Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ottawhat #36 - Lou Lee

Monday, January 26, 2015

Future Chat #46 - What About Duck Hunt?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Listening Party Volume 5 - *NEW* Fall Out Boy

I've been a big fan of Fall Out Boy for quite some time now, and I really don't think they've had much (if any) drop in quality from their old, popular stuff, like Sugar, We're Going Down, and even earlier albums. Listening to this album makes me feel like a teenager again, but the band is growing up along with me.

American Beauty/American Psycho - Listen on Google Play
Find it on iTunes

Monday, January 19, 2015

Future Chat #45 - Rogers Whispered Sweet Nothings

This week on +Future Chat, we disprove more pseudoscience, riff a little on Rogers in the wake of my Future Rant last week, and discuss how we approach proving your identity online.
#45 - Rogers Whispered Sweet Nothings Subscribe via RSS, on iTunes, or on Stitcher Radio to check it out.

Ottawhat #35 - Marco Ferraris

Check out this week's episode of the Ottawhat? podcast. New every Thursday!
This week on Ottawhat, we sat down with Marco Ferraris, a musician and geography student, who is also a sommelier in training.
Ottawhat #35 - Marco Ferraris

Feedback #2 - Songwriting

Feedback #2 - Songwriting
Feedback is a monthly music podcast on Unwind Media with local musicians Damien and BL from Sons of Pluto. In this month's episode, we discussed the song-writing process, and talk about some of the best and worst things about coming up with new music.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feedback #2 Preview - Take Me To Church

Damien and BL of Sons of Pluto performed a great cover of Take Me To Church for this month's Feedback.

Episode 2 of Feedback is coming this Friday, January 14. Feedback is a monthly music podcast on Unwind Media with local musicians Damien and BL. In this month's episode, we discussed the song-writing process, and talk about some of the best and worst things about coming up with new music. Stay tuned to on Friday for the show!
Feedback - Unwind Media

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The iPhone and Battery Life

Discussion about iPhone and iPad battery life has been swirling about the tech world of late. Specifically, the idea that many Apple products are made in service to an "ideal" battery life has come up in many of the circles I follow. Jason Snell wrote a very nice piece showing how Apple "solves" for battery life in their products based on thinness and size, but I'd like to take that a little bit further.

I read all kinds of tech news throughout my week, and most weekends talk about technology and the science behind it on +Future Chat. I also listen to hours of podcasts on subjects such as these. I hear grumblings about the iPhone and how its battery doesn't last all day.

There are MANY people who say that they wish they had a phone battery that lasted more than a day, or that they are heavy users and find that their batteries get them to the afternoon, but generally not much longer.

The fact is, humans are creatures of habit. We have gotten used to plugging our phones in every single day. If you had an iPhone with twice the battery, and only needed to charge it every other day, I can guarantee that more people would have their phones run out of battery than that happens to now. The only people this wouldn't happen to are people who would just continue to charge their phones every night regardless of its battery level at the end of the day (much like most laptop users, although that MacBook battery life on Yosemite is craaaazy). 

Basically, the use case for a battery that lasts two days is a person who uses a larger amount of battery than average, and so they use a typical "two day" amount of power in just one day. We call these people "power users", and Apple themselves typically haven't served them directly by giving their phones or laptops larger batteries. What Apple does do, though, is pick and choose what they think are the best solutions for those power users, and stock them in Apple stores. Examples I've used (as I like to think of myself as something of a power user) include the Mophie Juice Packs and the Mophie Powerstations. These are basically cases and power bricks that let you extend the use of your phone beyond a normal day of use, and they are wonderful!

I love the way my phone looks without a case, but when my battery gets low, I love being able to either stick it into a case or plug it in on the go, and I immediately don't have to worry about my battery dying. For the extra $80-100, it's a no-brainer to carry a case or battery pack around with you, along with Lightning and micro-USB cables (I have a wireless headphone fetish, some would say).

Now, recently Apple released the iPhone 6 Plus. As Jason mentions in his post, this phone breaks the Apple mould, giving users a significant jump in battery, something closer to a tablet in usage than a phone. In effect, this release tells me that Apple hears that some power users have made enough noise that Apple is giving them an option to have a larger battery, as thus use their phones more.

