Posts Tagged ‘iPad mini’

Diversification And Legacy Data

May 23, 2014

I’m told that I’m a very loyal customer. That I’m loyal to Apple, Starbucks, Portland Fruit West, etc. — very few companies receive my business, and those who do receive my business receive a lot of it. Instead of making things complicated by buying from a diverse array of companies I keep things very simple by only buying from a handful.

There are many benefits to not diversifying yourself in computing platforms, and probably the most clear example of why it’s good to stick with one company is legacy data. Apple is what I know, so I’m going to try to stick to it for this blog post, though most of what follows can be said about other large companies which provide a wide array of services.

TL;DR: Through backups, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air have a data trail that dates back to 2006 with my MacBook Pro.

In 2007 I synced my brand new iPod touch with my MacBook Pro, and moved over .Mac mail, Calendar Events, Contacts, and Music/Movies. Every iOS device I’ve purchased since my iPod touch has been set up using backup data from the iOS device preceding it. I’ve actually gone through four generations of backups setting up new devices.

  1. 1. My iPhone 3G was just my iPod touch in a new shell.
  2. 2. My iPad and iPhone 4 were copies of my iPhone 3G in different shells.
  3. 3. My iPad 3 was a copy of my iPad.
  4. 4. My iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air are really just copies of my iPhone 4 and iPad 3, but they can also be considered simply grown up versions of my 2007 iPod touch.

(In addition, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air seamlessly share a remarkable amount of data with each other through iCloud.)

If I mixed things up with an Android device now and then, and if I used a different Mail service, 3rd party Contacts, Calendar, Notes, web browsers, office suites, photo management apps, etc., I could have moved over everything from device to device regardless of platform. The problem is it would require more work than I’d like! There’s beauty in simplicity.

Diversification is an important part of our development as humans. It’s great to travel and be around people who aren’t like you, who take you out of your comfort zone and force you to develop new ideas of culture and humanity. What I’ve learned traveling is that people are at a base level the same everywhere, although there are differences which have been imposed through the arc of time. When you immerse yourself in a culture other than your own, you can learn those impositions and adopt the ideas that you like, making yourself a truly unique individual.

Where diversification falls short of being important for development, is in our product purchases. You see people who have an iPhone, a Samsung Android tablet, and a Dell Windows PC, and use Yahoo! e-mail. This can be in the name of diversification, that different platforms have different benefits, and that it’s generally a bad idea to put all your faith in a single company in case it goes out of business.

As far as Apple goes, however, it’s very far from shutting down with its $151 billion in the bank and all. And the more companies you tie yourself to, the greater the chance you’ll find some services you rely on disappearing. It’s important to measure everything such as functionality, profitability, and how the company has handled product/service transitions in the past. From what I’ve measured Apple is the company I feel safe relying on.

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Divergence

February 3, 2013

When I picked up my iPad mini, my personal reasoning was that it would be the travel iPad and my 3rd gen iPad would effectively act as a desktop computer for me. Honestly, the idea was that I’d be able to shave even more weight off of me when I’m away from home.

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, or both, my iPad mini hasn’t ended my 3rd gen iPad’s presence outside of my home. I now travel with both, so the initial goal was to shave off weight failed miserably as now my bag is heavier. 3rd gen iPad, iPad mini, and chargers for my two iPads and iPhone. It’s kind of mental.

The more I use both iPads, the more they diverge in use cases, and the more it’s beneficial to carry around both.

Apple advertises the iPad mini as just like a full-sized iPad, only smaller, which I’m beginning to think that that’s deceptive. The two devices are incredibly different in usage and complement each other to create a near-perfect computing setup. Some examples:

The large iPad has a full-sized keyboard which is easy to type on. The iPad mini’s keyboard is too small for long form typing and that alone eliminates it as the traditional computer replacement that the large iPad is.

On the other hand, the large iPad is too big and heavy for leisurely “consumption” of information. Whereas one can hold an iPad mini in a single hand for hours and scroll or flip through pages with the other, the large iPad commands two hands or a surface to support for long periods.

Returning to productivity, the iPad mini is too small to effectively create big Keynote presentations, where the large canvas on the big iPad is perfect for manipulating objects. The exact same thing applies to spreadsheets, music creation, and drawing.

If we turn to gaming, we also return to the fact that the large iPad is kind of relegated to tables or other surfaces. It’s fine at tabletop games like Monopoly, but one of my favorites, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy? The large iPad’s size makes it less fun. The iPad mini’s handheld-ability transforms the game into something super fun.

In my line of hobby — writing — the iPad mini’s casual browsing chops makes finding news and inspiration a breeze. It outright speeds me up and frees up a bit of my time in each day. The large iPad alone caused me to be slower, and if I used the iPad mini alone I’d be an even slower blogger than that.

