July 2013

<--Previous Month | Next Month -->



Sat 7/20/13 7:53pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


Glass, Home and solipsism Benedict Evans
source:

...I buy food there every week, but I don't consider myself their customer - at least not in the sense they meant it. Rather, it's one of 10 shops I go to in a week, and one of 20 errands I might run.

In other words, your customers' relationships with you are the only relationships you have as a business and you think a lot about them. But you're one of a thousand things your customer thinks about in a week, and one of dozens of businesses. And they probably have their own ideas about how they want to engage with you (though they wouldn't put it in those words) - assuming they think about you at all.


Batman is a Hoarder!

Funny 3 page fan comic.

NOOWIT
source: One Thing Well

Flipboard like web based clone.

Slicereader - Easy reading for Mac
source: One Thing Well


Lenote
source: One Thing Well

Simple Mac Note Taking App

Moom
source: One Thing Well

Mac program similar to Winsplit Revolution

Noteworthy Convenient Notetaking for Mac
source: Onething Well

Take notes from the Mac Menu Bar

Levinux A Tiny Version of Linux for Education
source: One Thing Well

Interesting.

Get Plain Text
source: One Thing Well

Like Window's PureText for Mac.

Sip App
source: One Thing Well

Like Window's Nadger for Mac


Exoskeleton promises to make Japanese schoolgirls taller, stronger
source: DVICE

Japanese Weirdness... watch, and stick with it.



I want to hear your



Sat 7/20/13 5:55pm # | tweet this



Watch Culture

When you look at a watch when you are with someone, what do they think?

Culturally they think you are checking the time because you have to be somewhere. Or, they think you are checking the time in preparation to say: "Oh look at the time, I have to be going". Or, they think you are looking at your watch to signal to them that they've been talking too long.

Most of the time, you know what I'm doing when I glance at my Pebble watch? None of the above. It vibrated, I glanced, my eyes come back up to them and in a half a second I'm back with the conversation, except the other person will invariably say something like: "Oh I see you are checking your watch, you must have to go?"

I then usually say, "Oh, no, I'm fine, it was just an @tweet to me", or "it was just an an email" and they look at you weird. Normally I then follow that statement with: "My watch is connected to my phone, I get messages and notifications on it."

Smartwatches if they become wildly adopted by the masses are going to change that "oh you must have to go" watch glance social signal.

I think it will be an interesting cultural change when I'm with a total stranger, I glance at my watch and THEY then say: "Did someone tweet you?". Then you'll know that smartwatches have arrived.

I want to hear your



Fri 7/19/13 9:09pm # | tweet this

Adapters for Samsung S4

I picked up two different adapters to play with my Samsung Galaxy S4.

Adapter #1 (the smaller one) is a Micro Male USB to USB 2.0 female adapter. $2.40+ free shipping from Dealextreme.com.

I bought this little cable to plug into my phone, so that I could plug USB drives into the phone. It worked like a charm. I was able to stream HD movies right off the the USB stick into the phones video player. Nice. It may also come in handy for use with a SD Card to USB stick adapter I use with my point and shoot Canon camera too.

Adapter #2 (the larger one) is a USB Hub plus Smartphone Stand. $11 on USBGeek. Overpriced for what it is. You can't actually plug it directly into the phone and use the fullsize adapter ports with the phone directly. Also for the Samsung S4, the little notch that holds the phone actually blocks the "menu" touchspace area so it doesn't work well as a stand at all. You can use it in conjunction with the first hub I mention above though (although if you want to do a combo like that, you'd be better off with something cheaper like this $4.40 hub.

In anycase, I plugged in a small usb keyboard, and a small usb mouse into the phone. The keyboard worked well (although occasionally you have to hit the ESC key to make the onscreen keyboard go away.) and the mouse worked well too. Not all programs work great with a mouse, but most that only need single touch and not multi-touch gestures do work. And using the mouse to select and copy text in a word processing app is nice. This excrsize was mostly a BIC (Because I Can) type of activity.

I can't think of many reasons to plug a mouse into the phone. The keyboard is slightly more usable I suppose. The micro to USB host adapter (#1) is small enough to keep in your pocket (I carry mine in a small pouch with my stylus and a small usb stick), so in theory I may find myself somewhere that I could borrow a usb keyboard for some impromptu large typing need, perhaps. I doubt it will be a frequent occurrence though.