If you're worried about battery life in your iPhone, or other mobile device because it doesn't last days or weeks, you might be waiting a long time. Battery improvements come incrementally, and something tells me even if we do get the 10x battery power increase many stories promise for the eventual future, all we'll get is a device with a 10x smaller battery. And that's just fine with me!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Future Chat #44 - Not Sorry for Party Rocking

This week on +Future Chat, we discuss the coolest futuristic stuff we saw during CES, and what new science programming we're most looking forward to this year.
#44 - Not Sorry for Party Rocking Subscribe via RSS, on iTunes, or on Stitcher Radio to check it out.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ottawhat #34 - Jeff Salvail

Check out this week's episode of the Ottawhat? podcast. New every Thursday!
In this episode, we sat down with Jeff Salvail, a physicist who has worked with quantum based technology and who also has a love for lasers.
Ottawhat #34 - Jeff Salvail

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015: A Year in Preview (The Power of a Like)

I fully intend to get around to writing some thoughts I had about the year that was 2014, but today is not the day for that.

Today, I am going to share some of my feelings about the world's entertainment landscape, discuss how the rise of the internet and the last 5-10 years of pop culture are changing our behaviours, and how we entertain ourselves in today's media-centred universe.
North American culture is becoming a veritable minefield of television, movies, books, radio, music, podcasts, comedy specials, video games, board games, vlogs, etc. that there is simply no way for the average person to consume more than a tiny percentage of what they might find interesting or engaging.

On the very outer fringes of this maelstrom of huge media conglomerates, independent publishing groups, and self-employed journalists and bloggers is me. In the last year or two, I have taken an extreme interest in working in media. Since I'm still in debt from the first degree I took (in Chemistry), I've elected to approach this in a completely self-started way.

They say that the mark of self-improvement is that you will look back at some of the work you did in the past, and you will cringe because it is just so bad. By that measure, I have come a VERY long way in the last year.

I am writing to you specifically, the people I know in real life, and the people who read this, because I need you the most to get where I would eventually like to end up. I tend to imagine that most people who read what I put here are friends and family, but stats tell me that at least half of my audience is in the US, which I think is awesome, as well as interesting.

I don't really BEG for likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, or +'s on Google+ when I post things, but getting those from you really is the best way for you to help me get what I do more widely seen.

I'm sure it happens that a LOT of people who follow me don't particularly care about all or any of what I'm working on. However, it would and does mean a great deal to me when people like or share what I put online, because it helps others see that stuff.

If you HAVE seen something I've worked on in the past and maybe weren't impressed by the quality, or didn't have a good time listening/watching, I would like to take this chance to suggest you give me another shot. I've put a lot of effort into bettering what I do, and I am really proud of what I've been putting out lately, with my friends and colleagues. We also have some new shows you can find on, which I've been really excited about.
It only takes a second to like or retweet something you see, but it means a whole lot to me and my work that you're helping expose it to a larger audience.

Lastly, if you have a minute or two today or when you're reading this, I would love to hear what you think about what I've been working on for almost the last year. I've set up a VERY short survey at, which you can also fill out by going to It will help me find out what people like and dislike about the things I'm putting online, so I can be informed about where my energy is best invested.

Future Chat #43 - An Epidemic of Bear Flu

This week on +Future Chat, we discuss how close 2015 brought us to Back to the Future, whether cancer is caused by bad luck or genetics, and if we can trust a new Microsoft web browser.
Future Chat #43 - An Epidemic of Bear Flu Subscribe via RSS, on iTunes, or on Stitcher Radio to check it out.

Ottawhat #33 - Kate Morin

Check out this week's episode of the Ottawhat? podcast. New every Thursday!
This week, we sat down with Kate Morin, a music therapist who grew up in Ottawa and now lives in Halifax.
Ottawhat #33 - Kate Morin

East Meets West #2 - The Blob of Parties

This week on East Meets West, we discuss the relative merits of various blender technologies, and learn a little bit about the history of provincial government in Alberta.
East Meets West #2 - The Blob of Parties