But that’s just me. However if one assumes that the majority of people don’t do more than web browsing, email, office productivity stuff, and some games on the side, a large iPad and iPad mini is effectively the perfect computing setup. In the future when iPads get more horsepower and a Wacom digitizer built in, and more size options, two iPads combined will make the perfect computing setup for nearly everybody.

What I’m most curious about is if Apple actually believes that the large iPad and iPad mini truly are “two of a kind”. Either Apple has its own ideas or it’s intentionally making the iPad mini seem like something it isn’t, which in my experience is a mistake.

21.5: We Got The Beat

January 27, 2013

Honestly the title has nothing to do with the following article, it’s just the song I’m listening to at the moment which happens to rock.

I mentioned recently that I’m planning on outright removing traditional web browsers from my life (with very few exceptions), and I don’t think that I explained why. I hope that this entry can make my stance crystal clear so that we can have an understanding.

I have a history of abandoning technologies and services that I view as being on the way out. Be it Adobe Flash, traditional computers (with exceptions), and even e-mail (with exceptions), I’ve consistently put my money where my mouth is. I’ve inconvenienced myself for a bit of time, but I’m vindicated with Flash and traditional computers.

As far as I can see, e-mail too is on its path towards irrelevance, meaning that I need to find more dying technologies to get rid of. Based on my own observations the next thing to die is traditional web browsers. Dedicated service apps — from social networking to media to news — are the future and I aim to help show people why traditional web browsers are antiquated comparably.

At the moment I’m thinking up a list of rules for myself and others to follow once written and published. Getting rid of traditional web browsers is so much more complex and harder than any other tech I’ve shelved because, at least at present, they’re integral to our lives.

I’ve learned recently, however, that traditional web browsers slow me down in the face of apps dedicated to services like Flipboard. Finding news is so much faster with that than it ever can be using a traditional web browser; I’ve been a fool to avoid Flipboard as long as I have simply because of its dumb animation.

The Flipboard, Tweetbot, TechCrunch, and Pocket [iTunes links] iOS apps are what make this blog possible. (slightly) unkommon was a slow-to-publish, aimless mess before I decided to start waning off of the Safari web browser to find information.

Today I can A) find approximately 20 articles that interest me, B) narrow them down to nine, C) write a paragraph or two about each one, D) write a 300-to-500 word post about something random, and E) edit it all in less than three hours. I find that kind of phenomenal, particularly as a junior writer. I can credit having an iPad mini as a companion to my big iPad as speeding me up, but the real stars are the news and information apps.

As always, the only way to usher in the future is to live in it prematurely. Be the change that you want to see in the world, and you can move mountains; at least that’s what I believe. And traditional web browsers will almost cease to exist in the future that I want to see.

21: Paying The Bills

January 26, 2013

1. Unlocking Phones Is Illegal Again

I’m not sure that this was ever a concern of mine, but this is an example of the US government just not getting the tech industry. I feel slightly ignorant since the decision to make unlocking phones illegal today happened in October, but one thing is clear: Jailbreakers beware.

via FlipBoard for iOS

2. Mean Girls Is Amanda Seyfriend’s Best Work, So Says Amanda Seyfried

Yesterday I basically raved about Amanda Seyfried, and she’s already in the news again; this time for telling IndieWire the film that she considers her best work.

I’ve just worked a long time. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities here and there and I’ve made some good choices with the help of my amazing team…. I still look back at ‘Mean Girls’ as my best work.

I guess that I need to watch Mean Girls again.

via FlipBoard for iOS

3. Django Unchained Tied To Pulp Fiction

Now this is cool. Apparently Quentin Tarantino links his films together in little, pretty unnoticeable ways. Christopher Walken’s character in Pulp Fiction is a descendant to a gang member named in Django Unchained. It’s very interesting, and of course something that Tarantino would do.

via FlipBoard for iOS

4. Miley Cyrus Eats Pizza, Gets Sick

Honestly I’m slightly biased because I have a strong distaste for “Hannah Montana”; Miley Cyrus’s use of my name led to me being teased a lot by my friends. Some people outright called me “Hannah”, others who knew my nickname “Tanner” called me “Tannah Montana”, and it’s been very irritating.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cyrus getting sick from eating pizza is definitely news. Normally I don’t like to hear that people get sick, but in this case it’s awesome.

via @cambio on Twitter

5. Steve Wozniak Hates The Steve Jobs Movie (So Far)

Any Apple fan could have told you that the trailer for jOBS looks to be inaccurate, but no one has more authority than Steve Wozniak himself. So what does Wozniak have to say?

