June 29, 2012
Pebble Watch Android SDK

Awesome to see that the Pebble e-ink watch has launched the Pebble Android SDK at google IO. Emulator due in August for app development. You can get more informaton starting around 3:57 in to this video.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:25 PM
Dora the Explorer Movie Trailer [CollegeHumor]

The Dora the Explorer Movie Trailer (with Ariel Winter) link has passed through enough of my feeds that I gave it a watch and was amused enough that I figured it was time to post it here.

CollegeHumor’s Favorite Funny Videos

Posted by Arcterex at 09:24 AM
June 28, 2012
A Fan Mouse, for the World's Sweatiest PC Gamers

Via my buddy Brian: A Fan Mouse, for the World's Sweatiest PC Gamers

Thermaltake's new Black Element Cyclone Gaming Mouse isn't the first PC gaming accessory to cool a player's hand during intense FPS battles. But it certainly boasts the laziest fan design.

That's pretty awesome, and with summer approaching, you never know when you might need this!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:36 AM
June 27, 2012
Inspiring Book & paper Sculptures

40+ Inspiring Book & paper Sculptures. Amazing.

Posted by Arcterex at 05:24 PM
Google I/O 2012 Day 1 Summary

The Verge has a nice Google I/O 2012: everything you need to know summary.

  • Galaxy Nexus Phone for $349 off-contract
  • New Tablet: Galaxy Nexus 7: $199 (8G) $249 (16G) with all the expected bits. 7” screen, 1280x800, no ports though
  • Google TV Media Streamer Thing: Galaxy Nexus Q. $299, links all your android media and tablets and phones together. A bit pricey, but the functionality looks very Apple-like in it’s “take over home media” philosophy.
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean coming in July. More bits. Also promises “fast fluid and smooth” UI. Again. (Just sayin’).
  • New software: Google plus tablet app (iPad “soon”), adding “Events” to google plus, “Google Now”, a new search UI in Jelly Bean that uses your location and time to be more self aware
  • Last but not least, Google Glasses were front and center with an awesome intro via base jumping from a balloon, rappelling, and base jumping. Proving that they don’t “just mostly reboot” anymore, the “Explorer edition” are available to attendees for $1500 (which brought an audible gasp from the crowd, but this is cutting edge tech so I can’t fault the price there)
Posted by Arcterex at 12:28 PM
Sneak Peek at the Windows 8 Photos App

Sneak Peek at the Windows 8 Photos App.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:49 AM
Coding Horror Concludes the Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment

Last week Coding Horror started their great bitrate experiment and today Jeff posted Concluding the Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment.

But you guys and gals wouldn’t do that, becuase you aren’t dirty, filthy cheaters, right? Of course not. Let’s go over the actual results. Remember each sample was ranked in a simple web form from 1 to 5, where 1 is worst quality, and 5 is highest quality.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:40 AM
June 26, 2012
Flickr Enhancing Goodies Via Alien Skin Software

Great post from Alien Skin with a list of Flickr Enhancing Goodies, some of which are really cool.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:32 PM
Sublime Text 2.0 Stable Released

Sublime Text 2.0 is released and if you’re using Ubuntu, here’s how to install it.

Sublime Text 2 is a cool, TextMate-like text editor that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. After being in alpha / beta testing for more than a year, the first stable version has finally been released today.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:19 PM
Apple releases Podcasts app for iOS

Very interesting….. Apple releases Podcasts app for iOS

Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.

So this would explain the lack of podcasts in the iOS 6 betas. Thing is don’t want a ton of different apps for different things taking up space on my home screen, I want one app, say “Music” that handles all music, podcasts, and audiobook functions.

Stupid Apple.

Update: Ok I take it back a little. It’s got some nice features (yes yes, available in other apps such as Instacast and in every single one of the 8,434 podcast clients for Android):

  • You can properly subscribe to new podcasts from the app
  • Has both skip back and skip forward (podcasters aren’t going to like this much)
  • Automatically imports your current podcasts, has an unplayed
  • Looks like it has a super-sexy (though oddly Skeuomorphic design that’s bound to attract both praise and critique
  • Doesn’t look like there’s a “update all” yet. Come on, if there’s one feature to add it’s this one. Ok, it looks like if you go into the settings for a podcast there’s a ‘subscription’ toggle and an ‘auto-download’ toggle, which (I assume), will check for and download updates when they’re available, though it appears (at least after having run the app and not connecting to iTunes yet) that you have to set the subscription, episodes to keep, and auto-download settings for each podcast. I assume that when connecting to iTunes it’ll pull these settings from it (I hope anyway). IE: “Just works”.
  • A few questions still remain though. How will this affect playing from the music app? Will it automatically interact “properly” with iTunes, etc.
Posted by Arcterex at 10:50 AM
June 25, 2012
Taken 2 - International Trailer

Oh wow, can’t wait! Taken 2 - International Trailer

Via @milesforrest.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:59 PM
Is The Nexus 7 Google's New Tablet?

