November 30, 2011
Carrier IQ - Android Logs Everything

So the current bruhaha is that Steve Jobs Was Right, Android Logs Everything in the form of a program called CarrierIQ built into (some?) Android phones which, in short, logs everything the user does in the name of quality control. You'd think that this would be crash logs and statistics of some sort, but it seems that this (even if the user opts out of the service) will basically send everything to the CarrierIQ servers.

At the time, there wasn't a lot of proof to back up Steve's assertion, but as it often does, time has proven Steve Jobs right. Android phones do track you. In fact, software that comes pre-installed on millions of Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones log everything you do with your device, and sends them off secretly to its own servers.


25-year-old Android developer Trevor Eckhart has discovered a piece of software that comes installed on most Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones called Carrier IQ secretly logs everything a user does with his or her phone, including text messages, encrypted web searches, phone calls, location and, well, you name it.

I honestly have only seen a bit about this, so I'm willing to say that the fact the stories I'm linking to are on Apple oriented sites may say something about the spin. I'm interested to see if Android people will have the same reaction that Apple people did during the various "locationgate" and "antennagate" fiascos (ie: "meh").

Posted by Arcterex at 04:06 PM
November 29, 2011
Google Announces a New "Google Bar"

This is The next stage in our redesign apparently, losing the old (well, still relatively new) black "google bar" and replacing it with something that looks like it'll be a bit better and less intrusive.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:22 PM
Half Life Origins Live Action Video Short

This is How You Do a Video Game Movie via ForeverGeek.

I would watch the crap out of an 8 hour movie that follows the Half Life 1 story.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:55 PM
About Little Printer

So the Little Printer is cute, tiny, adorable and if you are looking for something that prints from your iPhone and in a strip (see the video for the use case they have in mind), looks pretty much perfect. Too bad it won't be available until after the holiday season :)

Wonder how much the ink replacement costs..... Either way, I'm definitely bookmarking this to check out when it appears in 2012.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:25 AM
Great Short Video About Marriage

Called: It's time.

Via Daring Fireball.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:38 AM
November 28, 2011
Fake Halflife Movie Poster

I would see the crap out of this movie based purely on the poster.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:17 PM
Google takes on Facebook with long Google+ TV ad

Heard about this on TWiT this morning... Google takes on Facebook with long Google+ TV ad. I have to say I'm not all that impressed. It has an odd pacing that doesn't seem to fit in with things. It looks a bit like some of the Apple facetime commercials, with slow pans over people, but that doesn't really fit the pace of what you'd think a brand new social network would have. Also as the All Facebook blog noted in June, Google is already your search engine (for most people anyway) and having that black "plus bar" along the top is about the only advertising that google really needs to do.

Maybe next year the focus on "social" that google has will have gone down a little and things can get back to normal :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:01 AM
November 25, 2011
Black Friday Frenzy Sparks Violence At Some Stores

I'm sure that some of the Black Friday madness was just a one off (don't we say that every year?) but some of the stuff in this story.... wow.... I agree with 512 pixels - America, bitch you be craaaaazy....

A woman at a Southern California Wal-Mart allegedly used pepper spray to get first crack at the Nintendo Wii games and Microsoft Xboxes that had just gone on sale. About 20 people were treated by paramedics for minor injuries. The Los Angeles Times said one police lieutenant described it as "customer-versus-customer shopping rage." Police are still searching for the spray-wielding competitive shopper.
Posted by Arcterex at 03:46 PM
Brutal Knitting

Brutal Knitting is a Tumblr Blog on... well, brutal knitting. IE:

Pretty epic stuff :)

Posted by Arcterex at 02:20 PM
First images from Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus'

First images from Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus', a new movie in the Alien mythology.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:08 AM
November 24, 2011
Tablet Numbers

Daring Fireball has a good look at the Fun With Numbers you can have in relation to tablet sales numbers.

