Saturday, October 09, 2010

Deposit Checks from your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

What to do with Aunt Gertie's $20 birthday check?  Now you can deposit it without leaving your home with the PayPal app.

Snap a photo of the front and back and your check is deposited in your PayPal account.  Currently, the funds aren't available until the check clears.

The Seinfeld episode this brings to mind?  "The Pledge Drive" from Season Six!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Google Voice now widely available.

By now, I hope you have a Google Voice number.  Google had first limited the service to former GrandCentral subscribers, then select Gmail users, then users with .edu email addresses.  Until recently, Google Apps for Domains users didn't have access to Google Voice, but all Google accounts are now eligible.

American Express Open comments: "When you register you can choose a virtual phone number in any area code. You can use that number to send and receive text messages, record voicemails and even receive and make calls over the Internet, but it becomes particularly useful when you attach it to the number associated with your mobile or landline phone.  (full text here)"

You can configure Google Voice as a standalone independent of a phone, or use it as a replacement voicemail solution with most providers.  I'm using it to replace visual voicemail on my iPhone, to function as a "home number" without a landline, and to route calls specific to blogging and web activity.

You can call me at 330-CASH-GAP.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wired on ABC's Sound Synching iPad App "Nothing Short of Genius"

Wired points out that ABC's launch of the technology to support their show "My Generation" simply relies upon the iPad's internal microphone to sample the TV audio and keep the iPad content synched to the show.

Though television companion apps exist for the iPad, this automatic syncing feature represents a big step forward. And while ABC is only rolling this out for a single program, it’s such a clever, obvious-in-retrospect idea — not to mention far easier than writing digital code to keep the devices synced wirelessly even if the user watches at someone else’s house or later, using on-demand or a DVR — that it could easily become widespread across many shows.

So whether you are watching it live, DVR'ed, or over a few interrupted sessions, you'll always experience the iPad and TV content synched as ABC intended.

Expect to see much more content delivered this way.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eager to see Ad Mob's next report

AdMob Mobile Metrics report the usage of various smartphone operating systems, allowing market share inferences.

I hadn't noticed one thing from the May report until recently... iOS numbers are understated by excluding iPod Touch and iPad!

Take a look, and full report here:

Microsoft Holds Mock iPhone and BlackBerry Funeral

Microsoft is apparently very confident in their new Windows 7 Phone. They decided to take mockery a little far by holding funerals for the iPhone and all BlackBerry devices on their Redmond campus yesterday. How long until they regret this?

The phone is set to be revealed at an New York event on October 11th.

University's Reverse the Intent of Rent Control

Very clever.  Rent control, a misguided attempt to allocate resources by bureaucracy rather than markets, always results in distortions.  But universities have found a way to purchase rent controlled property at below market rates and earn above market rents, thwarting the intent of the bureaucrats intent on distorting the market for the property.

Greg Mankiw, hat tip to Luke Froeb

If you like this, you'll like Managerial Econ.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Can I upgrade to iPhone 4?

Call *639# and AT&T will text your eligibility to you. They've trimmed six months off of most commitments to allow early upgrade!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Alas, Poor Android, We Hardly Know Ye...

DOOMED.  Image 1:

DOOMED.  Image 2:

Read more here, if you can stand it.  Fragmented OS and users blocked from upgrades by greedy carriers = The Old Cellco Relationship = Developer Frustration = Sad Lack of Apps = Market Share Limitations.  Do the math.

Good news?  Well, still a better choice than Pre OS!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on "Thoughts on Flash"

By now you've read Steve Job's "Thoughts on Flash" which he ends with this:

"Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

Which really does say it all, even though I strongly encourage you to read the entire post.  Daniel Eran Dilger, RoughlyDrafted, points out not only why Jobs doesn't love Flash on the iPhone, but why Jobs secretly loves that other phone manufacturers are self-sabotaging their platforms by supporting flash.  An excerpt here, but the full article is worth your time.

