Why Do I Want to Podcast So Badly?

I’m not really sure what has come over me but for the last few weeks I’ve been obsessing with the idea of podcasting again. It’s doubtful that any of you remember my old days of podcasting back in 2006. It was a short-lived experiment in the burgeoning medium but a fun one.

Back then all I had was a Dell laptop and crappy RadioShack microphone and a quirky friend named Callie who laughed at everything I said and made the most ridiculous statements. Our show was called The Justin & Callie Show partly because we were so incredibly creative (snark) and because we thought it funny to have a “J C” show that wasn’t about Jesus.

I told you she laughed at everything. Oh dear Callie, you were too good to me. Continue reading

Leap Motion + Fleksy is Genius Typing in the Air

A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.

Laser projected virtual keyboardsSo 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air

Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.

Then, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.

But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.

I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.

Quickly – Facebook Quietly Updates Events RSVP Options

When Facebook first rolled out their “Events” section ages ago it gave invited guests three options with which to RSVP.

  1. Going
  2. Maybe
  3. Not Going

Seemed like enough. But people who RSVP “Maybe” to events kind of suck at life. I can’t maybe make more food on the fly. I can’t maybe have enough alcohol. I can’t maybe have enough room for everyone. These are things that I have to have. Ryan and I host parties from time to time and often get as much as 50% of our RSVPs as “Maybe” and it drives me crazy.

Facebook seemed to understand this and for a period of time you could remove the “Maybe” option. People were either there at your party or not there. No longer were there these Schrödinger’s cat guests! (I love making physics jokes…)

Sadly this option was taken away but today I noticed a new option in place of the “Maybe”. Now invitees can select “Interested”.

This doesn’t bring back the ability to disable all those indecisive people from not committing to your event. However, the wording change might prevent people from abusing the selection like they abuse “Maybe”.

If someone is interested in coming over they should understand that it doesn’t mean they have said they are or aren’t going. It’s a non-commital option that should tell everyone involved that at this point, you’re not going but the event interests you.

Do you think this will make a difference? I sure hope so. Also, properly RSVP to events people. It’s the civilized thing to do. Just ask Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Apple is Killing it in the Mac App Store

Of the top ten highest grossing applications in Apple’s Mac App Store, nine are made by Apple. Looks like the App Store for non-mobile was a great idea after all. Also, I predict that with the release of Lion, Apple will hold all ten, top ten grossing apps. Brilliant.

Klipsch Image One Review

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to write a review of the Klipsch Image One headphones. It was last November that I first posted about these over ear headphones, the first on-ear headphones made by Klipsch. And yes, one of these days, I will write a review that doesn’t take an hour to read. Brevity is not my strength.

I’ve decided to edit the introduction to this review with a summary of my thoughts. The full review is posted below, but if you’re in a rush, digest the following. Continue reading

iPad, the First Real iPhone Killer?

Today Steve Jobs and Company announced iPhone 4.0, the future operating system for their iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad devices (don’t like the iPhone moniker throw you off.  While the actual announcement came as much a surprise as did the huge number of sales for the first generation of the iPad (450,000 as of today), the predictions from John Gruber were spot on.

Here’s the short list.  Multi-tasking, unified inbox, custom wallpapers, better enterprise data encryption, multiple Exchange accounts, background tasking (uploading photos to Flickr, running Pandora, Skype SMS/calls etc) as well as nearly 100 other major and minor improvements.  I recommend reading this post from TUAW for all the details.

Gruber said multi-tasking and used Pandora as his example.  So did Jobs today.  Gruber also predicted a unified inbox.  Jobs showed that off today.

But what really caught my attention, and the attention of many others I’m sure, was the Skype news.  Still no Google Voice here but get this.  You will soon be able to run Skype in the background, all the time.  If someone calls your Skype number you simply slide to answer, just as you do now with regular calls to your iPhone.

Obviously we’re all seeing how cool this can be.  We’re on the same level with the possibilities here.  But what about this.  What if you are like me and love your iPhone and have an iPad 3G on the way.  What does this 4.0 update mean for me?  It means, for the first time in my iPhone life, I might dump my iPhone!

Do the math.  If you dump the iPhone for the iPad 32gb WiFi + 3G, you will make a saving of $590 in your first year, including the cost of the iPad!  The second year, and every year after that, you save $1,020!  How does this happen?  Simple.

