May 28, 2015


via Marco:

Apple chose not to offer such a device. Instead, today’s iPhone lineup requires that you choose:

  • iPhone 6 Plus: The only choice for great battery life, and the best camera, but huge pocket size
  • iPhone 6: Neither great battery life nor great one-handed use nor ideal pocket sizei
  • Phone 5S: The only choice for great one-handed use and pocket size, but older hardware and mediocre battery life

I wish we didn’t need to make this choice. But given the options we have, I can see why so many of us are choosing the 6 Plus.

I would have agreed with this when it was time to purchase an iPhone last year but now I think that that the iPhone 6 is the perfect smartphone. Some days, I might wish it were smaller but the tradeoff of better readability and viewing while it’s docked in my car (most often with Apple Maps running).

My personal opinion….Strictly personal is the 6 Plus is for people who don’t have an iPad and the 5S is for people looking for the cheapest ‘current’ iPhone. iPhone 6 is the best all around phone. Yes, the screen feels huge for us who were iPhone 1 owners but it has the latest CPU, camera, battery and screen. It’s a no-brainer for someone who is ready to upgrade.

May 27, 2015

Comments Off on Linked: “You Should Use DuckDuckGo”

via Casey Liss:

Yes, sometimes that has problems.

No, the search results aren’t always as good.

Yes, I sometimes fall back to Google.

Yes, I still think it’s worth it.

Agreed. DDG is my default search engine on all of devices. Once per day, results are just not great and I switch over to Google. It mostly gets the job done. Plus, since most of my searches now are European focused, the results are sometimes better with DDG. Companies and People that are Europe based have a higher page rank than a USA person or company. Same for beers for which I search often for various beers.

May 26, 2015

Comments Off on Linked: “Apple Watch and durability”

via iMore:

So just how tough is DLC? The best way to put it is that the watch industry is a second or third tier user of DLC coatings. The vast majority of research and application of DLCs goes into highly engineered components that depend on DLC’s hardness, friction reduction, corrosion resistance, and tribology advantages. (That’s the study of how one material interacts with another during contact and sliding.) You’ll find DLC coatings on shock absorbers and engine pistons in F1 cars, across the leading edges of fan blades in jet engines, coating critical medical implants, and the cutting tools inside the CNC mills and lathes that made the Apple Watch itself. (DLC extends cutter tool life, improves cut quality and allows for dramatic feed/speed increases.)

I was trying to find a break down of Apple Watch Materials and unfortunately, there’s not a ton of information out there from Apple directly. iMore did have a great break down of various materials and it seems Space Black Stainless Steel is the watch to get if you want the hardest and most scratch resistant use of materials. 

May 21, 2015

Comments Off on Technology: Hello Apple Watch

Apple Watch Unboxing 2015 Space Black 42MM with Space Black Link

Apple Watch Unboxing 2015 Space Black 42MM with Space Black Link

Apple Watch Unboxing 2015 Space Black 42MM with Space Black Link

More to come once I’ve become comfortable with the watch and have a few days of use. More photos as usual, over on Flickr.

May 19, 2015

Comments Off on Tech: Automatic Car Dongle version 2 Released

via Jalopnik and many other places today: also and their blog:

Today, alongside all the other 3rd party apps, Automatic now supports three of the top real-time data apps for iPhone and iPad: DashCommand, Harry’s LapTimer, and OBD Fusion. (Android support coming soon.)

To do this we had to build a 2nd generation Automatic car adapter that supports dual Bluetooth data streams: one to the Automatic mobile app and one to a third-party app. This allows both apps to receive data from the adapter simultaneously over an encrypted Bluetooth connection.

The 2nd generation adapter also features built-in GPS, Made for iPhone (MFi) certification, and an improved connector to fit better in more cars.

Without question, what we’re most excited about from this new adapter is the streaming apps available today and all the new ones coming soon. You can find the new adapter online or in these retailers.

I wrote a highly critical blog post in March most notably around a few areas, Reliability of the Adapter, Lack of new features since I bought in 2 years ago and overall bugginess of the application or dongle.

A few things have transpired almost immediately after that post was written.

First, Automatic claims their version 2 dongle is far more reliable than the previous version. It has Bluetooth 4.0 and works not only with the Automatic iOS app but with other OBDII applications that measure car stats. The Automatic also now has built in GPS as a hardware feature so when it doesn’t connect to my iPhone at start, I won’t lose a logged trip which is a great feature when a friend borrows my car of the techs at my mechanic take it out for a joy-ride (which might happen today as I’m getting some work done).

The Automatic iOS app now also has Apple Watch support which is a minuscule feature request but a very welcome one with features such as car location and most recent trips. 

This covers most of the things I wanted. There is still the issue of my driving rating being much lower. I drove 5 miles in the last 7 days and my score is already 50/100 because I spent 1 minute going over 70MPH. I hope that gets customization in the future.

The final thing mentioned above is support for all kinds of mobile phone applications. I’ve already spent $10 on Dash Command and OBD Fusion which delivers a ton of great real-time stats on my car without needing a separate dongle. 

There are other features like low-fuel warning at a certain limit which is nice as up here in the woods, when the E sign comes on, I’m usually way further than 30 miles from a gas-station. There’s also an automatic mechanic find application that helps me get someone quickly and it notifies them of the error codes in my car before I call them. That’s not a huge draw as I have VAG-Com / VCDS for my Volkswagen that reports errors on my PC.

Finally, the redesigned web-dashboard is incredible. It has my full Automatic driving history, it’s interactive and allows exporting of my data. Very awesome!

I’ve ordered the new v2 Automatic Dongle and fully expect the promised functionalities and reliability improvements to work themselves out. When my Apple Watch arrives any-day now, I look forward to utilizing the functionality there as well. 

Great job Automatic on a 1 quarter huge turnaround. It’s going to be a great year.