Monthly Archives: December 2010

TheSocialNetworker Episode 16 – Skype iPhone video bug

While testing the new Skype client released for the iPhone/iPod/iPad today, Carl Tyler of Epilio found a big with the video switching.  We did a test so we could record the conversation and get screenshots to share.

Following is how we should appear in the windows on the iPhone or iPod with Skype using the front facing cameras.

(Carl could warn me next time I am blinking before he snapshots)  So that is his front facing camera on the iPhone 4 while we video conference test.  All is well, as he appears in the smaller window and me in the larger.

Next he switches to the back facing camera so he can conference and walk around  and you will see below how the iPhone and iPod Touch 4 both have flipped the video picture in picture (PIP).

I am now in the smaller one and he sees his own camera in the larger portion.  Would would anticipate that this would be reversed and act as the front facing.

We both also suffered freezes ending calls and having to reset the Skype client to get back for more tests.

For enjoyment, we also record his dog Jessie doing tricks like dead and electric food.  Enjoy the demo and get your client updated!  You can also watch this video in HD on YouTube on the new Spiked Studio channel.

TheSocialNetworker UI update stage #1 complete

I sat over the holiday weekend upgrading WordPress and Headway for TheSocialNetworker.  It is my theme of choice for any WordPress site I run now.  While I am an admin at heart, this makes it drop dead easy to change a UI into anything I want.

Everything on the screen in design mode is drag and drop.  Resizing, adding features, functions and more.  I so wish my Lotus Domino based blog had this function as well.  If you have not seen Headway theme and run WordPress, take a look and let me know if you have questions.  It is much like Squarespace for those running their own WordPress.  Global changes and more are a click away.  The whole thing can be done behind the scenes before launching so no one sees the changes until you are ready in their safe mode.  Amazing stuff.

So stage #1 included the following and how:

  • Highlight the screencasts.  I simply added a HTML leaf and embedded the code.  I drug the edge for sizing and saved.  Done.
  • Show the featured posts prominently.  I added a featured posts leaf and set the number to rotate through.  Set to fluid height and to use the excerpt. Done.
  • Change the sidebar.  Partially done.  I am playing with the order and will move the Archive links to the Archive page shortly.

Stage 2 will redo the banner and small advertisements I run to support the site.  It will also finish the social integration points.  I kept the coloring easy and simple in stage 1.  Separated the sections better and hopefully made getting to content faster.

Look for a change to the SpikedStudio page as well very shortly as the new SpikedStudio channel has launched on YouTube to bring all the content into one place and another presence.  TheSocialNetworker and IdoNotes is there.  NotesIn9 makes it’s appearance soon too.

Book review: Best iPad Apps by Peter Meyers

When I first got this book,  Best iPad Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders by Peter Meyers (O’Reilly published), I was sure that so many things  had changed and applications created, there was not much I would get from this book with over 200 pages.  I was wrong, plain and simple.  Amazon has this book on sale right now for $13.29 or in the iBooks store for $9.99.

The book itself is broken into sections, with colored page edges for quick sorting of each main category:

  • At Work
  • At Leisure
  • Creative Corner
  • At Play
  • At Home
  • Out and About
  • For Your Health

Each main section then had subsections with the best of application for each category well defined.  The logo, description, reasoning, costs and image were included.  Some of subsections even had honorable mentions when the competition was close.

By just over 50 pages in I had numerous apps downloading already from the iTunes store.  It became clear that with the sheer number of applications in the store, you cannot find them all.  Reviews are always all over the place, with a few complaints able to simply change your mind.

So why would you choose this book over the numerous web articles always showing the Top 10 iPad Apps?  I wondered that as well.  Now I get it.  The book goes category by category.  Web listings seem to have the same ones over and over.  You never get a good feel for what is out there and how deep the catalog is in capabilities.

Much like we do with all of the social media screencasts here and Twitter application reviews on EverythingTwitter, the author of the book claims to have personally tested thousands of applications to make this catalog.

The book was done in extremely high quality coloring and screenshots.  The layout is landscape mode, making it easy to hold pages open as you read and search on your iPad.

A couple notes I wanted to make.  Sure, there is so many games for the ipad.  But there is also great busienss value and I was shocked to see the awesome amount of content in health and wellness I would have never even thought about.  Some of the HD content is amazing to have right in your hand.  Also, the index in the back matches the table of contents, so nothing was gained there.

Overall, an excellent book for those looking to find applications already tested and ready to go.  The price at the time of writing is shown, but check for yourself before saying it it too much as I found a few on sale or discounted now.

I recommend Best iPad Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders by Peter Meyers.

(Yes, the above links are affiliate links on Amazon as usual)

RIM moves to buy Gist – thoughts

Om Malik, of GigaOm, seems to have caught the story first about Research in Motion (RIM or Blackberry to you) in talks to scoop up Gist.  I have covered Gist multiple times in screencasts and podcasts, all linked below.

I think RIM could only benefit from this purchase by not merging the social profile capability, from the 10 million reported profiles in Gist, with their own mobile contacts.  I can see Gist as an add-on application that integrates and offers advanced features, but not embedded into the contacts themselves.  Enterprises are wary enough about such companies as Gist pulling content from user’s address books, such as their Lotus Notes integration, as well as bringing social context in.

I have been a Gist user for some time via the web, Google Apps mail and in the past year Lotus Notes integration.  Do I see daily value and find myself scouring the Gist profile there? No.  Have I integrated Gist with my Google Apps accounts and find value there?  Sometimes.

I admittedly run both Gist and Rapportive side-by-side in my Google Apps.  Both have their strengths and integration positives.  Both read the sender and try to match social profiles.  Gist requires quite a bit of manual effort to merge and manage.  Rapportive just shows up but misses some meta data Gist offers.  You have to strive to want to use them on a daily basis with the amount of social data available from anyone that might email you.

RIM device users would be overwhelmed by this quantity of social data entering their handheld lives.  While the Blackberry is the glue that hold the communication and scheduling for millions, it is as simple as that.  Advanced users may load instant messaging programs, separate from the contacts list.  Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) users must have a special profile enabled for social integration to work at all.

For RIM, the idea behind acquiring Gist would be to possibly re-invent the phone address book and make it integral to its core offering. It would actually make a lot of sense for RIM to do this, as it plays to its core strength – namely, messaging. By making the address book more networked and more social, RIM can build a social inbox, much like the one being championed by Facebook.

Om makes a strong statement here, and I normally agree.  Not this time.  I see the purchase as an impossible social inbox.  The massive amount of content with no real filtering would be hurtful to the mobile user in a single, unified, social inbox.  Listing Gist as an additional tool, found through AppWorld would make perfect sense and possibly grow the usage of the devices for those socially connected.

The lack of good applications in AppWorld is an entirely different article.

Previous postings on RIM and Gist of interest: