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The Real Eyes of Project Glass, Google-y Eyes

I don’t know if you’re up to date with the latest in wearable computing, so let me introduce you to Google Project Glass.  It’s what can best be described as a heads up display using a small projector over your right eye.  With Glass you are able to access information and display it right in front of you.  Pretty cool idea.  I am a huge fan of the book Daemon by Daniel Suarez in which individuals, in particular a character called Loki Stormbringer, access what’s called the Dark-net on similar fictional technology. It seems amazing, and based on the how it’s described in the book, it is absolutely a technology that I’d like to embrace.

But, there’s a problem that is only now being shown, Google Glass googly eyes, or just Google-y Eyes.

Google-y Eyes

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, has been wearing Google Glass on a regular basis.  I heard that he was even at the Oscars and wearing Glass.  He’s become the spokes model for the product and I haven’t seen a picture of the guy without Glass since early 2012.  Every photograph of Brin looks like the photo on the left above.  He’s looking straight on and fabulous while donning Glass.  Now, I invite you to take a look at the image on the right of Joshua Topolsky of The Verge.  I was reading his article on Google Glass and was surprised by the photographs.  Almost every photo that shows him using Glass shows his eyes up and to the right.  There are more examples to be had at the article.  I encourage you to see and read it for yourself.

These kind of photos obviously bring to mind the movie The Jerk and it’s Opti-Grab and eye problems.  I’d love to have something like Google Glass for myself, but not at the risk of having Google-y eyes.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll wait until Google Glass is something that Loki Stormbringer would wear.


Podcast Plus


Podcast Plus is a new podcast directory project.  It’s  currently functioning but is not feature complete yet.

However, please submit your RSS feed and see how it looks displaying your content.

Check it out!

Why I’m Passing on Apple Products in the Future

I was recently talking to my wife about not buying any more Apple devices.  We have a few Apple computers in the house. Both of them are Mac Minis, one old G4 version, and an Intel Mini that I use as my main workstation for producing podcasts, writing, paying bills, etc.  We also have a few iOS devices in the house.  The oldest boy has a first gen iPod Touch.  The youngest has a first gen iPad, and I have a fourth gen iPod Touch.  I also had an iPhone 3G for 3 years as well, but that one is gone.

So, why no more Apple products?  In two words, planned obsolescence.

What do I mean?  My G4 Mini is useless for anything but serving up files as a network server.  It was long ago abandoned in favor of Intel based systems.  My current Intel Mini won’t run the latest version of Mac OS X.  I had purchased an iOS development course to work through at night.  I was going to attempt to learn iOS application development, but I cannot run the latest version of the development environment because the Mac Mini cannot run the latest version of OS X.  My son’s iPod Touch is stuck back on iOS 4.something.  The iPad that we purchased for my youngest son is now stuck on iOS 5.1.something.  The only device that hasn’t been left behind is my 4th gen iPod Touch.  It is still supported with the latest version of iOS, though I haven’t upgraded it yet.  I long ago sold my iPhone 3G to someone on Ebay.  After the 4.0 version of iOS came out it became obvious that I needed to get rid of the phone before it lost any more resale value.

I had been peeved at the above situations as they occurred, but time had marched on and these devices are older.  I understand that products need to get faster to enable better and more interesting applications.  I get it , but I came to this revelation when viewing an article on the new iPad Mini.  I thought to myself, “What a great thing to get the kids for Christmas”.  Right?  The article that I’m referring to over at Mobile Orchard basically states that the new iPad Mini is the best iPad yet.  I read a similar article on GDGT as well. Awesome! But, hold on.  Maybe not.  Check out the benchmarks below.

So, the new iPad Mini is just slightly faster than the year or so old iPad 2.  The current 10-ish inch iPad is over twice has fast as any other iPad produced to date, even the 6 month old “New iPad”.  We’ve already shown that Apple has no problem leaving behind its users that don’t buy the latest and greatest products that the company is producing.  So, how long before the iPad 2/Mini/”New iPad” are deemed obsolete by Apple.  One year?  By buying one of these iPad Minis you are buying two-year old tech repackaged in a smaller form, but it’s still old tech. Maybe, but I suggest that these devices are practically obsolete on purchase.

I believe the saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” is applicable here, except I’ve been fooled far more than twice.

Shame on me.  Apple won’t be fooling me again.

Via Mobile Orchard: REVIEW: 10 Days with the iPad Mini | Mobile Orchard

Learning to Code

Most of the new projects that I come up with usually need some sort of programming.  Often open source software can be used, but it almost always has to be tweaked in some way or another.  The skills to make those tweaks yourself can be invaluable.

Today, over on Reddit, I saw a post of resources/websites where you can learn to code.  They are tutorials, screencasts, projects or online books that the poster finds helpful.  Many different programming languages are represented.  I wanted to preserve this list for myself and others so here it is.

Kettlebell Challenges Updated

My site, Kettlebell Challenges, has been updated with improved functionality.  Most of the changes are behind the scenes, but many are apparent to the users.  Among the new features are these great new profile pages.  The user has the option of making the profile public or keeping it private.  From this profile page you can start new challenges and log, change or delete your kettlebell workouts.

Kettlebell Challenges Profile Page

After you complete your challenge you’ll have the option of putting a cool badge on your website like the one below.

A Sample Kettlebell Challenges Badge

This site is an ongoing effort, but it’s coming along nicely if not quickly.

Sign up and challenge yourself!

Netflix Loses Almost 1,000 Movies at the End of the Month

Most of them you probably won’t miss, but it’s worth taking a look anyway before they’re gone.

» 981 Starz Movies That Netflix Lost Stuff I Google.

