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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie’

Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of Thunderbirds, Dies

December 26th, 2012 12:29 admin View Comments

Sci-Fi

jamstar7 writes “According to the BBC, ‘Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV shows including Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83. He also created Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and his puppet superheroes fired the imaginations of millions of young viewers in the 1960s and ’70s. Thunderbirds, a science-fiction fantasy about a daring rescue squad, ran from 1965 and was his most famous show.’ In my opinion, his greatest creation was Space: 1999, an ITV production with practically no budget, which had great shows in the first season. Unfortunately, like so many other Gerry & Sylvia Anderson projects, it ran out of gas in the second season. They did some great stuff.” Anderson’s son Jamie also has a post in remembrance of his father.

Source: Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of Thunderbirds, Dies

A Girl’s Guide to Sex with Dogs

May 16th, 2012 05:26 admin View Comments

My name is Jamie, and I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy having sex with dogs (and I’ve been doing it since I was 14!), I am totally “normal” in almost all respects: I’m 28 and live in Los Angeles. I have a boyfriend who is pretty good in bed and I have a great job as a graphic artist. But I’ve found that dogs can actually be better and more satisfying lovers than either men or women! I know that sounds weird, and a lot of you will be shocked by this, but thousands of women and girls worldwide agree with me, and, by all indications, more women are discovering this secret every day. Women have been having sex with animals for centuries, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any woman who wants to experience what is possibly the most intense and electrifying sexual experience there is.

Source: A Girl’s Guide to Sex with Dogs

Launch Center’s Curious Quest to Fix the iPhone

January 31st, 2012 01:29 admin View Comments

launchcenter_dock150.jpgMacworld | iWorld was last week, and as Apple-watchers expected, the emphasis was on the i-part. The iPhone and iPad are becoming blockbusters, so this must have been an exciting year to be at that show. I wasn’t cool enough to be there, but I’m pretty sure I read the blogs of every single person who was. And there’s one iPhone app they’re all talking about this week: Launch Center.

To a hardcore iPhone user, it seems like it should be relatively easy to explain what Launch Center does. But as the many meditative blog posts show, there’s more here than meets the eye. Launch Center’s creators at App Cubby are still figuring out for themselves what they’re onto here. They’ve broken into something fundamental about iOS that it doesn’t have yet, and they’ve made a $0.99 app we can all use to figure out together exactly what that is.

Launching An Experiment

Launch Center is one app for launching tasks across many apps. It can be a simple speed-dial-Mom or text-my-girlfriend launcher, or it can hook deeply into an app and, for example, go straight to Instagram’s camera screen. You can also link to any Web URL, which it will open in Safari. It also comes loaded with some neat shortcuts like a ‘Flashlight’ button to turn on the phone’s LED. An update last week added scheduled tasks, so you can now associate an in-app action with a timed reminder. This all sounds so useful, but it’s surprisingly hard to figure out how to work it in.

I talked to App Cubby founder David Barnard today, and it sounds like he and developer Justin Youens are still figuring it out, too. Barnard says they only put Launch Center in their iPhone docks themselves in the last week or two. They’re experimenting now with different kinds of interfaces, beyond a simple list of actions, as well as different kinds of tasks to launch.

drbarnard.jpgThey’re also working with developers of other apps to create good URL schemes for inclusion in Launch Center. iOS apps have URLs for different screens or actions, just like websites. For example, to launch Instagram straight to the camera screen, the URL is instagram://camera. Launch Center users can input URLs themselves, and developers often make these publicly available. But it also comes loaded with some easy and common ones for users who don’t want to get their hands too dirty.

But is this something users want? Is the convenience of going straight to a common action, rather than swiping around for the app you need, tapping it and then acting, important enough for most users? Barnard and I discussed that at length, and I think we concluded that there’s no way to know without trying. So they went ahead and launched Launch Center at the unbelievably good price of $0.99, and now we can all try it. Barnard says that they’re getting about 1,000 downloads a day, and they’re especially big in Japan.

