Monday, June 30, 2008

The Traveling Bike Guy

While quite diligent doing my job, or learning a new technology, or writing in my blog, or... (oh, you get it), when it comes to moving my butt out of a chair I'm, to put it mildly, a lazy bum. Or as someone suggested to me a couple of weeks ago "a senior lazy bum, about to become Director of lazy bumness" sad.

Although almost every hotel I visit has a modern gym, all those workouts and time spent running in place just never attracted me. To me, a minute spent not reading anything new, or doing something intellectually stimulating is a waste.

But, there comes a time in every man's life, where he has to face facts and start exercising more than his brain. Seeing the beautiful spring weather outside my window, and since I live in a city that respects and encourages bicyclers (almost every road has a dedicated bike lane), I decided a bike was the way to go. I mean, how hard can it be? You get on a bike, acquire your balance point, put one foot on each pedal and away you go. Right?

Now, I've been "deciding" to buy a bike for almost 2 years now, but today I decided to put an end to this procrastination. I took a cab ride to Sports Authority (3.5 miles away from my apartment) and intended to buy a bike and ride it back. The punishment in case I weasel out and not buy a bike would be a 3.5 miles hike back home.

So, after buying a decent bike (Columbia, pictured above $180), a helmet ($30), a lock ($10), a water bottle ($10) and an insurance policy (don't ask why, it just seemed to make sense at the time - $22), I was on my merry way home.

The first turn was a wrong turn - riding a bike has a different perspective than driving a car. After a short adjustment I started merrily pedaling home. My next realization was that in an intersection, a rider has one extra direction to look at before proceeding to cross - behind him. Luckily that lesson was learned without casualties.

The last, and harshest lesson of the day came very close to home. I left home skipping both lunch and breakfast. I just ate a peach and drank a glass of lemonade, before boarding the cab. Sadly, my body doesn't operate on air alone and very close to home it broke down. I started feeling nauseous and had to sit on a bench, and then lie on the bench, while system shut down. It took me 10 minutes to regain my composure (during which I must have looked like a drunken bum to people passing by). After using some ancient Chinese breathing techniques (not really - just breathing hard and deep smile) to get my blood pressure up, I manged to get home. I've never experienced such a sudden and complete drop of energy in my life (and that includes my army service, where I'm sure I ran longer distances than I biked today).

Here are my conclusions from today:
  • Everyone looks redicolous in a bike helmet - don't let that stop you from wearing one.
  • Even though I've driven a computer and used a car before, I still don't understand why my bike has 21 gears, and how and when to use them.
  • Always expect a car behind you. Even if you can't see it.
  • That hard breathing you hear in your ears while biking is yours smile.
  • Eat and drink before you hit the road. If your body is to burn calories, it has to have some ready to burn.
  • Going from 0 miles a day to 4 might not have been my brightest idea so far - but I don't regret it smile.
Tomorrow I intend to go for a 6 miles ride to Mountain View (and back, I hope). And if all goes well, I intend to try riding every day that I'm home and discover some of the nice parks and spots I've missed on so far. Oh, and if you live in the Bay Area and would like to bike together, drop me a note.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Technological Digest XV

Long time since my last digest. My virtual drawer is full of items to discuss. But since this is a digest and I don't want any yawning readers, we'll limit the number. Here goes Digest XV:
  1. American students are avoiding IT degrees - This year's statistics show that the number of students registering for engineering and IT-related degrees is in decline - despite the fact that salaries in those fields are at all-time high. In addition, the number of women registering for those degrees is in an even sharper decline. Is this normal market behavior? Or does today's youth able to predict tomorrow's bubble burst?

    And what does it all say about immigration into the US? Will people in the government finally recognize that they need to "open the gates" and accept more foreign knowledge workers to fulfill the massive need? Will they realize it in time, or after all the jobs have been outsourced to countries more eager to lead the world technologically?

  2. Find interesting connections in your inbox - I've been using this cool add-on called Xobni (inbox in reverse) since the early beta began last December. If you're a Microsoft Outlook (2003 and up) user, this thing is priceless. It'll index your email (.pst files as well) and start finding patterns you haven't expected before: who do you correspond with the most? who replies promptly? What time of day do you usually get/respond to email from certain people?

