Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

Category Archives: Blogging

Testing Duet — an OS X display extender app for iPad

You’ve prob­ably seen the online hype around Duet — an OS X dis­play extender app for iPad. Basic­ally it’s sup­posed to allow you to extend your cur­rent desktop screen to an iPad — just as if you had an extra mon­itor. Other apps already do this, but Duet’s claim to fame is it will extend your desktop in a way that’s lag free. So if you’re watch­ing movies or anim­a­tion and mov­ing ele­ments between mon­it­ors, you’ll not notice lag.

Duet’s unique fea­ture that allows this is that Duet con­nects to your Mac using the USB port and either 30 pin con­nector or Light­ning connector.

I’ve pre­vi­ously used sim­ilar apps, Air Dis­play and Dis­playPad, though both have util­ized WiFi to link your dis­play to the com­puter. Also, both sup­port Win­dows or OS X. Cur­rently, Duet doesn’t sup­port Windows.

Duet also doesn’t sup­port the ori­ginal iPad, where the two other apps do — a con­sid­er­a­tion if you have an older ori­ginal hanging around, as I do.

Duet has been get­ting mixed reviews on the iTunes App Store, but that may be related to the high CPU usage needed to render out a ret­ina dis­play to a ret­ina iPad — there’s a lot of work going on. If you’re using a new com­puter, or have a lower res­ol­u­tion iPad, then you may not encounter this issue.

Regard­less, I’ll take a look at the app and report back when I’ve been able to give it a workout.

 

Ello’s a thing, like the other thing, but more.

 

You’ve prob­ably heard about Ello, a new, Face­book altern­at­ive that prom­ises to be ad free, and not sell your data. Sounds inter­est­ing, so I’m try­ing it out.

Given my recent obser­va­tions on Face­book — mostly that the stuff I share there isn’t really seen by my friends who fol­low me there, I thought I’d give Ello a try.

Of course, it helps if my friends are fol­low­ing me on Ello too!

So if you’re inter­ested in Ello, let me know by using my con­tact form here. Include your email and I’ll send you an invite.

Read more about Ello here. And read the Ello mani­festo here!

Hope­fully I’ll see you on Ello soon!

Hammered


And not the way you think. My blog (and oth­ers of my account asso­ci­ated with my attacked domain) was off­line for a bit. It seems that someone thinks it’s a good idea to ham­mer my webhost’s serv­ers try­ing to find vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies in their security.

They selec­ted my domain again today. Prob­lem is fixed, but it’s a pain until I can catch the prob­lem and fix it.

Testing a newsletter. Want to help?

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 6.57.57 AMHey all, I’m test­ing out some news­let­ter soft­ware for Tess’s Steeped Tea con­sultancy and I’ve a favour to ask; I want to test it tonight but need warm bod­ies to receive it and offer feed­back :) If you want to help, sign up here (http://g1z.me/1fjAbBk). Feel free to unsub­scribe after the test, or if you can’t (soft­ware fubar etc) then just let me know and I’ll remove you.

Ques­tions? Com­ments? Let me know!

And thanks for let­ting me ping you about this!

– Brad

On Flipboard


EDIT: 2 days later and my read­er­ship has almost doubled!

So. I’ve got 28,000 51,000 read­ers of my online gam­ing magazine — a Flip­board titled On Gam­ing.

Holy Cow!!!! When I star­ted my Flip­board I had never real­ized it would become this suc­cess­ful. I’m totally humbled and blown away.

What’s a FlipBoard?

If you fol­low me on Face­book (and if not, why not? :D )  you likely have seen that I’ve been post­ing or cross­post­ing more art­icles to Flip­Board, a gor­geously laid out magazine format cur­a­tion sys­tem for content.

flipboard28k

Whut?
Flip­board is, quite simply, an online magazine that lets you take con­tent you find online and group it into one online ‘magazine’. Sim­ilar to what Pin­terest lets you do with vari­ous image con­tent. Flip­board ori­gin­ally launched on the iPhone and iPad, now is avail­able for Android devices and Com­puters too. A very nifty plat­form. To quote the cre­at­ors:

Mil­lions of people use Flip­board to read and col­lect the news they care about, cur­at­ing their favor­ite stor­ies into their own magazines on any topic ima­gin­able. Now magazines cre­ated by our read­ers, from Nepal to Sauce and spread, can be shared and enjoyed on the Web by any­one, anywhere.

others

And why is it some­thing you’d want to do?
Well, in my case, I love find­ing neat stuff and shar­ing it with oth­ers. And, hav­ing a suc­cess­ful Flip­board allows me to extend the reach of art­icles *I* write by simply includ­ing them in the appro­pri­ate Flipboard.

As well, hav­ing a pop­u­lar Flip­board also enhances my abil­ity to pro­file con­tent I think is important.

So, if you’re so inclined, feel free to check out On Gam­ing, or any of the other magazines I cur­ate, and let me know what you think! If you’ve got some­thing you’d like me to share with my read­ers, just con­tact me. And if you start your own Flip­board magazine, then let me know too! I’d love to have a look!

So. Google’s shutting down Google Reader

Frankly I’d not thought about my RSS read­ing pro­cess in a while. I use NetVibes (pic­tured above) as my main reader, and it’s been pretty stable up until today; they pos­ted a note say­ing they’re deal­ing with an influx of new mem­bers — likely emig­rants from Google Reader.

I like NetVibes because it gives me a simple headline-in-a-tile view that makes it easy to quickly scan my news, and NetVibes man­ages my feed sub­scrip­tions.

This is where the pain will be felt by those using Google Reader when the big G shuts it down. Many 3rd party apps for mobile devices use Google Reader as the ‘sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment’ fea­ture of their app. When Google Reader closes on July 1, these apps will have to have in place some sort of replace­ment for sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment, or they’ll break.

Update: If you’re look­ing to migrate your Google Reader sub­scrip­tions to NetVibes, the team at NetVibes have this handy guide. (Thanks Randy!)

For now, this won’t impact me or my news­read­ing habits, but as I men­tioned at the top, I’m rethink­ing my RSS read­ing, and as Dave Weiner states, rethink­ing my use of Free when applied to ser­vices I’m com­ing to depend on.

 

50 year old infographic shows NASA’s first manned forray into space

Loving the way today's NASA image of the day looks on my desktop.

NASA’s Image of the Day Gal­lery provided this cool infographic show­ing Alan Shepard’s brief flight into space — America’s first.

It appeared magic­ally on my desktop cour­tesy of John’s Back­ground Switcher — a cool win­dows desktop wall­pa­per applic­a­tion that man­ages and dis­plays many image sources.