Lupus Awareness Month – October

Throughout the year there are a number of “Awareness Months” for various diseases and disorders, and while I sympathize with people with these disorders, and have a tendency to donate to their various goals, most awareness months have little personal effect on me. October however is different, in that I have a personal reason to support Lupus Awareness Month

I have not posted here in my blog about this before, but most of you who know me personally are aware that my Wife has battled with the horrible auto-immune disease known as Lupus. When she was 12, it nearly killed her, and I would never have known the woman who is the Love of my Life.

M-OLupus is an auto-immune disease, which in layman’s terms is like the opposite of AIDS, instead of having no immune system, people like my wife have an over-active immune system. Their immune system is so vigilant in it’s destruction of things that it determines is a “foreign contaminant”, that it gets confused, and starts attacking tissues in the body as well. The end result is that the white blood cells literally destroy the body from the inside out.

There is no cure for Lupus, and it kills, and funds for research are desperately needed in the search for a cure. So please, check out The Lupus Foundation of America or the Alliance for Lupus Research and learn how you can make a difference in the research of this deadly disease.

If you want to know more about Lupus, I recommend you check out the Living with Lupus Blog, written by my wife, Barbara Moline, or visit lupus.org or lupusresearch.org

Amazon Kindle Reader for the iPhone

I wish I was posting this as a follow up to an announcement, but actually it’s a suggestion to Amazon on how they can make more money, sell more Kindle books, and make more people happy.

Amazon KindleFor those of you who don’t already know, the Amazon Kindle is an ebook reader that uses E-Ink technology to display content on a screen. What’s cook about e-ink is that once it has rendered the screen’s contents, it takes no power to keep the content on the screen. The result is that battery life of the kindle is measured in “page turns” instead of hours. The Kindle is also cool because it has WhisperNet, provided by Sprint, which lets you have books you purchase from Amazon’s kindle store be sent straight to the Kindle, without the need to plug the kindle into your computer. The Kindle also gets a special email address where you can email documents to this address and have them appear on your Kindle for a nominal fee for reading. All in all, it’s a fantastic product, it only has one little problem, the price. The Kindle is $349 (previously $399), available only from Amazon, which is still a bit steep for an up-front cost before you start buying books from the Kindle store to put on it.

Amazon, I know you want to sell Kindles, but your bread and butter will always be the books themselves. My suggestion is that you write an iPhone app that can read the Kindle book format and will validate like a Kindle to your own DRM. You could sell this app in Apple’s app store to make even more money, I’m thinking something along the lines of $20 to $40. This way people with an iPod Touch or iPhone (which is quite a lot of people, including yours truely) can start buying Kindle books without a Kindle, and get the enjoyment of having instant access to literature the way only the elite Kindle owners do. The iPhone already has access to the internet, so it could support all of the functionality of Whispernet without any difficulty from you the developer. The iPod Touch has WiFi, so even it can download books directly when it’s on a hotspot.

Amazon can even take this one step further. Amazon already partners with Apple’s iTunes Music Store as a place to purchase content from it’s own Audible.com, once someone has purchased your iPhone app, partner with iTunes again and have people able to shop for books right through the iTunes music store, making it even easier for iPhone owners to purchase your Kindle books.

What I think Amazon may find surprising if they did this, is that it probably would bolster sails of the Kindle devices itself, not only the Kindle books.

See I’m a bit leery of buying a Kindle, and buying Kindle books, knowing that those books are locked to the Kindle. If I could start buying those books now, and reading them on another device, I’d probably later buy a Kindle knowing it’s a better platform for reading them on.

It’s also not exactly outside of Amazon’s business model to offer their digital products to other platforms either. In March, 2007, I blogged about Amazon and TiVo teaming up to make Amazon Unbox Videos (now known as Amazon Video on Demand) available on TiVo boxes. I immediately started buying Unbox videos when I never had before. Incidentally, I’d love it if Amazon Video-on-demand Videos were playable on the iPhone as well, and I’d probably buy a lot more videos from Amazon if they did, but I think that might be a bit of wishful thinking.