    It also allows you to see all "conversations" you had with a correspondent in a nice panel, showing all the other people involved (very useful for me: every time I get an email from one of my clients, I immediately get the names of all other contacts I have at that company). The latest release will also show you the LinkedIn profile of the name you highlight. Xobni was about to be purchased by Microsoft earlier this year, but elected to retain its independence, rather than disappear in the Redmond cellars). Get Xobni at

    One last note: privacy is extremely important to me, and I made sure no information leaves my machine. You can turn off all the "support sharing" options, and stop the Xobni update service (that periodically pings Xobni for an updated version) to feel completely safe.
    Other similar solutions I've tested in the past used to upload and store information on their server - Xobni keeps it all on your disk.

  3. And in a related item... - And if you still think your information and mailbox are safe at the workplace, behind a nice firewall and all the corporate security crap IT forces you to install - think again. According to this survey, between 33% and 50% of IT administartors snoop on their users. We're talking about a potentially dangerous security hole here, both personally and business-wise, not to mention privacy concerns.

    So, while IT enforces crazy security policies, it also listens into our calls, "for our own protection".

    Many times it a lone IT administrator who thinks he's so much smarter than you, just because he has the root password. A lot of it is childish mentality.

    And this is where I make my personal confession: I worked my way through my first degree as my faculty's Unix sys admin. I've seen some things and done some stuff I'm not proud of (this is worth a separate post - remind me if I don't get to it), but I have NEVER even thought of reading private email. That's where I drew the line between being "smart" and being "criminally childish".

    Bottom line, as I've mentioned before - don't do anything personal at work. Don't leave "incriminating" traces behind. And think before sending every email, what would happen if more than just the recipient got a hold of it.

  4. No more AP quotes - AP decided to start charging bloggers who quote from its news sources and web sites. They claim they'll start charging for sentences of "5 words or more". This, to me, sounds preposterous. Rather than thank bloggers who cite their quotes and create positive publicity for AP, they fine them and post DMCA takedown notices against their sites.

    And "5 words or more"? What are you? Morons? Let's say I say "The man crossed the street". I'm sure you can find that phrase somewhere in the vast AP article collection. Do they now expect me to pay $12.50?!!

    People, here's how we fight that: go through the AP site, and find 5 word sentences that appeared in your blogs first, and charge AP $12.50 for them. I'm sure they'll get the message soon.

  5. Track your flight's price - Yapta is a new site that allows you to specify a trip, and follow price trends for it across time and airlines. You can set alerts to be sent to you whenever the price drops or rises to a certain point. And the coup-de-gras: if you've already purchased a ticket, and the price dropped further, Yapta will assist you in getting a refund from the airline. Cool!

  6. Non Kosher headset - This tasteless headset, supposed to resemble a pig stuck in your head, made me laugh for a while. Probably won't sell well in the middle east smile:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gadget Review - Pulse Smartpen

A few weeks ago (5 to be exact) I've mentioned the Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe in a Gadget digest. I got so in love with the concept that I immediately ordered one. The wait period was 3-6 weeks, so I finally got mine last Friday (came back home and the box was thrown at my doorstep - insert big "no thanks FedEx" here mad).

I've been playing with the pen throughout the weekend - and I'm still in love. The concept of seeing and hearing what took place at a meeting/lecture/phone call (if it's on speaker) and in the order it occurred adds a new dimension to note taking.

Let's start with what the Smartpen does for you: it has a built in camera and 2 microphones (that can be enhanced by a 3D microphone/headset to capture spatial sound - provided with the pen). You write your notes on a special Dot Paper (a notebook with a 100 sheets provided) and talk, or listen while writing (think about a lecture, or a meeting with a client).

The pen captures all the sound AND synchronizes it with what you've written at the same time. The result is a "session", spanning one or more pages. This session can be played back, shared and even uploaded to an online space, using a desktop application. It is also stored in the pen (1/2GB, $149/199 available). The replay from the pen is ingenious - just touch a word you've written on the page, and the pen will play the sound you've heard while writing it.

Uploading the "pencast" to Livescribe's community site is easy and allows storing, sharing and even publishing your pencast. I recommend watching some of those pencasts (the "Star Wars" one is quite funny, a mom teaching her son to count in Chinese is also nice - and check out the college lectures).

