Tuesday, February 10, 2009


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Last week Google came out and absolutely crushed their gMail design by changing around the buttons that allow you to send and delete emails by making them completely image less (CSS). They also created the ability to "Move To" which allows you to automatically label a piece of email and archive it in one button. Even though this may not sound like a huge thing, it breaks gMail away from the shackles of images and allows them to be easily 're-skinned' via themes. Google this week, might have one upped itself with something completely crazy for us iPhone users.

For the longest time there was only one way syncing between iCal and Google Calendars unless you relied on third party software. Perhaps a month or so ago, Google released the ability to sync both ways between iCal and gCal but since they were considered network servers, you could not sync them to the iPhone...until now. Yesterday, or today they set up an Exchange (email on its way apparently) service that allows users of gCal and Google contacts to sync with your iPhone. Unfortunately, if you do this you actually erase all of your calendars or contacts. This is fairly crap-tacular if you relied on all your calendars...however you could boot up iCal, use the collaboration tool to set up your exhisting gCal accounts and drag the local calender items to their corresponding gCal calndar. There really is not a huge work around for the contacts however, I have no need to sync my contacts.

Testing the sync over the air was great and pulled down all the needed information from the Google servers. There are a couple hickups, specifically since you can only sync up to 5 calendars and you actually need to log onto the service via your phone to allow the phone to sync even more then one calendar when you first set up the service (I got crazy tripped up on this issue...maybe I should read the full instructions). Besides a couple of minor bugs everything is syncing between gCal, iCal, and my iPhone. Kudos to Google for getting all of this stuff together and making life with calendars just that much easier. Also a huge thanks needs to be given to Apple for creating an amazing phone along with an amazing computing experience.

As you all can see I am totally psyched about this along with my pik of the day which is something I got hooked up with on the accident:

Mobile Lacie Rugged 500 Gig hard drive (Triple interface: F400, F800, USB 2.0)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

An Ebook Prize Fight

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Due to a ton of craziness this blog has been left a little on the dormant side of life which makes me a super sad individual. Beyond the regret, last year I produced right around 100 quality(?) posts and this year I am going to one up myself and shoot for the elusive 200. So last year basically came to a halt at 150 meaning that this year will come to a screeching halt around the 350 mark. This is an incredibly ambitious idea with the year that lies ahead but I am going to except the challenge and go at head full speed.

On a much greater not, Google has just released a basic ebook reader for the G1 and the iPhone which is a direct poke in the eye to Amazon and their upcoming Kindle 2 announcement on the 9th of February. There have been quite a few leaked pictures of what could be the new kindle. However, late last night several other pictures and an other wise recession proof price ($359) was leaked prior to the Feb 9th date. Yes it is a super sexy thin monster with all the ebooks that you can easily purchase and download from Amazon but is it worth the hefty price tag?

To start right off, yes I believe that the new Kindle or the 'Kindle 2' is completely worth the price of admissions. This is of course a very premature jump up before you wiped action, but for people who are constantly on the move and love to read this is exactly what the doctor ordered. A great example is a 4'X3' bin that I have to lug with me whenever I move because I do not want to give up the books that are inside. With the kindle, all your books are right there with you in a package that weights under 1 pound...astonishing. Anyway getting back on track, both the Google and Amazon service offer two different perspectives on reading.

Google gives you a great ability to read the tomes of yore along with a hefty amount of books that had a limited print availability. This is great if you really get down on the literature with Sense and Sensibility or Faulkner. If you are looking for a recently released title you are otherwise SOL with the Google service and should look towards Amazon's large ebook library. These differences are really the only ones that can be compared since Amazon offers hardware with their service where Google is simply the service. I am super excited to see the new Kindle in action mainly because I have always wanted one but the first iterations got such bad reviews. However, it is too intoxicating to step into a Barnes and Noble and have the new book smell wash over you. Comment up on what you love: Easiness of the ebook revolution or classic paper books?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Dark side...or the Black Side, Whatever.

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There is always some kind of black side to any business. Be it selling out to someone who has absolutely absurd ethics, being there because you 'need' the money, or simply performing actions (yourself) that is against company policy. Fannie Mae almost felt the sting of what is known as a logic bomb after they let go some of their IT employees. For a lot of people out there the word logic bomb does not set off to many sparks in your head. Because of this we have the internet (we all know my explanations are paltry at best):

From the desk of Wikipedia:

A logic bomb is a piece of code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off a malicious function when specified conditions are met.

