Philly artist creating visuals for new mobile-app game

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Yis Goodwin, better known as Nose Go in Philadelphia street-art circles, has been busy designing characters and backgrounds for a developing mobile-app game called Catball. It is currently a Kickstarter project with 18 days to go to reach its goal of $4,000 in funding. You can watch the demo video here. I’m not much of a mobile gaming guy, but I like Nose Go’s art. He got a lot of attention recently from the popular Tyson Bees food truck, which he painted in his crazy, colorful style. I met him sometime in 2007 or ‘08 while I was researching a documentary of Philadelphia graffiti. He is more gallery than street these days, and his next canvas may be your iPhone, iPad and Android (and maybe even Xbox Live and PS3).

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Tablet computers replacing waiters? Now we’re cookin’!

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Folks, we have a game-changer in the restaurant business. When the iPad first came out, one of the obvious uses envisioned was as a fancy menu or wine list. And some restaurants adopted the iPad for this, but the idea hasn’t yet caught fire. Now a relatively cheap, custom tablet has come along to basically replace the waiter entirely. Say hello to E la Carte and the “Pronto” tablet. If this thing actually works as advertised and is durable, say goodbye to the indifferent 20-somethings who have been ruining your dining-out experiences. First, let me state that I am not some anti-labor greedhead. E la carte doesn’t publicly advertise itself as a payroll cutter, but it makes sense that restaurant staffing will be trimmed. Yeah, it sucks, but think of it this way: Would you give up ATMs to rehire bank tellers? That said, how does the Pronto work? As described, you get a tablet when you are seated. You can browse the menu, see pictures of whatever is available, get nutrition information for each dish, and whatever else they can offer in terms of information (food allergies, restaurant history, neighborhood descriptions, etc.). You place your order on the tablet and customize your dishes in any way that the restaurant allows. The tablet beams the info to the kitchen, and you are told how long it will take to get served. Yes, people will still have to move food and drinks back and forth, and you can tip them (and calculate the tip on the tablet, as well as play games). When it comes time to pay the bill, you do it on the tablet. Dinner is done. It was debuted last week at restaurants in San Francisco and Boston. Applebee’s is rumored to be the first big chain client. Variations on the table-computer are in play, so expect the competition between devices to heat up. A good waiter is hard to come by. And I am happy to give them a really good tip when I am served by one. Those folks will survive because they are hard-working and have common sense. If this tablet thing doesn’t work, we can always hire the fellow in the video above.

I’m one in 18 million!

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I'm special!

“One in a million, yeah
You’re one in a million”
-Hannah Montana

Ha! When was the last time you saw a Hannah Montana lyric quoted? Hardcore is how I roll.

WordPress.com announced on Wednesday that WordPress blogs can now be optimized for iPad viewing. It also was noted that there are more than 18 million WordPress blogs, an astounding leap from the 10.5 million just one year ago. So I’m one in 18 million. Woo! Glad to have so much company. I had read that blogging was dead. Actually, it has been declared dead several times in recent years, especially with the rise of Twitter and Facebook and mobile apps providing other outlets for people to express themselves. But just like a nut with a printing press, here I am with this blog. My only reservation has been whether I should have started it on Tumblr rather than here. So the stats on WordPress’ growth are encouraging.

Now here is a video of that Android phone mascot on crack: More

Guest blog: Steve Jobs & Rupert Murdoch = Meh

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Lame

I don’t have an iPad, so I haven’t experienced The Daily, the iPad-only digital newspaper by Jobs and Murdoch that launched Wednesday. So I asked my father, who has an iPad, and was looking forward to The Daily, to offer his take on the future of journalism, so far. Take it away, Dad:

The Daily — first impressions.
Really bad. Because it isn’t designed for 3G, within 2 minutes it bombed out 3 times, no way can I download 20MB (or whatever) every morning with 3G (of course we’re talking AT&T). First issue is the orientation, switching back and forth is not good. I want “landscape” orientation, period. No need to mimic a vertically oriented newspaper, this is not a newspaper, no paper involved. Second issue is “nothing there” … on the contents page NEWS has 2 stories that looked like news, everything else looked like LOOK magazine pictorials … I find more NEWS on ANY opening page on ANY website, including the AOL homepage. I’m really disappointed. And finally I must admit that this is an abbreviated ten minute review, ten minutes because with 3G and AT&T that’s about as long as I could handle, for I’m of the Steve Jobs’ school of “if it isn’t intuitive, fast, and glitch free, then forget it”. More

One year without an iPad

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A year ago today, Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad. I don’t own one. I’ve only seen an iPad a few times. You may live and work where they are all over the place. I don’t. Maybe that’s why I have been able to avoid getting an iPad. I understand its benefits and potential. When it was unveiled, I immediately saw how it could be a great tool for college students, especially as a textbook reader (no more lugging around a 20-pound backpack). It’s great for looking at photos and playing games. I’ve read how hip restaurants are using it to show wine lists to patrons. I’ve read how the tablet computer is the final nail in the coffin for desktop computers. Apple has sold 15 million since the iPad was made available to the public last April. I just don’t need it. More