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Barefoot Running Debate: ‘Born to Run’ Author vs. Podiatrist

Since I started running I have noticed great debate about barefoot running. Is it good, is it bad? Will it stop injuries, will it cause injuries? It feels a little like a fad to me, but I bought a pair of Nike Free running shoes to get a feel of running with “less shoe” anyway. In any case, I thought this video presented all sides of the argument really well. I still think it’s a little nutty to go completely barefoot, but I think in principle it’s a good idea to strengthen the muscles in the foot.

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Animated Calvin and Hobbes

Animator Adam Brown made an animated comic from one of my favorite comics growing up, Calvin and Hobbes. Brings back memories of Miss Wormwood the teacher and Susie the clever girl. Makes me feel like buying Calvin and Hobbes box setMore details here.

Free isn’t always the best option

Many people (especially Malaysians) love free stuff. Free is good on your wallet but a lot of times there isn’t many other benefits.

rip-google-reader

Free stuff inevitably goes away. The latest casualty is Google Reader – there wasn’t a business model for it, and Google needed to direct it’s resources elsewhere so they canned it. Via the official Google Reader blog:

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

Just adds on to my distrust of Google.

Free stuff by large organizations stifles innovation. Aldo Cortesi writes:

The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.

Free stuff turns you into a product to be sold to advertisers, since you’re not the customer. Bruce Schneier summarized our relationship with Facebook (it’s the same with Google):

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re Facebook’s customer, you’re not – you’re the product,” Schneier said. “Its customers are the advertisers.

I always find it strange that people would put up with annoying ads so that they can play games for free. If you like it and it provides value, pay the $0.99 for the game lah! If there are products and services that you use and like, please ensure their continuity by being a paying customer. Or donate if they are a non-profit organization like Wikipedia (donate here).

This is why I subscribe to Basecamp, Hootsuite Pro, Evernote Premium, Fastmail, Gravity Forms Developer License, and too many more to list. Maybe I’m very lucky to have the financial ability to pay for stuff I use, but I don’t smoke, don’t have a Starbucks or drinking habit, and try not to eat out that much. So next time you want to jailbreak your phone so you can install a $0.99 app, consider skipping the pack of smokes instead.

Evernote for Travel

Last night I shared some of my tips for using Evernote to plan a trip or vacation at the Kuala Lumpur Evernote user meetup. The meetup was held in conjunction with DiGi who are announcing some interesting collaborations with Evernote next week – you heard it here first

Embedded above are my slides from my session (Evernote for Travel on Scribd), and here is a recap of my talk. I made the majority of the slides by drawing them out with Penultimate. Since the app was acquired by Evernote and integrated into its database, I’ve found it useful to replace scraps of paper on my desk. The best thing is that my jottings, phone numbers, etc are searchable within Evernote now. Enough waffling, time to dive into travel tips for Evernote!

Checklists

Every trip involves 1 thing – checklists. I avoid repetition as much as possible, so I save template checklists as notes in my Evernote Checklists notebook. In it I have packing lists which I modify for each trip, e.g. sometimes I need my passport, sometimes I don’t. Or you can create different checklist for different types of trips – short trip, overseas trip, or business trip. Also useful is a house prep list for things like stopping the newspaper, set lighting timers, etc. Evernote also allows you to insert checkboxes into your notes, which is very useful to see progress of your checklist at a glance. Read More »

I survived my first race: 10km category at Brooks Half Marathon

Phew! I’m pooped. My feet and calves are sore and I could hardly keep my eyes open after dinner last night – the side effects of my 10km race yesterday morning at the Brooks Half Marathon 2013. This was my first race ever and overall it was a fun experience.

The day started at 3.30am. I woke up, made sure I had something to eat and answered nature’s (long) call. I then made my way to the flag-off venue in Stadium Bukit Jalil at 5.30am as advised to ensure I had plenty of time to get my bearings, make a last minute toilet stop and get into the starting block early. Unfortunately the organizer didn’t tell us that the flag-off time was delayed to 6.45am so I had to wait a little longer than planned.

6.20am arrived and I lined up in the starting block. I turned on my music and reviewed the route in my head and my race plan. I didn’t want to get all pumped up with adrenalin and run too fast too early. My plan was to only start pushing it at the midway point.

21km runners ready to go Read More »

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“Getting Things Done” system explained

Found this via the Productivity community on Google+. I have been practicing the Getting Things Done (GTD) system for… 9 years now I think. I use it because there are so many things that demand my attention every day I need a way to put them all in a trusted system so that I can get back to them later. This way I can let my attention be engaged by the important things in life, not in the minutiae of the moment.

Unfortunately, the GTD system is a little difficult to understand. So this video is a great 2-minute primer. If you need to un-jam your to-do lists, give the Getting Things Done system a try.

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One way to get Instagram followers…

I avoid talking politics but Najib’s ads and promo tactics are becoming too invasive. From ads on my favorite sites, personalized mailers, to Chinese New Year TV ads, or banners on lamp posts, or his henchmen are sending me SMSes, I’m sick of his face.

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Join me at the Evernote Kuala Lumpur User Meetup

Evernote for travel DW

I’ve been invited as a speaker to Evernote’s user meetup this March 5th. I’ll be sharing my tips on planning a vacation with Evernote. Also speaking are Matthew Lim and Sara Khong. The event is open to the public but you’ll need to RSVP: www.eventbrite.com/event/4870587057

I wouldn’t consider myself an Evernote power user but I’ve picked up a few tips along the way. I’ve been using them more and more now that Skitch and Penultimate are also integrated into the ecosystem. I’m personally looking forward to the event to learn some tips and meet up with the Evernote people – please come along if you are an Evernote user, or just getting started with it as well!

Finally, I’m experimenting with drawing out my slides Sketchnote style. The “slide” above from my presentation was hand drawn in Penultimate. What do you think?