Tag Archives: walking_in_the_city

Walking blues

As some of you know (and for reasons outlined here) I try to walk at least one direction to every meeting I have in Vancouver.

Obviously I’m interested in all things walking which is why – in a brief fly by of Boston – I was stunned to find this store. A specialty store dedicated to walking nerds. If only I’d had time…

Still interested? Well… fellow walking nerds may wish to know about Pednet. Founded by Chris Bradshaw, Pednet was started in 1995 and (according to the site):

“is the international list for those advocating for more and safer walking, focusing on urban environments. Topics include: intersection design, pedestrian-driver interface, effects of walking on individual & streetscape, weather conditions, trends, disabled/children/seniors, & cetera.”

Something that combines my interest in public policy with my zeal for walking… could be dangerous! But such are the opportunities afforded to us by the internet. H/T and thank you to Peter M. for the link.

FireFox 3 Beta and other cool gadgets

If you aren’t technically inclined, but are interested in impressing your co-workers, consider downloading the recently released beta version of FireFox 3.

This is your chance to look cooler than everybody else in your cubicle farm… pimping out your computer with the latest in open-source coolware.

And since we are speaking of gadgets… Gayle D. recently gave me this very cool pedometer. As some of you know, I try to walk at least one direction to all my meetings. This little device isn’t radically radically changing my life… but it is keeping me aware of my decision to walk everywhere. More importantly it’s enabled me to both set a target of taking 10,000 steps and given me the capacity to measure my progress. This is definitely pushing me make better, healthier decisions.

I’d heard a while back that Ontario Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson pitched to Research in Motion the idea that Blackberry devices should have an integrated pedometer.

I thought was a fantastic idea. Obviously it hasn’t gone anywhere – and to be fair, these advanced pedometers would add to the size of any Blackberry device… but I hope RIM hasn’t dropped the idea altogether.

Making the shuffle better

My geek squad (or is it nerd herd?) suggestion.

I have an a iPod shuffle (which BTW) I love. And, as many of you know, I’ve committed myself to walking at least one direction to any meeting I have in Vancouver, no matter how far. As a result, I end up in some long walks, which I use as an opportunity to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Shuffle

The problem is that some of the books, and even some podcasts, come as a single large file. If while listening, you accidentally push the forward button, you lose your place and have to spend the next 5 minutes fast forwarding through the mp3 to find your place.

I know, I know, I know… I could “lock” the buttons by pressing down the play/pause button for 3 seconds, but then I can’t adjust the volume – something that is essential when walking in the city and shift from busy main streets, to pleasant quiet side streets.

All this goes to say that it would be nice if the shuffle let you lock all the buttons except the volume buttons. Then you could increase and decrease the volume without fear of losing your place.

But then, I thought of something cooler. What if Apple let you reprogram their shuffle buttons however you saw fit? Say, for example, you only want your shuffle to skip to the next song if you click the fast forward button twice in quick succession… no problem, you just program it that way. Now that would be cool.

My assumption is that this type of reprogramming would not be that hard. Apple already allows you to limit the maximum volume of your shuffle. How hard can it be to hand over control of the other keys?

Anyone know anyone at Apple I could pitch the idea to?