Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-03-05

  • @opbmorning Just heard about you on the radio (well, the stream I was listening to on my iPhone). Following! Welcome to Twitter, Geoff! πŸ™‚ #
  • @BrianEnigma there are a bunch of free Kindle books right now. Go into the store, show all, sort by price. Free samples of most books, too. in reply to BrianEnigma #
  • @buckmasterflash @MCP85 The size of the screen I’m reading on doesn’t matter. I’ve read hundreds on old PDAs. You just page more often. in reply to buckmasterflash #
  • @buckmasterflash Hey now, I started wearing glasses long before I started reading ebooks. Blame the dead tree books for that one. πŸ˜‰ in reply to buckmasterflash #
  • @jindofox LOL congrats on the new machine! I can’t help it. I try to use my powers only for good! πŸ™‚ in reply to jindofox #
  • Trying an experiment. I wonder if a) anyone will notice, and b) anyone will complain. πŸ˜‰ #
  • Heh. This other experiment has turned out to be a lot more fun than the first experiment. πŸ™‚ #
  • @kwspence Great post, thanks for sharing that. in reply to kwspence #
  • Hmm. Looks like Twitter’s having a fit. SSL/HTTPS is not working. Says twitter.com/home “page does not exist!” API stopped working for me. #
  • @blath @zecharias I am an iPhone guy, through and through, but congrats on launching a BlackBerry app! (www.blackping.com, a ping.fm client) in reply to blath #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-03-04

  • Surprise! New Apple hardware day! I love it when they drop these stealth lineup refreshes. #
  • But it makes me wonder what the rumored Apple event on March 24 is all about, if it’s not fake? #
  • Glad I held off on buying a Mac mini for my new home theater setup. Now, to deliberate and ponder about actually pulling the trigger. #
  • @PatrickMoorhead Software-wise, netbooks are no more or less risky than any other PC. I can see their size making them easier to steal, tho. in reply to PatrickMoorhead #
  • Wondering if the new Mac mini is the ultimate HTPC/@Boxee machine? How well will it play back 1080p HD stuff? #
  • I’m also interested in the new “dual band” mode on the new Airport Extreme. I’d love that. Enough to sell/replace my current AEBS? Hmmm… #
  • @verso No HDMI, but you can convert DVI to HDMI with a $5 cable. And it has digital optical out for audio. So don’t let that stop you! πŸ™‚ in reply to verso #
  • @jmoriarty Was just announced this morning, should hit stores soon. I don’t remember dates, but it’s Apple, so maybe tomorrow? in reply to jmoriarty #
  • @aweiss A Mac mini has a LOT more horsepower for video decoding than an Eee Box. And does more (Front Row, iTunes, etc.) because it’s a Mac. in reply to aweiss #
  • @funkatron Yup. Wonder if one is better? With both DisplayPort Mini and MiniDVI, you’ll need a dongle for either to do DVI -> HDMI. Hmmm. in reply to funkatron #
  • @aaroneiche AEBS dual band would mean I could run the faster 5GHz-only mode for my Macs, and still use my 802.11g stuff (iPhone, Wii, etc.). in reply to aaroneiche #
  • @aweiss Maybe Front Row isn’t worth the extra, but having a full blown Mac, with all it can do (web, other media, etc.) is worth it to me. in reply to aweiss #
  • @funkatron If MiniDisplayPort carries audio, AND you can convert to HDMI easily (keeping the audio), that would be SWEET. in reply to funkatron #
  • Hey, if you have a minute, I’d love it if you could post your ideas/comments to this post in the next little while http://tinyurl.com/b4uo2r #
  • @AndruEdwards I don’t know of any ways to get the Apple TV app running on a Mini, but that would be cool. in reply to AndruEdwards #
  • Thanks for all the great responses to my “what would you teach a lawyer” post. Presenting in 15! πŸ™‚ #
  • Law firm presentation went great – very well received. Had WAY more to talk about than time allowed. Guess I’ll have to go back sometime! πŸ™‚ #
  • Big news from my group at work today: Intel Academic Community now connects 1000 universities in 72 countries. http://tinyurl.com/1000Univ #
  • @jramvi Not hospitalized, but near it (infection in my leg). Getting better now. Haven’t tried Easy Peasy 1.0 yet, but I will soon! in reply to jramvi #
  • I can’t believe that the new 24″ iMac, with 4 GB of RAM and a 640GB hard drive is only $1499. That’s a terrific value, you ask me. #
  • @sirtwist For how much less can you spec a Windows PC with an integrated 24″ LCD? Or even an external one? No skimping! πŸ˜‰ in reply to sirtwist #
  • I need a clean, fast, simple, nice looking WordPress theme. Any suggestions? #
  • @blogan I realize that’s pretty broad. Anything with support for “asides”, the way K2 does them, would be superawesome. in reply to blogan #
  • @blogan Because I’m dumping K2. πŸ˜‰ in reply to blogan #
  • @spotcher Ooh, thanks. The Journalist 1.9 looks pretty nice. May try that one. in reply to spotcher #
  • @blogan Yeah, apparently it’s pretty easy to add asides to any theme. Looking for a simple plugin to do it now (found links to several). in reply to blogan #
  • @AdInfinitum Ooh, Thesis looks really nice, too. Very feature rich and flexible. Is it fast, or does it bog down under its own weight? in reply to AdInfinitum #
  • @AdInfinitum Oh, wait. Whoa. The Thesis theme costs $87. Too rich for little old amateur me. New criteria: theme must be free. πŸ˜‰ in reply to AdInfinitum #
  • Holy holy holy crap! Amazon finally released a Kindle app for iPhone! Going to grab it from the App Store right now. More to come! #
  • The Kindle App for the iPhone works EXACTLY like I dreamed it would. Grabbed a bunch of screenshots, working on writing up a post now. #
  • Here’s my review post on the new Kindle iPhone app, with lots of screenshots. http://bit.ly/eNId2 Let me know what you think of the news! #
  • @gregjsmith I’ve been talking about a Kindle app for iPhone ever since I got my Kindle a year ago. It seemed so perfect. And now it is! in reply to gregjsmith #

