Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trying something new

I was recently talking to Roller and he told me that at some point, he hoped that a lot of people would someday contribute to this blog. Now, I have no intention of being a regular contributor and at first I didn't think much about his comment. As you may or may not know, I haven't always been the first person to adopt new technologies- in fact, I am sure I was the last person who has ever posted, commented or even read this blog to have a cell phone. But now, I am trying to turn over a new leaf. At this point, I am 75% sure that these computers thingies are going to stay around, at least for the near future. In addition, since they got this internet thing on computers now, I imagine this is going to appeal to a lot of people, including all the kids out there with their new do-dads and whats-it-nots. If you haven't checked out this "web" that stretches "worldwide" you should try it right now.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 12% of Americans create or contribute to their own online journal or blog. So if I actually submit this entry to Roller and he decides to publish it on the blog, do you see what this means? I have, for the first time in my life, become an early adapter of new technology. I will be in the elite group of bloggers, looking forever down on the 88% of those of you who have either never blogged or got into this technology after I did. That's right- AFTER I DID. I haven't felt this superior since I signed up a long time ago for a Facebook account before most people did (and then proceeded to never check my account again).

I really am making an attempt to become technologically inclined and this January an event happened in my life that forever changed me- my wife got me an iphone for Christmas. I know that people say possessions aren't everything and that they cannot make you happy. I am hear to tell you that those people are a) full of crap and b) have never owned an iphone. My iphone is the greatest toy I have ever received. I am particularly fond of the app store which I explore on a regular basis looking for new apps to download. While you can find just about anything on the app store, I have listed a few apps that I hope to God will be available for download in the near future and that I am waiting anxiously for.

Personal weather app: I know what you are thinking- "Aren't there like 10000 apps that are out there for updating you on the weather?" and, of course, the answer is yes. But this is a "personal" weather app. What it does is create a high pressure system directly around you which ensures that at all times, there are only sunny skies above you with humidity that never exceeds 30%. If you are willing to pay a little extra you can get the Frenemie add-on that allows you to create a low pressure system around anyone that you have friended on Facebook but secretly cannot stand. This will ensure rainclouds around that person at all time, no matter what the local weather is supposed to be.

Love app: as we all know, Google acquired the rights to the emotion that we call love in 2007. Since that time they have been working with the folks at Apple and have created an app that actually takes care of all the messiness (which girls like to call "romance") of that thing that we call love. This app actually sends a signal to your brain that let's you know things that no guy is supposed to know. For instance, this app will update you on such important nuggets as "If you place 1500 candles in this poorly ventilated space in the second story of your house, the carbon monoxide that is released will be assessed by your wife/girlfriend/girl-you-just-met-at-the-bar's brain as romantic and you will increase your chance of intercourse by 40%." Please try to tell me that you wouldn't pay $1.99 for this.

Diaper changer app: here is a conversation that I have actually had with my son more than once (and I'm not kidding about this)- "My god, you weigh 20 lbs. How the hell could you have just placed a 6 lbs load in your pants? Have you been packing yourself like a musket just waiting for a moment until your mom left the house?" Once you download this app, this conversation will never happen again- this app will take care of all those number two's for you. Of note, this app is not necessary for parents to download until a child turns 4-6 months old and solid foods are introduced. As we all know, this is the age in which your little angel begins to make what I like to call "man poops". It is amazing how much you can love something and yet so despise something that comes out of their body.

Babysitter app: for some reason, the department of family services in St. Louis says to me that I cannot just leave my son at home with a whistle in his crib while I go out to a bar to have a beer. For some reason, the cops that have come to my house and ticketed me for this issue don't accept "this is bulls**t" as an explanation. Once I download this app, the man will no longer be able to interfere with my god-given right to get a beer at a bar while leaving my child at home without adult supervision.

I have been following this blog and I have seen how the dynamics of the comments section works so I can anticipate some of the possible comments that may arise. As a result, I would like to post my responses to these upcoming comments here to save time:
1) Response to G: If you truly want to have an open discussion about this issue, you are going to have to bring some debatable points to the table. You cannot just state that the iphone is the spawn of Satan without providing a shred of evidence. I am going to have to know exactly how Lucifer gave birth to an iphone before we will be able discuss this issue like two grown adults. Thus, either support your statement or retract it. While you are retracting, I am also going to have to have you retract statements 2,3,5,7,13 and 15 that you made as well. Statements 4, 6, 8 and 9 were totally incomprehensible so no need to retract those. Please do not retract the nude picture of Farrah Fawcett- your argument was quite convincing and I would like to hear more of it.

