Tag Archives: app

The AntiSocial Network

Scientific American reports the best use of technology since the TV Remote. Image

The Cloak app, for example, collects location info from Instagram and Foursquare to let you know where your so-called “friends” are—so tat you never have to see them. It scans their most recent check-ins, and plots those locations on a map. It can even alert you when the guy you owe twenty bucks to is nearby.

Cloak developers Brian Moore and Chris Baker say they came up with the idea after too many chance encounters with ex-girlfriends. They plan to expand Cloak to interface with other apps, including Facebook. And they insist their feelings won’t be hurt if they suddenly stop bumping into their Cloak-using friends.

—Larry Greenemeier, Mar 28, 2014


Your Checklist to see if you might benefit from the Cloak App:

  • Do you retreat from others in anticipation of rejection?
  • Are you preoccupied with being rejected or criticized in social situations?
  • Do you fear embarrassment when participating in new activities?
  • Do you have poor self-image or feelings of social ineptitude?
  • Do others think you are self-involved and unfriendly?
  • Do you Create elaborate fantasy lives in your head?

If you agree with two or more of the above, you may be ready to hide away from friends and relations!

Just Click the App Icon and start avoiding today.Image


Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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A Book and an App


Bring just one pencil

The Book

I’m enjoying a new (to me) book over the holiday break: The Mysterious Benedict Society, about several children- but one in particular – who are recruited by the odd, reclusive, Mr. Benedict. Their recruitment, itself, is a bit of an adventure. Each responded to this strange add appearing in the newspaper.

There are tests within tests to separate the wheat from the chaff. A test that’s a puzzle, a maze, tests of resourcefulness and honesty. And, when all that is over, the real work is just begun.

I originally bought this book for my son, who read a few pages and then decided that there wasn’t enough action in it and set it aside. But, seriously,  buying for Harry is just cover for me to get whatever I want regardless of the age of the target audience, so I wanted to read it from the start.

I’ve heard of people doing book clubs specializing in just children’s books and it’s no wonder. The youth – young adult book market has exploded over the past decade or more as every author vies to be the next JK Rowling. Sure, it’s put a lot of crap into circulation, but there are also a lot of extraordinarily creative authors getting published who may not have seemed worth the risk fifteen years ago.

I’ve only just started the Benedict Society this weekend, so I can hardly give a fair review, but as far as I’ve read, I’m enraptured and can’t help but to want to spend my days lying in front of the fire reading.

The App


Big Trak

The app I found today is called ‘Cargo Bot.’ It’s a puzzle game that introduces kids to programming algorithms in a way that they can immediately see working and grasp the concepts. I recommend it for any child (or even adult) interested in learning how computers think. It’s a little reminiscent of the late 70s programmable tank toy, Big Trak, except this app is actually fun for more than two minutes.

Imagine all the fun you can have delivering apples to your dad with your own Big Trak and transported (sold separately)! I thought this thing was the bee’s knees back then, but didn’t ever get my hands on one( it sold for a whopping $43) until much later when my friend Kevin and I were talking and he mentioned that he still had one.

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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Have I mentioned that I’m cheap?

Either this is a really great app, or it is a really well-produced trailer. $2.99 is on the high side of price for an app that I have no idea if I’d actually like, but check this out. And if you do download it, let me know how it is to play. Does it have the same great soundtrack as the trailer?

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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Stack Overflow hates me

ImageI tend to ask a lot of questions that stack overflow considers useless. I understand the format of the site – it’s a place where people can ask questions that can be answered accurately and with references. An easy way to get your question flagged is to ask for a recommendation for something – a question that can only be answered by opinion and therefore does not have a discrete, ‘provable’ answer.

However, I still want my questions answered. I really do need help and I’m not sure where else to turn to get it (to reach such a well experienced audience).

What I am dealing with is:

ImageI have a small C++ program that I have developed in Xcode. Things are pretty close to working, but I would like to take my program and wrap it in a more attractive user  interface. Somehow, I thought I was just needing to learn some more C++. I thought that was all in ‘book 2’ or something. But I am getting the impression that I need another program and I have no idea where to start.

