Friday Fun: Rocky Mountain High

This week was interesting on several levels as the team headed to Colorado Springs. The picture above is from the Garden of the Gods Park. The real highlight of the trip was visiting the US Olympic Training Center where our Olympic athletes train. I also found it humorous that the radio personality giving an update on the weather talked about the "oppressive" summer sun as the forecast high was 94 degrees with virtually no humidity. I don't think that guy would survive Dallas summers.

iPhone 4 Release
The big news of the week was the release of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone OS4 update. If you have an iPhone 3G S you will enjoy many of the same features with the OS update. I have really come to appreciate folders and switching apps is faster than ever. But what good is an iPhone without a good case. If you're looking for something that will truly separate yourself from everyone else a custom engraved bamboo case will really do the trick. via Gizmodo

An iPad in Every Room
The Plaza hotel in NYC is going to offer iPad's in every room beginning in September. The app will include in hotel services but also include destination guides and news services. They are using the Intelity product ICE to power the iPad app. via HotelChatter

Speaking of the iPad
Malaysia Airlines is rolling out iPads in kiosks for check-in or even to purchase a flight. They used their existing iPhone app as a baseline and built some additional features. So even if you aren't headed to Kuala Lumpur anytime soon you can download the iPhone app to see how it works. via Engadget

Notable Browser Annotations
That headline might be a tad simplistic but the goal of Notable is to allow users a way to review and comment on websites. We've all been in a meeting where someone likes a feature or design element on website and struggles to explain what it is or how it works. This tool will allow annotations and feedback but not just to visual elements. You can comment on the code, SEO and even copy points. via Swissmiss

Flickr is Better
Flickr is testing out some new page designs that include larger images. It is interesting to see where they are choosing to emphasize features that were more difficult to get to in the existing version. via Gizmodo

Here's Steve Mesler's Gold Medal
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Friday Fun: Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day! I'm personally looking forward to a relaxing Sunday with my family. Last night as I said goodnight to my kids my youngest says to me in a half-awake exhausted whisper, "I love you dad." That moment of sincerity is what makes being a dad so awesome and makes me wonder if I was able to provide the same emotional connection with my dad when I was younger. Here's to dads! 

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Kindle case that needs to have an iPad version
One of my complaints about iPad cases is that none of them allow for a notepad. Even these "cool" looking cases highlighted in Mashable lack a notepad. There are some rigged ones that look cheap and hacked. This case for the Amazon Kindle is perfect. Yes, I know you can use the iPad for typing notes, but sometimes you just need some paper to scribble a quick note or sketch an idea out without getting too digital. I'd be all over an iPad version of this case. via Gizmodo

Buy a Hyundai, get an iPad
If you are in the market for a new car the Hyndai Equus is the "luxury sedan" that come with an owner's manual on a 16GB iPad. I think it is a nice option for a higher priced car to include a device like this that can include videos of how to use the features of the car. I've seen some recent car manuals and they are getting out of control. I know this is a gimmick but it would be even better to include the iPad as the multimedia hub. via Engadget

Gift for Dad? Not
Yes this is a bad idea, but so campy it might earn bonus points for a good laugh. Nothing screams high class like a drool stain on a tie. I've never understood why you would get give a tie as a gift for Father's Day, but maybe that is because my dad was in the Army and didn't really have a need for ties. via Gizmodo

People Migration
It is always fun to see how people will visualize data and the folks at Forbes have taken a look at the migration of US Citizens based on county. You can see the number of people coming and going to different counties across the country. Lots of red indicates more people moving away from a county. Try taking a look at New York. Lot's of red. via swissmiss

3D Movie glasses are gross
In what is surely no surprise to anyone a study was recently done on the glasses movie theaters provide movie goers going to watch 3D movies. The big alarm is that they found the virus that causes staph infections on of the pairs of glasses tested. When you think about all of the other surfaces you are sharing with your fellow humans the risk of getting some infectious disease is going to be the same as if you weren't wearing the glasses. So bring wipes or sanitizer if that is your thing, or just save a few bucks and skip 3D movies. via Engadget

Friday Fun: New iPhones and Oil Leaks

World Cup mania is kicking into full force for many starting today. If you don’t follow soccer or really care then you should unsubscribe now. I’m kidding of course, but this is a major sports event and if you can’t get into the early round games wait until the real drama kicks in as we get closer to the final match. So before you check out for a weekend of futbol or fun here are a few stories to keep you movin’.

BP has a HUGE Mess
You already know the oil spill in the Gulf is a major environmental disaster. The thing that gets lost in news reports is the massive scale of the oil spill. Leave it to an ingenious mashup that pulls the location data of the oil and Google Maps to help with providing scale. The beauty of this site is that you can enter any location in the world and see how the spill measures up. Try it for yourself or try New York, LA, Memphis, Dallas or Honolulu. Context is everything.

iPhone 4
Apple revealed their next generation of the iPhone this week at their developer conference. Surely by now you have seen or heard about the new hardware and if you really want to read up on what is new I would suggest Engadget, GDGT, TUAW and Michael Gartenberg. However, I suspect many people will really be interested in what all of the mumbo-jumbo is all about. A few points are below that may be helpful when considering your next computer phone.

