Friday, August 19, 2011

Twitter Mobile now available for Bluesky customers in American Samoa

Announcement tweet:!/twittermobile/status/104598670225309696

This was actually a lot of fun to set up. It was really cool working with the team at Twitter, and actually implementing a service to interface with something as big as Twitter was really gratifying.

The only downside is that I've been killing the battery on my phone with all the texts.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I have three apps on my Mac for playing movies:
- Quicktime (included in the default install)

Movist is currently my default video player for everything except wmv files which VLC tends to do better on. But other than that, Movist has quite a few advantages over the other two.

If you have several video files in a folder that are parts of the same clip—such as movie1.avi, movie2.avi, and movie3.avi—Movist will automatically play the next one when the first one finishes. The only caveat is that they have to be named the same with number suffixes.

You can also turn the volume up to 4x the normal maximum. Quicktime is obviously stuck at 1x and VLC only goes up to 2x. This is a boon to laptop users since the smaller speakers aren't very loud to begin with.

It's a solid app and definitely worth a look.

If You Only Read One Article About The Patent System Issues

... it should be this one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Preview Can Now Add Digital Signatures

You can now add a digital signature in Preview using your laptop camera.

View -> Show Annotations Toolbar

via TUAW

Let's Play Archive

The Let's Play Archive is a dangerous site in the same way that is dangerous. It's really quite easy to lose a few hours on each of those sites.

The LP Archive is basically a collection of photos or vides of people playing through games and commenting on them. It's not a walkthrough though. It's more like MST3K with video games.

To get a feel for what it's all about, here's the LP Archive for a craptastic game that's so much more enjoyable than it was actually playing it:

Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus by The Dark ID

Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

iPad Gaming

A couple of years ago I bought my son a Nintendo DSi and a handful of games. It's a fun platform and we've gotten many hours of enjoyment out of it. But it looks like it's days are numbered.

My son has two chances to get a new game each year: Christmas and his birthday. So, the first year I bought it, I got maybe 3 or 4 games. At about $35 a game that's $140.

A year ago, I got an iPad.

But I get pestered every paycheck for a new app, or smurfberries, or whatever the virtual currency of his latest obsession is. $0.99 here or a $1.99 there and it doesn't seem like much. But I just checked my iTunes bill for last month and I spent about $25 in Apps and  In-App Purchases.

So, in 6 months, I will have spent more money on the App Store than a year's worth of DSi games. Actually, it's quite a bit more. Just this month I bought Final Fantasy Tactics for "my son". At $15.99. So I'm on track to spend about $35 this month in the Apple ecosystem.

This is significant.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Function Flip

Way back in 2002, CrazyBrowser released a tabbed browsing wrapper for Internet Explorer 6 and it was amazing. I loved it and used it until I switched to Mac in 2007.

I was still using dialup in those days so I'm of the generation that would open a link in the background tab to load while continuing to read the current page. As such, I hardly used the back/forward functionality and switched between tabs exclusively.

The default keys for Previous Tab and Next Tab were F2 and F3 respectively. This worked out perfectly since I'm a touch typist and have my left hand on the home keys and my right hand on the mouse.

This behaviour has since become so ingrained that I add global shortcuts on my Mac to mirror this as one of the first things I always do when setting up.

However, this necessitates setting F1, F2, et al to act as function keys in System Preferences. This wasn't so bad on my 2006 Macbook Pro since the volume keys were on the left hand side and so was the Fn key. On my new Macbook, the volume keys have been moved to the right and I can no longer hold Fn and hit the volume keys with one hand. And as we all know, changing the volume is a pretty frequent task.

And then I came across Function Flip (via Shawn Blanc).

Function Flip basically gives you the option of setting specific keys back to their default hardware functions. So I can use F1 through F9 as regular function keys and use F10 through F12 as hardware keys to change the volume without having to hold Fn.

It installs as a Preference Pane and getting up and running with it is ridiculously simple. It only does one thing, but it does it well and it's the one thing I need.

Good software should make you feel like you don't know how you lived without it. Function Flip is firmly in that category.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Final Fantasy Tactics Released For iPhone

Must. Resist. Urge. To. Buy.


Too late. wheeeeee

iTunes Link