Do I need one? No. Not right now. But I know I’ll need one at some point, once my current one’s battery bites it due to too many walks in freezing cold weather. I was worried that Apple would discontinue their iPods due to the fact that their phones do everything that the iPods do and more. But as this article points out, iPods are good for the demographic that can’t afford the phones and/or don’t want to deal with smart phones but still want a music player that can connect to wifi.
So yay! I’m glad there’s at least one more iteration.
DUDE, the new iPhone is the best ever and I want it.
I’ve wanted an iPhone for quite some time now, as you all know. However, I haven’t really enjoyed the trend of them getting larger with each new model. Like, by the time we get to the iPhone 10, it’s going to be the size of a surfboard at this rate.
The iPhone SE is awesome. Why?
1. It’s tiny. Well, not tiny, but smaller than the iPhone 6 monstrosities.
2. It’s shaped like the iPhone 4. I LOVE THE SHAPE OF THE IPHONE 4.
3. It’s way more up to date software-wise than my iPod. Which is a pretty easy thing to be, considering my iPod is from 2012 and the software stopped updating like a year and a half ago. Yeah.
I want it. But the company I’m planning on using once I finally upgrade to a smartphone doesn’t have iPhones as options. And the phone itself, without a plan, is $700.
So that’s not happening, unfortunately.
Yo, people! So as I mentioned on “Fake Christmas” day, My dad got me a Fitbit ‘cause he knows I’m obsessive about tracking stuff (also I think he got one for himself, too, ‘cause he used to have a Nike one awhile back that’s probably dead by now).
Anyway, I decided to go for a walk today and compare what Fitbit said to what my iTreadmill app said.
So here we go!
iTreadmill: 175 minutes
Fitbit: 207 minutes
The mileage and steps aren’t too different from one another, which is surprising, ‘cause I can’t calibrate Fitbit to my stride (but I’ve done so for the iTreadmill app). The time for the Fitbit is longer because it doesn’t shut off when I stop moving. The iTreadmill app does (which I kind of like better, ‘cause then I know how much time I actually spent moving rather than just standing at intersections, in line at the grocery store, etc.). The calories are the biggest difference, but that’s because the Fitbit tracks “resting” calories burned as well, so the 2,420 is what it thinks I’d burned up until the walk, and then on the walk itself (I don’t think I burn nearly that many calories in a day. My body doesn’t manufacture it’s own heat, dude).
But the best part about the Fitbit is that it tracks your heartrate, which is something the iTreadmill can’t do. So if I’m not going to use it as my “official” tracker for steps/mileage, I can at least use it to track my heartrate.
WELL WE BROKE THE iPAD CALENDAR AGAIN.
We went far enough back in time that Apple forgot how the year worked.
Where’s April and May, Apple? Where’s April and May? And why does February have 31 days?
So I’ve been looking at my sleep graphs from that Sleep Cycle Smart Alarm app that I’ve been using. In particular, I’ve been finding pictures of the graphs of other people and seeing if they look anything like mine.
They really don’t.
Here are graphs representative of many of the ones I saw online:
And here are several typical ones for me:
I don’t know if it’s just because I don’t sleep for very long or what, but I don’t do the whole “multiple sleep cycles” thing at night and just kind of have two or three ups and downs. Or maybe that’s why I don’t have to sleep as long as most people. I have super long REM parties rather than short ones, so I don’t need as long of a night’s sleep.
Haha, that September 19-20 night of mine is wild.
The only thing I really know in ASL, apart from about 5 signs, is the alphabet. This app is a cool way to practice recognizing the letter signs in a QWERTY layout, even if you don’t need to send any sign language messages. It’s also got a few word signs as well.
I’d really like to learn ASL to the point where I could have a conversation with someone using it (at least, a conversation in which I wouldn’t have to look ridiculous spelling out every single word). I CAN spell relatively quickly, though; I think that comes from the fact that when I’m walking and listening to music, I like to try and sign the first letter of every word in the song as it plays.
Because what else am I supposed to be doing with my hands when I’m walking?
Things we didn’t know until we played with the calendar app on my iPad:
- There is no upper limit on this thing. It will go until you get a blister on your scrolling finger.
- It will also go pretty far into the past.