 

1. It will be fast, your apps are going to load quickly and run faster


2. Screen will look great and will be easier on the eyes


3. Camera is much better and includes a flash & also does HD quality video (720p)


4. Battery life is much better


5. Reception should be better 

6. It is thinner than the current iPhones
7. You can now have a video call with a front facing camera


Foursquare Mayor Backlash
Consumerist posted a story about a frustrated consumer trying to take advantage of ‘mayor’ special offer. Foursquare allows users to “check-in” at a location using their phones. The person with the most check-ins becomes the mayor. The service is a bit of a social game, but Foursquare has allowed businesses to post special offers to those that check-in or even better deals for the mayor. It is kind of hard for a customer to become mayor if the employees are constantly checking into a location. I suspect we’ll see more headaches with mayor and saturation of offers in the coming weeks.

Twitter URL Shortener
The news from RWW is that Twitter is going to convert all links in the Twitter eco system to use their shortener. The value for Twitter is that in order to help collect link value across their ecosystem they force everything into their environment. Twitter will also have more control over nefarious links to help keep users safe. They are still going to allow URL shortening services like bit.ly but the writing may be on the wall for shortening services that want to play in the Twitter ecosystem. Bit.ly currently offers an Enterprise package for $995/month.

Desktop to iPhone App
This app, My Phone Desktop, sounds like a really useful tool for transferring information from your desktop to your iPhone. They aren’t doing anything that can’t be done in other ways they just make it easier. Below are some examples of the type of information you can send from your desktop to your phone. One advantage is that this service is cloud based so you can access the service on any computer. Another nice feature for multiple iPhone households (I’m guilty, we have three…don’t ask) you can select different devices that will receive the content. via TUAW


  • the URL will open in Mobile Safari
  • the directions will open in Maps
  • the video will open in the YouTube app
  • your iPhone will start a call to the number you designate
  • the picture can be saved to your iPhone photo library
  • text is copied to the clipboard

GoGo Inflight Wifi Discount
Gizmodo posted a discount for the GoGo wifi service. They have two codes 25% off your flight or you can save $5 off the 30-day package. Good through July 10, 2010.

Day at the Races – IndyCar

I had an opportunity to attend the Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway and had a blast. The last time I saw an IndyCar race was back when the track opened in 1997. So I was pretty pumped about getting to hang out in the hospitality area and see a race. I felt like a kid in a candy store since there was so much to see. We were guests of Andretti Motorsport and they had a great setup. It is kind of like being in a luxury box at a stadium but much bigger and portable.

We were invited by one of Marco Andretti’s sponsors so we had an chance to pose for a picture and grab an autograph if we wanted. The way this stuff works is humorous to me as an outsider. He shows up out of the blue and we shuffle through the line to meet him. Then he is whisked away to get ready for the race. I think he was there all of three minutes. He might have been willing to stick around a bit longer, but the premier sponsor wasn’t there. This has to be one of the more uncomfortable things that drivers have to mess with right before a race.

One highlight of the day was going to the garage. I don’t mean shuffling through the center aisle with everyone else I mean, we were in the path of the mechanics while they worked. This was pretty impressive to see in action. If I had half a mechanically inclined bone in my body I would have offered to help. That’s how close we were to these guys.

The race was great and the Andretti Motorsport team had to be pretty pumped. All four drivers were in the top 7. Danica Patrick couldn’t quite get first, but she fought hard to stay in the top four the entire night. Marco had something happen in the pits that put him way back in the pack toward the latter part of the race. After he pulled back onto the track he blazed a trail and while he couldn’t quite catch up to top two had a really solid comeback for 3rd. Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay were the other two drivers for the team and while Kanaan seemed to be in cruise control for a majority of the race Hunter-Reay was up and down all night before getting dialed in at the end.

All told it was a great experience and was blown away by the entire event. Highlight of my night was meeting Michael Andretti.

Friday Fun: Great Week to kick-off summer

Dog days of summer hit this weekend in Dallas with temps over 100. I get to go to the Indy Car race taking place this weekend and should get to meet Marco Andretti. It's not the World Cup, but I'm really excited. Not a fan of racing? How about the World Cup or NBA Finals? Perhaps hanging by the pool with fresh stuff on the grill? Enjoy the weekend.

Phone Controls on Door Locks
Last week I mentioned the IHG plans to test out the use of specialized locks on hotel doors. The news hounds at Engadget dug deeper and found some video that shows how the locks actually work. 

Düsseldorf Lux Hotel Has it Right
These pictures via Hotel Chatter, look like they really thought through an gadget lovers dream room. Not only do you get the slick power panel with ideal connections but also touchscreen controls for lighting. 

Steve Jobs at D8 Conference
For fear of sounding like a fanboy I'll defer to John Battelle and his assessment of the Steve Jobs 90 minute Q & A at the D8 conference. I was reminded this week about the passion for what we do and how much we miss sharing and debating in the middle of that passion. Hard and challenging projects full of passion are so much more rewarding that just lumbering though another project. 

…and I mean that. Watching Jobs work his way through nearly 90 minutes of interview and audience questions, I really felt, for the first time, a sense of how strongly the guy feels for his work and his products. Then again, I found myself angry, several times

Read more: http://battellemedia.com/archives/2010/06/steve_jobs_at_d_a_master#ixzz0pukmtxj1

Bond. James Bond.
Huge deal on a 007 Collection on Blu-ray. Normally this is $300 but now available for $99. It isn't ALL of them, but if your a fan it will keep you busy for awhile. If my dad had a Blu-ray player and a decent TV in his present location in the ME I'd be tempted to hook him up. But if I were a good son, or at least really rich, I could provide the ultimate Bond gift.The original 1964 Aston Martin DB 5 from the movie is expected to fetch $5 million at auction. I'm pretty sure my dad would be good with a regular old DB 5.
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