TechnoMagicians Blog

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – Arthur C. Clarke.

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End Of The Internet As We Know It

January 19th, 2014 · No Comments

Given the recent NSA revelations it seems appropriate to now discuss the end of the Internet as we know it and talk about building the new Internet. Calling it Internet 3.0 or something like that doesn’t sound right. We just need a new name. Perhaps UltraNet, MeshNet or OurNet.

Everything on this new OurNet will / should be controlled by end users. We can’t trust governments or corporations to do the right thing.

Net Neutrality is basically dead given the recent ruling in the US. Here is an article on why you need to care about Net Neutrality (or NOT). There is likely no fixing it so lets just forget about it as it will become irrelevant on the new OurNet.

The new OurNet will NOT be accessed through the ISP’s of today or likely any ISP’s at all. Likely it will be based on some sort of wireless mesh network. Likely everything will be encrypted on the new OurNet perhaps something like the TOR network. Currently we are seeing a flood of products and services coming out with encryption for the current Internet. But on this new network this will likely not be necessary as the network itself will be fully secure and encrypted. Although I guess we will see how it develops.

I’m not sure what DNS and Domain registration will look like on the new OurNet. I think they will probably look entirely different than they are now or just be completely different or not required. Again, I’ll be interested to see what develops in this area.

Update Mar 23, 2013: Little did I know that Apple has such a framework for this type of network in iOS7. See this Cult Of Mac article.

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Cerulean Opens Up Trilliam IM Protocol

June 19th, 2013 · No Comments

Cerulean, the company behind the great IM client program Trillian is opening up their IM protocol. I’ve been a very long time user of Trillian on Windows and even iOS. They have always had really decent support in connected to the various other IM systems and everything feature wise you’d want.

→ No CommentsCategory: Apple iOS · General · Windows XP

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Time Service At Microsoft Is Incorrect

June 13th, 2013 · No Comments

So for a few days I couldn’t figure out why the time on my Windows laptop was ahead by 4-5 minutes. I figured the time sync service/feature in control panel wasn’t working so I went to take a look there. Clicked update a few times to make sure it was working. Yup, its working but returning an incorrect time.

It is was to time.microsoft.com. I guess nobody at Microsoft pays attention to such things. You would think somebody would notice and fix. What kind of time service is this if it isn’t going to be correct.

I changed it to time.nist.gov and time is back to normal.

→ No CommentsCategory: General · Windows XP

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NewsBlur vs Feedly – Let the RSS Reader Wars Begin

June 5th, 2013 · No Comments

Since Google announced shutting down Google Reader I’ve been looking for a new news reader that fits my needs. I’ve been using Feedly for a month or more. Although the iOS app is pretty decent the web based experience is terrible. The only way to use it is through some Chrome extension. Its terrible and basically I don’t use it.

The iOS app is decent enough but it is missing a key feature I use all the time. Its a simple one. The ability to “mark all as read” for a particular folder/group. Without it, Feedly just won’t work for me. In the meantime I’ve been switching to the Google Reader interface to do that function but that won’t be possible when it dies for good.

I would figure that simple stuff like this would be fixed in the last two months but doesn’t seem like much is happening on the client side with Feedly which doesn’t give me a good feeling moving forward with them. My guess is they are spending a lot of time on the back-end though and ignoring all this client side stuff. That is all great I’m sure but right now its the client side I need working right.

I just checked out Newsblur and it looks really good. The web based client seems to work really well and mirrors the Google Reader keys so its really easy to use if you are familiar with them. The iPad app also looks really good.

I am just waiting now to be able to import all my feeds into it to test it fully and I’ll likely be paying the $2/month for the service if I really like what I see.

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Apple Fixes Terrible UI Design

June 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

Perhaps someone from Apple heard Jobs screaming from his grave or read my blog post and decided to fix the terrible layout of the audio buttons on the iPhone lock screen.  I believe it was just fixed in iOS 6.1.4.

See this post on how they screwed up at one point. Glad to see it finally fixed.

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Gree Pulls The Plug On OpenFeint

November 19th, 2012 · No Comments

This was not unexpected however I think this will backfire on them especially given the short one month notice. My guess is that a lot of companies will just NOT bother migrating to Gree and just pull the plug on them altogether. With most apps supporting both Gamecenter and OpenFeint I see zero incentive to spend the time migrating to Gree.

