On Uber

Nasty looking taxiThere’s been a lot of discussion lately about ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft (and there’s even discussion on whether these services fit the definition of ride sharing). I’ve been relatively silent on the podcast about this but I stomp around the house having very strong opinions on them.

In Los Angeles, taxi cabs are super creepy. The drivers drive dangerously and the cars are horrible. They’re smelly with hard bench seats and a big wall right in front of your knees to separate you from the driver. Figuring out when they are going to show up is a nightmare too. We’ve had them not show up and we missed our flight to Hawaii!
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Dumb Question Corner: How Can I Use iCloud Photo Sharing with Non-Apple Users

secret window showing Public Webiste in iCloud Photo Sharing as explained later in the postThis week’s Dumb Question comes from David Bodgan from Japan. He wrote:

“When I send jpeg pix to my siblings, they give me all sorts of grief about not being able to open them up. I guess they only show up as thumbnails.

The funny thing is that in their replies to me, I get the full jpegs back that I sent to them. Also funnier, the same pictures came out fine on my Mom’s Android tablet.

I’ve been trying to figure out what is going on, but haven’t come up with anything.”

This is one of those problems that probably has no good answer. We could spend a lot of time figuring out what kind of computers and phones they’re on, what mail program they’re using and try to diagnose it on their end. That would take a lot of time and energy. How about if we solve the problem differently?

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CCATP #445 Andy Ihnatko on Journalism, Used Cars and PG Wodehouse

Andy Ihnatko Allison at Macworld in 2012Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times joins me to talk about the current state of journalism, and we discuss the question of whether “real” journalism is on its way out.

We also side track into discussing how a dying car has caused Andy to get more exercise and our joint enthusiasm for the author PG Wodehouse.

You can find Andy on Twitter @ihnatko and his website is at ihnatko.com.

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NC #581 Tree for Outlines, CotEditor Simple Text Editor, Security Bits with Bart Busschots

I got to ask all my image editor questions of Bart Busschots and Antonio Rosario on Episode 33 of the Let’s Talk Photography podcast at lets-talk.ie/…. For my simple needs, Tree from topoftree.jp/… for only $12 in the Mac App Store is a fabulous outlining tool. Because of our fabulous community I learned about the amazing free text editor called CotEditor. We’re joined again by Bart Busschots for Security Bits.

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Wisdom of Crowds Finds CotEditor

CotEditor logoI’m sure you’ve heard me mention a few hundred times that we have a fabulous Google Plus community at podfeet.com/googleplus and an equally interesting Facebook group at podfeet.com/facebook. We have both so you get to choose where you want to play.

There’s so many reasons to love these communities, not the least of which for me is that you guys can go in there and solve each others’ problems. I love to help people but having more people answering questions is always better. The other thing that’s great is that sometimes someone asks a question (dumb or otherwise) and we discover that lots of us had the same question.

Let me give you a great example from this week. Allister Jenks posted this question:
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Create Outlines with Lightweight Tree App for OS X

Tree logoI’ve been using iThoughts X, the awesome mind mapping software from toketaware.com/… to map out how to attack the video screencasts I do for Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online. It really helps me when I’m figuring out my plan of attack to just throw a bunch of disorganized bubbles all over the screen as I think up different things I want to teach about an application.

After it becomes enough of a mess, I start dragging the bubbles around to lump them together and try to make a cohesive story for the tutorial. As I record each bit of the tutorial, I pause and color code the appropriate bubbles to mark them complete and close up the branches so it’s easier to focus.

I thought I had the perfect workflow going until I saw David Sparks talking at Macworld a few years ago explaining his workflow for writing books. Like my process, he starts with a mind map but then he takes an interesting turn. He exports his mind maps using the OPML format (Outline Processor Markup Language) and pulls them into OmniOutliner from omnigroup.com/…. He even showed how he can round trip his thoughts, exporting again in OPML and back into his mind mapping tool.
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CCATP #444 – Programming by Stealth – 17 of x JavaScript Objects

In this continuing series with Bart Busschots, we get a more detailed look at objects, and then we look at some standard functions and objects that are built into JavaScript. We also take a proper look at two operators we’ve seen before, typeof and instanceof. Bart’s full written tutorial is available at bartbusschots.ie/….

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NC #580 Apple Watch Rescue, Neverware CloudReady Chromebook, RadTech ProCables, Zoom Audio Recorders

I’ll talk about how Steve wearing an Apple Watch helped him come to my aid when I smacked my little punkin’ head on the ground, then I’ll tell you how to turn an old Mac or PC into a Chromebook for free with CloudReady from neverware.com. If you’re rough on cables, you might want to check out the RadTech ProCable UHD lightning cables from radtech.com/…. In the last of our interviews from PhotoCon LA, we talk to the folks at Zoom about their portable audio recorders, the Zoom H5 and Zoom H6.

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How Favorites and Apple Watch Brought Steve to My Rescue

Allison cut headI come from a long line of extremely clumsy people. The Podmom broke her middle toe so many times they took the bones out of it, and my dad broke his nose so many times they took the cartilage out of it! I inherited this genetic trait, and I can remember from a very young child hearing my mother say, “you’re always hurting yourself.” It seemed to be a mystery to her where I got it.

Before I leave on my 3 mile afternoon walks with Tesla, Steve usually says, “Walk carefully.” I make fun of him for worrying so much. It’s not like I’m bike riding. But maybe he remembers the time I was bike riding and ducked under some hanging vines, and managed to flip over the handlebars onto my head and other extremities. Or maybe he remembers the time I was jogging in the neighborhood and managed to break my hand. Think about that one for a minute. Or maybe he remembers when I broke my foot playing volleyball. Perhaps it was the time I broke my nose doing hurdles that gives him pause. Are you noticing a trend here?
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Turn Macs & PCs into Chromebooks with Neverware’s CloudReady

CloudReady logoMany people wonder if there’s something they can do with old Macs and PCs when they’ve become too slow for the latest operating system, or have been abandoned by the OS vendors. With PCs it’s pretty common to put Linux on them but older Mac hardware often has problems with Linux. Maybe a network card doesn’t work, or the camera; something always seems to be a problem. If you do succeed, it’s a bit of a learning curve to get proficient at Linux.

How about turning an old Mac or PC into a Chromebook instead? A company called Neverware has come out with a product called CloudReady that will do just that. CloudReady is free for individual and experimental use, $25/year for schools, and $49/year for work. They have a compatibility list of over 200 hardware models that they say are certified and for each one they tell you what components work with CloudReady.
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