20100725

@beat app for iOS by Christophe Dirac

There is a new free app displaying Swatch .beats/Internet Time.  @beat by Christophe Dirac displays local 24-hour time and date along with the current beats and tenths (decibeats).  It also shows a slide show of the first 50 images in your camera roll and works in landscape mode.  There are no options.  Tapping the "i" brings up a tribute to Internet Time inventor, Nicolas Hayek, who recently passed away, and a very brief history of Internet Time, although no description is given for what .beats actually are.

The app store search function does not recognize non-alphanumeric characters, so try searching for a combination of "beat" and the author's name.

MJD 55402.920
@961

Update (MJD 55418.253): I noticed that the photo linked here has changed, which is because the app has been updated.  Although not yet published in the app store, there are some new features, such as local temperature and humidity, day of week, choice of background colors and text-to-speech. See the author's site for complete details.

20100717

Bumpers

As I suspected, Steve Jobs today, just 20 miles from here, offered free "bumpers" to all iPhone 4 owners, or a choice of cases to be named later. I had planned to buy a case the first day, but Apple had none, and Best Buy was sold out.  Apparently this was because Apple didn't trust case makers to keep the phone a secret, so they didn't have time to manufacture enough of them.  I've been thinking that maybe I would not bother.  After all, the aluminized glass is pretty tough.  However, I can't keep from holding the magic spot.  I've also noticed that the glass back is so smooth that it slides off other smooth surfaces.  So I will gladly accept the free case, thank you.

MJD 55394.357

20100715

Death Grip

I bought a new iPhone 4 a décade ago (55382), mainly because I promised my wife my 3GS when the new phone came out.  There were already reports in the media about the apparent reception problem, aka "the death grip".  I dismissed this initially as being over-hyped.  I have been thinking that, yes, it may be a real, albeit minor, issue, but Apples reactions have made it seem even worse.

Now I no longer think it is a minor issue.  Holding the phone in the most natural way, my calls do not go through, or are dropped after I make them, and my 3G data connection immediately goes south.  It's quickly resolved by changing my grip, but it has become annoying, and I should not have to constantly have the problem!  I do not have a case because all they had were those stupid "bumpers", and I'll be damned if I'm paying $30 plus tax (@9.5%) for a rubber band that does not even protect one of the two glass sides.  To add insult to injury, Apple released a software update today, which does nothing to actually fix the problem; it just makes the bars higher and more accurate.  WTF?

Tomorrow (55393.75) Apple is supposed to announce their fix.  It had better be good.  Free bumpers would be a start.

MJD 55393.250

20100714

New Clocks iOS app by Dennerlein Consulting

The decimal time apps just keep coming.  New Clocks (opens iTunes) by Jesse Dennerlein was released on July 8 (55385) and is free, supported by iAd.  If you haven't seen an iAd, yet, you can download this app and tap the bottom to watch the animated, interactive ad for the Toyota Nissan LEAF electric car.  The app, itself, simply displays four five different digital clocks simultaneously:
  • Standard time (24x60x60 per day)
  • Swatch Internet Time (1000x100 per day)
  • New Earth Time (360x60x60 per day)
  • Decimal time (10x100x100 per day)
  • Stardate (00002.728 per day)
The standard and decimal clocks display hours, minutes and seconds, the NET clock displays degrees, minutes and seconds but only increments every 15 seconds (which is one second of standard time), and the Swatch clock displays .beats and centibeats.  If you tap one of the times, it will show you a brief explanation and a "More info" button that links to Wikipedia.  You can change the background color for the app, and the font for each clock can be set independently.

The only bug I've found is that the Swatch and decimal time clocks sometimes skip a second/centibeat, an issue we've seen in other apps.

MJD 55392.126

Update: (55392.366) I just noticed that the Swatch .beats show local time, rather than "Biel Mean Time" (actually CEWT/BST or GMT+1).  As you can see from the screenshot, the Swatch .beats (@429.89) are the same as the decimal time (4:29.89), which is pretty redundant.

Update: (55418.260) The app has been updated to fix the problem with the .beats I noted in my previous update, so they are now on BMT.  Also, another clock has been added which displays stardates, according to the method used by TrekGuide.com, which basically increments 1000.000 units per year, or about 2.74 per day.