Nov
25
2011
0

Flashpacking through North America without iPhoneTrip.com

I just returned from another major trip with my iPhone (and iPad in hand). Unfortunately, I didn’t rent a SIM from iPhoneTrip.com.

See my reviews from previous iPhoneTrip reviews:
Flashpacking into Africa with a Rented SIM from iPhoneTrip.com
Flashpacking through Europe with iPhoneTrip.com

My girlfriend and I did a “Noreaster”, traveling through North East America in October/November 2011. We visited Chicago, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Vermont, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Iowa. Since this was mostly in the United States, we didn’t rent a SIM from iPhoneTrip.com.

In Canada, this was very unfortunate. WiFi sucked, and roaming rates were insane. Fortunately we didn’t stay in Canada long enough for this to be much of a problem, and it was during the weekend, so I didn’t have to work much.

So why this review if I didn’t rent a SIM?

Because one can’t pass an opportunity to point out how far behind our wireless carriers in the United States are from elsewhere in the world. This trip was made with my iPad (on Verizon) and my iPhone (on AT&T). Unlike Europe where I had connectivity everywhere with my iPhoneTrip.com SIM, there were HUGE areas around the Northeast with absolutely no coverage on either Verizon or AT&T.

My point here isn’t just to bash the state our our wireless infrastructure in the United States, but also to point out that when traveling abroad, you can rely more on your mobile technology than you can in the US, making the thought of renting a SIM that much more compelling.

If you’d like to see the photos from my Northeast trip check out my photo albums on Facebook.

Oct
26
2011
0

Meeting with President Obama at the W Hotel in San Francisco

These are just quick shots with my iPhone. The official photos will be coming.

Oct
16
2011
0

Siri Wish List – Top Things I Wish Siri Would Do

1) Read information to me.
I’d love to hop in my car and tell Siri to read the top news headlines of the moment. Ideally, it would be nice to be able to go to a configuration panel and select the types of headlines I’m interested in (News, Politics, Sports, Tech, Etc…)

2) Allow 3rd party plug-ins.
Let apps like Shazaam plug into Siri, so I can just ask, “Who plays this song?” or “What song is this?” and have Siri tell me and provide me the option of buying it and putting it in the playlist I want. Many other apps could have plugs-ins around a specific subject area. If you have more than one app in a given subject area, your could prioritize one as the default, but then prefix the question with the name of the app for the second.

3) Allow the changing of settings.
I’m dying over hear with my unjailbroken iPhone 4S and its lack of SBSettings. It would help if Siri could “Turn off WiFi” or “Reduce brightness”

4) Read my email.
It’s strange that Siri will read/write text messages, but while Siri can write an email message, it can’t read one. It should be able to search emails and read specific ones.

5) Allow for corrections.
When taking dictation, it may interpret a word incorrectly. When that happens, it should allow me to say, “Edit, replace tomato with tomorrow”.

What would you like to see in Siri?

Oct
16
2011
1

iPhoto 9.2 Crash Fix – And Show Hidden Folders Tip in Lion

iPhoto 9.2 was crashing like crazy for me. It’s always been very reliable, but then when I enabled Photostream, all hell broke loose.

It turns out that the problem was with 3ivxVideoCodec.component.

Worse, it turns out that this little bugger had been causing problems with various apps for years as I’ve seen a history of people claiming problems with iPhoto, iTunes, Aperture, iMovie, QuickTime, and possibly other apps.

The Stupid Little Blog, shows how you can search for the file 3ivxVideoCodec.component and remove it, but some people have left comments saying that they aren’t finding it.

Apple made finding files much harder in some ways under Lion.

One annoying thing they did was to hide certain folders. However, MikeSel.info has a page showing how you can unhide the hidden folders/files in 10.7 Lion.

The short answer is to use the following terminal command to show hidden folders/files:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

And the following to undo this (hide folders/files that Apple thinks should be hidden:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

Restart, or re-login for the changes to take effect. Alternatively you could Option-Right-Click on the Finder icon in your Dock and select Relaunch.

If you have the FTP application Transmit, you can use that to both browser hidden folders/files, and delete them. Other applications may allow browsing/deletion of hidden folders/files as well.

