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iPad Enthusiasm

Yes, I’m looking forward to the iPad release. I set my alarm early on Pre-Order day and raced through the process, just in case.

I’ve been tagged as an Apple fanboy, but I’m not sure that’s the case. I’m a mobile technology fanboy. I’ve tried the gamut of mobile device models and brands, yet I come back to the Apple product lines time and again. I spent months with the Palm Pre (great SDK!) and weeks with Android (the Droid) and Windows Mobile devices, but the iPhone (despite its limitations) is #1 for me. Similarly, I’ve spent a lot of time with the Archos 5 Android, UMPCs, Nokia Internet Tablets and the Kindle. Knowing what I know about the software and hardware that makes up the iPad, it’s clear that Apple has another winner.

I spend a lot of time on the computer. I read and write email, read and write documents, read news (twitter, articles), listen to audiobooks and podcasts, write code, watch video. At home and at work, I’ve been spending less time at my desk – so, for many of these tasks, I rely on my iPhone (especially reading email, listening to audiobooks/podcasts and watching video). Going forward, at home I expect that the iPad will be my go-to device for reading and viewing email, news, and video.

Meanwhile, there are a ton of new experiences that the iPad will enable. It’s not clear which of these will ‘catch on’ with me or with you, but quite a few new possibilities will be opened up on April 3rd at the intersection of the iPad and the terrifically innovative development community that has sprung up around the iPhone OS.

Beyond the obvious use cases mentioned above, I’m looking forward to:

  • The competition for the best iPad Twitter app – who can use the large, multitouch screen the best? I expect that it will be a more compelling experience than desktop/notebook alternatives.
  • Similarly, but probably with a longer horizon, the competition for the best RSS newsreader on the platform will be intense. I version of Reeder 2 or MobileRSS reorganized for the iPad form factor will be a lot of fun to use.
  • I’m still hoping that Netflix and Hulu will work something out with Apple to get their streaming solutions available on the iPad. Apple has an obvious financial incentive to block these apps, but subscription or ad based video streaming is going to win over $2.00 TV episodes some day. I’m surprised ANYONE is paying for TV that way on a regular basis.
  • An iPad optimized Flickr browsing app would be interesting.
  • Remote Desktop. It’s usable on an iPhone, but would be more so on the iPad.
  • Games. Just as we saw completely new kinds of games with the iPhone (and the Wii and the DS), we’ll see some new things on the iPad.
  • Comic books and graphic novels continue to be an exciting narrative model. It will be interesting to see the mix of mainstream and independent content that ends up on the iPad. Lots of people are excited about how magazines will make the leap to this device, but I think the leap that comics make will be just as interesting.
  • Interactive charts and data visualizations via touch. This technique could bring new life to informative textbook and magazine content.

Netflix, GameFly

I finally canceled both. We don’t order enough movies or games to make either of these services pay off, financially. The result would have been different if the Netflix Video On Demand service supported OS X.

Knight Rider Light Bar

UPDATE (2/17/08): Added more videos to the bottom of this post.

UPDATE (2/17/08): Code is available here.

I’m making a Knight Rider (KITT) Light Bar to celebrate the premier of the new Knight Rider Made-For-TV Movie (tomorrow night on NBC). I’m using an Arduino Diecimila board and 18 LEDs.

Here’s a picture from a few hours ago. The LEDs are now much more aligned and some of the wiring has since been cleaned up, but the photo will give you the general idea.

Materials (so far): FedEx box (temporary; looking for a suitable plastic container) with black construction paper for the housing. Arduino, 18 LEDs (wired to 9 output pins on the arduino – two LEDs in parallel per pin), 9 75 ohm resistors (note, 75 is not the right value, but they were the closest I had). The faceplate is made of cardboard, tissue paper (light diffusion) and some cheap car-window-sun-shade-material I found at Target.

Here’s what it looks like in action (this vid is from the afternoon, before the housing and faceplate were ready): kitt2.mov.

If you haven’t already, consider reading this article about the guys who built the real thing!

New Video: In the box, during daylight.

New Video: Out of the box.

New Video: Arduino and wiring.

Murderball is uplifting, irreverant, gritty, fun, etc..

Murderball

IMDB

Year: 2005

Director: Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro

Length: 88 minutes

Category: Sports

Media: DVD

Rating from Rated R for language and sexual content.: R

Rating: 5 out of 5

I felt guilty adding Murderball to my Netflix queue. As IMDB says, it is “a film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs – overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.” It has exploitation written all over it, right?

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The movie is mostly honest and these players are leading incredibly rich, fun, colorful, athletic lives. And the movie was very informative about the game rules, training, etc.

On the negative side, I don’t think their presentation of Coach Joe was balanced(the faq session with him in the special features section is excellent, though). Also, I would really like more information about the dangers of the game – some of those hits were pretty rough.

R5I felt guilty adding Murderball to my Netflix queue. As IMDB says, it is “a film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs – overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.” It has exploitation written all over it, right?

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The movie is mostly honest and these players are leading incredibly rich, fun, colorful, athletic lives. And the movie was very informative about the game rules, training, etc.

On the negative side, I don’t think their presentation of Coach Joe was balanced(the faq session with him in the special features section is excellent, though). Also, I would really like more information about the dangers of the game – some of those hits were pretty rough.

Review: King Kong

King Kong (2005) is an action movie. It’s a great action movie.

I don’t remember much from the original(although I DVR’d it Saturday night and I’ll watch it this week), but this version definitely stands well on its own.

The CGI is awesome. The action is breathtaking. The acting is as good as any Indiana Jones film. The comedic moments are genuinely funny. There were a few moments that I thought were TOO unbelievable and crossed the line. These moments were on the island. While they were happening, they bothered me. Now, though, they are cemented in my memories of the film and stand out as items on the timeline, helping me remember the incredible sequences that led up to them.

Sidebar: I’m playing, slowly, the King Kong XBox 360 video game. Great game, so far. It’s amazing how much it differs from the movie while still capturing a lot of its magic.

Murderball review (in hReview format)

hReview Version:0.2

Murderball is uplifting, irreverant, gritty, fun, etc..

Dec 19, 2005 by jtokash

Review Type: product

29m.jpg

Murderball

I felt guilty adding Murderball to my Netflix queue. As IMDB says, it is “a film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs – overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.” It has exploitation written all over it, right?

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The movie is mostly honest and these players are leading incredibly rich, fun, colorful, athletic lives. And the movie was very informative about the game rules, training, etc.

On the negative side, I don’t think their presentation of Coach Joe was balanced(the faq session with him in the special features section is excellent, though). Also, I would really like more information about the dangers of the game – some of those hits were pretty rough.

New Serenity Trailer

Firefly Theme song:

take my love
take my land
take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care
I’m still free
you can’t take the sky from me

take me out
to the black tell ’em I ain’t coming back
burn the land
and boil the sea
you can’t take the sky from me

have no place
I can be
since I found Serenity
but you can’t take the sky from me