Get With The Times!

FeedBurner. Strange name, awesome service.

I’ve added FeedBurner so I can track RSS subscriptions to this site. Sure, it won’t be much (going off the Analytics usage data), but hey – I’m currently reviewing an iPhone app for Can Touch This (more on that later), and one of the things it can do is track FeedBurner subscriptions.

Me being behind the times as I am (and not really seeing the point of FeedBurner), didn’t have a clue about FeedBurner or why it would work for me. Actually, the two reasons I’m using FeedBurner now is that it has the handy ability to track RSS subscriptions, something that previously wasn’t available to me with Google Analytics (as far as I know, anyway), and to actually fill up the iPhone app I’m reviewing with some content, rather than just having a lone Twitter account. Boring! :p

If you want, you can subscribe to the new feed in your RSS reader of choice. I’d be massively appreciative of you if you did, and you’ll have my undying respect for years to come. :D

Thta’s about it. If I’ve forgotten anything, I’ll add it as an “EDIT:” to this post.

Malaysia 2009 – Part VII

Okay, so there’s a lot more images in that folder than I expected. No worries, it just means more posts for you! Here’s another, entitled “Wait, I’ve seen that somewhere! (Part Two)”.

Nazi or Bhuddist?

Nazi or Bhuddist?

Right – so yet more late-night driving. I think this was after my Gramp’s 80th bday party, but in any case, we had seen this a couple of times before.

Armed with lots of photon-capturing devices (read: cameras, iPhone), we went back to take some good photos.

Now, the question remains: what is it? Sure, it’s a swastika, but it’s not for a Nazi party. Nope – if you read the text at the bottom of the image, it says something along the lines of “Buddhist Church of Sitiawan”.

The design of the swastika is actually pretty cool – it’s made out of lanterns which make for an ominous sight at night-time.

Pretty blatant of them to just stick it out there, though, considering how easily it could be mistaken for a Nazi symbol, and it’s not a small sign either, easily being taller than 2m in height, with a couple more for elevation.

Malaysia 2009 – Part VI

Yes, I’m not quite done yet. On my desktop, there’s a folder with blog-able pics from my trip, and this one’s one of them. There’s a couple more to come, so we might reach Part X if we’re lucky (and if I can be bothered).

In any case, the reason I haven’t been blogging lately is because my internet has been painfully slow. You can read all about it here.

So, lets get into it, yeah? This one’s called I’ve seen that logo before, and goes out to all my mates on MacTalk Forums.

Apple Allied Resources

Apple Allied Resources

We were driving along, going from A to B (as you do in Malaysia), and I was looking out the window, taking in the sights (as you do) when I suddenly spotted a familiar logo…

Of course, I whipped out my iPhone, and snapped a picture as fast as I could. My sister was also snapping a pic of something random (I think it was a school bus), but the Apple logo was just too good a photo oppurtunity to pass up…

Of course, now that I’ve taken the photo, you can go ahead and tell Apple to sue the pants off Allied Resources. Unless they’re actually a part of Apple, of course. But that’s unlikely. :p

Comments below.

MacBook: White substance on memory cards or slots

White Substance Image

The white substance is a high-quality lubricant used by factories to facilitate installation of memory DIMMs. The grease will not damage the memory or any MacBook components.

Over time the lubricant may evaporate and become less visible. Future RAM installations will not require additional lubricant.

Note: While the grease presents no potential harm if it contacts your skin, it should be washed off using soap and warm water.

via MacBook: White substance on memory cards or slots.

RAM lube.

I kid you not.

Artist of the Week: Lily Allen

Just discovered Lily Allen. Whoa…

via Twitter / Benny Ling: Just discovered Lily Allen ….

From the Twitter, if you haven’t noticed.

A former-colleague of mine responded to this, btu I don’t think he realised that I was taking about her music, not her looks or whatever… :o

Her style of music (some sort of indie/pop combo that’s just completely awesome) is just exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to spruce up my rather average iPhone music. I was kinda getting sick of hearing the same old crap every day, so change was in order.

I highly recommend that you check Lily Allen out (no, not in that way…). Listen to her music on the iTunes Music Store, and buy it (if you’re so inclined).

Bloody excellent stuff, I say.

Dropbox? lolwut?

What exactly is Dropbox?

Dropbox is the easiest way to share and store your files online.

No complicated interface to learn. Dropbox runs in the background on your desktop.

Sync your files automatically to your computers and the web.

Sign in and access your files from any browser or mobile device.

Sharing files with your friends and family is just two clicks away.

View your photos in a gallery and share them easily with anyone.

via Dropbox – Dropbox Tour – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy..

Right, so I’ll do a mini-review of DropBox in a while, but for now, here’s a small taster.

Watch the screencast for more info.

Runs on Windows, Linux, and OSX. Free, and you get 2GB storage.

However, if you sign up via my referral link, you get an additional 250MB, and so do I. It’s a win-win!

So if you’re thinking of signing up (it’s free, and you’ll get 2.25GB straight off the bad if you hit my referral link), hit up my referral link. Thanks!

Blogging is painful on 64k!

