One next step for mobile

Alias – Season One
Starring: Jennifer Garner (and others)

The pilot of this show – a two-hour premier – is, in many ways, the best pilot I’ve seen since The West Wing. Smart, sexy, kick-ass and so on.

I’d heard a lot about this series (debuted in 2001), but never got around to seeing same until recently.

Worth watching.

Update: Plot late s1 and s2 silly. So much so that I’m going to have to think hard and long before watching any other episodes. Sad.

All reviews

I’ve only had a smartphone (iPhone 4s) for about 18 months, but it’s definitely changed how I do a bunch of stuff on my “phone.”

I even use it – on occasion – for phone calls!

I’m not at all a mobile power user, and that’s sometimes a good thing – you see that others have created work-arounds/excuses for lack of conventional desktop activity. And power users often have all sorts of reasons as to why is or that isn’t mobile native.

Stuff that should be there (mobile) but isn’t. (To me.)

My current gripe: Search within a search

Example 1 – rocks; I use it all the time. I think I like the mobile app (for the most part) better than the desktop experience in many ways.

But here is how I often use IMDB: Watching some show. Who is that? Hit the TV episode/movie on IMBD (mobile or desktop), and then wait until I know that character’s name: On desktop, hit Cntr-F or whatever and get highlights on character called, for example, “Linus.” (I just saw Argo, listed 219 actors: with search, no biggie. Scroll/flick to see all of those WITHOUT highlighting/anchors/whatever…icky.)

No equivalent for mobile. Have to scroll through and find, potentially, which Linus is the actor you remember (to get filmography so you can see why you did/didn’t know this actor).

Example 2 – We recently used a smartphone voice search to find a Mexican restaurant in a certain city. Didn’t want to say name of restaurant, because will voice recognize the foreign name – and do I have the foreign name correct?? Like with IMDB, got a list (with links to call and so on…awesome), but in a browser, I’d get results and then do a secondary search of those results (’cause most search today is for the first page of results…another story).

Just a thought – and the secondary search (the Control/Apple-F or whatever) could easily be a search (voice, preferably) within the search via mobile.

But – right now – I don’t see it.

And – if it’s there and I just don’t see it – well, that’s a problem, too. And not just for me.

Why CNN is in decline…Part XXX

The actor James Gandolfini, perhaps best know as Tony Soprano on the TV series The Sopranos, died unexpectedly today at the age of 51.

Here’s how reported same:

Here’s’s take:

Which is more “journalistic’ (not to mention respectful) of the two?

Weather Alert – Nerd Style

Dark Sky

Sometime last year, I became aware of an iPhone (I’m on 4s) weather app called “Dark Sky.”

I downloaded, and was blown away. It’s not your traditional weather app (Temp/Humidity etc), but it was more of a forecast app: It would say “Light rain in 20 minutes” – and it would be correct!

A month or two later – I dunno – I ran across a mention that the Dark Sky folks had a web site for weather forecasting,

It’s amazing.

Totally accurate? Nope.

Impressive in its depth? Yep.

Slick design? Yep deux.

One of the things that caught my (nerdy) eyes was that they had an API of weather data – and free for the casual user (1000 free hits per day; each 10k after that $1!).

So I signed up, and got to work integrating it into my site. weather integration data on

The fun part – and the rough part – was integration entailed the following to make it “work” for me:

  • API call to
  • JSON response
  • Use PHP json_decode () function – new to me – to parse the JSON response
  • CSS3 (rounded elements and so on)
  • HTML5 – Canvas elements (and hacking same with JS)
  • Create weather display area (PHP include)
  • Jquery to toggle between current and detail screens (still working on same; not quite the UI I want)
  • JS AJAX call to get the new data, parse the JSON, pass necessary data back to JS, and then (re-)populate the data points

For me, that’s fun. And right now it works.


Next: Geo-location, so I can display weather where you are, not where I am. Hmm…good thing?

I needs to do more work with APIs – I love Google Maps, is great. I’ve got to delve into more mashups – work, but fun (dorky) work.