Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-31

  • Watching @gabebancroft at home, on the phone for a meeting, and trying to write the blog post announcing #IP5 speakers, all at once. Whee! #
  • RT @igniteportland Talk lineup for Ignite Portland 5 is up! Check out the burning ideas you’ll see on the 19th: http://bit.ly/ip5talks #IP5 #
  • RT @igniteportland To those reporting server errors, try again. Site’s working OK for me. Issue seems to be gone. #
  • @davest @markgross Isn’t giving the #ip5 Android talk for the same reason you’re not giving the Solaris one. Didn’t submit an idea! πŸ˜‰ #
  • @petegrillo #IP5 speakers automatically get tickets. See the notification email you got for more details. in reply to petegrillo #
  • @davest But seriously, I’d love to see more Intel people submitting Ignite talk ideas. Let’s round some up for #IP6! πŸ™‚ in reply to davest #
  • Speedy free wifi (5mbps) here at Amy’s Burger Shack. I should come work here more often. – Photo: http://bkite.com/04cd1 (from Amy’s Bur…) #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-30

  • @pdxjdangel Wii games? Which ones? I usually order from Amazon. Lemme know which titles you’re after, and I’ll see if I can find them. in reply to pdxjdangel #
  • @LenEdgerly Got more info on the “pre-order now, receive a Kindle 2 when they come out” thing? That’s just a rumor, no? in reply to LenEdgerly #
  • @jerry_makare just informed me he’s on his way to get an iPhone. Whee! One of us! One of us! πŸ™‚ I promised to give him iPhone Boot Camp. #
  • Sorry I can’t make the Westside tweetup happening at CPR right now. Didn’t know it was on for sure. Use Upcoming next time, and I’ll come! #
  • @jmoriarty When he asks about copy/paste on the iPhone, I’ll ask him why he needs it? I live just fine without it. πŸ™‚ in reply to jmoriarty #
  • @Alsymer I must have missed the meetup info. Totally my fault. I’m just bummed to miss out! in reply to Alsymer #
  • RT @turoczy Sweet! @igniteportland gets a mention from @rogoway in the Silicon Forest blog http://bit.ly/2ziJxt #
  • @LeStew Oh I know he can. I just want to show him all the cool iPhone sites, apps, and tricks that I’ve accumulated. I love showing off! πŸ™‚ in reply to LeStew #
  • @pdxjdangel @lawduck Here’s my Amazon store with the DS games I have, like, and recommend. Make me rich! πŸ˜‰ http://tinyurl.com/bdow6e #
  • Giving @jerry_makare an iPhone crash course. Keyboard tips, useful sites and apps, etc. #
  • Showing @jerry_makare Tweetie. He likes it! πŸ™‚ http://twitpic.com/18url #
  • @drthomasho I can’t remember, but I’ve become a HUGE @tweetie evangelist. I don’t know how many copies I’ve sold. I need a commission! πŸ™‚ #
  • Google Reader on iPhone seems to have received a UI update. Less jumpy scrolling. Nice. http://bit.ly/tYgA #
  • Hmm. Seems Twitter Search (via Tweetie, anyway) is all of a sudden not returning results newer than about a day old. Bummer. #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-29

  • @Jerry_Makare Ah yes, the old Intel Oregon Information Center. It does make for some cool video backgrounds. in reply to Jerry_Makare #
  • Who knew the word “personality” was so charged and loaded with meaning? Turns out it’s quite polarizing. #
  • @billpearson Yeah, I’ve heard good things about the Creative Vado HD. Bigger screen and twice the capacity of the Flip Mino HD. #
  • Love this: “It can no longer be Moses from the mountaintop.” (Edelman on communication, at Davos, via @jeffjarvis) http://tinyurl.com/al872k #
  • “Inform your employees and enable them to blog, for they’ll talk anyway. Communication moves from messaging to informing the conversation.” #
  • @digiphile Thanks! Launching Intelpedia was definitely one of the most fun and productive things I’ve done at Intel. πŸ™‚ #
  • @Obscura Thanks! (RT: a group going over on Vimeo to compare and contrast all the pocket HD cameras. http://www.vimeo.com/groups/pockethd ) #
  • Tweeters are tweeting that they got chosen for Ignite Portland 5 talks – congrats to all who made it! We’ll post the whole list Friday AM. #
  • Toying with the idea of posting the #IP5 talk lineup tomorrow rather than wait until Friday. People need time to get their emails, but… #
  • @bmw People are already putting together lists here. I’m looking at you, @turoczy. πŸ˜‰ in reply to bmw #
  • BAM! Getting my blogging groove back: http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com/ πŸ™‚ #
  • @bmw Yeah, but how embarrassing would it be if @turoczy scoops the organizers in posting the #IP5 lineup? πŸ˜‰ in reply to bmw #
  • @camikaos I know. So do we draw out the suspense, milking it for all it’s worth? Or just put the info out there? Decisions, decisions… πŸ˜‰ in reply to camikaos #
  • @ellyblue No press passes for Ignite, but you’ll be able to get in OK. See here for more info: http://tinyurl.com/azz589 #
  • have you all read @mettadore’s #IP5 post? you should. http://bit.ly/ckgq (via @camikaos) in reply to camikaos #
  • Waiting for all the #IP5 speakers to reveal themselves is oddly similar to waiting for the Cylons to come out. (via @TylerInCMYK) in reply to TylerInCMYK #
  • @kveton The question is, whose faces DOES iPhoto 09 think all of your bacon pics are? in reply to kveton #

