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AUTHOR: Kevin Costain

One Year of Newsletters: Lessons Learned

Newsletter Graphic

Last year I had an idea: Create a really, really high quality newsletter. Reading technology related news is a daily and rigorous ritual for me, so why not take that effort and synthesize it into a curated list of “What to Read“? Many others are doing this, of course, but I felt the value for readers was to get it from your trusted technical advisor (I manage technology for a number of small and medium sized businesses). For many years this voracious appetite for news and information was only for myself, but I knew it was time to change that. Time to share this with the world.

Building a Better Mousetrap: Can Craigslist and Kijiji be Improved Upon?

Pike Place Market lower level, 1968

The story is all too common: I go onto Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist clone) and find what I had been looking for: an iPad. I see the post’s price and presume it’s an “anchor” price, so I start off asking if the device is available and if they’d take a lower number. What follows is finding out the iPad posting was misrepresented as a “personal” sale, when in fact it was a business selling the product at a firm price, quoted without tax. Another asshole muddying what’s known as the “grey” market for the rest of us. Too many of these types of experiences, and you start to wonder if this can ever be improved past this level of failed experiment.

Writing Email Like a Tinder Profile

Email Logo With Tinder Logo

You might think the two of these have nothing in common, but I find it surprising how these two share similar tactics.  In fact, taking a similar approach to writing information in each place might improve your odds of getting that message accross clearly and concisely. You may be the type of person that writes one-word message in email and Tinder profiles; and this wouldn’t be an article for you. For everyone else, however, read on to see these two in action.

Review: Azores Airlines

Azores Airlines Logo

Flying to the archipelago of the Azores landed me square in the sights of Azores Airlines (a new brand flying under SATA). Their logo includes a whale fin and planes are adorned with a full-sized whale sticker. For good reason as Azores is the largest whale sanctuary in the world. Booking this flight deal on Expedia, I had never really heard of SATA before this trip. I’ll break down my experiences, flight costs, and let you know what I thought of this particular airline.

El Capitolio in Havana

El Capitolio in Havana

This is the El Capitolio (National Capitol Building) in Havana, Cuba. The building, seen currently under construction, is notable for how strikingly similar it is to the United States Capitol building. In fact, construction was overseen by U.S. firm of Purdy and Henderson – which may have had something to do with  the similarity. Finished in 1929, it was designed by Eugenio Rayneri Piedra. Currently it is home to Cuba’s National Assembly.

Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

You might remember my mention of a way to help book authors combat piracy. It was an idea borne of a simple conversation with a friend; and neither of us had read the book. In fact, at the time of writing that article, I had not read a physical paper book in years. This seemed like a great way to exchange ideas and help the author in our own small way (though, frankly as a bestseller, this book doesn’t need the help). Now that I’ve read it, I wanted to let you know what I think.

Upside-Down House in Azores

Upside-Down House in Azores

This curious upside-down house in Furnas, São Miguel really surprised me (as I drove by). I battled the relentless rain to try and capture this thing in the most interesting way. The house itself is located near Rua Dr. Frederico Moniz Pereira and is not actually a house – it’s an electrical substation.

Antwerp Love Locked Down

Antwerp Love Locked Down

A love lock is something lovers attach to a fence or bridge to signify their love. Often they include thier names on the lock. Here in Antwerp, Belgium and installation with a large letter “A” provides the perfect location for this expression of love. I happened upon this great installation on a long walk through this wonderful city and wanted to capture this feeling.

Elk Grazing in Colorado

Elk Grazing in Colorado

On our way back to Denver there was an incredible sight to our left. Elk had come out in substantiontial numbers to graze along the hill, so I stopped to try and capture this incredible sight. I had learned in a previous encounter (at a golf course) that elk can be very skittish. Since they’re quite imposing one on one, I didn’t think having an entire group coming at me would be smart if I startled them.