A Better Mental Model

launchcenterphone.jpgFederico Viticci at MacStories wrote a thoughtful post last week about the shortcomings of Apple’s iOS home screen. The problem is that its “badges on a table” metaphor is not quite flexible enough sometimes. It forces users to think about launching an app and then finding a task, even though one or two taps might seem like enough to cut straight to the action. Apple has had to hack its own interface with features like Notification Center to speed things up.

Launch Center started as a way to extend Notification Center, but the first version was rejected by Apple. The Launch Center of today is like a shelf containing its own list of actions chosen by the user. Barnard says they’re considering making an “experimental” version for pro users, letting people choose from a variety of different launcher styles to see what works for them.

Whether or not we’re conscious of them, I believe these kinds of time-savers and mental models are important to everyone with a smartphone. RWW fans almost certainly don’t know this, but I co-host a weekly podcast with my friend Jamie from App Advice about what to do with all these devices. We discussed Launch Center when we first heard of it and again in great detail two days ago, because we’re both frantically searching for ways to work this app into our lives. For now, I think we’ve both decided to just stick it on our docks first and find a way to use it over time.

In my Launch Center right now, I’ve got the Instagram camera launcher, ‘compose tweet’ in Tweetbot (my Twitter client of choice), and a few Web bookmarks I use all the time, like my Kippt inbox. It’s still very much an experiment, but that’s the fun of Launch Center. If you’re looking for ways to get a little more oomph out of your iPhone, check out Launch Center and share what you come up with.

Source: Launch Center’s Curious Quest to Fix the iPhone

BitCoin, the Most Dangerous Project Ever?

May 16th, 2011 05:30 admin View Comments

The Almighty Buck

Jamie found a followup to the bitcoin story we’ve been following awhile. The article talks about the untraceable, un-hackable nature of BitCoin. They can’t be locked down like PayPal, and the article predicts that governments will start banning them in the next 18 months.

Source: BitCoin, the Most Dangerous Project Ever?

Reform the PhD System or Close It Down

April 26th, 2011 04:14 admin View Comments

Education

jamie points out an opinion piece by Columbia professor Mark C. Taylor in Nature News decrying the state of PhD education in the US, calling it “broken and unsustainable.” Quoting: “The necessary changes are both curricular and institutional. One reason that many doctoral programmes do not adequately serve students is that they are overly specialized, with curricula fragmented and increasingly irrelevant to the world beyond academia. Expertise, of course, is essential to the advancement of knowledge and to society. But in far too many cases, specialization has led to areas of research so narrow that they are of interest only to other people working in the same fields, subfields or sub-subfields. Many researchers struggle to talk to colleagues in the same department, and communication across departments and disciplines can be impossible. If doctoral education is to remain viable in the twenty-first century, universities must tear down the walls that separate fields, and establish programmes that nourish cross-disciplinary investigation and communication. They must design curricula that focus on solving practical problems, such as providing clean water to a growing population. Unfortunately, significant change is unlikely to come from faculty members, who all too often remain committed to traditional approaches.”

Source: Reform the PhD System or Close It Down

Page Sharing Service Bo.lt Lets You Copy, Edit And Share Almost Any Webpage

April 21st, 2011 04:25 admin View Comments


With $5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, webpage sharing service Bo.lt launches today after about a year in private beta. Like a “Bit.ly on steroids,” the service lets you paste any URL into its copy engine or bookmarklet, creating a duplicate of the page on its servers.

Once copied, Bo.lt lets you quickly edit the page itself. You can change the text, edit and delete images and text and change links — either through the Bo.lt visual editor or its HTML editor. You can then share the page on Twitter or Facebook through its customizable URL and let other people edit or make changes which are tracked.

The page editor tool itself is extremely intuitive to use, and is pretty fun if you’re creatively messing around with web pages and pretty useful if you’re trying to complete actual work like A/B testing site code changes or codelessly trying out different headlines, images and fonts on a content page.

Bo.lt serves up realtime analytics on each page, showing you the amount of traffic from Twitter, Facebook and Google as well as providing more webmaster-friendly data like differences in page load time. The service also lets you see all user Bo.lting activity in a Community feed, and lets you explore other users’ activity visually when you click on their profile page.