Netflix says “One Stream for You!”

iPod screenshot

Today I was greeted with a new message on my Roku box. While trying to watch an episode of Caprica this morning I was told by said Roku that I was trying to watch Netflix on too many devices.  A quick trip into the family room revealed that the children were watching Kick Buttowski via the built-in Netflix client on the television.

Many months ago I blogged that people were having this happen to them, but I hadn’t had the problem.  Later on I updated that Netflix said that it was a problem and that they were not limiting accounts to one streaming device at a time.

It appears that 1)Netflix has started limiting users to one streaming device or B)There is another problem with the Netflix service.

Have you had this problem with streaming devices?  Let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: Confirmed by Netflix. “If you are on the Unlimited Streaming plan, the Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out-at-a-time plan or a limited streaming plan, you may watch only one device at a time.

Netflix has effectively upped their rates again by forcing those that want to stream from more than one device (Roku, Xbox, PS3, Wii, Blu-Ray player, etc.) to get a two DVD + Streaming service for $19.98 a month.  That is a 150% increase! There is currently no option to have a second streaming device without having plastic disks sent to my house to gather dust.

With antagonistic policies like these being implemented, it’s getting harder and harder to be a Netflix apologist. Now that $20 a month is the going rate to watch streaming video on more than one device, it may get easier to find credible alternatives at this price.

Get Off The Upgrade Train!

It is extremely costly to live on the cutting edge of technology. If you are an “early adopter”, chances are you paid top dollar for the latest device or software. The latest Android smart phones or iPhone, while not terribly expensive up front, around $200, they will cost you thousands of dollars over the next two years in data charges. Tablets, laptops, video game systems all have similar economic models associated with them. Cheap console, expensive games. Sleek laptop, non-upgradeable video card and limited memory. Likewise with software, companies that produce software are constantly creating new features and versions to get you to upgrade to the latest and greatest. And often they produce incompatibilities with older versions of software to almost guarantee an upgrade fee.

My solution for most of you reading this is to “Get off the upgrade train!” What I suggest for most individuals is treating their computer or device like a time capsule. Unless you’re working with others and sharing files back and forth, the software that you’re using right now is probably just fine. New software brings along with it higher memory, processor and space requirements that the older computer you are currently using may not be able to handle. That new OS, while cooler looking with its whiz bang widgets and it’s shiny plasticized icons, will almost certainly make your three-year old computer seem slow and antiquated. In the future there may be software that you need to run as part of your business or that will just plain make your life much easier. By all means get that software, but run it on new hardware and upgrade the whole experience.

I have an example of this from my own life. As I write this I am using a Pentium 4, 1.8Ghz system with 1GB of memory, running Windows 2000. *Gasp!* What can’t I do on this system that I can do on a newer system? Nothing. The system and the software go together, both forged in the early 21st century. I also have Office 2000 on this system. *Gasp!* It has worked perfectly well for every project that I’ve had in the last 11 years. And truthfully the features that I use today are not much different from when I started using it. How many feature do you/I actually need? I’m guessing not that many. Most people only us a small subset of their software’s capabilities anyway.

There is a time and place for upgrading though. Just today we upgraded a couple of seats to Office 2007. That’s right, a five-year old version of the Microsoft Office product. Why? First, it was what the client was using and second it was dirt cheap. How about $69.99 for Office 2007 Standard? Good deal. Not the latest and greatest. And this comes to my second point.

When you do think about upgrading your software, look for the bargains. The equivalent latest version, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, is currently $219.99 on Amazon. for the full disk based version. That’s a savings of $150 by buying one version behind the latest. Upgraded software and functionality without breaking the bank. Remember though, without an external catalyst, we wouldn’t be upgrading at all.  I give my 13 year-old son the same advice when he is looking at the latest first person shooter to run on his laptop.  Usually the requirements for the game are greater than what he has.  Those titles are often a third, fourth or fifth release of the game.  Well, guess what? There are multiple older version of those games, that he hasn’t played either, that are plenty playable on his system.  And, they are in the dollar bin at Fry’s.

There will be a day, in the future, that you will need to upgrade your computer.  It’s inevitable.  You could upgrade your current computer to run the next operating system or that new game, but there will come a day that you can’t do that anymore.  The technology will have changed and you can’t upgrade.  If you “Get off the upgrade train”, the money that you saved by not chasing the tail of technology will, in all likelihood , get you a long way toward buying that new piece of tech when it is time.

Saying Goodbye to The Podcast Studio

It’s time to say goodbye to The Podcast Studio.

The Podcast Studio was the place that I started blogging about podcasting. I would write-up reviews of gear that you might use in the production of your podcast, highlight podcasts that I found particularly interesting and post some podcasting news once in a while. Over the last year I attempted to create a podcast network of shows using The Podcast Studio as the all-encompassing site. The shows have been fun, but the desire to put them under one large umbrella entity has waned.  And recently, last night actually, I received an email from my web hosting company, Webfaction, that the site is causing problems on the shared server that it lives on. It’s understandable, but that is the last straw. The Podcast Studio will cease to exist.

I’m currently migrating some of that content over to this website, particularly the Podcast Seminar series of posts as well as the Virtual Podcast Seminar eBook. Most of the podcast audio content is found on other sites now, so there’s no reason to keep it around.

In a matter of hours or days the domain name will forward back to this site.

Goodbye Podcast Studio!

Podcast 30 Days

Every November, podcasters and those interested in trying out the medium of podcasting create and post a podcast everyday for 30 Days. It’s National Podcast Post Moth, or NaPodPoMo for short. This isn’t a new idea and is done in the spirit of NaNoWriMo (novel writing), NaVlogPoMo (video blog), NaBloPoMo (blog posts). But why does the fun have to only happen in November? Every day starts another 30 days.

Introducing the 30 Day Podcast Experiment. At any time during the year you can start your own podcast experiment and try podcasting for 30 days.