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The iOS upgrade experience

Our newsroom has an iPad Mini, codenamed “iPad Mini”, for testing stuff. It’s still using the archaic and antiquated iOS 6, so let’s update it.

First we open our Settings app. Then we go to General settings, and at the top we see Software Update. Let’s click that.

So now it says iOS 7.0.2 and has a download bar. But what’s that? 5 hours? Ain’t no one got time for that.

Time for Plan B, downloading the software on our desktop computer and update the iPad using iTunes.

Open up iTunes, select the iPad. What’s it say? “A newer version of the iPad software is available (version 7.0.2). To update your iPad with the latest software, click Update.” I think that means I should click Update.

After a few dire warnings from Apple and a bunch of terms and conditions that no one ever reads, things are going smoothly. In fact, the download took less than a minute from my desktop and the update is already pretty much done.

Let’s look at what we have. First, a bunch of set up screens that you can skip:

Lastly, the new home screen with all its Jony Ives goodness:

So that’s it. Lessons learned? From start to finish it was less than 15 minutes updating our company iPad Mini to iOS 7 via our desktop computer using iTunes. For those of you worrying about the update taking so long because you were updating over 3G/4G/AOL/IPoAC, I feel sorry. Don’t do that.

Follow these easy steps and you too can relish in radioactive gradients that will cause night blindness if stared at too long.

Do you have an iOS upgrade experience you’d like to relate?

High-tech gloves connect with touch-screen gadgets

WINTER SPORTS — Bummed out because you can't operate your smartphone, iPod Touch or touch-screen GPS unit while wearing gloves?

Misery spawns invention.

Check out the video above to see how you can keep your fingers warm and still be connected with Agloves.

Saturday’s highlights

Tony Ludiker has won five national fiddle championships, played with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and trained many local musicians. Photo courtesy Tony Ludiker.

Good Monday morning, everyone. We started with snow and now I see sunshine. What's next? While we ponder that, let's take a look at Saturday's Valley Voice. Correspondent Jill Barville talked the national grand champion fiddler Tony Ludiker, a native of Spokane Valley. A fundraiser has been organized for Wednesday to raise money to help Ludiker with medical expenses for his kidney cancer after he found himself out of a job and with no health insurance.

Opportunity Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend with tours, a catered dinner, live entertainment and a special worship service. The church hasn't gone far since it began meeting in what is now the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. You still have time if you would like to attend the festivities; reservations are being accepted through Wednesday.

Reporter Nicole Hensley stopped by to check out an iPad training session for West Valley School District teachers. They discovered a wide variety of apps that can help in the classroom.

The town of Rockford is evaluating what to do next after a proposed law enforcement services levy failed at the polls this month. The town hoped to collect enought money to pay for the town's contract with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Graves Challenges Technology Ban

Item: Unplugged: Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate won't be able to use iPad during forum/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: A Coeur d'Alene City Council challenger is upset that he won't be able to use his iPad at Thursday's candidate forum, a rule he called “outdated” and one that drew a strong reaction from the political hopeful after it was brought to his attention. After further review, Adam Graves, vying for Seat 1, said he understands why the city is prohibiting personal technological devices for the question and answer session, though he still thinks his iPad shouldn't be barred.

Question: Has this flap hurt or helped Adams Graves in his bid to unseat incumbent Ron Edinger?

Lots of life in 56 years

Steve Jobs, Apple guru, was 56 when he died. Cathy and I are both 56. When people your same age die, no matter your age, it almost always brings up issues of mortality. Jobs, along with Bill gates of Microsoft, are the Thomas Edisons of our time, changing the way we communicate forever. This is the first blog post written on my new iPad. Thanks Steve Jobs for inventing it.

Does BigDeal.com really offer shoppers great penny-auction deals?

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Nick Darveau-Garneau

Nicolas Darveau-Garneau PictureEarlier this week we called Nick Darveau-Garneau, the CEO of San Francisco-based BigDeal.com.

This site is one of the increasingly popular penny-auction sites that invite consumers to hunt down good deals on electronics and household items. 

We're posting a portion of the interview with Nick, who explains how the BigDeal  auctions and bidding operate.

The pitch that caught the eye of Office Hours was the claim that real people are finding real deals on some items, such as getting a new Kindle for less than $10. 

Here's the basic way it works: A person becomes a member by spending a minimum amount to earn bidding dollars. For now, that minimum is $22.50.

