We are Newtown – Direct Donations to Newtown

This just came through in email from the town, it is an additional way to donate money to Newtown if you so choose to:


  • Donations specified for the benefit of the town to be used for a public purpose (schools, police, parks, playgrounds, memorials, etc.)
  • Donations that will benefit individuals or private organizations (scholarships)





We are Newtown – List of Donation sites

First off – this is not a all-inclusive list as it is already impossible to list them all and actually check them out to be sure they are not scams, but this list here is brief and verified as far as I was able to.

However – these are Newtown’s own, in-town charities that popped up, so I can actually walk up to people and ask them directly (if I need to). Also make it more likely that the money will go to an in-town purpose and not be used up in fees and overhead of some kind.


They have created the “Sandy Hook School Fund” that goes directly to help the Sandy Hook Elementary school. For questions or to reach anyone at Sandy Hook PTA, please email us at sandyhook@ctpta.org. The Newtown community has requested monetary contributions, but we do know there may be service and product donations that will be offered.

Newtown Pride T-Shirts

The proceeds of these shorts will also go to the PTA of Sandy Hook Elementary School. They will need it to help with reconstruction, changes in lay-outs, and things that we can’t even fathom yet. Funds going to the PTA will be used for Sandy Hook school only for many years to come. Keep in mind, next year there is a batch of new kids going to that school and kids graduating – life must go on.

(hint: I went out and bought one already ….)

Newtown Strong Newtown Proud

This is my personal favorite, you might have read my last post with the email of Newtown’s own 2d Lt Kimberly West where she asked her Air Force family to donate – this is her charity of choice since it is run by former class mates of her’s. AND YES – I did donate and am looking forward to the bracelet(s) .. I don’t usually wear anything like that but I plan to send them out to friends foreign and domestic, especially to Europe where I have family and old school friends.

Connecticut School Shooting Victims Fund Started by OneRepublic

This is an Indigogo.com campaign started by the band OneRepublic. Hay, what else can I say other than my hat if off to you guys –  I was quite touched by a bunch of young guys (compared to me anyway) wanting to help and starting right that next day with some of their own money. You got to like people who put their money where their mouth is.

United Way of Western CT

They started a support fund for the families of the Sandy Hook shooting. What I liek is that they are running it through one of our own community banks here in town, the Newtown Savings Bank.

Newtown Memorial Fund

No list would be complete without mentioning this fund – another local grown one that is run by people here in town – I know some of these people ….

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund

This is a fund created by family members of the killed principal. From what I have been able to find out it only excepts checks in the mail and has no on-line presence but that might change in the future.  Send donations to:

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund, CT Teachers Credit Union, P.O. Box 2121, Waterbury, Ct 06722

Other Funds:

There are funds opened in the name of several of the children who we lost, it is painful even just to write their names in a blog entry …. these are the ones I know about so far, this is likely already an incomplete list by the time I post it:

 Noah’s Ark of Hope Fund

Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund

Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund

Found this in several sources, but have not yet independently verified the info: Checks should be made to Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund or, for the private family fund, Ben Wyatt as custodian. All checks can be sent to Steve DeMartino, c/o TransAct Technologies, Inc, One Hamden Center, 2319 Whitney Ave. suite 3B, Hamden CT, 06518.


Like I said, there are ALLOT more funds and charities out there, the majority of them will likely be perfectly legit, but check your sources, let’s not give crooks any money. and if you come across an illegitimate one – make sure you tell the authorities about it, scammers deserve to have the heaviest possible book of the law thrown at them and put away for a great long time.

Newtown Strong, Newtown Proud – We are Newtown

I usually try to keep private things out of this blog and only contribute technical content that I feel is relevant and unique. This time , however, I need to break with this premise. As some of you might know, I am a resident of Newtown, CT. The tragedy that has befallen us is something I am still grappling with comprehending, hearing the name of my town on TV and radio over and over is something I am just not getting used to – we are supposed to be the town nobody knows –  “Newtown? Newton? Where is that?”

I have been wanting to write something about this tragedy since Friday evening, but frankly – I have been struggling with the words and have just not been able to express what I feel and what all of us in Newtown feel – it defies comprehension.

Then, in comes the email that I am attaching below:  2d Lt Kimberly West, USAF, a native Newtowner born and bread and my daughter’s former math tutor. She is a great gal and all of us who know her are all very proud of her service to our country.