Via Gizmodo Australia: Nexus 7: This Is Google’s New Nexus Tablet:

Priced at sub-$US200, the Google’s Nexus 7 will become Amazon’s biggest problem post-launch, threatening the market share of the hugely successful Kindle Fire. The Fire runs a highly modified version of the Android operating system and prevents users from wandering outside the customised Amazon environment. The Nexus brand, however, has always been associated with the purest form of the Android operating system Google has to offer, meaning that it’s likely going to be a better experience. Google is also banking on the fact that the screen is better than the Fire’s, with a higher resolution and 10-point touch capability.

If it’s true, it’ll be definitely interesting to see how this shapes up.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:36 PM
How movie theaters SHOULD be laid out @ The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal once again hits it out of the park with How movie theaters SHOULD be laid out.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:28 PM
June 22, 2012
Hands-Off: Microsoft Surface Tablet Review

Great Microsoft Surface Tablet Review that goes into what was actually happening when the journalists got to go “hands on” with the tablets.

Now, the Microsoft guys were rambling on about all the awesome stuff that makes these keyboards work as well — if not better — than a real keyboard, all the same stuff we’d already heard about an hour before during the main event. I wanted to try one of the damn things. You know, like hook it up to a Surface and see it for myself.

Very interesting, especially in light of all the “hands on” reviews and accolades for the surface that we’ve been seeing recently. Now this isn’t to say that it’s not as awesome as all that, just that we (the internet public) won’t really know until someone gets their paws on one.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:51 PM
Moving from OhLife to Day One

Great post on Moving from OhLife to Day One if you happen to be doing this like I am. OhLife is a nifty online journalling tool, and Day One is a nifty cloud-synced Mac desktop/iOS journalling tool. If you happen to want to go from one to the other, here’s a nifty little perl script to help you do it.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:36 AM
June 21, 2012
Coding Horror's Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment

Awesome post from Jeff Atwood over on the Coding Horror blog: The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment.

CDs, unlike DVDs or even Blu-Rays, are considered reference quality. That is, the uncompressed digital audio data contained on a CD is a nearly perfect representation of the original studio master, for most reasonable people’s interpretation of “perfect”, at least back in 1980. So if you paid for a CD, you might be worried that ripping it to a compressed digital audio format would result in an inferior listening experience. […]

Posted by Arcterex at 02:51 PM
Nice Update To IFTTT

The IFTTT Blog has a nice look at The New IFTTT:

Our new logo and wordmark come from the idea that the combination of two basic elements can yield new value and meaning. Our goal with this bold new look is to make creating, discovering, and sharing these combinations as intuitive as possible. 

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a cool service that allows you to combine online services to do tasks. IE: “If I pin a picture on pinterest, send it to my evernote notebook” or “If I take a picture with instagram, save it to my dropbox folder”.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:47 AM
Data Robotics Announces the Drobo 5D and the Drobo Mini

drobo-5dmini-image.png I’ve been a fan of Drobo for a while, and was lucky enough to jump on an invite to a webinar yesterday when @drobo tweeted a call for bloggers to listen in on a webinar where they made a couple of announcements. I’m not sure how much of this has to do with the recent PR kerfuffle, but I thank them for letting me in :)

Anyway, there are two new products that they talked about which I’m able to share here today.

The short version is there are two new Drobo units, the Drobo 5D, a prosumer level storage unit and the Drobo Mini, a, well, “mini” version of the Drobo for people on the go who want to bring their data along with them.

Read on for full details and images of the new devices.

The Drobo 5D

Lets be honest, the Drobo is no longer the revelation it was when it was first announced. Even Data Robotics acknowledges that it’s known as being slow, loud and why the heck isn’t there a Thunderbolt version? Well, they heard and responded with the Drobo 5D.

No, it’s not ripping off the Canon camera, the 5 stands for number of drives, D stands for Direct attached device (ie: no network connection natively, but more on that in a second). Here’s the rundown in point form:

  • Completely redesigned from the ground up to be…
  • Quieter
  • Faster
  • Completely redesigned BeyondRAID technology makes it…
  • Up to 5 times faster
  • Dual Thunderbolt and USB3 connections and will include a Thunderbolt cable
  • Data tiering between Solid State Disk drives and Hard Disk Drives
  • Mini-SATA port for even more speed improvements

The only thing that you might think is a bit new here is the last point, the mini-SATA port. Honestly I’ve never heard of mini-Sata before, but it’s basically exactly what you think. A tiny little electronic chip that is in essence a high performance flash drive.

The new Drobo 5D uses this if it’s present to act as a high performance caching system, and will move data on and off it intelligently to get maximum performance.

Here are some images of the 5D (click for larger (opens in a new window)). As you’d expect it looks great, has the expected ports and the typical look and feel.

Drobo 5D Front

Drobo 5D Back

Drobo 5D Glamour shot

Drobo 5D The bottom SSD Bay (more on that later).