But first let me clarify: Jobs certainly doesn’t love Flash on the iPhone OSfor the reasons he outlined in his blog posting, writing in character as (it would appear) the Fake Daniel Eran Dilger:
  • First, Flash is closed and proprietary to (owned by) Adobe, meaning that its future development is completely under the control of one company, making it toxic to the open nature of the web.
  • Second, the existing content Adobe keeps promoting as “critical to the full web experience” is a mixed bag of stuff that is mostly either also available without Flash (like YouTube) or junk that isn’t really desirable (those Flash games that are weak sauce and wildly overshadowed by real games written natively for the iPhone OS).
  • Third, Flash is a black hole of security problems, performance issues, and instability. Anyone on a Mac is aware of how Flash eats up RAM and CPU cycles while doing nothing. But even on Windows, Flash is a major vector for security problems because it is a web plugin, making it a front door to attacks (at CanSecWest, security expert Charlie Miller was asked which browser is safest, to which he replied, “there probably isn’t enough difference between the browsers to get worked up about. The main thing is not to install Flash!”). Adobe simply hasn’t done a good job of delivering Flash Player as a desktop platform, but in the mobile area, these issues are even a greater problem.
  • Fourth, Flash isn’t optimized for battery life efficiency. Flash was designed to animate the web on desktop PCs, where computational efficiency wasn’t an important engineering factor. Additionally, all the Flash videos Adobe brags about “as critical to the full web” is largely pre-H.264, meaning Flash has to decode it in software rather than leveraging the hardware accelerated codecs in mobile devices (the iPod/iPhone only support MPEG-4 video codecs because they can be accelerated in hardware. Most existing Flash videos are FLV/VP6, which lacks mobile hardware decoding support. Incidentally, this is also why Ogg Theora is brain dead as a mobile codec).
  • Fifth, existing Flash content is not designed to support multitouch interfaces. To upgrade it to support multitouch, you have to rewrite and redesign how the interface works. Why do that in Flash instead of embracing open web standards?
  • Sixth, Apple doesn’t want its third party developers to be tied to a “lowest common denominator” middleware platform that may not expose the unique features of the iPhone OS if it is not in Adobe’s interest to support them. And it wouldn’t be in Adobe’s interests to support novel things Apple adds to the iPhone OS if those features aren’t also in Android, webOS, BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 7, because that would derail Adobe’s cross platform efforts. This is the same problem that has hindered JavaME from being any good across mobile devices. JavaME similarly promised to bridge different hardware and vendors, but really just watered down the features available to fancy phones, making them expensive, underutilized versions of everything else that ran JavaME. And everything else implemented JavaME poorly anyway.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wah, Adobe... Get Over It, Flash Won't Be Mourned

Apple is assisting with the mercy-killing of Flash, that format best known for time-consuming self-indulgent introductions to websites and games just slightly more entertaining than tic-tac-toe.

Apple is promoting instead STANDARDS for video and other rich content, such as HTML5.  And Apple is going to great lengths to protect mobile users from Flash's well-known downsides... crashing, unnecessary battery consumption, and performance hits.

If you're Adobe, you could fix Flash, or abandon Flash and transition to standards.  The first would cost money, the second would loosen your lock on lower-tier developers, the most loyal Flash base.

Instead, Adobe attempts to paint itself as a victim.  Daniel Eran Dilger points out Five Tremendous Apple vs. Adobe Flash Myths


To hear from the tech media people who feed from the Adobe propaganda machine like ducks being force fed for foie gras, you’d think Adobe has had a real mobile strategy all this time and Apple has just been playing the role of a conniving obstructionist.
The truth is that it’s Adobe’s fault there’s no Flash on the majority of mobiles, because the company was completely happy just misleading the world of pundits while talking instead of doing. Well it’s not 2007 anymore, it’s 2010, and that’s three years of work that everyone else has put into HTML5.

Full text HERE

Friday, April 02, 2010

T Minus 26 Hours - iPad

Tomorrow is iPad day.

I predict that the iPad's success will dwarf that of the iPhone.

I predict that we will look back in a year at AAPL $236 the way we look back at $.90 high test.

I predict you will own one within one year.

Daniel Eran Dilger explains that the iPad will kill, among other things, DVDs, Netbooks, the PSP/DS, Android, and Flash.  Oh, and he also makes some controversial predictions.

"Apple will kill Microsoft Office... ... Apple has beat Microsoft to market again, before its rival even realized it was in trouble of losing anything. Microsoft’s comical Pocket and Mobile versions of Office are embarrassing, and the company hasn’t demonstrated any ability to copy the iPhone or the iPod touch successfully, so what hope is there for a Microsoft tablet or a mobile-savvy port of its currently very PC-centric Office suite? Microsoft doesn’t even have any financial motivation to port Office to the iPad, given the$10 per app threshold Apple set. Dead."
Read more at Roughly Drafted

Walter S. Mossberg says it can run 12 hours on a charge and replace most laptops.

"I found email easy and productive to use, and had no trouble typing accurately and quickly on the iPad's wide on-screen keyboard. In fact, I found the iPad virtual keyboard more comfortable and accurate to use than the cramped keyboards and touchpads on many netbooks, though some fast touch typists might disagree."
Read more at Wall Street Journal

Watch this space tomorrow morning for live blogging from the iPad launch line at the Apple Store, Green Hills Mall, Nashville Tennessee.

It took the iPod 17 quarters to reach 30 million units. The iPhone did it in 10.
Read more at CNN

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parental Controls Tutorial

Parental Controls are built into Mac OS X at the operating system level, and greatly aid control of your system.

Parental Controls

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

InfoWorld on Android Multi-Touch In

InfoWorld posted this article (link) explaining that Android developers should NOT use the multi-touch capabilities of the Android operating system in their projects.

They cite developer complains about the rawness of the feature in Android 2.0, and the lack of support in prior versions of Android OS.

Nice description of the trees, but they miss the forest.

InfoWorld is correct to state that multi-touch will likely be fixed in a near-future release of Android OS.  But that won't cause developers to use it, when they know that every day users purchase new Android phones, and that those phones could be limited to a release without multi-touch, a release with buggy multi-touch, and a release with functional multi-touch.  Faced with this population, developers will just avoid multi-touch on Android.