Most of the time if I'm going somewhere where I think I may need a keyboard, I bring a small bluetooth one that I pair with my Tablet, but you never know, it's always nice to have an extra adapter in your techbag, but as I mentioned above, I'll be much more likely to use it with the USB stick, than any peripherals on the phone.

I want to hear your



Sat 7/06/13 9:18pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing





Ann Arbor comic book store Vault of Midnight expanding into downtown Grand Rapids
source: MLive.com

Very cool. Love the Ann Arbor store, looking forward to seeing what they do in Grand Rapids.





The Cube Spotted At Staples
source: Fabbaloo Blog


Unhappy People [no. 1015 - @XplodingUnicorn] - Neatorama
source:

I think twitter is mainstream enough now that you're going to see a real push over the next year or so to move it's usage norms into the same boring nonconfrontational pablum of "polite" "non-negative" conversation that would occur in a office. Too bad.

iOS 7 Is Secretly Baby-Proof
source: Gizmodo

Ah, the downside to losing the affordances of skeunomorphism.


Small Businesses As Third Places Experience Growth


I just like this phrase/notion of "third places".
How many places do you have? If you're not sure, here's a recommendation: three. Home and work are traditionally considered a person's first and second places, but the third has always been more optional. It may be a coffee shop, a tea house, a bar or even a public open space, but whatever it is, it isn't a required place providing shelter or income, but instead satisfies the human need to connect with others.

I want to hear your



Sat 7/06/13 11:48am # | tweet this

A sense of things at the moment

No particular order-- stream of conscience, more or less.

Social Media

Twitter and Facebook. Part of it's likely summer, but Twitter's felt slow and less real time of late. The newsfeed direction may be winning out over the social direction. One other thing I've noticed about Twitter-- the star which always seemed like a riff on the star save for later in Google Reader really seems to have shifted to a "like" usage ala Facebook of late. Facebook-- I really don't know why I frequent and read that service as often as I do, it's like a Jacob Marley stream of friend and family past.

The Web

The great RSS calamity of 2013 has come and gone. Google Reader is dead. People have scattered to the the 4 winds of it's RSS replacements. As noted in past blogs, I ended up on Newsblur. I'm liking it pretty well for the most part. It's hard to compete with the muscle of backend power that was the Google Reader Engine though.

The Media

I last did one of these types of posts on 6/2/13. I rambled on about media there.

It's summer, so other than movie theaters, media is in low gear at the moment. Fall 2013 looks to be busy though.

One media point of note. I bought a clearanced sound bar last month for one of the small tv's. It was probably originally $99 or something, but it was clearanced down to $35. While I bought it because I wanted a small soundbar, the thing had an off brand media player in it too-- including playback of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Youtube and others. In anycase my point is, if you look just a little bit, those Netflix type boxes can be had for uber-cheap now. I'm guessing within 2 to 3 years, they'll finally replace the cable box, if not quite replacing "cable" for many many people.

Devices

I ranted on this topic in the same post as above last month. There have been some interesting things in tablets this past month, noteably the Acer Iconia W3 Full Windows 8, 8". I still haven't seen one in the wild yet. But $350 for a full windows device and a touchscreen sounds very interesting. I'm sure it's still going to have a hard time breaking through the tablet marketing wall that is: iPad. But at that pricepoint, I could see adding one of these devices to my stable in the future, if for nothing else than to have a mobile Windows device that I could more easily pull files off my home server with.

My work changed their mobile device policy, and I decided to disconnect my personal devices from their email and wifi due to that change. I have hotspot functionality on my phone so I can be connected when I need to be on other devices through that, but the change from ubiquitous wifi at home and work and the loss of work email streaming to my phone and Pebble has caused a drop in "feeling connected". It's been a while since my work communication was so centered on my desktop. In the long term, it's probably a good thing though, but the gadget lover in me does miss the Pebble lighting up with notifications as often.

Still haven't seen anything "must get" on the 3D printing front. There's a few Kickstarter things floating out there, but nothing that feels really solid, if you'll forgive the pun, yet. Soon maybe though?