2) Response to Ryan: You elitist bastard. Also, I am not so sure that it is accurate to say that a cabal of computer programmers have acted in concert with the federal reserve to use the iphone to infringe on our personal freedoms in the way that you outline. Still, here is a link to a website that contains information about people doing good things for society that Sarah Palin would label as "dangerous to America."

Finally, in keeping with tradition, I will close with a loaded question that I will present for all to comment on- would you prefer to hang out in a closed room with one of Sarah Palin's death panels that wants to kill your grandmother or a room full of adorable puppies?


Roller said...

Nice one, Matty, and welcome aboard.

I have to admit that as much of a geek as I am, I still use a 3 1/2 year-old Blackberry. The iPhone definitely fits my style and needs, unfortunately I am just too cheap. I actually walked into a store once to get one, but they were sold out, and I never went back.

Two questions for the author and everyone else:

1) While I don't doubt obvious need for the apps Doughboy outlined, what are the apps that those with iPhones love the most?

2) What kind of phone do our readers have? How much ahead of the curve is Matt, and how behind it am I?

And regarding your lies about Palin, how about in honor of our American soldiers, ya quit makin things up?!?

G. Smith said...

I'm a very late adopter, and very cheap, and simple minded enough to still be entertained by the spring loaded action on my lime green Motorola Pebl with frog croaking ring tone.

I feel the same about the iphone as I do ipod - it disturbs me that one company has such a strangle hold on a market, but damn they're good products. I just worry that soon people will be driving their ikids to ischool in their ihybrid, living a quaint little ilife.

Is there a comment retraction app?

Doughboy said...

Thanks for the welcome Roller. Your comment of me being "ahead of the curve" is just about the first time in my life I have ever heard that. Sounds nice.

I was just reading about some new augmented reality apps that are supposed to come out in a few years that sound pretty amazing. For instance, if you are standing on a street looking for a place to eat, you will be able to point your camera on the phone down the street. The phone will then use the built-in GPS and the street level data from Google Maps to identify restaurants down the street. On the image on the phone, reviews of each restaurant will then come up over the store as well as the menu for that particular place. As G said, that is a damn good product.

Finally, I am happy to hear from you G. I was hoping that no one took any disrespect from the post. The impressive discourse on the blog made we want to give it a shot. I couldn't help a few jokes about the latest comments but that was all they were- just jokes.

Roller said...

I suppose it's not as if Google needs more share of any market, but I'm really hoping Android pushes Apple (and others) towards the open platform, unlocked model. That phones are tied to carriers and lengthy contracts is ridiculous.

Roller said...

Don't take our laziness in commenting to be a reflection of our perception of your post, Matt. We all knew you were joking, it just takes everyone a few days to let the fully absorb it. In fact, the funnier it is the longer it takes for comments, which is the only explanation I can think of for why no one commented on Coovo and my latest L&O post.

That sounds like an very cool app coming down the pipes. I'm sure there will soon be a "social" feature added to it, where you can point your phone in any direction and see where all your "friends" are, and how far away, and where they are, and what they're eating, and reviews of them eating. Only when that is available will G give up the Pebl.

Ryan said...

I'm personally not surprised at all that the spawn of Dr. Death is a technology adventurist.

Sadly, I am jealous of G's phone, which is way more advanced than mine. Springs. I wanted to see if the innernets even had pics of my phone, and they did, next to hundreds of reviews that give it 2.5/5 stars.

I have never paid for a phone or an ipod, and as a result, my text messages are brief and suck, and the ipod I do have only carries 145 hours of music on it. What a shmuck I am.

I have also heard second hand of an iPhone app that I can claim is the worst app ever: The bubble wrap app. The screen is filled with bubble wrap, which you smush your fingers on the screen with and it makes little popping sounds.

Worst ever, plus, some developer is very rich from it.

In conjunction with some of the apps mentioned, I think it would be cool if your phone alerted you when you walked by any place one of your friends had highly rated and told you that for future reference... in the same way if you were actually walking with your friend, they would mention it.

Do people walk down streets with friends anymore?

