Like so many other geeky people I’m a member of many social networks. The ones I actually use is twitter (@synvila), Instagram (mrhenko), Flickr (synvila) and Gowalla (mrhenko), and then there’s this blog. However, lately I think I’m starting to differentiate them in various ways and I’m seeing what I use each and every one of them for.
This blog is for longer or semi-long mostly tech related topics. It can also be links to techy things I find interesting and the occasional photo that I’ve taken. For this I use English as language. (Mostly American English.)
My tweets is almost always in Swedish. They also tend to be more or less geeky.
Instagram has really taken over twitter’s place as a network to tell people what I’m doing. It is quickly becoming my photo journal and if you’re interested in me as a whole person, not just as a geek, (although the geeky part is a pretty big part of me) this is where you should be following me.
Flickr is for my more or less ”ambitious” pictures. Here I post things that not necessary say anything about what I’m up to. It’s me pretending to be a photographer.
Gowalla is more or less dead to me. It feels a lot like last summers great romance. I still check in to places from time to time, but the check-ins are getting more and more far apart.
I just picked up my secondary computer and logged in on this blog. The first thing I saw was WordPress telling me that I use an old browser. Since Safari 5.1 is out, apparently 5.0.5 is considered old. This is a fairly aggressive mode (I prefer to see things like IE6/7/8 and Firefox 3 as old) but I love it.
Good work WordPress! Anything that make people update their browsers more often is great.
The blog is not dead. It’s just on holiday.
This is so sad in every possible way. Patent trolls are really the lowest of humans. (Longer post about software patents likely to come soon.)
Just added some features to my WordPress theme that enables me to make better use of post formats. Nothing much but it keeps my interest in the blog running.
Last week I wrote a blog post about my upcoming trip to Warsaw with the band Hedningarna and the fact that I would use my iPad as my main digital entertainment during the trip, and as my only computer-like work device. The trip ended on Saturday last week but didn’t really turn out the way I thought. (I will likely write a separate post about the music-related part of the trip.)
The plane ride was over a lot faster than I thought, which meant I really didn’t get to use the iPad as much as I thought I would on the way there or on the way home. This in turn meant I didn’t spend as much time watching movies and video clips as I thought. However in Warsaw I used the iPad a lot, both for entertainment/infotainment and for business.
For the entertainment part I mainly used Instapaper. I always have a fairly long list of unread articles in it that I never seem to get around to in my everyday life. However on a trip abroad I’m usually unable to update the list (due to horrible data roaming fees) which in turn gives me the time to read ”old” news. The work-related stuff was mostly done with Evernote because of it’s great offline-functionality.
At the time of this writing (Tuesday around 7 pm) I’m once again traveling. This time I’m on a train from Falun to Gothenburg. Al though a much shorter distance then from Falun to Warsaw, the fact that the trip is made by train means a whole lot of time to use the iPad. So far I’ve used it for everyday stuff like checking twitter (Twitteriffic), checking my RSS-subscriptions (Reeder) and checking mail. I’ve also watched a movie (Vanilla Sky), looked at some video clips (from Webstock ’11), composed and sent an invoice (with Numbers) and now I’m blogging, so it’s safe to say that the iPad enables me to do a whole lot of things.
What’s really great is mainly the fact that I can use it for most of the stuff that I would normally use a laptop for, but with a whole lot less weight to carry around and a whole lot longer battery life. It’s super easy to simply pick it out of the bag, do one or two quick things and then put it away. The on screen keyboard is probably not something I would write a novel on, but it’s a lot easier to use than I imagined before buying the unit.
When I bought it I decided to go for the 32GB WiFi-only version, a decision that I’m now happy that I made. The 32GB was chosen to be able to store my entire iPhoto library on it (which is somewhere around 20-20GB in size) but that proved to be a real overkill since iTunes optimizes image sizes to match the resolution of the iPad. But the extra headroom proved very useful once I started to want to put multiple movies on it. Since syncing can be a pain in the ass, I’d prefer to do it as seldom as possible. (I can’t wait for iCloud!) The fact that it’s WiFi-only hasn’t been a problem at all since I always keep my iPhone with me and sharing Internet from it is really easy.
What’s less great is the highly reflective glass screen. Sure, glass I pretty and it does make it look really expensive, but the high reflectiveness of it makes watching movies in any sort of daylight really hard. Seeing my own reflection in everything can be quite distracting. (In contrast, when I watched a movie in a pitch black room last night the iPad was perfect.) The fact that glass is quite heavy is another thing that’s not so great. The iPad is not really heavy per se, but if it were even less heavy it would be even more great, especially for long form reading when I’m sitting with it in my hand.
And speaking of long form reading, that’s one thing that is really, really awesome on the iPad. Instapaper is such a great app and the fact that I can sit in much couch or chair (or airplane seat or train seat etc.) and read articles like I would read a magazine is simply amazing. For this train ride I’ve also bought my first Kindle book (Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy) for the Kindle for iPad app. So far I have not had time to read anything in it so I guess I will revisit this topic with yet another blog post.
