Thursday, July 31, 2008

iPhone application reviews suck

Someone needs to step up and start making well-done iPhone app reviews on YouTube.

Since there is not (yet, at least) any mechanism to demo paid apps, the natural thing to do if you're curious about an application is to go to YouTube and search for the application's name. And yes, you will find that someone has reviewed the application you're wondering about, but no, it is not watchable and therefore it is unhelpful.

Here are some characteristics of an unsuitable iPhone application review:

1. A nasally-voiced reviewer talking through the back of his throat. I'm sorry to say that this disqualifies most RIT students, who would otherwise be most qualified to review software. (I kid because I love!)

1a. A reviewer with freshman mustache.

2. A shaky handheld camera. Here's a simple rule: use a tripod. Your camera doesn't have a tripod mount? It's not good enough. No, your cell phone camera is not good enough.

2a. Put the iPhone on the table, man! It's nauseating to watch it swim around as you hold it in your hand. Also makes it hard for your camera to autofocus.

3. An introduction longer than 20 seconds or so. We're here to see the app, not your face. If you must show us your face (and it's true that certain reviewers might find this in their best interest), remember #2.

4. A run time of more than three minutes. We don't need to see every feature and every preference option. Show us how the application works and go home. If you really, really have more than three minutes of content, separate it into sensible sections.

5. UTTER and TOTAL darkness. Dudes, the screen on this device kicks ass. It can handle the lamp in your dorm room. Making us watch your review in the dark makes us feel like we're doing something oogy or impolite.

So there you have it. You now know what to do. Who's up for the task?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A study in contrast

The campground in Main where my family has been going since my dad was a little boy is an interesting place. Both beautiful and bizarre, it is a series of small, rustic cabins on a small, rustic lake in central Maine. The cabins are rented out to families at a very reasonable rate, and they are largely maintained by the families who rent them. This leads to some really, um, precious homemade decor, such as the following:

How indeed.

At the same time, the lake itself (it's actually a pond—Hogan Pond, to be specific) is a lovely and peaceful place to relax, especially at night, when you can sit on the eastern shore and watch the sunset.

Sometimes we put up with the bizarre to get access to the beauty.

Monday, July 28, 2008

One of many highlights from Yankee Stadium

A Hebrew National hot dog in a crusty roll. Click to enlarge and enjoy all the textural goodness.

More highlights later, perhaps.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nice job, Yankees fans

In an incident that's not nearly as disturbing as the story I linked to earlier, Yankees fans recently cursed at and idly threatened Jonathan Papelbon's pregnant wife during the All-Star parade in New York City. This uncouth behavior was in response to a typical media overreaction to a blandly stupid statement Papelbon made earlier in the week that he would like to close the game for the American League. I don't defend the behavior of the Yankees fans who were involved.

Still, I can't resist pointing out, Paps, that you wouldn't be "letting" Mariano Rivera "go ahead of" you because he's "elder statesman" of the game of baseball. He'd be closing the game because he's having a better season than you, and because he is made of awesome and you are not.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weird cat

I have never claimed to understand cat behavior, much less that of cat owners, but I ran into an especially weird one today. But it was good-weird, so I'm not complaining—just sharing a funny story.

We went swimming at a friend's pool this afternoon. At one point, Tracey and Abel went inside so he could use the bathroom, and I decided to hop out of the pool and go sit in the sun for a few minutes and play with my iPhone. Our friend's cat was outside, and he immediately came over to me and jumped up onto my sopping wet lap. I was sure he'd jump right off when he felt the water, but no; he settled right into my lap and made himself comfortable. He then proceeded to lick my arm for about five solid minutes. ("Um? Okay.") I took a picture.

He was very friendly, just a little weird. Come to think of it, I know some people like that.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nice job, Red Sox fans

According to this article in the Cape Cod Times, Red Sox fans are total jerks. But we knew that already, right?

"Police said Robert Correia of Falmouth and several others attacked a driver with a baseball bat Friday night after spotting New York license plates on the man's vehicle and believing he was a Yankees fan."

Yes, the man's children were in the car to witness the event.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Etta James album $1.99

Today's Amazon MP3 deal is a good one: Etta James's At Last! for $1.99. The title track alone is worth two bucks, right? But the rest of the album is very good too. As far as I know, this deal is good for today only, Saturday, July 5.