Other Details

  • Cost is not set, but is expected to be under $850
  • Shipping approximately mid-July

So that’s pretty cool right, a new Drobo unit, and the only one with both Thunderbolt and USB3, but lets be honest, it’s sort of an expected next step, right? But then they dropped a bigger (well, smaller) bomb.

Drobo Mini

This is particularly exciting for myself as a photographer is something that I’m hoping could help myself and others in my position for the “on the go” workflow, the Drobo-Mini, which will let you travel with a drobo in a much simpler setup. It’s still the same power of the new 5D, with 4 hot swappable drives, but a way smaller form factor.

Here are the specs:

  • 4 Drive Bays
  • Dual Thunderbolt and USB3 ports and will include a Thunderbolt cable
  • Same solid state drive Mini-Sata
  • External power supply (bleah) but very small (yay)
  • Custom carrying case (keeps people from hacking their Pelican cases up to travel with their Drobos)
  • Disks have a system for easy snap in and out

Here are the press release images:

Drobo 5D Front

Drobo 5D Back

Drobo 5D Glamour Shot

Drobo 5D Comparison Size

Drobo 5D Inserting the drive (not as dirty as you think)

Drobo 5D Looking sexy with a Mac setup

Looking at the images, the front of the unit has been redesigned with a better LED display and I can’t wait to see it in action.


  • Expected cost will be under $650
  • Shipping approximately mid-July

Other Thoughts and Notes

More About SSD and Caching

The new version of BeyondRAID will continue to do the data tiering that their current higher end units, do. If you only put in a single SSD drive to the array it will act as a caching unit, and intelligently store data on it so it can seamlessly act as a cache and give you a speed boost. However if you only have one SSD drive it won’t use it for additional storage, so this is a perfect opportunity to grab a cheap 60G SSD unit (they’re under $50 these days) and use it for a performance boost.

It sounds like the wear on the SSD drive in this scenario will be done smartly to reduce “SSD wear”, and cold data eviction will be done in large chunks to avoid reading and writing tiny bits of data all the time. To help manage this the percent of remaining life of the SSD will be displayed in the new version of Drobo Dashboard as well.

The new system will also be smart enough to detect a stream of data (for example an image ingest from your camera or a backup) and send them straight to the HDDs in the system (which are good for streaming data operations like this). If it looks to be more random, then the SSD will be promoted as the primary data store. This is especially important for small IO operations, so even a small (ie: 60G) SSD can greatly improve the experience with the Drobos

Other Performance Notes

In a bit of an unusual show, Drobo will be showing off actual performance numbers, something that as I noted above, has plagued them in the past. They’ll show up closer to the shipping date though. I assume this means that they are much more confident about the performance of their new products.

Having more internal memory means that in the event of a power outage any unwritten data will be flushed to disk. A nice touch, though I haven’t had this affect me before, but I’m sure that customers who have been bitten by data loss will appreciate it.

Drobo claims that the 5D will be fast enough to store and work with a Lightroom catalog directly from the unit. As someone who tried doing this off of the original 4 bay Drobo I say, “bring it on”.

Better performance for if you were to use just a pure SSD solution? Yes. Does it make sense from a cost/performance basis? Probably not. Best bang for the buck seems to be a single solid state drive.


Neither the 5D or the Mini are compatible with the DroboShare, but this isn’t surprising as the DroboShare unit has been mostly eclipsed by newer FS units.

The upgrade path sounds like you can more drives from your Drobo 4S directly into either the 5D or the Drobo Mini unit. I believe they mentioned that they were wanting to be able to move from the Drobo 4 bay version 2 to the two new units, but weren’t ready to commit 100% to that just yet.

The USB3 ports are, of course, USB2 compatible.


The units will ship with a Thunderbolt cable, which is a minor thing, but they feel that the cost of the unit and the benefit of having a great “out of box experience” it’s worth it. And frankly who wants to get their brand new toy tool only to find you have to go out and buy yourself another $50 cable before you can use it.

It looks like Drobo is making a fair commitment to Thunderbolt, not 100%, but fair. It’s not going to be going across all units, but you will see it become standardized (along with USB3) for their prosumer units, leaving eSata for the higher end top tier business units.

Warranty will be announced in July when the units are announced. They are aware that their current polices with warranty and DroboCare aren’t optimal for some users, and are looking to increase the standard 1 year warranty and make DroboCare more affordable and available to people (their current DroboCare is a bit pricey for many people so this is a good thing.

You may wonder why this isn’t my usual “CompanyA just released ProductB, here’s a link to it” post, but that’s because I’m stretching my legs as a writer and reviewer, and hope that this post is well received, so that I can continue to do more of these.

(Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Drobo for any of this outside of the information and a press kit 12 hours early.)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:01 AM
June 20, 2012
Satellite Eyes - Where Are You Now Wallpaper

Satellite Eyes:

Satellite Eyes is a simple Mac app that automatically changes your desktop wallpaper to the satellite view of where you are, right now.

Nifty. Download!