iPhoto Loves Cats, iMovie Fixes Shake, Keep Your ISP Honest

I’m really going to try this time, to narrate my work consistently. I’ve set aside time, I’ve got a great workflow for all of the feed items and other stuff that I collect, and I realized that all I need is to gather, synthesize, and summarize at the end of the day. So here are some things that I’ve found interesting in the last day (that didn’t morph into blog posts of their own as I started writing about them):

iPhoto 09 Recognizes Cats’ Faces, But Not Dogs

Apple’s iLife ’09 hit stores yesterday, and the wires are full of people reporting their experiences with its new features. One of the new new major features in iPhoto 09 (the other one being geotag/location support) is that it can recognize faces of people in your pictures. Apparently, it can recognize the faces of cats, too. But, for some reason, not dogs. Why does Apple hate doggies?

iMovie 09 Video Stabilization

The other iLife 09 feature that I’m excited about is iMovie 09’s new ability to stabilize shaky video. There’s lots of sample footage out there. Here’s some from from Beau Colburn (via Daring Fireball). It’s pretty impressive, and especially good news for owners of light little video cameras with small sensors, like my Flip Mino HD, which are extremely sensitive to camera shake. Can’t wait to try it out for myself.

Google Launches Measurement Lab – Tools to Keep Your ISP Honest

Via the Official Google Blog, Measurement Lab is a suite of tools to help you test your connection speed, see if your ISP is throttling bittorrent, etc. Great way to learn more about your internet connection, and see if you’re ISP is not giving you all the service you would like.

That’s all for today. This was fun! Let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll try to keep it up, but no promises. πŸ˜‰


Amazon Kindle 2.0 Coming February 9?

I have been a huge Amazon Kindle fan and evangelist for quite a while (yes, that’s an Amazon affiliate link – make me rich! :-)). I did an excited video unboxing of mine when I got it, and I’ve written about it a fair amount since then. I use it an hour or two every day. I don’t know exactly how many people have been led to buy a Kindle after getting a breathless demo from me, but it’s more than a dozen. I’ve signed up for and done “See a Kindle in Your City” show and tell events. It goes with me in my cargo pants pocket everywhere. I pretty much love the thing. So of course, I’ve followed the rumors of the next Kindle version pretty closely.

Besides some pretty convincing photos of what Kindle 2.0 might look like that leaked on Boy Genius Report last year, there hasn’t been a whole lot of credible information on the subject. For most of its life, Kindle has been almost synonymous with supply problems. After it sold out in hours when it launched in November 2007, you had to wait 1-2 months for delivery of a Kindle. This persisted through April 2008, and happened again around the 2008 holidays (blame Oprah for that one). All year, the rumor mill has been on fire with Kindle 2.0 speculation – TechCrunch, Scoble, you name it, they’re predicting a new Kindle. Amazon has been typically coy, and has only said “the soonest we’d do a new Kindle is next year”. Well, now it’s next year, and there’s something afoot.

The New York Times reports that Amazon is holding a press event at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City on February 9, and that Jeff Bezos is going to be there. They haven’t said this event will have anything to do with a new Kindle, but given the fact that the original Kindle launch was held at a similar venue, this is like Apple saying “we’re going to have a music-themed press event, and Steve Jobs is going to be there, but we’re not going to tell you what we’re going to announce.” Everyone knows that means new iPods.

So what will Kindle 2.0 be like? The NYT blog post I linked above has some speculation about a new ebook reader chip from Epson and e-Ink (who makes the Kindle’s distinctive electronic ink screen. Called Broadsheet, it would enable smoother screen refreshes by breaking the screen into a grid of 16 pixel areas that can be individually updated, rather than having to redraw the whole screen (at the cost of 750 milliseconds) every time something needs to be changed. This sounds plausible to me (apparently Sony’s latest Reader device already has the Broadsheet chip), but it’s not mind-blowing. I expect this to be an incremental upgrade to the Kindle, rather than something revolutionary.