- Once you get past 1 A.D., you go into B.C. mode, in which the months are all shifted and December doesn’t exist. (That’s 810 B.C. in the picture)
- B.C. Leibniz was born on a Sunday.
New idea for a webcomic: a comic about the European Enlightenment, had it occurred in B.C. times rather than A.D. times. There’s a priority dispute between B.C. Newton and B.C. Leibniz over who discovered fire.
It’s a good thing I can’t draw, or this would totally happen.
Guess how much a new iPhone 4 costs on Amazon nowadays?
For the 32 GB version, about $150.
That’s SUPER CHEAP, yo.
And it doesn’t make it any easier for me to try and avoid getting an iPhone.
I mean, I really don’t need one. I only ever text as far as phone-related communication goes, and I can do that with my current phone just fine. And me + constant access to the internet would be a bad thing for pretty much everyone in the world. So really…I don’t need one.
But they’re pretty.
Damn you, Apple.
(Notice I’m looking up iPhones instead of studying. That’s because I’m pretty sure I’m at the point where any further studying would just be futile.)
ALRIGHT, ITUNES, WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE.
Apparently, iTunes has stopped offering its weekly free song. I know they’ve been doing that since at least 2006, but now they’ve just decided to stop.
What the hell?
Is it just me, or is that a super dumb move? I can, off the top of my head, name at least ten artists that have gotten a lot of good publicity by having a free song of theirs offered on iTunes. Remember when Sleepyhead was the freebie of the week? I can still remember the exact date I downloaded that song because it was such a good one. And I don’t know about other people, but I know that for me and for quite a few of my friends, that was our first exposure to Passion Pit and we’ve all become pretty big Passion Pit fans since.
I echo the Apple forum poster quoted in this article: “… the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there’s less reason to go.”
I pretty much always wound up buying another song or two once I got my freebie, just because I was in the iTunes store and always ended up browsing the music. I can still browse now, of course, but that tantalizing allure of the freebie is gone and I probably won’t end up buying as much as I used to*.
This hurts my music soul. I have gotten some damn good songs from the iTunes weekly freebie thing:
- Lights and Music
- Shake It
- Buildings and Mountains
- Night Like This
- I’m going to mention Sleepyhead again, ‘cause that song was my #1 most played for like five years straight.
Good move, iTunes. Good move.
*Okay, that’s a lie; I need to be able to complete my Decade of Music project, after all. So let’s just say I’ll be less motivated to browse and more likely to buy songs I’ve already heard elsewhere, like on YouTube and such.
Why is everyone bitching about the free iTunes U2 album?
It’s FREE MUSIC, PEOPLE.
And if you don’t like it, it takes like 3 seconds to delete it.
I myself am not a huge U2 fan. I don’t dislike them, they just aren’t really my type of music. However, I really do like California (There Is No End to Love) from the free album. Can’t find it on YouTube so I can’t link it, but if you have iTunes and still have the album, check it out!
(This is what happens when I just barely start my walk to the bus and my iPod battery bites it ‘cause I hadn’t charged it in forever.)
Yes, I took that picture on the 26th, not on the day I’m talking about it in my blog. Deal with it.
Matt, these shoes reminded me of you, so I thought I should bring them to your attention.
That’s all for today.
Dammit iTunes, stop screwing with my music! I have a delicate balance of lists and playlists and playcounts and I do not appreciate your “here’s a bunch of stuff you downloaded but deleted but here it is again in case you really weren’t serious about deleting it” crap that version 11.0 introduces. Now my master and 2012 playlists are all screwed up. It’s a good thing I keep backup lists of everything.
Woohoo, I finally have money! That means only one thing: new iPod!
My new sleek white iPod Touch is 32 GB in size, which means it’ll probably last me about two more years until it’s completely full, haha. Hopefully it’ll last longer than that; my “download a new song a day” thing is bringing in about 2.3 GB of music a year. Add random videos and such that I dig up and add to my iTunes library and hopefully we’ll still be okay for a bit.
OH, and check out this badass case:
How freaking cute is that? I love it.
That’s National Novel ReWrite Month for me, haha. I’m a fickle bugger, so I’m scratching my current NaNo idea (surprise, surprise) and going with something new. At least I’m restarting near the beginning of the month this time, unlike last year where Googol was born on like the 15th had to be written rapidly (alongside class-work stuff and that soul bomb of a thesis).
