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It doesn’t matter that Apple screwed up the iPhone 7 announcement

Tech  ×  3 minute read It doesn’t matter that Apple screwed up the iPhone 7 announcement

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Today Apple announced the iPhone 7. I’ve been waiting for this day for as long as I can remember. In preparation for the event I read every juicy rumor, sifted through all the speculation, and found myself immersed in the next phase of Apple’s most iconic product.

It was 12:57pm ET and I was sitting down with my lunch to take in the wonder of what I thought would be the most anticipated Apple Event in years. And then the unthinkable happened. Apple snitched on itself.

The iPhone 7 was announced before Cook uttered a word

By now you’ve likely heard that the most secretive company in the world accidentally tweeted out new features and a video of the iPhone 7 a few minutes before Tim Cook took the stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Talk about bad timing. Not to mention their archrival bent them over the barrel 15 minutes before the Cook-note started.

“But then I let myself feel something that has been building inside of me since 2007 when Apple announced the first iPhone. I realized that it didn’t matter anymore.”

This doesn’t happen. Ever. The Apple faithful didn’t know whether to jump for joy or weep in a corner. All the build up and anticipation of the event ruined by a mere 140 characters.

At first I was pretty upset. I mean, I knew what features were coming so I guess it wasn’t that bad. But then I let go. I let myself feel something that has been building inside of me since 2007 when Apple announced the first iPhone. I realized that it didn’t matter anymore. And that realization was further reinforced when I read Molly McHugh’s article. She sums up everything I’ve been thinking about Apple’s events and keynotes over the past few years.

Let’s face it — we live in a world where information becomes available faster than we can digest it.

But I still look back and dream of better days. The original iPhone announcement in 2007 was the most magical thing I had ever seen. Steve Jobs gave us the device that would change the way we interact with each other and the world. Those days are long gone unless someone changes the game and sparks another revolution. I’m looking at you Apple Car.

Giphy Keys

Tech  ×  1 minute read Giphy Keys

Today Giphy came out with what is sure to be the next go-to keyboard for iPhone. Giphy Keys lets you communicate through moving picture. That’s right, endless GIFs in to your text messages that will allow you to express emotions with friends and family never thought possible.

Giphy Keys also combines the weird wit of the internet with the power of GIPHY tools. You can use #echo or #weather to make custom GIFs on the fly, harness the prescient powers of their magic #8ball, and explore many more new and exciting power-ups. This opens up a ton of possibilities and customization options to make your GIFs your own.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the promo video they created for launch day, you’re in for a real treat.

Call me a fanboy, but I love me some Steve-note!

Tech  ×  2 minute read Call me a fanboy, but I love me some Steve-note!

Can you smell it in the air? It’s that time of year again, the pre-pre holiday sales rush from our friends at Apple. Steve Jobs addressed a crowd of hundreds at the Moscone Center, the place where just a few months ago he introduced us to the wonderful world of iPhone. These events are very near and dear to me because they spark an excitement rivaled only by Christmas morning circa 1984 when Optimus Prime lay waiting patiently under the tree for me. Yes, that’s right folks, it’s quite serious. And today Apple did not dissapoint, for they announced a complete overhaul of their best-selling iPod line-up. From the stylishly small iPod Shuffle to the iPhone-esque iPod Touch, the upcoming holiday season looks ripe for another Apple stock surge.

The new iPod family is a handsome one. They can be seen this holiday season sporting new exteriors, vibrant colors and shapes as well as one showing off a 3.5″ touch screen that makes even the fiercest Zune evangelist a little green with envy.

However, niceties aside, I do have one issue with Steve’s keynote and it involves the updated pricing of the iPhone. Apparently, they’re selling well enough to justify a $200 price cut. I don’t mind the cut in price, it’s been determined that the iPhone doesn’t cost $599 to make. But I think it’s a little shifty to drop the price that much only a few months after its initial launch date. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every overpriced minute of my iPhone and was glad to stand in line, but it seems a little underhanded to trim prices so early and I can see how it would make a few folks angry.

All in all, I feel like the keynote was very strong. But don’t take our word for it. Check out the keynote for yourself as well as some of the wonderful new ideas Apple has been working on including the addition of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the highly anticipated addition of ringtones to the iPhone and iPod Touch. What a day to be a consumer!

UPDATE: It would appear that Apple has received it’s fair share of flack from existing iPhone users over the $200 price drop. They’ve responded and offered every customer a $100 in-store rebate on any Apple product. Hopefully this will alleviate some of the sting originally felt when the new price was announced.

Mint wins over Google Analytics

Tech  ×  4 minute read

I had a request in the comments of my previous post to write about which stat tracking program worked best for me. The choices I had were Mint, Google Analytics, and Measure Map. I didn’t try Measure Map because I don’t have the time to keep up with all three, but I’m sure it’s a lovely program and anyone that has tried it, please feel free to enlighten the rest of us. Now let’s get to it.

