Deano’s answer to: “Do other Dropbox-like tools have an app for iPhone?”

An unordered list of Dropbox-like* tools which have an accompanying iOS app:

Jungle Disk
MobileMe iDisk
ZumoCast suspended, may not return?
TrendMicro SafeSync…
Here, File File!

*Not all of these tools share all the features of Dropbox… Nor does Dropbox have all the features of the above alternatives. What they do share are the same principles around cloud/network storage of files, with subsequent remote access from browsers and native iPhone and/or iPad apps.

Do other Dropbox-like tools have an app for iPhone?

Dean Blackburn’s answer to: “What are the best TV series for 1-2 year olds?”

Cooking Shows are an often-overlooked option. Nice in that they are not generally "serials", usually last around 20 minutes without commercials, and show young children not just a wide variety of foods and preparation methods, but also help them understand how what winds up on their plate got there. As everyone knows, the foods on these shows seem to burst with eye-grabbing color, almost impossibly so. Anyway, kids love that!

Gardening Shows, similarly, can be quite good, "low impact" shows, for similar reasons.

During those brief periods of non-wartime, allowing them to see/hear some of what's on the news (in any country besides the United States) can also be a positive experience, especially once they start "axing questions".

As Jameson Quinn said, 1-2 is a bit young for TV in general, but keeping them away from ongoing series as much as possible (except, perhaps, Baby Sign Language instructional videos) is the best way to "trickle in" TV, so that it doesn't become FAR more addictive in later years.

Now that my girl is 3, our regular shows include Doctor Who (TV series) (lots of simpler/pseudo science to discuss, high degrees of creativity and imagination in the plots, and none of the old monsters/effects are very scary to kids these days), Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (some of those topics/themes are pretty dark, but the show was pretty spot-on for pacing, language, and content for the 3-6 set), and Pucca (long story how that started, but with each animated episode lasting only 8 minutes, can be a great "negotiation show" when there isn't enough time before school/lunch/bed).

I think any age below 4-5 is probably too young for solo television/movie watching for children. If they aren't watching with a parent, or at least a couple peers, then the TV watching experience becomes the "dreaded babysitter", rather than a potential conversation starter during or after a given show. With that as your guideline, I suggest the following:

Let your child watch only those shows you would be happy to sit and watch with him/her.

Finally, let me also advise checking in now and then when content may seem too advanced for your child, they start to squirm, or you're concerned it might give them nightmares. If they respond that they're not scared, bored, or otherwise need to be elsewhere (TV can be more interesting sometimes than dry pants, for example), then trust their judgment.

What are the best TV series for 1-2 year olds?

Deano’s answer to: “How do you improve your small talk?”


Invite people to talk about themselves by providing them a safe forum to do so – be neither disinterested clockwatcher, nor obsessed interrogator.

Focus on “how can I be of service to this lovely human being“, and then radiate that. If you aren’t good at radiating, try thinking it, and then slowly exhaling the thought out your nose(*).

Other good invitations to use:

  • Invite them to share their opinion on a subject dear to you (or them)
  • Invite their assistance in some fairly trivial manner, like a parlor trick, or making sure you don’t have toilet paper stuck anywhere you can’t see.
  • Invite them to contact you in the future, because you’ve had such a lovely chat – willingness to exchange contact info raises the bar on how highly you esteem them, which is often understood and reciprocated at some level.
  • If things don’t go well, invite them to speak with a friend of yours, who was “just talking about” some topic of interest to your ‘dud’ conversation partner.

Overall, just try to remember this: small talk is about engaging without offense… Hold back too much, and you won’t ever engage.

(*Totally unscientific fact: Doing so releases subcommunicative pheremones that help convey your thoughts and wishes. Slow steady breathing also helps keep you calm and settled, which makes others feel more at ease. But, seriously, it’s the pheremones. I promise.)

This answer originally appeared on Quora: How do you improve your small talk?

Deano’s answer to: “For those who went to top-tier schools, is it more rude to answer directly when asked what school you attended, or to instead name the city where the school is located? Why?”

This isn’t a top-tier problem. It’s an Ivy problem. It’s not even on the same level – and that’s not meant as arrogance about the quality of education, community, etc.

Ivy League schools are an INSTANT SHORTHAND FOR ELITISM. Hollywood just doesn’t make movies where the slimy rich bastard you’re supposed to hate went to UC Berkeley. People in Iowa just wouldn’t get the joke.

Good Will Hunting wouldn’t work if you swapped out MIT with Stanford, because once you leave the Stanford campus, you’re not deciding between the crackhouse gangsterism of Cambridgeport or the green-beer-fueled Leprechaunarchy of Boston… You’re deciding between getting run over by pre-owned Beemers on University Ave, or brand new Teslas on Sand Hill Road.

Random guy on the street in Jakarta knows Harvard and Yale. Doesn’t know Vanderbilt, UW Madison, Wharton, etc. Just the facts.

Simply put, if you’re not talking about an Ivy, there’s nothing wrong with naming the school, ever. Put those fears to rest.

But, if you are cursed with “old brick” on the resumé, then it does occasionally pay to think twice, and check the guy who’s asking to see if he’s waving a sock full of pennies – or even just a homely Midwestern misconception of how much you must be like Tom Hanks in Volunteers – before answering anything other than “a little town in Connecticut that used to the world capital of ball point pens before the Internet happened.”

This answer originally appeared on Quora: For those who went to top-tier schools, is it more rude to answer directly when asked what school you attended, or to instead name the city where the school is located? Why?

Deano’s answer to: “Couldn’t Facebook and Twitter charge users a very small annual fee to immediately generate massive cash flow?”

The question assumes that it’s an either-or situation. I think Gmail provides a great counterexample for how a paid Facebook might work.

I see it as entirely possible that, once Facebook growth starts to level off, they could “take a few more users off the table” by offering a paid, ad-free alternative for anyone still on the fence. In fact, they’d still be collecting massive amounts of information that could be exploited by advertisers off-site, simply suppressing display of ads to end users WHILE THEY ARE ON FACEBOOK.

Another option would be to simply charge users to opt out of sharing certain data – that is, to basically say that participation in the various information sharing aspects of Facebook is the core business and utility, and required for free use.

The real question is, what would be a fair price to opt-out in that case… Perhaps they could even use variable pricing, and allow users to effectively “buy out” their own display inventory based on how much said user is worth, and which features they wish to turn off? How cool would it be to see the “real cost” of blocking Farmville notifications from my stream? 😉

Either option (or one of several others one could imagine) would pose an opportunity to potential competitors to offer a truly “free” solution; but given that (a) most existing users would simply continue to use the ad-supported version, and (b) migrating from Facebook to another option would be time consuming and difficult, it is unlikely that even such a “mistake” would have a big impact on Facebook market share…

In fact, by offering both “free” and “paid” versions, it’s also possible that Facebook might be able to make inroads with individuals and organizations who currently ban the use of Facebook over privacy and security concerns.

Would I pay $50/year for an ad-less Facebook, as I currently do for Google Apps Premium? If it meant that advertisers no longer had automated access to my home address, then YES, I would happily do so

This answer originally appeared on Quora: Couldn’t Facebook and Twitter charge users a very small annual fee to immediately generate massive cash flow?