I would also like a "roommate" app that would use the camera phone to find hot chicks walking down the street and emit a shrill whistle that you would probably have kept to yourself. "Not my fault, it's just my rude roommate app."

kevin said...

ray - my phone is just like yours, except the front screen is in grayscale, and there is no hoighty toighty camera. it was also free:

i used to have a blackberry and i loved it. when i get sick of this phone (which despite it's great price tag, still sucks) i plan on getting a bb. i like the keypad.

i also don't think that's the worst app i've heard of. there's one that senses when you're holding the phone vs when it's set down. the app? it's a contest to see how long you can hold the phone for.

an app i like is the light app. the whole screen turns pure white and is useful when all the lights go out.

kevin said...

i saw this a while ago and was reminded of it now:

Nicole said...

Okay, okay. I didn't take the bait on any health care or political posts, but I must stand with Dougherty on the iPhone.

I am very cheap and very skeptical of new "innovations" that will improve my life.

However, I inherited a first generation iPhone from my father-in-law when a crazy fat lady almost hit me and my kids with her car and then ran over my old cell phone in the Wal-Mart parking lot (while talking on her cell phone and smoking a cigarette.)

I bless Matt's father for contributing the iPhone to my life. My iPhone is the ONLY non-living thing in my house that I will really get upset about when it breaks. I will also run out immediately and pay what I must and sign whatever contract I have to in order to get another one.

I will remind everyone that I spend 30 minutes a day parked in a carpool line. Unlike many women I don't like to talk on the phone. I can sit in the line and actually organize my tasks and read email on a device that is so intuitive to use that it is a little scary.

The app I really want: a voice transcription app that allows you to dictate draft emails and then edit them later when you are at your computer.

John Hanrahan said...

I don't have an iphone but the best app I have ever heard of is an app that keep bugs away. I kid you not the app sends off a noise that keeps bugs away when you are outside.

I think I spend way too much of my time on my phone as it is. If I had an iphone it is possible that you will never see me again.

Roller said...

There is definitely no need to convince me that my life could be improved by getting an iPhone. I do really want one. I'm just cheap and waiting for my Blackberry to break.

I was thinking about Ryan's suggestion for the "friend's suggestion" app and thought that perhaps Yelp could do something like that. Then I was listening to a podcast yesterday, and heard that the "augmented reality" app that G heard was coming already exists. And it's the Yelp App. Unfortunately, the podcaster said the user interface was a bit cloogy right now, as the labels don't follow when the camera zooms. Still, a pretty cool idea and I'm sure it's still useful.

Roller said...

BTW, as a tribute to the ruggedness of my Blackberry, besides being dropped numerous times over the last 3.5 years, it's also gone through half of a cycle in the wash - I didn't realize where it was until after the first rinse cycle. Took it apart, let it sit for a couple days, cleaned it with a Q-tip, put it back together, and the only noticeable difference is that the Bluetooth doesn't work anymore. I highly doubt an iPhone would survive that!!

Marty said...

Mine's a samsung and it survived two and a half days in the pouring rain while sitting in the Mr. & Mrs. LaBarge's front lawn celebrating the dia de iphone would be nice, but i would have to spend just about as much as an iphone cost just to get out of my contract with verizon early...I'll see what options I have in march of 2011...175 seems excessive to me to break my contract, its not even that much to break the lease on my apartment...

Roller said...

Marty your mentioning of Verizon reminded me of something else - the iPhone is only available on AT&T and everyone I know in a big city complains about AT&T service. Dropped calls, voice mails arriving 2 days late, no service etc.

I personally have AT&T service with my BB running on EDGE, living in the Lou. It's not awesome... have a few connection issues once in a while, but it's no where near as bad as the bigger cities (Chicago, NYC, SanFran) complain. I suppose I am on a different network than the iPhone folks though.

I've heard Verizon is the best in terms of network... anyone else have thoughts/anecdotes on this?

Marty said... experiences and experiences I've heard about with AT&T, especially the iphone, in Chicago are all bad...Someone told me the other day that you can use it for anything, just not to make phone calls...Nav actually said that he couldnt get a signal to make a phone call once, but was able to get on the internet and use skype to talk to someone...I never have any problems other than the occasional cell phone bunker areas with Verizon

kevin said...

yeah - my buddy has a brand new BB (in seattle) thru AT&T, and he drops calls all the time, as do all his coworkers. since then, i've read stories about how the iphone not only takes up so much of the ATT network, but also supposedly get first dibs at the network (which i don't see how that would be possible).

when i expressed a bit of doubt that the carrier would discriminate by type of phone, he said last weekend he had 0 bars at the UW sports stadium and couldn't do a thing on his phone, while his iphone person sitting next to him had full functionality.