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Entries in GEEKY (16)

Thursday
Aug222013

[GEEKY] List of Siri Commands

How to Use Siri - Full list of Siri Commands for iPhone, iPad, Video:

Below is a comprehensive Siri Commands List (updated for iOS6) for the new Siri Personal Assistant, optimized for mobile Safari browsers. These cool and useful Siri Commands can be used on your iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad, iPad mini, and the iPod Touch. If you find this list helpful, or if you would like to add to our list of top Siri Commands, please use the comments section below.

 

Sunday
Jul072013

[GEEKY] Social login buttons considered harmful

You probably don't know what a social login button is so forgive this bit of geekyness. I am sure you've seen them: "login with facebook or twitter?" If an app or a site wants to "save you the trouble" of registering a username and password, they may "make your life easier" by allowing you to register using your facebook or twitter password. Conventional wisdom in the world of apps has been that this is a user requirement, and plus beneficial to the business as well. Here's an interesting article that refutes that belief, at least in certain significant scenarios.

Social Login Buttons Aren’t Worth It | MailChimp Email Marketing Blog:

I was, um, not super happy to get that email. I presented my data, and made the case for keeping the buttons, but Ben wasn’t moved. Even though the social login buttons were bound for the grave, I did a little extra analytics footwork to see just how many people were clicking the social login buttons. I was shocked to see that just 3.4% of the people that visited the login page actually used Facebook or Twitter to log in. So what caused the huge drop in login failures then?

 Yea

Sunday
Jun022013

[GEEKY] Even the simplest things are complicated

I love this article revealing the beautiful hidden complexity of the lowly magsafe connector.

Ken Shirriff's blog: Teardown and exploration of Apple's Magsafe connector:

Have you ever wondered what's inside a Mac's Magsafe connector? What controls the light? How does the Mac know what kind of charger it is? This article looks inside the Magsafe connector and answers those questions.

 

Tuesday
May222012

[GEEKY] Look what Safari looked like for a moment

I can't explain it but I was just scrolling around some pdf in Safari and it actually turned my world upside down (and inside out!)

Screen Shot 2012 05 22 at 10 47 29 AM

Monday
Apr022012

[GEEKY] Sublime Text surpassing TextMate?

I've been doing some more coding these days in Ruby.

I've had great success and fun (especially when debugging) using RadRails, which is an Eclipse based IDE for Ruby and Rails. It's quite nice.

With introduction of RVM, bundler, and so on, I've gotten a feeling that RadRails maybe too much. It seems to get contexts confused and create more hassles. I am not sure yet, but it's caused me to go back and use TextMate, which I've always had in an honored spot in my toolset.

Poking around forums and other resources there seems to be some frustration that TextMate 2 has not been completed yet, having been 'in development' for I think over two years. Also there seems to be more and more talk of Sublime Text 2 as a great alternative to TextMate. So… Here I go. I will report back.

Thursday
Mar222012

[GEEKY] Capistrano Colors

A random, highly specific and geeky tip:

If you’ve used Capistrano before, you’re familiar with the large error logs. Finding errors is, well, a hassle. You’ve got a whole slew of text, some just saying what command it’s going to execute next, sometimes errors, sometimes just output from Bundler or whatever it’s running. (from Rails Tip #8: Capistrano Colors)

Just follow the link to Rails Tip #8: Capistrano Colors) and your Cap life will be a little better.

Wednesday
Mar072012

Launch Conference: Day One

The Launch Conference is starting today. It is descended from many venerable conferences, particularly like Demo. I was a fairly regular attendee at the Demo conference over the years, and so far, Launch seems to be continuing that heritage in a very impressive way.

Basically this conference is about Products, Products, Products. Particularly software and web and mobile products. There's a really good energy in the room, like the start of another gold rush :) It is overlaid with the usual Silicon Valley attitude and posturing, but that's ok, I kind of like that.

Each launching company is given 5 minutes to demo/preset their products. There are 5 celebrity judges who will listen to the demos and then ask difficult questions.

Here is a running list of products that look good to me. It will be my public notebook. I hope you enjoy it :)

Mingly - A way to easily remember who you have not talked to in a while. A useful tool for obsessive networkers (like me) and something that I have done with a Word file for years and years. Handy, but it's a business?

Altluition: TurboTax for financial aid. Very comprehensive solution to help students who are trying to decide what University to apply based on cost and aid, deciding where to get financial aid, and then actually applying to multiple financial aid sources. Looks pretty awesome! (A google for Turbo Tax for Financial Aid, I find this article about AidAide. Just shows, like there are no new ideas!)

