Archive for the 'Observations' Category

Are You Getting Cheated by Your Landlord?

If you’re a renter, you’ll often ask yourself whether or not you’re getting cheated by your landlord. Is your rent too high, too low, or just right? I came across this online tool today called rentometer.com. By typing in your address (and providing them your rental information as well), you get to see how much your neighbors are paying. Pretty fantastic idea, especially for rental-heavy cities like Boston.

Here’s my analysis. I’m the orange needle and it looks like my landlord is good to me.

Rent Comparison

Apple Products = Commoditized

Apple products, more specifically the iPods and iPhones, have started to feel like a commodity to me. With this week’s $200 drop in price of the iPhone (I don’t own one and I don’t see a need to) and the new line up of iPods, I simply don’t get that “oh gosh” feel anymore. I think alot of people would agree that “the special feeling” about owning a brand new iPod or iPhone has dropped like the recent stock market.

As Apple pushes out new generations of iPods and iPhones in record breaking time and having their eyes on revenue dollars, it’s no longer fun to stay up to date with the latest Apple gadget.

A Couple of Tips

Don’t want to loose the numbers on your cell phone? 

For those Verizon Wireless customers out there, did you know that there’s a free backup assistant you can download for your phone that automatically stores your number online? It usually costs $1.99, but it’s free for anyone who already has an online account for your phone. Nowadays, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t already have an online account for their cell phones. I recently switched over to the Samsung SCH-u740 and transferring my numbers from the old phone was super easy because I already had the backup assistant. Also, you don’t have to worry loosing all your numbers if you ever dropped your phone in the toilet or left your phone somewhere.

Finding it hard to organize your life? 

For a simple online tool to organize my life, I use Backpack by the folks over at 37signals. Description of Backpack from the website:

Get Organize! Keep your to-dos, notes, ideas, and schedule online with Backpack.

Personally, it’s a real life saving because of the super clean and intuitive interface for organizing everything from my website ideas, to dos at home or work, and client project. Best part is that it’s free (with options to upgrade for additional features), so why not?

How Smart is Gmail?

Very. Apparently, when you type something like “I’ve attached a pdf…” in the body of you message and forget to actually attach something, gmail is smart enough to remind you.

forget to attach

This tells me a few things:

  1. Gmail scans your outgoing email (or how else would they know you wanted to send an attachment?)
  2. Apparently forgetting to attach happens to a lot of people
  3. The engineers at Google likes to predict mistakes

Tracking Your MPG

I’ve been playing around with creating an online tool to keep a track of my car’s MPG, and then eventually turning it into a full blown webapp for anyone. Apparently I’m too late..

Check out mymilemarker.com

milemarker.com

Accelerate

From one of my favorite websites changethis.com comes this fantastic manifesto with 15 rules to accelerate your business. The following spoke the loudest to me:

  • #2 – To accelerate accountability, reward doers, not talkers.
  • #4 – To accelerate your talent pipeline, be a talent hound, not a position-filler.
  • #7 – To accelerate great ideas, say no.
  • #12 – To accelerate sales, be the customer.

Great reading material for the downtime during your day,

Super Google Maps

It’s finally here!! Drag-and-drop feature on Google maps for alternating your routes and customizing your destinations. How sweet it is indeed, how sweet it is!! See the official demo.


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