I haven’t seen a lot of information posted about how to do software updates with Shimano Dura Ace 9070 DI2. Here is a quick howto:

  1. Download the latest version of the E-tube Software
  2. Install the software on Windows (Mac users can use VMWare Fusion or Parallels.
  3. Launch the application.
  4. Connect the SM-BCR2 to the charging port on the junction box. The cover might be difficult to open, I had to use a screwdriver.
  5. Plugin the SM-BCR2 to your computer

From there is pretty straightforward. The software will update itself and then detect if there are updates for firmware on the various components. Below are a series of screenshots.














We all know what time of year it is in the USA, its indoor training time for much of the country. Most cyclists avoid using the trainer like the plague. Trainer sessions are usually very boring, and its very difficult to gauge your efforts. In the past people used TV or cycling training videos like Spinevervals to make trainer rides bearable, but even that didn’t help too much. When the Spinverval guy said do a 9/10 effort, what does that equate to for me? Even if you knew, it was easy to cheat yourself in a training session by just going slower. There was no real record of your efforts.

Trainerroad.com

In the past two years a few products have come out that have transformed indoor training for me. The first product is TrainerRoad.com, which is a software tool that allows you to execute structured workouts and display real time performance data including an accurate estimate of power, even if you don’t have a power meter. TrainerRoad connects your computer to ANT+ devices via the Garmin ANT+ USB dongle. You can pick up a Garmin ANT+ stick for $25 on Amazon. It picks up the data from your heartrate monitor and ANT+ speed/cadence sensor.

If you have a powermeter it will pick that data up as well, or you can use the calculated power which is very accurate on the trainer. On real road rides, power calculation is notoriously inaccurate because there are multitude of variables that a power calculator cannot take into account, most notably factoring in wind resistance. There are less variables with an indoor trainer, when I go 20mph on my Cyclops trainer, TrainerRoad can make an accurate assessment than I’m pushing X amount of watts.
Trainerroad.com w/ sufferfest

Sufferfest Videos

The Sufferfest is a great collection of downloadable videos which feature footage from protour races. Its way more entertaining than the old Spinverval or CTS vids of looking at people ride trainers. Plus TrainerRoad has complete integration with Sufferfest workouts.
Sufferfest videos

Strava Premium

Strava has finally listened to some of my earlier gripes, and has introduced better power metrics and visualization tools. Once you complete a ride in TrainerRoad, you can export it to .TCX file which is importable via Strava.
Strava Premium Power Analysis

AppleTV

Why is AppleTV on this list? People generally like to display TrainerRoad on a larger display such as TV. Dealing with cables and wires to share your screen can be a pain in the ass. AppleTV has a technology called Airplay Mirroring which allows you easily share your laptop screen and sound with your TV.

Like many avid cyclists, I’m a huge fan of Strava, the social training tool which keeps track of cycling performance via cycling computer data and phone applications. Strava has been around for a few years now. It started out as a pay service with limits on uploads for free users, but last year they introduced a “Premium” offering and removed the free upload limit.

The premium offering gave cyclists some addtional features. Probably the most notable was SufferScore, a feature which gives your ride a numberic score of effort based on a number of factors. There were also addtional power visualizations and the ability to sort leaderboards by weight.

Many loyal Strava users went for the premium offering just to show support for the service. The addtional features were not very compelling, but people wanted to support Strava. Its been over a year now, and premium users are starting to get disatified with the lack of updates. Sure, Strava has made enhancements to the service. Most notably, improvements to the mobile apps and a running offering as well.

The vast majority of premium users have a Garmin device making mobile enhancements irrelevant. When the premium offering was introduced, people assumed Strava would gradually add more training and analysis tools. As it stands now, Strava is a lot of fun but its not a serious training tool.

For serious cyclists, they have to use other software offerings in order to get detailed analysis of their rides. Training with power meters is becoming much more common, and Strava’s power analysis is extremely weak. You get a number for average power and some visualizations of power output over time. People who actually train with power meters are forced to use another service like Training Peaks in order to get any true insight into their training data. Strava doesn’t even provide the most basic functions such as power zones and normalized power metrics.

There is definitely an increasing backlash to Strava premium due to the lack of development. The lack of development is especially alarming when you consider the amount that Strava has grown over the last few years. I assumed by now that Strava would have much more serious ride analysis and training tools.

When I started to hear rumors about the iPhone5 earlier this year I was worried. I heard that Apple was definitely increasing the size of the screen. I always thought the iPhone had a great form factor for what people do with a smartphone. Here are my top 10 activities:

  1. Check Email
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. iMessage
  5. Phone Calls
  6. Spotify
  7. Camera
  8. Foursquare
  9. Chrome
  10. Weather

Notice something missing from that list? Phone manufactures often tout the user experience of watching movies on some huge screen, but I never watch extended video clips on a phone. Sure, on occasion I will bring up a clip at restaurant, like showing my relatives a black bear eating from my father’s birdfeeder, but I don’t watch movies or TV from my phone. Laptops and tablets provide a superior video watching experience.

I see a lot of handset manufactures coming out with these huge bricklike phones that do nothing to help my top 10 use cases. Sure a bigger screen is nice, but its not nice when the phone can’t fit in your pocket and weighs ton.
iPhone5vGalaxy
With the iPhone5, my biggest fear did not come true. The footprint of the actual device is less than the iPhone4, even with the extended screen. Its noticeably thinner and lighter, which I really like. I also don’t have to bother with a bumper case since the antenna issue that plagued the iPhone4 is resolved.

While I’m not a fan of all the needless lawsuits going on in the smartphone industry, the prototype device pictures reminded me of the phone I used prior to the original iPhone.
Treo 650

I really loved my Treo 650, it was the first phone I owned that did e-mail well. You could even install “apps” and browse the web in a very limited fashion. It could definitely fit in your pocket, but it was a tight fit to say the least. It interesting to see the “bigger is better” smartphone trend. It reminds me of the SUV trend of the 90′s. At some point there will be a backlash.

Of all the phones I’ve owned over the years, probably the ultimate form factor for it’s time was the Nokia 8260.
Nokia 8260
The 8260 was an awesome phone considering it came out 12 years ago. It was absolutely tiny for the time, had great battery life, and an easy to use interface. Instead of looking to tablets for design inspiration, smartphone makers should spend some time with the Nokia 8260.

Its sad how political debate on the Internet has devolved with the rise of social media over the years. There is absolutely no worse offender than Facebook. Facebook has a major sharing crisis. People are posting less and less content. Content is what ultimately drives people to social networks.

To combat the trend of declining sharing, Facebook has implemented a number of mechansims. The first one was the website embdeded share button, which made it easy for people to post content from external sites. The second was the “like button,” which is basically one click sharing. Then Facebook introduced the ability to re-share content from your feed, making easy for posted content to go viral.

All of these advances have made it very easy for people to share information. So what’s the problem?

The ability to easily share other people’s content on social networks has led to a decline of political debate on the Internet. When is the last time you saw someone post something political on Facebook that was original content? People are no longing expressing their own thoughts and views, instead they are simply reposting cookie cutter content that is designed to be eye catching, but rarely ever does it actually inform.

Contrast today’s state of deterioration with the “old days” of blogging. The vast majority of content posted on blogs was original content. Sure, people reposted pictures and linked to other websites, but it usually included original content that built upon the parent post. The length of that content went far beyond 140 characters or an awkward picture with a catchy headline.

The real tragedy in this onslaught of unoriginal content is that good information is being drowned in a sea of “shares,” “likes,” and “retweets,” by people have never written a single original thought online. Its no longer about crafting a clever argument, its simply about re-sharing as much crap as possible.