Get a Business Education with Audio Books

In my experience the people who are most successful always take time to learn and read. Modern society makes this very difficult. According to the 2003 US Census, the average amount of time spent driving one way to work is 24 minutes each day. That means the average person spends 48 minutes of their day in the car. This may not seem like too much, but if a person allows 8 hours to sleep and 8 hours for work those 48 minutes represent 10% of their available free time.

The best way I have found to make my drive time productive is to listen to business audio books. With the Internet and modern mp3 players it is easier than ever to get audio books to listen to in your car. By downloading audio books from the Internet you don’t have to waste time going to a store that may or may not have what you want.
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Can you see it?

If you stare at the block long enough you should eventually be able to make out a giraffe. This is because of the special optical properties of files known as animated GIFs. :)

I sent this to my mom and somehow it got converted from an animated GIF to a static TIFF. She claims she stared at it for 2 hours before she gave up.

Violino Piccolo

While looking through the score of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto’s I ran across an instrument I had never seen before. It was called the violino piccolo and appeared to be written in a key other than C like the rest of the stringed instruments.

Evidently the violins were not very easy to play in the higher registers. The violino piccolo addressed the problem. The instrument was about 13 inches long and looked very similar to a child’s 3/4 size violin, but it was tuned a 3rd or 4th higher. The higher tuning allowed musicians to play the same notes as a violin lower on the fretboard which made it much easier to play. The smaller size and higher tuning gave it a brighter sound in the higher registers

As the design of the modern violin evolved the fretboard was extended toward the bridge. Better technical construction and new playing techniques eventually pushed the violino piccolo out of common use and violin piccolo parts are now played by normal sized violins.

Using Bluetooth and a Mobile Phone for Internet Access

Sony Ericsson T610 Phone (T-Mobile) In the past I’ve been stuck using Nextel for mobile internet access. Nextel service seems to work ok, but it is very slow, has limited coverage, costs $79 per month, doesn’t support Bluetooth, requires third-party software to work with OS X. So when I had an opportunity to switch to a different carrier I went with T-mobile because they have Bluetooth phones and because they offer unlimited internet access for $20 per month when added to an existing cell phone plan.
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New Sun Java Programmer Test for 1.5

The new certification test for Java 1.5 (or Java 5 or Tiger) is going to be coming out as a beta soon. According to Kathy Sierra’s weblog the new test is going to avoid the complicated “puzzle” type problems and concentrate more on your ability to accomplish specific objectives with Java code. It sounds like they are using a new type of test question that lets you drag and drop code (kind of like magnetic poetry) to make the code work or behave in a specific way.

The test is also going to cover some of the new features in the Java language like generics and autoboxing and spend more time on collections. lists some details about the exam. The beta version has 138 questions and gives you up to 4 hours to complete it. You can register for the beta exam at Prometric’s website for $49.

If you want to take the test a a discounted price, this might be a very good way to do it.