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Archive for March, 2010

An ode to long flights

Friday, March 26th, 2010

An ode to long flights March 2010

Boarding in Singapore
Hurt locker… Check
Cold Souls… Check
Law Abiding Citizen… Check
Sleep… Is for the weak
Deplane
Starbucks in Dubai… Will you pay in local, euros, dollars or pounds?
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3… Check
Sleep… I am weak
Welcome to Athens
Three day turn around… What to watch?

Yea, I just got back.

iPhone OS 4.0 UI Enhancement Request

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I would like to make a request to Apple for a new UI enhancement to be released in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 update.

See, here’s the thing. I use WiFi and Bluetooth all the time. But turning WiFi on and off and switching networks (I do this often as Singapore has municipal WiFi and shitty though it is, I use it until I’m somewhere with a better network, like home or the office, then I need to switch), or changing Bluetooth devices is not convenient. For example to change the WiFi network I am attached to I have to 1. Go to the home screen, 2. Open “Settings”, 3. Select WiFi 4. Choose a new network. This is too many steps for something that I use multiple times a day.

Now, one way to fix this would be to add two more hardware switches like there is for audio on. You could switch WiFi and Bluetooth on and off and flipping it on would bring up the selection box. OK. But Apple has a thing about buttons. So maybe not.

On the other hand… The iPad has a “tap and hold” gesture, that has shown up in the latest OS SDK for the iPhone/iPad. I’d like to use this as an easy way to get to the pertinent WiFi and or Bluetooth settings. First we need to make a small change in the title bar; today if WiFi or Bluetooth are turned off you don’t see their icons:

iPhone title bar with no WiFi or Bluetooth Icons

I propose to change this. I’d like to see the WiFi and Bluetooth icons always on the title bar:

iPhone Title Bar with WiFi & Bluetooth off Icons

This necessitates a new icon: WiFi off. I based this one on the Mac title bar’s WiFi off icon. I’m sure the UI guys at Apple can make it beautiful.

Now that we have icons let’s use them! Let’s look at WiFi. Using the “tap and hold” gesture I just tap and hold on the WiFi icon would bring up a dialog allowing us to turn on WiFi:

iPhone WiFi dialog suggestion, WiFi Off

Then I can turn on WiFi and see a list of available networks:

iPhone WiFi dialog suggestion, WiFi On

That seems much faster and easier to me.

I’d do something similar with Bluetooth, but I’m too lazy to mock it up.

Why I don’t eat meat…

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

“I don’t eat meat because I wouldn’t want to ingest an animal weak or dumb enough to enter a life of slavery under another species, that the only meat I would eat would be that of an animal which a human cannot actually kill.”

Tim Rogers in Japan: It’s Not Funny Anymore [kotaku.com].

Oh that’s a good one… I’ll have to use that.

Entrance Keywords

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

According to Google Analytics, the top content on my site is /categories/goodies/ [confusion.cc]. Which I guess is better than the second place /2004/09/26/four-floors-of-whores/ [confusion.cc].

Then again, the top entrance keyword — in fact the only entrance keyword with more than 1 hit in the past month — is “1280*768 fucking”.

What?

I have no idea why this is. But if you do a Google image search for “1280*768 fucking” [images.google.com], you don’t get much porn…

Google Image search results for '1280*768 fucking'

The third and forth images are porn related but nothing else on the first page is naughty. Three of my images make the first page though; “Simian Eyes” [confusion.cc], “Yellow Jacket” [confusion.cc] and “Have you seen my keys?” [confusion.cc].

Now, I understand the “1280*768” keyword, as all the images in “goodies” are available in that size. But… While I have a potty mouth the word “fucking” does not appear on the goodies page at all. So how is it that Google has associated fucking with my photos of monkeys, yellow jackets and my lost keys?

Not looking for another subscription

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Came across this quote on Gizmodo [gizmodo.com] yesterday:

My expectation is that there’s not going to be a lot of people out there looking for another subscription.

We’ll it’s how Gizmodo quoted him… not quite what he said, see the Gizmodo article for the full text of the quote.

This apparently is how the CEO of AT&T covers for the fact that there is no subscription for 3G data on the iPad. I agree with Gizmodo — it’s more likely that Apple dictated it this way. But on the other hand I think it would be easy to get people to sign up to pay more each month just not a totally new contract.

See, one of the best things that my operator here in Singapore (that’d be StarHub [starhub.com]) has going is it’s Dual-HLR option. Without going into GSM network design this is what the consumer gets out of the dual-HLR option; a second SIM card, with the same phone number that works at the same time as your current SIM. This works because you nominate one of the SIM cards to be your “primary” and that is the one that rings (in Starhub’s case it rings first then, if you don’t answer the call rolls over to the second SIM where you can answer or let it roll over to voice mail.) All the features of your existing contract are active on both SIMs, both can consume data from the same data plan, etc. This is actually the reason Starhub launched the service. There are a lot of business types who have a Blackberry and an iPhone, but don’t want two contracts. This costs the consumer SG$10 a month as opposed to the cheapest two year contract here for about SG$35 a month. All it costs Starhub is a some configuration and whatever additional data the user would not have consumed otherwise, but I doubt that’s a big cost.

Of course you can do this with two SIMs that have different numbers — “family plans” have shared resources for years. But this makes more sense for a single person with multiple devices.

I think that for US$10 or US$15 a month to have this dual-HLR option users would agree to add this to their existing contract. Not just for the people with an iPad but for anyone with two data devices. US$10 or US$15 is low enough compared to a whole new contact that it’s almost an impulse buy, and as it is tied to the existing contract there would be, I think, less psychological aversion.