I let my sister on the internet.

Long story short – we’re over quota, and have been for the past 3 days or so, and will continue to be until the 12th.

Surfing the internet is painful. Reading image-heavy RSS feeds is painful. Downloading 10MB takes an eternity. At the moment, my iPhone’s internet is faster that the internet at my house (actually, it usually is anyway. Telstra have an excellent network.)

In any case, blogging is painful on 64k. Loading pages takes too long. Input lag isn’t funny, either.

The only solution is to write something funky with Ecto, the blogging software for Mac. Thank goodness it works offline.

Hopefully you’ll see something cool here come Sunday night, but no guarantees. K?

7 Must-Have Additions for Next iPhone: iPhone Wishlist 2009

I don’t know how you feel, but I think the world is ready for a new and improved iPhone. Yes, it was the best phone that 2008 brought out but with the likes of the Palm Pre, HTC Touch Diamond2 and HTC Magic about to hit town, the title for Best Phone of 2009 may just go elsewhere.

via 7 Must-Have Additions for Next iPhone: iPhone Wishlist 2009 | Mr.Gadget.

As loathe as I am to post a link from Mr Gadget (bad publicity will do that to your business), almost every reason on this list can be fixed via a software update;

  1. Turn-by-turn – this is fixable via software.
  2. Larger capacity/removable battery – obviously, this isn’t fixable via software.
  3. Cut and paste – this is also fixable via software.
  4. Bluetooth file transfers – this is only half-fixable via software, AFAIK. Needs some sort of blutooth protocol stack.
  5. Multitasking/background notifications – this is fixable via software.
  6. Voice recognition – fixable via software, although I don’t know why you’d want this as a feature. Bloody MS users.
  7. Bluetooth A2DP – provided the hardware is there, this is also fixable via software. We’ll see this feature when Apple release a set of stereo bluetooth headphones.

So folks, what does the next-gen iPhone actually need, in terms of hardware? Shout out in comments.

Malaysia 2009 – Part V

800mL

So we were shopping at our local Econsave, and my cousins and I came across these wonderful things in the “killing insects and stuff” isle.

As you can probably tell from the pic, the Malaysians, they’re pretty serious about killing those mosquitoes.

Like, 800mL of pure mosquito-killing liquid serious.

Like, free Dettol hand-wash serious.

Like, RM15.90 serious (approx. AU $6.70).

Anyway, my counsins and I thought it was amusing, so I thought you might to.

But I guess it was one of those moments where you had to be there. Ah well.

Need more reasons to join Twitter? Here’s some.

If you need more reasons to join Twitter, then here they are:

its like irc but with no topic and available anywhere.
its like a worldwide forum where you are the moderator of your board.
its like instant messaging but completely random.
its a cheap/free way of sending group sms to your friends.
its a wonderful distraction.
its fun.
its addictive.
its pathetic, and i should be old enough not to get involved.

i completely agree that myspace/facebook/virb/whatever suck, cos you’re locked in to those sites for your “friends”. but twitter offers much more, because it is so damn simple.

i find it hilarious that many of the people that complain about twitter will have an irc channel open all day. i’d rather get various updates from people all over the world with many different interests, than sit and watch the same few people discuss the same topics.

also, twitter can be digg done right. i get interesting links all day, but if anyone is spamming me, i just remove them.

but meh, to each his own…

Thanks to @fulltimecasual for those excellent responses. Now, onto a question that I was asking myself: What’s Twitter good for if you don’t know anyone that’s on it? None of my Calvin friends are on Twitter, so, why’d I join? Over to you, fulltimecasual:

well, i only really “know” two people on twitter, my sister and my step brother. since my step brother joined about a month ago, we’ve become much better friends, he’s a fascinating little kid. my sister randomly says things like “i dont know what the hell you are talking about, but i’m glad you happy” when i geek out too much on twitter, and that just cracks me up.

for the other 140 people i dont know but have friended, i see their updates the same way i look at mactalk. sometimes i just throw random questions out that i’m fascinated to get other peoples opinions on, like what is your fave death scene in a film? (for orange sofa haters, trust me, twitter has saved you from many boring threads) sometimes i just use it to vent, like a simple “f*** telstra”, or “f*** connex” to which i usually get a bunch of “they suck dont they? last week…” which is passes the time when connex decide to cancel yet another f**king train i’m waiting for.

i’ve also used it to get things, like my iminlikewithyou invite, which i then used to chat up an extremely hot chick from ny, who now flirts with me on twitter, which also passes the time when connex….

i’ve used it to find new podcasts, and have twittered questions to the podcasters who have then answered them on their next episode.

and if i ever get my s**t together and work on my own work, not on other peoples, then i’ll start using twitter to advertise my stuff.

having said all that though, 80% of all the updates i receive are pointless. i stick around for the 20% that arent.

(and yes, i have real friends too..)