The big question on my mind is, how will Amazon treat the enthusiastic early-adopter Kindle community when the new device comes out? They’ve legitimately earned a reputation for caring about the people who forked out $400 for one of their devices. They’ve been really lenient about replacing accidentally damaged or destroyed Kindles. They encouraged and even help facilitate people staging “See a Kindle in Your City” events, which means they understand the value of an in-person, hands-on demonstration in order to help people “get” the Kindle. Almost every Kindle owner I know has become an enthusiastic fan and unpaid Kindle salesperson. So what, if anything, is Amazon going to do for us?

That sounds really whiny and “entitled”, I know. Tell me how stupid it is in the comments. It would be absurd to hope for “free Kindle 2.0 to all 1.0 owners!” or something that doesn’t make business sense for Amazon. But it would be in line with how Amazon has heretofore treated the early adopter community if they did something like “$100 of the new Kindle for previous Kindle owners”. They’re a big company, their job is to make money. But I can’t help but hold onto a sliver of hope that they might do something nice, even though they don’t have to (sort of like Apple did with it’s $100 rebate for 1st gen iPhone buyers).

Bottom line is, I’ll likely buy a new Kindle, sooner or later, regardless of what Amazon does. Can’t help but hope Uncle Jeff will help a geek on a budget out a little. πŸ™‚


iStat for iPhone, Remotely Monitor Macs, Too

iStat is a popular app/Dashboard widget for Mac OS X users that shows you things like how much your CPU cores are being utilized, how much memory you have free, network traffic, etc. Now, Bjango brings us an iPhone version that shows you similar things on your phone:


Nifty, but not incredibly useful. Although it is a handy way to find out things like your cellular AND wifi IP addresses, MAC addresses, and other stuff that’s hard to dig out of the iPhone OS itself.

iStat for iPhone also has nicely done Ping and Traceroute features, but what really makes it stand out, in my opinion, is the ability to remotely monitor a Mac computer. There’s a little free server app you have to install and run on the machine to be monitored, but after that, you can add it to iStat on your iPhone and monitor it remotely (even over the internet, if you set up port forwarding on your router).

So if you’re the kind of nerd that cares how much physical memory you have free at any given time, and what your CPU core utilization rate is (obviously, I am this type of nerd), you’ll probably get a kick out of iStat for the iPhone. It’s on sale for $1.99 in the App Store (normally $2.99). If you’re a Macminicolo user, they’ve got a special deal for you.


Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-28

  • #pdxtst @portlandsnow is falling pretty hard in Hillsboro. About 1″ at Intel Jones Farm, falling in big fat flakes. #
  • Emma’s school just called, they’re not running buses to take morning kindergarteners home because of the snow. #
  • iStat for iPhone is out. $1.99, just snagged it. The remote monitoring of Macs via the free server applet is intriguing. #
  • Was going to go shoot some video of the ginormous snowflakes that were falling, but they stopped. Harrumph. #pdxtst #
  • @chippy Are you saying you don’t want to read my gripping up to the minute weather reports? It’s a mania that afflicts Portland tweeters. πŸ™‚ #
  • The next version of the Amazon Kindle will be announced on Feb. 9, at a NY library event hosted by Bezos: http://tinyurl.com/chj4co #
  • Amazon has been terrific about treating Kindle owners as an early adopter community. I really, REALLY hope there’s a cheap way to upgrade. #
  • @samgrover There are some really old rumor photos of the “Kindle 2” from Boy Genius Report. No idea if legit. http://tinyurl.com/4rdnpt in reply to samgrover #
  • @spinnerin There’s speculation that since Kindle is backordered since last year, orderers will receive the new one. Would be nice if true. #
  • @ericajoy My problem is that I KNOW I’m going to break down and buy the new Kindle eventually. Just hoping for a $$ break for being a fan. #
  • @maksbestfriend I understand your argument, but Amazon has gone out of their way to treat early Kindle adopters well, which is admirable. #
  • @buckmasterflash But what if the Kindle 1.0 backorders are the first to receive the new one? πŸ˜‰ I don’t blame you. I’d hold off, too. #
  • @maksbestfriend And Apple DID give iPhone early adopters a $100 credit. They didn’t have to do that, but it earned them a lot of good will. #
  • @buckmasterflash It will pay off. And I’ll totally be jealous if you get a new Kindle before I do. πŸ™‚ in reply to buckmasterflash #
  • @kristinwolff I can think of at least a dozen people who have bought a Kindle after getting an “evangelist demo” from me. Fans sell Kindles. #
  • Flickup, my favorite iPhone Flickr uploader, now has Tweetie integration. Cool! πŸ™‚ http://bit.ly/1v5z1A #
  • Cool – apparently the face recognition in iPhoto ’09 works on cats as well as humans: http://tinyurl.com/cbp5wf πŸ™‚ #
  • @billpearson I’m wanting to check out iLife ’09 solely for the amazing video stabilization iMovie now has. Have heard great things today. #
  • @billpearson I’ve heard (today, from people who just got it) that iMovie 09 video stabilization does great things for Flip Mino HD footage. #
  • @JoshProStar daringfireball.net had good links today (with sample footage) on iMovie 09’s video stabilization. Sounds like great stuff. in reply to JoshProStar #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-27

