Monday, May 25, 2009


I used the extended weekend to flee the New York area and escape to Montreal. Montreal is a wonderful city that genuinely provides a European experience (for a relatively smaller price). Sometimes it's difficult to leave the comfort zone of New York but the new environment inspired a few random observations:
  • Train travel is underrated. A fast-rail system connecting major metropolitan areas in North America would definitely offer a novel and competitive form of transportation. The trains were full, they were cheap, but they were also a little slow.
  • Jeff Howe's Crowdsourcing is a worthwhile read. The book offers a pretty clear analysis of recent trends concerning user-generated content, collective collaboration, and the disappearing border between consumers and producers.
  • Mobile Network Operators need to get their act together and create a seamless global network. The concepts of "roaming," paying extra after crossing a nearly invisible border, and generally having my connectivity diminished because I chose to travel outside artificial confines highlight the friction that still exists within mobile communication.
  • Bank security systems are getting better but still have room for improvement. Withdrawing cash in Montreal triggered a security alert for my checking account. I knew this might happen but I was too lazy to call ahead of time - there has to be an easier way to ensure security.
  • Vacations clearly help me think.


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