Tuesday, October 29, 2013

iMenurkey app for Thanksgivukkah: Available NOW on the iTunes App Store

Wahoo! Our app for "Thanksgivukkah" (the mashup holiday of American Thanksgiving and Hanukkah -- one of the only times ever that these two holidays have begun on the same day) is on the iTunes App Store. Check us out here at http://imenurkey.mikejutan.com/

iMenurkey Logo
My buddy Matthew and I joined forces again and re-created our App from a few years ago (iMenorah) based on a design developed in collaboration with 9-year-old Asher Weintraub from NYC -- the genius behind the incredibly successful Kickstarter project, The Menurkey.

We are proud to announce the iMenurkey for all of your Thanksgivukkah celebration needs. Available now! http://imenurkey.mikejutan.com/

Take part in the ancient tradition of lighting the Menorah as well as celebrating this once in a lifetime event!

Gobble Gobble!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Introducing iMenurkey

iMenurkey Logo

Introducing, the iMenurkey! A new Chanukah/Thanksgiving mash-up app from Matthew Parrott and Me.

2013 is one of the first years ever when Chanukah and American Thanksgiving collide, creating a mash-up holiday called Thanksgivukkah. We've teamed up with the people behind the Kickstarter Menurkey project to make iMenurkey.

It's not quite live on the iTunes App Store but it will be up there very soon. For now, check out the info here, and I'll post soon when it goes live.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

San Francisco becomes Gotham City on Nov 15th

San Francisco becomes Gotham City on Nov 15th as we help young Miles achieve his Make-A-Wish and become Batman for the day. :) I will be a part of the action, and I can't wait. I'll post times and details here soon... when and where you can come, gather, and watch some epic crime-fighting in action!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

New OLPC page on mikejutan.com

As the OLPC-SF Summit gets closer, I wanted to make a webpage that talks about what I'm working on now and links back to the OLPC and XOFilmmaker posts on my blog.

Check it out here!

Good times :)

XOFilmmaker: Poster for the OLPC-SF Summit

Life has been busy lately and I haven't had a ton of time to devote to coding for my XOFilmmaker app for OLPC, but I did make some progress after getting back from Canada a few weeks ago, so that was pretty sweet.

Next week is the OLPC-SF Summit, and so I've made a poster submission for the conference to drum up some interest in my project from my fellow attendees, and also to ask around for some technical help. It'll be nice to talk to a bunch of smart people who will be able to offer some great advice, and also I hope some folks from lots of different countries around the world where I might be able to send this software to once it's complete :)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Successful adventures in TV Cable cord cutting

One thing that seems to span cultures (at least throughout North America) is a genuine hate for cable companies. I think it's likely because we lack the general patience of yesteryear and also debugging things over the phone for those poor bastards on the other end of the line is next-to-impossible. Also, it's particularly frustrating when someone gives you the classic IT Crowd line, "Have you tried... turning it on and off again?" when you have a degree in Computer Science and you can tell that they have sent some sort of signal to your DOCSIS 3.0 modem that is overriding the router's internal default settings and you just want them to fix it. (Yep, that's why I was on the phone for 1.5 hrs on July 4th in Texas). But whatever your reason is for hating cable, I figure it's worth it if you are happy with the service you are getting.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Now, in my case, I use my internet like a crazy person but the TV... not so much. In fact, I've refused many epic offers of bundling and so on which will include many many epic NFL, NBA, NHL and other sports channels I am not nearly cool or jocky (or beer-fueled) enough to ever watch.

Yes, I've been in San Francisco for long enough to become a snob connoisseur of something... and that, my friends, is quality programming.

I've been treated oh-too-well with the likes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, TV shows like Breaking Bad (OMG THE FINALE WAS AMAZING), classics like Duck Soup and - well - anything the Coen Brothers have or will ever make. Netflix has gotten increasingly awesome over the past few years, and any binge-TV watching I am keen to binge on while recovering from the flu (just crushed the entire series of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is at my fingertips. All other epic movies of consequence (or HBO shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm that are typically hard to get without cable) I can get with my Netflix Blu Ray delivery plan. And for those things that you can't wait for (yep, Breaking Bad), Amazon Instant Watch delivers the episode for $2.99 only a few hours after it airs in California -- in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound.

All of this led me to an obvious conclusion... why the hell am I still paying $25 or $30/month for basic cable? Especially when these beauties only cost $40.

RCA HDTV Antenna
I plugged this puppy in, went to tvfool.com to see where the nearest towers were and what channels I could safely expect to get, and boom! After 15 min of finding the best signal spot in my apartment, it works gloriously. I get all the basic channels in crystal-clear HD - ABC, NBC, CW, FOX, etc... basically the only things I ever watch anyway... and it costs not a penny more.

Pretty fantastic cost-cutting measure, and now I will feel more comfortable just to bank the money I save and spend it on something else, maybe upgrade my download speeds (always a possibility), or hey, maybe I'll feel more comfortable spending $4 on a new release download on Amazon Instant Watch now that I'm not shelling out cash for something I'm hardly using (and can get for free anyway).

Pretty sweet that this all worked, and it's a bit ridiculous it took me this long to switch. And hey, if the cable companies or satellite companies have something I REALLY want and I know I'll use in the future, I can always sign up again and I'm sure they'll have a sweet deal waiting for me. And if not, Netflix, Amazon Instant Watch, and just my couple of local news and main station channels will do me just fine -- plenty of excellent programming, when you want it. How quickly this world has changed in the last few years.