“Admin”, Studio Briefing:

in two emails to the Gizmodo tech site, has pronounced it “Totally wrong.” In fact, he said, he was “embarrassed” by the entire clip. What actually happened in real life, he said, is that he had been “inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club” to build an affordable computer. “Steve J. wasn’t around and didn’t attend the club,” he pointed out. “Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed [and] always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs.” As for how he himself was portrayed in the film by Josh Gad: “I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. … I never wore a tie back then. I wore blue jeans and the same style blue button-up shirt every day of my life.”

Not surprising at all. Tap or click here (YouTube link) to watch the clip in question.

via IMDb

6. Android Redefines Feature Phones

Preston de Guise, unsane.info:

Android is going into two entirely different markets when it comes to mobile phones. There’s the area everyone focuses on – smartphones. That’s where people get confused over number of phones sold vs web usage coming from the phones. Then there’s the other market – the market where the cheaper Android phones are going head to head against the feature phones.

And this is why Android’s market share means next to nothing. Android is a smartphone OS, but that doesn’t mean the phones it powers are deserving of the title.

I’d wager that if you were to remove the people who only use their Android phone to make phone calls and txt friends, the iPhone would have a higher share if the smartphone market than Android phones. But that’s just my guess.

7. Rumor: The Next iPad (5th Gen) To Look Like iPad mini

I use both a 5th gen iPad and an iPad mini; in fact at this moment I’m using the two side-by-side. It’s honestly disgusting how much better the iPad mini looks. It’s solid. It’s beautiful. It f***ing glistens in the light.

Apple should be ashamed that the iPad mini — which costs $170 less than the 5th gen iPad — looks so much better in comparison. If the 5th gen iPad doesn’t take design cues from the iPad mini, it will be a tragedy.

This rumor had better come to fruition.

via FlipBoard for iOS

8. Men Commit More Research Fraud Than Women

Now this is interesting albeit maybe unsurprising. Apparently, of researchers who commit fraud of one sort or another, 2/3 are men.

I say that this is “maybe unsurprising” because, while I don’t know the numbers, I’m guessing that male researchers outweigh female researchers. If A) there are more male researchers than female researchers, and B) we assume that each gender is equally ethical, then C) females would likely commit an equal amount of fraud as males.

Of course I have no proof of my above guess, so take it as the speculation that it is.

via @dougcoulson on Twitter

9. Apple Terminates Relationship With Chinese Manufacturer Because Of Underage Labor

Apple fired Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics — one of its suppliers — for employing underage kids. Good for Apple.

I’m surprised that the headline of the original article doesn’t read “Apple Responsible For Layoffs In China”.

via FlipBoard for iOS

10. Paying For Articles

Despite me writing basically for free, I’ve long held the belief that writers deserve to be paid for their work. This stuff isn’t easy; it’s a job, paid or otherwise. My mom classifies blogging for yourself as an internship, which is a good way to think about it. I’m not getting paid but I am gaining experience and learning something new every day.

But even internships are considered “work”, and internships do lead to paying gigs in the future. Or so they should.

Some of my favorite blogs are written by writers who go unpaid. These are people who pour their heart out into onto the web sometimes every single day, putting in an hour or two or three, and receive nothing in return except satisfaction. Last I checked, satisfaction alone doesn’t pay a single bill, which is kind of unfortunate.

Some writers have a large enough audience where they can plaster ads on their site and make at least a little bit of money in ad revenue. That’s all fine and well, however the problem that I see is that our readers become a product that we’re selling to advertisers, which isn’t cool. If I’m going to earn money, I should be selling my articles, not selling you.

Unfortunately that isn’t reality, and sometime in the near term (1-2 years) ads will go up on unkommon.net, at least until I’m comfortable asking you to pay for my articles. I’m hoping that I never lose sight of my goal which is to make money in an honest fashion.

To remind me of my goal I do outright pay for some of my news, The Magazine and Matter. Those two publications are very good, and the reason they are very good is that they have to be worth paying for. With ad-based compensation, we only need to be good enough to drive traffic. If we’re asking you to pay us, our work better be outright fantastic otherwise you’ll go elsewhere.

If you’re a regular reader, and you spend four minutes on my blog every day of the week (in the future when I write more) on average, that’s two hours of entertainment that I’m giving you each month. The cost of a two hour movie in theaters is $10. Now, the cost of movies is overpriced, so if we’re comparing just time of entertainment, this blog probably deserves $4 each month from each daily reader.

Obviously I’m not good enough to ask $4 each month from anybody yet, but when I am good enough, that’s probably going to be what I ask to read articles here. Just a multi-year heads up. ;-) In the interim you should pay for other articles that are worth paying for; don’t be intimidated, trust me, those articles will usually be better than anything ad-based. Because they have to be.

