Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Last Week’s Links and Comments

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Here’s the best of what I shared elsewhere last week.

50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Photography Skills
Yet another great collection of web resources from Smashing Magazine.

Canon 7D gatling gun shooting 8 FPS of awesome – Engadget Video
I frequently photograph people in dark settings. In particular at a local geek event with 5 minute talks (Ignite Seattle), I’ve got a short time frame to capture a good image or two. ANY edge will help.

Frankly, the higher usable ISOs will be of more use, but I can’t help but think of how nice that bigger buffer will be.

How to Build a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard – Lifehacker
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Glad to see it’ll work with Snow Leopard.

Why your Web content will look darker on Snow Leopard – John Nack
Apple’s gamma switch from 1.8 to 2.2 explained.

How to Tweet From Anywhere in Snow Leopard
Handy little overview of creating a “Service” in OS X Snow Leopard that allows you to tweet or create a Facebook post.

New Cards

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Ordered my new “personal” business cards last week from Moo.com. This time around I decided to go with a Stewtopia branded fruit flavor theme to match the stick of gum that these cards resemble.

Hopefully, they’ll arrive before Gnomedex this weekend.

stewtopia_moo_card_apple copystewtopia_moo_card_lime copystewtopia_moo_card_orange copystewtopia_moo_card_lemon copystewtopia_moo_card_brownie copystewtopia_moo_card_aqua copystewtopia_moo_card_blueberry

WSJ on the iPhone

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal launched their iPhone App today, officially showing the NYTimes how a newspaper app ought to work. I love both papers, but man, is the Times sloooooow.

The NYTimes app is astonishingly bad. In the time it takes to update, it should be saving all articles locally, which it does not. Fortunately, m.nytimes.com is much more usuable.

WSJ on the iPhonePodcasts in the WSJ app

The Wall Street Journal app is free, snappy and includes their one stop access for Wall Street Journal video, audio and text. It adds up to a convenient place for all of their content. Nice.

My friend Josh noted: “I especially like being able to “flick” between articles. It’s like page turning. Very cool.” Clearly, somebody on Wall Street is thinking about design and usability.

WSJ Podcasts - No FF or Rewind

My biggest complaint about the app is that the designers made special effort (it seems) to remove the fast forward and rewind buttons on their audio content to disallow people from skipping ads. I get the “gotta make money” part, but did they remove rewind just to balance the design? Weird.

That oddity aside, this is a fantastic first rev of the Journal’s iPhone presence. The WSJ app is free and available at the iTunes App Store

iPhone issues in San Francisco?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

So, I’ve had my iPhone for about a month now and by and large, it works well enough here in Seattle. The thing that I was most concerned about switching from my trusty but aged Treo 755p (my year old phone was aged, trust me) was going back to the AT&T network.

I switched from AT&T in 2001 to Sprint, and I really had not looked back. I had AT&T ever since they bought Cellular One and their Frankenstein analog/digital network was great when I was using my Nokia 6120. That network (or networks) was ubiquitous as I called people from every inch of California backcountry and rarely, if ever, had problems.

Then, they switched to GSM….

Which worked…

Nowhere.

Sprint to the rescue

I dropped AT&T just after going on a cross country road trip where my phone worked very few places and my girlfriend’s (now wife) phone worked everywhere. Sprint’s service had been really great for me. I even have an EVDO card from Sprint that works beautifully. Sadly, they didn’t get the iPhone and I knew that it was a matter of time before I switched back to AT&T’s service.

Surely, AT&T’s network is better now, right?

That said, switching to AT&T had been largely uneventful (the phone doesn’t work as well as Sprint in my house, but it does work). I spent the last four days in San Francisco and had a completely different experience.

iphone_fail.jpg

My iPhone worked somewhat at the office downtown, but I dropped about five calls during the day. The phone was completely unusable at night, at my cousin’s in the Castro or my friend Becky’s house. When I was on the network rarely did I ever see 3G and thus left it off to not consume battery power.

Too many people or bad chipset?

So, I’m not completely oblivious to the problems the iPhone has been having since launch. Most recently, there have been hopes that the problems can be solved by a simple firmware update or worse a hardware recall.

“What I was told was that 90% of the disconnects are initiated inside the phone, which would exonerate AT&T. Most of the disconnects are being generated by crashes in the driver code for the 3G chip, which comes from the chip vendor, not something Apple written and outside of Apple’s direct control.”

Now, I’m not a network engineer, but I don’t really buy that it’s a software problem. Maybe it’s my past experiences with AT&T (and lots of others with a similar experience with the Edge iPhone), but the differences between Seattle and San Francisco’s networks are fairly stunning and so far, I’ve only had problems in SF.

SF – How has your iPhone experience been?

This sucker would be going back if I lived in the city. To be generous, my experience has been pretty sub-par. How about you?

What’s on Stephen Colbert’s iPhone? [updated]

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Stephen Colbert was waving around his iPhone last night in a tirade against Jobs’ “kill switch.” I thought it might be interesting to see what apps he has on his iPhone.

Beyond the standard apps, AIM, Facebook are the most obvious, but I can’t figure out what the last one on the right is.

Anyone have any ideas?

