I know it’s a little more complex than just going to Google News. That’s just how my ADHD brain works.

Please feel free to send news source recommendations to me (@ronaldsullivan).

Kentucky vs. Florida 1 

This is the first in a running theme of posts.

I was born and spent most of my life in the state of Kentucky. For the last 5 years, I’ve lived in Florida. I am a proud former eastern Kentuckian, but love the warmer weather of the state that is now my home. With that said, I am constantly reading crazy stories originating out of both states. So, I decided to post links to some recent items I find in relation to both Kentucky and Florida, along with what I find interesting with each. You can make the call of which is the more unusual, strange, or crazy story.1

Kentucky:

Kentucky May Be A Great Place For “Roadkill Bingo”

2 of the more interesting parts:

Gosh P.R. recommended that visitors to the state play “roadkill bingo” to pass the time on long drives and said the state was littered with large numbers of dead animals on the sides of roads.

[…]

Among other things, the site recommended that British tourists visit “Hazzard County,” which it said was the community on which the old television show “The Dukes of Hazzard” was based. It also said the original home of Kentucky Fried Chicken was in London, Ky.

For one, there is no Hazzard County, Kentucky, and TDOH was not based on the city of Hazzard, KY. KFC was founded in Corbin, not London. Well, I’m not even going to go into the “roadkill” statements.

How did this tourism site even get published?

Florida:

Man Attacked Mom For Using His Taco Sauce

Christopher Phillips got into an argument with his mother Rebecca, 55, “because Rebecca used Christopher’s salsa and taco sauce on her dinner,” according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

Not sure I need to elaborate on this.


  1. Please send your vote via Twitter, Email, or what ever social system gave you this link. 

To Share, Or Not To Share

I am tired of every new digital product that comes to market, obsessing over the need to add social and sharing features. I understand the value of social on the web and in some services.

I am, what some people call, a power user of services in the forefront of these trends. I set up my Twitter account within a year or so of the service starting.1 I feel I know every setting in Facebook, which if you use it, you know is no small feat.

But there seems to be a trend to shoe horn social features into every product, even when it doesn’t apply to the product being provided. Sharing for the sake of sharing is not only unproductive, but can hinder finding the true value in an otherwise useful service.

I would think that the main interest of most companies is making money. There is a perception that advertising, marketing, and free services are the only way to make money in our digital world. Social networks have fueled this. I find the public’s comfort with giving up privacy for social sharing a bit disturbing.

More and more I am finding that people are happy to pay for the services and applications they find useful. I don’t mind showing my appreciation to developers by paying for products. And when I pay for products, I feel I’m less likely to be taken advantage of, through marketing or privacy issues.

With the success of things like Apple’s App Stores2, developers should not be afraid to charge reasonable rates for products. If you have a good product, and these products are easy to manage and access, customers will pay.

Focus on making great products, not on being social.


  1. January 2007 

  2. Both the Mac and iOS App Stores. 

Cloudy Problems

I am currently trying to cloudify1 my digital life. I don’t want to get deep into the reason behind this goal in this post2, but here is where I stand in the process right now.

  1. iTunes Match and Spotify for Music.
  2. Various services for TV and movies (Netflix, Amazon, etc).
  3. Dropbox for most of my active documents and other files that I feel need normal file system access.
  4. Bookmarks use Xmarks with additional archiving using Instapaper and Pinboard.
  5. Notes and important archived information are in Evernote.
  6. I’ve been a long time user of Remember the Milk.3
  7. Almost all of my email activity pass through Gmail. Mostly accessed through Mail.app.4
  8. Google Calendar / iCloud for calendaring and reminders. Mostly accessed through iCal.5
  9. I plan on going with Backblaze for full system backup of my main system.

I seem to have 2 stumbling blocks in my way of completing my goal: proper archiving and access to photos and videos.

I have photos in both RAW and several compressed formats.6 I understand that the idea of archiving RAW can be difficult due to the file size among other reasons, so I can let that part go for purely a photo service with web access. It’s key to have access to a web view as well as full size file downloads available.

I’ve been a long time Flickr user, but with lack of innovation, treatment of users, and the constant ghost of Yahoo! failures looming over it, I just don’t feel like I can trust it long term, anymore. Plus, the service just isn’t designed to navigate large archives of images easily. There are some whispers of updates to the service. If it turns out to be true, may revive my confidence. I have to admit that with the vast amount of tools, I feel like it’s my best option, no matter what.

My video problem is similar, but with even more of an issue with file size. I have several formats and various lengths of video. And when I say video, I don’t mean downloaded TV shows or movies;7 I’m talking about family videos, lightly edited clips, and other self created videos.

I thought about just posting it all to Youtube. But it seems the video you download back from them is highly compressed. And even though I am aware that I can post items privately, with Youtube’s band of mighty trolls that own the commenting, I fear using the system at all.

Vimeo Plus seems to be my best option for video at this time. With this paid option of Vimeo8, you get an option to download the original file back from the service. And with the options I see coming in the new version of OS X, accessing the service may get much easier. I may run into a few issues with file formats. And I would have to pace my upload amount due to the 5GB per month limit. But for some reason, paying for this kind of service makes me feel better about it’s longevity.

Automation, automation, automation! That is the key for this really working for me. Setting up processes and workflows that will allow automation of these backups. Flickr has many tools that can help with this, but I have not been able to find many for Vimeo. Though admittedly, I haven’t spent a lot of time searching.

Just the planning of this is an exhausting endeavor. I just hope once it’s worked out, it won’t require nearly as much thought. I can then move on to my next geeky obsession of the moment.


  1. Is that a word? 

  2. More on this soon. 

  3. Though they are badly in need of a UI overhaul. 

  4. Though I’m actively looking into other IMAP options. 

  5. Very excited for the new OS X Mountain Lion Calendar app changes. 

  6. jpeg, gif, png, etc. 

  7. Using legal methods of course. wink wink 

  8. $59.95/yr