Personal

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-06-17

Monday, February 16th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

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Have photos of the new iPhone been leaked?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

 

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Sure enough, MacRumors has it covered, Leaked Photos of Next Generation iPhone.

 

The images have come in from 2 sources to MacRumors.  Of course both sources have submitted the same image.  

So far all we can tell is:

  • The new model number is A1303
  • The phone has a matte black look
  • Supposedly the case is made of metal again (did they solve issues with the antennae?)

This seems pretty convincing to me, especially after hearing that the new iPhones may be coming out in June/July with a higher screen resolution.

MSNBC reported on a new $99 iPhone (which has had analysts going crazy).  Along with the story were ruminations, by wireless analyst David Chamberlain, that the new iPhone would be releaced possibly alongside the $99 iPhone.  It would be the same price as it is now, but feature a higher 720×480 screen resolution (versus the 480×320 of current iPhones).  The new screen resolution would also put the new iPhone in running to meet up with Apple’s tablet technology.

Interesting times ahead in the world of iPhone.

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Time Lapse: Baby Playing with Everything

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 | Personal | 3 Comments

A genius of a journalist, Francis Vachon decided to do a time lapse video of his son, Charles-Edward, playing with toys.  4 hours have been collapsed down to 2 minutes.

I have a few points, but don’t feel like writing complete sentences / paragraphs:

  • The music is fun (Ensemble by Coeur de Pirate)
  • We now know that given a play mat, children will mostly avoid the mat
  • Door stops are fun to play with (man did he spend a lot of time on that)
  • This is a great example of chaos theory
  • Dining room is spelled “Dinning room”
  • Anything with wheels, won’t be on wheels for long — they aren’t meant to be fun on wheels.
  • Nothing won’t be played with
  • Caffeine is NOT for children

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Inspiration: From the weirdest places

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Personal | 1 Comment

Skateboards

Sometimes you see something beautiful, and independent of the contents — just stare at it.

I saw a tweet today about an awesome skateboard design posting, 100 Crazy Skateboard Designs, and for some reason followed it.  

I’m not a skateboarder, I don’t even know the physics behind how the rider can jump, and the board goes with them.  I know it involves something with stepping on the back, but … mindblowing (minimally).

Another site I had seen the other day, Designs Delight, had some amazingly designed Lamps as well as some modern furniture.  I know, it sounds dumb — check it out.

Modern Furniture - Tommi Parzinger-1903 to 1981

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iPhone: An update to the carrier settings? MicroCells?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

I just popped my iPhone into the dock to sync, and got the following message:

An update to the carrier settings for your iPhone is available.  Would you like to download it now?

From a little bit of research, it seems to be linked to AT&T’s upcoming 3G MicroCell technology.  

It’s a smart idea, and it looks like they’re charging people for it!  

The only information I can put together about these MicroCells is:

  • An AT&T 3G MicroCell acts like a mini cellular tower supporting voice and data
  • It uses an existing broadband connection
  • Supports up to 10 3G handsets
  • Works with any AT&T 3G phone
  • Seamless call hand-over
  • Uses GPS somehow (probably for the cellular GPS information we take for granted, maybe associated with “e911″ issues, also to verify the network is used where AT&T is licensed to operate — some lines will be blurred here)
  • There is an associated fee (comparable offerings by Sprint $99 and $4.99 monthly, Verizon $249 and no monthly fee)
  • Unlimited plans will be available

Wow!  This is interesting!

If your gripe was ever “I don’t get service where I live”, then you just pay AT&T to extend their network to your home.  Your cell phone will act like your landline. 

I have to say, I didn’t see this coming, and I believe it’s brilliant.  With so many issues on some 3G phones, just buying this device should eliminate those problems.  Of course, it sucks to have to pay to fix service coverage.  We all know some of us will do it.

This has to be great for some small businesses too.  Setup a MicroCell in your office, pay for a basic cellular plan for your employees, and they can use the cell at the office for free.  

Plus — Apple Stores won’t ever have those embarrassing moments when you unbox your iPhone (do they still do that?) and you have no service in the store!

I’m not sure whether this is for any 3G device in the area, or if it’s specifically for your 3G devices in the area.  Most descriptions say it is secure, and that you can modify these settings.  I’d love to be able to share my 3G service with my neighbor’s phones if I could.  

Wonder if this is going to result in grumbling fro ISPs — now they’re supporting cellular calls.  

Some relevant links:

What is an AT&T 3G MicroCell?

AT&T’s 3G MicroCell to patch iPhone dead zones

AT&T 3G Microcell, a femtocell, coming sooner than we think?