  • Why, hello, world. Nice to see you this morning. I’ve been away for a couple of days, so just give me a bit to catch up on what’s going on. #
  • @GlennF et al – Nice job on the Ars redesign. Looks great! And can I just say “YEE HAW!” for full text RSS feeds? THANK YOU for that! πŸ™‚ #
  • @glennf I know, but your tweet was handy to reply to. Hat tip to Ken, Clint, Ben, Aurich, and everyone else. An amazing professional feat. #
  • Trying to get to http://www.halproject.com/hal/, because @gruber and BoingBoing say it’s cool. But apparently I’m not alone. Site=creaking. #

Narrating My Work

So much for rebooting my blogging. I suck.

But I won’t give up! I’m going to try narrating my work. I’m too heavy on the learn/explore/research side, and not heavy enough on the “share what I’ve found” side. Twitter and FriendFeed don’t count (well, they sorta count), but I think I CAN use them as notes/reminders on what I did/saw/thought about each day. A cheat sheet to my life. We’ll see how it goes.


Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-01-22

  • Creeped out that something called “Sting Investigations” is following me on FriendFeed. :-O #
  • RT @marshallk oooh, new TED app launches in apple app store http://bit.ly/PffU (I LOVE TED Talks! They make my brain happy! -JB) #
  • Yay! The Google App Updater thingy on my Mac just told me there’s a new version of Quick Search Bar. Hope it’s more stable! #
  • RT @Jmartens Any PDX Westsider’s interested in a Hillsboro/Beaverton tweetup next Thrusday the 29th, 12:30pm? #
  • The new version of Google Quick Search Box for Mac is MUCH better. More stable, a lot more sources are searchable. Get it if you use it. #
  • @bobduffy bit.ly is the best URL shortener I’ve used if you care about tracking. But I use TinyURL because of the Firefox addon. in reply to bobduffy #
  • @bobduffy I’d only use a proscribed standard shortener if it were better than the others (had a Firefox addon, universally compatible, etc.) in reply to bobduffy #
  • @bobduffy and honestly, I don’t think forcing people to use the same URL shortener is a good idea, nor will it work well. πŸ™‚ in reply to bobduffy #
  • @bobduffy “Keeping nerds from trying to do something is about the most futile thing you could possibly do.” πŸ™‚ in reply to bobduffy #
  • What other live video streaming services, besides Mogulus, use Flash Media Encoder? Anyone know? #
  • What “Social Media Experts” really are, and how to handle ’em. (I hope you don’t think I’m a Social Media Expert!) http://tinyurl.com/8gnnb7 #
  • That “Social Media Experts” piece was by @michaelpinto, BTW. I didn’t know his Twitter handle (found via FF). @nwjerseyliz kept me honest. #
  • When someone follows you on Twitter, do you bother to look at their profile/figure out who they are? I admit that I don’t. Too many. #
  • @bobduffy IMHO, if your site metrics tool is good enough, you already know exactly where your visits come from. If not, get a new one! πŸ˜‰ in reply to bobduffy #
  • @adamd Yeah, I follow back people I know/recognize, but I don’t go past their name/handle. I’m lazy. πŸ™‚ in reply to adamd #
  • So, if you’re someone I know, and I haven’t followed you back but I should, @me and let me know! I promise I’ll fix it. πŸ™‚ #
  • @xolotl Followed! I actually do know who you are, and I thought I was following you. Embarrassed, but thanks for reminding me! πŸ™‚ in reply to xolotl #
  • RT @IgnitePortland Hey! You only have about 80 hours left to submit your talk idea for Ignite Portland 5. We need you! http://bit.ly/ip5talk #
  • I love it when people leave the volume turned up on the TV in the JF1 kitchen, then walk away. And by love, I mean hate. πŸ™ #
  • @ahockley But the open environment lets me collaborate more effectively with whatever ranting afternoon cable talk show person is on! πŸ˜‰ in reply to ahockley #
  • @mariadeathstar Yay! Another Kindle acolyte. I wonder how many Kindle owners can blame me? I can think of at least 10. πŸ™‚ in reply to mariadeathstar #