April 20, 2019

Siri Shortcuts - Episode 10

Shortcut Name: Where are we dropping?
Revision: 1.0
Add to Shortcuts!

What does it do?
This is a simple fun one. A quick shortcut to randmonly choose a map loaction to drop at in Fortnite Battle Royale! This is based on the maps from Season 8. Can be used with Siri for automated advice!

How does it work?

  1. Create a list of all names map locations.
  2. Randomly select a location.
  3. Speak the location.

Source Code”
Shortcut 010 Code Screenshot

Check out other shortcuts

iOS Shortcuts Siri
April 16, 2019

I’m Looking At Cameras. Again.

I love photography. This is not news to anyone who knows me. I haven’t had a stand-alone camera since I sold my Fujifilm X-PRO2 a couple years ago (an absolutely wonderful camera). At that time I wasn’t in a place mentally that made sense for me to have it around. Rather than the usual joy I feel when it comes to making photos, every time I saw the camera not being used I only felt guilt.

I have been taking all my photos on my iPhone and making some great imagery in the mean time. iPhone cameras have gotten so good in recent years, there isn’t really a need for a stand-alone camera for a lot of people. If you are looking at stand-alone cameras nowadays, there is generally a very specific reason. Profession, specific subjects you are trying to capture, etc.

For me, it’s the separation from the regular world. A chance to see the world from a different perspective. A set of constraints that you have to creatively work through to get to your objective.

Whenever I am looking to make a larger purchase, I always create one of my patented Jason Comparison Spreadsheets.” (Don’t worry, it’s fun for me.) This has lead me down a different path than I was expecting.

It’s been a number of years and I haven’t really kept up with camera news, so I have been doing quite a bit of research this time around. I still haven’t made a decision, but there are some front runners.

Fujifilm X-T3

Sony A7 III

Leica Q2

Each of these cameras is quite distinctive and with that carry a laundry list of pros and cons. There is definitely some thinking to be done on this, but if forced to pick one right this second, I would choose the Leica Q2. This one is an interesting beast. The majority of what would be considered cons for most, I find to be pros. Fixed lens, connection ports, simple video support.

I like being challenged to pick out singular still images from an infinite canvas of the world, and my gut tells me that this tool fits my way of thinking.

More to come… 📷

Photography Camera iPhone Sony Fujifilm Leica
April 14, 2019

This Is Not A Rant

It’s somewhat of a lesson in business I suppose.

I recently sent in my old 10.5” iPad Pro to the Apple GiveBack program. Keep in mind this service actually has nothing to do with Apple as they use a third party service. Other than letting their name, Apple, appear in the program name, they are completely hands off throughout the process.

The lesson, if you can call it that, is to be aware of who you are partnering with in business. The customer will always ultimately blame you for any heartache they experience when dealing with your business extensions or partners. In this case, I am aware of the delineation between Apple and Brightstar, but the average consumer would not be. This is the kind of thing that can sour a customer on your brand even when the experience actually had nothing to do with your direct brand.

How the interaction went

I was originally quoted $351 after filling out the online form about the device. Great, let’s do it! I realize I could have probably gotten more money had I sold it myself, but I never want to jump through all the hoops and annoyances that come with eBay, Craigslist, enter name of other online service. Brightstar TRade In Quote

After Brightstar received my product they replied with a revised quote of $0, due to case condition.”

This is the photo they sent showing the proposed damage. Damaged iPad Pro

Sorry, what..?

My initial reply

Hello, I have reviewed the photos related to this value change. The photo appears to show the case is bent? This is absolutely not the condition the item was shipped in. The item left me in pristine condition. This damage either occurred in transit or at the delivery location. What are the next steps to escalate and resolve this issue as the item I shipped 100% matched the quoted criteria?

Brightstar

We are sorry to see that your assessment resulted in a revised value, however a bent device is not  consistent with shipping/physical damage and would be a pre-existing condition prior to sending your device to Brightstar. Our receiving team also checks the packaging for physical/shipping damage and there was no report of shipping damage.

Me

Thanks for the reply. Given the response, I will need to escalate this case. The only two points in the transaction that this damage could have occurred is either 1) in shipping or 2) at the Birghtstar facility. The unit was packaged in the provided packaging with no absolutely no damage to case when sent.

Brightstar

Hello Jason‍, Thank you for contacting the Apple GiveBack support team.

As the previous email mentions a bent device is not  consistent with shipping/physical damage and would be a pre-existing condition prior to sending your device to Brightstar.

Our receiving team also checks the packaging for physical/shipping damage and there was no report of shipping damage for Quote ID XXXXXXX.

No further action will be taken from or end

So, there you have it. They entertain no responsibility, and that’s the end of it as far as they are concerned. I now have a basically worthless iPad coming back to me and they wash their hands of it. I still can’t believe it. I would like to believe that nothing happened on their end to cause this, but all I know for sure is how it looked when I sent it; and that was perfect. Make of that what you will..

I in no way expect Apple to do anything about this, but I will absolutely be letting them know about the way in which this matter was handled by their partner.

Apple GiveBack Brightstar iPad Pro
April 13, 2019

Mac Fresh Install App Checklist

If you are setting up a new Mac and choose not to do a migration (for whatever reason), you may want to have a list of all your applications so you can get back up and running as quickly as possible on the new machine. This is a quick tip that I always use when I am setting up a new Mac.