Kimberly felt the the need along with her old friends from Newtown High School to do SOMETHING and wrote this heartfelt email to her Air Force “family”, asking them to reach out and help. She kindly gave me her permission to duplicate/copy/post this anywhere I feel it might help. Please read to the end!

Bats and Lions,

It is with a really heavy heart that I write this email.  I’m sure many of you have been following the horrific events of this past Friday.  What you may not know is that the small town dubbed “quiet and sleepy” by the news is my home.  I grew up in Newtown, CT.  A town, until Friday, no one had ever heard of.  If you have been watching the news, you’ve met many of my friends and family, seen where I was lucky enough to grow up.

Sandy Hook Elementary was a place I didn’t know how to feel anything but safe.  The only fear I had was that Jimmy Rorck would call me four-eyes again.  Treadwell, the park the media camped out in and Lt Vance made his updates from, was where I played hours of field hockey and lacrosse.  CNN was set up by a creek that is next to a coffee shop called Mocha.  I had my heart broken there as an impressionable teen.  The beautiful church where the vigil occurred Friday night is where I had my communion, confirmation, and most importantly married my best friend.  My pastor, Msgr Bob Weiss is a family friend who was plastered all over the news.  President Obama spoke on my high school stage – the same stage I was hypnotized on for a Class Council fundraiser.

What I’m trying to say is that Newtown is my home.  It is where I grew up and learned what is was to love and be disappointed and the real meaning of friendship.  A fellow classmate said “Newtown doesn’t belong to us anymore, it has been taken from us.”  The incomprehensible actions of Adam Lanza, younger brother to my classmate –  Ryan Lanza, did something so horrendous. Two of my neighbors will never be coming home.  Young Jesse Lewis and mother of four, Anne Marie Murphy.  Jesse grew up on the horse “farm” at the end of my street.  Mrs. Murphy was a sweet woman who’s driveway was always way too long to walk on Halloween night.

My community is broken.  I’ve been in constant contact with my parents and family this weekend.  My mom tells me I wouldn’t even recognize the streets.
Newtown is a place where everyone knows everyone.  As a teen you couldn’t get away with anything.  My parents always said they had eyes everywhere – they weren’t kidding.

I really debated writing this email but have found that I feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness.  You might have seen me Friday night at the Christmas party.  My husband told me I needed to get out of the house and feel some happy.  We have a great family here in the 422/59.  It was nice to smile but hard at the same time.  But it made me realize that with your help, I might be able to do something from across the country.

I have three requests:

1)  Your prayers.  Whether you believe in a higher being or not, please continue to pray for my town and community.  We are broken and will be for quite some time.

2) Please be kind to others.  As President Obama said, we have a responsibility that we aren’t fulfilling.
This hate and violence needs to end.  Your kindness could be just what a person needs without you ever knowing.

3) Your financial help.  I hate to ask during the holidays.  This time is financially straining as is.
However, if all you can give is one dollar, that one dollar could make the world of difference.  26 families are burying their loved ones.  20 little angels are being buried far too young.  These children’s parents probably haven’t even considered burying their parents, let alone their children.  6 women were taken away from families, many of them mothers.  Their children still need to go to college and live their lives without their mom’s.

Classmates of mine set up a donation site.  On this site you can order, for $2, a bracelet that says “Newtown Strong”.  All profits go to the families.
If you don’t care for a bracelet and simply want to give, you can donate here as well.  The website is http://www.giveforward.com/newtownstrongnewtownproud.

I apologize for such a long and heavy email on a Monday morning but thank you for taking the time to read.


Operations Analyst 59th TES/EAA

Nellis AFB, NV

What touched me the most is that active duty personnel, who already serve all of us with their lives, are now also happy to help us here in Newtown in any way they can. Lets face it – we ask allot of our service men and women – and they still are willing to give. Simply awesome.

So, if you also want to be “Newtown Strong“, please donate to either this charity above (I checked it out) or to any other one you feel comfortable giving to. Then you too can join us and say “We are Newtown” . . .

PS: Feel free to link and cross post, the more the merrier!

NYC Lotusbeer – Location, Location, Location!

The location of the upcoming NYC Lotusbeer, starring the indomitable Paul Mooney has been decided upon:

Monday, Aug. 13th – starting at 6:00 PM – ending at … who knows

Maggie’s Place

21 E. 47th Str., between Madison Ave and 5th Ave


IF FOR SOME REASON Maggies Place is so full with all them damn tourists and other drinking folk, we will just move the whole shindig to the other side of the road and go to Connolly’s Pub which is just opposite on 47th Str.


