Son of a… blog

Not quite a decade ago, I forked over several hundred dollars to support a little web hosting company that could, TextDrive.  In exchange, they gave me a lifetime hosting promise.  It was a good run, and they even honored their promise across a couple of acquisitions and mergers.

But a week or so ago, they sent out an email to those of us who had supported their initial bid for funds, and told us that their lifetime commitment was being “end of lifed.” We had two months to get out, or we could sign up for a free year on one of their new servers, with a $275 yearly bill waiting for us after that. Have they have gone from small potatoes to too big for their britches?

A lot of the people who got this email were pretty pissed. (A support/bitching group or three have popped up around the Internet.) Most of them were clear that they would not be staying. I just packed up my stuff, and with this blog post, the move is over. Everything now lives at A Small Orange, with whom I am pretty pleased.

Stuff is broken (most notably the images on… I am afraid, all the posts) but those will get fixed eventually.

Here we go, again.

Password strategery is confirmed!

So, you all probably remember my ranting about passwords here previously. Today i randomly came across Jason Kottke’s page of stupid password requirements, and he linked to an article by Thomas Baekdal on good passwords that says exactly what I said, only better and with more research. He also posted a FAQ later that answers the (mostly stupid?) questions people had about his first article.

Baekdal’s post is from early 2011, and I’m still having to keep a crappy 8 character, 1 special character, no consecutive-special-uppercase-number-signs password in the stable, to trot out for bad, bad, bad websites I still have to deal with.


Foodie gore is pink! (Or, Foodie-gore-is-pink!, depending.)

How I [watched] WWDC 2012

Inside baseball here for people not interested in Apple, but if you are: WWDC starts in half an hour, and here is how I am going to start out “watching” the coverage. Reminder, Apple hasn’t offered a live video stream of this event for years, and will not do so this year, either.

(The liveblogging is over, and this list is less relevant now, but it included Engadget, C|Net, gdgt, The Verge, Phillip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune, and Mac Rumors.)

And now it is over. You can catch the video(s) over at Apple’s website. Here’s a direct link to the keynote.

In the end, I was switching between three coverage sites, gdgt, C|Net, and The Verge, with an honorable mention for Mac Rumors. Engadget kept cramping up and forcing me to reload the page. Kudos to gdgt, for consistently providing the best feed, and to C|Net for surprising me with their solid, and dare I say, Mac-friendly coverage.

Dear Apple, do you hate my family?

Just “watched” Apple’s latest from their Worldwide Developers Conference, and they announced a lot of cool things, but they have left me, in the end, worried.

In a nutshell, Apple hates me (us).

Right now, we have one Mac, two iPhones and an iPad in the family (with another iPad on the way, we expect). We have music, movies, games, apps, etc. on all of these devices. (Note, “device” now includes Macs, as per Apple’s new nomenclature.) We have one happy Apple ID, and that Apple ID is tied to our service contracts for our hardware, our music purchases, our app purchases, and our device profiles. With so many devices, you’d think we’d pay a fortune buying songs for each one!

But Apple (or the old Apple, at least) was nice about this. Using our one Apple ID on all of our devices, we could buy an app once, or a song once, and use it on all our devices. They all connected to one account (on iTunes on the Mac) and if I didn’t want the iPad (which the kids use a lot) to have certain songs, or certain apps, then I could choose to leave them off. On subsequent connections, iTunes remembered that the iPad doesn’t get Cee Lo’s original recording, that my iPhone doesn’t get Sesame Street Live, and that my wife’s iPhone doesn’t get Solomon’s Keep.

Apple loved me and my family.

But now, I am not so sure.

Everything they just described today seems tied directly to your Apple ID. When I get a new iPhone, all I have to do is enter my Apple ID and my password, and whoosh, all my stuff is dropped in from the iCloud. And when I get a new iPad, whoosh! And when my wife gets a new iPhone, whoo..ait a minute. Does she have to have her own Apple ID? If she uses mine (ours) does she get all my (our) stuff? What if she doesn’t want that music, or those apps? What if I don’t want her (or the kids) to have that? Does all my mail show up on her phone? If we use the new iMessage (also tied to Apple ID, I think) are we just talking to ourselves?

