September 9

Is Smart Wake worth $120 a year to me?

So Fitbit is rolling out both a premium service and Smart Wake this fall; a recent hardware review confirmed that it is finally coming back:

I genuinely would’ve loved to try Fitbit’s upcoming Smart Wake alarm, which will purportedly wake you when you’re in a lighter phase of sleep so you feel more refreshed. However, that’s not rolling out until later this fall.

But I’ve been stuck with a dumb alarm for a few years now. If it’s “free”, I’ll take it … but I’m not sure it’s worth $120 a year. Thanks, Fitbit … sort of …

Note: I currently hold Fitbit stock.
Category: future, hardware | Comments Off on Is Smart Wake worth $120 a year to me?
September 12

You’re reading my mind, Apple …

So we’re a mixed household. Some Apple, some Windows, and a few Androids tucked away here and there.

Our digital data is similarly patched together: Some Amazon items, Google Play titles, and a lot of Apple TV content.

A recent announcement out of Cupertino really has me wondering if Apple is reading my mind.

When we see an interesting movie, we’re faced with a dilemma: rent it or buy it? Sometimes the prices are close enough that it’s a tough choice. Will we want to watch over and over again? Will we regret buying it? Will we pay almost double to rent it and then buy it?

Take, for example, the movie Beatriz at Dinner. Currently, it’s $5.99 to rent, and $9.99 to buy.

We could rent it, love it, then buy it for a total of $15.98.

We could buy it, love it, and spend $9.99.

We could buy it, hate it, and have “rented it” for $9.99 instead of $5.99.

Yeah, I know, #firstworldproblems .

But here’s where they’re starting to read my mind. I’ve always wanted Apple to let you treat the rental price as a “try it before you buy it” option. Continue reading

Category: Apple, Data Architecture, future, hardware | Comments Off on You’re reading my mind, Apple …
October 23

Confessions of a Convention Junkie

When I met my spouse a few years ago, we had a grand first date, geeking out about things we liked in common, planning our first nerdcation together soon after. Our destination: a technical conference (SIGGRAPH). Neither of us actually worked in the industry, but liked it enough to want to spend time learning more about all the cool math that went into making movies.

I sat in on a talk from WETA (the hoopy froods behind the Lord Of The Rings movies), bought a Mars rover shirt at the SGI booth, went to a Digital Domain party, and generally had a nerdy good time with the folks in charge of the green pixels.

I still go to conventions for fun and learning. 🙂 It’s as expensive as a semester of college (sometimes), but shorter and more fun – and it’s easier to sort out who is interested in what you’re interested in.

This month, I got a double whammy, working one convention, then dropping in on another for helping out with the first. The topic, to my surprise, was in my specialty cloud — Information Development and Process Analysis, and touched a bit on my recent work as a Product Developer. I’m sure the guy running the day would have been surprised I call it ID/PA/PD, but it’s neat to see how my skills transfer to the marketing industry.

Pro tip: Take a multi-port charger with you and you’ll make a ton of new friends … also a few safety pins, some extra socks, and plenty of business cards. I dusted off my freelance cards from 8 years ago and used them to make new friends… I designed them with plenty of room to write on so new friends would remember why we need to talk later.

Looking forward to nerding out as I strike out on my own, finding more conventions to talk about making things work for people better with fellow info geeks. 🙂

Category: Free Beta Testers, future | Comments Off on Confessions of a Convention Junkie
October 5

Re-preciated terms … “Lost my marbles”

The etymology and meanings of phrases in any language continues to fascinate me. Where words and phrases came from, what they used to mean, what they still mean …

I heard an interview on NPR recently where the speakers mentioned our current use of English names and terms such as “horsepower” for engines and “candlepower” for lights. We still “film” or “video” on our smartphones as well, instead of “record” or “capture” … “capture” seems to have attached itself to the idea of motion capture instead.

And some words have taken on additional meanings – a “handle” is still something you grab something by, but it’s also a chosen name for online chat. A “honeypot” is both a place to store bee juice and attract black hat traffic.

But as some words fade out of use in negative ways, such as “retard” (soon, please) and “lost my marbles” … will they come back to mean something completely different?

Some neat new-ish technology popped up in an old reading list of mine the other day: HUGE marbles designed to capture visible light and convert it to electricity. I envision buildings with marble roofs, and ground quakes causing the arrays to shift off line. “Why’d the power go out?” “Welp, we lost our marbles again …”

Category: future | Comments Off on Re-preciated terms … “Lost my marbles”