Anyway, the new topic is deeply personal and definitely won’t get an excerpt posted. Maybe not even a synopsis. But it’s happening because all my other ideas are about 45% there in my head and the stuff I’m writing about in the new NaNo needs to get out of my head to make room for more important stuff (a.k.a. statistics stuff, methods to convince my dad to get me a car, how many M&Ms just came crashing out of the bag I just heard tip over in the kitchen…stuff like that). So this year’s just going to be mysteeeeeerious!
At least until I change my topic again.
On a completely unrelated note, I was surfing around YouTube this afternoon and came across this video of Steve Jobs introducing the iBook way back in 1999.
I’d never actually watched one of his keynotes, but holy freaking crap, that man could sell a product. It’s got a tiny little 3.2 GB hard drive and I still want one.
My dad actually had a tangerine one way back when. I played Bugdom incessantly on it, haha.
So I found this NPR transcript this afternoon discussing a listener’s question about the “shuffle” feature of iPods. Specifically, what the mathematics behind the shuffle feature are. After all, the listener notes, it sometimes seems like the same songs keep coming up while many others are never played.
Keith Devlin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford, answers the question. The shuffle, he says, is meant to be random and in fact actually behaves as a random event. Mr. Devlin explains that people have difficulty recognizing randomness because of the simple fact that one of the features of truly random selection is the repetition of patterns. He uses the example of coin tossing. If you toss a coin twenty or so times, you’re very likely, he says, to get streaks of the same side coming up, like a streak of five heads or something. We tend to see such streaks as non-randomness, though, because such patterns surprise us (after all, it does seem intuitively weird to see five heads in a row when you’re tossing a coin when you know that both sides of the coin have an equal probability of occurring. The magic of independent probability!).
Mr. Devlin concludes, “so, assuming that Apple have designed a really good randomizer in the iPod, then you are going to start getting repeats of songs and you are going to find that some songs don’t come up seemingly for a long time. That’s the way random behavior is.”
30-Day Meme – Day 15: A poem you wrote.
I wrote this poem for my grandpa the night before he died of a rare cancer. I remember reading it to him and watching him slowly fade in and out of consciousness. Everything in this poem is totally true of him. You rocked, grandpa!
A Grandpa is someone you can count on in a mess
Though with woodworking and painting he is easily obsessed
Not a job too tough
Not a place too rough
For this daring man of a ripe old age
Who has lived in the past and seen the future.
Can re-fix a shoe with a single suture.
No need to ask for directions
Full of funny imperfections
This daring man of a ripe old age.
Whether zooming to the store for his lottery ticket
Or checking the numbers—did he win it?
Need I explain?
The daring man of a ripe old age.
The daring man of a ripe old age.
Today was freaking horrible. Therefore, I shall focus this blog on three things that have nothing at all to do with my life at the moment.
1. Seriousness: Steve Jobs
I credit Steve Jobs with the initiation of my love of music.* The second generation iPod mini (with colors silver, blue, pink, and green) came out in 2005 and I remember my dad asking me if I wanted one. I pretty much had no interest in it. I had a grand total of five music CDs and a rockin’ portable CD player decorated in stickers. Why would I want to change that?
He got me one anyway, though, for Christmas 2005. Enter iTunes plus a $50 iTunes gift card for my birthday two months later and I was suddenly introduced to the fact that I now had the power to find ALL THE OBSCURE SONGS I’D EVER LOVED. It took like two months for my meager 40-something-song library to grow to 400+. The portability factor—along with the fact that I could now purchase songs individually and therefore didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons of buying a whole $15 CD for just one or two songs—made me want to listen to music.
Haha, and now look where I am.
So I thank you, Mr. Jobs, for your business sense, your inventive mind, and your desire to continually make/improve portable media products for gadget lovers like myself. If I had any extra money at this time, I would upgrade my current iPod (I need a bigger one, haha) in your memory. But that will have to wait until I’m not dirt poor.
Found on Imgur.
2. Creepiness: Googol
So remember when I blogged about Google’s Profiles and how it was freakishly similar to the product Google Face as I described in my NaNo Googol written last year (last part of this blog)?
