Tag Archives: iPhone 5

Bird apps for your new X-mas toys

National Geographic Birds

One of the apps I bought for my new iPhone and iPad...National Geographic Birds. There certainly are a lot of great apps out there for birders.

I’m pretty savvy around a PC, but other than that and an iPod, I haven’t been too tech heavy.  So much for that, after this Christmas.  I have my first smartphone, with a new iPhone 5.  And, my wife got me a new iPad for Christmas as well.  So I did what most people did this Christmas as soon as they got their new toys…looked for bird apps!!

OK, so maybe not everybody looks for bird apps, but there are some nice ones out there for casual or serious birders.  Even on my old iPod, I had “BirdTunes”.  I can identify pretty much anything here by sight, but I’m not too great at bird song.  Bird Tunes is a wonderful app to have in the field, as it has multiple songs for pretty much every bird you’d expect to find in North America. 

BirdTunes does have a simple photo for each species, but no real information other than songs, no identification characteristics, or no range map.  One of the first apps I got for my new toys was iBird Pro.  It’s $14.99, so not one of the cheap $0.99 apps you find on iTunes, but it’s a hefty program with a lot of content.  One thing I immediately liked about it is that it has both artwork of birds, as well as numerous photos (usually multiple photos per species). I know some birders like the artwork-type presentation in some bird guides, and others like photos, so it was nice to see an app with both.  iBird Pro also has nice range maps, “ecology” information, calls and songs, and “similar” birds.  It doesn’t have the number of calls and songs as BirdTunes, but it certainly blows BirdTunes away for other content.

One more that I bought was National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America.  I myself do like the artwork-type of presentation that’s provided in a National Geographic or Sibley’s guide, so appreciate the bird images provided with this app.  Information is pretty extensive, as they certainly cover just about any bird you’d ever encounter in North America, including the extreme rarities.  A couple of features I like about this software is that by itself without any additional add-ins, you can easily compile lists.  I’m not much of a lister, but I know what I’ve seen, so quickly went through and created my own life list, a “South Dakota” list, and a “Yard” list.  Fun.  It also has bird quizzes, which is a VERY nice addition.  My only problem…there are 10 quizzes with 10 questions each, and the quizzes are all static.  I’d love an app someday where quizzes are more dynamic and the range of questions is a lot larger.  It was still a nice addition however.

That’s what I’ve gotten so far.  I know there are  alot of other apps out there…any thoughts on the ones you like?

Apple Fans in Uproar – "Only" iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

The Apple website says it's the most amazing iPhone yet. Apple fans with incredibly high expectations said otherwise.

Apple fans were excited for today, for today was the day Apple was to announce the next iPhone, supposedly the iPhone 5.  There were stories all over the place in anticipation of the event, stories which speculated on what fabulous new features the iPhone 5 would have.  After all, a phone that also doubles as a digital camera, video camera, personal assistant, gaming device, and back scratcher (I assume there’s an app for that) isn’t enough.  That is SO 15 months ago (the last time Apple announced a new iPhone).   Apple devotees demanded a new device, something that did “more”.   I have no idea what “more” could be, or how people weren’t somehow managing to live with “only” an iPhone 4. 

So today was the day!  Websites were offering live streaming where you could watch the big Apple announcement.  Apple parties were planned!! Babies were being named iPhone 5 (well, it wouldn’t surprise me)!   The announcement came today and BOOM went the thud-heard-round-the-world.   Apple “only” announced the iPhone 4S!   There WAS no “iPhone 5″!     A travesty!   A sure sign of Apple’s impending decline!!  Steve Jobs come back, Apple NEEDS you!!  Apple stock dove, and bloggers all over the web fell all over themselves trying to outdo each other in terms of criticizing Apple’s new toy.

I’m 44.   When I was in middle school, computers were just starting to be used in school.  I remember the first time a friend got a home computer, and how cool we all thought it was.  I remember MY first computer that I bought in college, and its massive 20 MB hard drive (yes, MB).  I remember the days before cell phones, and how we somehow all survived.  I remember the days when cell phones were JUST cell phones, and how we somehow all survived.

