March 10, 2012
Above, the cover of this week's Sunday Times Magazine.
Below, the rejected cover.
Art direction by Alyson Waller.
Set of 5: Call Mum, Buy Gift, Return Book, Pay Bills, Take Pills.
Just the thing for forgetful multi-tasker wannabes.
$19 CAD (Scroll down to Jewelry, then go to page 5).
Apple's got a lot going on all of a sudden — and as a result, so do I
The first thing that happened was Wednesday's product announcements.
Predictably, I ordered the new iPad (sticking with AT&T mostly out of inertia), a new Smart Cover (light blue like the one on my iPad 2), and Apple TV 3.
The acknowledgments from Apple said I'd receive the iPad and Apple TV next Friday, March 16, and the Smart Cover next Wednesday, March 14.
Good thing I'm compulsive and 1) printed out the sheet that lets you pre-sign so the FedEx guy will leave it at your door rather than require your live signature, then 2) taped it to my front door even though delivery wasn't scheduled until four days from today.
Because when I returned home from Bodo's after running the Martha Jefferson 8K (44:47 = 9:01/mile) earlier this morning, the piece of paper was gone and a Smart Cover-shaped flat box was sitting in front of my door.
Nice: Apple exceeded expectations.
But I bet a lot of people aren't quite as compulsive as me and didn't print out the "leave it on the doorstep" delivery sheet and so got a notice from FedEx that they tried and failed to deliver and will try again Monday.
But wait, there's more.
Apple stealthily improved the Smart Cover unbeknownst to me and perhaps everyone: instead of the inside being matte gray, it's now the same light blue as the outside, but with an ultra-suede-like texture, very nice.
Much more attractive, especially when rolled into positions of function, where you now see only the one color instead of the inner gray.
While I'm on the subject of iPads, I noticed that today my iPad 2 said "No SIM card" when I was out and about, though nothing's changed — except for the fact that iOS 5.1 is now installed.
I'm thinking that part of the software update included AT&T disabling the unlimited data plan I was grandfathered in with when I switched the SIM card from the original iPad to iPad 2.
No matter, actually, since undoubtedly the new iPad would never have accepted the old SIM card and its unlimited data plan.
So I'll have to sign up for a more expensive, limited plan once the new iPad arrives.
No problem really: once you start drinking the Kool-Aid, why would you stop?
But there's still more stuff.
My iPhone 4S now says "4G" instead of "3G" up top, another result of the iOS update.
I know this because I read about it yesterday — as well as learning that nothing in terms of speed has changed, it's just old 3G wine in a new 4G bottle.
Still more: a few minutes ago my Air screen started looking funky (see screenshot up top), with the upper menu bar dark but still functional.
I took the pic, then restarted, and now everything looks normal.
If you don't take a picture or print it out, it never happened, is the thing you have to remember when it comes to computers.
Bits are virtual foam, they come and go like quantum ships in the night.
Which brings me to another, related subject – but I'll save that for another post.
Note added at 2:55 p.m. today: More blowback from the iOS 5.1 update. The hard keyboard dock for iPad, which came out the day the original iPad was introduced some two years ago, worked fine with the iPad 2 — until this week, when the update to iOS 5.1 rendered it a brick.
Sometimes Kool-Aid leaves a bad aftertaste.
Note added at 4:06 p.m. today: After reading PT's comment on this post about how his iPhone 4S starting giving him a "No SIM card" message after he'd had it for seven months, the penny suddenly dropped.
When something involving electronics starts acting funny, unplug it and then plug it back in.
Works with TVs, cable and satellite boxes, computers — why not do the equivalent with my iPad 2's SIM card?
So I dug out that little thingie that makes the card pop out, did the deed, counted to seven (you have to count to seven — never six or eight, it must be a single-digit prime number that's not 1 or 3 or evenly divisible by 5, but of course you already knew that — put the SIM card back in, and all of a sudden I'm back on the network and Bob's your uncle.
Of interest is that it says it's on AT&T's 3G network, unlike my iPhone five feet away that says 4G.
Way, way above my TechnoDolt®™© pay grade.
Thanks for nudging me, PT, with your comment.
Wrote Elaine Louie in the New York Times, "When Sean O'Hara was snorkeling off Bali and saw some manta rays swimming nearby, he was fascinated by how they moved. 'They undulate in such a soft, relaxed way,' said Mr. O'Hara, a furniture designer in Glenmoore, Pa. It was that motion that inspired his design of the curvy Mobu Bench, named after Mobulidae, the fish family that includes the manta ray."
"To make the prototype, Mr. O’Hara glued lengths of solid wood together, and then sculptured and smoothed them using an electric tool of his own invention (he refuses to describe it, other than to say it is proprietary). He tried to use a minimum amount of wood."
The Mobu Bench is $15,360 in dark or natural teak, above, and $12,145 in white-washed pine, at A. Rudin, 979 Third Avenue (59th Street); 212-644-3766.
ipaidabribe.com — "Uncover the market cost of corruption"
Started in August 2010, it's an Indian site "that collects anonymous reports of bribes paid, bribes requested but not paid and requests that were expected but not forthcoming."
Similar sites are appearing in many other countries, "vexing petty bureaucrats around the world."
How do you spell "baksheesh?"
"THE NEIGHBORS HAVE BETTER STUFF" — Defense Mat
The exhibition opened yesterday at Present Company in Brooklyn and is open to the public today from noon until 7 p.m.; starting tomorrow (Sunday, March 11) and through the show's close next Thursday (March 15), viewing is by appointment only.
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Gain control of your bananas
Who hasn't been annoyed by the chilled bright green rock-hard objects they call bananas in stores?
And who hasn't been dismayed to see a whole bunch of bananas go bad at home faster than you can eat them?
No longer: Lifehacker brings the welcome news that you can indeed finally gain the upper hand with your bananas — at least in terms of how fast they ripen.
Wrote Melanie Pinola on March 7:
One of the food tips that I've heard before is to separate bananas at the top to keep them from ripening quickly, but I never understood why or saw this in action. This week's Banana Experiment proves it's true, however: if you want to hold onto your bananas for longer, separate them at the stem.
I got the bananas in the picture above on Monday, and separated the three on the right, which are clearly still greener than the ones at left, just two days later.
Tammy's Recipes notes that the reason bananas ripen more quickly when they aren't separated is because they emit ethylene gas. Also, if you do want to ripen bananas more quickly, you can put them in a brown paper bag (or use rice or newspaper perhaps).
I so love tips like this that don't require you to be a BrainGenius to use.
Wait a sec... what's that music I'm hearing?
Fukushima iPhone Geiger Counter
From the website:
This smart and handy radiation measuring device demonstrates the Japanese ability to turn disaster into useful engineering.
The Geiger Fukushima iPhone is a portable, lightweight Geiger counter that works with your iPhone to measure beta and gamma radiation in your surroundings.
Just download the free app [screen shots above and below] to start displaying directly on the screen of your phone the radiation detected by the tube-like measuring device.
Details and Feature:
• Measuring range: 0.04-20 microsieverts/hour
• Weight: 70g (2.5 oz.) including AAA battery
• 138 x 32 x 25mm (5.4 x 1.3 x 1")
• Approximate run time: 200 hours
[via The Green Head]