Google of course hopes developers won't avoid Android altogether...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blackberry users excited... about iPhone

iPhone users are happy with their phones.  Nine in ten would buy another tomorrow.  Android users, though fewer of them, are equally happy.  Nine in ten would buy another Android phone tomorrow.

Blackberry users?  Four in ten would buy an iPhone tomorrow, and nearly as many would buy an Android phone tomorrow.

Lots of details at the study, here or just read the summary, here.

97% of iPhone users would recommend an iPhone.  As would THIRTY percent of Blackberry users.  Ouch.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wet Phone? Blackberry? iPod?

I used this method successfully in 2004 or 2005.  I'd dropped my Blackberry in water, and rice dried it out overnight.

Friday, March 12, 2010

3G iPad Details Released

Apple has updated the iPad site to include details on the optional AT&T no-contract 3G data plans.

$14.99 for 250MB per month
$29.99 for unlimited

Sign up, monitor and manage this service right from your iPad.

iCalShare Makes Shared Calendars Easy

This week I found a great tool.  iCalShare allows you to maintain a shared calendar using Apple iCal (of course), Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, Google Calendar, Trumba, Zimbra, or just about any other on-line calendaring tool.

Anyone can search for calendars by keyword.  For example, I found a great NASCAR calendar and added it easily.  When the owner makes a change in the calendar, all subscribers receive the changes automatically.

Check it out,

Apple Store Down... For iPad preorders only, or...?

Should be back up at 7:30 Central for iPad preorders, do you think we will also see new MacBook Pros with processor updates?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

First iPad Television Ad

Click to Watch

Good stuff. This thing will sell more than the iPhone ever did.

"When do you think Verizon Wireless is going to get the iPhone?"

If I had an app for every time I've been asked "When do you think Verizon Wireless is going to get the iPhone?"... oh wait, I do!!!

Analysts state the obvious... it really doesn't matter.

From Cult of Mac "Apple will sell 35 million iPhones next year, with or without Verizon" and they have some good analysis to back up the projection.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Run Windows on a Mac?

Gizomodo compares the various solutions for Windows on OS X.  I happen to use VMware Fusion, and that very rarely.  

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The End of Corporate Computing - The Magazine - MIT Sloan Management Review

The End of Corporate Computing - The Magazine - MIT Sloan Management Review

Something happened in the first years of the 20th century that would have seemed unthinkable just a few decades earlier: Manufacturers began to shut down and dismantle their water wheels, steam engines and electric generators. Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, power generation had been a seemingly intrinsic part of doing business, and mills and factories had had no choice but to maintain private power plants to run their machinery.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The iPad

It's here.  Well, almost.  And I'd have two on order, except we can't pre-order.  So I guess you'll see me in line the night before the launch.

Much of what I've noted on the iPad so far has been on facebook.  Erik Book, Enterprise Architect and All Around Nice Guy (and he underestimates himself on both those counts) has a take on it, with some counterpoints from TheMacCFO.  Bottom line... I think it will sell and they hit the mark.  Erik thinks they missed the mark and that it will sell.

> Great Blog to Follow - Erik Bock <


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

$120 per year, or free. Your choice.

I've written before about Google Voice and its excellent voicemail to text transcription.  The message below was transcribed and delivered to me in about sixty seconds:

Google will give you a phone number, or you can use your existing landline, VOIP or cellphone number.  I use my AT&T cellphone number and transcribed emails deliver to my iPhone if I can't take a call.  I depend on the service every day and it has yet to let me down.  As with most Google products, it's hard to beat the price... free.

Or buy it from AT&T, only $9.99 per month.  Because... because... ???  I couldn't come up with a good reason as I looked at the ad below and compared it to the Google Voice home page.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The App Store Economy

It's true, and Gigaom has more fascinating details.

Did you know...

  • App developers wait an average of under five days for app approval
  • Half of the top fifty paid apps sell for $.99
  • Apple's share of the App Store revenue is... wait for it... $150 million per month
Full image at,

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Video - Hide Files in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Tired of explaining to users that they should just ignore the Time Machine volume on the desktop?  Or maybe you want a particular folder in a particular place like your desktop, but don't want to SEE it there?  Here's the video that shows you how in about 50 seconds.  At this link How to Hide Files in Mac OS X - YouTube by @TheMacCFO

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Only One Group Will Love Google Phone - The Press

OK, the 'Droid was a yawner.  But Monday, THE GOOGLE PHONE IS COMING!

If history is any predictor, the press will LOVE THE GOOGLE PHONE.  And it won't sell.

Daniel Eran Dilger explains:

Outside of supplying the hot air that inflates’s tech media wags’ opinion pieces regarding Android’s vaunted openness, the idea that an Android phone is any more “open” than the iPhone in any measurable way relevant to consumers simply has no real meaning, certainly no more than pleadings by GM to “buy American.”

Full story here.

A Database For The Rest Of Us

Bento from Filemaker offers the standard database features you'd expect, plus full integration with iLife apps such as iPhone and iCal, and access via an iPhone client app.  Free trial at Bento 3 Features, and the full version is only $49, or $99 for a five user family license.

The iPhoto integration is particularly strong.  With it, you can add database fields to any photo or series of photos, and select based on the data in the fields.