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Showing posts from July, 2008

Avast Ye Mateys

A Tall Ship comes up on the stern of the morning ferry.

Whale Watching

No Internets Originally uploaded by tristanotierney Twinkle continues its evolution of the application, along with it's cetacean manifestation. Note the classic language use, to boot: plural "internets," a well-known meme; the ubiquitous misspelling of "teh". These guys just plain get it.

Back To You meets Bad Influence

This can't be real life. In Philadelphia, we have a tale of two news anchors. You know, those folks that laugh and smile on newscasts, yet probably hate each other off camera? Never truer words were said, as the antics of these two simply defy imagination. Some examples? One, Larry Mendte, was recently fired, then hacked into his co-anchor Alycia Lane's e-mail account over 500 times. Lane had an off-air scuffle with an NYPD officer. Mendte shared some of Lane's personal emails with a print reporter. Lane sends cheesecake photos of herself to NFL Network's Rich Eisen, only to have them opened by Eisen's wife. You can't make this stuff up, folks. My favorite line of the whole story, though, was this: " Authorities found a picture of Lane in a bikini on Mendte's computer, though there are no charges connected to the image. " No charges connected to the image. Oh, whew, guess they are both off the hook, right? ;-) And you thought local TV news was bor

Watch. Like. BUY.

About a decade ago, I was running the new media ventures of a large specialty electronics and gifts company. While the web was my primary focus, I still experimented with a few offbeat ideas. One was from the country's largest cable company: they wanted to introduce one-click buying of items that were featured in certain television shows. It worked like this: the cable company would get advance viewings of upcoming episodes of popular shows. They would then look for products in the shows, and find retailers who sold them. Then, after making deals with people like me, when the show actually ran, there would be a little pop-up on screen, inviting you to buy the item for $X, and it would be billed to your cable bill, and sent to the house where your cable service was. Thus, you'd be watching an episode of Friends , and see a cool stereo; the pop-up would come up, and with one click of the remote, you could have Ross and Rachel's very own jukebox. Slick, huh? Of course, it neve

A Tale of Exchange, Gmail and the iPhone

With iPhone 2.0, you now have Exchange support. For folks like me, this is great, but has some side effects. First, I use Outlook to pull down mail from my personal email accounts during the day. With Exchange, those emails show up in my Exchange box with no issues. However, on my iPhone, I also have my personal email set up: I use Google's Apps For Domains , and it's set up as an IMAP account. The side effect is that, even though I am reading my personal email through Exchange, I am also constantly notified that I have 25 emails through my personal account. Annoying. Sure, I could just delete my personal account from the iPhone, but I want photos and notes sent from the phone to come from my personal email, not a work one. What to do? It's complicated, but here's how I solved it: 1. Go into your Gmail. Create a new Filter, in your Settings. 2. In your filter, look for the words "is:unread" (without the quotes), and choose to mark any with those words as Rea

Evolution Of An Icon

Just installed Tapulous' Twinkle , which is an amazing location-aware Twitter client, on my iPhone. Of course, as expected, Twitter was having access issues. If you have ever encountered these issues on Twitter itself, they usually put up a cartoony picture of a whale , which has inevitably lead to the name "fail whale." So imagine my amusement at seeing this clever icon in Twinkle: Yep, the fail whale is now a slick looking icon. Bravo, Tapulous. Bravo. Thanks to Pete for pointing out the new way to take an iPhone screenshot!

Big cats in the desert

Schmap Redux

Just a quick note that Schmap, the travel guide site I mentioned in February , has released an iPhone version . Even better, in a burst of savvy viral marketing, they emailed the folks who contributed photos...or were harvested from Flickr. And, completing the viral circle, I have now fulfilled my blogging duty by letting you know. Congrats, my loyal minions. :-)

Reservations Required

This summer, the movie business has seen its ups and downs. Iron Man was a huge hit; Speed Racer was a crash and burn. Sex and The City was a sleeper surprise; The Love Guru just needed to be put to sleep. Always reliable Pixar served up another hit with Wall-E , and The Dark Knight is on the horizon; hopefully, those will make up for the duds that look to be in the form of Step Brothers and Tropic Thunder . In short, the movies maintain their boom or bust approach, even as they scream about the increased piracy and pressure, and the ticket prices keep skyrocketing. So, imagine my surprise when I found a theater that was actually innovating. No, not bigger screens or louder sounds, or 3D gimmicks. Instead, Robert Redford's Sundance company bought two theaters : one in Madison, WI, and one here in San Francisco. They decided to make movie going an adult experience: comfortable seats, including loveseats, balconies for 21 and over to allow access to a bar for adult beverages, a

iPhone App Review Orgy

Since the new iPhone apps don't have a "try before you buy" option, reviews become critical. Unfortunately, the reviews in the App Store seem to be more focused on declarations of how proud the reviewer is that he/she got their review done first, or complaining about the iPhone 3G, rather than extensive reviews of the applications, so it becomes even more frustrating. Luckily, Gizmodo has a " marathon liveblog " going, where they are reviewing all the apps they can get their hands on and updating constantly. True, it still has the typical Gizmodo smart-ass attitude mixed with childish humor, but the reviews are actually quite helpful, and already made me pull the trigger on a game I was considering. Nice job, guys.

iPhone eWallet: Not Complete Until August

Sigh. Even though the iPhone app for eWallet is due in the iTunes app store today, Ilium has disclosed that sync will not be part of it until August. Given that they have had sync between eWallets on multiple computers for some time, as well as the iPhone web beta client, this is a real shock and letdown. Having said that, I would very much like to call attention to the post where they explain why. It addresses the feelings they know this causes in their users, and attempts to explain why. It also acknowledges that this is a letdown, for both them and us. It's an excellent case study of how to communicate with your customers an unexpected delay. Folks like Apple could take notes.

Happy 2.0 Day

Yep, it's finally here. As of 9AM PDT today, I was happily installing the new iTunes and, most importantly, iPhone 2.0 software. I wish I could say it was smooth and painless, but being an early adopter is not usually a well paved path. However, I've now had all day to play with 2.0, and I must say, it lives up to most of the hype. I commented today that it was actually sad that Apple has technologically savvy fans who have all willingly paid over $300 for their product squealing in the ability to delete multiple emails at once. Sigh. That aside, there are some revolutionary improvements and evolutionary ones. The irony for me is that it took Apple and an Apple device to make me appreciate a Microsoft service, Exchange: we shifted to an Exchange system recently at work, and I was blown away at the elegant and powerful connection with the new iPhone. Push email, push calendar updates and meeting requests, and so much I know, you want to know about the ap

So Long Costas; Hello JB!

Good news today on the new cast of Inside The NFL, now on Showtime. Replacing Bob Costas, Dan Marino, and Cris Carter are Phil Simms and James Brown; Chris Collinsworth will be the lone holdover. I'm so happy to see JB in a non-CBS environment. He was the glue of the Fox pregame show for many years; it ain't the same without him. I'll miss Costas' no holds barred approach, but JB, you had me at hello.

David Burke dessert

A surprise complimentary dessert at Las Vegas' David Burke : gourmet cotton candy!