GoDaddy GNC Sponsor since 2005!

As I prepare to record my 800th show tomorrow, all of this would not have been possible without GoDaddy as a sponsor. A great deal of the gear and innovative things that I have developed in my show would not be possible without GoDaddy supporting the show. This site runs on a GoDaddy server that I pay for, and save money on by using my own promo codes.

They would not have stayed on as a sponsor had you not supported them in return and for that I am very grateful.

The story of how GoDaddy became a sponsor of the show is one I have told many times, and will likely tell again tomorrow during show 800, but the impact they have had is incredible. Things like the Podcast Awards would never have been possible without them, as I bank rolled the site back end from GoDaddy sponsor money. The CES coverage in the early years was largely paid for by GoDaddy and the list goes on and on.

I have often said that GoDaddy has kept the lights on and fed my family, and while we have had other sponsors GoDaddy has been the most consistent year after year. So as we head into show 800, I ask that you consider supporting the show by buying a GoDaddy product or service by using one of the promo codes on the linked page.

Whispersync for Voice Saves Your Place

People who love to read will take the opportunity to squeeze in another chapter, or a few more pages, any chance they get. Today, many people are reading books on their Kindle, (or other tablet device). Or, they are listening to the audio version of a book that they got from Whispersync for Voice is something new that connects these two options in a unique and time-saving way.

In order to use Whispersync for Voice, you will need a Kindle. You also will need to get the free Audible app for the iPhone, iPod touch, or Android. As the name implies, Whispersync for Voice will sync up your audio book with your ebook. You can put one device down, pick up the other one, and the book will continue exactly where you left off. No more wasting time trying to figure out where one version left off when you switch to the other one.

Start by purchasing an ebook for your Kindle. There will be a button that allows you to “Add Narration” for a few dollars more. Making that purchase is what enables your Kindle and Audible app to sync up with each other. There are about 15,000 books at that work with Whispersync for Voice right now.

The latest generation of Kindle Fire, and the Kindle Fire HD 7” and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” will let you do something called Immersion Reading. It will let you add the professional narration to your Kindle so you can read the book and listen to it at the same time.

Apple Store Robbery Gone Wrong (Video)

Perhaps the only light side of crime is when robberies go horribly wrong and end up as amusing stories.  It’s even better when there is video of the failure, which is becoming more common given the prevalence of surveillance cameras in our society.  Such was the case recently when three would-be thugs attempted to rob an Apple store by smashing their BMW SUV through the front window.

In-store cameras captured the mess as it unfolded.  Getting into the store wasn’t a problem and the thieves grabbed as many display products as possible.  However, a security gate closed behind the vehicle, blocking the getaway path.  After multiple attempts, the BMW eventually smashed it’s way out but, in the process, lost it’s license plate and gave the vehicle two flat tires.

After realizing his license plate had been left at the scene of the crime, Equonne Howard returned to the store to reclaim it and was promptly arrested.  On Wednesday he plead “not guilty” to charges of attempted burglary and parole violation.  Given the video and license plate though, he may have a tough time beating this rap.

GNC-2012-09-13 #799 Wirecast Idiocy

Upgraded to the latest version of Wirecast and little did I know but they delete your custom recording profiles. So I recorded in a 4:3 format versus a 16:9 which really sucks.. This is one of the severe limitations of using software like this it is unpredictable and unreliable. Ok back to Hawaii for Show 800. Should be a lot of fun..

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Apple Doesn’t Need Heroes

Apple LogoThe iPhone 5 was launched yesterday with the usual Apple pizazz. It looks like a good solid update but there’s the inevitable criticism about the lack of NFC, wireless charging, average screen size, etc. Much as I’d like to see a high-end device, Apple doesn’t need a hero phone based on hardware features and it doesn’t take much analysis to figure out why.

First of all, the Apple fanbois is not your average iPhone user. The vast majority of iPhone owners I know are comfortable with technology but they’re not techies, geeks or nerds. If you ask them why they got the iPhone, it’s quite often because they’d heard about on TV or because they’re friend had one. It certainly wasn’t because it had a Retina display or an 5MP camera. Fundamentally, it was “you can’t go wrong with an iPhone” and the specific features are largely irrelevant.

Secondly, let’s assume that the majority of Apple iPhones are sold on a 2 year contract. No-one wants a new phone of a model they already have so there has to be an upgrade path hence there has to be a new phone has at least every two years. This is self-evident. But on the other hand, at upgrade time, the upfront cost of the phone cannot be too high as to put people off. If Apple suddenly put a whole pile of new features into the iPhone, the upfront cost is likely to jump. Consequently, I would suggest that generally Apple will only introduce one significant or costly improvement with each iteration of the phone. And with the iPhone 5, it’s the new screen.

Similarly, people tend to like what they know and the iPhone is well-liked. Apple isn’t going to introduce an iPhone with a 4.8″ screen. Why not? Because a big screen is sufficiently different that lots of people will not want to buy the phone and if we bear in mind the previous point, there has to be a viable upgrade for those on 2 year contracts. Apple is then into the situation of having a range of different devices and having to keep them all fresh.

Finally, this argument wouldn’t be complete without mention of the ecosystem. In many ways, this is the killer feature of the iPhone and Apple needs to keep the apps and the media fresh and exciting. Apple very much knows this – it doesn’t trumpet the AppStore numbers for nothing, though Apple has taken it’s time over the iTunes refresh.