While watching a pencast (and I recommend maximizing the screen for full effect) you can touch a word or a drawing with the little red dot and the sound would roll backwards or forwards to that location.

Here's a flash of me explaining how I write a post for the blog. If you want to see the actual pencast (and maybe rate it), go here. Excpect some more pencasts from me in the future - this seems like a great way to pass my thoughts to a page without going through a keyboard filter.

The pen comes pre-packaged with some applications: draw a piano keyboard, touch the keys and you're playing music (I considered uploading my music session, but decided I don't want to lose the last of my audience smile). Draw a calculator, touch the keys and you'll get the results. Write a word in English, touch it and get it pronounced and written in Spanish, German or Chinese (currently limited to 20 words - but this is just a demo).

The pen has high production values: it feels comfortable in my hand, the sound is clear, recording is easy (just touch a "record" icon at the bottom of the page, or draw one and touch it) and it lives up to my expectations. The support staff (had some issues registering the pen) is attentive, quick to reply and very nice to deal with.

Sadly the site and desktop software are less than stellar, with some errors and issues (the site, which looks like it's based on a Mac server platform, is not very stable and funny enough, looks better in IE). The desktop software is pretty simplistic, allowing for management of your sessions and nothing more (some editing tools would be appreciated).

To tell you the truth, after browsing through the (quite full) forums, I ended up at the jobs section, and nearly sent my resume for the Product Manager's position, just so I can add some cool features to the product smile. Maybe someday - if they'll have me wink.

But the biggest feature that attracted me is the SDK, allowing development of pen applications. I'm awaiting it's official release and already have some cool ideas of what I can do with this platform. Also eagerly awaited is a promised template, allowing you to print Dot Paper pages on your own, rather than having to buy them from Livescribe.

Bottom line: this is just the beginning for this platform, with many new applications down the road. Even so, I feel I'll get great value from the pen in the near future. Recommended.

Update 6/24/08: Just fixed a typo: the Smartpen product name is Pulse not Pulsar. While I could easily fix the post, I can't fix my pencast (Livescribe: those editing tools I was asking for?). And thanks to Karen from Livescribe for correcting me smile.

Disable UAC in Vista - Properly

One of the security measures MS added to Vista is the User Access Control (read Microsoft's take on UAC here). Essentially, every little change in your OS has to be approved by a user with an appropriate permission . This includes changes to files, registry keys, installations/uninstallations of software, but also resolution changes, background changes and various innocuous everyday changes.

To make a long story short, you get so many notifications from UAC, that 10% of your work in Vista consists of approving actions you yourself initiated. This thing has pissed off so many people, that the 'net is full of "how to turn off UAC" guides. Many people think, and rightfully so, that getting confirmation for every action is a very lazy and inefficient way to implement a "security measure". You can see a funny representation of this in this funny Apple commercial.

The main problem with outright disabling UAC is that you get a menacing Security Center alert in the form of a red icon in your taskbar, claiming that "your machine is not protected".

To get rid of UAC and this annoyance all together, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Start->Control Panels->Security Center and locate the User Access Control section in the bottom.

    Turn UAC off - this calls for a restart.
  2. Before restarting look at the left side of the control panel and click "Change the way Security Center alerts me".
  3. In the next screen, you can click option 3 ("Don't notify me and don't display the icon"), so you'll never get that red icon again.

Microsoft recommends not using Vista with an administrator-level account - that should prevent unwanted apps from having their vile way with your OS. Make sure you follow this rule, if you disable UAC.

While researching this post, I came across this recommendation: don't turn off UAC, just tell Vista to automatically accept each action. While this sounds essentially the same - it still keeps UAC on and logs every action. Here are the steps from that article:

Click Start and Control Panel. Switch to Classic View (if you haven't already) and click on the Administration Tools icon. In the list that opens click on Local Security Policy, and in the next window, Local Policies (a tiny bit redundant, but all UIs can't be perfect -- If UAC is running you'll get a UAC pop-up somewhere in here). In the Local Policies list click Security Options, and scroll down to "User Account Control: Behavior" (the full title of the policy is "User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode" but the window barely opens that far). Double-click the title and in the dialog box change its setting from "Prompt for Consent" to "Elevate without prompting." Click OK and the urge to tear your hair and scream at your PC will be greatly diminished in the future.