17.5: Locked In

January 19, 2013

At present I own three computing devices that I use regularly — iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), and iPad mini — all Apple products running iOS 6. Including previous purchases, I’ve owned six iOS devices in a little over five years. My computing lifestyle is shaped by a single company, and what follows is an argument in favor of that scenario.

To say that I’ve invested a significant amount of time and money in the iOS ecosystem is an understatement. I’ve spent $2,554 just on iOS devices themselves over the course of a little more than five years, and probably a similar amount in software and services.

Let me rephrase the previous paragraph; even if I wanted to, leaving iOS for a competing platform would be difficult and the financial hit would be depressing. It’s in my best interest to stick to using iPhones and iPads because otherwise I’d have to start over which, again, is unreasonable. The kicker is that the longer I stay with iOS, the more I invest in it and the more locked-in to the platform I become!

Fortunately I haven’t ever wanted a device powered by Android (which you may know as Apple’s primary competition). In the history of iOS and Android I haven’t once paused and thought that Android might be the superior operating system; the “open” ideology behind Android clashes with my own behaviors, whereas I align with iOS.

Unfortunately I actually like what Microsoft has done with its Windows Phone operating system. So while I do still genuinely prefer iOS, my potential future with Windows Phone is definitely a casualty of being locked-in to the iOS ecosystem.

So the question becomes is it a smart idea to heavily invest in a single ecosystem and lock yourself into it? As far as I know, the time and money I’ve spent on iOS has let me get the most out of the platform, and its value to me is very high. If a company’s ideals closely match your own and you believe that it has a future, locking yourself into its platform and getting the most value for your time and money is probably smart.

If you aren’t sure, it’s probably a good idea to keep an open mind and not invest too much in a given platform until you find the one that you can stand behind no matter what. I’ve stuck with Apple in times good and times bad, and when the day ends I’m rewarded for it; but maybe that’s just me. I’ve copied and pasted the following quote before, but it’s one of my favorite web comments and it’s relevant enough to end with.

LareneDepopiet, CNET Commenter:

Companies, or brands have a style, a culture, a language, and that adds up to something close to a personality. This is very clear internally in the way decisions are made, priorities assigned, and generally what values are held. Finding that a companies values or priorities are a good match for your own, which you may not do consciously, will make you more receptive to its products or services. there is nothing wrong with that, it does not make you a fanboy or a zombie.
Just like you are more forgiving of your friends’ faults because you value their qualities, you can be more accepting of a product’s weaknesses because you appreciate a company’s culture. That does not make you stupid. In fact, in the long term, it may be smarter because you reward the companies who have values consistent with yours, even when their products are not, objectively, the absolute best in a category.

I agree completely. And this probably isn’t the last time I’ll post that quote, sorry in advance. ;-)

16: Don’t Kill Me Please

January 16, 2013

1. I Didn’t Come Here To Die

Check out the trailer [YouTube link] for this Horror flick that recently made its way onto digital avenues. I hear good things and intend to check it out this weekend. You can rent I Didn’t Come Here To Die on iTunes by tapping/clicking here, and on Amazon if you have a Prime membership.

via a friend on Facebook

2. Txt-Alternative For Kids

My search-fu is failing me at the moment, but based on personal interactions I’d wager that a significant amount of young kids send txt messages fairly regularly.

It’s no secret that txt messaging kind of sucks and is a pure cash grab by our mobile carriers, and that we’re all better off using alternatives like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, etc. Unfortunately services like Facebook Messenger aren’t incredibly youth-oriented, and now a youth-oriented alternative called Jongla is launching on iOS and Android.

Honestly I don’t particularly care what alternative service that kids use, but if we want to end the txting hegemony, all age groups need to contribute. If there are services targeting youth, I’m all for them.

3. Ashton Kutcher Really Really Looks Like Steve Jobs

The resemblance is striking. I’m still not convinced that he’ll do a fantastic job acting as Steve Jobs in the upcoming flick jOBS, however we’ll have to wait and see.

via FlipBoard for iOS

4. Self-Published Authors Kicking Butt On Kindle

At least in the UK, 15 of the top 100 best-selling Kindle books were self-published. That’s fascinating, and the situation is probably similar in many countries where Amazon sells Kindle books.

The world is changing.

via Thirst for iOS

5. The 6 Best Dresses At The Golden Globes

There are some days where you can’t not love The Onion.

via @acarboni on Twitter

6. 7 Men Gang Rape Bus Passenger In India

Faith Karimi and Shah Singh, CNN:

In an incident eerily similar to a sexual assault that sent shock waves worldwide, Indian police say a woman was gang-raped over the weekend by seven men after she boarded a bus at night.