UPDATE August 18, 2008

I love the Internets! I posted this picture on Flickr with the same question and thanks to my new pal and fellow Flickr user, Jose D. Lopez, we’ve got an answer!
truphone
Apparently, the mystery app on the Colbert’s iPhone is
truphone, a VOIP app for the iPhone. I haven’t tried the app yet, but I do have to wonder, why would a guy like Colbert need a VOIP app? Maybe being a cable news anchor doesn’t pay all that well?

I kinda doubt it :-)

Sync Yahoo! Addresses in iPod Touch

Friday, September 14th, 2007

ipod touch setup

Here’s a pleasant little surprise in the iPod Touch setup. I’ve always wanted to sync my Yahoo! Address Book with Apple Address Book but most of the solutions didn’t work very well.

While I was setting up the iPod Touch, I noticed that syncing with Yahoo! Mail Address book was an option. The iPhone must have this, but it certainly makes more sense on the iPhone than the Mail free iPod. Nevertheless, this is a nice add on that should keep my Address Books in sync (theoretically).

Of course, given my last post, maybe Mail is the missing icon, not my fanciful predictions of other features.

iPod Touch’s conspicuously absent button(s)

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

One of things that Apple is generally known for is their elegant design and ease of use. From a design standpoint, symmetry is a key element of any product. You just don’t see a lot of asymmetrical designs out there. And certainly not from Apple.

ipodTouchquestion.jpgiphone-2-1.jpg

Looking at the new iPod Touch, I have to ask, what’s the missing button? When the iPhone was introduced, Jobs proclaimed buttons were dead. The ability to reconfigure the layout of buttons or other input mechanisms granted Apple a lot more flexibility in changing their design at will.

Question: why would you ship a product with such an obvious gaping hole?

Answer: it’s an unfinished feature.

What feature?

We could look to the iPhone for possible features, but that seems unlikely. If Apple was going to ship email, Google Maps, or any of the widgets, they would have showed them at yesterday’s announcement.

This is an iPod folks. It’s all about entertainment, be it music, television, movies, your photos or YouTube.

A remote control?

Ok, so to me, this is obvious. iPod Touch + Airport Express = Kick ass remote control. Buying stuff from the iTunes Store is gravy, but the reason the iPod Touch has WiFi (and maybe Bluetooth) is to make the iPod more useful around the house.

Ever since the Airport Express shipped, I’ve wanted this device. The iPod and now the iPhone have proven to be one of the best ways to easily access a large collection of music. Most remotes fall far short of being useful because they lack the metadata (artist, album, song title) that the iPod or your computer has.

The Sonos comes close to fullfilling my needs, but every time I’ve used one, they just feel clunky. There are a few other devices out there, but they suck way more than Sonos does or are far outside of most people’s budget.

I can’t say that I’m the first to talk about this as Gizmodo talked about this a couple of months ago. It seems that Apple has a patent on this design, or is it something slightly different?

So let’s take the remote control idea a bit farther. You might have a little more than 16 gigabytes of music lying around on your computer. Getting to that music would be pretty simple if your WiFi enabled iPod could read from your shared music in iTunes.

Controlling music being played from your computer to your Airport Express could be another use of the onboard Wifi in the iPod Touch.

A really remote control?

I might be going off the deep end here, but stay with me. When Apple first enabled sharing in iTunes 4.0, you could access your music from another computer over the internet, not just your local network. The music companies didn’t care for this very much and Apple shut this feature down in a subsequent update.

So, wouldn’t record companies complain about this as well? I don’t think so. Rather than a remote computer that could be accessed by anyone, this iPod is mated to that computer. Apple could argue that this is a variation on syncing to a given iPod.

Additionally, despite flash memory advances in the last several years, we’re probably not getting 40+ gigabytes in flash for the foreseeable future. Remote control iTunes answers the issue of a lack of local storage. My own usage of AppleTV has shown me that streaming over the network is better than syncing.

He’s nuts

Admittedly, I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m always disappointed when their isn’t one more thing or when the iPhone doesn’t heal the sick and feed the hungry. So this might be a pipe dream.

All the pieces are there and it just takes someone at Apple to put them together.

If nothing else, they have to fill the missing button with something. Maybe they just forgot to add the Mail icon.

iPhoto ’08 – screenshots and commentary

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

So, I’m an Apple fanboy who rushed out on the first day to get iLife & iWork ’08. Here are a few pix and comments of the new features (you can get a lot more here).

I don’t have .Mac anymore, but check out the gallery in action (Thanks Chris Messina)

Install

No doubt this would happen.

iPhotoScreenSnapz001.png

Update already?

iphotoupdate.png

Bought it today? Don’t bother registering.

SafariScreenSnapz062.jpg

No RSS autodetect, but you can still subscribe to photos

iPhoto_no_flickr.png

New Stuff

Photocasting is dead.

iPhoto - Photocastingdead.png

New organization of projects and slideshows

iPhoto_projects_slideshows.png

New icons

iPhoto_new_icons.png

Events

Events are auto-created when you import a folder. Picks up the name, too.

iPhoto_last_import_events-1.png

As I suspected, Events are created auto-magically by date. Let’s call this an update of Rolls.

iPhoto_events.png

Least favorite item

iPhoto Library – now a big ass binary file that can become corrupt. Remember to back up your work, folks.
FinderScreenSnapz007.jpg

Looks good so far. Let’s see how it holds up over the next few days.