Monthly Archives: April 2011

You were named after the dog?

Hello, Dr. JonesFred Wilson: “I remember walking home one afternoon from the office on the phone with Mark Pincus. He had launched texas hold’em on Facebook operating under the name Presidio Media. We were talking about what he should call the company. He knew it needed to be a consumer brand. He said “Domains are so hard and expensive. I’d like to use a name I already own.” And he preceded to list a bunch of names he owned. He stopped at which was his dog’s name. I said “you own the .com of your dog’s name?” He said “of course I do.” I told him I liked the idea of naming the company after his dog and it had the added benefit of being a short and catchy name. He agreed it was a good idea. A few weeks later, after thinking about it some more, running it by a bunch more people, that was the name Mark chose. It is a fantastic name and brand.”

I love stories like this, but I wonder how he came up with that name Zynga for his dog?

“You are named after the dog? HA HA HA…!” – Sallah

More on #Hashtag Fresno

The Hashtag, #1298Fresno Famous: “It will be open and available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. It will have strong, reliable internet access, modular desk units — and couches and a bar-sitting area — and plenty of dry-erase boards for anyone looking to collaborate. Plus, it’s sandwiched between a coffee shop and a bakery, across the street from a pizza parlor and on the route of a major bus line.”

I hope, beyond hope, this is extremely successful. It’s nice to have a place to go full of creative people when you’re working alone.

There are 14 Genius Adopter subscriptions left, only $200.00 for one year. Get ’em while they’re hot!

The Joy of Paid Apps

Marco Arment: “I’m asking people who bought a $200-829 device (many of whom also pay monthly for data service) to take a $5 risk. People risk that much for a side-dish of mashed potatoes that might suck at a restaurant, or a tremendous milkshake at Starbucks that they’ll finish in 30 minutes, without much consideration. iPad and iPhone owners often risk $30-70 on a case that they might break, lose, or get bored with after a few months.”

AHHHHHH!The App Store is such a strange beast. I think it’s a great distribution mechanism and if you’re an Indie Dev trying to keep the costs down it’s a real blessing. No need to worry about collecting money or keeping servers running. I’m more than willing to give 30% to Apple for that service.

The dark side is, as Marco points out, trying to convince people to take a chance on a $5.00 application.

When RxCalc shipped we priced it at $5.99. After a few months we decided to run a special and make it free for a day. After that we decided to keep the price at $0.99 believing it would increase sales. Well, we were wrong, again. It didn’t change sales, at all. We still get a trickle of sales, a few every day, just as we did at $5.99.

We will be making some changes to the price with the next release. When that will be, I have no idea.

Firestone Walker Abacus

Putts & Pints: 1. Firestone Walker Abacus: You want the WOW factor? This beer delivers. A barleywine aged in bourbon barrels (some say for three years). At 13 percent, it packs a wallop, but the taste is startling. And I mean that in a good way. One third of the way through the beer year, I have an early candidate for best beer of 2011.”

I love Firestone Walker, no doubt about it. Abacus is something I’ve been dying to try and haven’t had the opportunity.

If you like, or love, barley wines you owe it to yourself to give Abacus a try.

Choosing a good backup phone

Tested: ” If you want to save a little cash, and maintain your freedom, you can always pick up a used Android phone on eBay or Craigslist. Since you would be getting this phone second hand, warranties are of little use. You need to make sure the handset is as described. That guy on Craigslist probably doesn’t take returns.”

Having a nice GSM based Android phone as a backup isn’t such a bad idea, especially if you’ll be traveling to Europe.

More 48fps Hobbit Talk

Peter Jackson: “However, we’re going the other way, shooting at 48 fps with a 270 degree shutter angle. This gives the 48 fps a lovely silky look, and creates a very pleasing look at 24 fps as well. In fact, our DP, Andrew Lesnie, and I prefer the look of 24 fps when it comes from a 48 fps master. “

This film will be best viewed at 48 frames per second, in 2D. I hope, beyond hope, he does a “standard” 2D version of the film.

Acorn JSTalk Scripts for iOS Devs and Designers

Acorn logoGus Mueller: “I’ve got 3 JSTalk scripts for Acorn that any iOS developer or designer will find handy. What they will do is take the current Acorn image and save it as an optimized PNG (running it through pngcrush in the background).”

Gus is the Founder and Head Honcho at Flying Meat. He’s also the creator of Acorn and JSTalk so he knows a few things about scripting it.

These scripts will come in handy if you’re all thumbs, like I am, and want to generate .PNG’s for pre-Retina Display iOS devices as well as newer Retina Display devices. Sweet.

Thanks Gus.

Is Apple Big Brother?

Alex Levinson: “I don’t think that’s a legal battle Apple wants to face considering the sale of over 100 million iDevices worldwide. That raises the question – how is this data used? It’s used all the time by software running on the phone. Built-In applications such as Maps and Camera use this geolocational data to operate. Apple provides an API for access to location awareness called Core Location.”

No, Apple isn’t “Big Brother”, that’s the government’s job. Go read the article, it’s very good, and gives you the truth about how the data is used, including this nice little nugget.

“Apple is not harvesting this data from your device. This is data on the device that you as the customer purchased and unless they can show concrete evidence supporting this claim – network traffic analysis of connections to Apple servers – I rebut this claim in full.”

Oh, and yes, Android devices do something similar.

If you have an iPhone and would like to create a map of the places you’ve been, there’s an app for that.

SmugMug’s use of The Mythical Cloud (A.K.A. network)

Don MacAskill: “Which brings us to fourth, we aren’t 100% cloud yet. We’re working as quickly as possible to get there, but the lack of a performant, predictable cloud database at our scale has kept us from going there 100%. As a result, the exact types of data that would have potentially been disabled by the EBS meltdown don’t actually live at AWS at all – it all still lives in our own datacenters, where we can provide predictable performance. This has its own downsides – we had two major outages ourselves this week (we lost a core router and its redundancy earlier, and a core master database server later). I wish I didn’t have to deal with routers or database hardware failures anymore, which is why we’re still marching towards the cloud.”

Something to remember when you put your data in the hands of someone else, they don’t care about it as much as you do.

Case in point, an ECG monitoring company had a life and death situation because of the failure. They should’ve been a bit better prepared, but I’m sure they thought “The Mythical Cloud” would never fail.

Bottom line: It’s still a network, they’re still just computers, they’re over used, humans are in charge, and you should have a backup plan.