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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Wednesday: August 3, 2011

Push Pop Press is the latest acquisition in Facebook's growing design talent roster.Push Pop Press is the latest acquisition in Facebook's growing design talent roster.

Mike Matas, one of the co-founders of Push Pop Press, is one of the designers behind some of the most familiar iPhone and iPad user interfaces that you've come to know and love. This kind of talent acquisition doesn't come along simply to tweak the look of an iPhone app. They must be working on something big. On a sadder note, Push Pop Press has announced that they have abandoned their planned publishing platform. However, their one offering is still available in the App Store - search for Al Gore's 'Our World'.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Interesting @ 2:35 PM | Tags (11) | acquisition | algore | apple | facebook | ipad | mikematas | our world | pushpoppress | roster | social | talent |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


The per year pricing plans for Apple's iCloud have surfaced online.The per year pricing plans for Apple's iCloud have surfaced online.

When iCloud launches in the Fall you'll automatically get five gigabytes free. For those of you who need a bit more space Apple is offering ten gigabytes (really fifteen if you count the included free five gigabytes) for twenty dollars. Paying forty bucks a month will get you 25 gigabytes (again, including the free five) and for a hundred even you'll get fifty gigabytes.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 2:00 PM | Tags (6) | 9to5mac | apple | gigabytes | icloud | intelligence | pricing |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: August 1, 2011

Vimeo now available on your Apple TV thanks to latest software update.Vimeo now available on your Apple TV thanks to latest software update.

Vimeo has some great HD content, it's nice to see this appear on the little black TV box from Apple. Besides the welcomed support of Vimeo to this little device, you can also stream your purchased television shows directly from the cloud. This will work for your previously purchased television shows as well which is nice. 

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 1:33 PM | Tags (10) | apple | box | software | streaming | television | thenextweb | tnw | tv | update | vimeo |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 6 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 29, 2011

Apple has more cash on hand than the United States government.Apple has more cash on hand than the United States government.

Apple's last earnings report (PDF here) showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June. In other words, the world's largest tech company has more cash than the world's largest sovereign government. That's because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.

 

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 2:58 PM | Tags (8) | apple | billions | cash | ceiling | debt | government | tech | united states |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: July 26, 2011

McDonald's takes a stab at making Happy Meals a healthier option.McDonald's takes a stab at making Happy Meals a healthier option.

And just how will McDonald's pull off this healthy task you ask? By shrinking the size of the french fries portion that comes with the meal, of course. And believe it or not, the fast food chain even toyed with removing french fries all together from Happy Meals. According to the LA Times, families in this test group rebelled (non-violently) against this idea. Take that, healthly diet!

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Food @ 2:47 PM | Tags (8) | happymeal | mcdonalds | latimes | healthy | fries | calories | food | diet |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 11 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: July 25, 2011

A good primer on web operations for my fellow web developers out there.A good primer on web operations for my fellow web developers out there.

Every little piece of it can break at any time, can stall at any time. The more pieces you have in your application puzzle, the more breaking points you have. And everything that can break, will break. Usually not all at once, but most certainly when it's the least expected, or just when you really need your application to be available.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 11:53 AM | Tags (7) | webops | developers | apps | infrastructure | programming | development | servers |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Have a peek at some screenshots of the upcoming Facebook app for iPad.Have a peek at some screenshots of the upcoming Facebook app for iPad.

TechCrunch, as well as many others, found out that Facebook was hiding a secret app (not really secret, universal apps contain both sets of code for iPhone and iPad bundled together - although jailbreaking is required to figure that one out) in their latest iPhone app update. That 'secret' turned out to be the official Facebook app for iPhone. TechCrunch has a whole slew of screenshots that you can take a look at as to properly get yourself prepared the social media onslaught.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Interesting @ 11:36 AM | Tags (9) | app | apple | appstore | facebook | hidden | ipad | techcrunch | screens | universal |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Apple Store definitely coming to Grand Central Station at some point in the near future.Apple Store definitely coming to Grand Central Station at some point in the near future.