Well, if Google merges with or takes over Apple within the next year or so, then I FREAKING CALLED IT AGAIN.
What I wrote:
“After the death of Steve Jobs in the early 2000s, Google’s founders felt there to be no other option but to approach Apple with a merger deal, offering them almost any stipulations they desired in exchange for being able to essentially mix the two companies into one giant hyper corporation that would push the limits of the known size of any company that had ever been in existence. […] Of course, prior to his death, Jobs had anticipated Google’s future moves. He knew that the corporation in charge of providing internet goers everything from facial recognition to “street views” of Pluto to basic search would not be so quick to pass up a merger opportunity with any company they thought was and would continue to be a successful internet partner. […] He knew a merger with the giant that was Google would most likely require sacrifices on the part of his own company. These sacrifices, however, he was not too willing to make. The impression Clarke gathered from the literature was that Jobs, in a somewhat secret move several years before his death, had created and documented several heavy handed stipulations and bargains that would have to be met in order for any sort of posthumous merger to take place.”
Including, as I go on to describe, a redesign of the Googleplex to match more the style of Apple.
3. Silliness: I Gotta Feeling
I’m not into hating specific types of music and I actually like this song, but this review is pretty great.
30-Day Meme – Day 6: Your favorite music video.
Oh crap, that’s tough.
I love The Music Scene by Blockhead because OMFG COLORZ:
But I think my favorite music video has to be for White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. Watch this and tell me it’s not the most beautiful, sad thing ever:
I could watch that over and over and over and over.
That is all.
*Actually, such a statement is a bit of a misnomer. I’ve always loved music in the sense that I’ve loved playing it…I guess I should say that Mr. Jobs initiated my love of listening to music in general.
What in the hell happened to March? Last year it dragged on for about the length of the Jurassic period.
Anyway, here’s a bit of awesome for you: Census Bureau blog. Perhaps the best site on the whole intarwebs. I’m sorry I’m such a stats geek, I know no one else cares, but it’s my blog and MY BLOG LIKES STATS.
Speaking of my blog, my 5 year anniversary is coming up in exactly a month. Expect—guess what?—stats.
What was I going to say today?
Oh yeah. This is pretty great:
When I’m not carrying anything and feel like I could run five miles, I get to the bus stop just as the bus is pulling in.
When I have 50 pounds combined of backpack and groceries and it’s windy and cold, I miss the bus by about 30 seconds.
SUCH IS LIFE.
One gripe I’ve had with my iPod Touch is the fact that, unlike the Nano, it doesn’t have a pedometer. I love Nano’s pedometer ‘cause I’m that type of obsessive person who likes to track progress and estimate changes in my daily patterns and just generally be a number watching weirdo.
But today I found probably the coolest “you’re obsessive so you’ll love this” app: iTreadmill. I will utilize this tomorrow on my walk to whatever the hell mall I decide to go to, but I calibrated it this afternoon and can already tell it’s awesome.
- Steps per minute
- Average pace
- Average speed
It keeps track of your history and gives you graphs! You can create a playlist to listen to as you go (I just put my whole “Favorites” playlist to play), you can enter your weight to get an accurate calories estimate, and you can set step, calories, distance, or time goals and set alarms to sound for certain milestones to your goals if you like that kind of stuff (I do). It also pauses automatically after 5 seconds of inactivity so waiting at stoplights and such won’t lessen your average speed.
HOW COOL IS THAT?
Download it, dudes.
Also, they should just make this a static claim on CTV weather for Vancouver:
Earlier today when they still had Saturday’s prediction up they actually had words (“light rain,” “rain,” “more rain” (seriously), “rain and snow”), but I guess they ran out of synonyms.
SUCH IS LIFE.
Okay, I promise I’m not an Apple whore, but I absolutely love this app.
It’s called Measures and it contains conversions to so many freaking units for so many different applications. The following measurement categories are included: length, area, weight, volume, temperature, time, fuel consumption, data storage, speed, currencies, acceleration, pressure, energy, power, force, torque, angle, charge, density, luminance, SI prefixes, flow, radioactivity, magnetic flux, magnetic flux density, clothes sizes and shoe sizes.
