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All posts for the month June, 2013

In response from messages from readers who are a bit perturbed by the 3rd party ads interfering with the content of this blog, I am trying a new blogging service called 10Centuries.com. The fees for a paid account are reasonable,  there are no ads. and I own my content. The appeal is triple-fold thus far. However, if I jump ship, I thought I would let people know why this move is necessary despite the very widespread exposure on WordPresses’ network of Blogs. First off. Not every page needs an Advertisement, and more importantly, when it is wrapped in an little pop up animation, it is disrespectful of the reader because of yet another thing vying of their attention. We are distracted enough these days. When I write, I tend to turn on my Noisehush NS400s I reviewed last week, and blast music.

Right now it is blasting my favorite Beatles Song, While My Guitar Gently Weeps in all its lossless glory that I ripped in iTunes 10.7. (FYI, iTunes is currently at version 11.0.4.) While I distracted myself to make sure George Harrison Wrote that song, Love & Rockets’ Here Comes the Comedown is up… ah distractions (kinda’)…

But as one of the lines I read for a character I played in an animation based on the best Social RPG ever (that I highly do not recommend), “But I digress….”

Idiocracy 

Usually I would have a break here, but. not his time. It is time to switch over to 10C! for the rest of this article… See you there.

TL;DR: These Rock. sound great, work well… 5 Stars

TL;DR: These Rock. sound great, work well… 5 Stars

A while back I wrote a review of the Kanex AirBlue, and gave it the thumbs up for its sound quality and easy of use. As I mentioned I was burned by Best Buy’s in-house Rocketfish Bluetooth headset, and didn’t want to spend north of $60 for another headset that ended up in the junk drawer. Well, I always keep an eye out for products, new or old that fit the bill: I wanted an (1) easy to connect Bluetooth Headset that had (2) good stereo audio quality for music and a (3) a mic for phone calls where (4) people could hear me clearly on the other end. The Rocketfish only fit the second and third criteria, and I had been using the AirBlue since the Rocketfish broke after 3 or 4 months.

I saw the NoiseHush NS 400 on sale at NewEgg for $35 — well under my $50 limit for a BT headset — about a month and a half ago. I don’t think I should have to pay much more for wireless headset than a tethered headset of the same audio quality. So, given I think decent quality can be found for around $25, if I add the battery, buttons and bluetooth transceiver, it should be less than $45. In case you are wondering, the NoiseHush NS400 meets or exceeds my criteria for what a bluetooth headset should be.

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On occasion someone comes across something I have written and completely misses my point (despite covering it in often more ways than one). That person completely misses the attitude and approach I use. That person thinks I am either a hypercritical hard ass, unappreciative consumer or worse, a hypocrite. So often I have to clarify and correct whatever false assumption they made in order to get the point across.

When I tear apart a program or site and call it on its BS, I am also thinking that I should avoid those problems or errors in my own endeavors. Or I am recollecting memories of a time I did the same thing, and how it was now filed under “learning experience.” Also, people think that I do not look upon my own work with the same unforgiving eye for detail that I use when evaluating a piece of software or hardware. Sorry, wrong again: I am my own worse critic. When someone points something out that they think is stupid, I will either explain why it really isn’t because of X,Y and/or Z, or do something a lot of people have a hard time doing: agree with them whole heartedly, call myself a moron, and fix it if I can.

Hey we aren’t all perfect. And that’s another thing: I realize that no one is perfect, and when I point something out, I do not want to use it as a jumping off point for a person’s defense of themselves. I want to signal “hey this is good, but what I think would make it better is…” As a matter of fact, there is another post in the pipe about having to write verbosely (Mode Verbose) in order to prevent misunderstandings. It is about how writers often have to straddle, clarity and conciseness. If you detect a lot of wordiness and over explanation in my writing and do not see why I am beating a dead horse, than I apologize for wasting your time. I just do not want an expression of an idea to turn into a flamewar or dismissal (thus, missing the point) because I didn’t qualify a statement, and someone with less comprehension than you misunderstood. It is also one of the reasons I try to avoid making blanket statements and over-generalizations, such as prefacing or peppering my comments with words such as “the best,” “every,” “all,” “none,” and “never.”

Last, I tend to treat my opinions like science treats its theories: subject to change upon receiving new good information. I think this flexibility allows me to alter course quickly if I am about to make a mistake (If I see it in time). Some people think those that change their minds about something are weak-minded, and this might be true in some cases, but in mine and many others, I see it as a sign of strength. For some weird reason people think someone has to exhibit perfection in order to maintain credibility and confidence. That is not true: A person who is not bound so tightly to their beliefs, and doesn’t cling to them to give them a sense of self, has a stronger sense of identity. Think of it. Do you know who you are and only feel secure if your world is one defined by external forces, knit into one stable zeitgeist? Or do you define yourself, and revise that person daily to adapt to an every-changing worldview? I fall into the latter category because there is also such a thing a professional and social Darwinism. That is why when I make a mistake, I tend to find out what I didn’t see, why I fell into it and how I can avoid it in the future. So, call me hypercritical if you wish: I call it being mindful.