Posted by Arcterex at 03:12 PM
How to Destroy Your Photography Career

How I ruined my career:

It wasn’t just an image here and there, either. I took complete shoots and blog posts from other photographers. I even stole a blog post about starting a photography business. The saddest part is that the blog post gave advice like “operate with integrity” and “respect your fellow photographer,” which I obviously was not doing by stealing others’ hard work.


Posted by Arcterex at 12:14 PM
Microsoft Holds Windows Phone 8 Event [Updated]

I’ve been consumed with other things so far, so I didn’t even hear about a Windows Phone 8 event until I saw the hashtag on twitter. Luckily you can check it out from the beginning at the Engadget WP8 Liveblog.

In other news, wasn’t Windows Phone 7 just released?

Hit up The Verge for more Windows Phone 8 details.

Sounds like MS is going balls to the wall putting products (or at least announcements) out there.


Short story is:

  • Fall release (I’m sure this won’t affect WP7 device sales until then, nosiree)
  • No updates for current Windows Phone 7 devices
  • Fairly nice looking specs and developer info, if you judge on specs. Most of what I saw though looks it’s on par with the current iPhone and Android offerings (multi-core, 1280x760, external SD storage (hopefully they’ve licked the issues previously where only a couple of very specific SD cards would work properly), etc.
  • NFC and wallet capabilities (somewhere in between what google wallet and iOS6 Passbook)
  • Unexciting but needed-by-IT-nerds enterprise capabilities
  • 3D Maps from Nokia, with offline map support, turn by turn, etc.
  • Tighter Skype integration, very cool for devs to be able to hook into that

In short this sounds like what WP7 should have been. I’m really interested to hear what Paul Thurrott has to say about this on Windows Weekly this week. He’s got two articles about WP8 and WP7.8 for some insight.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:48 AM
June 19, 2012
Drobo CEO Tom Buiocchi Responds to Scott Kelby's Drobo Data Demise

Drobo CEO Tom Buiocchi is the guest blogger this week at scottkelby.com, and speaks regarding Scott’s I’m done with drobo blog post and the data problems that led up to it.

As I mentioned on the phone, my apologies and it should not have happened. By the way, if any of your readers (or their readers or colleagues or friends or whatever) experiences what you saw on your video, just contact us or ping me directly (tom@drobo.com) and we will take care of it immediately.

Tom responds well. I almost wish that my now-several-year-old Drobo version 1 was having massive issues so that I could call them up and see if I got similar love. Of course, it’s stubbornly hanging in there, though has been relegated to backup only, due to it’s slow transfer speed (caused by the USB2 connection) compared to my less cool, but gig-e connected DNS-323.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:05 PM
Not Everyone Loves the MS Surface

Seems like not everyone thinks that the new Microsoft Surface is awesome. Massive MG Siegler says No Price, No Date, No Apps, No Problem. No Wait — Problem. Not just about how the lack of a release date or specs on battery life, but other things like this, which I noticed during the announcement but didn’t realize it at the time.

Again, it looks like a goddamn PC. It’s a keyboard and a screen. Sure, it’s thinner — great, Microsoft has made a more portable laptop that you can’t actually use on your lap. Nothing in that gallery even suggests it’s a touchscreen device. How weird is that?

Posted by Arcterex at 03:03 PM
Brickworld 2012 Guided Tour

Brickworld 2012 Guided Tour - for all you lego fanatics.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:22 PM
MightyText For Android Is A Very Cool Texting App

250K beta testers later, MightyText launches possibly the best texting app for Android, ever. Another article from my buddy John K at Venture Beat.

When users send a text from their computer, they’re essentially remote-controlling their phone. That has the huge benefit of ensuring that texts sent from any of your devices come from the one thing that all your friends will recognize: your phone number.

Definitely sounds nifty, with the only downside I can see being the one big advantage that iMessage on iOS has, being built into the OS and the default texting app. Of course, Android can easily change from one “default” texting app to another, unlike iOS. Looking forward to checking this out.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:06 AM
What Happens When You Report A FaceBook Post

Cool look at what really happens when you report a rude or spammy Facebook post:

In a new blog post, Facebook staff have revealed the man behind the curtain when it comes to that flagging process and what happens when you’re done clicking and typing — and it’s one heck of an elaborate flowchart.

Here’s the image embedded below for your convenience:


Posted by Arcterex at 10:05 AM
June 18, 2012
Pictographic Rock Band Posters by Viktor Hertz

Pictographic Rock Band Posters by Viktor Hertz. Awesome.

Posted by Arcterex at 05:09 PM
Microsoft's Mystery Press Conference in Los Angeles

If you’re interested in hearing what’s going on at the mystery Microsoft press conference you should hit up the Engadget Live from Microsoft Event blog. Also the guys at TWiT are streaming live commentary (and a few jokes). Most rumors point to some sort of a tablet announcement, but that’s a wild guess it seems.

The guys at Penny Arcade also have their take.

Ballmer just took the stage, and I’ll update as we hear anything.

