Apps installed on my iPhone, as of 9/11/07

Apps installed on my iPhone, 9/11/07 – gateway drug to the world of iPhone apps
Finder – browse the iPhone’s filesystem
Terminal – command line
Sketches – draw in ink with your finger, on photos, shake to erase
MobileTwitteriffic – Craig Hockenberry’s baby
FiveDice (Yahtzee clone)
Preview – Image/PDF viewer plugin for Finder
Lights Off – game
ibrate – toggle the vibrate motor
Balls – roll a ball in a maze via the accelerometers
Colloquy – awesome IRC client
iSaber – swing your iPhone around and make light saber noises! (like MacSaber)
SendPics – send full size photos with EXIF data via email
SMBPrefs – preferences for the latest version of SummerBoard, the homescreen
Stumbler – scan for details of 802.11b/g networks


Bit Stories Video: “Junior” the Autonomous Vehicle

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

(reposted from the Intel Software Network blog – home of Bit Stories, my show on ISN):

The DARPA Urban Challenge is a contest to build an autonomous vehicle that can operate in a city setting – a car that can drive itself around town. Sound like science fiction? Stanford University is well down the path to achieving it with “Junior”, a modified Volkswagen Passat wagon, powered by a pair of Intel quad core computers, and some of the most advanced software in the world.

Sound familiar? It should. Stanford Racing Team’s “Stanley” autonomous vehicle won the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005. In fact, it was one of only 5 vehicles to finish the 132 mile desert course. So these guys obviously know what they’re doing. 🙂

I shot this 6 minute video at Research@Intel Day at Intel’s Santa Clara campus, where Stanford and Intel researchers were showing off Junior. I talked with Sebastian Thrun from Stanford and Scott Ettinger from Intel about the story behind Junior, and the hardware and software used to make him go.

Find out more about Junior and the Stanford Racing Team as well as the DARPA Urban Challenge on their respective sites. The DARPA Urban Challenge is scheduled to take place on Nov. 3, 2007, so tune and cheer Junior on! 🙂

The video file is a 640×360 MPEG-4 H.264 video file. It weighs about 73MB, and should play just fine on your computer, iPod, Apple TV, iPhone, or just about any other device that can play Quicktime video. You can download the video directly at this link, or watch it in the player above. The best way to get the show, though, is to subscribe to the Bit Stories feed in your favorite media aggregator (like iTunes). That way, new Bit Stories episodes get delivered to you automagically. The show’s home page is, and you can find other episodes and more information there. Enjoy! 🙂


Video: Tour of the 3G iPod Nano software and interface

Here’s the video I promised of me playing around with the new 3rd generation iPod Nano – the “fatty” – that can play video and games. It was shot at the Pioneer Place Mall Apple Store in Portland, on my trusty Canon SD700 IS camera. It’s 640×480, about 3 minutes long, and weighs about 34 MB. There’s ambient sound from the Apple Store, but I don’t do any talking, so feel free to watch it with the audio turned off. Also, this is the first movie I edited completely in iMovie ’08, which was pretty slick (I’m used to iMovie 6 HD). That’s probably worth a blog post in and of itself. Later.

You can download the MP4 video file directly at this link. Hint: if you’re on an iPhone, click that link to begin streaming/watching the video right on your iPhone. Pretty slick, huh? 😉

In the video, I go over the new Cover Flow interface, play the “Vortex” game for a little bit, play some video, and generally poke around at some of the other settings. This new software interface is shared by the new iPod Classic hard drive based devices, and theoretically, could be added to existing 5G iPod Videos via a software update, though it’s unlikely Apple will do that IMO.

So have a watch, and leave a comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. Enjoy! 🙂


Photos: Played with the new iPod Nano and Classic Today

Today I went to the Apple Store at Pioneer Place Mall in Portland, to see the new iPods. They had the new Nanos, Shuffles, and Classics on display (no iPod Touch, but that’s not going to be out for a few weeks).

3G iPod Nano 8GB

The new Nano is really an amazing piece of gadgetry. It’s quite thin, and feels almost elemental in your hand, like it’s a solid piece of something. The screen is great, and the new UI is pretty cool, too.
3G iPod Nano 8GB

Several people purchased Nanos while I was there, and almost everyone I heard passing by the Apple Store (I sat on a bench outside for a while, working on some things and availing myself of their wifi) said “hey, let’s go see the new iPods!”