The idea is to be the last person bidding, as the auction clock runs down. Each bid you make costs you 75 cents; each successful bid you make on an item pushes the item price up one cent. If the item clock is finally coming down to 30 seconds or less, each new bid, whoever makes it, pushes the clock back to 30 seconds. 

If you don't win, the amount of money you've bid can be applied to “discounted retail” price for that same item, offered by BigDeal. In other words, if you don't win it at auction, you can buy it at a discounted retail price. And BD has the item drop-shipped.

Darveau-Garneau said the auction-sale items offered come from wholesalers and discounters. 

And yes, the auction items “won” will cost the bidder whatever the item price is at the end of the auction, plus shipping.

What we like about it:

  • Things are legit, in that the listings are all backed by BigDeal. Products are not bogus or knockoffs.
  • There's a “Bid Buddy” option that lets bidders auto-bid, within time limits.
  • It's generally a good way to buy an item you really want. If you don't get the item, you can apply the bid amount as a discount against the “competitive” purchase price.

What we don't like about it:

  • It's hard to track or find a given item. Say you want a Canon G12 camera. Good luck finding BigDeal auctions for the G12 without major effort.
  • Item prices for sale for those who don't win that item are nothing special. You can nearly always beat the BigDeal price by shopping on eBay, Amazon or Buy.com, just to use three instances.

See the rest of the post below. 

  

Can you really get an iPad for $5 at those penny auction sites?

You all see those ads saying you can win an auction for an iPad for $5.

Does anyone really win something at those prices?

We'll follow up here after talking later today with Nick Darveau-Garneau, the CEO of BigDeal.com, one auction site that claims to be doing straight-up auctions for honestly low prices.  We'll be doing a Q and A that we'll record, so you can listen to the key parts, if you wish. 

And we'll post a quick summary of the points made during that interview. 

If you have any suggested questions, email them to tomATspokesman.com

Got the God app?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Can your iPad or iPhone bring you closer to God? A new application for the devices aims to help Roman Catholics who haven’t been to the confessional booth in a while keep track of their sins, one Commandment at a time.

The $1.99 “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” can’t grant forgiveness – you still need to receive the sacrament from a real, live priest like always. The app’s designers and some believers see it as a way to spur Catholics back into the habit of repenting.

“There’s a reason we designed it for these mobile devices: We want you to go to confession,” said Patrick Leinen, one of the developers and a co-founder of the company Little iApps. Over the last several decades, American Catholics have been receiving the penitential sacrament less frequently, and many of them may not know how it’s done. More here.

 Would you use this app to keep track of your sins?

Cyan Worlds will soon release Riven for iPad, iPhone and iPod

More than a dozen years after being introduced as a CD-Rom game, Cyan Worlds’ Riven will soon be back in circulation in app form, at the iTunes store.

The north Spokane company said Apple should release the new app version of Riven any day. It will be available at the iTunes store for $5.99. Like its predecessor, Myst, Riven follows as the successor in the story about a lost island, presenting players with an assortment of challenges and puzzles.

It took Cyan four years to build the first game. The iOS app took about a year, said Cyan Worlds CEO Rand Miller.Cyan Worlds President Tony Fryman said the firm is considering developing an Android version. But it would take more work than developing for iOS, he said.

“Creating the iOS version of Riven was no easy task,” he said in a release. had to lovingly and meticulously cram almost five thousand images, three hours of video and three more hours of sound and music into my iPhone. We began without knowing if we could even pull it off. I’m still amazed I can experience Riven in the palm of my hand.”

The end result is that almost every detail of the five CDs of the original Riven was condensed into one of the largest iOS apps available.

Beacon Offers Drinks By iPad

With the touch of a iPad you can now order your favorite drink at one Coeur d’Alene pub.The Beacon Pub on Sherman is testing out a new technology called the Drink Hub. The software allows customer to place their entire order on an iPad mounted at the table. “The concept is you can sit at the table and order drinks,” said the Beacon’s owner Jerry Goggin. Users can select the exact drink they want, order and pay for it all on the iPad without having to leave their seat.The information is then sent straight to another iPad used by pub staff/Annie Bishop, KXLY. More here.

Question: Would you be more or less likely to drink at the Beacon, now that you can order drinks on an iPad at your table?

Mmm…Krack Nuggets

Pee Cola. Krack Nuggets. 666 Cold Medication. Outhouse Springs bottled water?

These bad product names make the iPad moniker seem positively ingenious.