If you for some reason can’t find us in either location, we have been arrested for disorderly behavior and are awaiting sentencing in some jail-hole somewhere …..


Updates: just follow my twitter stream at  @vtoal and the hash tag #lotusbeer that day, if plans change I will post it. If there are good, embarrassing pictures to be had, I will post them too.


If anybody really believes the short and funny-talkin’ PMOONEY guy and thinks I will spring for any beers, then you are crazy …. let’s just put that out there for sure. I am a cheap bastard and proud of it.

And there shall be a …. LotusBeer (NYC)

Yes, there has been no good LotusBeer in a while so I decided to shanghai a buddy and fly him in from the Emerald Island …. just for you.

The Sultan of Security, the Grand Vizir of Presentations, the Master of Disguise and Supreme Grand-Poopah of IBM Technology (that is an official title) – Paul Mooney will be here in the flesh.

Monday, Aug 13. – starting sometime around 6 PM – the location is still secret so we keep the Paparazzi from installing listening devices and reserving tables right next to his exhaultedness, the Olympian Champion of all Admins.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the location ….

Blatant Plagiarism …. by me – Worst Tech Predictions ever

I read this one over at Scientific American (written by David Pogue – I love his articles) and just had to plagiarize it .. it is to good!



“Everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, ‘Probably never.’”—David Pogue, The New York Times, 2006Image: Wikimedia Commons/Linux insidev2

Supplemental Material

  • In my Scientific American column this month, I pondered why it’s so hard to predict the future of technology. It sometimes seems as though it’s not even worth the effort; inevitably you wind up looking like an idiot.

Especially if the gist of your prediction is that something won’t happen or isn’t possible. You wind up with enough egg on your face to make an omelet.

If you’re not convinced, have a look at these whoppers: some of the biggest muffed tech predictions of all time, and spoken by people you’d expect would know better.

“I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”—Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and inventor of Ethernet, writing in a 1995 InfoWorldcolumn

Metcalfe is well aware how silly his prediction came to look. He ate his words—literally. In 1999, addressing the Sixth International WWW Conference, Metcalfe put a copy of his infamous column into a blender, pureed it, and drank it.

“There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.”—T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission commissioner (1961)

Needless to say, Mr. Craven is no longer the commissioner of the FCC.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”—Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

Of course, Watson was referring to room-size mega-machines filled with vacuum tubes. But still.

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”—Sir William Preece, chief engineer, British Post Office, 1876

How’re the messenger boys working out for you, England?

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”—Western Union internal memo, 1876.

Oops! Western Union sent its last telegram in 2006.

“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”—Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946

He was right. We’ve moved on to aluminum and plastic.

“Everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, ‘Probably never.’”—David Pogue, The New York Times, 2006

Yeah, Okay. I’ll admit it. My prediction was wrong—but my thinking was right. I knew that Steve Jobs would never tolerate the micromanagement that the carriers (Verizon, AT&T and so on) then exercised on every aspect of every phone they carried. “I cannot imagine Apple giving veto power to anyone over its software design. It just ain’t gonna happen,” I wrote.

What I didn’t realize, of course, is that Jobs planned an end-run—a deal that Cingular ultimately accepted, which ran like this: “You let us design our phone without your input, and I’ll give you a five-year exclusive.” And the rest is history.

The Bill Gates Collection

Maybe the most quoted bad tech prediction of all time never really happened. It’s the famous 1981 Bill Gates quote: “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that he ever actually said that (and he emphatically denies that he did).

That doesn’t let Mr. Gates off the hook, though—he’s made plenty of doozies.

* World Economic Forum, 2004: “Two years from now, spam will be solved.”

Today, spam accounts for over 90 percent of all e-mail sent.

The Tale of a Bored Doggie

I don’t normally blog about meembers of my family – but occasionally the four legged ones do something worth sharing.
I am at a Diner having my breakfast after I had to run out this morning to get some personal errants done and this cake in from my wife. I had wanted to play the dogs in the yard before I leave but my wife (The Empress) decreed that leaving early and coming back early is more important. I guess good old Sparky here had a different idea.