Josh’s Lifelog for 2009-03-03

  • Back in the office for the first time in days. Email backlog not as bad as I’d feared. I haven’t touched a computer since Wednesday. #
  • OK, so Gmail isn’t down. I can access it (web and IMAP) on my phone. So I think I’m suffering one of those “work proxy hates Gmail SSL” bits #
  • @pdxjdangel Yes, I was the one. On the Wii, GH:WT is the most compatible option. Instruments work with all GH games, and RB2 (not RB1, tho). #
  • So, Gmail Contacts and GCal now sync to the iPhone via Exchange ActiveSync. Anyone tried syncing a desktop client that way? Say, Outlook? #
  • @gregjsmith Yeah, I was thinking that since Contacts and GCal now speak Exchange (sort of), it might be a better sync option than before. in reply to gregjsmith #
  • @gregjsmith But how many calendars? Gcal sync to Outlook only supports one, right? Not that I want to use Outlook. Just wondering aloud. πŸ™‚ in reply to gregjsmith #
  • Uh oh. I think Gmail just went down again… I’m getting a 400 error from mail.google.com. #
  • @Mettadore You require 100% uptime from your mail host? Gmail has actually been (anecdotally) more reliable for me than Exchange at work… in reply to Mettadore #
  • @Mettadore You could keep Gmail synced with an offline client via IMAP. Or am I missing something? in reply to Mettadore #
  • @Mettadore Sounds like Hotmail to me. πŸ˜‰ in reply to Mettadore #

My Dreams Just Came True – Amazon Kindle App for iPhone

I’ve been waiting for this moment almost since I heard about the Amazon Kindle (affiliate link). I dreamed of a simple app they could write for the iPhone that would sync with my Amazon account, to let me download and read my Kindle books on my iPhone, sync my place between the two devices, so I could hop back and forth as much as I wanted, and basically turn my iPhone into a little “mini Kindle”. Even though I take my Kindle most places I go, there are times when I forget it, and want to read something. Since I’m never without my iPhone, I usually just read feeds or something, but now, I have my whole world of ebooks, at my fingertips across multiple devices, stored and synced on the cloud.

Tonight, my dream came true.

I noticed (on Twitter, or FriendFeed, I don’t remember) someone wondering how page turning should work on the iPhone Kindle app. “Is that out?” I asked myself. A quick Twitter search for iPhone and Kindle revealed that yes, in fact, it was available in the App Store. After one super excited tweet, I was off to download it.

I’ve taken screenshots of most of the interface, and tested logging in and downloading at least one of my books. Here are the screenshots, with descriptions. I’m sure I’ll post more thoughts after I’ve used it for a while, but so far, it works perfectly, just like I hoped and thought it would. Major kudos and thanks to everyone at Amazon and Apple who made this happen! You’ve made me one happy bibliovoracious geek! πŸ™‚

Kindle in the App Store:


Kindle App Splash Screen:


“Archived Items”, things in your Kindle account but not downloaded to your iPhone:


Downloaded books show on the “home” screen:


Reading a book – the main interface. Haven’t used this much yet, but I was super impressed that it knew exactly what page I left off reading this book on my Kindle, and too me right there:


How to Get Books. Basically, you have to browse and buy on a Mac or PC (or a Kindle, of course), though that link will take you to…


The desktop version of the Kindle Store web page in Mobile Safari. This works, but is obviously not optimized for the iPhone. Last time I tried, you couldn’t browse or buy Kindle books in the iPhone version of Amazon.com, or using the Amazon iPhone app. Maybe that will change.


The Options Screen. Pretty basic, only real option is to deauthorize your iPhone from your Kindle account (important to remember, since you have a 5 device limit).


In conclusion? This is awesome, long awaited news, and I can’t wait to play with it some more. Am I going to read less on my Kindle and more on my iPhone? Maybe, maybe not. I’ll likely end up reading more in general, now that I can access my Kindle books (and my saved place!) on my iPhone, and I can’t wait.

One interesting thing this opens up: now, people can download this free iPhone app, and spend money buying Kindle books from Amazon, without ever buying an actual Kindle.