And like I said, SO MANY UNITS. For example, I now know that I am 0.86805556 fathoms tall, weigh 29,166.67 pennyweights, am 8,021,280 moments old, and wear a size 35 shoe in Brazil.
It’s also super easy to use. Here’s a review of it.
I don’t know how many of you have Touches/iPhones, but I recommend this not only because it’s useful, but because it’s ridiculously entertaining.
99 cents, people. Get it.
Today’s song: Better by Regina Spektor
I’m amazed by large corporations. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the larger companies get, the more fiercely they seem to push for their right to be the largest company, especially when they have to muscle out some other company for top spot. I find it amusing, interesting, and frightening all at the same time.
Due to the insane technological advances we’ve been making in the past decade, along with help from the glorious, glorious internet, we’ve been able to witness the birth of mega corporations that are able to grow to tremendous sizes and pretty much envelop everything they touch. And when they decide to merge, we’re all in trouble.
Oh come on, you know which ones I mean…
Microsoft (area of dominance: computing)
Not only does Microsoft (in my opinion, at least) pretty much own the computing sector with their PCs, they’ve also got quite a monopoly on software (Microsoft Office, anyone?), plus Internet Explorer, Zune, Windows Media, Windows Live (including Hotmail and Messenger), and the Xbox 360.
It’s probably the weakest of the four corporate giants as I see them, but it’s still got a pretty strong hold on things when you think about it. Hell, I typed this out in Microsoft Word and uploaded it in IE*. I guess the reason it seems weak is because it’s not expanding at the rate of the other corporations I’ve listed.
Speaking of expansion…
Apple (area of dominance: portable media)
Remember that time where Apple only made those dorky computers? Haha, yeah. Nostalgia. Now there are IPHONES EVERYWHERE. Perhaps you read my blog about my adventure in the Apple store. If not, go read it, slacker! here’s the summary: people are psycho for Apple products. The company is rapidly gaining ground in the portable media sector.
– Phones that also play music.
– Wi-Fi access in small electronics.
– Wi-Fi access in small electronics that also act as phones and play music
– Whatever the hell the iPad is.
– But wait! A newer version of the Wi-Fi/phone/music thing!
You get the idea.
Apple has pretty much taken over the “check out this electronic doohickey I’m carrying!” area, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing up. Pair this with the grip it’s got on the music sales industry via iTunes and you’re looking at one powerful company.
Facebook (area of dominance: personal information)
The king of personal information, Facebook as it stands right now is quite frightening. It’s not Big Brother we have to worry about, but each other, now that we’re able to pretty much list everything down to our genetic code on a social networking site. The worst part about it is how addicting it is. I’m not ashamed (though I probably should be) that I went through a freaky little withdrawal stage when I shut down my Facebook account for a few months back in May (April? Whenever), and was pretty much fully hooked on it again when I came back. Despite all the privacy issues Facebook’s having right now, I don’t think the number of people using the site will decrease by any significant amount anytime soon, thus leaving those of us in Facebook Land a good population in which to search and stalk.
Google (area of dominance: general information)
Last but certainly not least is Google. Google is terrifying.
Google will own the world in approximately seven more years.
In a decade, “Googling” will no longer just be a word for “searching via google.com” but will be a euphemism for all sorts of other things (possibly dirty things). In twenty years, we’ll have street views of Alpha Centauri.
Can you tell this company frightens me?
I guess if you name your company after something as big as a googol, you’re pretty much destined to be of the mindset to want to expand as much as possible. Their getting their hands on YouTube was the final “oh crap!” moment for me, now I’m just waiting for the blue, red, yellow and green takeover. Or should I say takeooooooooooooover.
Paranoia? Perhaps. But I’m waiting for the day Google decides to merge with Apple, they conquer Facebook, and Microsoft decides to join in just because. Then we’re screwed.
*Anyone who gives me browser choice crap is invited to come over and count the number of times Firefox crashes when I use it. That browser and I don’t get along, I like IE best, shut the hell up.
Today’s song: Protection (Sirius Mo Radio Edit) by Ben Mono
Welcome to another installation of “companies that randomly change their logos and make themselves look dumb.” Today our guest will be Apple—specifically, iTunes.
