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Showing posts from January, 2013

Time's Up: The Quest For The Perfect iOS Alarm Clock

With more and more standalone devices being replaced by your phone, it was only a matter of time for the last vestige of a 1950's relic to join the pack, the venerated and vilified bedside alarm clock. Think of it: you plug your phone in every night, and probably keep it by your bedside; why would you need a standalone chronometer? Your old landline got replace by cell; your nightly book probably by the Kindle app...time for the clock to go away, too. But which one? Now here's where the plot thickens a bit. There are literally hundreds of alarm clock apps in the App Store, not to mention the one built in to iOS. Some are free, others a nominal charge, other exorbitant. Which to choose? Well, I'm happy to share the results of my quest, but remember: your mileage may vary with your preferences. In choosing an App, I had a few criteria that I wanted the perfect app to give me: It needed to be reliable. No special requirements or settings to work; it just needs to

Are Web Users Power Searchers or Channel Flippers?

Facebook's big introduction today of Graph Search set off all sorts of seismic waves across multiple companies. Investors reacted with gloom and doom in a variety of companies as big, bad, Facebook announced their intention to introduce a "third pillar" of their business by allowing users to search relevant Facebook friends' recommendations and relationships. The question is: why? Before I get to that, a note about today's announcement: a very smart move by Facebook to take advantage of that wealth of data they know about you in a way that doesn't make you scream and run for the hills, and is actually engaging. Also, impressive move to put it in equal importance to their existing News Feed and Timeline products, the two most identifiable aspects of Facebook. No wimpy "beta" labels here; they are making their intentions quite clear. The problem I forsee is that search is, in essence, a mechanism to "pull" information: you have to ask

The West Wing Lives On Twitter

Thanks to my Amazon Prime membership, with it's growing catalog of free streaming TV and movies, I've recently been reliving the delight of what was the 2nd best show ever to air on US television, The West Wing . The first 4 seasons, with Aaron Sorkin pitching fastballs every episode, are some of the smartest, engaging, and emotionally riveting television I have ever seen, and they hold up, even today. One interesting phenomenon I've discovered, however, is that these characters, although off the air for nearly a decade, have gained a second life on Twitter, of all things. It started when I found the Twitter account for President Josiah Bartlet , the president so many of us wanted to be real. With great excepts like "Working with the Solicitor General to see if I can revoke citizenship for one Congressman an hour until a deal is reached." and "If we're making a list of the mentally ill in this country, start with anyone who remains a member of the NR