Building The Perfect Beast

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Archive for the ‘On miPod’ tag

Craig Mod—Embracing the Digital Book

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Embracing the digital book | via Craig Mod

Another excellent, insightful piece by Craig Mod on the current state of e-book readers and what they should aspire to be.

Physical books and e-books are both text at their cores. Book designers long ago established rigorous rules for laying out text blocks so they disappear to the reader. They took pride in turning the physicality of a book into a tool for efficiently and elegantly getting information into the mind of the reader. As any good typographer knows: the best typography goes unnoticed.

Our e-readers seem to have forgotten this heritage. They’ve forgotten that their core purpose is simply to present text as comfortably as possible; to gently pull the reader into the story. Every other aspect of experiencing a book is predicated on this notion.

I don’t have my own iPad yet, but I do have a demo unit that I’m using for a review and there are many things that I love about it and more I’m finding everyday. Reading is definitely different, and I think better, on the iPad than it is on either my iPhone or my Macbook Pro. I’m particularly in love with Instapaper Pro, although I’ve probably saved more items for “reading later” than is possible for me to read in the next few decades. While iBooks is interesting, I’m not finding any of the books that I’m interested in reading at present and I, like Mod, can do without the page turning animations and the book-like look of the interface. I’d also like the option to use white text on a black background so I can read in bed without waking my wife or feeling like I’m using an emergency locater beacon. The Kindle app, at present, offers far more, both in terms of what’s available book-wise and display options, than does iBooks.

The one app that I’m supremely impressed with is Outside Magazine’s iPad Edition, which seems to me to have spanned the gap between print and digital editions in a pretty stellar fashion. The quality of the text mirrors that of the magazine and, while I think that as they continue to work on the layout it will only get better, I feel that in its present state it’s already a pretty darn good replacement for the print edition and one that I’d gladly subscribe to in a digital format. It also appears that Outside has designed this version to work in the way that I hoped iPad-based magazines would work, a single application with which you’re able to easily access older issues of the magazine and your latest issue without having to download a separate application every time a new issue is release. I’ll also add that the quality of the photography in the iPad edition is stunning. There’s a depth to it that you just can’t get in a print magazine and it’s truly beautiful to look at.

Outside Magazine Cover

Outside Magazine Content

Written by Jeffery Battersby

April 21st, 2010 at 11:48 am

WNYC’s Radiolab

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Many of you who know me well also know that I’m a bit of a radio junkie, or, at the very least, a big audio junkie. That’s been the case since the day I first discovered the War of the Worlds LP that my mom and dad had tucked away in the record pile at my house when I was a kid. I soon graduated to Radio Mystery Theater and listen as often as I can to The Moth Podcast and This American Life. But during the last month or so I’ve come across yet another brilliant piece of radio, WNYC’s Radiolab. In their own words Radiolab:

…believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we’ll feed it with possibility.

I’ve have made Radiolab a regular excursion, I think you should too.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

April 21st, 2010 at 10:54 am

RELEVANT’s Best Albums of 2009

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Conspicuously missing:

No Line On The Horizon


RELEVANT’s Best Albums of 2009 | via RELEVANT Magazine

Written by Jeffery Battersby

December 16th, 2009 at 11:59 am

Posted in On miPod

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Dalrymple on the $3 Tweetie Upgrade

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Uhm… of course it is. People are just freaking stupid.

The Tweetie dilemma: Is it worth the $3 upgrade? | via The Loop

I’m upgrading too. Three dollars? Sheesh.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 30th, 2009 at 10:51 am

Posted in Asides

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Dropbox For iPhone Ships

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The Dropbox iPhone app has been posted to the app store.

I just downloaded it, can’t wait to see how it works.

Dropbox for iPhone

Dropbox for iPhone @ App Store

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 29th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

8:30 AM EST… And Still No MMS

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AT&T plans to roll out MMS on the iPhone today. But it’s 8:30 AM on the east coast and I’ve still got nothing…


UPDATE: the aforementioned link states that:

MMS support will launch late in the morning, Pacific time, this Friday.

Please forgive me for my East Coast-centric point of view. I guess we’ll see MMS sometime tonight…

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 25th, 2009 at 7:32 am

Posted in Asides

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Benjamin Moore’s “Killer Color App”

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Paint color, and how to choose a good one to match the <-insert decorating variable here, i.e. “throw pillow, native american pottery, toilet seat cover-> is a common theme around my house. So common, in fact, that I keep a fresh bottle of Benadryl close at hand to deal with the case of hives I get every time the subject comes up. That’s why I was psyched to find the Ben iPhone app in a recent issue of Sunset Magazine.

The free Ben app (iTunes Store link) is simple to use. Take a photo using Ben—or use an existing photo from your phone’s photo library—touch any color that you’re trying to match and Ben will present you with a “color strip” of possible matches and accent colors. Double-tapping any color in the strip saves it as a favorite, which includes the number for the Benjamin Moore color you’ve saved. There’s also a place with  keep notes on any of the favorites you’ve saved and tapping a favorite one time gives you an iPhone screen-sized color strip. The app can also use your zip code or the GPS in your iPhone to help you find the closest Benjamin Moore location.

There are some issues to keep in mind when using the app, first, good lighting is essential. Poor lighting flattens the colors, which results in Ben making inaccurate matches. Second, there’s no way to search for a color that you already know, i.e. you can’t type in Wet Concrete or the Benjamin Moore number for Wet Concrete and find it in the Ben app. Finally, and this isn’t really an issue for me, and should be obvious to any one using the program, this is ONLY for Benjamin Moore paints. So don’t plan on using the app and running to Home Depot or Lowe’s to get a match. Otherwise, this is one great app.

You’ll find a great video showing you how the app works on the Benjamin Moore site.

Ben-take a picture, choose a color, great!

Take a picture. Touch a color. Great!

Color Harmony helps you find compatible colors

Color Harmony helps you find compatible colors

Written by Jeffery Battersby

September 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am