No problem, you say, Apple IDs are free! She can get her own. And one for each of the kids, too! (And the dogs!) Okay, but then, does she have to buy all her own apps? Her own music? Has the gravy train come to a screeching halt?

Cause if that’s the case, you better betcha iCloud is free, buddy, since I’ll be spending beaucoup bucks catching all my “devices” up to where they were before the magic happened.

Here’s hoping they didn’t show us some kind of profile feature in iCloud.

Can’t do that with a Kindle

So, I was sitting in the dim light of our family room, reading something on our iPad, and I realized. All this talk about how you can’t use the iPad in sunlight never points out that you can’t use the Kindle in the dark. Sure, using the iPad in the dark is a little like staring at a flashlight, but you’d think it would be worth noting.

Computer, tell me a story

Last week brought rumors that Apple’s next iOS will be deeply voice-controlled/controllable. I am in favor.

Imagine this: You get up from your work desk to go home. You double tap your earpiece, and ask (sotto voce?) “Is it raining out?” A few seconds later (after conferring with your iPhone in your pocket), a voice in your ear says, “It is not raining. Current conditions are fifty-eight degrees and partly cloudy.”

Or: You’re out in the yard weeding. The lovely day reminds you that you need to buy sunscreen at the store. You tap your earpiece, “Add sunscreen to my shopping list.” A few seconds later, your earpiece replies, “Sunscreen added to your shopping list. You have ten items on the list.” Your spouse gives you that look that means you spend too much time playing with technology.

Finally, a little further out (next summer/five years from now?): You’re in the middle of a game of Parcheesi with the kids. A thought occurs to you. You call out to the WiFi enabled microphones you have placed about the house, “Computer,” and wait for a soft chime indicating it is ready and listening, “Remind me to search for a copy of the board game, Careers, next time I am online.” A few seconds later, a pleasant voice responds, “I’ve added that to your to do list, Danny.”

I think this is all possible now, certainly the hardware aspect of it. Maybe we will see the software side this summer in iOS 5? If anyone can do it, Apple can.

This is the future, kids.

MMOD technology fascinates me

Yes, I’m watching some basketball these days. Actually, right this minute. I have a very little experience with streaming video (hey-o, Creighton!) but despite that I remain interested in streaming tech. At least enough to find this article on the technology behind CBS’ March Madness On Demand offerings pretty interesting. Maybe even fascinating. But I might also be a geek.

End of the experiment

A few new items around here, but dated back to September. That is when I started an experiment in moving this blog to another service. I wanted simplicity, and Posterous certainly gave me that, but it wasn’t what I needed. Yes, I still crave simplicity, but Posterous works one way: post to Posterous, and it will put your stuff everywhere else (Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, this blog, etc.). I tried, but I couldn’t work that way. I need to be able to post with whatever tool I have on hand, my phone, my blog, iPhoto, email… and have it show up everywhere.

Plus, and this was the kicker, I couldn’t figure out how to keep my email and keep my Posterous account both at this address,

Maybe if they provide a super easy solution for that, I might be back.

In the meantime, here we are, still.

Now back to your regular silence. Man, I should update this blog more.

Bad Machinery

I don’t often get caught up in the fancy of something, but this has entranced me. There is a web comic, that’s been around since last Fall, that I can’t stop reading. Well, that’s not strictly true. I can stop, but every time I go back it is just as delightful.

It is called Bad Machinery, by John Allison. It takes place in Tackleford, somewhere in England, and involves kids who are about… I don’t know, fourteen, fifteen? (I’m so bad at judging ages that it seems to extend into cartoons… huh. ((Oh, look, they’re twelve. See how bad I am?))) Anyway, it is so quintessentially fun, cool, young, and English that I can’t help reading it in my head in an accent. I’ve even tried fitting different accents on different people.

Very cool. I’m about halfway through the archives, but it is absolutely fabulous.

Try it. Start at the beginning.

Oooh, and look what I found, the home page! Bad Machinery.

Yes, the cross-pollination with Scary Go Round is odd ((Okay, not so odd, as it seems the supernatural has made an appearance in Bad Machinery, too… not sure how I feel about that.)). I haven’t let it quell my enthusiasm, however. As best I can tell, Bad Machinery is Scary Go Round: The Next Generation. In any case, I like the young’uns better.