(One note of caution: This works for Vista Ultimate. I don't guarantee it will work in all versions, or in all time zones. Please add a comment below if you've got a version of Vista it doesn't work with.)

Notice that this tip works in Vista Ultimate only. To read more about this option and the story behind it, here's the link.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

2 Microsoft Tips

It just dawned on me it has been ages since I published a tech tip. The following 2 tips come from direct personal experience, both mine and colleagues'.
  1. The dreaded IE7 syndrome - whether Microsoft realizes it or not, not all web applications out there support IE7 - even though it has been out for 3 years or so.
    That doesn't stop the nice boys (and girls) in Redmond from pushing IE7 as a crucial update on the automatic update service.

    As it happens, some colleagues of mine (and even one customer I managed to assist) woke up one morning with IE7 installed. Other than the fact the UI shocked them a bit, several applications they had to use in their daily work stopped working (there are several, but the main one is Siebel CRM). I had at least 4 people ask me this question and the answer is simple:

    1. Uninstall IE7 - this reverts your OS back to IE6 (provided it was there to begin with! Do not try in Vista or Windows 2008!). Don't forget to reboot.
    2. Go to the Windows Update site and hide the IE7 update, so you won't get it again. Ignore the warnings - they were written by the marketing department smile.

    And that's it - all is well with the world. Until IE8 gets forcefully planted on your machine.

  2. The case of the misinstalled IM - I use MSN Messenger (now known as Live Messenger) as my IM client - in all three of my machines (XP, Vista, Mac OS).

    About 3 weeks ago, i started observing a strange behavior (on the Windows based machines, my Mac is Ok): whenever I started the application, an installer window came up, started running something and failed with error 2771 (which I later found out is "resource missing"). It stopped the auto sign-in process, but I could still sign in manually and use the IM client well. It was annoying.

    After some analysis and recording I found out it's a registry key missing. Further reading suggested many people started suffering from this symptom after installing SP3 on XP or SP1 on Vista (both of which I've installed). There were several resolution suggestions (in lieu of the fact Microsoft didn't publish an updat or a solution until now).

    Some articles recommended deleting a registry key, involving the IM's policy, others suggested registering a dll that might have gotten unregistered during the SP's installation.

    But the real solution, that worked for me twice now is: uninstall and reinstall the IM. Don't worry about your contacts etc. - these are kept as part of your Passport ID.
So, two problems - one solution.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Life on Mars?

Just wanted to share with you this link to the Boston Globe's picture blog, called The Big Picture.
Specifically, to this breathtaking collection of pictures from Mars.

I'm just amazed by how far we have come. The facts that the latest Mars Rover (Phoenix) found ice on Mars (meaning water, or at least a liquid), and that the surface temperatures it reports revolve around -21F (-29C) (human livable temperatures - ask anyone who lives in Montreal or Wisconsin), lead me to believe Mars can one day be colonized. Now if we could just solve this tiny lack of breathable atmosphere

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Suicide is Painless?

I'm staying at the Oakland Marriott, at the 20th floor, with gorgeous view of San Francisco and the bay. You can see the Golden Gate bridge, all the way to the Twin Peaks antenna and further east to the Dumbarton bridge (click to enlarge).

While taking a ride in the elevator, I've noticed the agenda for today's conventions and meetings. You DO NOT WANT TO BE at room 208 between 8:00am and 4:30pm eek

Funny update: I named the above image "suicide.jpg", but Google (or Firefox?) blocks it. I had to rename it "dailyevents.jpg", re-upload, and re-post.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Battle for the Overhead Bin

I just read a frustrating article in the Wall Street Journal titled "A Battle Looms For the Overhead Bins" (subtitles: "Brace for Carry-On Overload" and "Barbarians at the Airline Gate").

It deals with the various ways airlines intend to make back the money they lose per passenger, due to high oil prices. Amongst the methods they will start enforcing beginning this July, on domestic flights:
  1. Want a drink of water or a soda? $2 please. No more freebies.
  2. Want to check in luggage? $30 for the first bag (round trip); $50 for the second; $70 for the third.
  3. Want to carry on your luggage with you? The "beloved" metal brackets limiting the size of your carry-ons are making a comeback. They'll measure your bag at the security line and send you back to check it, if it doesn't fit the bracket.
  4. To accommodate all those luggage constraints, new personnel will be assigned to checkpoints, gates and security lines (and I guess this personnel doesn't cost them money? rolleyes)
  5. If these measures don't help, expect higher prices, and more bad news down the road.
The chief leaders of these initiatives are American Airlines and United Airlines, both of which send their speakers to interview for the article and explain why all those new limitations are good for you.

