Oh noes! Now he’s caught them all!!1

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Caught them all


Domain name “legal threat” or sales letter?

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Screen Shot 2012 12 07 at 9 41 42 AM
Watch out for this fax from USNameRegistrar (dot) com! What would you think if you got a fax with the following in it:

  • Final Notice
  • Intellectual property notification
  • False descriptions and dilution of trademarks…
  • Use of a domain name in bad faith…

Why that looks like I may be in violation of someone’s intellectual property! Am I about to be sued? Oh, noes!

However, as best as I can tell, this is sales letter trying to get me to register ColoradoDisability (dot) us because my disability firm already has a similar domain registered. Anyone care to guess how much they would like to charge to sell the domain to me?

But here’s the thing: would any reasonable person think this is a sales letter on first reading? Hell no! Take a look at the letter for yourself:  usnameregistrar fax.


Stab Me In The Eye BRILLIANT Text Expander Snippet!

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Does this dialog box look familiar? The “Paste Special” dialog box in Microsoft Word. Screen Shot 2012 11 10 at 1 07 21 PM
Hate it? Yeah, we all do! So many frickin keys just to past unformatted text.

After Brett Burney‘s presentation on how to be a Text Expander ninja (videos coming soon) at the 2012 MILOfest, Scott Palmer showed me one of the most useful Text Expander snippets I ever saw. And it is also one of the easiest to set up.

Here it is:
Screen Shot 2012 11 10 at 1 12 15 PM

What does it do? It pastes whatever text you have in the clipboard as unformatted text. That’s it. However, how many times have you copied text from a website or another file and tried to paste it into Word or another program and still got formatting — even if you used cmd-shift-v!

This works! Type “ptp” and the text appears with no formatting. Three simple clicks (or select your own abbreviation). Give it a try!


Happiness and Purpose

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Larry Port is presenting on “Hacking Your Mind” at MILOfest. He mentioned a some of things I’ve written about before as well as new items. This provides a good chance to review some of the things that make us happy in our lives.

First up is Martin Seligman’s TED talk revealing the importance of meaning, engagement and having pleasure in one’s life.

Next up is Simon Sinek’s presentation on the importance of “Why” – the need to have purpose and how it inspires others.

Finally, is Teresa Amabile’s presentation on how doing one very simple thing, keeping a journal, can keep you happy.


RocketMatter Scoop: Email Integration Coming!

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At MILOfest, Larry Port revealed a new feature coming out Rocket Matter: email integration.

Instead if requiring you to forward emails to a gobblegook email address, you just file the email into a matter folder in your own email program.

Using IMAP, each email in the matter folder is automagically associated with the matter in RocketMatter.

Larry says the new email integration is rolling out to users next week.


OSX User Interface – Kickin it Like Harry Potter!

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If your desktop is like mine, you have windows on top of windows. So you do your best to have windows sticking out, just a bit so you can click on the window you want.

SS1

However, you don’t want to click the “close” button! Think about it: how many times have you clicked on a background window to switch to it and accidentally closed it, or launched a new email, or switched the view in that window — when all you wanted to do was to get to that app?

Apple, I know you have ways to get to the program…. but they suck:

  • Alt-tab is too slow unless the app is the next app in the list. And if I pass the icon, I either have to go all the way around or play finger twister with shift-alt-tab!
  • Mission Control is fine, but invoking it on a mouse is doesn’t feel right: the mouse jitters, trying to two finger tap twice, but not click is like a little game of DDR for your right hand. The three finger swipe works well, but it means moving the hands off the keyboard mouse combo.
  • Dock? Come on! I don’t want to have to try to find the icon. I just want to get to the program that’s right there (without closing it)!

And sometimes, you aren’t sure which app is sticking out beneath your active app: is that bar for Mail or Finder?

So, how about this Apple: you already allow scrolling in apps that don’t have focus, how about when the mouse is over a background window, you have that window slide out a bit, or have a little tab appear (that doesn’t close, or do anything in that app) to let you select that app? Or both:

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It would be a bit like the group photos in Harry Potter where people rearrange themselves so you can see who is in the back row. If I move over the cursor over an bottom app, it moves out from under the top app to provide a better view. If I want the app, I click the tab (or some other “white space”), that doesn’t close the app, or launch an email, or anything else, other than letting me select the app. How about it?


Social Security Application book drafted

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I’ve been working on a “how-to” book providing a walk-through of the Social Security online disability application. This was meant to be a “brief interlude” between working on the BIG Social Security Disability book which I’ve started several times, but was always a bigger project than I could satisfactorily complete. The Application book was meant to be a smaller project and chance to learn iBooks Author app.

It is now about a year later and I am finally done with the writing. The book is not done by any means. However, it is now goes on to technical editing and proof reading. Which means it is largely in other people’s’ hands for a while. This also puts me in the position of having to figure out publishing, finalizing a title, and hiring someone to design a book cover.

I am trying to break this down into segments.

  • Technical edit and cover design.
  • Final art.
  • Proofing and final edits.
  • And finally publication.

I have no idea if this is a good plan or not, since I have never done this before. However, it keeps me from being overwhelmed.

