Live Long and Prosper Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy a man who was made famous for his role as Mr. Spock on the Television show Star Trek has died at the age of 83. Nimoy had suffered from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to his habit of smoking. Once he learned of the diagnosis of COPD, he tweeted the following:

His last twitter post was this:

To make it all too real.

Star.Trek.Commander.Chair.Empty

Do as Mr. Spock says, and quit smoking. Even better, don’t start.

New Podcast Series: “Behind the App” on Inquisitive

I’ve been listening to podcasts for almost a decade now. There have been very few podcasts that have lasted that long. Hence, I am in need of a new podcasts from time to time. Back in August of 2014, there was a new podcast network that came online, Relay.fm. Relay.fm was started by Myke Hurley (@imyke) and Stephen Hackett (512pixels.net). Once the network started I subscribed to almost everything that they released. One of those shows was Inquisitive. For episodes 1 through 26, it was an hour-long, interview-based show that spoke with developers about how they got started. Beginning with episode 27, the podcast has changed; and this is a good thing.

Episode 27 is the first episode in a series that looks at the the apps and items surrounding apps and the App Store. The first in the series covers the introduction of the iPhone and iPhone SDK 1 and some of the items leading up to said introductions. The style of the show is very reminiscent of another popular podcast Serial. Instead of covering a crime, this is covering apps. Which, for geeks, is an interesting topic. Probably a topic more interesting than a crime.

When I heard that the format of Inquisitive was changing, my initial thought was “Why not also change the name?” However, after listening to episode 27, I came to realize that the name Inquisitive is still very appropriate. The name still fits the show because Myke is still inquiring information from developers, yet the information is from a multitude of developers, that all centralize around one topic. While the current run of shows may be for history of Apps and the App Store, it is completely conceivable that future runs of the show revolve around a centralized question instead of a topic.

I like the direction that the show has taken. If you have any interest at all in the history of applications and the iOS App Store, this series should be a good one to listen to. You can subscribe via iTunes or search for Inquisitive in your podcast application of choice. While you are already in the store, do not forget to subscribe to my podcast Odd World News

Show 1 footnote

  1. Software Development Kit

Apple Watch: Release Date

During their Fiscal Year First Quarter results, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple has a target date for the release of their Apple Watch; April 2015. This date got me to thinking, I do not think that this date is merely a coincidence. I think as though there are a couple of reason for this date and I will outline them below. Before we jump into that, as of this post we only have a month, but not an exact date.

Timing

As Tim Cook stated during the earnings call today, Apple has three yearly time-frames for products, “Early”, “Mid”, and “Late”. Each time period covers four months. For “Early” it is January, February, March and April. For “Mid” it is May, June, July, and August. For the “Late” time frame, it is September, October, November, and December. Since announcing the Apple Watch, Apple has always stated “Early 2015″ was the release date for the Apple Watch, and they are meeting this expectation.

Exercise

The Apple Watch will have a lot of built-in functionality that will allow users to monitor health through the Workout app on the Apple Watch, the built-in Heart Rate sensors, and the fitness application on an iPhone. January 1st is a very popular time of year to begin exercising. Yet, I think a second spurt occurs when the weather gets to be nicer out, for those areas that have four seasons. Some users, like myself, do not like exercising in a gym and prefer to enjoy the good weather. This may increase sales with these users.

Tax Return time

The last factor that may indicate the timing is deliberate is that it is right around Tax refund time in the United States. This may just be good timing, but many individuals whom receive a tax refund do spend it on items that they would not normally. The timing does provide a good incentive for individuals to purchase an Apple Watch. As Abdel Ibrahim mentioned on the January 28th episode of his Resolve podcast1, this time of year also allows people to save some money after the holiday rush.

Software

At its September 2014 event, Apple indicated that the Apple Watch is the future of the company. With this, Apple needs to make sure that the software on the Apple Watch is as bug-free as possible. Not only because of the recent spate of posts about the problems with Apple software, but also because the initial impressions of the Apple Watch will be important in the future. If the general public does not perceive the Apple Watch as being valuable, the long-term viability of the product may hinder its ability to become a significant portion of Apple’s revenue.

Other Factors

From the earnings call, Apple’s wearable will support notifications and “glances” from iPhone-based apps and is said to be aiming for 19-hour battery life.” 2 Battery life for any gadget that is as small as a watch makes it difficult to get the maximum amount of battery life. This is due to battery technology not keeping up with other technology.