For whatever the hell reason, Apple decided to entirely re-do their iTunes feel, as well as the logo.
Clicky clicky to enlarge.
Now there’s practically NO color so the whole thing looks like an inactive window (you know, when you have a window open but you’re using a different one, and the colors in the inactive one are dulled in most color schemes). And then there’s Ping, which…well, I’m still not entirely sure what its purpose is.
Then there’s this:
I suppose the CD is that out-of-date now, but still. The blue notes on CD thing was a very signature logo. To go from that to something that has very little similarities to past designs seems…odd. But I suppose “hey, let’s change things up for no reason!” is the style nowadays. Sorry, but this kind of stuff really bugs me.
I really don’t understand it, but what’re you gonna do, eh?
Today’s song: Tiny Face by Tipper
Now I’m all for interactive electronics stores. If I’m allowed to fondle your merchandise before buying, I’m 60% more likely to buy and 100% more likely to fondle.
But holy lord. If your name is Steve Jobs and you’ve crapped out dozens of things that play music, come in pretty colors, have touch screens, and allow handheld access to the internet, you must realize that there will be no building large enough to house the throngs of people who swarm to shove iPhones (or, for the ladies, iPads) down their pants in Wi-Fi ecstasy.
I went to the Apple store in the Oakridge Mall this afternoon ‘cause old Nano finally died. The sheer amount of nerdy Mac people in there was frightening enough, but when I saw one lady trying to teach her young daughter how to say “app” and some dude purchasing four Macbook Pros, I just wanted to sprint to the back counter, get my Nano, and sprint the hell back out of there. Not to mention the people who were talking on their iPhones while playing with the iPad displays.
I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or start picking out baby names that start with the lower case letter “i.” But hey, I got a new Nano. It’s yellow, because the 5th generation yellow looks astounding whereas the 5th generation orange looks too brown for my taste.
Today’s song: Don’t Turn the Lights On by Chromeo
This is like 4,000 times funnier than it has any right to be.
Desire to get an iPhone just for this app = high.
Today’s song: Could It Be You (Punk Rock Chick) by Hwood
iTunes Hates Canada and All Who Move There (And So Does PayPal): a True Story
Today I will narrate to you the scenario I experienced a few days ago when I tried to make a truce between iTunes and Canada. I log on to my iTunes account and notice that I’ve finally almost used up all my gift card money. The rest proceeds rather “nicely.”
Me: Oh hey, it looks like I’m down to 78 cents on my US iTunes account. I guess I’d better credit my account with more money.
iTunes: We can’t process your payment.
iTunes: I’m not going to tell you.
Me: I’ll go check what PayPal has to say about this, then.
Paypal: Don’t ask me, it takes me five to seven business days to process anything. And it’s Friday, so good luck with that.
Me: Fine, I’ll just credit my account with my bank here.
iTunes: Wait, you’re using a Canadian bank account.
Me: No shit.
iTunes: You can’t do that unless you’re in Canada.
Me: I AM in Canada!
iTunes: But you’re not in iTunes’ Canada store.
Me: Okay, then I’ll switch my country on my profile.
iTunes: You can’t do that.
iTunes: Because your current account is using a US bank account.
Me: So…I can’t use my US bank account because I’m in Canada, but I can’t switch to the Canadian store to use my Canadian bank account because my current account is linked to a US bank, even though my US bank won’t work for payment anymore?
iTunes: Makes perfect sense to us.
Me: Then I’ll make a new iTunes account with my Canadian bank account.
iTunes: Are you sure? You’ll have to use the Canadian iTunes store.
Me: I JUST WANT MUSIC.
iTunes: Okay, let me just process your info. Oh, and by the way, Canadian iTunes blows.
iTunes: It looks like I can’t process your payments from your Canadian bank account.
iTunes: I’m not going to tell you.
Me: Ugh, FINE, I’ll make my old PayPal link to my Canadian bank.
Paypal: Welcome to Paypal.ca! Would you like to set up a new account?
Me: Oh screw this.
So I just quit and am downloading from justmusicstore.com until Paypal gets off its butt in nine to twelve business days (that’s the conversion to Canadian days from US days, in case you were wondering).
You think they wouldn’t make it so complicated for me to pay them money, but I guess not.
Today’s song: Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson