Blackberry makes another stab with Passportbob Squarephone

Earlier this year, I posted that Blackberry would die this year.

Blackberry has put out a product that can only be described as cartoonishly square, like something my kid watches on TV, in an attempt at being something different. Since their OS can no longer stand on its own, this last ditch attempt at clawing back some market share on its way over the cliff of no return comes across as something that should have been painted yellow.


This phone is only for those with the largest cargo pants pockets or those who can dedicate a whole side pocket of their suit jacket.

This also brings to mind the LG Intuition which had sharp corners and was really good a tearing holes in pants.

Looks like I’m right on the money about Blackberry feebly thrashing in the water as it circles the drain.

Social Center: The loss of Sharing in iOS

One of the most disappointing things in iOS 7 was the disappearance of the Facebook and Twitter fields in the Notification Center that graced the Notification Center since iOS5 and 6.

Oddly enough its removal was advertise as if it were a feature:
In iOS7 we don’t have the notification center sharing panes.

Mac OS X has had sharing in its Notification Center since Mountain Lion in 2012. It has been thought that iOS and Mac were becoming more alike in features, so the loss of this convenient interface was jarring to me . Many hoped that with iOS 8 this oversight would have been corrected, but not so.

A “Social Center ” could have been made as another pane in the notification center that only shows when the phone is unlocked. It could have taken the place of the redundantly awful Missed pane in Notification Center we had in iOS 7. There were lots of ways this could have been done securely and still left us with the ability to quickly post quickly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Maybe those tweets and posts weren’t the best quality because they were too easy to post? Maybe the extra steps to get to the apps is a deterrent that prevents low quality posts? I’m not sure if any of this affects social networking quality, but it should still have been my choice.

IOS already has the capability to choose whether certain notifications and widgets will show on the lock screen. I would have loved to have seen anything with OAuth capability to display an input there, either a photo button for Instagram or a text field for LinkedIn, etc. A Social Center pane would also have been a very convenient way to advertise the Apple brand on social networks.

The one bright spot is that Apple introduced Notification Center widgets in iOS 8 and thus left the door open to developers to recreate this convenient sharing feature. An app called TapToShare seems to have brought this back! Try it out and see if it brings back quick convenient social sharing to your iPhone or if Apple needs to put it back in.

Flickr and iOS 8

Right as Apple pushed out iOS 8.0, a large number of users jumped onto the upgrade. As always, overeager to get the new tech, I upgraded my phone too. I loved it. As with all upgrades, a couple of apps broke; much fewer than I expected actually. The most serious for me was when background photo upload stopped working to Dropbox, OneDrive and Flickr. Dropbox and OneDrive fixed this almost right away, within 24 hours. Flickr, however, was different.

Yahoo Abandons Flagship Flickr app

While this was eventually fixed by default by Apple when they brought back the Camera Roll in iOS 8.1, it leaves me puzzled that Yahoo was content to allow Flickr to languish unattended without support for a major feature of its Flagship app for so long. It brings to mind all the complaining people are doing about whether yahoo is being steered right by Marissa Mayer and whether or not it is time to bring in new leadership to Yahoo.

On the third anniversary of Steve Job’s passing…



I happened to be in the Silicon Valley area this week to work at a client site. Having the rest of the day free after my flight today, I decided to hit some curious spots: Facebook campus, Googleplex. With little time left before the sunset, I headed to Cupertino to check out the local Apple Store, which turned out to be the on the Apple campus, which was closed today. Being my birthday today, on the way there I sadly recalled that this was also the third anniversary of Steve Job’s death. A quick Google search for Steve’s childhood home, 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, proved to be pretty close by. So in memory of Steve I drove by to give a nod to the house that Steve and crew built the Apple II in, where something different started…




Three years after his passing, memory of Steve Jobs is very much alive with Apple execs

Coffitivity And The Sounds Of Silence

I’m not really the type of person that listens to music when I’m working, since my library of music is the kind of stimulating stuff that makes you want to suddenly parkour out of a skyscraper, run up and down the sides of the building, chase down some perps, and then parachute into a war zone, all in the same minute. I don’t like any kind of pop music or anything that comes out of the radio – it’s basically the equivalent of elevator music to me. I need something else to run in the background when I want to be productive.

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My Thyroid is Very Very Broken

This is going to be a long post, so if you’re busy or in the middle of something or just skimming for something easy to read, you might want to scroll on.

Anyone who has been around me knows my hands shake, my legs shake. I have always been just a little more active than I should be. I dress very light, because a warm day will have me sweating like Niagara Falls. Everyone I took Tae Kwon Do with years ago knew I would sweat enough to make a puddle under my feet.

Over the past two years you might have noticed I was looking thinner and thinner as the days went by. I have posted no pictures of myself in that time, because of how thin I look. I first tried to attribute this to when I was smoking or how I walk to work every day. But the calories loss and gain did not add up. My walk to work is only worth about a can of Pepsi. At one point I tracked how many calories I are in a day. I actually ate two days worth of food in one sitting, and this was my normal daily meal. And this was all after my gall bladder was taken out. I don’t really feel the cold – even in this winter I stroll outside in a tank top and shorts to throw out the trash. I’m feeling overheated at 69F. I’m not able to exercise anymore, so I’ve lost so much muscle mass, losing close to 100 lbs of weight at one point. Once I hit my high school weight, I got really scared.

I went to the doctors. At one point 4 years ago I was misdiagnosed with Schoegren’s Syndrome. they really didn’t find anything. My imagination ran away with me: maybe it’s cancer, maybe I have something nobody has seen before, maybe I sat on the wrong toilet seat at Penn Station. But after a few scary Google searches, slowly all of this added up. I went to see a doctor who had basically diagnosed me when I walked in the door. I had not even noticed my thyroid was enlarged. They did the usual blood work. My thyroid hormone levels turned out to be so high that the lab they sent the blood work to cannot register how high: it’s above the highest point in their scale.

So now I’m off this morning to take a radioactive Iodine pill and will come back later to get scanned today and then scanned tomorrow. They’ll tell me how bad my thyroid is and what treatment I should have, and supposedly this can be turned around in months.

Why Your New iPhone Cable Is Broken

Since Apple release the iPhone 5 on September 21, 2012, the company has been bundling a Lightning cable with every new phone. The addition of this new cable format was applauded for its compact format, because it left more room for the speakers and the audio jack that was relocated to the bottom of the device. The cable brought new issues with it, so it is not something I am ready to applaud. Let’s see what’s wrong with Lightning…

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