So sad. It’s surreal to think of how much evil there is in the world. One of the things I hope to see in my lifetime is world peace, although I realize that it’s probably a few generations away. Maybe 100% hate-free is impossible, but I think that 99% can happen with time.

You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. [YouTube link]

via With Fetus

7. Wearable Computing Is The Next Big Thing

These days you can’t find a tech publication raving about watches and glasses that can do more than tell time and help you see, but do tech writers represent the general population?

I can see the value in reading my Twitter notifications without having to take my iPhone out of my pocket, but I’m not sure that everyone wants to make fashion accessories out of their mini-computers. I could be wrong though.

8. Easter Eggs In January

Arrested Development is one of the few TV shows that I’ve ever watched, and the fact that Netflix is bringing it back is fantastic. If you’re in the US (presumably — I can’t test anything in Canada or the UK) Netflix has a bit of a promotion going on. If you’re an Arrested Development fan, follow these instructions and enjoy!

via FlipBoard for iOS

9. Reason To Recover #709

100 Reasons To Recover:

Because one day my story will change someone’s life.

I’ve linked to 100 Reasons To Recover before, and if you haven’t checked out that blog yet, you really should. It’s kind of inspirational and it can satisfy as a life guide for most everyone feeling down.

10. The Death Glare

A common look that I receive from people who see me using both my iPad and iPad mini at the same time is the Death Glare. For whatever reason a solid amount of people have a problem with me carrying around two iPads; these people often tote around Macs which are more expensive than my two iPads combined, but that’s beside the point.

The iPad mini kills the larger iPad at “consumption” — it’s smaller size and weight makes it easier to use kicking back leisurely-like — so I use my iPad mini to find articles to share here. When it comes time to write bits about those articles, I keep the articles open on the iPad mini and type up my thoughts on the big iPad, which saves time as opposed to switching between writing and reading on a single iPad which I did before picking up an iPad mini. Not having to leave the app that I write in saves a whole lot of time, I can probably finish blogposts twice as fast now.

In addition, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m learning a nifty coding language called Processing. Prior to getting an iPad mini I switched between both the book and the Processing app on my iPad, which was slow. Now that I have an iPad mini I code on the larger iPad and read on the iPad mini. Again, having the iPad mini probably makes me go twice as fast.

There are genuine reasons that I have and use both an iPad and iPad mini. So what’s the deal with people?

I’m reminded of when I picked up my first iPad in 2010; I had an iPhone 3G at the time, and friends derided me for having an iPhone and a big iPhone that couldn’t make phone calls. The problem was that the differences between iPhones and iPads hadn’t yet been established, so to a lot of people I was seen as A) wasting my money and/or B) an upper class jerk showing off my wealth (which was a laughable idea if you knew my financial situation).

The iPad and iPad mini have loads of crossover, I won’t pretend that they don’t. But I have each for their differences; the iPad’s larger screen makes it good for typing, coding, drawing, and the type of content creation that I do, whereas the iPad mini’s smaller screen makes it good for leisurely gathering and consuming information, gaming, and consumption in general.

The hate that I’ve received is weird and, in my mind, unfounded.

15: Here An iPad, There An iPad, Everywhere An iPad

January 15, 2013

1. Feminist Porn Filmmaking

I knew that there probably were porn studios out there that respected their actresses, but I had no proof of it. I’m a feminist male, and the idea of unfairness in porn is one of the reasons that I didn’t like it. I’m not sure that one example of good porn can change my mind, but this article which describes Kink.com and its’ Model’s Rights fascinates me. Check it out.

Via @GoodMenProject on Twitter

2. Invisibility

John Hawkes:

If I can’t be invisible in a group of people and observe the behaviour around me and translate that into the roles I play, I won’t be as good an actor. If somebody rents Winter’s Bone and doesn’t know who I am, that’s probably a satisfying experience for them. If I’ve done six talk shows that week and they rent it, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s the guy I saw on the talk show last night” then it’s going to be a very different experience for them. It’s been a boon to be unknown because people are more apt to believe you, and that’s disappearing for me.

Pretty amazing. It’s fitting that John Hawkes is a pretty amazing actor, too, and this speaks to one of the reasons that I love Horror cinema — unfamiliarity. It’s no secret that a whole lot of flicks in our beloved genre feature unknown cast members, which makes it easy to see them as their role and not as an actor.

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

3. Nexus 7 On Contract

People are willing to put up with two year contracts on subsidized phones, and AT&T hopes that they’ll put up with contracts on already-cheap tablets too. The reason that people sell years of their lives to the cell carriers is that phones are outrageously expensive. The Nexus 7 costs — unsubsidized — as much as any given subsidized flagship smartphone. The idea that a $100 rebate off of a $200 unsubsidized device will compel people to sign two-year contracts is absurd. If the Nexus 7 were $600 and signing a two-year contract knocked off $400, I could maybe see people biting.

