'Historic'?

Last night, ABC news posted a teaser video in which it declared that their anchor, David Muir, will have exclusive access to today’s Apple event. ABC is running a special event on the announcement today. This is not all that big a deal. For a TV network that hasn’t accomplished much compelling programming beyond a M. Night Shyamalan remake of Castaway, getting a back stage look at an Apple event is pretty neat, especially when the bar is set so very low.

But the ABC teaser goes one step too far in promoting this exclusive, calling Apple’s event “historic”. Excuse me? I must have been trapped in a room full of open paint cans again, because I thought that video said “historic.”

In a world of smartphones already surrounded by pithy rhetoric, ABC manages to go even beyond the realm of bad taste and call a device launch event “historic”. Ok, listen up ABC, you want to call this “magical” even though that’s BS, fine. If you want to call this “amazing” even though that’s BS, fine. But if you want to go so far as to put this event on the same level as, oh, I don’t know something actually historic like Roe vs Wade or Rosa Parks, man oh man you better be sure.

Let’s not forget, this is a news organization talking about this event being historic. This is ABC News. This isn’t Pocketnow, or another tech blog whose entire world revolves around tech. Pocketnow could potentially argue that an event was historic from our unique point view, but even then we’d be wrong and stupid.

The fact of the matter is, there is nothing that Tim Cook could announce today that would be historic, except perhaps a successful peace negotiation in the Ukraine or, I don’t know, a Slash/Guns N’ Roses reunion tour. So let’s cut down on the rhetoric for the event that is already going to require a thesaurus or two, hmm kay?

My wife asked me to attend our son’s Catholic school education parents meeting. These were the notes I took:

Prayer service. Kill me now

Now showing a video on youtube. I prefer the prayer service

pretty sure they just invited us to show firsthand the boredom our kids go through weekly. We’re bad parents.

We are seeds. Our son’s heart is dirt. This is some profound shit.

They want to know what we can put in our son’s heart that would make us proud, cybernetics wasn’t even in the top three.

We should go to church. We should also pray at home. I think we have to give up buttons and electricity too.

You tricked me. This is church

The church needs a PowerPoint remote

They say the meeting won’t be long. It already has been

Enter thru east door, pretty sure this is standard from last year

Top floor. Teachers will call if cancel. They will also use constant contact or email.

Website will indicate closing as well

If have to leave early, we need to send a note and sign out from office.

If absent call parish office

Expectations
Attend mass
We will go to hell and our son will hate us if we don’t.
Pray with kids. Screaming “Jesus Christ, pick up your room!” doesn’t count.

Compromise…

I wonder if the problem with the Open Internet issue is just

"We don’t wanna be a common carrier."

"Well then don’t charge different prices for different content. Make it all the same and we be cool."

"Hey back off government! We ain’t no common carrier you can push around!"

"Well then…"

inventory

Represented in my household: Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8.1, Linux Ubuntu 13, Mac OSX 10.9 , webOS 2.0.4, 2.0.5 3.0, Windows Phone 7.8, 8. Android 4.3 , iOS 7. Holy crap.

Now, I’m not posting this to brag. I know most who follow me have at least as much, and some have all that in one drawer they’ve forgotten about in their basement.

What astounds me is that I was just some dumb geek who liked a product demo video on a smartphone OS just 5 years ago (almost to the day). 

I have had one hell of a journey since then. Tweeting, blogging, meeting up,  all in the name of this mobile technology interest that has quickly grown into an obsession.

Writing for Pocketnow is like the best thing ever. It’s one of those jobs that you hear about that is “Doing what you love” that is typically so out of reach for most people.

My new job at @branchfire, though only one week old, is similar with a great group of people with whom I enjoy spending my time with. Plus I’m supporting multiple mobile platforms = win. 

None of it would have happened had I not fallen in love with webOS, the twisted, scarred, beta-OS that never got off the ground for the weirdest and stupidest reasons. To take what once amounted to a hobby and turn it into not one, but two forms of income to me is just incredible.

Thanks to everyone for an epic 2013 and here’s to an even better 2014.

Two years ago, I wrote this.

When the news broke that Steve Jobs had passed away, I found myself sitting at the “news desk” of the now defunct websites webosroundup.com and mobileroundup.com. I’m not the biggest Apple fan in the world, and back then even less so, but since those sites are now gone, I decided today, on the anniversary of his death, to re-publish and preserve the post here.