In Fannie's case the specified condition was actually the 31st of the month. Luckily someone found the mischievous piece of code and dropped their balls on it...problem solved right? Well no, because this one action puts to shame the entire IT industry. IT folks usually struggle their freelance or corporate way and really do not need any kind of help when it comes to being unappreciated or taken as goof-offs. Most of us hustle like no tomorrow in order to bring people peace in the complex world of information technology. Corporate entities out there, not all of us are mischievous, insipid fools who are only looking out to screw you. A short rant and the pic is an ode to an phenomenal Lost episode on the 28th.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


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It is very 'un-often' that something strikes me upside the head in such a way that it actually inspires me to sit down and toot about it. However, since the demise of the 1up show along with Lan Party I have been in a bit of a dump when it comes to gaming podcasts. I had downloaded Rebel Fm and the Geekbox and both of them were easily better then the 1up shows even with horrible audio equipment and limited mics. It was not until Robert Ashley released A Life Well Wasted that I truly understood and lamented the loss of such an amazing job that these guys have recently felt.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood (early 90s) were reading through EGM and Computer Gaming World which for some reason just kept coming to my house, month after month regardless of a "known" subscription. Robert put it best in his podcast saying that at that time it was completely uncool to play video games and if you did you were automatically labeled as "one of those people" and ostracized throughout your school. The magazines gave us hope and relief that there were people out there that shared the same kind of passion as us kids did and actually got paid to do it.

For a while game Journalism will be a little darker however, we can and should not grieve over the issue at hand. All of these people have gathered an enormous tribe behind them and with that alone they will succeed as long as they themselves want it. Sure it might not be quite the same easy lifestyle enjoyed before, but you must remember that there will always be a market for video games. I say keep writing, podcasting, living and breathing video game journalism and people will be there every step of the way. Keep up the good work all and we will hopefully get to listen to the shananigans that will be every week, peace!

In addition: Jeff Green said it best: "Boobs in barrels."

Kindle 2.....um, hear those people cheering? I don't

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This really would not be much of a tech blog if we did not give Jeff Bezos the kind of props that he deserves for his big keynote next week (Feb 9th) at the famous(?) Morgan Library and Museum in New York. The kindle has been as bad as the Nintendo Wii when it comes to finding one actually "in stock." This could definitely be due to the titanic following spurred by the spur wearing Oprah, or if you are from the south O.f.rah. A lot of heresay has been thrown around the web today mainly from the hands of venturebeat and Kevin Rose about the likelyhood that this will be the Kindle 2 debut.

You would kind have to be living under a rock for the past 5 or so years to come out and say that this is not a the new kindle. And if perhaps it is not the new kindle and in fact some kind of other, unknown hardware anoucement then huzzah for Bezos. So since we basically have it down that the new kindle is comming, who believes that it will be anything like the pictures Boy Genius posted a while back? If you actually take the time to read around apparently the big problem on the old kindle was keyboard placement and wonkiness. However, making medicine pill buttons will not solve this problem; nor keeping the fugly if-white color. What the new kindle really needs is the ability to share annotations with your friends who have the same ebook. This annotation sharing could turn into a sort of open forum about certain instances in each ebook and would lead to an amazing community all centered and talking about books. Basically it would allow you to have an infinite amout of people book club which would be so cool that it is almost mind blowing. Oh yeah Bezos, make it affordable huh? Keep the books around 9 bones but cut the cost of hardware. How does 150 sound? Pretty friggin amazing to me, peace all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


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I am potentially psyched to bring the readers of this blog another blog specializing in Web-bey-tastic design at www.pixelspills.com. If you do not already know, Pixel Spills is my business that makes me real world money. Pixel Spills has always been about crushing people's mindsets when it comes to the staunchy world of IT and Social Media Consulting however, now we are going to start (or try) doing what I have always truly held close to my heart, web development. This new blog will be incorporated right into the Pixel Spills web page and will hopefully begin some type of video or podcast about design subjects. All of the video (even the stuff that I post on this site) will be all done through Viddler. In addition to this, and if you read perhaps a couple blogs down I am beginning the process of doing free IT consulting on Sunday afternoons. All of this footage will be Ustreamed as well as being done through a medium called Copilot. So I want you to tell your friends, your family members and everyone! Be there or be square all; oh and do not worry this blog will be kept alive and focus on hilariousness and stupidity found within the world of IT, tech and gadgets. Peace all

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flying High on 4's

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No everyone, the title should not allow you to fly in to a drunken stupor about how one should not drive and drink even though you are actually driving in international waters. For everyone else please feel free to beat the crap out of me due to my lackluster support of this (and for any) blog over the past week. What I have been doing though is an amazing testament to the amazing-ness of the capability to learn...with your brain. The test is to be able to learn 4 different things, each over the course of 1 week and spend 40 hours a week on it. This is all on top of actually working part time running an It and Social Media consulting business and designing web experiences on the side. Oh, and also trying to level myself on the way to the new cap in the 'time be damning' World of Warcraft. So what has my amazing brain absorbed in the way of learning this week? The simple answer is Cocoa and Objective-C development.

