Saturday, January 23, 2010

iPhone, Your Days are Numbered

If the original 2G iPhone isn't upgradeable to the 4.0 OS, I might be switching to the Google Nexus, with perhaps an overall move to T-Mobile in the fall when my wife's iPhone contract is up.

Mainly, because the 3G isn't much different than the 2G, so it doesn't seem so hard that you couldn't offer it to the 2G crowd, especially since you last sold that phone less than two years ago.

I won't get into a debate for the Google Nexus over the iPhone, but there's lots of of love for the Nexus, and I think folks are getting a bit tired of the AT&T/Apple game. You can read all those comparisons and fanboy flames elsewhere.

Oh, and by the way, it'd be nice if I could legally unlock my phone that I never had a contract for anyway. EVERY phone I've had since the iPhone has been unlocked. So not only do they exert control of many of the features you want in the iPhone that other phones have and have had for years, they've sort of retained ownership of your hardware as well.

Go ahead Apple/AT&T. Put the straw on that breaks the camel's back.
When driving and someone has their blinker on don't speed up to close the gap they were going to change lanes into. That is a Neil Patrick Harris move.

Sent from my iPhone

Coming Review: Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet by iMprov / Kent Displays


Full review with video here

I ordered on of these awesome looking little gadgets from Amazon. It was just too cool to pass up. No more dry erase markers for me!

It's 29.97, shipped free!

What is it? It's an LCD screen that uses a watch battery for power. It requires power ONLY to erase the screen. So it should last a long time. (Why they didn't put on a little solar panel and a tiny rechargeable is a question I have.)

Possible uses:

  • For Kids: practicing math, drawing, etc. No paper to buy, pens or pencils to sharpen, mess, etc.
  • Developing countries could use it instead of paper for instructional uses.
  • Dry Erase Board: no more looking for a working marker or trying to get it clean.
  • Just cools cool. And I must have one, if only to review it and sell it later. :)
I'll have the review up when it comes in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Easy to Remember But Unguessable Passwords

Find a pattern on the keyboard, and use shifted numbers and letters, alternately. Like you might go down the sort of diagonal row that is '9ol.' then hold shift and type ')P:?' which is the next row over. So you got upper and lower, numbers, and special characters. Need more characters, add a row, and maybe only hold shift for the last two and not the first two. Fairly easy to remember, and pretty secure. Use the technique for patterns on the keyboard you can remember. If whatever you're logging into is REALLY secure, it's going to lock out the account after so many bad guesses anyway, and even though the pattern is SOMEWHAT predictable, they aren't going to get it within a reasonable number of attempts before the login is locked out.

If you're curious, that's the Hoverboy Decoder Ring circa 1938-1945. Dang, that thing cost $1 back then!

Get me either that or preferably the Explorer's Ring in this post.

The Greats, and ADD

Jim Carrey. Robin Williams. Comedic Greats. With all the Attention Deficit Disorder drugs on the market today, where will we find the next generation of

Steve Martin: A little Ode, Fashioned

I put the comma there so you'd get it.

If you've never heard Steve's Comedy from the 70's, you owe it to yourself. This man filled arenas with tens of thousands of fans, and now he doesn't do standup any more. He unquestionably went out at the top of his game.

If he didn't seem like such a nice guy, you'd be envious of his wide talent. Author, actor, musician, comedian, meta-physicist; the list goes on. With his accomplishments he's earned the right to be a Jerk, but he's just this guy we know and love.

Now that decades have passed, new generations should discover his now 30-something year old works. Some treasure from the resting place of 'King Tut':

Stever Martin Quotes From Wikipedia
  • I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.
    • Comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy

  • Now let's repeat the non-conformists' oath: I promise to be different! (audience repeats) I promise to be unique! (audience repeats) I promise not to repeat things other people say! (audience laughs, repeats) Good!
    • Comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy

  • It's so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it's like, religion, you really can't take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary...but, on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics. I guess I wouldn't believe in anything any more if it weren't for my lucky astrology mood watch.
    • Comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy

  • I used to smoke marijuana. But I'll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening - or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early mid-afternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . But never at dusk! Never at dusk, I would never do that.
    • Comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy
  • You know, a lot of people come to me and they say, "Steve, how can you be so !@#$ing funny?" There's a secret to it, it's no big deal. Before I go out, I put a slice of bologna in each of my shoes. So when I'm on stage, I feel funny.
    • Comedy album Let's Get Small
  • (Audience member): What's your mood watch say?
  • (Martin): Yeah, I remember when I had my first beer.
    • Comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy

My Steve Martin Album Recommendations: (takes a few seconds to load and may contain the occasional potty word so, potentially NSFW)

See those ratings? 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect Pushup Mini Review

To the chase! These are great if for this one reason: you can do pushups without wrist strain, even if your wrist is hurt already. I weight about 190, and it doesn't hurt my palms either, the padding is a nice grippy and durable rubber.

