Category Archives: digital pity

“‘Universal Control’ is magic!”

[Benzinga] “Universal control allows a user to use a single pointing device to manage multiple Apple devices such as a notebook, a desktop computer, and an iPad.”

Glad to see Apple’s OS family getting something that has been available to Windows for close to a decade using The Garage’s Mouse without Borders and over two decades ago with the cross-platform app called Synergy.

Of course, every time I see this type of reaction – “Steve Jobs said, ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.'” – it makes me throw up ever so slightly. I mean the main reason why this is so “WOW!” to Apple users is because they slap on blinders and presume that there’s nothing they need, that Apple hasn’t already thought of, and if it’s not coming from Apple, it must be crap. Or more simply, they choose not to look around to see what else is going on.

Had the same feeling when Jobs got a standing ovation for bringing Copy/Paste to iOS, something that Android had at launch (or close to it,) yet “APPLE REINVESTED COPY/PASTE FOR PHONE” was all the rage.

When you bring a 20-year old feature – like Copy/Paste – to a three year old platform, it’s called fixing a bug.

Please act accordingly.

Reading Paper is Weird

I read in my free time. I don’t think I read a ton: I average between 12-30 books a year. Some of the books I pick up are just long reads (R.R. Martin, Rutherfurd, Michener) while others I rip through mercilessly (Grisham, Tolkien, Rowland, Massey) and manga is almost immediately consumed, but the one thing that I’ve noticed across all of my reading is that I’ve long since abandoned the paper-based book.

For the last few years, whatever books I’ve been have typically been consumed using an eBook reader on an iPad mini with Kindle or some other software. Manga I read on a Surface RT because it has a larger screen than the mini yet is still very lightweight compared to full laptop PC’s.

Continue reading Reading Paper is Weird

That Cooking Smell…

BetaNews: iOS 9.3 is more stable than Android 6.0 Marshmallow


I hate articles like this. Especially because I can’t tell if it was written as click bait or if it’s just a cooked-data fanboy piece or because they just don’t understand Testing and Quality.

Sadly, I think it’s a strong statement on the author’s ignorance of Quality. Sure, they have charts and numbers and are pointing fingers, but they’re missing the point: not all bugs are created equal. Some bugs are edge cases. Some bugs are rough patches of code. Some bugs block a critical mainstream use cases. Some bugs crash the app and/or device. Can you guess which one is more important or which has the biggest impact, which thereby lowers the Quality of the product?

Here’s a Quality test: if you run Marshmallow run long enough, an application crashes, which forces its crash rate to increase. If you run iOS 9.3, you may or may not be able to successfully click on a hyperlink in any application, but there’s no crash.

Technically, sure, iOS 9.3 is more stable. However, who gives a shit about stability when the damned OS blocks a mainline, mainstream scenario?! Really?!

Honestly, it’s saying that the most stable car you can drive is one without an engine.

I really, really hope this cooked bit of data was for fanboys and click bait.

One Tap Too Many

IT these days is an interesting beast. With the general acceptance of Bring Your Own Box (BYOB) to work, I’m free to choose whatever devices I want to use and be able to use them to access my enterprise services. Net effect companies get more of my time while I’m not in the office doing work for them and they don’t have to buy me a device to use. While this sounds dreary, I’m happy to buy into this because it also means I can get to work from home more often which is nice.

That said, it feels like IT has gone out of its way to make the process so painful – under the guise of security – to make me opt out of this. You see, to get to these services, IT says I have to have a device PIN. iOS loves 4-digit PIN’s so this isn’t bad. Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap and it’s unlocked. On my iPad, I used to open my SmartCover tapped four times, and I was in. The IT changed the required length to something longer than four digits. Not a big deal right? Except now I have to tap in the code and then OK, since iOS doesn’t know how long the new code is. Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-OK.


One of the best feature of my iPad Mini is that I can open the cover and the device comes awake. If I don’t have a PIN at all, it’s on the screen I last had on. It’s seamless. Makes me choose between getting my work email on my device or having the device respond that much faster when I want it to…

Tough decision: I don’t think I’ve opened the Mail app on the iPad in weeks.

What is a PM?

About nine years ago, and after being at Microsoft for a year, I posted “What is an SDET?” in response to various questions that I got about my career choice to move from developer to tester. Like the original post calls out, there was a lot of “why” and “what do you do” and I tried my best to describe my thoughts and reality at the time, especially for people that saw the world divided into Dev or Test, without room for a developer that tests for a living.

As my ten year anniversary at Microsoft approaches, I’ve made a change: I’m now a Program Manager.
Continue reading What is a PM?


Drove to work this morning… Didn’t stop at Bellevue Square mall. Didn’t stop at Best Buy. Didn’t even stop at Target. I’m not obsessively looking at the UPS status page for delivery notices, because there’s nothing new coming.

I’ve got an extra $660 in my bank account as a reward for all of the above. You see, I’m not getting a new Apple iDevice on launch day for the first time in years, and it feels wonderful.

