It's been about a year in the making, but my book Secrets of the Mouse is now published and available for purchase. I opted to self-publish on CreateSpace, and the experience has been wonderful, culminating with the release of the book on Amazon.
Secrets of the Mouse itself is a behind-the-scenes guide to the secrets of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, featuring information on individual attractions, hints on where to find Hidden Mickeys, and puzzles to solve while waiting in line for rides.
For more information, see secretsofthemouse.com or Secrets of the Mouse on Amazon.
Edmodo is a project that a friend of mine, Jeff O'Hara, has been working on for a while. He just recently released a teaser screenshot of the UI and it looks like it's coming along really nicely. I know Jeff's been working for some time to simplify education-related communication, a field that could certainly use some fresh ideas. It looks like they're getting close to an alpha release, so it should be fun to keep an eye on.
I will be attending Comic-Con 2007 this Friday and Saturday here in San Diego, and I am planning to upload photos from the convention live from my iPhone to Flickr. If you can't get to Comic-Con yourself, but want to get an almost-live glimpse at what is going on there, stay tuned to my Flickr photostream at http://flickr.com/photos/everythingdigital. I will be using the tag comiccon07 to designate photos from this year's con.
With much inspiration from Jeff O'Hara, I have figured out a solution for establishing groups and community threads on twitter, a feature that the site has noticeably lacked for quite a while. You can follow the steps below to create your own twitter group on any topic.
Create a "dummy" twitter user that will broadcast the messages that are sent to the group on a single twitter feed.
Email me (alan at everythingdigital dot org), and let me know what the username and password for your "dummy" user are.
I will add your group to the script on my server.
Anyone who is a friend of the "dummy" user can use @username messages to post to the group (for example, with applegroup, friends of applegroup would post tweets such as "@applegroup How's everybody liking their iPhones?" and these messages would be added to the group discussion). New @username messages to the group take an average of one minute currently to be posted to the group discussion.
In case you haven't noticed, it's July 17 today. This means that today, for a full twenty-four hours, the iCal dock icon on your Mac will be correct. That's right, while the iPhone's calendar icon may update to show the current date, the desktop iCal application's icon stays frozen on the 17th of July as a tribute to the day that iCal was released: July 17th, 2002. So happy iCal day everyone, and I hope you are enjoying seeing an accurate iCal icon in your dock.
A few hours after getting my iPhone, I was hit with a sudden idea for an iPhone-optimized web app. The result of this idea and the subsequent quick bit of coding that I did to get it ready is iPhone Trivia, an iPhone app that asks multiple-choice trivia questions and keeps track of your score.
I am hosting the app here: http://everythingdigital.org/itrivia
The trivia questions come from an RSS feed that I put together here, and I will be adding new questions frequently. If you want to submit questions for inclusion in the RSS feed, make sure you follow the item/prompt/answer/correct format that the feed currently uses.
After having finally gotten an iPhone yesterday after much hassle in tracking one down, I discovered Telekinesis, a wonderful app that runs on your Mac and provides a web gateway for controlling it through an iPhone-friendly interface.
Naturally, I tried running a variety of applications using my iPhone as a controller and screen for my Mac, but the most impressive was World of Warcraft. While performance was hardly smooth, I could control several actions in WoW through the iPhone interface. Most notably, I could read and respond to in-game chat without too much of a problem.
I recorded the experience and posted a video here on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
To clarify, WoW is running on the MacBook Pro that you see in the beginning. The iPhone just serves as a separate screen and controller connected over the internet. The iPhone's CPU is NOT running the game.
Well, the technology world has gone nuts these past few days in anticipation of the iPhone's debut today. I stopped by my local Apple Store today to see what the line was like and I was astounded. I would guess there were about three or four hundred people waiting in line (and this is at the smaller of the two San Diego Apple Stores).
What amazed me the most about the line waiters was that they were far from the typical Apple fan crowd that can usually be seen lining up outside Apple Stores for OS X releases or other events. The people there ranged from babies to the elderly and came from all sorts of diverse backgrounds and fields. It looks like the iPhone has struck a chord with a much greater audience than typical Apple users, which is certainly a large part of Apple's goal for the product.
I have posted a couple pictures from the event on flickr here just to give you an idea of the scene here at the San Diego Apple Store.
You may have noticed the recent banner redesign and mild re-branding to "EverythingDigital Podcast Productions." This comes as a result of a side project that I have been working on, the HistoryPod podcast. I will be recording the fourth episode of the HistoryPod soon, and it has so far become remarkably established on the iTunes charts, recently reaching as high as #4 in the history category.
Now that EverythingDigital incorporates multiple podcasts, I am shifting to the more open model of a podcast production group in order to accommodate additional podcasts in the future as needed.
This space is still where you'll find both my personal weblog and the EverythingDigital Podcast, although I should warn you that recently the HistoryPod has been taking priority over the EverythingDigital Podcast so I can't really promise a new EDP anytime soon.
On a related note, I'm thinking about doing a quiz show podcast along the lines of Podshow's Boned, but with a bit less over-production and a bit more time for the contestants to actually talk. Shoot me an email (alan at everythingdigital.org) if you're interested in helping out with it.