A bored dog .... now happy


But The Empress had an answer for him … he is now duly punished

Anatomy of a Science Fair Project | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network


Not really technology content but I wish this kind of stuff had been around when I was a kid. I went to school in Austria and I attended a natural sciences high school so I had more classes in chemistry, physics, biology and (oh dread!) math. In those days Austrian schools did not do science fairs or prepare kids to present data and experiments like American schools do – unfortunately. I just wish I could have participated in a science fair once … how cool is it to work on something that not even your parents understand and then present it. I originally wanted to study astrophysics …. well, let’s just say that my aspirations were more than my math abilities could keep up with.

I just with more kids would do science and especially girls – there are not enough of those and I do not feel like parents encourage their kids enough. If I am going to keep on working in technology I need people to actually study and create new and exiting things for me to implement.

So – if you have kids, make sure they work on something that will help to support me in the years to come – you will have my undying gratitude and thanks for sure.

Bold Stroke: New Font Helps Dyslexics Read [Slide Show]


Just came accross this on the Scientific American website. Being dyslexic myself this is of great interfest to me. I’ll be sure to blog about it once I have the fonts installed and have used them for a while. I wonder if I can use them on my blog as well? Hmmm …

#publicNozbe – Public Nozbe Projects for Japanese people and everyone else

I normally reserve this blog for tecnical content only, but in the wake of the disaster in Japan I am making an exception.

As many of you might know, my wife is Japanese and I myself have lived in Japan for several years and some of my best and oldest friends are Japanese. Our family and the majority of our friends have been accounted for (sleepless nights over the weekend).
One uncle and his son and that son’s family live in Sendai (the largest city close to the epicenter of the quake) had close calls but we were able to hear from them after several days and know now for sure that they are all safe. Our cousin is a doctor and will likely be busier than a lowly IT consultant on a bad project for the foreseeable future even though his hospital was severely damaged (it was next to the Sendai airport) and he is now working at another hospital nearby. I am still trying to take all this in … well, more of that in the future.

You might also know that I am a great proponent of GTD and one of the tools I came across and have been using allot over the last few months is is NOZBE, along with EVERNOTE. This morning I received this mail from the CEO of NOZBE who had been traveling in Jan during the quake and has shown great personal initiative in his efforts to put his own capabilities forward and assist Japan in his own unique way.
Read through the mail (it is a bit longer than I normally post content, stick with it for now) and if interested have a look at NOZBE.COM, maybe it can give you a few ideas how you might be able to help our friends in Japan as well – any small action can make a world of a difference when it is applied at the right place at the right time.

Working together in trying times – power of community
questions as friend
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Hello Victor,Everyone who’s been following me on Twitter knows that I’m in Japan right now. Not the safest place to be currently. I came here to tour Nozbe and meet Nozbe users but the Earthquake changed everything… and although I initially wasn’t sure how, Nozbe will help.

Japanese people need help… and information. That’s what they’ve been asking on Twitter.
My dear friend Kurazono Keizo-san who is traveling with me told me, that people in Japan don’t panic, they share information… and asked me how we can help with this. Then it struck me – why not let Nozbe users create public projects so that people can follow simple to-do lists and just get things done with their smartphones (and Japanese people have lots of these) without any signups, for free.

#publicNozbe – 24 hours from idea, public consultation and coding to launch in Japan

My mum (concerned about me) sent me a list of things to do when there is an earthquake and I sketched the first version of the public project feature – a free, sharable project:

Publicnozbe sketch

Then I brainstormed this idea with Kurazono Keizo-san – my good friend, Japanese Nozbe power-user and author of the Nozbe book. He loved it and we proceeded to consult it with Japanese people. We held an informal event in Apple Store in Fukuoka (thanks Shizuo-san for hosting us!) and Japanese social-media people from Fukuoka loved the idea:

Apple Store Brainstorm

What followed was a dinner, another brianstorming session and coding. Lots of coding… and done by yours truly! Already before the event I asked my great CTO Tomasz for preparing the ground-work for me (on a Saturday morning European time!). After discussing the feature with Japanese social-media experts I came back to the hotel at around 11 pm Japanese time with a big Starbucks Latte (Tall) and started coding based on the groundwork my CTO left for me.

Coding #publicNozbe overnight

At 3 am Kurazono Keizo-san came to my room and he explained how the Japanese guys already started work on Facebook. He posted about the idea on his blog, too. And he brought me some warm Japanese tea.

