Monday, December 20, 2010

How to fix your Byline app (iPhone)

Saturday, I noticed that my favorite RSS reader Byline had an updated version available. When I installed it, it froze and crashed. Opened it again. Crash. Again, crash.

I figured out a workaround:

1) Delete the app from your iPhone

2) Connect your iPhone to iTunes on your computer, and install the old version.

3) Before opening Byline, update the app on the iphone through the app store, then open it, enter your google info and enjoy.

This worked for me. I hope this helps until it gets fixed.

UPDATE Phantom Fish has updated Byline. Its available now in the app store:

Monday, October 18, 2010

What are we looking for?

On the way from the garage to the office, I passed at least a dozen people with their faces buried in their phones. These weren't just hipsters either, they spanned different races, and classes from workmen to professionals. It got me curious. What was everyone doing? Are they actually getting work done? Or just satisfying a craving to check something?

I like to think that everyone is checking to see if they got that new job they applied for. They keep checking during their commute, as if they will receive the job offer, and not have to go in that day.

Surely, everybody isn't getting things done. In my office, staff members don't all carry smartphones. So for those that do, I have to assume that there is a delay between sending a message and getting the reply.

Assuming this delay is greater than zero what amount of our workday is lost to the waiting?

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 ads promise to help us get in and out of our phones faster, but they also promise Xbox live gaming, so they have to assume people have time to kill in their phone world.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sam Has Died

Sam, our beloved English Setter, died Thursday night, March 4, 2010. He was fifteen years, six months old. He died after a massive tumor in his spleen bled into his abdomen. Its shocking how the mundane details of a life shift when the things that are become the things that were, and a dog you saw a hundred times a day is gone forever.
Sam came to me as a puppy in the fall of 1994. I was shopping with my mother for my sister's first visit home after starting college. We stopped in the pet store for food or treats for one of her cats when I noticed a gangly dog totally transfixed with the balloon I was holding. I pointed him out to my mom and we shared a laugh at how funny he was. Two weeks later, my sister was there with our mom, and our mom shared the story of the balloon and the dog.
When I arrived home for Thanksgiving, I was greeted at the door and told that I: 1) was getting a gift, and 2) had to leave with it. I went into the bedroom, and there was Sam, crazed, and not housebroken.
Sam came back to DC with me and lived in my apartment at 329 E St. As a puppy, he would climb up on me, fall asleep, and pee on me. He used to stand up on his back legs and watch out the window for me to come home.
Sam was not always exactly good. But when he was bad, he was often so comical that you could not stay mad at him.
The bread incident
My roommate Maura and I had just returned from the grocery store when the wood guy arrived to drop off some firewood. As we were dealing with the wood delivery, Sam removed every bread product from the grocery bags, ate what he could, and hid the rest in spots around the apartment, including in the couch cushions, in the fireplace, and under my pillow. Under questioning, "Did you put bread in the bed?" Sam always caved, and barked back in defiance even as he slunk away. And if you were not around to catch him misbehaving, he would summon you. Like the time I was taking a shower, and heard a strange sloppy bark coming from the living room. When I got there, I found him with his face buried in a pan of macaroni and cheese. Needless to say, E Street was not the cleanest place I've lived, but Sam loved it as his home.

A city dog most of his life, Sam spent 13 years on Capitol Hill. With no yard, Sam adopted the Marion Park as his playground. He loved his park time, but didn't interact much with the other dogs, he mostly just ambled around smelling everything. He would stand up there too, searching the hedges where people left tennis balls. When we moved to Independence Ave, Sam enjoyed roaming from floor to floor, finding his next spot to nap. My brother, working from home, found himself in the position of 'Sam's butler', referring to Sam's frequent requests to be let in or out. When we moved into Jenn's C Street apartment, Sam for the first time was living with a cat. But both he and Mushka were getting older, and seemed to be calmed by the presence of the other when Jenn and I were not home. Moving into our first house, Sam and Mushka found their own spaces, but were still able to share the best spot in the house, the bed.
Sam loved getting in the car and getting out much more than he enjoyed going anywhere, but that didn't stop him from traveling. One of his big trips was to the Outer Banks, when he got to see the ocean, but was more concerned with the little birds that ran around in the surf. Wherever he went, he got so excited when he was back on Capitol Hill, it was like he knew he was home.
Sam's second life began in 1999, when we started taking him camping. At first, I tried to keep him tied up or on a leash, but over time, Sam started having adventures off his leash. His routine was the always the same. He would get up at the crack of dawn, and once out of the tent, he would take off. When he would came back hours later, he was exhausted, covered in mud, and would lay around for the rest of the weekend.

He had a knack for finding the water, and when he was done in the water, he would roll around in the dirt to dry off. With his feathering, the dirt gave him a wild look, like he had never been indoors. He knew what it meant when the camping gear came out, and he would sit at the door so so as to not be left behind.

His favorite destination was the campground at Stokesville, Virginia, where we went to ride in the Shenandoah Mountain 100 Race, and the local Mountain Bike club's fundraising festival. The campground pavilion's kitchen trash area provided an irresistible temptation, and on our last trip, he came back to our camp site with a head covered in tomato sauce. Going twice a year for ten years, Stokesville became a second home for Sam, to the point that we could leave him at camp to go on a ride, and he would be waiting for us when we returned. After a rainy trip in 2000, Sam recognized that whenever you were camping and the weather turned, there was a Jeep Wrangler nearby to take shelter in. Memorial Day 2009 was our last camping trip with Sam, when we announced that Jenn and I were expecting.

Death came twice for Sam. The first time was in the summer of 2005, when he was diagnosed with a Mast Cell tumor. He had a successful surgery, and recovered fully that fall. I was glad to have him back, but I was always fearful that his cancer would return, and I think that fear made me reluctant to take him to the vet this fall when he started losing weight. As recently as February, he was still excited to see friends come to the house to visit.

My sister said of Sam, "He loved everybody, and everybody loved him."