Vocre.com: Video calls with live language translation. I speak in English. I see the text of my message to make sure it's correct. I press send and my counterpart hear's my message in, say, Italian.

Budge: Gamefication of exercise and other health related programs and goals. Pushups. Meditation.

Hadza: Mutiple videos are often taken in different locations, at the same time, of the same event: a concert, a sports game, etc. But also a wedding or a place. If you record these with the Hadza application they create kind of a 'director's console where you can decide what view of the event you want to see, which audio you want to listen to. This looks very interesting and cool. They do have to get people to record the video with their app which is a barrier I guess.

Robin: Voice activated tool for driver: find parking, check on traffic, and navigate. Will it really work? Judges debate the defensibility of this product. "Natural language is the new taxonomy of the web" one of the judges says. Not sure about the word "taxonomy" here but the point is that there's a belief that services like Siri will be the entry portal of a most services on the web.

uGokit: Finding stuff you lost. $1 tag you put in or with the thing you might lose. It's an RFID tag. There's a reader and an app. When you lose your charger, watch, wallet, you can use your iPhone like a geiger counter to locate it. Also making sure that I didn't leave for the trip without my required items, leave for my gym without everything, and so on. $150 for the app, the reader and 20 tags. Pretty cool.

trigger.io: Cross platform mobile product creation. Allows me to easily create a HTML5, Android and iPhone apps in one fell swoop. Comparable to Sensa Touch.

mailerlite.com: Simpler and cheaper mailchimp / constantcontact. Looks good. Proof is in the tasting.

benetracker.com - Track the beneficiaries for my estate. like insurance and IRA accounts. When you die (!) they will notify all the beneficiaries. Ensure that the money caught in estates get to the intended beneficiary.

lifeyo.com - Really nice, pretty to look at, alternative to Google Sites or SquareSpace.

storybricks.com - Allows gamers to create story worlds and MMPG games.

wanderfly.com - Collaborative travel planning. It has a very pretty user interface. The recommendations are not just social, but from 'recognized travel experts. If it works it would be great, but of course these kinds of sites live or die by the quality of their content. It's true that TripAdvisor is not all that beautiful to look at but it's got the content and the quality.

Zabbi.com - Some kind of social network which let's you state what your current emotional state is and allows your friends to boost your morale when they see you are sad. Cool!

Moosiify.com - Flirting over music. Match meets Spotify.com. Meet people because you have similar musical tastes. A very nice user experience. And they are also creating a Spotify application so that the counterparts don't have to even have the Moosify client! This is really interesting.

spacemonkey.com - I unfortunately missed this one but it was so popular among the judges and audience that I decided to add it to my list. For example, here's what Rafe Needleman thought of SpaceMonkey. To be honest, reading Rafe's description doesn't impress me that much. I bought a 1Terrabyte disk last year for $70 from Amazon. Storage is cheap. Why pay a recurring charge?

That Suspicious Behavior - Another one that was popular with the judges that I missed. A way to "See something. Say something."

HipSwap - Another one that I missed. Buy and sell your stuff (a la crags list) but they include a pickup and deliver service.

More tomorrow.

 

Saturday
Feb182012

RSS feed for for twitter

A simple question that for some reason does not have a simple answer:

"I want to follow someone's twitter feed using an RSS reader, where is it?"

Well it seems that for some reason Twitter has quite hidden it but as a public service I will share the results of my research with you.

You will find it at:

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=username

So, for my twitter feed it is:

https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=pitosalas

Of course, users of BlogBridge have a much easier time and have many more options. With BlogBridge you can subscribe to a person, to a list, or even to a general Twitter query, like "Object Oriented Marketing".

Watch this brief video to see how you would do it in BlogBridge:

Thursday
Feb162012

MapReduce Patterns and Examples

Great review article:

"In this article I digested a number of MapReduce patterns and algorithms to give a systematic view of the different techniques that can be found in the web or scientific articles. Several practical case studies are also provided. All descriptions and code snippets use the standard Hadoop’s MapReduce model with Mappers, Reduces, Combiners, Partitioners, and sorting. This framework is depicted in the figure below." (from Highly Scalable)

Worth reading if you are interested in how Hadoop and friends might apply to the problems that you are trying to solve: "MapReduce Patterns, Algorithms, and Use Cases"

Tuesday
Jan312012

Funny: Shit they say in Sillycon Valley

Funny insider lingo. I am sure you'd be able to do a similar video for Washington DC (politics) and L.A. (movies) and Kendal Square (Biotech). My word is computers.