Missed gdgt live in SF? Watch it on TWiT!

Part 1 – (Fast forward to 1 hour and 39 minutes in the video, that’s when the coverage starts in this particular video):

Part 2 –

Part 3-

Civ V and OS X – A mark of desperation

I’m currently somewhere over New York state, flying Virgin America back from Boston (where we had our gdgt live event last night). I only brought my iPad with me on this trip. Which is painful, because Civilization V is currently out!

So, I wanted to see if it was even possible to play. Are you ready for this mark of desperation?

Civ V running on Windows 7. In a Parallels for OS X virtual machine. Via a VNC client on my iPhone. What?! So, what happened? Screen shots below!





My biggest environmental consulting fear

More drilling
My old office

In what seems like another lifetime, I used to be a geologist for an environmental consulting company here in the Bay Area. One of my biggest fears was drilling through a gas line.

We were often in the field, supervising remediation projects or gathering data in preparation for a remediation project. This often involved gathering soil and rock samples while drilling a series of boreholes that ranged anywhere from 3 feet in depth to around 100 feet in depth.

Before we ever drilled on a site, we consulted numerous maps and hired a company to carry out a USA (underground service alert) survey. The objective of a USA survey was to detect any utilities (gas, water, electricity) and mark them on the ground so that any drilling or excavation work wouldn’t impact said utilities.

This is what all the crazy markings you see all over a sidewalk or on a street mean.


While working on a project in Ukiah a few years ago, we marked a series of spots to drill and had a survey company make sure our spots were clear of any subsurface obstructions. Then we had a drill rig come out and start putting down boreholes.

Midway through the first day of drilling, we were sitting at our logging table when we heard a loud rushing sounds followed by frantic shouts. We looked up in time to see a 30 foot geyser of water shoot up through the top of rig’s tower and the workers scrambling away from the site.

We promptly contacted one of the property owners who turned off the water. After surveying the mess (a lot of muddy ground and a very wet drill rig), it turns out we had drilled right through the middle of an old asbestos cement water main about 6 feet below the surface. It never appeared on any site maps nor did the company conducting the USA survey detect it.

Since the pipe contained asbestos, special care had to be taken to clean up and repair the main, which involved masks for air filtration and disposable Tyvek suits.

Fortunately, it was only a water main (and not a very big one, at that), but it’s something that I was extremely paranoid about in future drilling operations that we conducted.

What if, through sloppy work, unmarked maps, or some other coincidence, it was a gas main? It’s a thought that still scares me today.

The moment it happened

Skip to about 40 seconds in to see the action. The vocal urging, frustration at Dempsey’s miss, then pure elation when Landon scored were exactly the same at the pub I was at in San Francisco. It was an awesome moment that I won’t soon forget.

And they say Americans don’t like soccer.

Sharing your gadgets


This week, we rolled out a new feature at gdgt that allows users to embed their gadget lists onto their own personal website or blog. It’s a pretty awesome way to show off what gadgets you have or want, and even foster new discussion about the technology you’re passionate in.

We previously had a flash widget (ugh) that was designed by a third party — fortunately or unfortunately, they’re going out of business and shutting their service down. So, the team took it upon themselves and designed our own widget in house. It uses javascript, is completely cross platform, and looks dead sexy!

Check it out!

gdgt live in Chicago


gdgt is visiting Chicago next week! It’ll be my first visit to the Windy City, so I’m pretty excited.

If you’re in the area, come check us out at Gallery 223 (223 West Huron) on May 12th at 7pm. We’ll have a ton of cool gadgets on display, drinks, music, and even the potential to win some rad gear. More info is available here.