But wait, there’s more! Thanks once again to fulltimecasual:

another use for twitter; i know a bunch of kids that run an art gallery in melbourne, one is a geek, the rest are not. the geek was sending emails all the time that the nongeeks were missing, and getting meetings orgainsed was impossible. i got the geek to set up a twitter account for him and the other board members (behind there backs of course, it would have been too annoying to explain it to them) and now when he needs to organise a meeting he tweets it, all the other board members receive the message straight away, and if one cant make it, they all know instantly.

@aulia says:

You need to be using Twitter to appreciate what it is, what it does and how it does it. Simply looking at the website would do very little to encourage you to tweet.

People don’t just use it for status updates these days, many use it as newsfeeds, notices, announcements, live reports, blog baits, etc.

And finally, something from @decryption:

Just riff on Twitter with what you’re doing – if you’re sitting at your computer reading MacTalk, tell twitter!

Join Twitter.

Add me – twitter.com/bennyling

Twitter. Do it.

Note – all responses for this post were taken from MacTalk Forums.

Twitter is AWESOME!

No, seriously. Twiter is awesome.

I’ve joined Twitter, and you should too.

At first I was a little sceptical; after all, it is yet another social network that I have to join… I didn’t really see the point of it – what can you say in a 140-character update that can’t be said in a blog post, for example?

As time went on, however, I watched the video on the Twitter website, and saw that Twitter was designed to update people in-between your blog posts. (I guess one of my WordPress gripes is the fact that it doesn’t really offer a facility to publish snappy one-liners like Tumblr can.) With Uni attendance, soon came the realisation that there were things that needed to be said that I couldn’t whip up a blog post for even if I tried (it takes far too much time, for one).

With my iPhone on me all the time, and the constant internet connectivity, joining Twitter was a no-brainer. Now, whenever I see any hot chick walking down the hallway, I can jump on my iPhone, type in something crazy like “Hot chick at 12 O’Clock. Uni FTW.”, decide against taking a picture and uploading it to TwitPic, and also deciding against finding her MySpace/Facebook profile and linking it via a URL-shortening service like bit.ly – all within a couple of minutes.

Finding a good Twitter client for the iPhone is a totally different ball game, though. Thanks to the awesome iLounge article that reviews all 23 Twitter apps on the app store, I tried to decide between Twiteriffic (free), TwitterFon (free), and Tweetie ($4).

Twitteriffic was almost instantly ruled out – although it was free, it was also ad-supported. Bleh. I persevered with it, though – and was rewarded with a pleasant interface, simple UI, and a serious lack of features. Delete!

TwitterFon was next. Being a freebie, I didn’t expect too much, but I was surprised with an excellent UI (about equal with Tweetie), features crammed up every tab and button, and an excellent set of URL-shortening and TwitPic-uploading features, as well as the impressive geo-awareness. A couple of things turned me off, though – doing some actions can be a pain, requiring you to navigate though a plethora of screens to reach the button that you want, you can’t see what the @reply tweets are in reply to, and you can’t reply to a tweet directly from the tweetlist.
It’s not all doom and gloom for TwiterFon, though – the ability to see unread tweets in the tab-navigation interface at the bottom is excellent, colour-coded tabs are a nice touch, as are the excellent search facilities – including trends, location-based search, as well as a search history. Other handy trick is the ability to post an @reply by selecting the person being replied to from a list, as well as being able to stick a Google Maps link to your current location into your tweet (supposedly this works, I just tried it, and it didn’t for me).Overall, a very close second to Tweetie.

Tweetie – sure, it’s a paid Twitter app, but it’s one of the best. Supporting multiple Twitter accounts, an extremely polished interface (shadows and sliding animations galore), as well as the handy technique of loading just the picture from TwitPic links, and URL-shortening via bit.ly (my URL-shortener of choice). Slide across a tweet, and you get options to reply, view the profile of the tweeter, and mark the tweet as a favourite. Tweeting features are pretty much stock – character counter, upload a photo to TwitPic, and insert a Google Maps link to your current location (with automatic bit.ly URL shortening, ZOMG), or the option to update your profile location. The profile page is especially powerful – having separate buttons for followers and following tweeps for that person.
One of my only gripes about Tweetie is that it doesn’t have the unread item counts in the tab-bar at the bottom. This is especially annoying, as it means you can easily miss an @reply or a Direct Message.
UPDATE: One other thing about Tweetie that I thought was pretty fail was that it doesn’t allow you to enter the @ character as a character for your password. Whenever you try, it simply returns a “you must not enter your email address in this field” error, or something similar… Seriously. I like having secure passwords, and Tweetie forced me to change my Twitted password to something less secure. That’s a huge fail in my book, although I think I can attribute this one to a “feature” of the Twitter API, rather than a fail on Tweetie’s behalf.
While the different tabs in Tweetie aren’t colour-coded, the different kinds of tweets are. Those containing an @reply to you are a darker grey than standard tweets, and your own tweets are a pale orange. Overall, Tweetie wins – followed very closely by TwitterFon (besides, TwitterFon just looks weird when you’re looking at what client people are using to tweet… :P ).

So, follow me on Twitter. You can find me at twitter.com/bennyling

That’s it – comments below.

PS – the SS Fail Whale? Where did that come from? I’ve never had a Twitter Fail.