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Archive for the ‘Mobile Lifestyle’ Category

Failure is so rarely frankly discussed

The comments here about the failure of Everpix hit close to home. I worked for a photo sharing startup that I really wanted to take off. I still think all of the key reasons that startup was founded are true – most pictures taken die on SD cards or hard drives because sharing is hard. At the time, one of the market sizing stats we kept hearing was that four flickrs a week (or a month, or a day, I’ve slept since then) were uploaded to Facebook. Clearly, flickr, a brand I love, is dying. Nobody at Yahoo! cares, flickr is fail, and that makes me sad.

Another side effect of internalizing the fact that most pictures die after the shutter closes is I started trying to take intentional pictures – to really only take pictures when I had something to add, when I really wanted to capture a moment. The result of this is I’ve pretty much stopped taking photographs, as they’re all derivative. When I get a chance to make a joke or a pun in a photo… nobody gets it or it isn’t nearly as funny as I thought it was.

This clearly means I’ve failed as a photographer; taking photos when you have nothing to add makes for trite photos by definition.

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Written by Ry Jones

25 January 2014 at 7:00

Phones, smart and dumb

A little while ago I traded my smart phone (Droid 3) for a “feature phone“, the Gusto 2. The only thing that I found annoying was the lack of contact syncing; however, I found a way to do this indirectly so that’s no longer a problem. Among the plusses:

  1. week-long standby times
  2. lets me block all calls and texts not from a contact (very nice)
  3. light and small.

I was concerned for a while that I might be tempted to jump back, but the key question I asked myself was “do I get $50 a month in value out of a smartphone?” and the answer is “no”. This is how I got rid of cable tv, by the way. I wasn’t getting $60 a month in enjoyment out of cable tv, so it’s gone. I could cut $5 a month off my cable internet by getting cable tv, but I don’t want to inflate Comcast’s double play numbers and make a failing industry look better. Do I get $60 a year in enjoyment out of that? Yes, yes I do.

I was slightly tempted to jump to an iPhone, but they still piss me off. Love my iPad, to hell with iPhones.

Written by Ry Jones

10 September 2013 at 15:45

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

Nice touch

Chrome on Android 4.3 (and probably other versions, I just never noticed it) throws up a zoom pane when you touch an area with a bunch of clickable items. Very nice.
nice touch

Written by Ry Jones

15 August 2013 at 12:26

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

Gaia GPS: great app

I picked up Gaia GPS before heading to the great outdoors last week; after four days of use, I find it well worth the $20. The key feature is that it lets you pre-cache maps for when you’re offline; it also has a long list of map sources to choose from. You have to pre-cache the maps from each source that you care about, which wasn’t obvious to me before I headed out; I only had the USFS and USGS maps for the area, which are nice enough, but I would have liked to have the Google Terrain maps as well.

I’ve always bought small storage on tablets and phones because I don’t put that much on them; the ability to cache huge amounts of maps will change this.

The tracking and map making parts of the app are very nice; you can’t really create a rich point of interest, but you can take photos in the area of a POI and sort-of emulate it. You get nice elevation change maps on routes you record.

I somewhat suspect the utility on a phone-sized display. On an iPad, it’s wonderful; on a phone, I think you’d be scrolling and zooming an awful lot. The cloud sync is nice; all of your recorded data is synced to a website where you can download it for desktop manipulation.

It is missing the ability (as far as I can tell) to import KML. You also can’t edit tracks for re-use – if you take a side journey that isn’t productive, you can’t delete that data. You can download your tracks as GPX files, but you can’t upload them.

If you have Theolodite or Theolodite HD, Gaia GPS knows how to send stuff over to it. I didn’t find the feature very useful, but it was neat. I suppose if I used Theolodite more, I’d care about that.

Written by Ry Jones

29 July 2013 at 9:09

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

On fart apps

Needling Joe about his writing useful apps when so many people seem to find money in fart apps is fun, but I sat down with my partner in crime for dinner and we discussed building a fart app platform. What goes in to such a platform?

  • Fart of the week: IAP for new farts, which drives:
  • UGC, which means:
    • ratings
    • leaderboards
    • 4square integration
    • rev share – top farts of the week get rolled into the next update, owners get cut
    • fart competitions
    • fart ups
    • international fart brackets
    • pro-am farting
  • Tag clouds (get it? clouds?)
    • I only want whisky farts that echo
    • no wet ones
    • Think flickr for farts (fartr?)
  • inter-platform competition
    • rate phones on fidelity of recording and playback
    • sell phones for a cut
    • eventually, a fartr phone
      • comes in one color
  • Social media integration, of course

The worst bit is, I’m sure if this made it into the market, it would make plenty of money.

Written by Ry Jones

30 June 2013 at 14:17

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

So forget all that

I was looking for a new, tough phone, and saw this one:

The Intensity III’s ruggedized design passes numerous MIL–STD–810F* military tests, so it’s durable enough to withstand vibration, shock, extreme temperatures and more.

What text hides behind the asterisk?

The Samsung Intensity® III meets MIL–STD 810F specifications except for rain, icing and immersion.

So… not so much.

Written by Ry Jones

3 August 2012 at 11:52

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

In which I admit a weakness for fast pixels

While a Mac Mini is technically capable of running some really old video games, I haven’t been able to ignore how non-constant the frame rate is. Even with complexity settings cranked all the way down, the framerate for TF2 jumps from 60 f/s to 0 f/s for a few seconds. So, for that reason alone, I’ve kept the PC powered on.

When I mentioned this to John, he pointed out that the video card he gave me is really, really good, so comparing the PC and the Mac is really not fair. Point taken.

What I will compare is the iPod touch to my Droid 3; I noticed, after a while, that my Droid 3’s screen was looking grainy and washed out. I didn’t know the iPod touch has a high-pixel-density display; it wasn’t until someone pointed that out that the light went on. Non-Retina (I hate that term) displays are doomed.

Written by Ry Jones

16 June 2012 at 9:06

Posted in Apple, Mobile Lifestyle

I’ll have to make a trip

The LeMay collection is going on display shortly; 1500 cars, with 350 on display at any given time. I’ve been hearing out this for many years, and I’m glad to see the museum is finally open.

Written by Ry Jones

29 May 2012 at 16:21

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

I think he likes it.

John’s headlights were burned out, so we went to the auto parts store to replace them; I made him do all the work so he could get a feel for how easy modern automobile work is. He picked up some tools which should last forever. Afterwards, we retired to Moghul Palace to kill some curry and chai; Moghul Palace, as it turns out, is within sight of Best Buy.

When John bought his iPad, I said if he didn’t like it after a month, I’d buy it off of him; within 24 hours, we were back at Best Buy picking up stuff one needs for the full Apple Experience: keyboard, mouse, speakers, dock, Apple TV, and some other glue-type cables and adapters. I don’t think I have to worry about buying his iPad.

Written by Ry Jones

26 May 2012 at 17:05

Posted in Apple, Mobile Lifestyle

A spoiled Ice Cream Sandwich

Got refurb Kindle Fire, rooted it, installed a couple different ICS builds, it was total garbage, have installed stock roms. Total time in ICS: under six hours.

If you read the forums, it’s all rah-rah; my experience was stuttering displays and several crashes on swipe-to-unlock. Garbage.

Written by Ry Jones

5 April 2012 at 20:43

Posted in Mobile Lifestyle

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