To be concluded…
Dropbox has made a clarification to there TOS. Link to their blogpost.
So Firefox 5 is here. That’s great, I guess, but what’s new? Even on Mozilla’s own What’s new page for Firefox 5 there isn’t much. When I visit is during the writing of this post all I can see is that it’s apparently easy to customize Firefox with add-ons and plugins, but that’s hardly news.
The release notes lists a few minor features and the biggest one seems to be support for CSS Animations.That’s great, I guess, but why does that warrant a bump from version 4 to version 5.
Firefox used to be very slow when it came to releases. (It’s still very slow when it comes to actual usage.) This new fast release pace is probably to compete with Google Chrome, which has a very aggressive release cycle and fast iteration. I like fast progress, but I don’t like the devaluation of version numbers. If a small amount of features warrants a full version number jump then the users will quickly tire of updating.
The big difference in my opinion between Firefox and Chrome releases is that all tough they both nowadays want to bump version often, it irritates me a lot more when Firefox does it. The reason for this is that Chrome updates is absolutely silent. Nothing informs me that an update is available, it just installs. Once it installs nothing informs me that there has been an update, it just works slightly better than before. This is far less obtrusive and don’t have the same devaluating effect.
So great news Firefox, I guess, but a bump to 4.1 instead of 5 would have felt a lot more motivated. (The worst is that I recall reading/hearing something about Microsoft adopting the same aggressive versioning.)
Serenity Caldwell’s written a thoughtful article in MacWorld about Final Cut Pro X, titled How Apple re-cut Final Cut Pro for the better. One of many very interesting points:
Final Cut Pro X isn’t about alienating professionals: It’s about finding out just what a “professional” looks like in this day and age.
You, my tech savvy readers, probably already know about Apple’s release of Final Cut Pro X, a totally ”rebooted” Final Cut Pro. This has been a very controversial move from Apple since it lacks a lot of the features that professional video editors need (and that the previous version, Final Cut Pro 7, had). A lot of bytes has been used to comment on the issue. One really good take on it is Jeffery Harrel’s blog post ”What went wrong with Final Cut Pro X”, and I won’t rewrite what he already written. If you’re unfamiliar with the FCPX controversy but interested in knowing more, read his post. You can also read numerous posts on Daring Fireball or listen to The Talk Show, Episode #49 to get John Gruber’s take on it. (Or just Google, a lot of people has raised their voices.)
Now I’m not a Final Cut user, so it really doesn’t affect me that much, but I feel a need to express my opinion. Some have argued that this is the latest in Apple’s ever-ongoing attempt to ”dumb-down” the technical world. Final Cut Pro X should, according to those expressing these kind of opinions, now be targeted at prosumers and normal users and be more of a pro version of iMovie and Apple is moving away from the pro market. (Clarification: This opinion is not expressed by those who I link to.)
I don’t think that this is the case. I don’t doubt that it lacks a few very important features and that Apple’s handling of this has been very, very poor. However I think that is what it is, poor handling, not evidence that they are abandoning the pro market. Marco Arment really said it best in Episode #31 of Build and Analyze;
Casual consumers don’t spend $300 on software very often.
That is a very important point. Pros are the ones that really pay for expensive software. Sure, the Mac App Store has made it a lot easier to impulse buy software, but nobody will impulse buy something that expensive. So even if the new price is a bargain compared to what FCP 7 used to cost it’s still to much money for the everyday Mac user who just want to edit some video he/she shot with his/her iPhone, especially since iMovie is basically free.
So isn’t it possible that Apple made a mistake? That they thought that prosumers and consumers would rush to this new product in such great numbers that losing the pros wouldn’t matter? Sure it’s possible, but I think it’s more likely that the huge mistake was to discontinue Final Cut Pro 7 on the same day that FCPX came out. If they had just let the two product coexist for a year or two (like with XCode 3 and XCode 4) I guess everyone would have happily migrated to FCPX as it got more and more great features.
I also think that the best solution for Apple is to admit being wrong in killing FCP 7 and put it back on sale for something like a year. If this is likely or not, I don’t know. Abruptly cutting ties with the past and head straight down the highway of tomorrow is a very typical Apple move. It will be very interesting to see if something similar will happen with Logic Pro in a not-so-distant future.
Apparently MySpace has been sold by Rubert Murdoch to a company named Specific Media. (My original source, Dagens Nyheter) One of the owners of Specific Media is reported to be Justin Timberlake.
The really interesting part in this, to me, is that I found out about it in a swedish daily newspaper. Dagens Nyheter is not known to be good at techie stuff. The news is even filed under economy, not technology. I have not heard anything about this in any of the international tech blogs I read or as part of any tweet.
To me this means that the tech world is no longer interested in MySpace. It’s considered yesterdays news and I couldn’t agree more. Goodbye MySpace.
This is great article from Interuserface on the usage of very simple geometric shapes (focused on mobile computer devices) as part of the branding.