So come on Amazon, release an iPhone app that can read Kindle documents and you’ll have even more of my money then you do now, and I’d bet a whole lot of other people’s money as well.

Hours away from Vacation

I’m mere hours away from taking a little vacation to Las Vegas along with my wife, and my roommate. Tomorrow morning I will board a Virgin America flight (I’m much looking forward to trying them out), for Las Vegas.

I’ve got a lot of fun planned, including one last trip to the Star Trek Experience in the Las Vegas Hilton. In fact making a final voyage to the Experience was my primary reason for visiting Vegas this month. This will be my fourth Voyage there (blogged about before on my blog, I’ll edit this post with links to my old posts later), and I’m sad it will be my last, but unfortunately the Experience will be Closing on September 1st permanently, so I had to make one last trip. This will be Mike’s first trip to the future, and he’s eager to see what he has only heard about.

But this trip won’t be all Star Trek, on Thursday Night, Barbara and I will be seeing Mamma Mia. We’ve seen the movie and are both looking forward to seeing the play as well. On Friday Night we will be going Medievil, and enjoying the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur, another great treat.

In addition to all that planned fun, we are also going to get to see my parents, who are in Vegas right now, and our vacation plans are thankfully overlapping enough that we can see each other.

I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable trip.

Google I/O – Part I – Google App Engine

This week I, as well as my Wife Barbara, and my co worker Dan, went to Google I/O. People who have read my blog for a while may remember that last year I attended Google Developer Day around this same time in San Jose. This year Google decided to expand from a single day to a whole two-day tech conference and move it to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Continue reading “Google I/O – Part I – Google App Engine”

For Narnia, and for Aslan!

Film Review Chronicles of NarniaMy Wife, Barbara, and I, as well as our roommate Mike, just got back home from seeing The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and it was fantastic! I’m not going to say much about it here, because I’m intending on recording an episode of The Looking Glass on Wizards.FM tomorrow, in which we’ll give our more complete review, but it definitely was worth seeing, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Happy New Year 2008!

Has it been a year already? It seems like such a short time ago that I sat up at 2 a.m. in a hotel room in San Simeon, CA writing about 2006. I claimed 2006 incredible and, an “oddity” in my life as for the first time in recent years I was not alone and sad on New Years Eve.

Tonight I’m starting a little early, it’s 11:31 p.m. right now as I type these words (I imagine it will take me a bit to finish writing this post) on New Years Eve, and I’m capping yet another amazing year in the life of Nick Moline.
Continue reading “Happy New Year 2008!”

Riding on air

I’m not sure why I’ve never done this before, but I’m writing this blog entry from the air, literally. Barbara and I are on our way to Texas to attend my brother’s wedding. David is getting married on Saturday in Houston. We are on our way to my parent’s house in Arlington at the moment and will drive down with my parents on Friday.

We should be landing in about a half hour or so, after flying for a total of about 3 hours and 15 minutes, and I don’t have too much to say at the moment. I’m sure to post pictures of the wedding up soon.

Note, while I wrote this on the plane, obviously I had no way to post this from the air so I’ll hit the Publish button when I get to my parent’s house.

Deathly Hallows Deathly Near

The final book in the Harry Potter Series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21st, 2007 in English Speaking countries (just one week after the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie comes out). Barbara and I recorded a short WizardCast this morning with the news update. This special podcast episode is available here and on iTunes so Subscribe!View in iTunes.

Family in the Bay

Barbara's Dad visited the BayWell we have had our first Family member visit the area of our new home in California. Barbara’s Dad, who is a truck driver now had to deliver a shipment in San Leandro, CA (just on the other side of the bay near Oakland) and so Barbara and I drove across the bay (our first time crossing the bay in a car, we drove around it a couple times) to spend a few hours with him. We had dinner at a Chili’s (seen here) and just had a nice Sunday.

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2006 – A Nick Oddity

Every New Years Eve I find myself counting down the seconds until the next year hoping in my heart that the next year is better then the last. This year however I found New Years Eve very odd, because I cannot possibly imagine 2007 being as amazing as 2006 was, and I don’t even want 2007 to be better then 2006, I just want it to be more of the same.

Continue reading “2006 – A Nick Oddity”