In summary, Apple simply needs to provide an upgrade path that offers better phones than last time and doesn’t alienate existing customers by being too different. Only one or two cutting-edge features are needed to maintain the iPhone’s lead; there’s no need for it to be the best at everything. Much as we might want a hero phone, it’s incremental improvement that will continue to bring in the cash.

I Want a Clumsy Ninja of My Very Own

The coolest thing about the Apple Keynote Event, at least for me, was Clumsy Ninja. I want one! Clumsy Ninja is a new game that was created by NaturalMotion Games. It features a cute, cartoon, ninja character that isn’t very good at being a ninja. You have to teach him to become a better, more skilled, (but still adorable) ninja. To do this, you must play with him, and teach him how to play with a variety of objects.

NaturalMotion Games describes the Clumsy Ninja as follows:

“…Clumsy Ninja showcases the first artificial intelligence (AI) character based on real-time simulated body and central nervous system, rather than canned animations”.

In other words, the game includes a real-time simulation, and uses advanced artificial intelligence. This means that when you play with Clumsy Ninja, he will behave differently each time. It also means he can learn from his experiences, improve his skills, and be curious about his environment. Clumsy Ninja was described as “self-aware”. In some ways, this reminds me of the tamagotchi (but much more fun).

Clumsy Ninja will become available on the new iPod Touch, (which is the fifth generation of iPod Touch). The new iPod Touch will run on a dual-core A5 processor. It will also have a 4 -inch Retina display. The battery life will last for 40 hours.

The new iPod Touch will be available in October of this year. It will cost $299 for the 32GB version, or $399 for the 64GB version. It looks like I will have to wait a bit before I can get a Clumsy Ninja of my very own to play with.

If you missed the Apple Keynote Event can check out the Clumsy Ninja in action in this video:

Jimmy Kimmel Shows Off the “iPhone 5″

Alright, I realize that based on my rant yesterday, and now this, I look like an Apple hater and I can assure you that I am really not.  I am, however, upset about the previously mentioned connector issue that caused my daughter to decide she no longer wanted the new iPhone, and I also have a sense of humor, which is why I found last night’s Jimmy Kimmel bit very amusing.

The segment has been making the rounds today for good reason.  The show sent a reporter out on the street to ask people what they thought of the new iPhone 5 but, since the handset isn’t yet available, what these unsuspecting passers-by were actually shown was the iPhone 4S, the previous model of the Apple phone.  As the saying goes, hilarity ensued.

The video was certainly edited to weed out the more knowledgeable users, but it still made for some entertaining TV.  I won’t give anything away, just check it out for yourself below.

Robot Underpants #66 – 09.12.12

Langley, Eric, Mike and Kacey are here for iDay! Yes there will be iPhone 5 talk, discussion of Terraforming Mars, IBM Nazis, Christmas Story 2, and more!

* Benghazi Attacks

* IBM Nazis

* Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D.

* Zombieland Writers do Robot Movie

* A Christmas Story 2

* Robot Cop

* Star Trek Fan Films


This Week’s End Track:

In OrbitThe Revelaires
“Theme From Star Trek” (mp3)
from “In Orbit”
(Kinky Star Records)

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Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Puretracks
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Buy at mTraks
More On This Album

An Open Letter to Apple: Seriously?! You Can’t Standardize your Connector?!

Before you get up-in-arms and act like an Apple fanboy, hear me out.  Today Apple rolled out their iPhone 5.  It will, of course, own the news cycle for a day or two.  I get that.  They have a loyal following, and it’s somewhat deserved.  After all, they make some great products.  Maybe they aren’t really the innovators that everyone makes them out to be, but they certainly perfect what has been invented prior.

However, and this isn’t just an Apple thing because Sony annoys everyone in this way as well, they can’t seem to meet industry standards for anything.  They trumpeted firewire, then dropped it.  They adopted a new monitor connector.  Now, despite the fact that previous iPhones had one type of connector, they have changed it for the latest version.  And, it is STILL not compatible with ANY other phone on the market.

Speaking personally, we have at least 10 phone chargers plugged in around out home.  Would any of us switch to an iPhone?  My daughter actually wanted to, but then was put off by all of the complications of everything she would have to do.  New chargers in the home and car, incompatibility…

Seriously Apple?!   Your products are different and we all get that.  We love them, we really do.  But get with program and make them compatible in every home, or Android will continue to outsell you 3-1.

Tabeo is a Tablet for Kids from Toys R Us

Coming this Fall, a tablet that is designed for children to use. It is called Tabeo, and will be sold exclusively at Toys R Us. For $150 you can pick up one of these kid-friendly tablets for your child, and avoid the problem of having to “share” your own, personal, tablet device.

The Tabeo comes with parental controls that are intended to ensure safety and security. It comes pre-loaded with over 50 apps, including Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. The Tabeo App Store will have over 7,000 more free games, books, and educational programs that are compatible with the Tabeo and appropriate for children to use.

Tabeo has a 7” capacitive multi-touch screen, 4GB of storage, WiFi, an HDMI port for tablet to TV connection. It also has front facing camera.

Today, children get online at a very young age, and they learn the skills to use new technology, (such as phones, tablets, and other mobile devices) very quickly. The Tabeo is intended to be a safe device for kids to use. Parents get a lot of control over what, exactly, goes onto their child’s tablet. The Tabeo App Store is only going to have apps, books, and other educational resources that are all appropriate for kids to use. Parents who want to get one of these for their child for Christmas can pre-order one right now.