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Apple and the Carputer

Prediction: One of the new products from Apple over the next 2 years (maybe even their latest hint about a future product transition), will be a car pc.

My recent move bumped my commute from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and there are dozens of ways a carputer built right could make that time more productive and enjoyable (without risking anyone’s safety).

iPhone Application WishList

Without background sync capabilities in 3rd Party apps, some of these aren’t likely going to be available in the near future and some others may only be possible as Apple-built apps. Still, here are 10 iPhone apps I’d love to see.

1. Podcast downloader (using Wifi and 3G) with background sync.

2. Native Google Reader client with background sync.

3. Twitter reader with background sync and read/unread functionality.

4. Save YouTube videos for later, non-streamed, viewing (so Charlie can watch cartoon clips and ColdPlay videos).

5. “Back to My Mac” Screen Sharing.

6. Remote Desktop (for Windows PCs).

7. Multi-Protocol (AIM, GoogleTalk, Jabber, etc) Instant Messaging Client which runs in the background when not the active application.

8. UPNP video streaming client.

9. Wine ratings / search.

10. Better Photo-emails. The ability to send multiple photos in one email, easily, would be great!

Sonic Screwdriver News

MFXReplicas is planning to introduce their Sonic Screwdriver replica at the San Diego ComiCon in July.

Also, today’s episode featured a new type of Sonic Screwdriver:

Kindle

Bezos, after mentioning that Kindle represents 6% of Amazon book sales: “Books won’t go away just as horses won’t go away — they’re still around.”

Ouch.

My Take

Patapon: I normally can’t stand rhythm games, but this one is a ton of fun.

iPhone SDK: Finally! Looks great to me, but I am not happy about the ‘no background apps’ policy. I’d like 3rd party chat apps and feed readers to be able to alert me from the background. Hopefully, background capabilities are coming.

OS X Leopard’s “Alex” voice: Text to speech is normally pretty crappy. I’m glad Apple invested in a voice that speaks clearly, even if it does require 700MB of disk space!! I’m working on a simple OS X app that connects to Google Reader and reads articles aloud.

Jericho: Canceled AGAIN? Really? At least there’s still Torchwood, Doctor Who, Lost, BSG and Smallville (major spoilers in this week’s promo – be careful).

Arduino: I’m having a lot of fun with mine. An Arduino plus a series of BlinkMs is a great combination.

MacBook Air: I’ve had mine for 2 months and I love it. The combination of mobility, screen size and performance it provides makes it much more useful than the notebooks, umpcs, pdas and internet tablets I’ve used in the past. Meanwhile, the flexibility, usability and safety provided by OS X gives this machine a huge advantage over similar Windows-based laptops. It’s my main computer, now.

WaterField’s Racer-X Laptop Case: The Racer-X is perfect for me. Not too big, not too small. It stays upright do to a solid rectangular bottom, which is really nice – it makes it a little heavier but it’s worth knowing it’s not going to tip over. The Air is in a zippered into a lightly padded, secure pocket. The other zippered pocket is big enough to hold the charger, my cradlepoint PHS, a usb hub, a medium sized ora book or my Kindle, a tiny usb HD (for backups and extra storage) and some other misc stuff. It’s small enough that I have to think about what I want to keep in it, but not so small that I have to leave anything important behind. I bought the black version with leather handles. The build quality is terrific and I can see it lasting for a LONG time.

TechShop

I’m heading back to TechShop tomorrow. It’ll be my first visit since the Grand Opening and I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll be there at 6pm for the Basic Laser Cutting class and I’m staying for the 8pm Advanced class.

Now, if I can find some Patapon vector art…