The Nano is super thin, even compared to my 11.6mm thick iPhone:

3G iPod Nano, iPhone

I also checked out the 80GB iPod Classics they had on display. These seemed just like larger versions of the Nano, which is kind of weird (given that the Nano was originally a smaller version of the iPod – the Nano seems to be the dominant one of the family, now). Nothing really special about them, except for the matte metal finish (no fingerprints). I took a few photos:
iPod Classic 80GB

And, lastly, they had the new Shuffles. There’s not much about them except the new colors, so, only one picture of them.
iPod Shuffles, New Colors

Strangely, they didn’t have any of the PRODUCT(RED) Shuffles or Nanos on display. Probably just not in stock yet. Expect that one to be a little more exclusive, and honestly, I think both the Nano and the Shuffle look great in red.

You can see the rest of the iPod photos I took today here on Flickr, and I also shot a 3 minute video of the new OS/interface on the Nano (which it shares with the Classic), including Cover Flow, playing a game, and watching video. I’ll post that soon.


New iPod Nano (from iPhone)

New iPod Nano, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.

The new Nano. More pics coming soon – I shot a bunch with my SD700.

Keep an eye on

Sent from the future on

Josh Bancroft’s iPhone


The Power of Voice – Apple gives $100 credit to early iPhone adopters

There was so much backlash about the iPhone “Early Adopter Tax” in the last 24 hours that Steve Jobs has posted an open letter to people who bought iPhones for the full $600 price, promising to deliver $100 in Apple Store credit to make up for the price drop so soon after the launch.

Beth Goza wanted an iPod Nano to make up for it, but hey, this will get her two thirds of the way to a 4GB Nano, or halfway to an 8GB model.

Eric Rice is going to put his $100 credit towards getting his wife an 8GB iPhone for only $299. Great idea.

Scoble says he’d pass on his family’s $300 worth of credit if only Apple would release an iPhone/iPod Touch SDK so people could write applications (more easily). Noble, but not going to happen for a long time, IMO.

Dave Winer wanted a t-shirt or a mug or something to commemorate the fact that we were early adopters (Fake Steve Jobs has his own idea for how to show you were an early adopter, and his own idea for a t-shirt):


As for me, I don’t know what I’m going to do with my $100 Apple store credit yet. But I do know that this is a great example of the fact that we all have a voice that big businesses like Apple have to listen to when we use it. Apple is the most arrogant company around (just yesterday, Steve Jobs was quoted as saying “that’s the way technology works”). It sounds trite and corny, but dangit, it’s true.

This time, even Apple seems a little taken aback at the fury of the bloggers, press, and pretty much anyone who wanted to express themselves on the issue. The most arrogant company in the world changed course in under 24 hours. The world changed a little today.


Wilkommen readers from Spiegel Online

I noticed a trackback from on my “iPhone Early Adopter Tax” post, and a subsequent flow of visitors, comments, and more trackbacks.

So, ich sage wilkommen zu meinen Deutsch sprechen visitors. Apologies for the crappy German – it’s been 10+ years since I studied German, and have learned a couple of other languages since then, which seems to have crowded my German speaking ability out of my brain. 🙂

Also sage ich meiner deutschsprechender Besucher “Wilkommen”!

(Thanks to Ioannus de Verani for helping me with the translation! 🙂 )

Oder, Also sage Ich “Herzlich Willkommen!” zu meinen Deutsch sprechenden Besuchern.

(Thanks to Armin for that one).

Whichever one is correct, welcome to any German-speaking readers who got here from the Spiegel article. 🙂


Google Reader now moves to the next folder when you’re done reading

Just discovered another nice little tweak from yesterday’s Google Reader update. Now, when you’re reading items in a folder (tag) using the space bar or “j”, it automatically takes you to the next folder with unread items in your list when you get to the end of the current folder.

So, instead of “tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, mouse to next folder and click, tap, tap, …”

It’s “tap, tap, tap, tap, (switch to next folder happens seamlessly here), tap, tap, tap…”

Yay! 🙂


Google Reader finally gets a Search feature

I was noticing a few little tweaks in the Google Reader interface tonight (unread counts now go up to 1000+ instead of 100+, there’s a “Loading” spinner animation, etc.), and then I saw this post on the Official Google Reader Blog with the big news – they’ve (finally) added search to Google Reader:
Google Reader Search
You can search all of your feeds, search only within a certain folder, or only within a certain feed (by picking in the drop down). Very nice.
Google Reader Search Results
I’ve wished for this feature several times in the past week, to try to find something I vaguely remembered reading in a feed. I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks, Google Reader Team! 🙂

A couple other tweaks I noticed: you are automatically moved to the next folder with unread items when reading with the spacebar or “J” key. And the “Subscribe” interface has changed a bit:

Google Reader New Subscribe.png