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.