Update Looks like it’s a Windows 8 tablet called “Surface”

Update #2 The Surface Site. Not overly exciting so far, though the smart cover kickstand and cover thing having a built in querty keyboard is a bit interesting.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:09 PM
The IKEA TV Reviewed: Really, Really Bad

In a shocking turn of events Gizmodo’s IKEA TV Review turns out not so good.

Uppleva, Ikea’s magical TV-cum-entertainment center meatball, won’t be arriving in America until next year. Fortunately, we’ve got an early review from friends in Sweden. The bad news: it’s really bad.

Anyone shocked by this? Anyone?

Posted by Arcterex at 12:57 PM
Half-Life 3 Release Cartoon

I saw that @raingeek posted a link with the simple title of Half-Life 3 Release this morning and almost had a heart attack. Sadly, it’s just a comic. A funny comic. But just a comic.


Posted by Arcterex at 09:50 AM
Mozilla Developing 'Junior' Web Browser for the iPad

Interesting video from Mozilla talking about how they are developing a new ‘Junior’ browser for the iPad. The video is a bit long (21 minutes) but it’s worth going through to see some of their new ideas and how they’ve gone about implementing their vision of a web browser.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:48 AM
Microsoft Revives Flight Sim and Gives It Away For Free

If you thought that the last release of MS Flight Sim in 2009 was the end you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft is giving Flight Sim away for free:

Redmond is making the game available in a private beta at present, but plans to release it as a free download eventually. The game needs a minimum of 10GB of hard drive space, a dual-core 2Ghz processor, Windows XP SP3 and 2GB of RAM, according to the video trailer. Initially Flight will only have one plane - the ICON A5 flying boat - but Windows Live users will get access to extra missions and plane types if they sign in.

Makes sense, though I’m not sure how well other ‘play for free’ modelled games have done. But I’m doubting that Flight Sim hasn’t sold a whole lot lately, so the model of charging users a buck or two for new plans or new areas could give them a bit extra in the ‘ol MS coffers.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:27 AM
June 16, 2012
Windows 8: A Design Disaster @ ZDNet

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and his Final thoughts on Windows 8: A design disaster over at ZDNet.

On the face of it, the Metro UI looks good. It’s new and shiny and refreshing, and it looks like it could actually be quite usable. If you’ve used Windows Phone then the interface feel familiar. Things feel good. And then you start to use it. […] As a result, rather than keeping your attention focused on a small part of the screen, you’ve now got to scan over the entire screen. The larger the screen, the more area you have to scan. It turns the process of finding the app you want to run into a game of “Where’s Waldo?” — and I detest playing that game or puzzle, or whatever it is.

Glad someone has finally articulated why I don’t think that the new start screen is as good as the old start menu. I knew it was worse somehow, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:54 PM
June 15, 2012
Microsoft Buys Yammer

YammerSoft: What the industry thinks of Microsoft’s rumored Yammer buy by my buddy John at VentureBeat.

Although nothing is certain until cash is in the bank, Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer looks pretty much like a done deal. VentureBeat asked some industry analysts and experts what they think this deal will do to Yammer, Microsoft, and the enterprise social networking industry as a whole.

In other news…. people still use Yammer?

Posted by Arcterex at 03:25 PM
Microsoft Is Doing Its Own Tablet?

According to All Things D Microsoft Is Doing Its Own Tablet:

The company isn’t talking about its effort, but Microsoft has scheduled an event Monday in Los Angeles, where it has promised a “major” announcement. AllThingsD reported earlier on Thursday that the event would center around Microsoft’s tablet strategy.

Makes sense being that their next OS is going to be distinctly targeted at tablets, and previous tablet hardware efforts by their hardware partners (correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that MS has produced tablet hardware in house before) haven’t done well.

I suppose they’re taking something from the Apple philosophy of controlling both hardware and software for a better user experience. I wonder what other hardware partners will think of this though? Though if you remember the HP Windows 7 tablet debacle, this is a good move (assuming they can pull off the hardware production).

Posted by Arcterex at 11:51 AM
June 14, 2012
Opera 12 Released

Opera 12 released, via OSNews.

There’s lots of good stuff going on under the hood in Opera 12. First and foremost, plugins now run in their own separate process, so crashes can be isolated without affecting the rest of the browser. They’ve also fiddled with how tabs are loaded, improving startup time when you have lots of tabs open.

Here’s the Opera 12 Announcement blog post.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:16 PM
Skype 4.0 For Linux Available

Skype 4.0 For Linux Available For Download.

Yay (at least if you use said system).

Here’s a link to the download page.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:58 PM
Comparison of Apple Maps versus Google Maps in iOS 6

A couple of links with comparisons of the new in-house (combined with TomTom and Waze it sounds like) Apple mapping solution for iOS6 and the current Google Maps integration.

Bad news is that the Apple solution seems like it has a long way to go. Good news is it’s still a beta and the release rumors are the fall, so they have time to go that distance.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:53 PM
Epic Rap Battles of History puts up Gates vs Jobs

Epic Rap Battles of History puts up Gates vs Jobs.