At 4 am I had the first version of the page working, went to bed for 3 hours and woke up at 8 am, had a shower and finished up the page with Javascript effects and other design tweaks. Later I had to travel to Tokyo and on my way revised the page. It went live at 4 pm Japanese time, just after 24 hours of the initial idea.

Introducing #publicNozbe – unlimited and share-able Public Nozbe Projects

So here’s the idea – now you can share any project in Nozbe as a “public project” for everyone, just go to “info” of the project and click on “Public” link and here you go:

Make project public

Here’s the screenshot of my original idea already as a public project (here’s the link):

Earthquake public project

Here’s my “Weekly Review check-list” and here are great projects by Japanese users: first one, second, third…

The #publicNozbe projects look great on the iPhone and Android – we made sure they are view-able and do-able above all on the mobile phones:

iPhone Public Project

#publicNozbe projects are very share-able – you can share them on Twitter, Facebook, clip them to Evernote and print them.

More details about #publicNozbe projects:

  • You can create unlimited #publicNozbe projects – by modifying one project or by creating various projects. This is important – now also free Nozbe users can create as many #publicNozbe projects.
  • Each #publicNozbe project has a unique URL and everyone who sees it, is identified by a cookie and has a clean slate. When they return to their #publicNozbe project, they’ll be able to see details of the project specific to them (actions done vs un-done).
  • To view and get #publicNozbe projects done there is no signup or sign-in. It works and identifies you by your unique cookie.
  • #publicNozbe projects are re-usable. Once you get it done, you can “reset” the project and start all over again. Perfect for checklists.
  • You’re encouraged to share the projects via Twitter, Facebook or simply email the link so that others also can get things done easily.
  • You need a Nozbe account to create #publicNozbe projects. But a free one works like a charm and there are no ads or other similar crapware on the #publicNozbe project pages.
  • You can’t view/edit/remove the #publicNozbe projects you created. Not yet. We just didn’t have the time to code this aspect yet. We hardly slept the last few days.
  • You can’t import #publicNozbe projects to your Nozbe account yet, but it’s coming. Again, not enough time and not necessary just yet.

Why I’m so excited about #publicNozbe projects.

I think it’s the best way to share knowledge and checklists, especially in trying time like these right here in Japan. Many Japanese people have approached me and expressed their gratitude for working so hard on making this feature available so quickly to them. They need it more than ever. In the first few hours more than 100 public projects were created and almost 2000 people were viewing them. Incredible.

I’m still here in Tokyo and I’m trying to help as much as I can. Nozbe will be donating money to Japanese Red cross later this month but it’s great we also figured out the way to also donate our time, talent (thank you Tomasz, my great CTO) and collaboratively with Japanese people give them a powerful tool to exchange information and get things done even in most remote areas of Japan.

I haven’t slept much these days and my hotel room is shaking on hourly basis today (the after-quakes kick in very often here in Tokyo) but I feel great and empowered to have helped. I never thought Nozbe would be so social and so collaborative. Let’s hope we’ve helped only a little bit with #publicNozbe and can make the very tough, brave and well organized Japanese folk even more organized.

#publicNozbe projects are not exclusive to Japanese users – you can create them and work with them, too. They were just inspired by all that’s happening here.

I would like to express special thanks to Kurazono Keizo-san, my mum and Kiran Vachhani-san for inspiration, Fukuoka Apple Store for hosting us for the brainstorming session and Fukuoka Japanese social media experts (especially Sugiyama-san and Munenori-san) for great ideas and help with spreading the word.

It was a great collaborative work in tough times. One of these moments that you feel you’re alive and work on something that changes the world. I can’t express it enough.

From Tokyo, Japan – yours productively,


Michael Sliwinski, Founder, Nozbe.com

P.S. Since we’ve launched the #publicNozbe projects, Japanese users have prepared a special web page with the best #publicNozbe projects for the earthquake, Facebook page, and are flooding Twitter with great public pages. Incredible. Lots of volunteer work and collaboration. You have to be here in Japan to really feel it. I’m speechless.

P.P.S. Apart from #publicNozbe, the Android beta client is coming this week as scheduled. Stay tuned for updates.

P.P.P.S. Last week the Gcal sync was not working for only one day. After thorough testing we’ve re-enabled it and it works fine now. Again sorry for that.

Nozbe (by apivision.com),
ul. Rozewska 18,
81-055 Gdynia, Poland, Europe

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