I took a statistics class in University and the only thing I remember learning in it was that never ever ever ever trust statistics. You can literally make number say anything to support whatever point of view you have, and can do so convincingly. Whoever is tabulating the numbers is in control of the conversation. I can find you perfectly believable numbers that "prove" that Android is #1. I can also find the same numbers to "prove" that iOS is. Or that Ford is number 1. Or Chevy. Or really whatever my bias is. This is the same reason that you have to read the fine print on that late night infomercial that has reports and surveys for their "lose 10 pounds a week all bacon diet".

Of course, Gruber and Daring Fireball is obviously pro-Apple, so you can take that into consideration here. If you're a pro-Android person (and are still reading this) you'll simply dismiss his whole article as pro-Apple bias and that is has no bearing on reality anyway :)

Posted by Arcterex at 11:21 AM
November 23, 2011
Linux Hater On U1DB

I hadn't heard about u1db before reading about it in the Linux Hater's Blog. I have to say that even as a linux lover I agree with the sentiment that this seems like something that is solving a problem that isn't really there and is going to take away productive programmers from fixing the actual issues that are present in the latest Ubuntu. For example, here is my list.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:39 PM
The Sagan Series

The Sagan Series is a collection of videos that pay tribute to Carl Sagan. Great stuff. Thanks to Deesa for the link.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:53 PM
Amazing Google Doodle at

Hit the page today for a pretty amazing google doodle. Complete it and you get a very cool surprise!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:37 PM
Luminance iPhone App Free For A Limited Time

I have an admission to make.

My name is Alan, and I have an addiction to iPhone photo editing apps.

I get the free ones, sometimes pay for them. I love them, the presets, the 70s/80s/90s/Sepia and Black and White and every preset you can imagine.

But I never use them.

This one, however, looks different. Luminance, the universal photo editing app is FREE for a limited time, and after downloading it and having a quick run through, I have to say I'm impressed. An easy to undo timeline, about as many editing options as you'd get out of Lightroom with adjustments to white balance, exposure, hue/sat, split toning, and a host of others, all with easy to understand UI, or just a bunch of what looks like nice presets. So if you're like me people, go off and download this one.

Hey, what could it hurt right?

Posted by Arcterex at 11:30 AM
November 22, 2011
Doom 3 GPL Source Released

Proggit pointed out the Doom 3 GPL source release has happened. You can see the source here on github. Also noted in the reddit comments is this guide to the previously released Quake source code.

iD Software - you are awesome.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:33 PM
All About Infomercials

But Wait...There's More is a great article over on the Farnam Street blog (great design btw, check out what happens when you resize your browser thinner to smartphone width). You'll never look at infomercials the same, or advertising in general.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:16 AM
A Day of (Kindle) Fire Review @ 512 Pixels

A Day of (Kindle) Fire.

Spoiler: He wasn't impressed.

Caveat: Apple fan.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:00 AM
November 18, 2011
Red Band Trailer For Seann William Scott Hockey Comedy 'GOON'

OMG the Red Band Trailer For Seann William Scott Hockey Comedy 'GOON' looks awesome.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:21 PM
National Geographic Photo Contest 2011

Amazing images from the National Geographic Photo Contest 2011 over at The Big Picture.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:28 PM
November 17, 2011
For all those born in 80′s

Posted on my birthday: For all those born in 80′s.


Posted by Arcterex at 03:55 PM
Canada's New Plastic $100 Bill

Must be I do everything with credit cards (or just don't get an opportunity to see $100 bills that often), but looks like Canada's new plastic $100 bill is all tricked out.

Watch out counterfeiters: Canada is planning to abandon paper money.

Looks sexy, someone want to send me a stack of these... for journalistic purposes only of course ;)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:24 PM
Hollywood MegaMercial Video

I honestly have no idea what DC SHOES: KEN BLOCK'S GYMKHANA FOUR; THE HOLLYWOOD MEGAMERCIA is, but holy crap it looks awesome. Like someone sprayed a special effects department all over a video. Or something.


Posted by Arcterex at 11:51 AM
Navigon 2.0 for iPhone

My personal choice for iPhone navigation apps is Navigon, and the Navigon 2.0 for iPhone offers new name, download options today. I'm downloading in now to give it a look.

