Archive for January, 2010

Derrick gets the shot

January 31st, 2010, 10:45pm by Jake

Derrick gets the shot, originally uploaded by jakerome.

Testing the Flickr blogging template (take 3).

Here’s a capture from the American Museum of Natural History, where Brandon is standing in front of a replica of a Mars rover while Derrick frames the perfect photo.

Test Post from Windows Live Writer

January 31st, 2010, 9:25pm by Kelvin

Set up a new account in my PC blog writer, using the following post URL:

The only currently available webOS WP blogging tool is called Poster. I’ll give it a try later on (costs $1, but it’ll be worth it if it means that I don’t have to go through Flickr to post remotely 🙂 ).

A search of Precentral for “wordpress” indicates another wordpress client in development, and an entry about WebOS support coming to the mobile version of WordPress in the form of some sort of pluggin. Not sure what that last article refers to, actually.


Kindle vs. The iPad: Round 1

January 31st, 2010, 4:03pm by Jake

Kindle va. iPad smackdown

The first casualty in the Kindle vs. iPad war has been recorded, as all MacMillan books, electronic and physical, are no longer available on Amazon. Now, if you own a Kindle, you can’t buy any more books from one of the Big Six publishers. And if you want to change platforms as a result, you’re stuck leaving your old books behind. I don’t think this will last very long. More than anything, I think it demonstrates the problems that DRM can create in the digital media world, as each platform becomes its own island. That there are at least 3 mutually incompatible DRM systems (4 if you count the format Sony recently left behind), further complicates matters.

Back In Business

January 31st, 2010, 8:27am by Mike

So The Board is back in business, running on the most recent version of WordPress (currently, v2.9.1)! Upgrading allows us to move into the 21st century, giving the ability to do all sorts of fun things like better integration with flickr and twitter, as well as mobile versions of the site that were being clamored for by Kelvin and Jake.

It wasn’t easy, given that we were running on an 7 year-old version of Movable Type, and the migration tools to WordPress from that version were for at least 5 year-old versions of WP. The hardest part was that, because of the database structure, when a post is assigned an ID number, then subsequently erased, or a draft is not posted, the ID number is not reused, so that the resulting export of posts from MT was not necessarily sequential. Anyway, with use of text editors, messing with MT exporters (written in Perl, and not as easy as claimed here), Excel, and a program I wrote in Ruby, all 1,686 posts, 7,059 comments, and all the associated images are now in place and seem linked correctly. There may be some hiccups here and there.

Of course you’ll notice that the design of the front page isn’t what it used to be — right now it’s still the default (ugly) WordPress theme, and it’ll take a little time to get that back in place. On mobile devices, you should see a completely different-looking Board, since there’s a mobile version. I’ll get RSS feeds back up in the next day or two (maybe by the time you read this), and I’ll put them in the comments.

At any rate, welcome back! After all this, I hope that we actually use the Board a bit — it was interesting to see the post volume drop like a rock when we all started to use Twitter…

CES 2010

January 11th, 2010, 3:39pm by Mike


First issue: Forget Disneyland, we need to plan for a Pyslent trip to CES 2011. We just need to go.

OK, but this year’s show. From the firehose of information that Engadget, Gizmodo, and the like have put out, it sounds like the biggest things to come out of this year’s show were e-book readers (yawn), Android devices, and the big one, 3D TV.

But there were at least a couple other things that were interesting. First, Kelvin and Jake have touched on the Palm announcement, which to me boiled down to some upgraded hardware to be offered on Verizon, as well as opening up the hardware to developers through plug-ins. There are other rumors swirling around, including further indications of the existence of the Palm C40.

To me, the most interesting thing was the RCA Airnergy[1, 2, 3], which purports to charge gadgets by harvesting the energy from wifi networks. So, it’s like a normal battery-powered charger, except that it’s constantly, passively recharging as long as you’re near a wifi hotspot (or, presumably, a baby monitor). With a full battery charge, it can supposedly charge a Blackberry from 30% to full charge in about 90 minutes, which probably isn’t much slower than my current battery charger.