Once you’ve revealed your hidden folders/files, you can go to:
/Library/QuickTime
(That’s the top level of your system hard drive -> Library -> QuickTime)

From that directory, delete 3ivxVideoCodec.component (if present).

Restart your Mac.

You may be able to relaunch iPhoto with everything working ok, but I’d recommend holding down the Option-Command keys while launching iPhoto and then let iPhoto repair/rebuild your library and thumbnails.

Alternatively, or if the repair/rebuild fails, you can restore your iPhoto library from Time Machine. You do archive with Time Machine on a regular basis don’t you?

Sep
12
2011
0

Webcasting live from Intel’s Developer Forum (IDF 2011) on Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 10am PDT – San Francisco, CA

Webcasting live from Intel’s Developer Forum (IDF 2011) on Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 10am PDT – San Francisco, CA.

IDF is where people from every part of the technology world gather to hear about Intel’s latest advances and witness its vision for the future first-hand. With hundreds of sessions, keynote presentations from top Intel leaders, and a strong set of sponsoring organizations from across the industry, IDF provides a rare chance to engage and learn across the entire compute continuum.

For over a decade IDF has been Intel’s premier conference, helping to shape the direction of tomorrow’s technology. Attend IDF 2011, and see where tomorrow’s technology will take you.

Bookmark this page, or embed this player on your site/blog. We’ll update this player with the live webcast on September 12. We’re now showing highlights from Research@Intel:

IDF2011 Live from ConnectedSocialMedia.com:

Download these videos at ConnectedSocialMedia.com/intelresearch
Subscribe to Intel Labs on iTunes
Also available on Facebook
Aug
22
2011
0

Monney Car Audio in Redwood City Rocks My World!!!

From my Monney Car Audio in Redwood City Yelp Review:

Price: 5 out of 5
Friendliness: 5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Knowledge: 5 out of 5

Monney Car Audio is located at:
2001 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063-2830
(650) 299-9991

Monney Car Audio - Redwood City - Car Stereo Installation

I had a great experience with this place. Really, just as perfect for service as you can get.

I stopped in on a Monday and explained that I had just purchased a car and really wanted iPhone integration. The owner let me walk around and browse to get a feel for the place without sales pressure.

After telling him what I wanted, he gave me a nice low-priced simple solution. Kind of a “start here” solution. It was pretty inexpensive, but I wanted to find out what other options there were, and if I could possibly afford a killer system.

I was walked through all the options all the way up to the top of the line. I can’t emphasize enough how “no-pressure” there was on this. There was no BS “you need this” or “you have to add that”. He listened to the things that mattered to me, and finally suggested a couple of different models for me to chose from. Not once did he try to upscale me on things I didn’t want or need. For example, the speakers were just fine.

I asked how soon I could get it installed, and he said I could come by the next morning at 10am for same day service. This was great, and I told him I wanted to do my homework and come back if still interested. Still no pressure, he said I could come by or call if I had any questions.

I did a ton of research. I printed out everything I wanted and what the cheapest prices were online. I read online reviews on the products I was interested in, and all the tips and tricks for getting the best out of them.

The next day I returned, much later than when I said I would, and he greeted me warmly. We went over the pricing, and everything seemed perfectly fair and reasonable. My car is a Mercedes, so I really wanted to make sure the work done was first rate.

Here’s where they really deserve a top score: He knew all the insides and outs of both my car and of the stereo. All the research I had done online that was very specific to my car and stereo was all stuff he knew like the back of his hand. I can’t emphasize how important this is. You can have your equipment installed by someone who’s reading the instructions, or you can have it installed by someone who not only reads the instructions but also researches online all the details and issues others have had and has done enough work to know how to do things right. Monney does.

I had other equipment I wanted pulled. Monney was able to do this and still have the car look like new. I really appreciated the attention to detail here.

Although I was really late, it wasn’t a problem. I was offered a ride and a rental car while they worked on it. When I returned, the stereo was perfectly installed without problem and Leo himself went through how the stereo works and waited to see if I had any questions. One problem was with my iPhone itself (Bluetooth), and he knew how to resolve it quickly.

I couldn’t be happier with all of this.

The quality of the work was top-notch.
The in and out was incredibly fast.
They were very knowledgable and friendly.
The *total* price for what I got was better than what I found when I shopped around.

The bottom line, is that there’s a reason why this shop has been so successful in this location as long as it has.

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