According to The Real Deal, Apple will be shelling out $800,000 per year in rent, which seems a little high given that the previous tenant was paying about half that. As for me, I am both happy and sad for this news all at once. Happy because I will be frequenting this location quite often and sad because of the overall effect it will have on my bank account. The crowding of my overall commute to NYC will most likely be more annoying but I'll learn to live with it.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 11:21 AM | Tags (8) | apple | grandcentral | lease | manhattan | nyc | retail | store | therealdeal |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: July 21, 2011

Mac OS X Lion: First Impressions.

The latest version of Mac OS X is finally here. Being the diligent Mac fanboy that I am, I've have gone ahead and installed Mac OS X Lion twice now. Once on a brand new MacBook Air and once on my only slightly out of date MacBook Pro. The best part about this?  I didn't have to drive out to the Apple Store or wait for a FedEx truck to show up. You buy Lion online from the Mac App store and that's the only way you can buy it. By far this has been the most gratifying delivery method of any OS X release I've seen so far. My download speeds were quick and in both installations I was able to get the install file from Apple's servers in under forty minutes. Another neat thing about Lion? The licensing. As you read before, I installed the new operating system on two machines already. If these were Windows machines, I would have had to fork over some dough to Microsoft to get two product keys. Apple takes a different approach. Buy it once, put it on whatever machine you like. I happen to love this approach.

Now that I've spent a good 24 hours with Lion I'd like to spout out some first impressions.

Installation: Total breeze on the MacBook Air. With only a few clicks and some setup time and I was up and running. Slightly different story on my MacBook Pro though, for some reason Lion rebooted the machine into the special setup options and required another reboot to truly kick off the installation process. Minor issue, really just kind of a strange thing since the Air installation was ridiculously fast and smooth.

Inverse scrolling: This was a maddening experience at first. Apple calls this new feature 'natural scrolling' but it feels anything but when you try it out. I understand that this is how we 'naturally' scroll when using iPads and iPhones, but on those devices you are actually interacting with the content you are touching directly. You can see how your touches affect what you see, it's a visual experience that your brain just gets when you do it. On a trackpad the same kind of interaction doesn't exist. You are looking at the screen while your fingers are off doing something else, there is no direct visual correlation. Long story short, it certainly doesn't feel natural - not at first anyway. I'm going to stick with this for a couple more days and see if I can get used to it. For those overly frustrated, you can relax - the option to turn off 'natural scrolling' is tucked away in System Preferences under the Trackpad pane.

Gestures: There are ton of them, some are intuitive and some are not. Apple has a rundown of the ones you should know about. For the most part though, love them.

Fullscreen Apps: Love, love, love.

Gestures + Fullscreen Apps: This is a joy to use. Swiping between apps feels good and let's each app shine in their own way when in fullscreen mode. It's a little disappointing to use third-party apps that aren't taking advantage of the fullscreen APIs yet. Granted of course that Lion hasn't even been out for a week yet so I'll give said developers a pass. But pretty please, update your apps soon and utilize this feature. I would love to see Evernote in fullscreen. Hint hint.

Launchpad: Not really digging Launchpad all that much as an application launcher, app folder replacement, iPad clone, etc. It just seems a little repetitive since there is already a dock, an apps folder, a spotlight search. The gesture to bring it up (three finger pinch) is quite useful and dare I say, fun to use. I've seen Launchpad exhibit some weird behavior in regards to moving and deleting apps. For example, drag an app from Launchpad into the trash. In my case, the app doesn't actually get deleted - I had to go into the Applications folder and drag it into the trash. Fire up Launchpad again, the app you just deleted may still be there. When you click it, you'll get a question mark as if the operating system just said 'WTF' out loud. After a reboot the deleted app was removed from Launchpad. Making folders is a little strange in this regards as well.  Folders you create in Launchpad seem to only exist in Launchpad. Interesting, but a little confusing at the same time when used in conjunction with the Applications folder. The coolest part about Launchpad is it's integration with the Mac App store. Downloading an app will drop it into Launchpad and present itself in the same fashion as when you download an app on your iPhone or iPad.