What you do think about this news? Do you have a Kindle and an iPhone? Or no Kindle at all, but willing to try Kindle books on your iPhone? Post a comment and let me know! πŸ™‚


What Would You Teach a Bunch of Lawyers About The Web?

Later today, I have the pleasure of speaking to a group of tech and VC lawyers at a local law firm (not sure if they want me to say who they are) about why and how they should be using “social media” and the web. I’ve sent them some pre-reading ideas, and I have lots to talk about, but I thought I’d ask you what YOU would teach a group of lawyers about the web?

Here’s an outline of what I plan to talk about, but please add your ideas, links, and recommendations in the comments. I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

Web Tools and Techniques

I think a web savvy lawyer (well, actually, I think this applies to everyone) should be versed in the following basic web and social tools. That’s not to say you have to be an expert, but you should at least understand what they are, and how they work in general terms.

  • Feeds and Readers/Aggregators – Know what an RSS feed is, and how to subscribe to one in a a feed reader. Example: Google Reader. Know how to organize your subscriptions into folders, unsubscribe from feeds you don’t want anymore, and share interesting items with others.
  • Social Network Sites – Under the skin, most of them are alike. Facebook is the most popular example. Know what it means to “friend” someone, what a status update is, how to share photos and video, and how to behave yourself well, so as not to annoy all of your friends. Know what a social network site is good for and what it’s not. See also: LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.
  • Sharing and Tagging – Know the popular sites to share photos, videos, and other stuff online. Be familiar with the way some sites allow people to organize and categorize stuff they’ve shared using tags (Example: Delicious for bookmarks and links, Flickr for photos, etc.). Know what a tag cloud is. Bonus points for being able to explain “folksonomy”. πŸ˜‰
  • Blogging – In general terms, know what a blog is, some features most blogs have (comments, feeds, categories, etc.), and be aware of the best (free!) places to start a blog, like WordPress.com, Google’s Blogger.com, etc. Be aware that it’s also relatively easy and cheap to set up and host your own blog, if you want more freedom that what you get with a free hosted blog.
  • Twitter – Know that it’s a “microblogging” service that lets people sign up and post short (140 character) messages that their friends/followers will see. Know what it’s good for (conversation, asking and answering questions, getting to know and keeping in touch with people) and what it’s not (pretty much anything that doesn’t work well in short 140 character messages).


There are a few people I consider to be very wise when it comes to understanding and explaining the intersection of law and the web. I highly recommend reading and digesting the things that they say.

  • Cory Doctorow – link goes to his blog, but he mostly writes elsewhere (Boing Boing, columns for other publications, etc.). Luckily he usually links to stuff he’s written, so his blog is the best place to start. He’s published several sci-fi books that, besides being completely and utterly excellent, are prefaced with Cory’s thoughts on why he releases all of his books for free under a Creative Commons license, and why giving his stuff away for free actually makes him more money.
  • Lawrence Lessig – Again, link goes to his blog. A lawyer, professor, and founder of the Creative Commons movement, Lessig is simply “The Man” when it comes to The Law and The Web. I HIGHLY recommend reading his books (which are available for free, thanks to Creative Commons). Start with Free Culture, and move on to, say, Code v2 and The Future of Ideas. Great, great stuff that will make you think hard about copyright and digital rights in general.
  • Bruce Schneier – Famous for his books on security and privacy, he posts great essays, thoughts, and examples of smart (or silly) security practices on his blog. I don’t know of anyone who explains more clearly the risks of giving up our privacy and making dumb, knee-jerk-reaction decisions about security. And privacy is a HUGE part of how the law and the web come together.


  • Creative Commons – every web savvy lawyer should be versed in what Creative Commons is, and how it relates to the future of the web. Creative Commons has changed my life in many ways. It affects what I read, listen to, and watch, and how I share the things that I create.
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – Again, a web savvy lawyer should be familiar with what the EFF is, what it stands for, and cases it’s won (and lost). That’s not to say that you have to support the EFF. But you’d be foolish not to be informed about it.

Sites and Communities

There are a few online communities that do a great job of covering and providing lots of discussion around legal issues on the web.

  • Slashdot: Your Rights Online – The YRO category on Slashdot provides a regular stream of internet-related legal and privacy news, along with vigorous commentary.
  • Groklaw – Applies Open Source principles (interested volunteer experts) to not only provide journalistic coverages of legal issues in the tech field, but also to collaborate on cases, like SCO vs. IBM.
  • Reddit Law – members of the community submit links, vote, and comment on them. There are many, many Reddit communities (go ahead and look – there’s probably one for your favorite topic, and if there’s not, you can start one).

What Would YOU Teach a Lawyer?

Those are the things I plan to share, if I have time for them all. πŸ™‚ What about you? What web site, book, expert, or community can you think of that a web savvy lawyer needs to know about? I’d love it if you leave your ideas in the comments. I plan to share this post when I give my presentation to the law firm, and it would be great if they could come back once in a while, and see it growing with your suggestions and ideas. Thanks! πŸ™‚