But the writer predicts a miserable future:
  • Passengers will try to avoid baggage checking fines by taking everything with them on the plane.
  • Lines at the security check-in would get longer, with passengers fighting the airline representatives to avoid going back to the check-in counters.
  • Passengers will fight ground attendants at the gates trying to prevent them from bringing their baggage on board.
  • Passengers will ignore boarding queues and fight their way to the plane, so they'll have some space for their carry-ons in the overhead bins.
  • Since space will not be enough for everyone, air attendants will have to check extra baggage in - delaying the flights further.
The result? Delayed flights, fights and aggravation in the concourse, frustrated passengers and eventually bankrupt airlines. And of course, airports, that were not a happy place to be stuck at to begin with, will start resembling hell a bit more.

Some questions I have for these airlines?
  • Why not sell standing places and charge people for a seat? Or better yet, pack them up and ship them in the cargo compartment?
  • How about charging people to go to the bathroom? (I'm joking now, but I can see this happening down the road sad).
  • If you force me to check in my bag for $30 and you lose it, do I get my money back?
  • If I miss my flight due to your shenanigans on the ground, will you pick up the tab?
  • And finally, here's a suggestion for a cheaper trip: when a customer gets to the check-in line, shoot him in the neck with a tranquilizer dart; pack him in serene wrap and stack him in the cargo compartment, along with the other customers; wake him up on the other side.

    This would allow more passengers per plane; no need for flight attendants or in-flight entertainment or food; and the customer won't suffer through 5 hours of shouting babies, and would be ready to start his day on the other side refreshed and relaxed razz.
The 2 airlines that stood out in this article are Continental and Delta, who said they would not fine the first bag checked (but would still charge $30 for the second bag). So I recommend voting with your travel plans: show AA and UA that if they charge fines and make life miserable, but get less passengers as a result - they lose more money.

Doug just sent me 2 YouTube links to Southwest's commercials, mocking the new nickel-and-diming airline policies: and

Around the World in 8 Years

Continental Airlines just introduced a new service today: Lifetime Flight Miles.

It shows all the Elite miles you've acquired since you've joined the Continental OnePass program, and even before, if you belonged to their older frequent flier plan.

To me, it was a shock to see close to 400K miles in less than 8 years. My first question to Google was "what's the circumference of Earth?", which turned out to be 24,900 miles - meaning I could have flown around the world 16 times. And this are just my Continental miles. I have hundreds of K miles more with other airlines (not to mention airlines like SouthWest that don't use miles).

This just brought home (again) the amount of time I "spend" on planes, at airports, on the way to airports... Such a waste of time. As they say "it's not the years that kill you, it's the miles".

PS: Maybe in the future we'll be able to use more remote tools than sending people all over the place. Long live Webex!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What's Worse Than a Terrorist at the Airport?

The answer: little Timmy, listening to an MP3 on his iPod.
Yep, little Timmy is worse than hundreds of terrorists, according to the RIAA and MPAA.

Silently, behind our backs, the copyright lobby has pressured the US government to pressure foreign governments (Canada, Japan, Switzerland the EU etc.) to accept ACTA - the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement".

The agreement calls for random searches at border crossings of iPods (or any other media player), computers and storage devices to find "illegal content". How can a security official at the border determine that your songs were acquired illegally? He can guess, or assume, or whatever - the point is, according to the agreement, he can fine or arrest you for "counterfeiting".

More than that, the agreement would force ISPs to provide user information - without court order, and would even restrict the use of online privacy tools.

I guess security officials don't have enough on their hands, looking for terrorists, drug smugglers or other unsavory characters. Now they have to do the RIAA's work as well. Because every MP3 you listen to means the terrorists have won (or so they have you believe).

But even if you're a law abiding citizen, buying your songs and movies on iTunes and such, you are not safe: ripping your own CDs and DVDs is also considered illegal! It violates "fair use" - according to the copyright mafia.