Safari: There doesn't seem to be a gesture for switching between tabs. You can swipe left and right to shuffle around history of a given tab you're in, which is nice but my general workflow with Safari is each website gets its own tab. And maybe it's just me but I can't for the life of me figure out what purpose 'reading list' serves other than being an additional bookmarks folder. At first I thought Reading List would save an article offline for browsing later on but that is not the case. Turn off your Internet connection and you'll see that Reading List tried to grab the page you saved from the actual website. Perhaps I am not grasping what use this feature is in the scheme of things.

Mail: The new Mail app is a welcome change. It seems that it has some smarts built in when you setup accounts from other platforms. For example, try setting up a GMail account and you'll prompted by Lion to import your calendar info as well as your chat friends (Jabber). That was a neat little feature that I wasn't expecting. There seems to be an issue with the new 'conversations' feature, it seems to work a little bit too well for my taste. Here is an example, I sent myself a test message from GMail to verify that my Mail.app was setup correctly. The message was simple, subject line 'test', message body 'test'. Evidently, I've done this many times over the years. Mail decided to group my most recent test message along with any and all test messages I've sent to myself since the oh, the year 2007. That doesn't feel like a 'conversation' but rather more like an archive. Just thought it was interesting behavior, I don't think the GMail client functions this way in terms of grouping emails.

Conclusion: I am digging Lion so far. I think more gestures could have been worked in to make certain workflows easier. In iPhoto, I'd expect to be able to swipe left and right when in fullscreen mode to browse my pictures. At present time, you can't do it. That's not to say a software update couldn't add that feature later on.

Posted to Verbose filed in Apple @ 1:17 PM | Tags (10) | apps | day | gestures | impressions | lion | mac | one | osx | scrolling | verbose |  | Discuss (1) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: July 20, 2011

Apple's latest operating system now available for download in the Mac App Store.Apple's latest operating system now available for download in the Mac App Store.

As of writing I have just started downloading the new operating system from the store.  Download speed seems to be going very well, I'd say I'm about 40% into it right now (officially kicked off the download at 9:20).  I'll try to post a review sometime this week after I've had time to play around with Lion a bit.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 9:44 AM | Tags (7) | apple | osx | lion | mac | app | store | macrumors |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: July 18, 2011

A handy tutorial regarding how to fix broken form label clicks on the iPad's version of Safari.A handy tutorial regarding how to fix broken form label clicks on the iPad's version of Safari.

Decided to post this here after reading a tweet from Dan Cederholm (of SimpleBits fame) and realizing this wasn't an issue isolated to me and me alone.  Backstory: I wrestled with this issue for a good amount of time on a recently completed project and then decided to just give up making it work. Now, with a little bit of jQuery fun you can have your forms lables working as they should on your beloved iPad (and I can check off an item on my bug list).

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 3:02 PM | Tags (13) | tutorial | broken | form | click | apple | ipad | dancederholm | programming | jquery | javascript | labels | simplebits | dancederholm |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 7 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 15, 2011

In the market for a new MacBook Air? You might want to wait until next week.In the market for a new MacBook Air? You might want to wait until next week.

While most sites pointed to this week as the possible refresh of the line AllThingsD says that all said rumor mills have been off by a week. They predict that the new MacBook Air will contain Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt ports, flash storage in the realm of 128 gigabytes or 256 gigabytes. Lastly, the backlit keyboard may make a triumphant return.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 10:49 AM | Tags (8) | airs | allthingsd | apple | configurations | macbook | new | product | rumors |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


App of the Week: Game Dev Story

Rarely does an iPhone game catch my attention let alone force me to become so addicted to it that I abandon posting to my newly launched website for an entire two days. That's exactly what happened when a friend suggested I try out Game Dev Story for iPhone. The concept is pretty simple, you are President of a game development studio. You make video games. You watch them sell (hopefully like hotcakes), make money, become famous. Along the way you'll also need to hire employees with various skill sets (everything ranging from writers to sound engineers) and even take your advertising dollar spend into account.