Until then, AT&T is just throwing stuff at the wall until something sticks, probably because it can’t find a way to get people to buy Nexus 7 tablets.

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

4. Star Wars “Live Action” TV Series

Nooooooooooooooo!

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

5. The Academy To Foreign Filmmakers: Good Luck

It doesn’t take a genius to guess that it’s probably tough for foreign films to land an Oscar nomination let alone an Oscar itself. But I wasn’t aware that the selection process sucks as bad as it does.

The complicated process to receive a nomination begins when individual countries put forth a single film as their official selection, with a record 71 submissions this year.

After a screening process, a volunteer committee of academy members then put forth six films for the shortlist with the executive committee adding three more. Specially selected screening committees in Los Angeles and New York next watch all nine short-listed films over a weekend to decide the five nominees. To vote on the final award, academy members must prove they have attended theatrical screenings of all five nominees.

However, some see the process as perennially flawed until the academy reconsiders the one-film-per-country rule. At the Golden Globes, for example, where no such rule exists, the official French Oscar submission of “The Intouchables” and another well-regarded French film, “Rust and Bone,” were both nominated. (Four of the Oscar shortlisted films are in French, however.)

As film fans we should probably be ashamed that this goes on.

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

6. Twitter Protecting Hate Free Speech In France

Apparently a few Twitter users in France think that the Nazis were right, which violates hate speech laws in France and elsewhere in Europe. Jewish groups in France are demanding that Twitter release the identities of the Nazi-tweeters, and Twitter is saying no.

I actually believe in “hate speech” laws. I think that we Americans would live more harmoniously if hate speech were illegal, even if that harmony isn’t real. What it comes down to is, should you be allowed to degrade others, and I think that answer is no, and I think that Twitter should comply with the laws in the countries that it operates in.

But that’s just me, and for better or worse, kudos to Twitter for standing up for what it believes in.

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

7. Another Day, Another School Shooting In The US

Well, at least this one isn’t an elementary school.

Something really needs to be done about the gun violence in this country. It’s kind of getting out of hand.

via Gawker on Facebook

8. California Makes It Illegal For Your Employer To Access Your Social Networking Accounts

This is all well and good, except for the broad little “misconduct” clause in the new law. This law is a step in the right direction and California’s legislature should be congratulated for taking that step, but until “misconduct” is clearly defined, employers can probably find ways to make you give up your Facebook account.

via FlipBoard [iTunes link] iOS app

9. Is Office Still Important?

John Moltz at MacWorld poses the question, even if Microsoft released Office for iOS, would it matter?

What I know is that Apple shipped its own iWork office suite — Pages, Keynote, and Numbers — on day one of the original iPad’s release. At the colleges I attended, Pages passed as a Word alternative, Keynote more than passed as a PowerPoint alternative, and I only had to use school computers for Excel since Numbers kind of sucks.

Considering that iPads are seemingly selling like crazy without Office, I think that it’s fair to say that Apple doesn’t care whether or not Microsoft releases it for iPad.

via @svartling on Twitter

10. Finding iPad mini

It’s no secret that I love my iPad mini — it’s become a part of my daily life alongside my full-sized iPad and iPhone. A little less than two weeks ago I picked up a “black and slate” model (16GB WiFi-only) because I couldn’t find a “white and silver” one. I almost wish I had waited, since I’ve come to realize that I’d much prefer the white and silver version. Don’t bet me wrong, the black and slate iPad mini is sexy, but the white and silver iPad mini is beautiful.

Fortunately Apple allows trade-ins within two weeks of sale. I’ve been trying to find a white and silver iPad mini at an Apple Store to trade-in since Sunday. Those things go fast. The Apple Store reps don’t know when they’ll get shipments in, and that particular model (white and silver, 16GB, WiFi-only) sells out shortly after stores open.

There are three Apple Stores in Oregon, so every day I have to take a gamble and choose one to try. So far my experience is that at any given morning, one of the Apple Stores has some white and silver 16GB WiFi-only iPad minis in stock, and the other two don’t. If I choose the wrong Apple Store as I have every morning, the store that has those particular iPad minis in stock runs out by the time I can get to the store. It’s madness.

I’m going to keep trying to replace my black and slate iPad mini until my two weeks runs up (at which point I’ll just return it for cash back to buy the one I want when I find it). But at the end of the day, it’s obvious that Apple isn’t having a hard time selling iPad minis. I wonder what my experience trying to buy a competing tablet would be like.