I had hurt my wrists a little doing pushups one night before bed on a hardwood floor. Not recommended. I should have gone upstairs and gotten my Perfect Pushups. (I suppose it's plural).

I was able to go through the entire P90X Chest and Back yesterday with no pain other than that which Tony inflicted. You can do wide pushups, standard, 'military' and diamonds or hearts as they are sometimes called. You might not be able to do as many, as on some styles you will be going lower than you could go using your hands alone. I don't do super-wide, but I bet you could and they wouldn't twist on you as bars or weights would.

$30 to me seems a bit pricey, but they work as advertised, and let you work out when small injuries might prevent it. And of course, they prevent the strain in the first place.

Additionally, you can use these in the Yoga workout for P90X and avoid the wrist strain you would get in the first half an hour or so. Once again, these let me do my workout even though my wrist was still bothering me. You can use them somewhat in place of a Yoga block too.

Free Dictation for iPhone and iPod Touch: Never type a text, email, or blog post again!

Nice app, and it's free! The free apps are getting so good I'm wondering when they will pay you to install it.

It will upload your contact names if you allow it for better voice recognition. Some have privacy concerns about that, but I bet no one cares who I'm calling or emailing.

I have no shady ties to persons or organizations. If I did, I think that might get me more blog hits. The only shady story I can think of is of an RV awning a company installed that wasn't the color I wanted.

So, anyway, you hit the big record button, hit Done when you're done talking, and the text shows up on the screen. From that, you can tap words it got wrong, and select an alternate word or delete it. You can also hit the record button and re-record the word. You can also pop up the onscreen keyboard for the old school method.

Once it's as you like, you can Email it, Text it, or copy it to the clipboard.

Tip of the day: If you are texting while driving (you shouldn't, but let's say it's a 6 lane highway with no one on it) you can stab your thumb down on the keyboard, move it around while holding it down, and let up when the key you want pops up. It's when you release pressure that the key will be typed.

It's recognition is very good, and it's free, so if you don't like it, you're not out anything.

It's much better at speech than the Newton was at handwriting recognition.

Get it Dragon Dictation free from the iTunes Store here.

RIAA At It Again: This time, singing in public?!?

RIAA At It Again: San Francisco Teen Hit with Bill for Illegal Public Performance

“I was just riding my bike down the street, and a police officer ticketed me for the equivalent of 'bike jay-walking.'” That's what started this whole fiasco. Later, in a random review of the police camera footage, the teen could be heard singing 'Dead or Alive' by Bon Jovi in the audio recording. That's what lead to the fine: due to the number of passersby present, the RIAA was notified and the boy was charged with illegal performance of copyrighted material.

“I mean, that song is SO 80's! The only reason it was on my iPod in the first place was that I had been testing some software that removed hisses and pops from vinyl recordings. The record I used to test actually belonged to my grandmother!”

The RIAA had no comment due to the ongoing legal proceedings.

Industry pundits like David Pogue said that incidents like this will only increase due to the rising increase in electronic surveillance and software such as Shazam, which can recognize songs. In this case, Pogue said that soon, the RIAA will be able to eavesdrop for folks singing and using Google street maps for known audio source locations, determine if it is in public spaces or not. Pogue even mentioned that they will be able to detect the song when people are way off key, like any given number of 'American Idol' contestants.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beanitos: A Quick Review

Because I'm watching what I eat, but still have a little treat every now and then:

And they were on clearance at HEB for $2, which isn't bad for something relatively healthy.

Per serving it has 5 grams Fiber, 4 grams protein. Flax seeds (there is a bean only version). No sugar. Sea Salt.

Still more fat than I'd like. And some of it's saturated, but that could be the flax seeds. Is there a baked or lo fat version? Half the calories are from fat.

It's better for you than a chip, and I like the flavor. Sort of like a chip with built in black bean dip.


Bwahahaha! of the day:


Quick rant of the day. I'm watching 'Big Mac: Inside the McDonald's Empire'.

I happen to be a fan of McD but I don't eat there every day. I *GASP* moderate my own Big Mac intake and exercise. I'll eat something much lower calorie and exercise to make up for it.

The point of this rant is this: there's a guy on there criticizing how McDonald's makes people fat who is obese himself.

The guy who's telling you what's bad for you:

Get your own house in order, sir, before you start to advocate for us. Don't preach it if you can't practice it.

