Monthly Archives: July 2011

I finally have a real camera again

Charlie, Mid-Kiss

Our miniature dachshund Charlie, kissing Stephanie incessantly.

For the first time in several years, I finally have a camera other than my phone again. The Canon EOS Rebel T3 will go down as my first-ever DSLR; I had been considering the T3i carefully but in the end opted to save several hundred dollars and not sacrifice much image quality (12 megapixels is plenty for someone who primarily works on the Web). So far, I’m really liking it, and I’m excited to see what kind of fun, cool stuff I’ll be able to do down the road. (I might even change this site’s incredibly stale header photos, too!)

End of the shuttle era

NASATweetup for landing

A Twitpic of the lucky 50 getting to watch Atlantis’s landing. Via Beth Beck.

An era in manned spaceflight — the only era I’ve known — is coming to an end early this morning as Atlantis touches down for the final time at Kennedy Space Center. I’m watching it at SpaceVidCast, which has a HD feed from NASA TV and a widely-respected chat community. It’s a shame to see the Shuttle go, but all good things, after all, must come to an end. I just feel very fortunate I was able to see this one launch; I’ll have more thoughts on this when I am more fully awake.

A few things I’m looking forward to in Lion

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Mac OS X Lion for the last few months — thus, I’m pretty excited for today’s release and plan on acquiring it as soon as bandwidth allows. I’m looking forward to many of the user interface changes in Lion, with full screen apps and Mission Control the things I’m looking forward to the most. I am an obsessive user of Spaces, so anything that can make that feature more intuitive and powerful I’m all for, and being able to take apps full screen will be incredibly beneficial to my as-yet-undiagnosed case of ADD. It’s not all golden: I could probably care a bit less about Launchpad, which arranges apps on the screen iOS-style, I think I will immediately turn reverse scrolling off and will make sure that the lights indicating running applications in the Dock are re-enabled. What are you looking forward to?

Software patent trolls and the threat to small business

While Congress is arguing points of policy labeled with “job-killer” rhetoric, perhaps they should look into what international patent trolls are doing to independent developers here in America. Independent developers have driven so much innovation in the last decade and have been a real bright spot in a very dismal economic climate. Craig Hockenberry, he of the Iconfactory, has a very sobering first-hand view of this as his company is the target of such litigation. He likens the current climate as “coding in a minefield,” an assessment with which I am in complete agreement. How do vague software patents held by non-practicing companies possibly contribute to an economic climate conducive to innovation and growth?

20 minutes with Spotify

I’ve had 20 minutes with Spotify Free (disclosure: it was a Klout Perk) and it, so far, has been incredible. With millions of tracks on demand at pretty good quality, no wonder it took so long to reach the States. I may toss some invites out later as I receive them (depending on how many I get).

This is unhelpful to Sony’s tarnished security reputation

Via Googler Andrew Hintz comes an embarrassing revelation for Sony, where their developers apparently are embedding CAPTCHAs in HTML and using CSS to distort them. While I generally hate CAPTCHAs (especially since most of them have been broken for a long time, now), this is an incredibly foolish and hilarious mistake and, given recent events, par for the course.

RadarScope 1.1 for Mac

RadarScope 1.1 for Mac is out. RadarScope has been my go-to radar app on iOS since I got my iPod touch back in 2009, and quickly became my go-to solution for a Mac-native radar viewer. Version 1.0 was fairly solid but was missing some of the AllisonHouse and Spotter Network integration features the iOS version had. No worries, though, as 1.1 adds those back (lightning data being, for me, the most critical) along with some welcome UI tweaks to more easily control the radar display. While I still bring out GR2Analyst in my Boot Camp partition for heavy-duty analysis, I always keep RadarScope open in a Space for quick reference, and thanks to the improvements in 1.1, I’ll use it even more extensively. RadarScope is $30 and available in the Mac App Store (AllisonHouse data is subscription-based — I have had the $10/month “Storm Chaser” plan for many years and it has proven invaluable).

Good morning from the Kennedy Space Center

The Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

The Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

I am at the Kennedy Space Center for the next few days taking in the NASA Tweetup for the final Shuttle mission, STS-135. Atlantis is supposed to lift off tomorrow, but the forecast is suspect (at best). However, I’m just thrilled to be here and to meet a bunch of really, really interesting people (and make as many friends as possible, too!) Follow my tweets where the blow-by-blow account will be. More thoughts here once I can calm down. ;)