As with any content aggregation service, there’s always the looming specter of copyright issues, but co-founder Matthew Roche tells me that the tool is content provider friendly in that Bo.lt still serves up a given page’s ads and analytics systems. “It’s way of preserving the form ad and visibility of the content while increasing the reach,” he says. As a tool enabling sharable webpage changes like this has never existed before, it remains to be seen exactly how content owners will react to their content being altered and shared in this way.

Bo.lt plans on monetizing through premium accounts that give users the ability to create Bo.lt pages under their own domain names as well as other power user features like suppression of the automatic share to the Community feed. Right now partners like Houseplans.com, Second Porch and Smart Destinations are all using Bo.lt to target web pages to customers.

While the simple page-editing aspect of this is pretty awesome, co-founders Matthew and Jamie Roche have a grander vision, “We are building a true page sharing network, you should be able to share webpages the way you share stuff on YouTube and Flickr.”

The service begins rolling out to early signups at 8am PST today, and a hundred interested TechCrunch readers can get priority access here.

Source: Page Sharing Service Bo.lt Lets You Copy, Edit And Share Almost Any Webpage

The Saturn Fly-By

March 15th, 2011 03:07 admin View Comments

NASA

Jamie noted that today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is actually a Video of Saturn built by compiling actual photographs taken by Cassini in 2004. Unlike most videos of this type, this isn’t actually 3D animation, these are the actual photos (albeit “digitally tweaked, cropped”). Great views of the planet, as well as Titan, Mimas and Enceladus.

Source: The Saturn Fly-By

Why Google Wants Your Kid’s SSN

February 23rd, 2011 02:33 admin View Comments

Privacy

Jamie found a somewhat creepy story about a kid’s art contest run by Google. As part of the entry, they need the last 4 digits of a social security number. The article suggests that the information requested by the contest should make it possible to guess at, and compile a list of children’s social security numbers. It’s bizarre and worth your read.

Source: Why Google Wants Your Kid’s SSN

Grapple Mobile Wants You To Know They Did Not Raise $10 Million

January 20th, 2011 01:08 admin View Comments

A day in the life of a famous tech blogger (citation needed): I was pitched a story yesterday, an exclusive no less, on an ‘interesting announcement’ from Grapple Mobile, which provides technology and services for cross-platform mobile app development.

Sure, I said. Share away, I said.

Turns out the story, which was embargoed until ‘first thing tomorrow’ to confuse matters even further, concerns a financing round. Which didn’t occur.

In a press release, Grapple Mobile says it has rejected $10 million venture capital funding offers to bankroll its expansion. To be more specific, the startup says it has received 2 substantial term sheets from VC firms in the United States and the United Kingdom.

But turned them down because they didn’t need to raise money after all.

It’s a funny (and apparently efficient) way of getting attention, but I’m not so sure why there needs to be any ‘exclusives’, let alone embargoes, about this sort of non-news. Grapple Mobile adds that it has exceeded its revenue expectation by 550% from original company forecasts, which is equally meaningless, since we don’t learn what those original company forecasts were.

I mean, they could have projected to make $1 in 2010 for all I know.

And no, they can’t send me the received terms sheets – those are confidential.

Anyway, Grapple says it is looking to acquire technology and mobile operations that will allow it to extend its existing service, and says it’s already in advanced discussions to buy a technology centric recruitment agency. Unfortunately, they’re not sharing which one, for how much and how such an acquisition would fit into their strategy.

Bizarre stuff, I say, further amplified by Grapple Mobile founder Jamie True’s quoted statement on his company not raising funding from any VC firms whatsoever:

“Grapple has a unique energy and excess funds are flattering but not what we are looking for right now.â€

Duly noted, Jamie. Thanks for sharing!

Any other companies who haven’t raised VC funding and would like to tell the world?

Source: Grapple Mobile Wants You To Know They Did Not Raise $10 Million

Music Really Is Intoxicating, After All

January 18th, 2011 01:01 admin View Comments

jamie writes “Our reaction to the music that we love stimulates the flow of dopamine into certain sections of the brain, concludes a new study out of McGill University. The findings ‘help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies,’ the scientists note.”

Source: Music Really Is Intoxicating, After All

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