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July 2010

June 2010

Higher Education Web Symposium - July 21 & 22, 2010

I don't know about you, but I love me some good conference. And if you're interested in improving user experiences, then have I got a conference for you. My friends at Penn are throwing their third Higher Education Web Symposium on July 21st and 22nd in good old Philadelphia.

Don't let the name fool you, though. Even if you aren't a Higher Ed worker I'm sure you'll get something out of the conference if you're a developer or IT project manager. Just check out the speakers and the agenda and I'm sure you'll find something that piques your interest.


Scott Explains - This time with feeling

I mentioned back in April that I was starting a new blog called Scott Explains. And then I didn't really post to it. I was in the midst of putting the final touches on my new book (which I will blog about once it is available), so I neglected my new baby.

Now I'm once again posting to Scott Explains, so you should check out how to delete email from your Gmail account using iOS 4 and how to add a folder of apps to your iPhone's Dock (I even shot a quick video for that last one).


Memorial Day 2010: A Lancaster County weekend in pictures

This was our third time spending Memorial Day in Lancaster County (check out the 2009 version of this post) and it is official: it is now a tradition! Huzzah.

This time we spent the majority of the weekend in the Churchtown Inn's lovely Covered Bridge Cottage. I will admit that I was a little worried about the cottage based on some online reviews, but I don't know what cottage these people stayed at. The Covered Bridge Cottage was fantastic. Well appointed, very cozy, and fast wireless Internet? Who can ask for anything more?

This year I decided to leave my fancy-pants DSLR at home and see if I could take some nice pictures with my little point and shoot camera (I have a Canon PowerShot S90 , which is a great little camera).

All the pictures below were taken with it, and to tell you the truth I didn't miss having my DSLR at all.

We started off with a quick trip to the Lancaster Central Market where Fiesta Sunshine Mix is always in season:

Fiesta Sunshine mix

Then we were off to the lovely town of Lititz, PA to meet Becky and Eric (this is a picture I took of myself waving at them through the cafe window):

Waving Scott

I think it is a state regulation that while you're in Lititz you must visit Wilbur chocolate:

Wilbur sign

Becky and Marisa talking about lady things:

Becky and Marisa

Becky grew up in Lititz, and I grew up in Yonkers, NY. Imagine my surprise to find a little bit of Yonkers in Lititz:

Yonkers

This was the first of many antique malls we stopped at during the weekend. This floor was a little sparse:

Marisa in an empty antique store

The first of many yard sales we stopped at. Marisa found these boxes of old jars in under 5 seconds:

Marisa finds old jar

One of Marisa's favorite places is this junk store in Columbia, PA. I think it is a little gross, but she loves it (and they've really cleaned it up since last year). Here are a bunch of nails using good old Bethlehem Steel:

NAILS

I've taken this same picture every year for three years (2008 version and 2009 version). Here's the 2010 version:

Year 3

Here's the view of the front of the store:

The shop

The happy couple in front of a bridge:

Us

Marisa's newest obsession is Pyrex. She found lots of it:

Marisa grabs as much Pyrex as she can, moments before she makes a break for it.

Marisa is ready to fight that fire with a tiny spatula:

Marisa will show that fire

You kids can keep your iPads, the Kindle DX is my faithful companion (though I did bring my iPad along with me as well):

Kindle DX - because I'm super cool

Baby goat:

A couple of baby goats were escaping

Marisa can find the nearest Goodwill no matter where you place her in this great country of ours. This is the rather unusual Goodwill Discount Center we found in our travels. It was attached to a normal Goodwill that we spent some time in. After about 30 minutes I said to Marisa, "Don't you want to check out the discount center? It is right down this hall." She said, "No, we should go." I knew she was trying to make me happy but I couldn't conceive of stopping and NOT going to the discount center. I'm glad we did because this is what it looked like (and Marisa found a rare Pyrex bowl):

Odd Goodwill

For all your Amish Stuff needs:

Amish Stuff!

AT&T touts new smartphone data plans

Last night AT&T published a release that re-jiggers their data plans for smartphones (which on AT&T basically means: iPhones) and iPads. The new plans replace some existing unlimited plans (the unlimited iPhone data plan actually has a limit of 5 gigs a month, while the unlimited iPad plan was truly unlimited). The new plans are:

  • DataPlus: 200 MB of data a month for $15
  • DataPro: 2 GB of data a month for $25

Existing customers can keep their old unlimited plans, but new customers will have to choose one of these two new plans starting on June 7th. Oh, and AT&T will also finally offer tethering (starting on the 7th as well) for an extra $20 a month above and beyond any data plans you might have.

For iPad users this is a little bit of a raw deal, if you ask me. The truly unlimited data plan that AT&T offered was a fantastic deal, and now not so much. However, for iPhone users I think these new plans will work out quite nicely.

I have an iPhone unlimited data plan for which I pay $30 a month. That got me to thinking, can I switch to one of the new plans and save a little money? Here's my data usage on my iPhone for the last few months:


myiphonedatausage.jpg

I have no idea what I was doing in February, which is the shortest month of the year, but clearly I required LOTS of data. But even than I didn't even break a gig.

Looks like I'll be switching to the DataPro plan to save a couple bucks.

Now, what I'd really like to see is a lower voice plan. At the moment I pay $39.99 a month for which gives me 450 anytime minutes and 5000 night and weekend minutes. That's the cheapest plan I can get and 16 days into the month I've used 23 out of 450 anytime minutes and 27 out of 5000 night and weekend minutes. Plus I have 4,162 rollover minutes to use.

I'd love to pay $20 for half the talk minutes. How about that, AT&T?