If you're already a Navigon GPS app owner you'll find a significant free update at the app store today. If you haven't chosen a GPS navigation solution yet, Navigon has given you good reason to check the product out.

Short story is new UI, maps that you can select (instead of getting all of north america for example, you can only select the areas you actually need (drastically reducing the disk space required) and the prices are all dropped as well (North America $39, Canada or US only is down to $29).

Posted by Arcterex at 11:24 AM
November 16, 2011
Trailer For The Snow White Film 'Mirror, Mirror'

Watch The Trailer For Snow White Film 'Mirror, Mirror' over at Geeks of Doom.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:27 PM
Google Releases Music Store

Here's a link to a google news search, however if you're quick you can catch the live stream of the announcement.

Short story, a google version of the iTunes Music Store, and (currently) only available in the US (but available now). This all sounds wonderful, but sadly as a Canadian, I won't be able to see or experience it (possibly for a very long time, based on the fact that going to sends me to the user not invited page. *sigh*.

There's the About Google Music page you can get more info on it as well. Still haven't heard anything other than "in the US" from the keynote.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:32 PM
The 2011 InfoWorld geek IQ test

Take The 2011 InfoWorld geek IQ test, see how geeky you actually are.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:49 PM
"Readability" Drops Paid Version

Over on the readability blog, they announced the New Readability with a great price point, free. This removes the paid cost to entry to an Instapaper-like reading list, and they have apps waiting in the wings of the Apple App Store.

Interesting changes, I'm looking forward to see where this goes, both in terms of competition (I personally love Instapaper) and in terms of what they are going to come up with (I personally love the readability bookmarklet).

Posted by Arcterex at 08:04 AM
November 15, 2011
Time Lapse View from Space

An amazing Earth Time Lapse View from Space by the ISS. Embedded below, however I recommend watching the HD version full screen on a huge monitor.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:21 PM
Back to the Future Before/After Photos

Some pretty awesome Back to the Future photos (ie: re-creating a photo from years ago) by Irina Werning.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:04 PM
Jawbone UP Review By Shawn Blanc

Shawn Blanc has his Jawbone UP Review online.

[...] By this time the Apple store I was at the day before is open again and so I call them and, LUCK! they have them. I speed over and am able to buy a medium-size UP. They only had black available, which was fine by me because that's the color I prefer.
Posted by Arcterex at 09:15 AM
November 14, 2011
A Clear Explanation of iTunes Match

MacRumors has A Clear Explanation of iTunes Match, as it was just released (US only so far, bah humbug).

Posted by Arcterex at 04:54 PM
Amazon Kindle Fire review @ Engadget

Engadget has a nice Amazon Kindle Fire review. Via this reddit story.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:31 AM
November 13, 2011
Fedora 16 Verne Released

Somehow managed to miss that Fedora 16 Verne was Released. Lots of updates, GNOME 3.2, a new "trusted boot" (basically what Windows 8 has built in), and all the expected app updates.

Here's the official announcement.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:37 PM
November 10, 2011
A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design, by a UI guy on the Microsoft Office vision of the future video from a few weeks ago.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:23 PM
Apple Releases iOS 5.0.1 to Address Battery Life Issues

I haven't had any battery issues on my iPhone 4, but nice to see Apple Release iOS 5.0.1 to Address Battery Life Issues. I did a software check in settings -> general -> software update and it showed up, and is currently "preparing update". I wonder if this'll fix my pet peeve bug of podcast playback speed being reset by an incoming phone call.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:01 AM
November 09, 2011
Adobe ceases development on mobile browser Flash, refocuses efforts on HTML5

So this seems to be big news coming in from last night: ZDNet is reporting that Exclusive: Adobe has ceased development on mobile browser Flash and will refocus efforts on HTML5.

