Friday Four

Friday, August 07, 2015

1. Since my wife is a New Orleanian, the kids have a fair number of Mardi Gras necklaces and doubloons among their toys. Unknown to me, my wife at some point took a doubloon from our two-year-old son and exchanged it for a similarly-sized coin-shaped chocolate with a gold wrapper. And so it was that one day, he presented me with a doubloon he found and led me into the kitchen, where he pointed at the basket atop the fridge where we keep the candy. Since then, I've concluded that he thinks he is entitled to such an exchange every time.

Leave it to the kids to make me start my own, pirate-like, hidden stash of doubloons!

2. I've been a fan of Left Hand Brewery's milk stout for a long time, but only just recently tried its 400 Pound Monkey IPA, which the brewer further describes as "English Style":

Why does the world need another IPA? Because this one ain't like them others. We use hops of a different color, earthy and herbal, well-balanced by bready malt. The result? An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle ... we're so done with that.
Further reading of reviews at Beer Advocate reminded me that "English Style IPA" is a distinct style. What a pleasant introduction this was!

3. Following tech news as I do, I have occasionally heard about so-called "black hat" computer security conferences. But I never really thought about what precautions the attendees might take:
To guard against having their cell phones hacked, some attendees use "burner phones" instead. These are cheap, pre-paid cell phones that contain none of their personal information. They just throw them away when they're done with the conference.

With multiple sessions demonstrating how easy it is to read credit card data remotely with an electromagnetic sniffer, lots people leave their credit cards back in their hotel room safe.
Some attendees go so far as to stay in hotels on the other end of town from such conferences.

4. Sometime during the next year, I may finally get to add the option of a standing desk to my home office. (Ultimately, I want to be able to switch between sitting and standing fairly easily.) In anticipation, I've kept an antenna out for information on standing desk setups. One fan of standing desks has come up with an impressive number of ideas, including a portable version suitable for travel:
[I] decided I needed a travel option for my setup. This is challenging as it has to be able to be checked as baggage with an airline and provide the minimum viable options as a standing workstation. Those features are; table top at appropriate height, monitor and laptop at appropriate height, completely self contained in a suitcase that will keep everything safe and be able to be checked with an airline. The case does weigh in around 80 lbs. which I'm working to thin out...
I doubt I'll try this, but it was fun reading about it. But who knows? Maybe if I like standing up to work enough -- and I have to travel a lot -- I'll check back there and find a future, slimmed-down version.

-- CAV

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