Archive for October, 2012

Internet discovery of the decade: Slowed-down Jeff Goldblum sounds horrendously drunk.

The original is great, too.

Anil Dash:

One of the best features about the iPad Mini is if you like reading in bed: Now when you fall asleep holding it up, the device that hits your face weighs 9 ounces less.

Even better than the Scoopertino one, which is also pretty hilarious. And this was done live!

  Anatomy of a Hoax →  October 20

Someone pranked all the tech sites about the “new” Sony Nexus X. Even more remarkable: he admitted to it, and explained how and why he did it. (In Blender, no less!)

Via The Brief, yet another email newsletter I’ve jammed my inbox with. This one is about tech, and is covers a variety of content different from the usual linkblogs. (Don’t forget to subscribe to The Round Down! We only email once a weekend, and we consistently have more puns than other newsletters.)

  SNL iPhone 5 skit →  October 16

Two points: (a) I laughed out loud thrice, (b) the video is US-only. I say this was worth at least a month of subscription fees to a US VPN provider.

  The Round Down →  October 15

I might have been posting fewer links here lately because I’ve been contributing* to The Round Down, a weekly newsletter covering news, technology, gaming, stupid tweets, funny videos, and more. If you like that kind of thing but are too busy to follow Twitter and RSS feeds all week, please subscribe and give us** feedback!

* By “contribute”, I mean “hurriedly throw together a few sentences every Saturday morning before it goes out at 1pm SGT”.

** “Us” is Brandon and Dave.

Excellent longform Gawker piece on unmasking a Reddit moderator responsible for some of its more disturbing forums:

Under Reddit logic, outing Violentacrez is worse than anonymously posting creepshots of innocent women, because doing so would undermine Reddit’s role as a safe place for people to anonymously post creepshots of innocent women.

Local search in iOS 6 Maps with Launch Center Pro

October 7, 2012  |  Tags:   |  

We’ve all heard about what a disaster iOS 6 Maps is. I’ve had trouble finding some places of interest here in Singapore (condominium names are especially challenging), and every now and then an address search throws me to a neighbouring country.

I can’t do anything about the former, apart from reporting problems to Apple, but I’ve found a neat solution for the latter using Launch Center Pro ($2.99).

(Aside, if you don’t know what Launch Center Pro is: the app lets you launch apps quickly using URL schemes, which are web addresses that iOS recognises as “belonging” to certain apps. This gets really useful because URL schemes allow you to access deep functionality within apps while launching them, e.g. go to your Favorites in Tweetbot, search 1Password for a piece of text, add a new item to OmniFocus with the given text.)

Here’s how you set it up:

  • iOS 6 Maps has its own URL scheme, which Apple details here, where if you go to in your browser, it’ll open up your Maps app. You can also use maps://maps, but I don’t see that documented anywhere. Consequently, I’m going to use that in my example below because it’s somewhat ill-advised. Also because it’s shorter.
  • If you add ?q=somewhere onto the end of those URLs, it’ll launch Maps and search for ‘somewhere’.
  • To constrain map searches in iOS Maps, you can always add a comma and a specific location to your search string. Knowing this, to constrain all map searches in Launch Center to a certain location (for me, Singapore), you’d add the following custom URL scheme: maps://maps?q=[prompt],Singapore

maps custom url with q=[prompt],location

  • … where [prompt] is to get Launch Center to ask you to type in a piece of text to search for when you launch that app. After [prompt], you’d want to append a comma, then the location you want to search in.

That way, every time you use Launch Center Pro to search Maps, you’ll just have to tap the search button, it’ll open up a prompt for you, and your search will automatically be constrained to your location of choice. No more ending up in Malaysia for me!! I hope.

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(Apart from q=, there are other search parameters available, such as near= for nearby search, and ll= for when you somehow already know the latitude and longitude of what you’re searching for. More info at page 10 of the Apple reference document.)

Excellent reporting by Ars as usual on a caller offering to fix the writer’s nonexistent problem on his nonexistent Windows machine:

“Sir, you are the Windows customer and you are registered here in Windows Company so that’s why we are calling you.”

Funny and sad.

The Verge:

“We get feedback, but we don’t think the world needs another MS Paint… We want to be the antidote for 20 years of passive aggressive emails.”

Many great quotes in here. I subscribed to Evernote half a year ago despite wondering for years why I’d ever need to, and I haven’t regretted it yet. I think it might have been Libin’s Stanford eCorner talk, “No Exit Strategy for Your Life’s Work”, that convinced me this company is worth supporting.

Scoopertino does it again:

Following positive reactions to his public apology last week, Tim is doubling down on the apology strategy.

Laugh-out-loud stuff.

Also, regarding iOS 6 Maps: use Waze if you drive. Looks great, works great, and generally better at finding things than Apple Maps if you use let it search via FourSquare.