Google Public Transit on iPhone

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So there’s not yet an option to take public transit on the iPhone’s google maps interface.  What’s more, if you try to go to maps.google.com with mobile safari, it will kick you back into the native iPhone app.  Damn… no public transit routing.

But wait!!! If you direct mobile safari to google.com/transit, you will be able to input your start and destination and get back text-based directions for your route.  So until Mr. Google and Mr. Apple decide to integrate the public transport feature (maybe they haven’t because the feature is only available in select markets) into the iPhone’s google map interface, this is all you get.  But hey, it gets you public transit schedules, directions, and routing.

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A real job!

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Monday I start working for the front-end ruby on rails team at <omitted>. I’m so excited to work with some great ruby guys, get paid well, and have an awesome machine (they just handed me a MacBook Pro and said here you go, get it all setup) Yesterday was my last day “contracting” for <omitted> where I had developed an <omitted> system in ruby on rails. The system is mostly complete save for the <omitted> module. It was actually beneficial for them for me to leave. A lot of processes that I had been trying to put in place (People wise, not system wise) had to be made b/c I was doing so much of the data work for them.The scope of the project for them sounds simple but its not: TV stations run commercials for them when they have unsold air time. The commercials are usually selling crappy/cool products to the consumer directly (call this 800 number, go to this stupid url, or text 445 to 65877 now!). Each TV station gets paid for a portion of each sale of the product in the commercial. So to tell which TV station sold what they get a unique 800number, url (this is why you see “go to www.somecompany45.com now!” url’s in ads), or a text code (445). So the call center or the clearance house keeps track of all sales and on what 800 number the sale came from – which in turn will tell us which TV station needs to get paid. Ok so my system needs to take sales data that only contains date, sales, and 800 number and then match it to the station we have it assigned to and then figure out how much they get paid (different for each commercial). Sounds easy right…not really – there are SO many data problems (getting rid of duplicates (how do you know what a duplicate is?), different data formats, non existent or descriptive headers in the data, missing data, determining a lead (sometimes the client will pay the TV station if people call – the consumer doesn’t even have to buy anything and people like <omitted> will pay for the person’s info…crazy – but <omitted> will say, well we’ll only pay if the consumer’s call lasts longer than 60 seconds, and they can’t call back for 30 days, if either of those conditions aren’t met then we won’t pay you for the “lead”)So ok that stuff is not that hard to deal with BUT there is a sister company involved, an evil and stupid sister company. I had to take the “raw call data” run it through my system, determine which calls were “leads” and then assign them to the correct station (oh and sometimes the 800number is shared between stations and then you have “geocode” the location of the caller based on zip code or if not available area code, if their location is within 300 miles of a TV station then that station gets the lead – if no stations are within 300 miles the ad agency doesn’t have to pay anyone on the lead and they get the full amount of revenue from the client) ok so sister company that’s evil runs the data through their multi-million dollar data system and my report has to match theirs….well shit…so my reports didn’t line up after 6 months of tweaking and pestering the CTO of the sister company – turns out the sister company was doing it wrong and shorting the ad agency a lot of money every month – like $10k every month for over a year. So I blow the whistle and the ad agency starts collecting the money they were due based on my results but the sales manager negotiated a commission on all the missing revenue behind my back – so I did all the work and don’t get any of the return…that’s cool – fuck you guys. So looks like my FIRST REAL WORLD APPLICATION THAT I’VE EVER WRITTEN IS DOING A BETTER JOB THAN A MULIT-MILLION DOLLAR APPLICATION AND I DON’T GET FUCKING PAID A GOING RATE FOR IT. So i got a job with a much better company for a good rate and I’m really happy. So my leaving the ad agency forced them to do all this data management themselves I finally got the point across (through quitting) to the CFO that I’m not responsible for the integrity of the data put INTO their system…they are. So it all ended up with me leaving them on a good note b/c I transfered as much of my knowledge to them so they can do the whole deal all by themselves.

Why I left MySpace…

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Now that I’m working and not in college, many of my friends didn’t get on the Facebook bandwagon.  Facebook, only being open to college students with [dot]edu email addresses in its early days, turned away many kids who weren’t lucky enough to make it to university.

This group includes my brother who is very hard to get a hold of.  One, he lives in the basement of a house, two, he’s a drummer like me and can’t hear his phone, and three, he always has metal cranked on his/my old 1000W soundsystem while he’s playing Xbox.  Since he did not attend college, he was relegated to MySpace for his social networking needs.

I once had a myspace account when it first came out.  I tried it out, decided none of my friends were on it and that AIM would suffice for my social network.  I also would recieve lots of  friend requests from really hot girls that can’t spell. Turns out these hot girls are the conjuring of some geeky dudes in their basements trying to lure you into the world of free porn and endless pop-ups.

So I deleted my account.

Facebook rolled around and since it only focused on building your network at your school it seemed like a great idea, “who is that girl we had chemistry with last semester,” “dude I think her name is Kat, lets facebook her.”   Ok ok, facebook stalking aside, it was a good tool.

Recently, presure from friends at work and in need of contacting my semi-deaf musician brother, I signed up for a myspace account (www.myspace.com/discolustmachine). I now have two friends and I can “email” my brother.

This morning I checked my gmail account to find I had 4 friend requests.  These requests were from hot girls I didn’t know and who couldn’t spell.  Hmmmm, this seems familiar.  So I flag the friend requests as spam and continue on my day.  Looks like these grammer challenged ladies have gotten smarter, or at least more persistent.  As soon as I deleted the friend requests I get three MySpace messeges in my gmail account.   Again from lovely looking ladies who haven’t learned how to tpye.

I am once again considering dumping my account as this kind of spam is unheard of in the Facebook world.  Don’t get me wrong Facebook has its downfalls, i.e. retarded application developers hoping to sell their “next big thing” to someone because they have a “adonomics” valuation of $1 million.  These guys are idiots, and I think they are the same guys who conjured all the hotties on myspace (maybe from lack of leaving their mom’s basements…i don’t know just a shot in the dark)

Anyway, Facebook is clean and easy to navigate, I’m trying to work on fun/not annoying applications for it with Rails, and I don’t get 8 emails in my inbox from fictious women saying i’m really hot, every hour of the day.

MySpace, it was a good idea, but you really dropped the ball on safety and spam.

Facebook, just don’t become myspace, i know you want to, but don’t do it.

Chase Credit Cards Customer Service No Wait on Hold

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I called the main line: 800-935-9935 – dialed the requisite six zeros to try to jump to the human being queue. This routed me into personal banking so I hit * and then it asked me to wait on hold or go back to automated…I hit 2 for holding.  Got someone on the line in about 15 seconds but it was personal banking.  They gave me 800-945-2006 for credit card dept.  I got through in about 20 seconds to a very helpful Daniel Brown.