So I drove on over to the Apple Store today (it was on the way back from some other place I was driving to) and I tried out the iPhone. It’s neat! I tried out all the applications and they work fairly well. The typing is alright, but when you type words that are uncommon in the dictionary, for instance, “truong,” the keyboard kinda compensates in the wrong direction.
Besides that, the applications are pretty fun to use, but they seem a bit more jerky than the commercials would have you believe. For instance, I was using the google maps app and it took forever to download the map tiles! The zooming in and out using the multi touch was way cool, but it also seemed to lag behind a bit as well. I know it’ll take lag to move stuff around, but it was… how should I put it? Slower than I expected.
The iPhone certainly is a cool gadget. I just don’t know why it needs to be a phone. Apple’s created a pretty sweet PDA that includes a phone, which requires a subscription fee. If they had just called it the iPDA, maybe I’d be more willing to get one. That, and if they lowered the price, made it snappier, made the battery life longer, etc. I actually had one die while I was using it in the store. The battery ran out and I had to switch to another one.
Oh well, maybe in the next generation/iteration I’ll be able to afford one. And convince myself that I should pay the price for it.
So I got a message from Amazon.com about my facebook app called “Amazon.com Wishlist.”
Basically, Amazon doesn’t want me to describe my Amazon.com wishlist using the word Amazon… I asked if an exception could be made but the lawyer politely declined. I can understand Amazon’s reasons for wanting to protect its name, but seriously, I can’t use “Amazon” to describe an app that displays an AMAZON.COM Wishlist!?
So I renamed the app “Huge River Wish List.” I think Amazon.com is developing a wishlist app for Facebook of their own, which is the real reason for forcing the name change. It’s the risk that one takes when developing using an API, though. I guess I should’ve read the terms more closely. It’s completely within Amazon’s rights to request that I change them app’s name.
It’s also completely in my rights to develop an app for a competitor to Amazon.com. Hmmm…
So before I got on a plane to fly from NM to RH, I prepared myself for boredom. One of the things I did was encode some of the Google Developer Day videos on Youtube for my Sony PSP. I think it was one of three times I’ve actually used my PSP!
Anyway, most of the videos were pretty fluffy and didn’t hold my interest, but the talk by Peter Norvig about statistical analysis was pretty darn interesting. Funny sidenote: when I went to Google for an interview, Peter Norvig was the special speaker dude. He had a pretty cool Hawaiian shirt on then too, as I recall.
Anyway, the talk brings up some pretty interesting things, like how if you feed enough statistics to a computer, the actual algorithm matters less and less. I’ve been interested in AI and machine learning, but I never really took any formal classes.
The stuff in the talk has sort of stuck in my head now. So I’m tending to see a lot of problems as being solvable by statistical analysis/classification. Like that Spock Challenge thing I blogged about earlier. Anyway, I’ve got an idea for a wacky application of Naive Bayesian Classification, but I won’t mention it yet (in case it’s an actual good idea, or in case I decide to bail after I don’t want to figure out the probability math).
I just got my House M.D. Seasons One and Two DVD from Amazon.com today. It took like a month! I guess they sold a bunch and ran out. Anyway, I watched the first disc today (both sides).
I started randomly watching House when I saw it on TV one day. I really liked it, though I never actually “plan” my TV watching, so I hardly ever see it. I just bought the DVDs so I could see the first two seasons. I think I saw like, 2 or 3 episodes from this past season.
One thing I’ve noticed about House is that patients going into seizures usually mean a commercial break. I guess it’s just good TV writing to have a seizure plus fade to black… Also, the doctors really love Diazepam, which goes along with the many seizures. I remember Diazepam from Metal Gear Solid, which would help you relax to use the sniper rifle.
I think a drinking game where you take a drink when a patient goes into seizure, or when House’s initial treatment fails would pretty do the job for anyone. No other rules required.
So far, the series is really good. Sure, the plots get a little redundant and formulaic, but nothing like Inspector Gadget. Plus at least the characters develop. It may take me a while to watch the whole set, but I’ve got nothing but free time this Summer anyway!
Yesterday I tried out i’m in like with you, another hip startup type thing. It’s a social network that lets you find cool people near you and play “games” with them. The games involve setting up a question and having others answer them. Like the dating game? Then you get points for being the most clever or something.
I’m not sure why this site is getting so much attention. It’s okay, but it has yet to offer enough users. There’s no women within 100 miles of my zip code!!!
Oh, and yet again, I have invites if anyone wants to try this.
Also, there was once this site called “Consumating” that was really similar. I had fun with it for a few weeks or so, but it got old. Then I went back to Facebook. I have a feeling i’m in like with you will suffer a similar fate.