Get the iPad 32 WiFi + 3G, pay $30/m for AT&T unlimited 3G coverage, pay $30 for unlimited Skype in/out calls within Canada/USA for a year (it’s on sale right now, 15% off), pay $30 for a Skype in/out number (it’s on sale for 50% off right now from its normal $60) and you’re done.

I made a handy chart that explains the savings.

My good friend Ryan @rzhale pointed out how cumbersome it would be to answer phone calls on an iPad.  Remember all the jokes about people carrying around iPads as a phone? Holding them up to their faces as they would an iPhone?  Well get that out of your head because the iPad allows A2DP stereo, two way bluetooth.  That means the stereo headsets with microphones, the bluetooth in-car systems, or simply bluetooth headsets you’re already using with your iPhone to do handsfree phone calls will seamlessly be integrated into the iPad.

With Skype you will have unlimited calls within the USA and Canada (not offered on AT&T at this price) and unlimited SMS for $60 a year.  That’s less than one month of access from AT&T.

Will I be giving up my iPhone once this comes to my iPad in the fall? Maybe, who knows.  But the possibility here is pretty awesome.  I can see the iPad replacing desktop office phones while you’re at work on WiFi, a nice dock and Skype interface for that.  When you head out, slide the iPad in your bag, briefcase, backpack and continue your call over 3G as you drive to lunch.  As long as you are within thirty feet of your iPad, you’re good to go.

For the travelling entrepreneur, you’ve just gained a new level of freedom.  iPad’s 4.0 operating system will allow you to make and take calls and sms while reading email, while writing a Pages or Numbers document, or updating your Twitter status.  You will no longer need your iPod, your Blackberry, your laptop.  You just need your iPad.  Lighter than your laptop, more powerful than your Blackberry or iPod and more functional than an iPhone.

Yeah I know, there are use cases where you need a laptop but for someone like my brother, sister-in-law, mother, father and grandmother, all professionals with corporate-type jobs that travel a lot, the iPad is all they need and something they’d all love to have.  Especially if it means not having to carry so many other devices on their person.

Don’t forget, airlines are even thinking about charging for carry-on luggage, not just your checked bags.  Spirit Airlines is the first to do this.  Yet another reason to decrease all that gadget bloat.

Are you excited about this prospect?  Would this get you to drop your iPhone and contract? Would this get you to get an iPad now or in the fall?

UPDATE: So how about this?  You don’t want the iPad but still want to take advantage of some sort of savings with this iPhone OS 4.0 release.  Check this out.  Did you know AT&T has a Data for the Deaf plan?  Unlimited data and SMS for $40/m.  Now, this might not be as ethical as the above option but it is certainly an option for the penny pincher who wants all the latest gadgets!

How would that break down for you?  Pretty sweet actually.  Here’s the chart.

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Columbia Missouri #GeekLunch

It only seemed appropriate that I made my 1,600th post on the blog something relevant, important and fun.  And that would be #GeekLunch, a phenomenon not unique to Columbia but still kick ass.

Several weeks ago I joined my new, social-media-addict friends Colby (@ColbyWG) and Sam (@SJOgborn) at Main Squeeze Cafe (@MainSqueezed) for a nerd lunch.  We chit chatted about social media, new media, media media, technology, marketing, etc etc.  It’s been something I have wanted to do for the last couple of years and I finally have friends here that are as obsessed as I am.

Oh and now that Colby has a sweet new digital camera, we have yet another thing to nerd out over.

Last week we met up at Shakespeare’s Pizza (@ShakesPizza) adding Zach (@DJ_Z), Zack Luye (@ZackLuye), Amy DiFrancesco (@adifran) Zoey Larson (@ZoeyLarsen) and Adam (@artvandelay300) to the meet up.

There, I got to touch, and play with, my very first Google Nexus One, thanks Adam!

Conversation ranged from Colby nearly face planting on Elm Street to the, at the time, upcoming SXSW in Austin to Google, the iPad and who knows what else anymore.  I do remember that the pizza was great and the company awesome.

It’s simple events like this that make living in Columbia feel not quite as isolating, especially compared to when I lived in the new media mecca of San Francisco.  I look forward to the next #GeekLunch, hoping to expand not only the number of people who join but also how often we meet up.

If you live in Columbia and want to join in on the fun, send me a message on twitter or leave a comment on the blog.  We’d love to have ya!

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