I also blogged briefly about a mini tablet I picked up at Best Buy for $50. So check that out if you haven't.

Not a whole lot else other than the Acer above has captured my eye on the device front this past month.

Games

I've said before, and I like to preface this often, that I'm not a gamer, but we did get an Ouya a couple weeks ago. Jennifer blogged about that here and heres. It's a neat device. Most definitely a first generation product, but it does open up an exciting entertainment vector of low cost casual app store based gaming for your tv. While it's had mixed reviews, and it's low cost has made most of the mainstream tech press voraciously disparage it. It is a neat and well put together device with great promise for the future I think. If it can get enough indy developer support and maybe a bone tossed from one of the big guys or two, it or something similar could really be a new way to do computing and gaming on your TV--- unless I suppose Apple completely kills them in their cradle by releasing a Gamer Apple TV in the fall.

Weather

Compared to last year, this spring summer has really be fantastic this year.

Comics and Fandom

Image comics launching a DRM free way to buy their comics as CBZs and PDFs that you can actually "own" and move between devices and apps was a pretty cool change in comics last month.

There also seem to be some interesting mainstream things happening in digital comics too, but it's much much harder to actually get a true sense of it. By many media accounts, video game, television and movie based properties are doing really really well in stores like Comixology right now. There was even a story a couple days ago about a company that will be making all sorts comics based on 80s television-- Saved by the Bell, Knight Rider, Punky Brewster and others. Tablets may be creating the mainstream platform for comics that the direct market never could, fanboys may end up being disappointed when the money and the talent begin to shift their attention away from Superheroes though. I think you can get a larger part of mainstream readers to read comics as a medium, but I'm not sure they'll want to read the same things that the fanboys have been reading for the last 30 years. Mainstream acceptance of the medium, through digital comics, may likely turn out to be a double edged sword. Think MTV and not playing videos, and replace that with comics/capes.

People, Careers and Jobs

I also did a pretty lengthy section on this last month. It might be awhile until I have much to add to that.

One small thing I have been thinking a little on though is just how "together" things can be now. Of course everyone has different circumstances-- ie if you're out of work, or over extended on your house or car payments, or going through issues with friends, family or spouse or having medical problems, things probably don't seem too "together", but if you're fortunate enough to know where your next meal is coming from, not worried about your basic material needs much, have a person or two to talk too and you're feeling healthy, it's a really interesting time in America where things are really "stable" as much as they are likely to be anyway.

We're sortof past a time of great technological disruption it seems. Sure there's more little changes to come and probably some bigger changes in jobs and health care to come very soon, but that feeling that "something unknown" is going to disrupt the status quo doesn't seem to be so omnipresent. It feels like for the next 5 years or so, we are going to get to live awhile in the future we just got done inventing over the last 8. That feeling in itself is a little weird, as it was easy to get hooked on the adrenaline of "one more thing" being invented every 3 months or so for the last handful of years.

Those of us that like and live for a sort of constant new vibe will keep our eye out for those things peeking their heads over the horizon, but most people are probably going to take a few years to figure out how to best use and take advantage of the toys and tech already around them instead. Sure, the fine folks of the masses will listen to us a we point to distant shadows, but I don't think they'll pay such things much mind for awhile anyway.

I think for the small number who are hooked on "one more thing" though, it's going to be a "what to do, what to do that's new" sort of fretting for a few short years anyway. That's my feels on that anyway.

I want to hear your



Thu 7/04/13 10:07am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing


DC Comics To Publish New Sinestro Corps Ongoing - Making It The Sixth Green Lantern Monthly Comic
source: Bleeding Cool

That's too many separate monthlies. Now if they had 2 series that came out 3 times a month, that would be something interesting.




Knight Rider, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster And Saved By The Bell To Become Comic Books - Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors
source:

this people, this is what it looks like when comics go mainstream. Now go off somewhere and contemplate what you asked for when you wanted more people to start reading comics.








Glympse teams with Evernote to keep track of your location 'trails'
source: Android Central

Interesting, but I'm not sure exactly "why" a person would want to do such a thing.



Tabulous.js
source:

A JQuery tabs module.

Star Wars Plush Balls
source: ThinkGeek

Basically, it's a Chewbacca tribble.

I want to hear your


<--Previous Month | Next Month -->