(The layers of programming are amazingly deep)

So, please write if anyone out there knows of

#1 a good program to do this with -or- a way to approach it by linking my C++ programs in XCode to an objective-C interface (blahblah, these are words I can repeat, but I don’t understand how to do it)  

#2 know a website / book / youtube channel that embodies a walkthrough approach to doing this

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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KC Mobile App Developers Group

I went to this meetup last night in Kansas City where I met some nice people and heard some other app developers discuss their businesses. There were talks on raising Ad revenue within apps, about app development strategies (whether to construct native, hybrid or web-based apps) and one company’s success (in-progress) story.

Regarding the last, if any of you are teachers, the app they make is called myHomework. It works in connection with a web-based site called The idea is that teachers can create their course packets including everything from a syllabus/schedule, assignments, readings, etc. and tailor the interface with their students to their needs. Then students buy the apps (available on a number of platforms) and can access this material. One advantage of this app is that it allows students to keep up with (and even get reminders for) homework and project due dates as they are assigned – so even a student who is home sick will get the homework immediately.

Their hope is to replace utilities like Blackboard, that are designed in a much more cumbersome manner. I have talked to the founder after the presentation and he has sent me an invite into the system, so I hope to be able to provide a much better review of the apps once I have tried them out myself.


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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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A hot day for it

No surprise, the forecast for today is exactly the same as it’s been for the past several weeks: 103F and full sun. Great day for a ballgame. Today, my son and I are driving up to Topeka to meet my cousins (whom I guess we haven’t seen for several years not) at a baseball game. Our cousin Grant is playing ball with a great plains league this week and we’re looking forward to seeing him play. All the news is that he’s a great player with a bright future.

I admit that I’m not eager to sit out in the sun, but it’s worth it to see family. We would have liked to have them visit, but we’re off on a trip to Germany tomorrow, so it just couldn’t work out without fraying some nerves.

Hope you all had a good fourth of July holiday (if that’s your thing). I may not be posting that much over the next week – but it’s not because I’ve forgotten about it.  I’m still thinking hard about getting mastermind into XCode. And I’ve also thought about how I should be getting our ‘Pushing Twain’ App resubmitted to Apple as well.

I guess I’m still wallowing in some self-pity about how hard it has been to get the Push-Quote series completed properly. A lot of work went into that and we have only one App in the store, it’s a bit buggy and in need of an update. How do you guys handle professional rejection? Better than me, I hope.

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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Mastermind – from JS to something useful

So, I admit, I don’t really know what use javascript is. I’ve been studying it at codecademy for a couple of weeks now and used it to put together this mastermind game, but now what?

JS is the language of web applications, so I suppose that I could refine it and somehow integrate it within the website (that’s appealing) but I don’t know the first thing about how to bridge the gap between the actual programming part and the more practical application of that programming.

That is…

How do you place a JS application in your webpage?

How do you add some character and design to the basic functioning of the program (my program works as a series of alerts, no gameboard and worse yet, no visual clues as to what your previous moves and their feedback were)?

Or perhaps, what I find most important, how do I abstract the design of this program and recreate it in another language and in a structure compatible with XCode?


I find XCode to be a terribly daunting thing. On the surface, I see the wonder of being able to create and direct actions in a WYSIWYG manner, but then there are all the windows with code on them. How do they all tie together?

This is the kind of hand-holding that I really need to make the transition from having a slight understanding of code and how it works to actually making it work. A prior example of this is Python. Nowadays, the coding language of Python is presumably built in to Apple’s OS. I’ve been told that you can just write code in a text window and use it – I’m afraid that’s only a tantalizing piece of information to me – I should be able to use it – it’s easy! But I haven’t the foggiest notion of where to start! And I mean, really start.

Another example of my confusion could easily have been Javascript. I would happily work along the codecademy exercises, but have no idea whatsoever about where I could practice or ever use this. Luckily, the good people at codecademy foresaw this as a problem and have provided a web-based solution in the form of codecademyLabs – a practice place where one can create and run programs. This was the only way I could ever have taken on the Mastermind challenge.

Now XCode is a similar problem. At least I can see where to program (kind of), but now I am boggled by the volume of files and windows.


My goal at this point is to take what I’ve made and use it to demonstrate how one navigates the app submission process with Apple. I apologize, but this might take a while.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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