13.5: It Just Crashes

January 11, 2013

I’ve been using Apple products seemingly exclusively over the past eight years, and I’ve come to expect a lack of “first world problems” to complain about. Anytime there is a software issue, Apple fixes it, and we all move on with our lives. The “Purchased” section of the App Store, however, is a glaring exception to that rule.

“Purchased” is one of the nifty things that came with iCloud in 2011, allowing iOS users to browse their entire app purchase history and re-download apps on-the-fly. Unfortunately since it’s release it’s been the single part of the iOS ecosystem that reliably crashes my iOS devices.

If I open up the App Store and tap the “Purchased” tab on my iPhone 4, and scroll for 30 seconds? Crash to the home screen.

What if I browsed the Purchased section of the App Store on my 1st gen iPad? It crashed.

My third gen iPad has 1GB of RAM and a dual core processor. So obviously it won’t crash like the iPhone and iPad before it? Nope. Crash.

As you may know I recently picked up an iPad mini. This is Apple’s newest iOS device, of course it will run flawlessly when browsing the Purchased section of the App Store, right? Wrong again Bob.

Crash, crash, crash, crash. On every iOS device that I’ve owned, old or brand new, since 2011 when Apple released that Purchased section in the App Store.

One can argue that the Purchased section of the App Store is probably the least important part of iOS and that I’m making a fuss over nothing. That I might be one of five people in the world who bothers to ever tap that tab, that maybe the reason it crashes is because I’ve downloaded a helluvalot of apps. But that isn’t the point. The point is over the course of my time as an Apple customer, I’ve come to expect a certain level of fit and finish with everything that Apple does.

It’s one thing for a 3rd party app to crash my iOS devices. It’s a completely different thing when the #1 cause of crashes on every iOS device I’ve owned since 2011 is something that comes bundled with them. It’s amazing that this hasn’t been fixed yet.

Apple does great, but it needs to do better.

11: 3rd Place is the Worst Place

January 6, 2013

1. Griffin’s PowerDock 5

One thing I didn’t see coming when I picked up an iPad mini to use as an addition to my iPhone and iPad (3rd gen) is the charging headaches it would cause. At least for me, the iPad mini doesn’t replace the larger iPad and vice versa, meaning I use them interchangeably throughout the day. For the most part I end up charging the iPad and iPad mini at the same time, so I have to manage two different wall chargers and two different cables. Throw in my iPhone which is a bit of a wild card for when I need to charge it and the fact that rooms have a limited supply of wall outlets, and it’s become maddening.

The Griffin PowerDock 5 is a single dock which will charge five devices at once. It’ll be available in a few months for $100, and it’s sure to solve the first world charging woes that tech geeks face.

2. Consumer Reports Says The iPhone 5 Is The Worst Top Smartphone — Or Not

Headline on iDownloadBlog: Consumer Reports places iPhone 5 among the worst of top smartphones

Actually, Consumer Reports said that the iPhone is the third best phone. Unless #3 out of hundreds has become a bad thing, consider this the Dazzling Display of Headline Bias of the Day.

3. Yeah, Why Is He So Popular?

Paul Harris over on The Observer asks: Why is Superman still so popular?

The article is a bit more deeper than that and dives into the changes Superman has gone through as time changed, but I dig the question. Being fully honest, I haven’t ever liked Superman; the hero or the shows/movies that he shows up in. Superman has a single weakness which conveniently is exotic and pretty hard to find. As he is a God-like character, there isn’t much for us puny humans to empathize with. So what’s the draw?

4. The Waterproof Hearing Aid

Siemens never fails to impress me, and while The Ramones haven’t ruined my hearing yet, I certainly appreciate progress for people who are disabled. Hearing aids are electric, and as such, subject to the same water damage that voids your iPhone’s warranty. No longer, as Siemens has created a hearing aid that can be submersed in as much as three meters of water. If you are hard of hearing, ask your doctor if the Aquaris hearing aid is right for you.

5. So Why Is Leatherface So Popular?

Texas Chainsaw 3D brought in an estimated $23 million at the domestic box office, bringing it to #1 in the U.S. charts.

As a Horror hound I understand the satisfaction of seeing (fictional) teenagers get sliced and diced in 3D, but it amazes me that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise — or at least its characters — can stand the test of time. I have to reserve judgement since I haven’t seen Texas Chainsaw 3D yet, but I’m not sure that anything other than more impressive gore can be added to the franchise. The biggest problem with remakes and reboots is that creativity is restricted. Even in unoriginal films, at least the characters are new. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is done in my mind.