Also noted from another thinner pundit: the evil corporation pushing their Happy Meal on poor, tired, ignorant parents who can't tell their kids no. I always wonder how much of the raving against some thing or another is too keep one's self in a job. Yeah, I'll take that criticism somewhat, too. But I'm more entertaining. ;)

You can't defend everyone on the planet from making poor choices.

McDonald's has introduced some healthy choices. You can get milk, apples, yogurt, grilled chicken, Diet Coke, salads, etc. I don't think if they weren't selling that they would offer them.

I'd personally like to see some whole wheat buns and tortillas. Want to save a ton of fat? Hold the mayo, special sauce, and cheese. That is a LOT of fat saved. Or leave the cheese maybe but man, take the other two off! Press that Southern Style chicken patty between some napkins to absorb some of the oil before eating.

On that note, Burger King's grilled Whopper with no cheese and no mayo is actually to me, a reasonable choice.

Rant Over.

Now for the more pleasant portion: it's an interesting documentary. They talk to the chef in the test kitchen, some owner/franchisers, stock footage of 'founding fathers' and early operations, and more. They show some operations in China too. I won't be having some of the more, uh, colorful menu options there.

Good stuff. Buy a copy from Amazon!

It's time for my workout so I can grab some McD at some point and not feel too bad about it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

iVideoCamera Review

Let's just cut to the chase: How good are the videos?

Caveat: There may be some additional encoding done when Google embeds the video on my blog, but you'll get the idea.

These were both made on an 8Gig 1st Generation '2G' iPhone. Why do I still have this old school iPhone? Because it's cheaper every month than the newer ones, and does most of the same stuff. Especially now. I just got video recording capability for 99 cents. :)

Sample 1: 160x213 resolution, 1.97 Megabytes, 10 frames per second. MPEG-4, Mono 22Khz sound. Millions of colors. 11.11 seconds. Obviously, not a lot of compression here due to the meager processor of the iPhone, and hopefully there's some optimization to be done in the code of the app itself.

Sample 2: 320x246 resolution, all other specs about the same. 7.25 seconds. Double the data rate roughly.

Low res movie length is limited only by the storage on your phone while hi res is limited by the memory free on your phone, so in this case about 7 seconds was what I got for the second video.

Features are pretty good. You can share via Youtube, Facebook, twitter, Flickr,
Vimeo, Twelveseconds, email, and ftp transfers right from the app. By sending it to your Blogger email, it can be posted there too.

You can change the name of the video and add a description for the sharing services.

Additionally, you can put your iPhone on the same WiFi network and open a page on your web browser to see the video stored:

One con: I did get a black screen once, but restarting the app fixed it.

Summary: for 99 cents this breathes some new life into older iPhones (so everything but the 3GS). For this price, I rate it a strong buy.

Buy iVideoCamera here.

My Star Trek Ornament Collection

I'm missing a few, if you can believe it. I think 1992 is the
earliest. Pop quiz: which Hallmark Ornaments am I missing in the Ship

How I fixed My Crooked Garage Door

I found the above video, and it helped me fix my garage door closing crookedly. One side was staying up a few inches higher than the other side when it closed. Not good.

I just rerouted the cable on the higher closing side as it had gotten so loose it later jumped off the pulley. I think something was binding also on that side before I restrung it.

Then, I just set the tension on that side so it would hold the spring up and the wires straight but no tighter. I matched that on the other side.

Now it goes up and down buttery smooth.

Of course, I did not have the hooks and wire clamp that fastened to the hook, oh no. My ghetto installers had just tied the wire cable off where the hook would fasten into the holes. Thank you Mr. Sheetrock installer/unlicensed plumber/garage door installer/landscaper/painter Guy!

After all, when some builder is looking for 'contractors' outside the Home Depot and asks what you can do, you tell him 'Yes!'.

COTD (Craigslist of the Day)

Perhaps I should interview this guy:

"Superstition is as serious to sailors as breathing, eating and being on the water. You shouldn't tempt the fates or challenge the benevolence of Neptune, Poseidon and the gods of the four winds when you take out your new powerboat or sailboat. Let Reverend Tom make it right with the Gods for you. These ceremonies are guaranteed to bring Good Luck to your craft and to all who ship aboard her. I promise you a ceremony that is fun yet serious about doing the right thing for your new craft. Want to mix a wedding in with your christening ceremony? Reverend Tom is also a Universal Life Minister and would also be happy to officiate your wedding on board your boat, on the beach or anywhere. Contact me, you won't be sorry. "

Wonder if he's got iChat?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

TiVo Cat

TiVo cat monitors your usage patternz and your TiVo internal temperature.
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