This post was written in 2 hours, and is very “stream/speed of thought” (read “rough”), but I wanted to share it enjoy…

When I meet other WebDevs, one of the questions I am often asked, after showing them a web project, “What Frameworks/CMS do you use for the backend?” When I say, “None.” Every time I say that, the look I receive is often multifaceted. The look simultaneously says: he’s nuts (Why the hell would any Dev in their right mind do that?), that’s a ton of work, followed by, the realization, “OMG this guy wrote all this stuff from scratch.” The question, “Why?” often comes out. The tone ranges from bewilderment to indignation depending on how set a dev is in their ways and their level of experience.

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A while back I ended up on a newer friend’s shit list, unbeknownst to me. After a few days of short interactions or lack of interaction when possible, it was apparent that it wasn’t just a bad mood, but completely about something I did to upset this person. I did not know what I had done, so I had to backtrack to the place where I last saw the keys of friendship that I had lost.

The next opportunity I had to speak with this person, I asked if it was a case of me saying something offensive: Yes it was. It turns out I made a comment, completely intended as a joke, that was interpreted as something completely different. Upon discovering what the comment was, I was stumped as to why it was offensive. I asked, and as it turns out, the way the comment was interpreted touched upon a sore spot within this person’s past experiences. So, I apologized, having not meant it as anything but a joke, and told this person that it would not happen again now that I knew where the issue was. I asked if we were cool, and the reply was yes.

However, since then, any attempt to connect to hang out hasn’t received a reply. In short, I’m on their shit list. After 2 attempts at communication, I usually give up if someone doesn’t reply: I can take a hint. But it is sad I cannot tell this person my philosophy about how I handle people who have wronged me. It boils do to this:

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Okay, since tech journalists far and wide love speculating, and taking the whiff of a rumor and exploding it into fact, that is picked up ad nauseam until when said fantasy feature is not announced people, including the same amplifying pundits, have a rage quote episode and decry how Apple’s ship is going down. How I truly hate that continual churn of stupidity. Let’s not include the fact that many of these predictions are not rooted in technical understanding nor have a solid idea of what a product really needs. And to be clear: any product needs to fill a gap, by making things either easier than before or make something that was impossible, possible (with minimal fuss in the case of consumer products). 

With that said, here are my completely baseless predictions on what Apple will reveal in about 9 hours presented to you in pseudocode-o-vision. Make no mistake: none of these have any basis in any current rumor or factoid about what parts assembly lines in Taiwan are missing this week, and all of the numbers (even the number of the new iPhone and OSes) are made up. 

1: Apple will slightly redesign the outside of the iPhone 5s, not that it matters because any tweak might look nice but be a literal pain to hold more than a few minutes at a time. (Chance of this actually happening? Meh; var Meh= ~10%; [note: all numbers are also completely made up.])

1.25: Apple will offer a 128GB iPhone 5S. if(anyoneAtAppleHasAppsGoneFree){Chance(Meh *5)};

1.5: Higher Res Camera (~10MP), a 720pixel display, a brighter LED flash, a bigger ~1.8Ah battery for a few more hours runtime (~10 hours on mobile data) . {Chance(Meh*7);}

1.75: The new iPhone will have a new improved accelerometer that registers fewer false tilts. Absolutely no dat that makes me think this can happen if(iPhone5s->DoesItNeedIt(Accelerometer++)){Chance( Meh% *√3.14159…);

 

/*By the way here’s a fun bet: 

Noivad:“I bet I know the last number of π!”

Patsy:“No way! π is infinite!”

Noi:“Yes but if it wasn’t what would the last digit be?”

PatsyCline:“No way you could know that!”

Noi:“Do too! wanna know why?” 

Patsayjack[SIC]:“Why?” 

Noi:“’Cause it’s Zero! XD” 

PatBucannan:“Grrrr!” 

Note: this joke requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, much like Green Lantern did… not because of the idea that an imagination ring that granted flight and super powers is really out there, but for the mere fact that Data for an Alien Autopsy was handing over on a 3.5″ HD in a lab that had the spare change to mount Neon Lights and unnecessary lifts everywhere & a super top secret drone fighter had a release party with press, cameras and a super top secret drone on display in the center of a fountain.*/

 

2: Apple will Retiring the MBP13″ in favor of New MacBook Airs (11 & 13) with better graphics and larger active and storage RAM, an updated iPad mini, and iPad Macro. Your truly will shed a single tear then buy 1 or 2, 2TB 2.5″ HDs for his MBP13, and some sort of bullet proof case, and clean its fans out more often. {Chance(Meh*2.5)};

 

3: iOS 7 & OS 10.9 will get a facelift. Why? cause that cute little WWDC poster with the translucent icon borders, and some mysterious new guy at iOS’s helm (whom I will refer to simple as JIve) who loves clean design. { Chance(Meh * 10);} //again completely made up.

 

4: Apple will open up iOS 7 to allow changing things such as the default browser, mail client, navigation client, contacts and calendar app to third parties and allow better interaction with Apple’s iCloud. Apps will simply have to be updated to register themselves as a calendar, a browser, a navigation app, etc. To show up in the list of other default clients. 

