Archive for July, 2008
Apple Computer had already announced that there are problems with power bricks for the old PowerBook and iBook computers (now officially discontinued) – the small cord coming out of the brick (carrying low voltage) is under a lot of stress and strain, and can short out right where it comes out of the brick’s case. So I was kinda ready for this intellectually. My brick is carried in my backpack almost every day, with the cord wound around the brick, and I can attest that the stress at the point where the cord comes out of the body of the brick hasta be a factor in weakening the cord, even though I’m always careful. Over the course of four years, being coiled and uncoiled every day, that’s thousands of flexions we’re talking about.
So on Saturday, I was sitting on the floor using my computer, with an external LCD monitor attached to it (also sitting on the carpet), and noticed a plume of smoke rising from the top of the monitor. I thought a little bug had probably crawled into the monitor and been tazered to death by a high-voltage supply. But I noted the acrid electrical/plastic smell of the smoke…which didn’t really smell like delicious fried bug.
Automattic released their WordPress app for the iPhone this week. Since I’m fairly mobile, I wanted to try it out.
For offline blogging from a laptop computer, I already use Ecto, which gives me substantial freedom in that I can create new posts even when not connected to the net. Having the ability to write on the iPhone whether online or off might be fun.
My first impression is that this tool will work fine as long as you don’t want to include any fotmatting, because it’s really a pain, on the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard to get to the < and > characters – it requires several taps for each. So it’s probably only viable for text with a photo or two interspersed. For many people that’ll be OK, but it’ll be somewhat limiting for me.
I am, however, finding that a one-finger typing method while allowing the phone to correct the typos really is quite excellent! And the “fatter” I make each tap on the screen, the more accurate the algorithm seems to be.
I’ve had the app just quit out from under me several times, but I haven’t lost any data, so it’s inconvenient but not fatal. And I know it will get better with the next version.
This app looks like a keeper.
|·GlobalVoices ADVOCACY has a page they call the Access Denied Map. On it they track visually, including pop-up annotations, countries that prohibit access to web sites.
The thing that made the biggest impression on me is the number of countries that block bloggers or Flickr. (You can check this yourself by going to their site and clicking the pushpins on their Google map.)
|·Opennet.net also tracks blocking/filtering worldwide. They look at the reasons given for filtering and compile maps tracking four different types of filtering.
One of the first things I just had to do with my 3G iPhone was to supplement those Apple-supplied ringtones with my own. I have written, performed and recorded enough music that I wanted to use snips from my own recordings as my ringtones. This was easy on my old Moto RAZR, which accepted mp3 files as ringtones.
But for the iPhone I discovered there’s a bit more complex process that works equally well. There’s a publicized shortcut which involves taking an m4v file and changing its extension to m4r and then dropping it into iTunes where it is recognized as a ringtone and can be loaded into the iPhone.
But even though these files can be copied to an iPhone, they don’t appear properly in the list of custom ringtones.
So Apple’s recommended procedure, which does work flawlessly, is to use GarageBand to make a loop and export it from GarageBand to iTunes as a ringtone. Try it – it works great.