Apple Issues Update Signaling iPhone Compatibility With AT&T’s MicroCell

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Amazon Kindle 2: Finally looks cool

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Personal | 1 Comment

Amazon Kindle 2

Amazon may have finally gotten it right with the new Amazon Kindle 2.  Taken a few notes from Apple I’m sure, the new kindle is sleeker (not hard to do), thinner, and seems to be overall, a better product.

The original Amazon Kindle wasn’t that bad actually.  It was sort of like “Windows 3.0″, a game changer.  It just wasn’t refined.  

When Amazon released the Kindle it was a major step in our own literary evolution.  There were a handful of E-Ink devices prior to the Kindle, most of which were prototypes though.  The Kindle let people download books and read them on a paper like screen.  That was the best part.

I remember a review I read about the Kindle over at Dubious Quality.  The review, titled Kindle, used the greatest description for the device I could ever imagine: homely. 

Look how thick and boxy the original one seemed.

Look how thick and boxy the original one seemed.

Seen here, you can see how the old Kindle looked.  To me, it was very similiar to the size of an early 80’s basic calculator.  Lots of hard edges, and just clunky looking.

The new Kindle 2 features much smoother edges, and is overall something I could imagine people wanting to be seen with (remember the first few iPods you saw?).

Here are some features of the new Kindle 2:

  • 1/3 inch thick, 10.2 ounces
  • Download entire books in 60 seconds wirelessly
  • Better display than the original, 16 shades of gray — it is an E-Ink display, so it seems like you’re reading paper!
  • 25% longer battery life than the original.  Works for days without a recharge (the digital paper lets the device use battery life ONLY to refresh the image, and not keep it lit.  So you use small amounts of battery life when reading text)
  • More Storage: holds over 1,500 books.  I can’t imagine ever needing more than that.  Until we can watch movies on it.
  • Faster Page Turns: 20% faster — of course since it is digital ink, the screen refreshes aren’t that fast compared to a monitor.  However, when you read a book, you turn the page anyway.
  • Read-to-Me: Text-to-speech.  I’d imagine this would sap battery life, and really don’t see a major need for it but it would be nice for making any book an audiobook in the car
  • No monthly fees.  It’s just a device that can download wirelessly.  
  • Large selection: there are over 230,000 books, papers, magazines and blogs available
  • Cheaper book prices: this may be a biggie for most of you, standard hardcover books available for $35 are available for the Kindle(s) for $9.99.  

If you want to ask me, I think the new Kindle will be the final spark that starts the big fires.  I don’t think these devices will be ubiquitous for quite some time, but these are where books are going.

Order it here: Amazon Kindle 2

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Google Sync: Now for the iPhone!

Monday, February 9th, 2009 | Personal | 1 Comment

GoogleGo to www.google.com/mobile/default/sync.html

It enables push notifications for contacts and calendars (on both the iPhone and Windows Mobile)!

I’ve been waiting for this one for quite a while.  Currently I used a complex scheme of Outlook, Google Calendar Sync, and still don’t get all the great contact functionality (I could, but it was too annoying to setup — plus I hate all of the useless Gmail contacts).

If you have push notification  enabled on your iPhone, you get push updates.  

This is essentially an extension of the push functionality for Exchange servers.  

Some others have posted on this:

Google Mobile Blog – Google Sync Beta for iPhone, WinMo, and SyncML Phones
Mashable – Finally: Google Sync Comes to iPhone and Windows Mobile

VERY IMPORTANT:

In looking at the instructions, they say that all of your contacts and calendar information will be deleted.  You should backup your data:

PC Instructions
Mac Instructions

Below is a video of how Google Sync works:

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-02-08

Sunday, February 8th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments
  • Woke up to snow, again. Haven’t seen my lawn since mid December. Makes it easier to code during the day than having sun shining at least. #
  • #ajax #jQuery Nettuts.com posted an extensive review about the enhancements made in jQuery 1.3 http://tinyurl.com/br6ggo #
  • Anyone know if there’s an easy way to setup a test account in #wordpress that uses a different theme? I’m trying to play with a new theme #
  • Playing scrabble on facebook — a slow sick day. #
  • I find it annoying playing against people who know what they are doing in scrabble, I mean, “Qi” — come on #

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Nikon D80 – Update the Firmware

Friday, February 6th, 2009 | Personal | 5 Comments

Nikon D80I have a Nikon D80 that I purchased approximately a year ago for a dive trip with the family to Bonaire. It has served me well, I am very happy with the purchase.  If you have any questions about scuba diving with a Nikon D80, I’d be happy to answer them.  Just comment on the post, or send me an email (there should be a link in About Me).

Today, in talking with a good friend of mine, I forgot that I haven’t updated the firmware to my camera!

Not sure about you, but I’m the kind of person that is sitting on my computer the day of a firmware update, looking to get it.  With my iPhone, I’m a little obsessive.  I love softare updates.  It kills me to think that I’m living with problems that have already been fixed.