That’s pretty awesome, whether you hate Microsoft, Apple, both or neither.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:20 PM
iPhone RSS Reeder 3.0 Released

★Reeder for the iPhone has been recently updated to version 3.0 and I must say it is a fantastic upgrade. This has been my primary iPhone RSS reader since I got my iPhone and is well worth the purchase price on the app store.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:54 PM
Last College Hurrah Song: "Sunny"

I’m not sure of the exact back story about Ann Street Soul Stirrers - Sunny, other than what I can read on the reddit thread, but I know that it’s a fantastic bit of music and a well done video.

Well worth the listen, watch, and then you can buy the track for a buck.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:30 AM
June 13, 2012
WordPress 3.4 "Green" Released

WordPress 3.4 “Green” is out.

This release includes significant improvements to theme customization, custom headers, Twitter embeds, and image captions — here’s a short clip with the highlights:[…]

Funnily enough I had updated to the last 3.3.x update about 5 minutes before the release for my Thinking In Rails site.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:14 PM
Teardown Of Retina MacBook Pro

So iFixit tears down the new Retina MacBook Pro, calls it ‘least repairable laptop’ yet. This is one of two things:

  • A travesty perpetrated by an evil company that is restricting you from doing what you want, with hardware you own, and no doubt an attempt to screw you over with their overpriced upgrade options.
  • Completely expected and the natural progression, similar to how you can’t rebuild your own engine in a new car like you could with something from the 60’s or 70’s

I’m not happy that even the RAM isn’t user upgradable, but if you think about the engineering needed to create they design and form factor that they did, it’s not unexpected. I can assure you two things though: lack of user-upgradability will not affect Apple’s sales, and this will create many arguments on the internet.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:22 AM
Meetup.com Contest To Send A User To Any Meetup Anywhere

Saw this morning on the Meetup HQ Blog that for their 10th anniversary they’ll send a winner to any meetup anywhere, which I have to admit, is pretty cool. Who wouldn’t want to attend the Atlantis Photo meetup or the Martian Capital City Rails meetup?

Just RSVP and attend a local Meetup happening between now and July 15th, and you are automatically entered to win. We’ll cover the cost of the winner’s hotel and airfare up to $5,000. You can enter up to five times by going to five different Meetups — but of course, you have to RSVP and attend the Meetups to win. Get all the rules below.

You can see the full details on their blog post. Lucky for me I’ve got a weekly Fraser Valley Ruby on Rails meetup, so I’m set :)

Posted by Arcterex at 08:59 AM
June 12, 2012
Apple planning professional Mac for 2013

Pros can rejoice a little bit, in addition to a (very minor) bump in the Mac Pro lineup yesterday, according to an email from Tim Cook to Macworld, Apple is planning a professional Mac for 2013.

Thanks for your email. Our Pro customers like you are really important to us. Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year. We also updated the current model today.

No idea if this means a new type of computer to replace the current Mac Pro, or a similar update with USB3, Thunderbolt, updated CPUs, etc.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:27 PM
Screenshot of Black Mesa Game From Valve

Black Mesa sputters into life with new screenshot.

After eight years of development and several years of silence, it seems Black Mesa may be coming. No, seriously this time. The fans remaking Valve’s Half-Life as a Source Engine mod have shared new screenshots, teasing that there’s more news to come. At some point. Hopefully.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:19 AM
June 11, 2012
Cheatsheets Wallpapers for Web Designers and Developers

Nice collection of Cheatsheets Wallpapers for Web Designers and Developers including everything from Lightroom to Drupal to HTML5. Here’s another post with Adobe suite app cheatsheets.

Posted by Arcterex at 06:54 PM
Definitely Raining - A Site For Vancouverites

Definitely Raining, with the tagline “Vancouver, WTF” is definitely for my fellow interneters from the Lower Mainland.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:32 PM
Apple WWDC Announcements

Well, it’s finally over, the almost 2 hour keynote from Apple’s WWDC has finished and the good stuff is up and available for you mac nerds. In short:

Missing in action was any mention of Apple TV (how dare they not say anything about something that they never announced!), Mac Pro, or iMac. Though some of it might be simply that there is only so much they can announce in a 2 hour keynote.

Overall not disappointing at all. The new MacBook Pro retina version (wonder how that’ll match up in the lineup, compared to the normal macbook pro… why would anyone get the normal MBP when you pay a bit more and get this monster machine). Maps on iOS I’m really interested to see if non-major US cities get screwed (and as there’s no choice of mapping apps on iOS if the new maps isn’t as good as google maps, you are kinda boned), and I’m really loving the new updates and tweaks that’ll show up in Mountain Lion. The “power nap” system where it’ll get updates and notifications while still asleep and finally proper syncing of notes, reminders, etc. Some other nifty stuff too, but hit the links above for that.

Ok, enough with the Apple stuff, on to the rest of the news.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:01 PM
Drafts for iPhone Free Until WWDC Keynote Start

It’s a simple, but well designed and great single-purpose app. Read an early review of Drafts here, or just head and grab it for free from the App Store, at least until the WWDC keynote starts at 1pm EST (10am PST).