It’s a bad situation any way you slice it, and while GREE is offering a solution to migrate developers to their new platform, with how they’ve handled the OpenFeint shutdown the general consensus amongst developers on my Twitter feed is that playing ball with GREE is the last thing they’re interested in doing.

via Touch Arcade

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Microsoft’s New Gravity Defying Magnesium

October 16th, 2012 · No Comments

Breaking News!! Microsoft invented a new type of magnesium that is lighter than actual Magnesium according to some PR bullshit:

At 1.5 pounds, the Surface isn’t the lightest 10-inch tablet. It’s not even the thinnest, at 0.37 inches. Still, Microsoft claims that it feels lighter than other 1.5-pound devices, partly because it’s made of magnesium, and partly because the battery is evenly spread inside the chassis, making for some more balanced weight distribution (from Engadget)

If you remove the PR bullshit filter what this really means is that it feels flimsy and cheap compared to decent tablets.

I like this post by Tom Reestman:

Remember, 1.5 pounds of magnesium feels lighter than 1.5 pounds of aluminum or plastic. But Microsoft engineers are working hard to make their next-generation tablets feel as light as 1.5 pounds of feathers. :-/

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Apple’s Terribe UI Design

October 10th, 2012 · 1 Comment

You won’t see this headline often as most of what Apple does in the UI area is very very good. However, I’ve had some issues with the terrible interface for the “music” app when accessed through the lock screen on the iPhone for a long time now. I’m pretty sure this was introduced in iOS5 as I do not remember it being a problem until such time. I haven’t installed iOS6 yet on my iPhone so not sure if it has been fixed or not.

But basically the RW, Pause/Play, and FF buttons are too damn close together with no good reason to be. I have small fingers and I would say about 2/3rds of the time I hit FF rather than pause or play by accident. It is extremely annoying.

This is what the controls look like on the lock screen:

iOS Music Top

and this is what they look like in the actual app itself:

iOS Music Bottom

Yes, that little difference makes all the difference in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever mistakenly hit the wrong button with the buttons on the bottom.

I think since Steve Jobs passed away some of the QA is definitely slipping. I will probably leave my rant about the iTunes podcast listings for another post. That is some seriously botched up crap. I’ve Jobs was alive there is NO way it would have ever been released.

→ 1 CommentCategory: Apple iOS · Design · General

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Why I Hardly Read GigaOM, Mashable and TechCrunch Anymore

September 28th, 2012 · No Comments

My reading habits for tech type news and such are mostly through the use of RSS via Google Reader or more precisely through the MobileRSS app on iOS that accesses Google Reader data. I rarely read anything via an actual computer monitor anymore. Some of that reading is augmented by apps like Zite on iOS.

I have found over the last year or so that the feeds for Mashable, TechCrunch and GigaOM are just too damn busy. Way too many articles published. Most anything that they post that is of importance to me now gets filtered up through Zite app on iOS and I don’t have to scan through a couple of hundred articles a day on those 3 feeds alone. It hasn’t been that hard scanning over hundreds of subjects but still, why bother even doing that anymore. Techdirt is the only one that I keep a subscription to via RSS as they don’t seem to post about just anything and everything like the others. The writing and coverage seems to be more in-depth and/or unique rather than regurgitated like you usually get on the other sites. I don’t seem to be missing any important tech news this way.

According to Google Reader I have 276 subscriptions and in the last 30 days I read 1312 items.

The reason I prefer Zite over other apps like Flipboard is that it has features to provide more news about what you are interested in and what keywords you select etc. And it seems to do a really good job at that.

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Rob Ford (The Moron Mayor) TV Show

September 20th, 2012 · No Comments

Hilarious article about Rob Ford (The Moron Mayor) TV Show:

But then I turned on the TV to find that there was, indeed, a side-splitting show, featuring a wacky main character on the loose in Canada’s largest city, surrounded by his even kookier relatives. This guy’s a bit rumpled, a bit red-faced, and he seems infuriated that he’s so permanently misunderstood. After all, he’s just trying to do the right thing. Wait, I thought: Didn’t King of Kensington go off the air 30 years ago?

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