On your old Mac” Follow these easy steps to get a quick checklist created of all your currently installed apps.

  1. Open terminal.
  2. Copy and paste the following command:
    ls /Applications > ~/Desktop/app_checklist.txt Mac Terminal Screenshot
  3. Open this new text file that is on your desktop. Select all and copy the text. Sreenshot of text file on desktop Text file listing mac apps
  4. Open Notes.app. Paste this text into a new note.
  5. Select all the text in the new note, and click the Make a Checklist” button. Apple Notes list of Mac apps
  6. Done! 🎉
Mac Software Apps Terminal
March 11, 2019

Luna Display

Part of our new Mac mini purchase included a Luna display USB-C adapter. Because the iPad Pro is what we consider to be our main computer”, this was going to be a way to utilize the Mac mini for short sessions while on our iPads.

Here are some of my observations during use.

A. I would prefer the Mac app to be a menu bar app rather than a dock app. There doesn’t really need to be an app in my dock 100% of the time.

B. This window seems to always want to be showing on the Mac which is useless when you are on the Mac. Luna Display Dialog Box

C. Every time I connect, it sets the display configuration to extended, which is not ideal when you are connecting with an iPad to use the Mac from another room. So I have to switch the display preference to mirrored every time I connect. Not sure why it doesn’t allow for a default, or at least remember the last connection state. Maybe something I am missing?

At the end of all this, I have found that using Screens (with Screens Connect) is a more simple and effective way to accomplish remote control of the Mac mini. Plus I really like the way they have implemented touch mouse control.

It’s a neat little device, but I am struggling to see why it would be any better” for remote desktop use compared to a software solution.

*I am not using it as an additional display, which is one of the key features of the device. This works as intended. Perhaps I just misunderstood the use cases for this device.

If you are using a Luna Display and are not having these issues, let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks! 📧

Mac mini Luna Display Remote Desktop Screens Screens Connect
March 11, 2019

Freedom™

Author: Daniel Suarez
Title: Freedom™

Freedom TM Book Cover

2009 saw one of the most inventive techno-thriller debuts in decades as Daniel Suarez introduced his terrifying and tantalizing vision of a new world order. Daemon captured the attention of the tech community, became a national bestseller, garnered attention from futurists, literary critics, and the halls of government-leaving readers clamoring for the conclusion to Suarez’s epic story.

In the opening chapters of Freedom™, the Daemon is well on its way toward firm control of the modern world, using an expanded network of real-world, dispossessed darknet operatives to tear apart civilization and rebuild it anew. Civil war breaks out in the American Midwest, with the mainstream media stoking public fear in the face of this Corn Rebellion.” Former detective Pete Sebeck, now the Daemon’s most famous and most reluctant operative, must lead a small band of enlightened humans in a populist movement designed to protect the new world order.

But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all. In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing government control, and a new choice between free will and the continuing comforts of ignorance, the stakes could not be higher: hanging in the balance is nothing less than democracy’s last hope to survive the technology revolution.

Goodreads Link
Previous Book in Series
Amazon Link

Finished Reading: February 24, 2019

Full Star RatingFull Star RatingFull Star RatingFull Star RatingFull Star Rating

Reading Books Daemon Freedom
March 10, 2019

Podcasts going down the same road?

I can’t say I am happy to see podcasting heading down the road of Netflix, Hulu, (list the other nine streaming services)..

Another form of media that wants me to have 6 different apps to be able to hear everything the way I want. Rad..

Historically collecting podcasts was so easy.

  1. Find RSS feed.
  2. Add to player.

Wondering if Apple will add podcasts back into  Music and make deals to include content from these ad free and original content sources?

Perhaps this exclusive / ad free content is only available in these silo apps for some period of time, then it moves to ad supported in normal rss feeds?

I guess this means that podcasting has found the mainstream given the number of companies looking to pull money out of the medium now?

Lots of open questions, but it’s definitely clear that Podcast consumption as we know it is changing, and the change is accelerating.

What’s your take?

I ❤️ Podcasts

Podcasts
March 2, 2019

iPad Pro Hyper Drive

Since I use my 2018 iPad Pro SO MUCH, I decided to pick up a Hyper Drive to expand capabilities for today, but more than likely for the future.

Hardware
The hardware looks great and feels very high quality. It matches the iPad color and fits very securely. The unit I got came with a couple swappable securement brackets. One for use with no screen protector, one for use with a screen protector, and an extension cable version in case you don’t want the unit mounted directly against your iPad Pro.

Ports

  1. HDMI
  2. USB-C Pass Through Charging
  3. Micro SD Card Slot
  4. SD Card Slot
  5. USB-A
  6. 3.5mm Headphone

I never ended up getting a Hyper Drive for my MacBook Pro so I can’t compare it to that but this iPad Pro unit looks great and works well. If you find yourself needing a bunch of ports for your iPad Pro, this could be an option for you.

Update 2019-03-05
Interesting bonus! I tried plugging it into my MacBook Pro to see if it was even possible, and sure enough it fits, and it functions! One more win for USB-C.
iPad Hyper Drive in MacBook Pro

Hyper Drive - iPad Pro

iPad Pro - Hyper Drive

iPad Pro Hyper Drive
Jason Burk | 1999-2019
blot.im!
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