4.5: Siri will be able to pull up locations in Apple Maps or the third party registered nav apps. if(OS7->Siri > OS6->Siri) {Chance(Meh+75)}  //Yup, you guess it, another made up number. But it’s a feature I would love to see.

 

5: Siri will finally be let out of the box more. Siri will be able to set up appointments just by saying: “Meet with legal the week after WWDC to prepare my defense for this article,” and Siri will look up WWDC’s date, a legal contact (if you have it in your contact’s notes or any field with “legal” in it), and ask “will this be at legal’s offices?” I’ll whine, “yes,” and Siri will schedule the appointment. If I’m lucky, Siri will also set my alarm to tell me when to hit the road and send the location to my registered Navigation app, Waze. Siri will be in OS X 10.9 as well, and allow me to activate it with a control-space by default. I’ll tell it to “push this (by this I mean the document that has focus on my system) to my blog on Wednesday at 9AM,” and Siri will scan it and offer tags for the article, such as “Mea Culpa” and “Oops, I got sued again.” The reasoning is simple: since both OSes are under the control of JIve, teams will naturally start exchanging ideas and bring them closer to feature parity, and leverage the installed base of iOS devices to pick up Windows 8 defectors who decided to get an iPad instead of a SMurface Pro, after upgrading their desktop or laptop to Windows 8 and being horribly confused. if(OS7->Siri->GetsLove(AppleFocus)){Chance(Meh + 40%);} 

/*I would love it but the cool engineers at Apple (you guys know who you are) probably have their hands full actually making Siri distinguish between “Pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow at six,” and “Pick up my dyke leaning tomato axis.” Don’t ask me why Siri thinks I have anything to do with flood plane repairs near fruit gardens….*/

 

6: Better iOS <> OS X data exchange via iCloud. Set a reminder on my iPad or iPhone to pay my Netflix bill via paypal on the 10th with Siri, and my “maintenance” Reminders list on my OS X machine will open up my browser to hulu.com at 9AM on the 10th. It will also check my Queue and notice that A movie in my Queue will expire in 2 days and add that to my “downtime” reminders list. My “business” reminders will also remind me it is time to do a full backup with MySQL Workbench of my personal projects server and offer to trigger that script lying around ~/Documents/Dev/mySQL/Scripts that I never got to setting up a CRON/Launch agents action for. if(iOS7->dataPayload == iOS->dataPayload){Chance(Meh+65%)}; other fantasy automatic reminder features: if(iOSX->date->autoscan){Chance( Meh)};

 

7: iOS7 will offer an improved Bluetooth Manager that allow Airplay-like connect/disconnect options in any apps that support BT audio or connections because some bitchy customer (Me) told the AppleCare rep how stupid it was that you had to turn off BT to disconnect one device from an iPad, and then reconnect the other devices that you didn’t want to disconnect but has to, in order to release that one device for something else to hook up to it. if(AppleMonitorsSupportCalls){Chance(Meh*.2);}

 

8: iOS7 will offer multiple user Accounts, so each person that shares an iPad will be able to keep their Pandora account separate from their Kids and we have no more psychiatric admissions because Dad found out he was accidentally rocking out to One Dimension [SIC]!  Also, How many of use would rather keep our Browser free of links to <Insert This Quarter’s Teenie Bopper Idol Here> and home screen free of that clutter of time wasting games? Not to mention accidentally leaving your device with the store password entered right before the kids decide now is a great time to stock up on in App Purchases costing a few hundred dollars? if(AppleActuallyCaresToSeeHowTheirProductsAreUsedInWild){Chance(Meh *3 );}

 

9: OS X 10.9 will be more secure requiring people to mess with CLI defaults to install software that is not signed. Shortly thereafter 3 or 4 free and paid apps will be able to toggle this setting with one click.

 

10: iOS 7 will come with an upgraded Weather app, that allows you to control the temperature, cloud cover and humidity within one mile. Things will be great for about 5 minutes until people start overriding each other’s settings and cause tornados, flash floods and other events eventually leading to earthquakes and tsunamis before Apple engineers can turn off the iWeather server controlling it all.

 

While I am making predictions, I will take this opportunity to complain for a paragraph about the backslide companies such as Apple are making with their products: Hey how many people know that the Kensington Security slot is not present on the new Retina MBPs and the MBAs? And how many people even know what that is? Well, there goes physical security for those who care about it! As it is, Kensington is one of the few manufacturers who makes a case for the iPad with a lock for end users. Aside from them, I am not aware of any security cases for the iPad that are not meant for Kiosks and Register applications of the iPad… Apple’s design team apparently never takes any of their products out in public? Case Designer: “I got rid of that ugly slot on the side! It was really annoying, and no one knew what it was for!” Apple Exec that approved it: “Good job! That little slot was really annoying us with the extra 30 seconds it took the C&C machine to carve it out!” But whatever, a friend pointed out that Mac laptops are becoming disposable products with the tendency to use glue instead of screws in more products. 

Okay, well I thought I was going to write wild predictions about iOS7 offering to do your laundry at Lundry Locker or being able to point the camera at your eggs and it telling you the exact time to take them off the stove, but I guess I got too serious and just injected my wishes for Apple Products.