This is interesting for a few different reasons... my thoughts:

  • Was Apple right from the start?
  • Will this affect the competitive advantage that Android tablets and phones have over the iPhone in their ability to run flash?
  • Has Adobe admitted defeat? If the iPhone wasn't a force to be reckoned with, why not continue development (assuming they believe that the future is in Flash and not HTML5)?
  • How will they deal with the issues in HTML5 that Flash has been effective for working around, ie: code obfuscation, hiding your source files, etc? (though this is more an issue for the desktop and not mobile I suppose).
  • Is this a prelude for things to come for the desktop?

Some other reading can be done over at yahoo news or the official press release over at Adobe.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:21 AM
November 08, 2011
Return of the Jedi On Set Shots

Some awesome photos and story from the set of the sail barge scene from Star Wars ROTJ.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 PM
Hands-On With the Apple Store EasyPay System

Hands-On With the Apple Store EasyPay System over at The Mac Observer. This is the next version of the Apple Store iPhone app (now available in Canada too!) which started as a pretty lame location aware sort of store app, but has now evolved to allow you to complete an entire purchase with only the iPhone app (though I think there must be some sort of monitoring to make sure people don't just go through the motions and walk out with stuff).

Product purchased, we looked around, feeling a little odd about having not worked with an employee, and then walked out of the store. Not a single employee nor the uniformed security door gave us a second look, despite the fact that we were walking out with an $200+ product under our arm.

Seems like now that apple has reduced the number of buttons on a laptop to 0 they can start reducing the need for pesky things like retail employees.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:30 PM
Coming soon, Photogene² for the iPhone

I have to say that I love the Photogene program for on-the-go editing on my iPhone, but the soon to be release Photogene² for the iPhone looks awesome.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:41 PM
November 07, 2011
Coding Horror on Lighting

Great article from Jeff Atwood on Bias Lighting over on Coding Horror.

The one thing that we can't abide is direct overhead lighting. Every time the overhead light gets turned on in this room, I feel like a Gremlin shrieking Bright light! Bright light! Oh, how it burns!
Posted by Arcterex at 04:12 PM
Siri Ported Over to the iPhone 3GS

And not that long after the port of siri to the iPhone 4, @rpetrich has gotten Siri Ported Over to the iPhone 3GS.

The article also has a list of why he can't legally distribute this or disclose how he did it, or at least legally. Bummer, but it's nice to know that it's not a hardware limitation that restricts Siri to the iPhone 4S (not surprising to anyway, Apple is a hardware company after all), and knowing the internet this probably will sneak out into the wild at some point.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:16 PM
Jawbone UP Reviews

Two reviews of the new Jawebone activity/sleep/diet tracking bracelet and app.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:48 AM
Motorola Droid RAZR Review From The Verge

The Verge, the relaunch of This is My Next, has a Motorola Droid RAZR review, for you Android lovin' folks itching to hear more about the next big (or in this case, thin) thing.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:40 AM
November 04, 2011
Project Ratway

Next time you think you or anyone else has too much time on their hands, check out Project Ratway and think again.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:51 PM
November 03, 2011
First look at Oink

First look at Oink, Kevin Rose's app for rating stuff.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:09 PM
Music Video Created with 28,000 Jelly Beans Over 2 Years

Very cool, title pretty much says it all. Check out the video here: In Your Arms - Kina Grannis and possibly more interesting, the behind the scenes making of video.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:42 PM
Trailer for the GoPro HD

Found the Sick Trailer for the New GoPro HD Hero2 over on F-Stoppers. Makes me realize just how boring a life I lead, and I'm hoping that if I were to get one of these little helmet mounted cams I'd spend my day base jumping, flying in a plane, swimming with sexy girls, and travelling to exotic locations.

That said this video needs to be played at 1080p and full screen on the biggest monitor you have.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:51 AM
Brazilian Police Car Rams Smugglers' Plane

Brazilian police car rams smugglers' airplane, via jwz.

Your moment of "OMG that looks like it was out of a movie" for the day.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:39 AM
James Bond (007) on Twitter

@007. Hype for the movie is starting.