Jake sounded like he thought the Airstash wireless SD card reader was kinda cool for iPhone users, and it seems like, in principle, it could work for any wifi-enabled device (like a Pre, or a laptop). In theory, as Jake said, you could read files off a camera’s SD card directly into the iPhone, except that I didn’t see where you could actually copy files from one place to the other (it sounded more like a way to stream data, like music, to the iPhone using a dedicated app). If true, you could potentially view a photo from your camera’s SD card on the iPhone, but that’s not nearly as cool as dumping gigabytes worth of photos off a card onto your phone.

(Jake asked if the Eye-Fi could do this. I have my Eye-Fi SD card upload to Dropbox, and I can view the photos on my phone via the iPhone Dropbox app, which is awesome. To get the photo into my iPhone’s camera roll, I have to mail myself a link to the Dropbox photo, then use Safari to navigate to it and save the image to my camera roll. The Eye-Fi app on the iPhone only allows you to upload your iPhone pix to your standard Eye-Fi places — which means I can upload to Flickr and Dropbox, but I have other apps that can do both of those things anyway).

What did you guys think was the coolest thing at CES?

In case I didn’t make myself clear yeat…

January 8th, 2010, 12:33pm by Jake

Before I start, let me just say that this is a long story that’s going to end with an appeal to contribute money. If you want to skip the treat of reading of lovely prose, just click here and donate now, since the event is only 2 weeks away. But read on anyways.
SPECIAL BONUS EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! Today only, for each contribution I get, I’ll match the first $5. So make your dollar go further, and make Jake poorer, by contributing today, Friday. Thanks! I promise not to ask more than several dozen more times.
Read on about how this is a sprint AND a marathon.


Bold forecast for the Palm Keynote tomorrow

January 6th, 2010, 4:15pm by Jake

There was some surprise at the lack of discussion of Palm’s recent financial results. To make up for that, I’m going to post my bold guesses at to what Palm will announce at their keynote address tomorrow. First, a word on financials: despite much gnashing of teeth, the news mar only marginally bad, with the real disappointment being the slow sell-through of the Pre at Sprint. Otherwise, they shipped more units than expected and reaffirmed their forecast for the current fiscal year. Margins and ASPs were lower than expected, but not terribly so. Best bet, it looks like Palm will likely attain 25% gross margins going forward instead of the earlier forecasted 30-35%.
Now, my forecast, from most to least likely. To be announced during or shortly after the keynote.
1. Palm announces that the Pre and Pixi will be available on Verizon by the end of the month.
2. New Pixi colors announced.
3. Pre spec-bumped, to 32GB.
4. Pixi spec-bumped, to 16GB.
5. Flash-lite beta started.
6. The automated App Catalog for self-publishers launched.
7. Graphics processor used more extensively to speed up stuff, improve battery life.
8. Pre spec-bumped to raise processor speed (currently underclocked).
9. Video recording enabled.
10. Announce a dozen new international carriers for Pixi/Pre.
Now, these are longer shots but plausible
11. Palm announces a new webOS device, the Palm Pysle, with a larger screen (400 x 600) and Pixi-like form factor, scaled up length x width (similar thickness).
12. Pre classic cut in price to $100 on Sprint, Pixi classic cut to $50.
13. Partnership with DoubleTwist/ Amazon
14. Native development program started for select developers.
15. More Synergy partners announced… not sure who’s left at this point.
And finally…
16. Palm announces the Foleo II. 10″ tablet with a slide-out portrait keyboard (think Sidekick sized). Jeff Hawkins returns to lead the company.
Any guesses of your own?

Good old days

January 3rd, 2010, 3:47pm by Kelvin

The Disneyland pic that Mike posted on Flickr inspired me to try a vintage treatment on a pic of Lucas. I couldn’t successfully match the faded look, so I went with a sepia tone instead, resulting in this hybrid mashup of Mike’s Disney pic and his classic cowboy pic :).¬†

Another couch gag

January 3rd, 2010, 2:38pm by Jake

Another couch gag, originally uploaded by jakerome.

Here we are, getting set for our annual New Year’s Eve photo.

Happy New Year!

The world’s smallest guitar player playing the world’s smallest guitar

January 3rd, 2010, 1:30am by Kelvin

We dug this video out of the archives this morning from a few months ago– actually the first time I’d seen it since we video’ed it. Such a silly boy!

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