Why? Because if I’m going to pick up an iPad 2S, it will be after all the thrill has died down, and then I plan to pick it up on the cheap, if at all.
Continue reading FREEEEEDOOOOOM!

Just Sayin’

I’m trying to stay away from blogs and Twitter this week. Facebook seems to be safe for some reason, but the rest of the intertubes are in an uproar over some bits and pieces about the proliferation of ads in certain services and it’s like poking bamboo under my fingernails… and it’s not a new thing. In fact, I think I’m the problem with this. It’s the same irritation I when Facebook or Twitter make a change to their home page and people run out of their houses screaming about the New Thing and that [the site] doesn’t respect their customers and “aaaaaaaah the world is on FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FI- what’s that new shiny thing? Oo. Wait, what fire?”

I find that if I wait about four days, the loud angst shrinks to a duller din; after two weeks, the entire episode is done. I just need to keep my shit together for the first few days of such events. I find that if I can hold it together for that long I won’t pull my own spine out and try to use it as a Q-Tip for my right ear.

In all honesty, I would turn into a “it’s not you – it’s me” thing but in this case, I think it’s just a general change in expectations that everyone needs to heed and it’s one that’s worth noting.
Continue reading Just Sayin’

They Said “Fur”

MSN: PETA attacks Nintendo over fur-wearing Mario

Does PETA have to protest itself for shark jumping? I mean, is this what happens with hippies achieve their dream and have nothing left to complain about?

Let’s be clear: it’s a game. Worse, it’s a rehash of a game. Mario was swinging that tail back in the early 90’s if memory serves. This is a refresh, not even new IP, and Mario doesn’t capture a racoon to get the suit: he jumps below a block to get a power up icon… if the Mason’s are OK with this wanton destruction of blocks, what is the argument here? we don’t even know that the fur that Mario wears is real fur. If Ninty puts out a press release saying that it’s faux fur, would that be OK? Is this some reaction to the game being in 3D? Did some treehugger get confused and think this was a window into reality?

Hell, if you’re going to go after Mario for the alleged fur costume, why not tag the poor bastard for jumping on the backs of turtles, knocking crabs upside down in the 80’s, or shooting living snapping flowers with fireballs?

I swear: it makes me want to go skin a chinchilla for a 3DS case just to spike these people.

Chess With Retail Stores

ifoAppleStore: Apple’s retail team would say that moving their Bellevue Square (Wash.) retail store from its narrow, 30-foot storefront into the chain’s largest space is simply part of the company’s on-going commitment to expand square footage. But anyone visiting the small Apple store can’t help but notice a shadow, cast from the enormous Microsoft store three spaces away that opened last November, and might wonder if Apple is trying to win back the spotlight that Microsoft very deliberately stole.

Color me humored, but in all honesty, the BelSqr Appl Store is pretty small…

How To Transfer Your Angry Birds Game Data

AngryBirdsNest: How to Transfer Angry Birds Data to Another iPhone or Mac

One of the various flaws in the iPhone ecosystem is actually a rather large feature hole. The folks at iPhoneExplorer give me the tool to help fill this hole while the guys at AngryBirdsNest helped me by giving you a solid case study.

While personally thrilled I don’t have to re-three star a bunch of stuff in Angry Birds, I think that there’s a huge exploit hole here.
Continue reading How To Transfer Your Angry Birds Game Data

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again. Again. And Again.

Engadget: Entelligence: Will carriers destroy the Android vision?

I would say that it’s a good article to read, but to be honest, I can already answer the question as the wireless industry has been lamented on this blog many times over: yes.

Carriers can destroy a wet dream without even trying… when they try to make things “better for the customer” you can be sure that they are attempting to increase their profits at the expense for the customer. Trust me. Android is in the same came that Windows Mobile was, and WM followed J2ME which had already followed BREW. This is one of the things that I will praise Apple for, over and over again: they told AT&T no to every little forced integration that AT&T wanted – AT&T is free to put their apps in the App Store (and they do – 5 apps at last count) but they aren’t allowed to junk up the phone out of the box.

It’ll be interesting to see if Windows Phone has learned from the mistakes of Android, WM, J2ME, and BREW – looking forward to seeing how that works out.

An Apple By Any Other Name…

People following my Facebook status updates already know that I finally got my mitts on an iPhone 4. No yellow spots on the screen. No reception issues that I didn’t have before. Using a Bumper, but that’s because it’s best “thin” lightweight case I’ve seen so far. One tiny scratch on the front already – before I left the house, in fact – and I have no idea how it got there… but with all things iPhone, you never notice the scratches once the screen is on and I really hate losing screen crispness with a screen protector. I’ll just resell it in 11.5 months as “relatively used”.

In other news, I’m watching the “reception issue” fallout with a good amount of amusement because it’s beginning to effect the stock price, which I know is going to confuse Apple’s leadership. You see, Apple is handling this PR problem just like they have every other one – “ignore it because we are right and people will forgive us! – but the difference this time is that the public they are expecting forgiveness from isn’t the same that they are used to.

Ho boy, is that a mistake.
Continue reading An Apple By Any Other Name…