And why not?  Upgrading firmware is easy right?

Maybe not.

At first glance, updating the Nikon D80 seemed pretty easy.  The steps are:

  1. Locate the new firmware download (I found it here – http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin/nikonusa.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=16091&p_sid=aNCN5Ppj&p_lva=13783)
  2. Download the new firmware (the page has instructions, first you must register on the site and provide your camera’s serial number)
  3. Find instructions for updating
  4. Execute!

It doesn’t get much easier.

The biggest issue for me was not having a fully charged battery.  I know the camera doesn’t want the battery to fail during the upgrade process (it may be left as an expensive doorstop), but I had a battery that was 90% full and it didn’t want to do it.

Once you have a FULLY charged battery, you can open the zip file you downloaded (it’s an .exe file, but when you execute it, it unzips to a folder).

There are 2 files in the folder:

  • AD800111.bin
  • BD800111.bin

Then you connect your camera to your computer, and transfer the 2 firmware files to the ROOT of the memory card (it’s the drive that gets mapped when you connect your camera).  It is very important that you put the files in the root of the memory card, and NOT inside the normal folder where photos are placed (if you have it configured that way).

Now that you have transferred the firmware files, turn the camera off.  Disconnect the camera from the computer.

Nikon D80 MenuTurn the camera back on.  If you are disconnected from the computer, Press “Menu”.  Then find “Firmware version” on the options list (it was the 2nd to last on my camera).  Press the “Right” D-pad button.

On my camera I then have an option “Version up”, select that and press “Right” on the D-pad.

My camera prompts me to first install the “B” update (both “A” and “B” are required).  I selected “Yes” and hit “OK”.

You should get a screen that says:

Updating

WARNING!  DO NOT TURN CAMERA OFF DURING UPDATE.  UPDATE WILL TAKE SEVERAL MINUTES.

Well, dont’ turn your camera off.

My camera did, indeed, take a few minutes before I saw “Update completed”.

After that my camera automatically reset itself.

Now if we go back into “Menu” and select “Firmware version” we can see that “B” has been updated, but “A” has not.  Important, we are not done.

The instructions on the official site just say to do the firmware update agian.  This didn’t work for me.

I had copied both firmware files initially to the memory card.  Well, it can only handle one file at a time.  That means we have to delete the firmware already installed from the memory card, in order to get the camera to update the other firmware.  We can do that by reconnecting to the computer, and just deleting the already installed firmware.

Now when we do the process again, it works!  It detects the 1 remaining firmware, and updates without a problem.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-02-01

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 | Personal | No Comments
  • Check this out, some good ajax examples — jQuery tutorials for Designers — http://tinyurl.com/2uhodh #
  • Some little hints I didn’t know about sitemaps – http://tinyurl.com/c88wsw – I wasn’t even signed up for http://webmaster.live.com! #
  • RT @TheDigitalLife: Starbucks lays off 1000, Home Depot -7000, Sprint -8000, and bailout Citicorp just bought a new $50m jet. Yup its Mo … #
  • #ajax Check out my Basic Ajax Tutorial – jQuery toggle and slide http://tinyurl.com/8b869e #
  • RT @designmeme: 10 Must-Read Articles for Photoshop Beginners http://tinyurl.com/b39hjt #
  • RT @whybanksfail: New blog post: Job cuts across the board, 72,500 people in the cold http://tinyurl.com/asgxnb #
  • #obama Has anyone seen the new http://www.whitehouse.gov? Much more informative — and of course the official weekly Youtube address #
  • RT @designmeme 15+ Tips to Speed Up Your Website, and Optimize Your Code http://tr.im/d1o5 #
  • Highlights posted by Wired on last weeks chat with IE8 developers, http://tinyurl.com/auldgu — still waiting for CSS3 #
  • #iphone That dark spot in the middle of my 3G iphone is really bothering me — but I don’t want to risk a worse replacement #
  • #mysql #wordpress Saw a nice post at Shawn’s Place, Optimizing your MySQL database with PhpMyAdmin & WP-Plugin – http://tinyurl.com/b4xubx #
  • The dog is now getting groomed in our driveway, thanks Fur Kidz, http://www.furkidzltd.com. How great is that? #
  • RT @pchere: 10 Steps To Protect The Admin Area In WordPress http://tinyurl.com/cuthr5 #
  • Today I’m going to do some experiments with #flash #flex and #papervision3d — hopefully culminating in something I can use on a project! #
  • #design Some amazing modern lamp designs (no, not linux/apache/mysql/php) you have to see these – http://tinyurl.com/cnfrad #
  • #flash #as3 Long day — got lots of progress with #papervision, figured out how to make animations smoother and look better — night! #
  • Went skiing with my dad at Butternut today, great day! Came home and did some more papervision experimentation — even better. #

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