Check For Safety Recalls On Your Vehicle


How do you know whether a safety recall has been issued for your US car/truck/van? You may think the manufacturer will notify you – but that may not happen in a timely fashion, especially if

  • you have moved since purchasing
  • you don’t get your vehicle serviced at a dealer
  • you bought the vehicle used

And even if you are correctly registered in the manufacturer’s database, how long will it take them to actually send you a notice?

Here’s my example of what can happen, and how you can check your own vehicle’s status:

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Review – Lightphoria 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp

Lightphoria with AC adapter & storage bag

Lightphoria with AC adapter & storage bag

I recently purchased a Lightphoria 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp by Sphere Gadget Technologies to try doing light therapy in the mornings at my desk. I usually arrive at work between 7-7:30am when it is barely light outside, and frequently don’t get outside again until I leave after sunset in winter.

Because I’ve done research on light box use I was aware that distance from the light makes a big difference in whether or not you get the expected dose. I have a SunSprite Wearable Light Tracker which measures light intensity. I hung this on my glasses next to my eyes and experimented with placement of the Lightphoria. What did I find?

Sunsprite Light Tracker

Sunsprite Light Tracker

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Quick Testing Tip Du Jour

A coworker admires my attention to detail, as observed by him in my testing that an old application still works after migrating it to a new server. He wondered whether I’d have time to help him test the various web forms on a set of pages he had just migrated to another new server. I gave him this one tip, which he felt was worth several hours of work possibly saved:

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Update: Flying With Your Musical instrument


Over two years ago I wrote a post about flying with your musical instrument. At that time a new law had been passed detailing what US airlines were required to do when a musician wanted to board with their instrument, but it was not actually going into effect for two years! 

I’m happy to announce this rule has been finalized. This has not immediately stopped musicians from being hassled from what I’ve seen on Twitter, but I suggest that in addition to the tips about which I wrote previously you also print out and carry with you the finalized rule and a TL:DR summary:

The actual ruling

A summary of it in plain English

If you have a problem with the gate attendant show them the printouts and request to speak with a supervisor (who will hopefully set them straight). Also, if you are allowed to pre-choose seating request the rear of the cabin so that you will be boarded first before all the overhead compartments fill up! [EDIT: a violinist friend who flies fairly often notes that not all airlines board rear first, so ask whether you can be part of the “early boarding” group – some carriers will let you do so for an additional fee, or if a member of their frequent flyer club.]