The game has some interesting play concepts. In order to make a video game you'll need to pair up given types of video games along with matching a genre to that type which may or may not be the best fit. For example, you can choose to make a racing game and have the genre be about robots. On the other hand, you can make a video game with conflicting styles like RPG and... trivia. You can also choose what platform you want to develop for your video game for. Each platform has it's audience and the game type you choose may play a part in that. In order to play with some of the bigger platforms you'll need to get a license (of which you'll need some serious cash in some instances). Based on how well the type, genre, and platform of your desired game match your staff will work on it and try to make a game to the best of their given abilities. Those abilities can also be leveled up through research data (think experience points) or you can also send them to training, which also will cost you your hard-earned money. If you're unhappy with the performance of a given employee can choose to fire them and hire some new ones. At some point, you'll even be able to design your own platform/console. As of writing, I have not gotten that far yet. 

The visual design of the game looks like something you'd see right out of the classic Super Nintendo days of gaming. The graphics are cute and at times huggable, especially when you see your team do very well on a game. It's very much reminiscent of SimCity but obviously with a different setting and environment. But the game does take some direct cues from SimCity and will throw some curveballs at you every now and again. For example, when your team is working hard on your latest video game the electricity may go out. This causes the development to suffer and sets back your team.  Some of your employees may ask if they can work to improve a game, when they fail your game's bug count goes up. However, if they succeed your game gets better. You can also purchase boosts and products for your employees to add polish to your games, but it'll cost you.

The strangest part about this for me is that for the life of me I could not seem to put this game down. I found myself playing it on the Subway, walking from the Subway, walking home, during dinner, etc etc. There was something very satisfying about creating a mock video game (they even let you name it) and then see how well your idea takes in terms of sales and overall popularity. I was never into the whole Tamogatchi Virtual Pets thing when they were popular back in the day, this seems to be the virtual pet that was custom-tailored for me and my video game aspirations.

Game Dev Story was created by the folks over at Kairo Park. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices and will set you back $1.99. Enjoy and best of luck in your video game creation endeavors.

Posted to Verbose filed in Video Games @ 10:24 AM | Tags (8) | addicting | app | appoftheweek | gamedev | gaming | iphone | verbose | videogames |  | Discuss (1) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: July 12, 2011

Next version of iOS to bring bluetooth keyboard support to the Apple TV.Next version of iOS to bring bluetooth keyboard support to the Apple TV.

Navigating around on Apple TV isn't exactly all that fun of an experience. Adding the ability for a keyboard (or some other form of navigation device) would definetly be helpful. Interesting to note that 9to5mac also points to rumors of an updated Apple TV coming out sometime this fall.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 1:46 PM | Tags (10) | 9to5mac | apple | appletv | apps | bluetooth | ios5 | keyboard | support | television | tv |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: July 11, 2011

Taiwanese tea company decides to market their product by way of mock Apple keynote.Taiwanese tea company decides to market their product by way of mock Apple keynote.

The Jobs / John Stamos hybrid dropped by to pitch a Taiwanese company's vast selection of tea, of all things, for a TV advertisement that's apparently currently airing in Taiwan. Decked out in light jeans, a black mock turtleneck and sneakers, the impersonator even matched Steve's hair color, rimless glasses, and current weight. The only thing missing was an actual Apple product -- and months of media speculation.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Strange @ 9:28 AM | Tags (9) | apple | engadget | hawks | impersonator | keynote | mock | stevejobs | taiwan | tea |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


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