After an exciting, though ultimately disappointing game (for those rooting for the Irish) last night between Notre Dame and Florida State, I’m reading hoping for a better result between the Ravens and the Falcons. So far it’s been pretty positive with Baltimore leading 7-0 early in the second quarter, however just as I began to write this Flacco threw an unfortunate interception in the endzone.
I’m glad to be back in the United States where I can watch football live on Sunday, rather than having to catch games on NFL Rewind (which I subscribed to while I was in Korea). It’s nice to be able to catch all the action as it’s going on, as I juggle games on my MacBook (Ravens), the TV (Seahawks) and my iPad (NFL Redzone / NFL Mobile).
I love how technology has made keeping track of gameday easier than ever. You no longer have to rely on half time updates or tickers and you can access the information you care about when you want it. With apps such as NFL Mobile and NFL Now you’re able to curate your own information (drive charts, highlights, scoring plays, stats, roster information and so on) with a few taps and swipes.
In addition to the mobile apps there’s also the NFL app on Xbox One which you can use in snap mode to keep an eye on other scores and also view stats and highlights in real time. I’ll usually snap the NFL app every now and then to get a quick look at everything assuming I’m watching the Ravens game on TV, otherwise having my iPad up next to my MacBook makes it easier to glance over at the NFL Mobile app in-between plays.
Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, Google announced Chromecast. It’s an HDMI dongle that allows you to stream content to your TV from the cloud using almost any device connected to the same WiFi network (yes, it works with the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices).
You simply plug the device into an HDMI port on your TV and plug it into a power source (my TV has a USB port right beneath one set of HDMI ports which is quite convenient. It also comes with a power outlet adapter) and you’re (almost) ready to go. Once it’s set up you’ll see a Chromecast button in supported apps and you simply click the button and Chromecast will begin streaming the content on your TV. You can control the content with your device, but you can also exit whatever app you launched the video from and continue using the device while the Chromecast continues streaming.
The only annoying thing about the Chromecast for me was the setup. It wasn’t as simple as it should’ve been. For some reason you have to change the name of your WiFi network to the name of your Chromecast device (ie. Chromecast9999) in order to connect to the Chromecast and get it set up. Then you can change your WiFi network back to it’s original name before you save the connection settings for the Chromecast.
I have yet to discover if that’s a process you have to go through everytime you use the device on a new WiFi network or if it’s simply for the initial setup. I hope it’s the latter because otherwise it won’t be as convenient of a device as it could be. Sure you don’t have to carry around an HDMI cable, but fooling around with router settings every time you go somewhere new would be a chore.
Overall I’m impressed with the device and for $35 it’s a steal. It initially came with 3 months of Netflix, however due to overwhelming demand Google had to remove that offer (luckily I got in before it disappeared). I’m also impressed that it works so easily with iOS apps, though as of right now you cant use it with the Chrome iOS app (it does support the desktop version). At the moment you can use it with YouTube and Netflix on iOS (I’m not sure if there’s a Google Play app on iOS, but I assume if there is that would work as well) and there should be more content to come in the near future.
So at some point this summer my iPhone’s camera took a dump and started taking blurry pictures (I think it’s because I always took it skiing). I still believe that a phone is the perfect camera, and an actual camera is an archaic and dying device much like a newspaper or paper books.
However for awhile I had to use my iPad as my primary camera, which was just a little awkward. It takes great pictures in my eye, and even side by side with my new camera I still think the iPad’s pictures look just as good.
Anyway, I picked up a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W620, slightly used on Amazon for about $30! Pretty sweet deal. I need to pick up an SD card before it can officially retire my iPad as it can only store 5 pictures on its internal memory, but I guess in the long run I won’t look like such a nerd holding up an iPad to take pictures and video.
Below you can see a side by side comparison of the Sony Cyber-Shot and the iPad 4.
How many of you reading this can actually say you’ve owned a PDA (personal digital assistant) or Palm Pilot? When I first saw them while I was in middle school I knew I had to have one someday. Think about it, your own computer in the palm of your hand! You could update a calendar, write notes, send an e-mail maybe. I did end up getting a youth PDA and I used it to play such amazing black and white games like hangman.
The PDA has gone the way of the pager, replaced and made to look archaic by the cell phone and ultimately the smart phone and tablet computer. There are still people who use Palm / PDA devices today, but really how useful could one be? I would think the closest thing to a PDA today is the iPod Touch, but at least that doubles as a MP3 / digital media player.
Do you still have a dedicated calendar / organizer device? Why?
So I had a random thought tonight and I figured I’d just run with it. What if there was wallpaper that was actually a think, digital, HD screen that covered the walls in the rooms of your house. And let’s say this wallpaper can connect to your computer via WiFi.
Now on your computer there’s a program in which you can enter any room in your house and click on a wall and ‘drag and drop’ designs, posters, and pictures that would all instantly appear on that wall in your house. You could change the color of your walls depending on your mood. You could change any picture ‘hanging’ on your wall whenever you felt like it. You could make ‘posters’ and drag them wherever you please. You could decorate for the holidays with ease.
How cool would it be to drag something from your computer screen and drop it onto a wall? A picture, or a movie even. Having a party? Project the iTunes visualizer onto your walls. Why not?
You’ve seen it in Sci-Fi movies. Walls that reflect the weather outside, or different scenes of nature (or cityscapes). When will it be coming to your home?
You could use projectors, but I think a thin sheet like fabric would be cool. And it should adjust to the light levels in the room as necessary and of course it should be able to be dimmed or shut off while sleeping.
So anyway, just a random train of thought I had tonight in my fatigued state. A guy can dream.