Posted by Arcterex at 08:24 AM
June 10, 2012
WWDC 2012: Live Blogs Round Up, Predictions for The WWDC Keynote

“Timsmas” doesn’t have the same ring as “Jobsmas”, but I’m willing to give it a try anyway and see how it goes. Yes, non-Apple people beware, tomorrow is a big day for the Apple faithful, with a plethora of potential awesomeness being announced or released. Maybe. As usual I’ll point you to someone else who has done the research to collect the latest rumors, live blog locations, and prediction roundups:

WWDC 2012: Live Blogs Round Up, Predictions for Tomorrow’s Keynote over at iPhone in Canada was the one that caught my eye!

Posted by Arcterex at 11:45 PM
Raunchy dance routine a PR nightmare for Microsoft

Apparently a Raunchy video dance routine has turned into a PR nightmare for Microsoft:

A techno-dance routine that preceded Microsoft’s Windows Azure presentation at the Norwegian Developers Conference this week featured a group of women jumping around on stage to a song that included several drug references and this line: “The words MICRO and SOFT don’t apply to my penis.”

Is anyone out there more confused that there’s any sort of dance routine involved in announcing anything to do with a cloud computing offering? What’s next, the next version of Exchange server getting a funky laser light show? Office point releases having mock funerals held to herald the death of the previous point releases?

This on the heals of the a funky hip hop dance routine for a crowd of gamers who I’m willing to bet, never dance… I’m really wondering what madman has got his hand on the “dance” lever at Microsoft PR headquarters.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:32 PM
How does Apple keep secrets so well?

Fascinating writeup on How does Apple keep secrets so well on Quora.

In JK’s office, Joe watches in amazement as JK boots up an Intel PC and up on the screen comes the familiar ‘Welcome to Macintosh’.

Joe pauses, silent for a moment, then says, “I’ll be right back.”

Well, well worth the full read. Linked originally by Gruber.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:28 PM
June 08, 2012
iOS 6 Interface Concept Video Is Pretty Awesome Actually

Chances of anything like this being actually implemented are about as close to zero as you can get (IMHO), but this iOS 6 Interface Concept video shows some pretty awesome ideas about how iOS multitasking and UI can be improved.

I really doubt that Apple would move to something where there are so many issues around discoverability, compared to the simplicity of “tap icon, app starts” that they have currently. Guess anything is possible though :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:47 PM
How to drink whisky Properly

Before I watched this Whyte & Mackay Whisky video I had no idea I was drinking my Scotch so, so wrong.

Bonus: You get to find out the origin of the term “on the rocks”.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:05 PM
Pow 0.4.0 with xip.io support (DNS WildCard For Everyone)

This is a bit geeky, and when I first saw the post from 37 Signals Announcing Pow 0.4.0 with xip.io support I really didn’t get it. However, going to the xip.io domain was a bit more revealing.   resolves to
    www.   resolves to
 mysite.   resolves to
foo.bar.   resolves to

If you’re a developer doing web development you will (hopefully) see just how cool this is.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:55 AM
Scamworld: 'Get rich quick' schemes mutate into an online monster

Great article on The Verge: Scamworld: ‘Get rich quick’ schemes mutate into an online monster. Fascinating stuff.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:55 AM
June 07, 2012
Android Fragmentation Visualized

Via my buddy Jim: Android Fragmentation Visualized. Though I believe the Android People call it "choice", not "fragmentation" :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:55 PM
Shell's Epic Private Party Fail - Updated: Fake

Shell’s Epic Private Party #Fail.

“It all started with a malfunction…. of the event’s centerpiece, a scale model of the Kulluk, one of the rigs heading up north, which was sitting in a basin of liquor (rum and coke?) next to an ice sculpture in the shape of an iceberg.

That’s pretty awesome(ly bad).

Update: Gawker says it’s a fake. Yea, guess it was too good to be true.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:35 AM
ScanCafe Deal From 1000memories - $0.19/scan For 1000 Images

Cool deal, if you’re looking for image scanning services, you can get a deal with ScanCafe through 1000memories which gets the price down to $0.19/scan for 1000+ scans. Included is saving the images to your 1000 memories “shoebox” account.

I’ve written about 1000memories.com back when they updated their site in April.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:10 AM
Mister Rogers Remixed

Thanks to my buddy Bryan for sending me over this video of Mister Rogers Remixed. Great stuff. Funnily enough I never watched Mr. Rogers as a kid, but the more I learn about Fred Rogers the more I admire him.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:06 AM
June 06, 2012
Carmageddon: Reincarnation Hits It's Second Kickstarter Goal, plus Linux Support

Carmageddon: Reincarnation by Stainless Games has not only hit the $400k goal but has hit the $600k secondary goal and have promised to include Linux support. Awesome news.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:38 PM
Diamond Jubilee: UK celebrates 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II - The Big Picture

Images of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II over on The Big Picture. The old girl is still looking great!

