Apple iPod earbuds

There is a recent post on about how to Fix fading sound in Apple’s in-ear headphones. It recommends disassembling the earbuds and then blowing through the mesh to clean off the earwax. A comment to that post, by user ucfgoofy suggests that a simpler solution is to use clear adhesive tape. I tried this approach and didn’t get very good results with the clear tape. So I tried a piece of duct tape, and that worked great. After the cleaning process, I tested the earbuds and was shocked by the difference in sound volume.

The February 19th, 2007 issue of New York Magazine has an article by Po Bronson, entitled “How Not to Talk to Your Kids.”As a father of two, I was compelled to read it.

The article sources psychologist Carol Dweck and her teams at Columbia and Stanford. The gist of it is that praising children with generalized statements like “You’re so smart” or “That was great!” leads them to believe that they are only receiving praise because they need extra encouragement. If they are constantly being told how intelligent they are and how wonderfully they perform, they begin to expect that everything they do should work out as well. Then when they fail at something, they simply give up. Praise needs to be specific.

“Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” she explains. “They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”

As I read along, I was getting worried that I was screwing up my children. But then I came to this:

“Sincerity of praise is also crucial. Just as we can sniff out the true meaning of a backhanded compliment or a disingenuous apology, children, too, scrutinize praise for hidden agendas. Only young children – under the age of 7 – take praise at face value: Older children are just as suspicious of it as adults.”

If I’m reading that correctly, my 4 and 6 year old boys haven’t been damaged by excessive generalized praise yet. Though I will have to start scaling it down and be more specific with the 6-year old, Kevin.

For those interested in more of Carol Dweck’s work, check out her page at Stanford and these interview clips and transcripts.

Truecrypt is free open source encryption software that runs on Windows and Linux. It allows you to create a virtual encrypted disk which is mounted to the system so you can use just like any other disk with files and directories. People rave about it and I’m anxious to give it a shot but it is not yet available for Mac OS X. The developers are working on a version for Mac OS X.

The Truecrypt site doesn’t provide a feed, but they do have a news page where I would expect them to announce the release of the Mac OS X version. Unfortunately there is no RSS feed. So its Feed43 to the rescue!

I whipped up this feed in hopes that someday this year I’ll see the release of the OS X version of Truecrypt.

Here is the feed: feed43 Truecrypt News

Claiming this blog on Technorati: Technorati Profile

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. I used to believe it. I’ve been playing around with computers since my stepfather brought home an ADAM Colecovision in the mid-to-late 1980’s.

ADAM Colecovision

I have 30 pages of passwords in my Franklin Planner, dating back to 1999. With approximately 15 accounts per page, that comes to 450 passwords. Ridiculous. Whenever I need to find one I have to scan several pages before I find it. And 90% of those I’ve only used once or twice and now they are just wasting space. Where is my ubiquitous, secure, always-on, always-syncronized password management site?

At present, I have 629 feeds in Google Reader with 18312 unread posts. Surely there are some real gems nestled in there amongst a ton of other content I don’t care about. When will I be able to toggle an option to filter out only the content I’m interested in?

This blog will be a place for my thoughts and experiences in this global communication technology.