Some (tech related) thoughts from Paris

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We took the overnight from Boston to Paris and arrived early this morning. We stumbled to our hotel, grabbed a bite and went for a walk. Twenty minutes into the walk James and Ellie were woozy so we went back to the hotel for a three hour nap.

It was just what we needed. After that we walked and walked and walked. I love this city. It’s been two years since we’ve been here and to say that I’ve missed it would be an understatement. 

Few tech related thoughts from day 1. 

1. I added an international data plan to everyone’s phones before we left. But everyone in this family is a data head so we are using WiFi whenever possible. Going from LTE to 3g hasn’t been a big deal and I appreciate the improved battery life.

2. I tried making a phone call from my Verizon iPhone 5. It hasn’t worked once. SMS has been flaky for us here. On the other hand, Kik has been solid as a rock. Fast and reliable. I’m not sure what I will do if I am forced to make a voice call. 

3. Foursquare has been a blast. I added Paris to-do lists from Naveen and Fred and it’s been great to get a push notification when I’m near a place on my list. The amount of Foursquare tips in Paris compared to our last trip feels dramatic.

4. Our hotel is great but the outlets are in tough places and we only brought two converters. Next time I’m bringing a few power strips with me. 

5. We have always been big fans of the Metro. So convenient and love getting data connectivity underground. I still have the same app I installed from the last trip. It would be super cool if that app integrated foursquare location data, much like Instagram and Uber have done. 

6. My favorite weather app, Dark Sky, doesn’t support France. Bummer. 

7. Never really had a problem with Apple Maps in the places I frequent in the United States but Google maps beats the tar out of Apple Maps for iPhone in Paris. Glad I have it. 

8. So many Android phones here. The difference is quite apparent. 

Well, that’s it for now. Bonne nuit!

My favorite albums in 2012

This year was an absolute blur.

One of my goals in 2013 is going to be to slow down a bunch.

Thankfully many of my favorite artists released a new record this year.

In no particular order here my top 10.

Ben Kweller – “Go Fly A Kite”. Ben returns to his roots in this record. It’s a rocking set of songs. Extra highlight: Ben thanks me and @fredwilson in the liner notes on the vinyl version.

The Shins – “Port of Morrow”. Mostly a new lineup but James Mercer on lead vocals means its still the Shins to me

M. Ward – “A Wasteland Companion”. I’m such a M. Ward fanboy.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – “Here”. Ever since I saw these guys play out at the Bowery I’ve been hooked. This record didn’t let me down.

Metric – “Synthetica”. My friend David Noel turned me on to this record. If I’m not mistaken the band published on soundcloud at the same time as the release. How cool is that.

Avett Brothers – “The Carpenter”. Not as good as the first one but still solid from front to back.

Beach House – “Bloom”. This one grew on me. Took a bit and then took its rightful place on my 2012 list.

Tallest Man On Earth – “There’s No Leaving Now”. Either Kirk or Fred turned me on to TMOE. And I’m very happy about that.

Rhett Miller – “Dreamer”. If you like alt.country and the Old97s then you will dig this album. And we can be friends.

Bon Iver – iTunes Session. This is a tough one for me. Love Bon Iver. Justin in the winter is like peanut butter and chocolate in my world. But I have an allergy when it comes to iTunes. Regardless this EP is beautiful and I’m glad I own it.

Okay. That’s it. My top 10 list for 2012.

(Please excuse typos and lack of links. Wrote this from my phone on the run.)