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Jawbone ICON shows battery indicator on iPhone

21/01/2010

Despite already having a second revision Jawbone bluetooth headset, I’m still tempted by their new ICON series released this week. This is the first headset I’ve seen other than Apple’s that uses the iPhone’s bluetooth headset battery indicator, along with other improvements over previous models.

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WordPress automatic updates failing on 1&1?

2/12/2009

When WordPress 2.7 was released I was looking forward to automatic updates out of all the new features. Instead of copying files back and forth through SFTP (which isn’t terribly hard, but annoying enough when you have to do it every few months), all you have to do is click a button and WordPress does the rest for you. Supposedly. I think this might have worked for me once after 2.7 was released, but since then it’s always failed, right up through the most recent 2.8.x versions. Instead, the update screen just perpetually hangs with the message “Downloading update from http://wordpress.org/…“.

With the most recent update I finally found a fix for the problem, which is apparently specific to the PHP configuration for 1&1 customers. Add these two lines to the end of the .htaccess file in your WordPress root directory:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

And you should be set!

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Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots

12/04/2009

I love stuff like this. Kacie Kinzer designs robots that require human intervention to get to their destination, and sets them loose in New York City.

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Time Warner Cables’s plans to kill the Internet

11/04/2009

Update: Some good news for once; it looks like Time Warner Cable has capitulated on the new tiered plans. The language seems to indicate they might try it again in the future, hopefully if they do they’ll make the bandwidth caps more sensible for consumers.

If you’ve followed technology news this month you’ve probably heard about Time Warner Cable’s plan to expand its new bandwidth caps to four other cities, including (of personal importance to me) Rochester, NY. The idea of capped broadband isn’t exactly new, but TWC’s plans (ranging from 5GB to 40GB) haven’t taken long to draw criticism from customers and journalists.

The plans are, simply put, bad. I’m not even really against the “pay-as-you-go” pricing model. I use a lot of bandwidth and would prefer unlimited access, sure, but I can see the argument of having reasonable metered usage fees. The difference is that TWC’s usage fees are not reasonable; it’s hard to see them as anything but protecting their traditional cable TV subscriptions from new services such as Hulu and Netflix’s downloadable service. TWC’s tiers are priced as if it’s still the 90s, but with Mozy, Hulu, Netflix, Steam and so on it’s easy for someone to greatly exceed the bandwidth cap with only legitimate usage. This is no longer something that’s only going to affect only technical users or media bootleggers.

At best, Time Warner Cable is hurting their own customers in order to protect their cable TV subscriptions. At worst, this is something that’s going to hurt a lot of emerging online business markets as their customer base on TWC (and other ISPs that follow them) are reduced or eliminated.

It’s not all bad news though. New York state congressman Eric Massa announced he’s drafting legislation that will prohibit the bandwidth caps. Time Warner Cable also seems to be adjusting the new plans in response to the bad press they’re receiving, including introducing a new “unlimited” tier for $150 per month. Still, at three times the cost for the same service subscribers have now, it’s a pretty small gesture.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year. If it’s something you care about, I’d suggest dropping Time Warner Cable if you’re a subscriber (and telling your friends and family to do the same) and supporting any local legislation aimed at preventing this sort of thing.

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Panic HQ

12/02/2009

I love the new Panic company headquarters (photos via John Gruber). The look really seems to fit the company’s sense of style and humor.

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Free iPhone ringtone pack

28/01/2009

The iPhone’s built in ringtones are pretty disappointing if you just want a “plain” ringtone, so I always have my eye out for sites like this. RCP Tones is selling their synthesizer ringtone pack at a “pay what you want” price, anywhere from $0.00 to whatever you think it’s worth.

iRingPro’s Zen collection is another good pack I’ve used, although their price is fixed at $10.

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Griffin PowerDock

1/11/2008

When I bought my iPhone last month I picked up a Griffin PowerDock to bring some order to the number of iPod charging cables I have. For $50, I’m a little disappointed. It didn’t come with an iPhone 3G dock adaptor (I should have read the box more carefully), although you can order one online for around $5 + S&H. Worse though, the iPod Nano 2G dock barely fits, so much that I was almost afraid of breaking it the first time I tried to put the iPod in. Plus, the whole dock is just slightly uneven on the bottom, so despite having a big rubber pad it tends to slide around a lot.

I’ve always been happy with Griffin in the past, I would have expected more from them. It would have been different if it was made Belkin or another mass-market company.

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Gelaskins for iPhone 3G

31/10/2008

iPhone 3G Gelaskin
I finally received my Gelaskins order in the mail this week. It looks cool, seems durable, but I ended up with some creases around the corners that drive me crazy when I’m holding the iPhone. The print itself is also kind of low resolution, when you look at it closely. Think inkjet quality, not photo quality.

I’m wouldn’t say I’m unhappy with it or it wasn’t worth the money, but I was hoping for a little more for a $20 sticker.

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Infrastructure monitoring at Last.FM

1/08/2008

I kind of like the work Last.FM put into setting up infrastructure monitoring displays around their office. From old analog devices measuring web server response time to a series of traffic light colored bears that detects problems in an SVN check-in, it’s the kind of thing I’d like to set up at work if I had the time and money.

Last.FM Monitoring

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Subsidized pricing can be a pain

14/07/2008

You can take advantage of our no-commitment pricing option, with the exception of iPhone which requires a 2-year commitment.This line may be eligible for an equipment discount on 09/19/2008

Someday I’ll be able to get into this iPhone business, I hope.

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