Digital Nerve Center

I have been thinking for some time just how much my iPhone is the central processor of my digital life. In some ways my real world life too. I do not carry a personal laptop. In fact, despite being in information security I rarely carry around a work laptop. I tend to just leave it at home for when I need it. My iphone even serves as my car\’s central brain for user functions. Sure Apple Maps gets a bad rap but it works well for me. Bluetooth hands free for both Siri and Phone calls. I rarely even turn on my XMRadio in my car because I just stream content from my phone to my car audio system using my TuneLink bluetooth adapter.

Using just my iPhone I do 90% of what I need. I download podcasts and audiobooks on a daily basis. I check email, twitter with Tweetbot, etc all using my phone. It was a little difficult to manage at times due to power. Even with having two Mophie Air iPhone cases. I airplay content such as my audio books to an appleTV while gives plenty of volume for whole room audio via a TV. It could be inconvenient if I needed check a message, pause playback etc when the phone was on the charger. Now enter my Pebble watch. I put in a few minutes and cleaned up what types of notifications get sent to the Pebble. Now I can actually leave my iPhone plugged in on my Kensington Night Stand, with the iHandy Alarm Clock up and still stream my content and check messages all with the iPhone as the central management point.

It just amazes me to live in the future. I grew up with the Vic20 and Commodore64 and recall when modems went from acoustic couplers to plug in modular cables. Now, I even write full blog posts using my iPad with a bluetooth keyboard. Sometimes I even edit those posts via my iPhone prior to posting. Got to love it.

Why do I enjoy the Apple device ecosystem?

I have been in the IT and information security industries for my entire professional career. As recent as seven years ago I had a multiple computers lab in my house. they even had removable hard drives so I could swap out operating system versions to keep my skills current. I had various pieces of network gear to go with it. At one point I had cable and dsl Internet connections so I could test VPN tunnels and emulate complex setups.
I have worked extensively with Microsoft, Cisco and many other products and technologies over the years.
So why, if I have the skills would I end up where I am now? The only two Microsoft based products in my house are my xbox360 and my wife’s eeepc netbook. Everything else is Apple. Even my network hardware.
The simple answer is I just want it to work. A few years ago I got my my first white iPod. It was the current model at the time. The video iPod with a hard drive inside. The experience with that device at the time that podcasting was starting began my path out of the desert of user experience. The iPod just did exactly what I needed it to do. That took me into my first iMac. Now I used macs a few times in college. But I never owned one.
I had a HP designed media center that I used with my xbox360 for a media extender. But that plus it’s replacement when he first one died was the last full pc I owned for myself. Even the second one died.
I had the knowledge and the skills to maintain cheaper windows gear. But my time and frustration levels became more valuable to me. I had enough of fighting my technology at work. At home I wanted things to just work.
Look at the current generation of apple products. With a firmware update I gained AirPlay/Home Sharing to and from my devices. I have audio zones in my house based on airport express units connected to speakers. I have a second generation apple tv hooked to the large tv in my man room. I can stream audio or video from my iPhone to my tv without missing a beat. I have done with this podcast streaming apps like the twit player. It is simply amazing compared to what it was like on my commodore 64 when I was a kid. Here I am watching Leo Laporte live from his studio on my iPad, I walk upstairs push a power button and AirPlay button and it’s suddenly on my tv. How is that not amazing? I am watching a guy clear across the country LIVE on a device that feels like a legal pad and I touch something and it’s on my tv like magic.
If I am listening to an audio book in my car, I can redirect the audio to the speakers in my kitchen while I clean dishes and keep listening to my book. I don’t lose my place and listen when, how and where I want to.
Honestly this is why the “competition” for Apple cannot catch up. They are too busy worrying about what Apple is doing rather than looking at how I want to use my media and devices. That should be the target: “What is the experience the consumer/users wants? And can we make a polished stable solution?” If they can answer those two questions they might show up for the game.

iDevices and Creativity

I keep up on the trends in media production.  What I find really amazing is how things like the iPhone4 and iPad are making seriously professional grade work possible for anyone.  Even the true professionals.  I cannot imagine what it would have cost to make the “Nancy Lee” video for Vintage Trouble five to ten years ago just due to the equipment.  This was shot on an iPhone4 for the raw footage.  Then one of the iPhones was stolen and recovered due to Find my iPhone.   You can read that story on their blog post.


I know people in the entertainment industry and in the industries around it.  A lot of them really do not see that this sort of technology is shifting things back into the hands of the independent creators.  A number of people ask me about iPad, iPhone etc.  I ask one question first.  “Do you have kids?”  And if the answer is yes, then my immediate answer is “Yes get one.  Especially, if they are the least bit creative.”  I tell them it is a disservice to your kids not to introduce them to current technology like this.  It inspires their creativity and frankly it is how things are heading.