After this is done will come the conversion of the manuscript into something that will work on the much more widely used Kindle format. At present the book is heavy on screenshots. Considering Amazon’s $0.15 per megabyte “delivery charges,” under the 70% payment option, and I could easily image myself out making any money at all from this project. I could take the 35% payment with no delivery costs, but it sticks in my craw. Still, I may need to be bite the bullet and take the lower percentage to avoid the delivery fee.

Another thing that stops me in my tracks is the fear that no one may be interested in putting down cold hard cash for the book. So, I am trying to stay busy and have started a second book, which is a return to the Social Security hearing tips idea. Over the last few days, I have been working through an outline of the book. Having a skeleton in place makes me feel much more confident that I will be able to get a second book written. And, since it will not require screenshots, it will be a lot easier to distribute through a variety of channels.

photo by: holgabot*


Marvel Buddies, Assemble!

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I don’t usually do movie reviews. I tend to have quite contrarian tastes and I don’t care how good or important a film is. A cheap but entertaining movies rates higher with me than a technically perfect but heartless Oscar winner (e.g. Hugo). Plus, who really cares what I think. Still, every once in a while a movie is so big, so praised, so awesome, that I spend the big bucks to see it on the big screen and … it totally fails to impress me. And that sums up Joss Whedon’s “Avengers.”

Part of the reason I’m writing this is to memorialize my first impressions. There are a number of movies I initially found seriously flawed but ended up liking. JJ Abram’s Star Trek is one example: what the hell was with all those pipes in engineering? The Fifth Element is another movie I criticized up and down, but has become one of my favorites.

I have learned initial impression are based on your expectations and where the film could go. However, lasting opinions are based on what is actually on the screen and not what you hoped or wanted to see.

*Spoiler warning* I discuss some of the characters and scenes. It’s pretty general, but still… you have been warned.

The Avengers – What’s Bad:

  1. My biggest gripe is that the first hour and forty minutes feels like exposition – long, boring, drawn out exposition.
  2. Iron Man/Tony Stark is still the only interesting character. This is fine in an Iron Man movie; not so much in a purported ensemble piece.
  3. Scarlet Johansson was /gasp! boring. This is unforgivable!!! Remember when Scarlet wasn’t a big name and every role was different? Yeah, those days are gone. She’s now an action hero. Sadly, she isn’t even put to good use.
  4. The Hulk still doesn’t look believable. In fact I’d say he looks worse in this film. Yes, he has some good scenes and one of the best comedic moments. However, having this unbelievable CG character is still too “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
  5. The attacking army is… space bikers! /sigh. The generic silver armored look is straight out of Power Rangers (without entertainment value). Can you remember anything about the how the army looked other than “silver” and “armored?” Considering the amount of screen time devoted to the big battle, you never get any idea of what the bad guys even look like. Both the troops and their vehicles are nearly constantly blurred. It is as if the designers just didn’t care!
  6. Space turtle! See above.
  7. More space turtles! Oh for Pete’s sake. Ok, there is one space turtle: Gamera! All the others are just pale imitators.
  8. Failure to learn the lesson of the “Transformers” movies (or “Showgirls” for that matter) that spectacle does not equal entertainment.

The Avengers – What’s good:

  1. The six or so laugh lines are very funny.
  2. The scene between Loki and Tony Stark in Start Tower is the very best scene in the film.
  3. The finale (of the finale), and the comedic denouement with the Hulk, is thrilling and fun. “The Avengers” is one of the few movies that actually gets better toward the end. Many movies start with an intriguing first act and dissolve into a clichéd ending. While the big battle in Avengers is a given, the movie starts to work in the final 10 minutes or so. And the movie ends on a high note. I have to give it credit for ending very well and enjoyably.
  4. Shawarma sales will get a nice bump — stay to the very end.

Overall, there are some very enjoyable minutes in the Avengers. If you spliced them together, you would have a totally kick-ass trailer. Unfortunately, they are stuck in an overly long movie.

One final thing, early in the film when Peper is leaving with Agent Coulson, she delivers a throw away line asking about seeing a chalice. Anyone know what that was about?


In memory of Finis Price

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Image via Nicole Black: http://legal-ipad.com/post/18011665087/finis-price-he-will-be-missed

I just learned that one of my legal colleagues, serious Mac fan, and tech presenter, Finis Price died in February. I’ve been out of the loop so I missed it when the news came out. Finis was a personal injury attorney in Kentucky, a very gregarious and über exuberant person who was often the center of attention. I only met him a few times through the Maclaw conferences, but once you met Finis, you couldn’t forget him. Finis was always eager to share his knowledge and his passions: from the coolest iPad app for lawyers, to the latest X-men movie, to his correspondence and great love for author Douglas Adams. If you were ever in the same room with him, even if it was a massive auditorium, you would likely hear his voice ringing out in laughter at some point. Although we only met on a few occasions, here’s to you buddy!

Finis and his wife, Heather, poured all their resources into their business, TechnoEsq. As a result he left little in the way of savings.
The Kentucky Justice Association has set up a restricted fund to accept donations, and all proceeds will go to his wife. If you would like to contribute, please send your contributions (be sure to note “Finis Price” in the memo line) to Kentucky Justice Association, 10602 Timberwood Cir # 8, Louisville, KY 40223-5367.


I made Neatorama (and didn’t even know it)!

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It just goes to show that it pays to waste time on vanity searches. I just found my Dalek made up of words (using the WordFoto app) on Neatorama.

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How cool is that!