Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cats as killers

Apparently, one of the most shared articles on The New York Times website this week is this hatchet job against your beloved Sassy, Patches or Tigger:

The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

(I kid, I don’t doubt the validity of this report, and in fact, as I type this, an 18-pound tuxedo short-hair lies next to me and I fear for my life.)

The report even prompted an anti-cat editorial from the Old Gray Lady.

Mostly though, I just think the Times is late to this story, given this August piece on the same subject by our nation’s hotel-door-step paper of record.

The times even scooped themselves on this prowling pussy problem back in 1989.

OK, so maybe our nation does face a difficult cat problem, but let us please not let the people of Wisconsin decide what to do about it.

I would say more on this subject, but I must be going as the tuxedo cat has suddenly taken a keen interest in the cursor moving across my screen, and I think he has eyes on me next.

Tweetping

Tweetping is a pretty impressive real-time visualization of what is being tweeted around the globe.

The site has been up and down since yesterday, so here’s a screenshot in case you can’t access it:

Tweetping

It clearly isn’t working from the full Twitter fire hose, but the data it has is almost too much to take in already, so it works.

It is also made with a nice assortment of Javascript: Node.js, Socket.io, Processing.js and Backbone.js.

The subtle touch of Jony Ive?

I noticed on the way into work this morning that the audio controls on my lately-upgraded-to-iOS 6.1 iPhone looked ever so slightly different.

Surer enough, as these two screen captures show, they are. Is this the subtle touch of Jony Ive’s new UX leadership in the post-Scott Forstall era? That scrubber control certainly bears resemblance to brushed al-u-min-ium.

iOS 6.1 on iPhone 5

 

iOS 6 on iPhone 4

iOS vs. Android version adoption

Gruber points to this Apple press release touting 300 million devices on iOS 6 in just five months.

Meanwhile, I was reminded via Timehop yesterday how much I hated the Android Honeycomb emulator two years ago, which got me wondering where Android version (specifically that two-year-old Honeycomb) adoption sits. Turns out, according to Google’s own numbers, that Gingerbread, the version prior to Honeycomb is the undisputed leader of the market with a 47.4 percent share.

android-share-1-28-2013

That is a sad state of Android affairs. No wonder surveys continually show developer interest in iOS as leaps and bounds ahead of Android. Android has come a long way in the past two years, but what good are those advancements if you as a developer have to create for the lowest common denominator?

How to wear a fedora

I’ve been a fan of Goorin Bros. hats since three years ago when a friend turned me onto them, and I have been spending a fair amount of time at their new shop in Uptown Minneapolis since it opened a few months back, walking distance from my apartment. Well, it turns out they make some pretty entertaining brand content too (how many companies have you ever seriously said that about?), that is, entertaining if you love hats. Take this post about how to wear a fedora for example.

There’s one way you can wear it that I didn’t recommend, and that is to not wear it, a little taboo, I don’t recommend it. Wear hats. They say a lot about an individual.

That Grizum is looking mighty nice. That might be my next hat.

Young people, do the mayor a favor

This is just one of the many reasons I will miss Mayor R.T. Rybak when his term comes to a close at the end of this year.

Please, my millennial friends, do your part to help the mayor.

Too much to read

I have a reading problem.

The velocity at which new articles are entering my Pocket seems to be accelerating, while my reading speed and the time in the day have remained constant.

Just yesterday I added… well there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to see how many articles I added yesterday, but I would guess about 20 articles added from TweetBot, Flipboard and the Pocket Chrome extension — all without ever opening the Pocket app to read any of them.

Currently I am sitting at 735 items in my Pocket*: 735 articles, audio segments and videos about media, technology, entrepreneurship, advertising, social marketing, public relations, journalism, gadgets, apps, web development, user experience, graphic design, architecture, soccer, baseball, data, film, food, drink, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, writing, publishing, photography, psychology, politics, the environment, style and comedy, to name just a few of my interests.

Aside from cleaning up my inbox, I typically spend the quiet time around the holidays catching up on reading. In 2011, it was Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography and my Instapaper queue. This past season, it was my Pocket (having pretty much made the switch from Instapaper, though I still have unread items there too). Add while I read plenty during my time off, I added to the pile too. It feels like no dent was made at all.

And it wasn’t just my Pocket queue. I bought some Kindle Singles, downloaded some Readlists, subscribed to Marco’s The Magazine, was constantly drawn to interesting Quora posts and finally learned to enjoy the Medium experience. And… what’s that? Oh, a push notification, the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek is waiting for me.

All the while I dreamed of a Blackstrap and a Kindle Paperwhite (there I was reading Nick Hornby’s Pray: Notes on a Football Season on the iPad’s backlit display like some sort of about-to-be-blind animal).

And what a terrible problem to have, like having to many great restaurants to choose from for dinner, or being loved too much.

This pile of reading has a way of causing me anxiety. Yet, I am slowly coming to accept that I will never be caught up. I will never reach the end of the Internet. There will always be more to read.

But maybe I shouldn’t give up? Maybe I should learn speed-reading techniques? (I’m pretty sure I have an article about that in my Pocket.) But, no…

So perchance did I have some reason in writing this? Some grand conclusion about information and democracy?

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I don’t have time for introspection; I need to get back to my habit of media hyper-consumption.


* Again, Pocket doesn’t make this stat easy to find. I had to scroll to the bottom of my queue, grab the generated HTML from the DOM with Chrome’s developer tools and count the number of times li class=”item” occurred. A quick glance of the docs and it looks like this information isn’t even available via the Pocket API.

Posterous stops accepting users

In other start-up-shut-down news, Twitter-owned Posterous appears to have stopped accepting new users. The service just last month started allowing users to easily export their data. I could never get into using Posterous, but it deserves big props for being probably the easiest-to-use blogging service ever. I suspect its die-hard users will be looking for new platforms soon. This is what happens when you build your social media on rented property.