What about the argument iPad is just for consumption?  My answer to that is two fold.  First, how can you possibly understand how to create if you do not see how people are consuming the final results?  You have to understand the medium to best use it to create.  Second, seriously can you look at the video for “Nancy Lee” and others like it shot with an iPhone and sites like HandHeldHollywood and see limitations rather than possibilities?  Just look at The Cube from Teradek to see how iPad is influencing normal production sets.  I have said from the moment I first got my iPad that it would change movie production with dailies and scripts.


PS I loved Vintage Trouble’s sound so much I picked up the album , The Bomb Shelter Sessions, over on iTunes.  So yes making creative works like the video and putting it on YouTube can result in fan/customers. 



Stellar Author – Brandon Sanderson

Maybe you do not like Zombie and Horror, as I do.  Something evident in previous posts.


I was first exposed to the work of Brandon Sanderson through his Mistborn series on


He comes up with extremely interesting structures of power systems that provide the magic like component to his stories.  Always amazingly structured.  Somethings you can catch enough hints to guess what else is possible.  Only to get a flush of pride if you guessed right.


Now I am absolutely enamored with the start of another series.  The Way of Kings.  As with Mistborn he establishes a new twist on good vs evil.  One explored and tied to the unique power systems Brandon comes up with.  The other thing I love about this story is the strong sense of ethics, honor and leadership principles he puts into the story.  This gives it the real substance.


And surely if you are a Wheel of Time fan you recognize his name.  It was Brandon’s Mistborn series that landed him the honor and burden of bringing the Wheel of Time home.  With The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight you can little doubt his skill as a story teller.  


So if you want some extremely rich and detailed listening or reading for your holiday.  Check out Brandon’s Mistborn then Way of Kings stories.  You can also follow his progress over on twitter,BrandonSandrson  And don’t worry if you get hooked by Mistborn.  Brandon said in his twitter stream recently that a new story set in that world is coming out in 2011.

Undying Entertainment

We all know everyone is talking about the success of the new TV series “Walking Dead.”


But here are my favorite new media authors of the Undead.  Complete with links to their audio books over on   if you like the stories, be sure to use the donation button to give back what you feel is fair for such quality undying entertainment.


  1. Jake Bible – Dead Mech
  2. James Meltzer – The Zombie Chronicles – Escape 
  3. J.P. Moore – Toothless


I want to give a nod to Phil Rossi’s “Harvey.”  It is not quite zombie, but the story is very close in some respects.  Plus all of Phil Rossi’s work is just so darn good.  He even writes and performs his own music for his audio books.


One more author to be watching is Benjamin Rogers.  I know he is working on his audio to move his stories like “Faith & The Undead” to

An author who really gets it.

I have been a fan of for years. His horror/scifi stories are excellent entertainment. He and his team (Dark 0verlord Media) have a boundless enthusiasm for Scott’s fans.


The most recent developments in how Dark 0verlord Media puts together books, eBooks and audio books just shows a real grip on how media is moving. I think it signals a shift back in favor of the content creators as well. The ability to make such quality content then still deliver it in any format the fan could want is something Hollywood can learn from.

Terms of Service – Other Services

Just to further make my point. You can find the same “assumption of ownership” (this being my personal term for it) of your content sections in other popular sites. Remember, I am NOT a lawyer.


Interestingly the Twitter TOS adds some markup that tried to give you a sense of how they interpret what the wording of the terms means to them. I did not see that elsewhere.


Facebook actually seems to currently have the most user friendly wording. I know at one time it was really bad, but typical to Facebook a public backlash was required to humiliate them into changing it. They seem to actually say the license to them ends if you successfully delete your content from their site.


“You grant the Company and its affiliates a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and publicly display your User Content (in whole or in part) and/or to incorporate such your User Content in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.”


“…however, by submitting material to Posterous you grant Posterous the irrevocable, fully transferable rights to use, reproduce, distribute, modify, transmit, prepare derivative works of, display and produce the material in connection with Posterous and Posterous’s business, but solely in accordance with these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy. ”


“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).”


“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to yourprivacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

Terms of Service –

On a lark I decided to re-read the TOS for
You can see them here.


I am NOT a lawyer. BUT I find it funny they say “You own your User Content, not us.” and “We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Site. Your profile and the materials you upload remain yours.”


YET they say this “You grant the Company and its affiliates a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and publicly display your User Content (in whole or in part) and/or to incorporate such your User Content in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. ”


Now again, I am not a lawyer. To me that sure sounds like they are nullifying your ownership if they can do anything they want in any way in perpetuity. That sure sounds like ownership to me.


This is just a reminder. There are no free rides. Be aware of what you are uploading to sites that are “free” such as audioboo, facebook etc. Even if you pay for an account you should review the terms in case even a paid account is surrendering your rights.