The fact that the agreement is kept in the dark, suggests that it contains some fishy parts and that it would be foisted on us in short notice. More about ACTA can be found on the EFF site, along with a campaign to contact your senator and demand the agreement sees the light of day.

Since 9/11, many undemocratic motions got to see the light of day and even passed into laws (DMCA anyone?). Is this the democracy we want to export? Instead of a dictator, we'll be ruled by a lobby of short-sighted companies, that could have solved piracy long ago, by welcoming the 21st century and the media distribution methods it brings.

And in the meantime, I guess there's a better chance of capturing a terrorist if he carries an iPod... sad

Monday, June 9, 2008


If you don't like cars, feel free to skip this post. I'm not generally impressed by cars, having driven an average of 70 different rentals last year, but this one is a special occasion.

One of my childhood dreams, was to drive a jeep. I'm not talking about a sissy, SUV-like Jeep:

I'm talking about a manly, burly, 4x4, terrain-reaping Jeep:

One of those WWII types, driven by paratroopers on their way to the front:

I've arrived at San Diego yesterday and rented a non-distinct Mazda. The car was so dirty, I just walked back to the rental booth and asked for another car. All they had was either a Mustang (hate those - much noise, no performance - just like politicians) or the hearse-resembling Chevy HHR

Frankly, this car looks like the last car you'll ride in your life (probably inside a coffin in the back smile). Not only is it a poor replica of the PT Cruiser, but it handles like a crate. When I refused both, the counter lady offered me a Jeep Wrangler. She was surprised that I agreed and asked again, just to make sure. Yes, I'll take the Jeep. And here it is, my Jeep:

What can I say: it's uncomfortable, spartan (nothing but radio inside), manual doors and windows, noisy as hell, unwieldy, your ass feels every bump on the road, it maxes out at 100mph (although it starts vibrating at 90mph - believe me, I tested wink) and since you have no roof (if you don't count the flimsy tarp) the noise level caused by the wind is deafening. But nothing can wipe the moronic smile off my face as I ride down Hwy 5 in my silver Wrangler...biggrin

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend in Atlanta

Last weekend I went to visit my good friend Yaniv and his fiancée Einat in Atlanta.
We spent Saturday going to Lake Lanier, right outside of Atlanta. It was a bright, sunny and clear day - the best we could have hoped for. But our plans to swim in the lake, or in the adjacent river, were dashed by the freezing temperature of the water.

[See pictures from Lake Lanier here]

So, we headed back to Yaniv's apartment, and threw ourselves into the pool. When I stepped out, I saw a rabbit eating the grass. I managed to get quite close and snap some pictures, before it hopped away. I was later told there are no rabbits and I must have seen a squirrel - but luckily, you can't argue with photographed proof (unless the person in question had time to Photoshop it smile).
[See my "rabbit proof" here]

On Sunday, June 1st, the US Beach Volleyball Championship was held in Atlantic Stations - the newest mall in Atlanta. It's quite a nice mall, with easy access and parking (although I could add a story here about what happens when the parking ticket machine goes mad smile).

A big sandbox was brought in, along with stands and booths. The whole thing turned into a massive happening. Despite the heat and the humidity, thousands of people joined us in watching the games. I, of course, went for the sports values, not the scantily-clad jumping babes wink. And, of course there were the men's championship for the ladies to watch.
[See pictures from the Beach Volleyball Championships here]

Frankly, I don't believe this should be an Olympic sport. I mean, what's next? Hide and Seek? Hopscotch? But then again, formation swimming is an Olympic event - I guess the poor people on the Olympic committee just want to see some girls in

All in all, a great weekend. Can't wait to go back to Lake Lanier in the summer.

Funny Pictures

A bit of a hectic week/weekend, so I don't really have time to blog properly. Instead, let me do something I intended to do for a while and share some of the funny pics I've collected over the last month.

Some of those images are a bit impossible to see in their small form - click them to see the full size image:

Another perspective to the protest against the Olympic games

Dedicated to my fellow Californian health nuts

An oldie, but goodie - I've carried the actual clip with me for years:

This WILL hurt

Procrastination flow chart from

You're allowed to lie to save your life

A new anti-depressant

How to stand out in a crowd of students

And finally, as a proud geek, here are all the available geek types to choose from:
I promise my next post won't be a filler smile.