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Magazine

I read a magazine for the first time in over a decade today.

I went to get some lunch at Atlas, and as I walked out of my home, grabbed my Kindle and saw the dreaded out-of-battery sign. I knew browsing my phone for a good thirty minutes while waiting would mean I’d have to be conservative with it the rest of the day. I decided to be brave and try it anyway.

I checked in to Atlas on foursquare, noting the tips about them having a wide selection of magazines, while ordering a Yam sandwich (did I mention how great foursquare is at making me order things I wouldn’t normally?). I sat down, reached for my phone, scanned the cafe for magazines, walked over to the rack, and picked something hurriedly, because I felt judging eyes behind me. It had Pharrell on the cover. He’s a cool dude.

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Moves

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Moves is quickly becoming one of my favourite apps. It’s one I installed as soon as I switched to my Nexus 4. I open Moves maybe once a day. Twice, at best. Moves does its magic in the background. I don’t have to do anything except carry my phone with me.

I hit a new record today! 18,784 steps AKA 3 hrs and 13 min of walking AKA 12.9 km.

No, these numbers aren’t monumental. However, they do a wonderful job of satisfying my curiosity, giving me a relative indication of my activity. I can feel the app slowly modifying my behaviour. I opened it today while I was heading to a train station, saw what I was at, and thought, “screw it, I’ll walk a few blocks to the next one.”

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Man of Steel

‘Man of Steel’. The complexities of Clark Kent presented in a beautiful, emotionally rich manner. A super ensemble, score and vision.

Getting to see so much of Krypton brought forth sheer delight. The opening is stunning, creating a real sense of wonder. The first time Clark takes flight, all that wonder comes flooding back.

Inter-cutting flashbacks of Clark’s early childhood while he wanders the world alone searching for answers totally works from a storytelling standpoint. I could have asked for no greater exploration of the struggles of Clark Kent/Kal-El. Henry Cavill certainly looks and suits the many identities he takes on.

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Going Back in iOS 7

I’ve been playing with the iOS 7 beta for the past few hours and the “Back” gesture is easily my favourite thing about iOS 7.

The translucency is nice. The buttons not looking like buttons is for the most part not even an issue when you’re actually using the thing, because, you know, there’s other ways to highlight that like colour, weight, and people still read labels. The structure and placement is also obviously similar to previous iOS versions. It does feel cramped at times for sure in the Navigation Bar. I will say the Game Center log in button is horrendous.

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For Those in Peril

There’s no way a debut has any right to be this good in nearly every respect. The visceral direction, cinematography, editing and sound design all reminded me of Shane Carruth’s ‘Upstream Color’. This has a lot more menace to it. Paul Wright takes you inside the head-space of an outsider who is suddenly even more so, coping with loss in an increasingly self-destructive way.

The surrealism of marching in a parade as Death, or igniting that red flare in the room are burned into my mind in vivid detail.

The ending. It can be looked at in many ways. To me, it’s an afterlife of sorts, where the boy enters the beast after he has lost (through death, being separated when sent to a mental home, a lost chance of love) everyone to be reunited with them, mirroring the fable we hear.

It’s the kind of emotionally rewarding, yet ambiguous ending that screams “FUCK YEAH!” I had the same reaction to ‘Take Shelter’. I absolutely adored it.

Haunting, assured filmmaking.

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A (Galaxy) Note to self

I always get a kick out of seeing how people interact with their mobile devices. I was reading this post on how users hold mobile devices, and it seems to align with what I’ve seen.

Summary of how people hold and interact with mobile phones

Later today, I saw someone using a Galaxy Note for the first time in the wild. And not just any ol’ person. It was an old person. As ageist as it sounds, watching old people interact with mobile devices is right up there when it comes to kicks.

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Simplifying the distance filter

I don’t know when it happened, but I recently noticed a change Foursquare made that totally simplified what once required thought.

I remember using an early version of the app that had an explicit distance filter. As in, if you’re searching for coffee, choose or enter a numerical value for the area you want covered. OK, it’s not THAT complex a load for your mind to handle, it was just kind of annoying to be that precise, or give the perception that you needed to be. Don’t make me think, and all that jazz.

Now I get a much more tangible distance filter. A map.

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Goodbye Posterous, Hello WordPress

Moving blogs is more painful than moving homes. Note, I did very little in the one home move I was involved in.

I really did love the simplicity of the Posterous default theme. Sadly, the writing was on the wall when Twitter acquired them. Twitter as a service is my favourite social network ever, but they’re quite the scumbags to third party developers, and I might as well blame them for the pain endured in migrating my blog over.

I tried JustMigrate and it completely fell apart. Images in posts transformed themselves into individual posts on Tumblr, everything was made public by default, random images started getting reblogged; I felt totally out of control, ultimately deleting every single post. A terrible experience.

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Double tap to like and Discoverability

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One day, a few months ago, I was watching @jymmysim use Instagram and he double-tapped a photo  to “like” it. I asked why he double-tapped instead of tapping the heart, but I can’t remember what he said. I’ve been subconsciously doing it ever since.

It’s easier, really. There’s a gigantic image, nicely filtered, so why wouldn’t you double tap it? Why would you try and pinpoint a finger towards that tiny button instead?

Today I was wandering aimlessly and I finally asked myself, how the hell did he discover it?

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SXSW Film 2013: An Unreal Dream

You know what makes a film festival special? Watching the unbelievable true story of a man wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife, spending 25 years in jail essentially coming to terms with his situation and accepting it, then finally being set free by saints that relentlessly fought for him.

OK, no, that’s a darn good story. What makes it special is the man himself, Michael Morton, walking on stage with John Raley, the attorney that worked pro bono for 7 years, and the director of this story, Al Reinert. The audience stood clapping for a good five minutes, tears flowing from basically everyone. His spirit and attitude to forgiveness during the Q&A was something to marvel. Being part of that moment, with those people, is an incredible feeling. It elevates a film to an experience, and that’s what film festivals are all about.

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