———————————

It’s not often that someone can say they changed the world.  Steve Jobs could. AP is reporting Jobs passed away today at the age of 56, confirmed by a statement from Apple’s Board of Directors:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Steve Jobs brought the smartphone business to a whole new level of awesome. Arguably,  all other mobile OS’s wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for the iPhone and the impact it has had on the world.

Apple has created an email account for people to share their condolences, experiences and remembrances: rememberingsteve@apple.com.  They have also launched a large splash page dedicated to Jobs

Many feared this day would come sooner than later when Job stepped down as CEO of Apple just 6 short weeks ago.  We at webOSroundup express our deepest sympathies to Jobs’ family and friends, and we welcome our readers to share comments below as well.

Source: TechCrunch

How I use twitter (and social media in general)

It’s funny, this internet thing. A lot of people use it.  Like a LOT a lot. We all use it in different way. Some like to talk about specific topics, others like to advertise their lunch.  Neither is necessarily correct, but there certainly are preferred methods.  I personally lean more toward the former.

I talk tech. I talk it a lot. MOSTLY mobile tech, but that’s because it’s my job (or one of them at least). So if you’re into smartphones and tablets, you’ll get some juicy content from me. It’s very compartmentalized. I will rarely branch out.

But… I also have friends among the tech community, and there are a variety of other interests out there. So I may occasionally go off-book here and there. Just ride it out - it never lasts.

For the most part, you can expect to see the following from me:

1. Technology.

2. Geocaching

3. Other geekology - Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Gadgets, GPSr’s

4. Generally cool or funny things that I come across - this doesn’t happen often.

I also work in tech support. So occasional twitter rants about that are known to happen from time to time.

You can expect my tweets to be rather knee-jerk, sardonic, and generally amusing. I won’t go so far as to say “clever” but I do have my moments.

Will I follow you? Well, the odds are not in your favor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing personal. But I will generally only follow those who fall into a very specific range of criteria

1. First of all, if you are or were a webOS fan, you’ve got points in your favor.

2. If you tweet mostly about technology.

3. You do not tweet about kids, religion, politics, food, or the like. Frequent check-ins, unless you have a funny or witty comment about your location will also not score well.

If I don’t follow you, please don’t take it personally. If I follow you, then stop following you, don’t feel bad - you’d be joining a long list which includes my brother.

Twitter is public, Facebook is private. Facebook is for family and friends. Remember the compartmentalization I mentioned? There ya go.

If you tweet me, or mention me, and I don’t reply. It’s just because I had nothing to add to the conversation. If you do mention, you will be noticed.

If you ask me to retweet something, I won’t. Retweets stand on their own. If it should be retweeted, it will be.

I will rarely swear on twitter, but it will occasionally slip out. It’s ok. it won’t hurt you.

So, that about covers it. It’s my approach, my philosophy on the use of twitter. If that’s not how you roll, awesome. Good on ya. If you don’t care, then why the hell are you still reading this?

Ahh…didn’t see that coming…did ya?

Peace!

Geeking it up a little…or, ya know…a lot…

Recently on vacation, I had the opportunity to spread my ubergeek wings and soar. My family was taking a vacation to Disney World in Orlando, FL. For those of you not geographically inclined, Orlando, FL is about 1000 miles away from my home town of Chicago, IL. Plans were drawn, and eventually it was decided that I would drive to Florida while my wife and kids flew.

The reasons for this were varied, most notably because we didn’t want to get raped by the airlines for having the audacity of wanting to take actual luggage with us on the trip. So, with that in mind, my geek genes kicked into overdrive.

I’m a bit of a geography geek. One thing I’ve enjoyed doing since I was old enough to drive was to follow a road from beginning to end. There are several in Chicago that I’ve done, just because. Then I learned something - US Routes that end in zero, such as Route 20, Route 30, etc. all run coast to coast. For example, US Route 20, which passes within 1 mile of my house, begins in Boston, Massachusetts (a.k.a. @Captain2Phones territory) and ends in Newport, Oregon.

To me, this is really freaking cool. So what that means is, while I’m standing on it, this road starts at the Atlantic Ocean, comes to me, then continues to the Pacific Ocean. Another cool point is that for the most part, these routes are labeled sequentially north to south - 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.