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see how the public receives the Apple Watch and how the sales will do. Sales during Q3 2015 for Apple may not be as many as other quarters given that it will only be on sale for part of the quarter. Q4 2015 will be the first full quarter with Apple Watch Sales. It is presume that they will separate those out in the quarterly earnings, but we do not know that for a fact yet.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. http://www.resolvepodcast.com/episodes/2015/1/28/apple-watch-retail
  2. http://9to5mac.com/2015/01/27/apple-watch-ships-in-april/

Podcasting: Odd World News

I have been listening to podcasts since April 2005 when podcasting was just getting started. As I wrote that last sentence I realized that it will be a decade in a few months. During that time, I have had the idea of doing different podcasts, but I never had the motivation to do so. Most of my ideas for podcasts relate to doing a podcast about Apple. However, that realm is already well covered with Connected and Upgrade on Relay.fm, Accidental Tech Podcast, MacOSKen and Resolve, the latter which focuses on the Watch. While I could do another Mac podcast, it would just get lost in the shuffle since I am not a well known figure in the Apple news world.

Instead, I opted to cover Odd News from around the World. Yes, Odd News. General news is covered by a number of places, but the strange news that occurs does not always get enough attention. So, I am trying to change that through podcasting. My podcasting setup is as follows. I use a Blue Yeti Microphone – Blackout Edition, a pair of Sennheiser HD 202 Professional Headphones (Black) for listening back, QuickTime Player to record the audio, and Garageband to edit the audio.

At some point this year, I plan on getting Apple’s Logic to be able to do better editing and will likely subscribe to Lynda.com to learn all about it.

The podcast is hosted on the same server as my other sites. You can find the podcast website at oddworldnewspodcast.com or in iTunes. At the moment Episode 5 was just posted yesterday. The episodes typically come out on Saturday. The podcasts themselves are not very long, but that is the intention. I may do other podcasts at some point, but for now this one is enough.

My Social Experiment

There are definitely some positive aspects to using social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. However, there can also be some negativities in doing so. One of the downsides is that there can be individuals whom purposely misconstrue what you are saying. Sometimes this is deliberately done on their part because they feel as though instigating fights is a good way of handling things or as a means to push their agendas onto others. Other times this is due to the constraints of a service. Somebody purposely misconstrued what I said due to the brevity of items on twitter. Hence, I decided that I would stop using Twitter for a while. Ultimately it ended up being for about a week. If any of my Twitter followers are reading this, they may end up going back and checking to see if I actually did stop using Twitter for a week. I can tell you that I did.

During this time I did not open up my preferred Twitter application, Tweetbot, on any of my iOS devices nor my Mac. When I made the decision to stop using Twitter, I turned off all notifications for Tweetbot and also disabled all of the SMS notifications that I had enabled on the Twitter website.

It was an interesting experiment to do. It wasn’t a scientific one by any means, but merely a personal one. There were a couple of downsides; I missed wishing somebody a happy birthday during the week. Another downside, and the biggest one, was that I felt a bit out of touch because Twitter is my primary news source. It is where breaking news occurs, and while I did know about all of the big stories through my podcasts, including the locating of the tail section of the Air Asia flight 8501, as well as the attacks in Paris, I missed out on the smaller stories. Moreover, knowing about the stories is not the same as being able to participate, if not in real time, at least within a reasonable amount of time, with others.

One of the tangential reasons that I opted to stop using Twitter was that I had noticed that I was been paying as much attention to the shows I was watching. This was because I was paying more attention to Twitter than the show. Without being on Twitter, I did notice that I did pay more attention to the shows I was watching. For some shows that I have seen multiple times, it would not be an issue, yet, for other shows it can be problematic.

When I decided to get back on Twitter, I decided to check if anybody had mentioned me, direct messaged, or anything else; and they had not. I am Not sure whether to think that I am inconsequential or if it is because everybody is following so many people that they do not notice when one person does not post for a while. When using Tweetbot on my Mac, I have one Twitter list of people that I want to see everything they post, so I would most likely notice when anybody on that list does not post for a while.

The hardest aspect to it was for not checking was the first couple of days, since checking Twitter had become a habit after being on Twitter for almost 8 years. As the week progress it did become easier to handle. As of right now, I am not using nearly as much as I was before. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, I think it can be helpful for everybody to take a step back, from whatever it is they feel as though they may be doing too much, every once in a while just to allow them to re-evaluate what they are doing and see if it is still completely necessary, and if they still enjoy the activity.