SkyMall Bites The Dust

In a past incarnation of my career I travelled a lot. And by a lot, I mean a shitload. I was in airports and on airplanes a couple of times a week minimum, and often a lot more. Like a lot of travellers, I found both a lot of humour and great comfort in the SkyMall catalogue. It was something that was familiar, always there for you, and decidedly entertaining … although somehow I don’t think that it was entertaining in the way the company wanted it to be.

A typical SkyMall productWhen you settled in on a flight and found that the SkyMall book in the seat pocket was a brand new edition, packed with all sorts of ridiculous new goodies? Didn’t matter what time it was or how tired you were … your next couple of hours of seat time were set.

It’s not a surprise that SkyMall has now bitten the dust. In fact, it’s a surprise that it lasted this long. But I will still take a minute or two to mourn. And I suspect there are a lot of frequent flyers out there who will do the same. An institution has truly passed.

So long, SkyMall. It was fun.

Post to Twitter

Jeffrey’s EXIF Viewer

Ever needed a quick and dirty way to take a look at the EXIF data embedded in a photo? Take a peek at Jeffery’s EXIF Viewer – it works with damn near any photo format and includes all of the EXIF fields, something that a lot of so-called “pro” photo suites don’t do. Even better, it’s browser based so there is zero overhead and zero system investment so you can use it when you are away from your own computer or on a mobile device*. If you can get at a browser or any sort, you can get access to the guts of your photo data.

Serious kudos to Jeffrey Friedl for providing a decidedly awesome tool. You definitely want to keep this one in your bookmarks.

*There are oodles of EXIF apps for most mobile platforms, but I have yet to see one that gets as deep into the data as this web tool.

Post to Twitter


He was such a good boy.

Stupid world.


Post to Twitter

It’s an iPad event …

… but, contrary to what the fenderheads at Bloomberg tried to claim in yet another desperate bid to get some clicks, there are no “new” iPads.

Today you will see updates to the existing iPad line with an performance bump (courtesy of the A8x processor), new camera elements, and TouchID element rings around the home button. Nomenclature will revert back to the old standard of incremental numbers … the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. Done and done.

The real news is probably the A8x, which brings the “metal” graphics processing to the iPad line and will help further entrench the device as the world’s most popular gaming console. The rest is all just gravy.

iOS 8.1 will also see the light of day, but people with current iOS devices may have to wait a week or so to get their hands on it.

Rounding out the show? Definitely some news about the Apple Pay rollout, and possibly some Apple Watch pricing details. Don’t hold your breath on the latter, though … the Watches will be priced more like “real” watches and less like “68 cent quartz-driven crap from the department store” and I believe Apple is still working on how to best broach the subject, especially to idiots in the tech press who don’t really understand the concepts surrounding the cost of jewellery and other luxury goods.

Oh. And shiny new iMacs. Yum.

Post to Twitter

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

When John Lennon and Paul McCartney first penned “She Loves You” McCartney’s father complained about the lyrics … specifically the “yeah, yeah, yeah” tagline. He thought it sounded too “American” and asked why they couldn’t sing “yes, yes, yes” like properly educated Brits instead.

History, baby.

Post to Twitter

It’s Not A Flaw, It’s A FEATURE!

So the nasty gap between the edge of the screen and the plastic case on the newest Samsung handset turns out to be a feature, not a problem with the design and/or manufacturing of the phone.

A feature.

Man. Now I am kind of sad that the screen of my phone fits flush to the case and I don’t get the awesome benefits of dust and moisture going into the guts of the phone. I feel, you know, left out.

Post to Twitter

National Coffee Day

That’s right. Today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day. Mmmm, coffee. Cup o’ joe. Drip. Mud. Java. Donut helper. So have a second cup. Or a third. Or a fourth or fifth …

Mmmm, coffee.

Post to Twitter

Jeter. So What?

If you were not aware that Major League Baseball was played before 1990, you might be forgiven for thinking that Derek Jeter is the Greatest Baseball Player In The History Of Ever Oh My God Break Out The Stars And Stripes!


Joe DiMaggio - an actual greatListen – the guy is a likeable player. Never gets in trouble, never says stupid or inflammatory things, clean cut, dresses well, doesn’t act like an NFL player or any other kind of criminal … it’s all good. But one of the greats? Hardly. The guy was a decent player, with average per-year stats who hung around long enough to end up with some nice totals. But he’s not one of the great hitters of the age – the dude strikes out more in a month than Joe DiMaggio did in two years. And as far as fielding goes he is mostly competent … unless you count the fact that he has cost his team more runs with his defence than any other shortstop in history. Then you might want to replace “mostly” with “barely”. Hell, his “signature highlight” is a play where he is so far out of position that you could use the footage as a training tape to teach little leaguers how not to play the infield.

So yeah. Yay Jeter for a nice career. But he’s not one of the greatest players of all time, not even close. Hell, he’s not even one of the greatest Yankees of all time. So can we please stop all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth now?


Post to Twitter

Smartie 0649

0.018: The price (in U.S. dollars) that it costs the United States government to produce each penny.

Post to Twitter

iOS 8.0.1 Is A Complete Disaster

In case you have been sitting under a rock and somehow missed all the gleeful finger-pointing, the first update for iOS is a total dud. If you live in Canada (and hey, this is a .ca blog) you will probably have no issues, but it’s best to avoid the whole thing for now. For those of you in the USA who have already applied the update, however, your anger is palpable. And entirely justified. This turd is inexcusable and rightfully embarrassing for Apple. If they can’t get a repaired update out within the week, heads need to roll in Craig Federighi’s department. Including, quite frankly, Craig’s.

If there is any cold consolation in this, it’s that users have control of when and how they take iOS updates, and unless it is a top-number update most people don’t see to get around to it the first day. For Android users, who get their updates pushed to them whether they want them or not (when their carriers actually allow them an update, that is) this could have been beyond horrible.

Post to Twitter