The complex answer would of course be the total crazyness that is Apple Frameworks and how to develop for a platform that is built on a language that I have really never coded for. All in all the idea was great but things were so complicated that they got changed and re-morphed twice over the span of the week. Happily though, I will be spending the 4th week on re developing my ideas on the entirety of Cocoa programming. The other two weeks will focus on Wordpress development and PHP which should be an equally less daughnting issue. Everyone needs to get totally pumped because it is the weekend and you should have an unlimited amount of time to crush any and all things they love. Continue to be happy all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

FREE IT Consulting!

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Hello all! I am so pumped about this it is not funny. having been an IT consultant for almost 5 years now I have definitely been around the block (Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD). Sure there have been great times and nasty times but all in all no one should complain when they love helping people. In addition, I love Seth Godin's work and believe that there are some truly amazing marketers out there, despite hanging out with some truly horrible ones in my day. In one of Seth's last posts he mentioned doing free IT consulting on a site called CoPilot. I had never used CoPilot before and therefore intrigued, I surfed on over and found it to be a very simple, easy to use protocol for assisting people over the web.

Taking Seth's advice, I am going to begin doing free IT consulting every Sunday from 11am - 4pm mountain time. So if you are interested or want to have me help out an ailing family member shoot me a twitter @bradendouglass, email me at freeitconsulting@gmail.com, or google chat me up at gmail address. Again get pumped, this will begin this Sunday the 18th. And again, thanks Seth.

It Is Not Really How You Do It...

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Well actually folks, folks in this regard being huge companies, it does matter how you do it. If you mess up and understand, if only for a moment that it was your fault then it is fully on your hands to take responsibility and correctly apologize to your tribe. Be as real as possible because in the end that is all we, the user care about. One of the best letters concerning this dire matter was written by the CEO of Hulu, Jason Kilar.

Apparently Hulu axed their entire It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia content making everyone who has ever watched the show through the awesomeness that is the Hulu service a little po'ed. Hulu did this without a note to the users or a warning that the content would be removed at a set time in the future. People raised a stink and demanded some type of exclamation and who better to deliver it then the CEO. It just seems lie CEOs still love to sit back and bury small holes in their mountains of money in order to hide from their users. Seeing a CEO accomplish a problem with a letter of apology is not only warm and cuddly but it shows that perhaps things are officially changing within the world of CEOs (especially those involved in newer startups). Another man who hits these problems in a refreshing yet still completely professional manner is host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuck (I spelled it right on the first try, huzzah). Gary understands, maybe more then all of us why people like to see the real side of human beings.

Remember, to be completely true to your tribe and don't for once think that this comes easy. People need to work at it every day, devising ways to implement themselves into their community and how to do it in an effective and pleasing way. Never slack and always hustle, peace y'all!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Little Bird Once Said...

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How amazingly cool and phenomenally addicting Twitter can be. If you truly have no idea what Twitter is stop on by their homepage here and try them out. For all the rest of us lets take a second of silence to bask in what makes twitter such an amazing channel for thoughts, marketing, fun, and updates........aight. TwitThis is a great new Twitter service that allows you to link through to your twitter or others about what you are doing right now. In this case if you take a chunk of moment out of your day and look at the upper left hand corner of each post there is a new button that reads 'twitthis'. This opens up a whole new world for you all to twit about a post I wrote, that you are reading. This post might inspire you enough or probably just disgust you into twittering to your tribe about how awesomly atrocious of a writer I am. I want all you trolls out there to give it a whirl, especially since you do not need to have anything besides a twitter account.

On an even huger twitter moment, it looks like 2008 was a complete blast for them. They apparently grew a wooping 752 percent. That is a truly astounding number for any startup in which all kinds of cool graphs and numbers can be seen here at Mashable. Alright all, have a great weekend and we will see you tomorrow!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blog Inspired

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Maybe it has been the warm air, maybe I have been staring into the eyes of this young child and crying about my childhood, or maybe it is just that work has been dominating my life lately that Tkubed has gone a little to the wayside. Today we breach that with an amazing link up. We all seem to use such great phrases that are beyond understanding to the "old folks" of the day when we are on the inter web. Have any of you wondered, just sat down and wondered where these crazy acronyms originated from? Nope, well neither have I but with a little inter web luck has brought the answer to our feet. The article can be found here, peace.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What will Definitely Be Awesome

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Ok lets face some facts, 2008 was full of changes both hard and fun but...2009 watch out! My prediction is that 2009 will be the year of the blog both mine and the unconquerable amount that plague the 'interweb.' Blogs in 2009 will be the main media source for people who are looking for any kind of information (although most of the stuff out there is inherentely incorrect or rife with personal ideas that are downright hilarious). By main, I mean main; forget watching the nightly news and reading the New York Times everyone will be reading their own favorite blog. Ok now that I threw down a fairly easy resolution for the world, what do you all think is going to be an incredible dynamic shift for the 2009 year? Forget about the economy and all the depression or recession malarky and focus on something fun and different. Oh, and comment up you trolls and lurkers out there, google analytics knows about you.

In addition, what is your most rediculous picture of the 2009 new year?