So I decided, I wanted to take my picture at every US Route that goes coast to coast from Chicago to Orlando. I would post pics to facebook and it would serve as a count down to my arrival in Orlando.

And I did it. I was very proud of myself for accomplishing what to others is a stupid little thing. But I did it. And my geek cred skyrocketed in my mind. It also got me to thinking, I wonder to what extent other geeks have gone out of their way to geek it out.  The more unique, the better.

Tweet to @DeadTechnology or write a tumblr post and link it to me, but I want to know how geeky you geeks are. Wave that flag, and be proud of what you’ve done all in the name of self-geek-adulation. I’m dying to hear what you all have done.

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A question of <snicker> “fame” and responsibility…

I was at my 6 year old’s recital today and I saw, much to my shock and anguish, a woman filming the affair with….a tablet. And yes, I did die a little inside. I whipped out my GSIII, zoomed in, and took a picture.

Typed out this tweet:

At my kid’s recital, I saw a woman taking pictures with a tablet. I threw up in my mouth a little.

https://twitter.com/DeadTechnology/status/324960303882330112

Attached the picture, and almost hit send. Then I didn’t. I removed the picture from the tweet and sent it as text only.

I realized that once something hits the internet, it’s gone. You can no re-cork the genie. I thought, I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood for 700 followers on twitter (as of this writing, 688), and a bunch of them might be from Chicago, and heck, for all I know, one of them might be this woman’s neighbor.

Granted, 700 followers, is nowhere near my colleague Michael Fisher’s 5,000+, Chris Ziegler’s 18,000+, and not even 1% of Joshua Topolsky’s 100,000+, but still. Tell a friend, and they tell a friend, and they tell a friend, etc. There was recently a big story about a woman on twitter who sent out a picture to her 11,000 followers and ended up getting the subject of the picture fired, and herself soon after.

The point is this. If you have any kind of following, be it on twitter, Facebook, instagram, or just some weird people who follow you around on the street, you need to watch what you post. The Internet makes no apologies, nor does it accept consequences. It just is. It’s what we make of it that matters.

So if you find yourself on twitter - and let’s face it, why would you be reading this if you weren’t - and you’re going to post something - anything that might remotely, possibly jeopardize someone’s anonymity, be it yours or someone else’s just remember - once it’s out there, it’s out there, and for the most part, there’s no taking it back.

Cataract attack!

So a bunch of peeps have been asking “What’s with this eye surgery thing? Lasik?” No. 

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve been diagnosed with cataracts. I’m 36 years old. Yes that is stupid young for cataracts, but my brother had them too ,so it’s a family thing. I’d like to go ahead and apologize to my kids now.

The cataracts caused me to gradually get poorer and poorer vision starting with no longer being able to track a fly ball and going to using a magnifying glass to read a book.  In December of 2010, I rapidly lost pretty much all that was left of my vision and for roughly 2 weeks was legally blind.

Not. A. Fun. Christmas.

In early January 2011, I had cataract surgery performed on my right eye. Basically, they cut out my eye’s lens, suck it out, and replace it with a pretty sharp lens that also corrects astigmatism. I needed reading glasses, but I could (and still can) see with 20/20 vision.  My left eye - different story. In it, I have been almost completely blind for about 2 years, up until last Tuesday when I had surgery on that eye as well.

Interesting side note - part of the second surgery involved using a laser to make the initial incisions and I believe to cut out the lens - bear with me I still don’t completely understand the process - and after that I WALKED out of that OR, went down an elevator and into a different surgical room where I was prepped, and knocked out (via anesthesia, not a hammer) for the second part of the surgery. Still blows my mind thinking about it.  Anyway.

So now I’ve got vision back in both eyes. The problem I’m having now is I haven’t used my left eye for over two years and now that both see correctly, my brain is having trouble getting the images received by both eyes to sync up correctly. Imagine two of the same painting painted on glass, one hanging behind the other and the one in front is on springs. It’s both trippy and disorienting.

Anyway, long story short, I’m well on the road to recovery. While I could probably drive, I’m not just yet. I can generally see things pretty well with minimal “bounce” now that’s it’s been almost 48 hours, but reading a computer screen is still rather dizzying.


But worry not, I’ll be back to 100% - nay even better than that - soon enough. I thank everyone for asking and for your concerns and well wishes!

—Adam Doud

Contributing Editor

Pocketnow.com