I currently use Mint, but I thought I owed it to myself to give Google Analytics a try when it was released. After a few days, it has finally tallied all of the information from my site and is able to give me readouts of traffic, browser use, screen resolution, and even information such as visitor loyalty and geo map overlays. All in all, the Google web application is a solid package and it serves a useful purpose (not to mention it’s completely free). However it seems that some of the output is a bit over the top for my needs. Although Google Analytics has more out of the box features and seemingly endless stats, I believe that Mint is the better stats package for me based on design, ease of use, and scalability.

It simply works

Mint just looks cool. It’s designed and built by Shaun Inman and if you’re at all familiar with his site, you can imagine what the interface looks like. If you’ve had a long day and would rather not let your imagination get the best of you, here’s a video. The interface is simple, elegant, and easy to use. With Google Analytics, there are bar graphs and pie charts abound, spewing my information into corporate Power-Point-slide-looking tables. If I were doing a corporate site for a client, then this would be an option. However, for my site about, much of the information is pure overload; which leads me to my next point.

Avoid app bloat, use Peppers

Although Google Analytics comes with a bunch of stat tracking pieces out of the gate, there are some parts that I would never use. I can either not click on them, or in the case of Mint, simply not download them. Mint comes with basic functionality and allows you to add Peppers as you see fit. No overgrown stat package, only the information that is relevant to you. Installation is a breeze and in no time you are up and running with the stats you need without the bloat associated with other stat trackers. Along with custom Peppers, there is a thriving support forum where you will get answers to all of your questions. You can even interact with the guy who made the program and suggest new Peppers to the community as your needs change. What a concept!

Just press F12

Finally, the biggest selling point for Mint in my opinion is the Junior Mint widget. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it is by far the most useful part about Mint for me. Let’s face it, unless you are doing some investigative research, planning a redesign and deciding whether to use 800×600 or 1024×768 or trying to figure out the ROI of your latest marketing endeavor, you probably only want visitor information. With the touch of a button, I am given the most up to date visitor stats without having to login to a web application. In order for me to get that with Google Analytics, I need to open up Firefox (not my first browser choice, I use Safari), log in to my Google Account and then access my web stats. That can take up to 2-3 minutes when all I want to do is check out how many visitors I had last hour.

For me, my site is a personal outlet and I don’t necessarily need all of my web stats broken down into fancy pie charts and bar graphs. On the other hand, if I am doing client work that requires specific information or the client would like support for why a certain decision was made, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Google Analytics. However, Mint works just fine for my needs and has also worked like a champ for my clients. Sometimes simpler is better and Mint proves that.

Even Microsoft can’t get it right in Internet Explorer

Tech  ×  1 minute read

This post is just a quickie, but this screen shot pretty much sums up why Internet Explorer is inferior to almost every other browser on the market. This is taken right off of MSN.com’s homepage when I loaded up IE 5.2 for Mac:

“Your browser cannot find our style and presentation information and as a result may not display the page properly. You are welcome to use the page as is, or upgrade your browser to its latest version which may address the problem. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to the Microsoft Internet Explorer website to install the latest version. If you are using another browser, see the provider’s website for more information. If you are using Internet Explorer for Mac, we recommend that you use another browser to have an optimal experience on MSN.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. Even MSN.com suggests using a browser other than Internet Explorer. This type of idiocy is pushing me ever closer to installing Explorer Destroyer on my site. It won’t be much longer now.

8 seconds

Tech  ×  2 minute read

8 seconds. That’s it. It’s like mounting up, strapping in, and letting a 1,700 lb. pissed off bull try to have its way with you. This is equivalent to what some hackers will put you through in the same amount of time. Some do it for fun, some do it for the fame, many more now do it for the money. But whatever the reason, you are vulnerable. It is imperative that you and your valuable information are protected against viruses and spyware.

We all know that in the modern world, we as a society are becoming more and more dependant on computers. They keep our banks and businesses running, our work day productive and our home life entertaining. Which is why when I came acrossvthis article it was evident that we still have a long way to go to feel secure. For those of you reading this page on a PC running Windows XP, this story is even more poignant. A computer connected to the internet running Windows XP without a firewall and an anti-virus program was completely subdued and controlled by malicious scripts and bots in a mere 8 seconds. It crashed completely after 30 minutes.

I know that most folks understand that a firewall and anti-virus software are now a necessity, but hackers are relentless. This is proven so with recent attacks on Britian’s bank infrastructures, with the attempt to liquidate $423 million dollars into a private account. If it doesn’t already scare you that the United State’s internal framework is primarily running on Windows machines, maybe this article will.