Posted by Arcterex at 03:21 PM
Text from Xcode

Text from Xcode is an awesome blog for those enjoying some Apple / XCode humor. I think this one is my favorite so far.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:51 PM
Inside the death of Palm and webOS

Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS @ The Verge.

In an effort to return the company to its glory days, Hurd had just finished trimming as much fat as he possibly could and he knew that HP’s cash cow — the printer business — wouldn’t last forever. He was looking to grow businesses that had a future, and he understood that mobile was a keystone to that strategy. And Bradley may have had a soft spot for Palm — he’d left it several years prior to join HP, so he had a healthy understanding for the company, its challenges, and what it had been through.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:49 AM
The Next Dimension of Google Maps Event Live Stream

The Next Dimension of Google Maps event live stream is, uhm, streaming live.

Update: The live stream for me isn’t streaming, but Mashable has details of what’s going on (or by the time you read this, has gone on).

Offline mapping for Android phones, Street View for nature trails and 3D Google Earth maps are all improvements coming to Google Maps in the near future.

Also Macworld “confirms” that the new Google Maps will be in iOS6.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:50 AM
Zombie Apocalypse Now Has Its Own Google Map

Nice to see someone has gotten around to making a Zombie Apocalypse Google Map. Gonna keep an eye on this, and head north to Alaska where it’s cold, far from Florida (you had to know that this shit would start in Florida), and is full of crazy Americans with guns. Just sayin’.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:59 AM
Twitter (Slightly) Re-Branding Their Logo

I’m not sure if I really see the difference, but the Twitter blog posted today about Twitter rebranding the blue twitter bird.

Starting today you’ll begin to notice a simplified Twitter bird. From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter. (Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter.) There’s no longer a need for text, bubbled typefaces, or a lowercase “t” to represent Twitter.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:25 AM
June 04, 2012
PBS: The Culture Of Reddit

Great 7 minute video from PBS on The Culture Of Reddit. As a reddit user I was hoping for more in depth (ie: dwelving into some of the awesome users like Shitty Watercolour or Reactiononmy_nub, but it’s still a pretty great look at how this awesome website is as awesome as it is.

Posted by Arcterex at 05:11 PM
Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt In The Trailer For 'Premium Rush'

Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt In The Trailer For ‘Premium Rush’. I’ll see this if for nothing other than the cool map-zoom-in thingy that they were doing.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:58 PM
Instapaper for Android Launches

In case you missed it, @marcoarment has launched Instapaper for Android, including an ad for it by Howard freakin’ Stern (like myself, Marco is a big fan).

Marco has had a history of not wanting to do an Android version, not because he doesn’t like Android, or thinks it won’t work, but due to many other reasons, most around scaling of his main resource (himself). I’m really interested in hearing how this works out and if his predictions of doom and gloom in terms of launching an Android app come true or not. You can hear all about this and more on his Build and Analyse podcast.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:01 PM
5 Things You Need To Know About Brewing Coffee

Great link from my buddy James, of RainGeek fame: 5 things you need to know about that wonder-beverage, coffee. If you read nothing but one paragraph here, read this one:

The smell of coffee makes women more likely to give out their phone number. Anything that gets the adrenaline flowing increases sexual arousal so coffee and a roller coaster might be an excellent date idea. When things get stressful coffee is a good idea for women but not for men. Coffee has also been shown to reduce depression in women. Pregnant women definitely should not drink it. (Alcohol — in modest amounts — during pregnancy can actually be a good thing.)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:12 AM
June 03, 2012
Amazing Photoshop Transformation Videos

Nice collection over at mashable of 9 Astounding Photoshop Transformation videos.

Posted by Arcterex at 06:01 PM
June 01, 2012
Movie Review: Snow White and The Huntsman

Movie Review: Snow White and The Huntsman via Geeks of Doom.

Let’s call this movie what it really is: Bella and Thor’s Magical Middle-Earth Adventure. It’s not an altogether unworthy effort though, there are some fantastic visual effects and a terrific performance by Theron that make this movie worth watching. Overall Snow White and the Huntsmen is a much better revisionist fairytale than Mirror, Mirror (that other Snow White movie), Red Riding Hood, or Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

I’m not sure if that’s convincing enough for me to shell out $11 for a ticket and $15 for pop and popcorn though.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:21 PM
"The Arrow" Trailer Released

The Arrow Trailer Released and is Surprisingly Awesome. Via Raingeek.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:00 PM
Great X-Men First Class Spoof

Much thanks to JTStrocel of RainGeek for this great X-Men First Class spoof Put Your Tits Away Emma Frost!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:16 PM
Windows 8 Release Preview Released

Grab the Windows 8 Release Preview today and have a look at it. If you’re looking for ISO you have to go here. The product key is “TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF” (on the same page).

Really interested to see what’s up with Windows8, and how the users react to it.

There are lots of links with more information, and Paul Thurrott has compiled them here for your reading pleasure.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:34 AM