Now, I travel for work and feel like a dinosaur, because I’m not constantly glued to my cell phone.  What are all these other people doing?  I clearly must not be as productive, since I’m not constantly banging out some text message or jabbering on the phone in front of everyone else in the boarding area at the airport.   But you know what?  That’s ONLY because I was biding my time, waiting all these years for the new, incredible, stupendous, fantabulous iPhone 5!!  THIS was going to be my chance to join the masses!  THIS was going to be my chance to have a 20-fold increase in productivity, and a 20-fold increase in my social life!!  And now it’s GONE!!  GONE!   GONE, I TELL YOU!!  And ALL because Apple ONLY announced this inferior, piece of crap iPhone 4S!!!

I too am incredibly disappointed in this joke of an announcement from Apple.  Until Apple gets their act together and gives me a phone worthy of my time, I am going to continue plugging away with my rotary phone (I know, many of you will have to look up what that is) and my Commodore 64.     After all, electronic devices seem to be advancing EVER so slowly nowadays, as today’s Apple announcement shows.   It’s pathetic, really, that consumers have to settle for such useless equipment as the iPhone 4S.   :-)

Perusin' & Musin'

Perusin' & Musin'Some random thoughts from perusin’ the web…

Warming related to clouds?  Think again…In case you haven’t followed it, climate change idiots skeptics crowed when the peer-reviewed journal “Remote Sensing” recently published a paper by Roy Spencer that Fox News (of course), Forbes (of course), and other conservative “media” outlets touted as proof that climate change was a scam.   Uh-oh, idiots skeptics.  The paper was widely panned by REAL climate change scientists, and the journal’s editor has now resigned, admitting his journal shouldn’t have published it.   I wonder if Fox or Forbes will report on THIS side of the story with the same fervor that they reported on the paper’s publication?

Photographer Fakes Nature Photos — Not a surprise that an award-winning nature photographer was caught digitally faking photos.  It’s hard not to be cynical about “nature” photography after you’ve been involved in it for a while.  It’s gotten to the point where more often than not when posting my photos for critique on nature photography websites, I’ll get comments saying I should “clone out” distracting branches or other photo elements.   You know, “distracting” things like actual habitat.   The saying “if it sounds to good to be true” can be altered to “if it looks to good to be true”, when it comes to nature photography.  There are some truly amazing “nature” photos out there.   There are also a heck of a lot of them that are either staged shots, or are digitally altered.

Divorce Rates High in Bible BeltWhat?!?!  How can this BE?!?!?  How can divorce rates be so low in the godless, liberal Northeast, and so high in the morally superior Bible belt?!!?  I like how the religious spokesmen in the article somehow take the facts and totally turn them around to come up with the conclusion that the “key to a divorce-proof marriage is strong faith”.   If there’s one thing you QUICKLY learn from “perusin” the headlines, it’s that there’s no correlation between supposed religious belief and morality.

Republicans Skipping Obama’s Speech to Congress – How nice.  Let’s not even PRETEND to have any respect for what a non-Republican has to say now.  Let’s not even PRETEND to have any respect for the office of the presidency.  The “my way or the highway” approach of the GOP, putting politics before the good of the country, is a hell of a good way to run us further into the ground.

Photo from iPhone 5 May have Surfaced! – WHO FLIPPIN’ CARES!?!?!  I wonder what percentage of television or web ads are for cell phones/electronic devices?   Am I the ONLY one who is perfectly happy with a cell phone that just makes calls?  Am I the ONLY one who couldn’t care less that a photo of the next iPhone “may have surfaced”?   Does this “story” REALLY deserve front page coverage on the Washington Post website?

Huskers Win!  Fans in a Panic!! – Such is the nature of being a Nebraska Cornhusker fan!  Nebraska beat a hopelessly outmanned UT-Chattanooga team last Saturday, 40-7, but the win has had many fans worried about how “bad” our offense looked.  I’m a scientist!  I’m a logical man!! But as a born and bred Husker, EVEN I am not immune to the dangers of Husker paranoia!  It’s not enough that we win by 33 points!  We must win every game!  We must win impressively, or we Husker fans will worry!  It’s in our blood!!!