6. Facebook Standing Up For Privacy?

This is news to me: Facebook is refusing to grant access to users’ private information that could alter the results of a murder case. Honestly I’m surprised that Facebook doesn’t sell it to the highest bidding lawyer, but I’m happy to know that the posts I set to “friends only” will only be seen by my friends. Kudos, Facebook.

7. Rebel Wilson To Kidnap One Direction

Honestly I just find this story funny.

8. Ornithologist Forced To Explain Why Humans Can’t Become Birds

As reported by The Onion, ornithologist Ethan R. Lewis was forced to participate in the History Channel’s new program, What If Humans Suddenly Became Birds?

To be honest I wasn’t even aware that “ornithology” was a thing. I knew that there were people who studied birds, and I knew the study had to be called something, but I was never curious enough to actually look it up. Thank you Onion editors. :-)

9. Processing In The News!

It’s interesting to see The Verge doing a story about the programming language that I’m learning, Processing (and others). One thing that I’ve noticed about Processing is that not very many normal people even know what it is, so seeing it get a shoutout on a large blog like The Verge is encouraging (maybe even inspiring) and makes me want to work even harder at being a generative designer.

Honestly in learning this coding language I need all the encouragement I can get, as prior to a week ago I knew next to nothing about code and, while I already a statistics fan, I’m learning that I have to invest time in learning geometry and algebra if I want to be good at Processing. Learning geometry and algebra is something I don’t want to do, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for excuses to try my hand at a different hobby.

10. iPad mini Day 4

I’ve now had an iPad mini for four days, and I have a load of thoughts on it, but my biggest surprise is how my iPad and iPad mini are already diverging. Instead of starting fresh, I restored my iPad mini from my iPad’s backup. Four days ago the two devices had the same use at face value. But every day the app selection I have on each changes, and in examining my usage habits it’s clear that the iPad and iPad mini are very different devices.

I don’t set the iPad mini down in use; it’s very much meant to be held, whereas the iPad usually lays flat on the table. Think of the iPad mini as a lounging device, and the iPad as a productivity device. I haven’t closed iA Writer on my iPad since I started writing this post, and right beside it I’ve been finding news that I want to write about using Flipboard, Thirst, and Safari on my iPad mini.

If you prefer, you can think of the iPad mini as a second screen to the iPad. In the end that’s effectively how I’m using it most, and together the iPad and iPad mini cost less than a single MacBook Air (the cheapest Mac that has a display) which doesn’t come with a second screen. Since I type faster on the iPad’s software keyboard than I do a traditional keyboard, I’d wager that the $928 that my iPads cost combined was money well spent.

10.1: iPad mini Day One

January 3, 2013

I picked up an iPad mini today. After having visited various Apple Stores explicitly to test drive iPad minis, I figured that it’s time to take the jump and put an iPhone 5 on purchase on hold. What follows is why I took the jump and my first day findings.

The primary reason I wanted an iPad mini today (as opposed to waiting for the second generation) was because I felt it would help me learn Processing. I have the Processing book as a PDF, and part of successfully learning a coding language is following along with the book. Up until today I’ve been reading the book on my iPhone and doing the coding on my 3rd generation iPad, but having to read the book on my iPhone was slowing me down. The iPhone’s display is simply too small for reading 700+ page books, and I needed a more book-sized display. The iPad mini does indeed help me learn Processing faster, and I’m confident I can reach my goal of being at least an amateur Processing/generative designer by April.

Probably the second reason I wanted an iPad mini is the portability. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who calls the standard iPad unwieldy, but despite being thin it’s more of a device one uses sitting down than anything. I use public transit and I tend to pace like a maniac when I’m not sitting down. The standard sides iPad isn’t fantastic as a device to use on the bus or to use walking around, and in those cases smaller and lighter is better. I can confirm that the iPad mini has relegated my full sized iPad to tables where it belongs. Tasks like drawing and typing are easier on the full sized iPad when sitting down at a desk, however those same tasks can be completed faster on the iPad mini when walking around.

I’m not going to lie, another reason I wanted an iPad mini is because, from my experience at Apple Stores, games are more fun on it. I love gaming on the full sized iPad as much as the next guy — I spend way too much time playing Theatrhythm Final Fantasy [iTunes link] and Jetpack Joyride [iTunes link] — but the games are better on the smaller display. As with my above assumptions, I can confirm this to be true. Honestly I hate admitting this as a reason since I have a very difficult time convincing people that iPads aren’t “consumption” devices and they’re really great for productivity, but being honest, the iPad mini kicks butt as a portable gaming device.

Those are my primary reasons for getting an iPad mini. At least for me it doesn’t replace the full sized iPad, as the full sized iPad doesn’t replace the iPad mini. The two devices together make a whole, and the fantastic thing about having both is that I can choose the half that best fits my needs at any given time.

Sent from my iPad mini

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