Update: More info here.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:07 AM
Fedora To Simplify Filesystem Hierarchy

Interesting: Fedora To Simplify Filesystem Hierarchy, Move Everything to /usr

The gist is to move all binaries to /usr/bin, and all libraries to /usr/lib and /user/lib64.

I remember when the LSB came out and was an essentially a HIG for the filesystem, defining what /usr, /var, /etc, etc were all set to be used for across all distros. I personally applaud this move towards a bit of simplification, if they can do it right. I hate not remembering if things are in /usr/lib, /var/lib/cache, /var/cache, etc, but jamming everything into /usr/lib/ and /usr/bin/ might not be the best solution.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
November 02, 2011
How Microsoft killed its Courier Tablet

The inside story of how Microsoft killed its Courier tablet over at CNET News. Really interesting look at the inside of how Microsoft works and thinks.

Here's what I said about it two years ago.

Of course, it looks awesome and the video shows it working perfectly for that example, but remember how the demos for tablet computers and the UMPCs that MS was all about a couple of years ago looked, awesome, yet that buzz kinda died. If they can pull it off though, and if it works in real life as well as it does for the very narrow use case in the video, hell, I'm all over it :)

And a year later when they finally killed it:

Well, turns out (again, shockingly) that the system was just a video of technology that doesn't exist, and may or may not have parts of it appear in future products. Ironically the Courier was cited a few times in the past months as "the iPad killer". Uh huh.

Bummer, as it looked very cool. Of course, something that cool (especially from Microsoft) is indistinguishable from a tech demo concept video.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:31 PM
Vim Turns 20

Two decades of productivity: Vim's 20th anniversary over at Ars Technica.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:00 PM
Doom 3's Engine Ready for Open-Sourcing

Great news for 3D engine hackers, John Carmack of iD Software, says that Doom 3's engine ready for open-sourcing, awaiting 'OK' from legal. Huge kudos (again) go to Carmack and iD for making their "old" engines available as open source software. I wish more companies did this.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:53 PM
Google Releases Gmail for iOS

Gmail for iOS is out and about for free in the App Store. Parts of it looks vaguely like the facebook app and is pretty much what you'd expect, a way to get the GMail experience on your iPhone. Maybe Apple is relaxing the "can't duplicate apps from apple" part of the rules?

Posted by Arcterex at 09:41 AM
Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto 5 Trailer

The trailer looks pretty sweet.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:35 AM
November 01, 2011
'American Pie 4′ Gets Red and Green Band Trailers

It might be just nostalgia, but the 'American Pie 4′ trailers look damn funny.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:17 PM
Ubuntu Desktop Designers: 'Unity Should Be Configurable'

Ubuntu Desktop Designers: 'Unity Should Be Configurable'. Good, glad it's on their radar. Turns out it was supposed to be, but other higher priority tasks were in the way. I was hoping that the break between 11.04 and 11.10 would give them the time to add that configuration in, but I guess not. Fingers crossed for 12.04.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:52 PM
Twitter Introduces Twitter Stories

The Twitter Blog has the scoop on Twitter Stories, a way for people to tell a story behind a single tweet. Similar to Storify it looks like. Has potential though, looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:55 PM
Gmail Gets A New Look

GMail has rolled out their new look and feel. Good stuff, nice look, and some great UI.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:34 PM
BlackBerry Future Visions - Ugh

Via Daring Fireball again, the BlackBerry Future Visions 2 leaked video (apparently) is embedded below:

My god, could they make the future look any less boring? Setting up role based authentication?! Hazzaa! That's exciting! OMG you can use your own (blackberry) device?! The future is here now! Facetime Video communication between smartphones and desktop!? What brave and unbelievable future is this now!!

Seriously, a "future vision" video that has a large chunk dedicated to what happens if your phone is stolen and the smiling IT guy doing a remote wipe of it? Where's the excitement, where's the coolness? I know that it's probably more like the future than a lot of other of these "future vision" videos, but yea gods, give it a bit of life!

Course, those who manage large infrastructures full of people in suits carrying blackberries are going to be very excited about this :)

Posted by Arcterex at 11:30 AM