Stimulous package

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/stimulous-package)

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What exactly is she holding on to? From a carnival in Düsseldorf this year.

German parades look edgier than ours.

Via Reddit

Multiverse LED tunnel

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/multiverse-led-tunnel)
Villareal “Multiverse” National Gallery of Art, Washington DC from Walter Patrick Smith on Vimeo.
41,000 LEDs in a 200 foot tunnel at the National Gallery of Art in Washingtong DC. Wow!
Via Gizmodo

iPhone bluetooth file transfer

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/iphone-bluetooth-file-transfer)

Looks like full bluetooth connectivity is coming to the iPhone, despite Apple.


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Does the iPhone suck?

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/does-the-iphone-suck)

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photo by by Joy23

When the iPhone was first announced I, like everyone else wanted one. I took my own advice and held off on getting a first generation device and waited for the prices to come down and for potential bugs to be ironed out. Now that I’ve had 2 weeks with the iPhone I wanted to share some thoughts on Apple’s most amazing and desired gadget.

The iPhone is a conversation starter. The multi touch UI is easy on the eyes and pleasant to use. The build quality is top notch. Having an phone + GPS + iPod is pretty cool. The OS while a bit sluggish for a phone is stable. The ability to install apps right from the appstore is well done and the app ecosystem is a game changer for the software industry.

However, as a smartphone - the iPhone sucks. Apple has taken what is potentially the coolest gadget ever made and then crippled it just about every way they could. I’m trying to imagine just how bad the iPhone would suck if it was not Jailbroken - which mine is. I’m an Apple fan. I like their software, hardware and the thought that goes into their products. The frustrating thing about the iPhone is just how cool it could be.

List of things that make iPhone suck.

NO Bluetooth

What modern phone, let alone SmartPhone, does not allow for basic bluetooth pairing and file transfer? I’ve become accustomed to writing all of my SMS through an app on my Macbook dashboard and then sending them off with an easy Control+S via bluetooth to my cheap ass Nokia ‘dumb phone’. I can also browse the file system of the Nokia 3310c from the Macbook or send notes to it as easily as right clicking on them and choosing to send them to the phone. The fact that I can’t do this on the most advanced (supposedly) and most expensive phone I’ve ever owned sucks (insert your favorite barnyard animal here) balls. Apple, for this - you truly suck!

NO WiFi Sync

My iPhone has WiFi, so does my Macbook. Why then do I have to carry around a cable to sync circa 1999?

NO Document support

Out here in the real world we us PDF and Word Docs as a format to exchange files. I guess in Cupertino they use post-its? My macbook can read these formats natively without additional software - why can’t my iPhone?

NO File Manager

And no search for that matter. Some of us actually store and retrieve real file from our PDAs. Sometimes we even search for them when we forgot where we left them. We like to search our contacts as well. I think they need to bottle the water in Cupertino as they have super human memory over there.

NO Flash

What the hell? Flash video.. Games? Maps?

NO Video

OK, I can use Cycorder if i want to go face jailtime but the fact that this feature is left out is a JOKE. Seriously. I would have love to have been a fly on the wall at Apple at that meeting. “I know, lets really fuck them up and put a camera there but get this, they can’t record video!” WTF?

NO Skype

This just burns a hole in my side. The Skype on the iPhone would be awesome. It seems like Skype is running on everything except the iPhone. I don’t really care if the blame for this one falls at the doorstep of Apple or AT&T - it just sucks. Fix it.

At the end of the day the iPhone feels like a Disney theme park ride. Have your fun as long as you stay securely in your seat and on the rails. Even though your car on the roller coaster looks like a spaceship, it’s really a fiberglass car on steel rails.

Don’t worry though, all of these features will be provided by the hacker community and eventually filter their way into an official update or app at some point in the future. I’d rather have these smart folks working on a cure for cancer or the next generation alternative fuel source than figuring out how to reverse engineer the bluetooth stack on my silly iPhone. But that’s how it goes.

However much I am bitching about the iPhone - I’ll hang on to it for another month or so to see if the next child genius has figured out a way for me to hack my phone so that it compares to my throw away Nokia.

So here is my advice, don’t buy an iPhone. Wait until Apple pulls their head from their ass and realizes we’re grown up enough to handle features that have been on even the most basic of phones for the last half decade.

Apple - You Suck.

It’s still pretty cool to see my four year old playing with Zephyr.

WordPress upgrade bliss

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/wordpress-upgrade-bliss)

WordPress 2.7.1 must be the easiest upgrade ever. One click upgrade - no plugins. Nice.


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Social Media Optimization project: Democrats Abroad

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/social-media-optimization-project-democrats-abroad)

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Talking about Social Media to promote SEO for Vote From Abroad, photo by Democrats Abroad Cambodia

I’m just back from the Democrats Abroad Asia Pacific Regional Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was representing Democrats Abroad Malaysia and gave a short talk on using Social Media to increase site traffic to our online voter registration tool, VoteFromAbroad.org

One of the main points made in my presentation was that regardless of how people found you, they’re here now. Many organizations are warming up to the idea of embracing conversations about their ‘brand/product/company’ off site. We can’t assume that because we built a great website with community tools that people will always come to our site to talk. Conversations happen where people happen to be that’s increasingly on communities like facebook, youtube, forums, etc.

This is incredibly valuable because the authority (popularity/traffic/page ranking) of these sites and their links back to you provides a boost to your own search result rankings. When Youtube, Wikipedia, Facebook and blogs are all linking to you - google notices.

For a site like Vote From Abroad, the main goal is to be discovered by Americans living overseas and helping them with the process of registering to vote.

This requires a sustained social media campaign using social media optimization and SEO techniques.

Some of the recommendations I’ve made include:

  • Link to votefromabroad.org in relevant profiles, media descriptions, web posts, forums & wikis.
  • Use of micro-blogging tools (Twitter).
  • Cross posting (TubeMogul, Ping.FM)
  • Join or create Democrats Abroad groups on social networking sites (and link to votefromabroad.org).
  • Community promotion of sites through social bookmarking (Digg, Reddit, etc.)

I also encouraged people attending to start a blog and touched on WordPress. WordPress can deliver great SEO results when configured correctly and provides all kinds of plugins and widgets for mixing in data from your social sites. Folks living abroad have some natural topics to blog about; living overseas, travel, exotic foods, culture.. The easiest way to start is by reading blogs. Should you find yourself following many blogs, look into an RSS reader to have all your blogs delivered in one shot for offline or easy reading later.

Note to Americans living overseas. Register to vote, your vote matters. Join Democrats Abroad to connect with some of the most dynamic, progressive and thoughtful Americans you’ll ever encounter. This is a great way to meet and socialize with other American expats while living abroad.


Overlay WikiMapia data in GoogleEarth

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/overlay-wikimapia-data-in-googleearth)

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While looking for a place I stayed last time in Phnom Penh, I started off on GoogleEarth. No luck. After a bit of hunting I wandered over to WikiMapia. I thought that you could select WikiMapia overlays in GE however it seems you need this file to enable overlay. Awesome!

Spy Horse

(My Original Blog Post: http://llamasonic.com/spy-horse)

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via reddit.. yes.. it’s photoshopped.

Made my brain jiggle a bit.