Waze is My New Favorite App

Traffic Jam on the Highway; why Waze is my new favorite app

Photo courtesy of Donald Rogers (moflytier on Flickr.)

I love Android and Google Maps. I’ve used them for years and would have gotten lost many times if it weren’t for the free turn-by-turn navigation. Also, Maps keeps getting better with features like its traffic view, and for a while my only complaint was that it wouldn’t remember my decision to avoid toll roads. I really didn’t know where it could improve any further.

Then I began living and working near DC.

Enter Waze. The first I heard about it was actually through Google maps. For a while now, accidents have shown up in Maps as red icons that, when touched, have a description like “Accident on I-66 reported by Waze app.” Last week I got curious and installed it, not too sure what to expect. I also discovered online that Google acquired Waze just this past June, but as of now it is still being developed separately.

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A Case for the Kindle (and How it Got Me into Reading)

My Kindle

I love this thing

I’d like to make a case for the Kindle – and not the kind you put around it.

In middle and high school, I begrudgingly read required materials, but rarely (if ever) read for pleasure. A bit over a year ago I decided that I wanted to start reading on my own time, so I bought a Kindle. In only a matter of weeks, I became an avid reader (by my standards, at least.)

Many people ask me how I like my Kindle, and I always tell them I love it. Whether I recommend it, however, depends on the person; some people love the feel of physical books and won’t want to give that up. I just wanted to share my experience with the Kindle and explain how it got me into reading. These “advantages” aren’t limited to the Kindle itself, so I may really be making “a case for the e-reader” – but the Kindle is the only one I’ve had experience with.

Without further ado, here is exactly why I love my Kindle:

Cheap books and different genres.

I check the Kindle Daily Deal every day, and every couple of weeks I see a book that has stellar reviews and looks interesting. At $1.99, it’s easy to justify purchases for decent books, so I have amassed a collection made up of Historical Fiction, Christian, WWII, Educational, Science FictionBiographies, Travelogues, Thrillers, and other novels. From Francis Chan’s powerful Crazy Love to D.J. Molles’ post-apocalyptic thriller The Remaining, I have read a variety of fantastic books. And many of the books I have had the pleasure of reading I never would have sought out and purchased if it weren’t for the Kindle Daily Deal.

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View Hidden LinkedIn Profiles: A Workaround

LinkedIn hidden profile

Tired of seeing this?

A few weeks ago I said I wanted to “Return to the Blogosphere.” Since then, I have started writing three posts, but published none. In an effort to make good on my promise, I figured I would go ahead and share a tip that I use often, especially this time of year as I begin my job search for the following summer. Hopefully this can come in handy for others looking for a job or internship, but without the cash for a LinkedIn Premium account.

LinkedIn search

I sometimes have very specific searches on LinkedIn – for instance, I might be looking for Recruiters in the Defense and Space industry within 100 miles of Denver, Colorado.

Even this search turns up over 50 results, however, and since most of them are outside my network (sharing at most a group like Jobs in Colorado), my view is limited to about five full names, and maybe 20 first names. Everyone else shows as a picture-less “LinkedIn Member” with a visible tagline, which usually includes a job title and company.

In order to view hidden LinkedIn profiles of nearly anyone in my search results – namely those with a unique tagline – here’s what I do.

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Return to the Blogosphere

Creative Commons image by Declan Jewell

Creative Commons image by Declan Jewell

I’ve never been a huge fan of blogging. I’ve done it because I had to, and I’ve done it on a couple of occasions thanks to a burst of inspiration and a slow evening. However, some of the doubts I expressed in the first post I ever wrote on this site still remain – namely, do I have anything novel to share? Any new thoughts that people would care to read? In essence, what would I write about, and do I even have an audience?

While blogging started for me as a required part of PGS, I grew to appreciate the deeper level of communication that occurred when people took time to write, read, and comment on interesting posts. It certainly takes more effort to write out a blog post than a Facebook status, but it should – and that’s why I’d like to return to the “blogosphere.”

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Sex Trafficking in Europe: Final research paper

My time in Europe was largely defined by the subject of sex trafficking and efforts against it. After researching and planning throughout the previous semester, Karli Bryant, Austin Larrowe, Danielle Smalls, Wes Williams, and I spent a significant portion of our time in Europe investigating the issue through contacts with various organizations. We spoke with government officials and non-profit representatives to learn about the problem from various angles, as well as possible solutions.

The end product was (is) a 20-page white paper about what we learned. If you are interested in reading it, here it is:

Sex Trafficking in Europe: Qualitative observations on sex trafficking situations in Prague, Amsterdam, and Stockholm

Please feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below.