The conveniences designed to enrich our lives are pointless if, while using them, we endanger our lives. The risks are too great.

Sean tackles texting, etc. while driving, a struggle felt far and wide by our ever more wired public. It certainly hits home for me.

capture give-a-way

As a token of appreciation to my readers, I’ve got 10 promo codes for Capture to give to the first ten people to ask for one.

If you’ve already bought a copy, consider giving one as a gift to a friend who might not be so inclined as to pay 99¢ for it.

Thanks for reading!

Update: Out of promo codes, thanks everybody!

lion tomorrow

This is pretty much conclusive evidence that Lion will be out tomorrow.

Update: Apparently, this is official information that was shared in today’s Q3 Financial Results conference call.

web apps, support retina displays already

A lot of web apps, even new ones, can’t seem to manage serving good images for retina displays. All you have to do is explicitly set the dimensions of your images, and serve image files that are double the width and height.

You can see this solution in action in Counter, my web app for counting.

If that’s too easy, you could always draw everything with CSS.

hating waiting

Apple’s OS X Lion and any variety of possible hardware refreshes have been rumored to be released any day now for about the last week and a half. Latest word on the street is Wednesday. I’m not a registered Mac Developer, so I haven’t had access to the beta.

I probably won’t be writing a full review, but I’m looking forward to highlighting what features really affect day to day usage. Based on what was shown at last month’s WWDC, I’m really looking forward to it. Why do they have to be so secretive about the actual launch date?

google plus, initial thoughts

When I disparaged Google’s announcement of the “+1” button in March, it seemed like an orphaned idea that some lofty Gaggler was duped into pushing live. Now, in the context of the newly revealed Google+, it makes more sense. Google’s new entry into social networking seems promising, and I’m hopeful that they have learned from the mistakes of the dearly departed Wave and Buzz.

I’ve spent some time meandering through the new service, and must admit it’s clean and effective. This new initiative for better design has been reflected across many of Google’s other key web services recently. What I find interesting though is that I don’t see any ads. There’s no question of whether Google will integrate ads into Google+, only when and where. But if I were them, as an observer of recent outrages over Twitter’s trend bar fiasco, I’d start the ads sooner rather than later.

If Google+ had the same network of people that I’m connected with on Facebook, I would abandon the purveyor of Farmville and Mafia Wars quite readily. It’s not without overcoming some hurdles that Google will win over the vast hordes of Facebook though. I think the prime difficulty will be planting a foothold in the mobile space. I’m not talking about making an iPhone app. Google says that’s coming soon, and unless it’s built by a crack team of meerkats, it couldn’t be worse than the Facebook app.

What they need is third party app integration. There are thousands upon thousands of mobile apps for Android and iPhone happily integrating with Facebook and Twitter, and approximately zero integrated with Google+. In fact just yesterday Twitter announced it’s one millionth registered app. I haven’t heard or seen anything about a Google+ API yet, but they have a long way to go to catch up with one million apps.

A lot of people are talking about the security issues of letting Google host all your “private data”. I skirt the privacy concerns because, as an adult, I have already assumed the responsibility of restricting the content that I share across various internet services. If you’re posting anything online that you consider to be “private data”, you probably don’t have a good grasp of reality. If you haven’t duly considered the ramifications of what you share online, perhaps you should keep off your Facebooks, Twitters, and Tumblrs until you do. For example, a bad post: “My mother’s maiden name is Bigglesworth and my first pet was named Snuffles! This is a fun game! Would you like to know what city I was born in?”

Bottom line, Google+ is positioned to be a worthy competitor to Facebook, but it’s still far too early to call the game.

preparing for review of os x

This video, Preparing for John Siracusa’s Review of OS X Lion, by Pat Dryburgh and Edward Platero made me crack up this morning. If you’ve ever read any of the extensive reviews over at Ars Technica, you know just what this video is alluding to.


Is this a familiar scenario to you?

  • Launch iPhone to record a video
  • Wait 5 seconds for the iris to open only to find it in picture mode
  • Tap to switch to video
  • Wait for the iris to close and re-open again
  • Never mind, the moment has passed

Well it was for me. It has frequently caused me to miss out on moments that I wanted to capture, but was just too late on the draw. Not to mention all the times I didn’t even bother to try, because I knew I just couldn’t make it on time.

No more! Capture is our latest app from Sky Balloon for addressing this exact issue. It launches directly into recording mode. Quitting the app automatically saves the video to your Camera Roll in the background. No other superfluous features to slow you down or get in the way of launching and letting you capture the moment.

@skoda on @technochocolate on