Here’s to the crazy ones

Apple needs to update this ad and pay tribute to Steve.


The Icon Ambulance and Steve Job’s attention to detail

Vic Gundotra relays a memorable moment working with Steve Jobs:

“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject “Icon Ambulance”. The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.

Now that’s attention to detail.

The curious incident of the dog not barking

You can learn so much about attention to detail from reading Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. Scientific America has a lesson from Holmes about paying attention to what is not there:

When Inspector Gregory asks, “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Holmes responds, “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” But, protests the inspector, “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” To which Holmes delivers the punch line: “That was the curious incident.”

For Holmes, the absence of barking is the turning point of the case: the dog must have known the intruder. Otherwise, he would have made a fuss.

Khan Academy videos being integrated into digital textbooks

From Mashable:

The 12-minute video lectures that Bill Gates has called “the start of a revolution” will now be linked with the material in some digital textbooks. Etextbook maker Kno announced Monday that it will integrate thousands of tutorial videos from Khan Academy into its books.

The concept is pretty great. Textbooks don’t just need to be made digital in text form, but rather they need to come to life. The ability to integrate lecture videos and other multimedia content should really help push digital textbooks over the top and start to break up the hegemony that the traditional textbook companies have over the textbook market.

Episode 10: Angry Avians (using the iPad for work)

We discuss how we use our iPads for work and how tablets can make us more productive.

Safari on the iPad would almost be worth the price of admission alone. It’s a really great app. So are Mail and iCal. We don’t discuss this built in apps, however, and instead focus on some of the really strong third-party apps that help us be more productive.

Here are some of the applications we talk about:

  • Omnioutliner — A great outlining program, especially helpful in meetings.
  • Omnifocus — A GTD, task management program. Built for David Allen’s system. Very handy for staying on top of multiple projects at once.
  • Reeder — The best RSS program around, complete with great social media and Instapaper integration.
  • Instapaper — If you love to read and reading is an important part of your job, you need Instapaper ASAP.
  • Twitterific — Our favorite Twitter app.
  • Kindle/iBooks — Great for reading books, papers and reports.
  • TripIt — Your travel companion.
  • Pages — Word processing on the go. Not bad for taking notes in meetings either.
  • Numbers — Spreadsheets on the go, also helpful for being able to view spreadsheets in meetings.
  • Keynote — Presentations on the go.
  • WordPress — Post to WordPress blogs, such as this site. Works better than logging in through the Web.

Listen to this week’s show:

How do you use your iPad for work?

We’re doing our next show on how we use our iPads for work, which apps we have and how our iPads are set up.

We’d love to hear from you too. What are your top five most used apps? How does or doesn’t the iPad enhance your productivity? What kinds of apps and features would you like to see?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below or send me a message on twitter @pwthornton.

Cell phone charging kiosks can be unsafe and steal your data

“We’d been talking about how dangerous these charging stations could be. Most smartphones are configured to just connect and dump off data,” Markus said. “Anyone who had an inclination to could put a system inside of one of these kiosks that when someone connects their phone can suck down all of the photos and data, or write malware to the device.”

Brian Krebs outlines the security risk of using cellphone recharging kiosks. Smartphones have so much data on them, much of it personal. If you have to use a charging kiosk, powering it off first may be the safest route.

This is yet another reason that I consider battery life such an important factor in a smartphone.