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Showing posts from 2014

Maui has the best sunsets

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Anyone who follows me on social media knows I love sunset photos. And Maui has AMAZING sunsets.

Here are some of my better pictures from the last few days. 














Singing the praises of Instagram

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Instagram Surpasses 300 Million Users, Now Larger than Twitter http://t.co/VMgKgblzEC
— iPhone in Canada (@iPhoneinCanada) December 10, 2014 Instagram announced today that it now has more users than Twitter.

This does not surprise me for a minute. Because Instagram is pretty much the perfect social network. Instagram is far less angry than Twitter (and don't get me started on the negativity of Twitter these days). It doesn't have the incessant add-ons of Facebook that clutter the feed. It's photo-centric layout forces users to at least make some effort before posting - as opposed to Twitter and Facebook's "brain dump" approach of posting whatever, whenever.

It may be, in fact, my favorite social network, despite the fact I have more than 21,000 tweets but less than 1,000 posts on my Instagram account. It's made me look at the world - really look at it - to find things worth photographing, to find new ways of looking at creation and its wonders, and to…

Christmas palm trees rule, and other random thoughts on a Monday

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My goal of watching all of Pride FC on UFC Fight Pass is on hold because, well, the first two weren't terribly interesting and it kind of killed my interest in it. Plus, there's been a lot of actual UFC on TV of late, and that's taken up a lot of my time.Christmas palm tress are awesome. We love ours.I have spent hours tweaking my template code on the blog trying to get Twitter cards to work properly. This post is really an excuse to try it out and see if it works as advertised.I'm also experimenting with some new Blogger to Twitter feeding tools, so when this appears multiple times on Twitter, I'm very sorry.

CM Punk signs with UFC

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The official press release is here.

My thoughts, such as they are, including possibly some contradictory ones:

Good on him for trying and not being Kurt Angle who talks a good game but never puts up and actually fights.That said, I wouldn't doubt for a moment that Punk never actually fights in UFC because in training he realizes how hard it really is and is quietly transitioned to a commentary role.I can easily see UFC delaying his debut until this time next year to give him a full year of hardcore MMA training.I can see UFC having to take his debut to Japan or Texas to either have no commission or a weak commission sanction a guy whose professional fighting record is 0-0.Is Punk a freakshow fight? Sure. But he's also a money-drawing fight in his debut, and, in the end, UFC is all about money.It's amazing that CM Punk managed to be 2014's most talked about professional wrestler despite having not actually wrestled since early 2014 and whose major public appearances hav…

Twitter has finally fixed its picture issue ... I hope

Pensive cat is pensive. pic.twitter.com/XjGHR3OGCG
— Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) November 26, 2014So, FINALLY, it appears that Twitter has finally fixed the iOS app issue that was preventing me from tweeting pictures.

I say it appears, because the app has always let me tweet a picture or two in the last few weeks before returning tons of errors.

But it's been a full 24 hours since I've had a photo tweeting error, and it works on my iPad and iPhone, so here's hoping the fix is permanent.

Twitter's iOS app *still* having issues with photos

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Regular readers (all 3 of you) know that last week I made several posts about the Twitter iOS app's inability to send photos. Compounding my frustration was the fact that a) Tweetbot could send photos just fine b) the built-in iOS tweet photos feature worked fine and c) sometimes Twitter's iOS app would actually let me tweet photos. And the fact that I was having this issue on my iPhone and iPad Mini suggested that somehow, the problem was something inherent in my setup or something. But the only thing that has changed since the time it worked fine (birth of the universe to early November) to the time it didn't work fine (early November to present), was Apple's operating system.

Given that, I would think that SOMEONE else in the world would be having this problem, but despite some heavy Googling around, I haven't been able to find anyone else with the same problem.

So, all of this is to say that earlier today, I transferred all the photos off my iOS devices onto t…

Watching Pride FC: Pride 2

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Well, here's the thing...

I started watching this show last weekend on the treadmill. It was not terribly interesting. In fact, during a 33 minute "fight" involving Royler Gracie that involved lots of dull mat grappling, announcers Bas Ruttan and Stephen Quadros started to debate if the fight was boring. Spoiler: if the announcers have to ask, it's boring. And at another point, Quadros pointed out that professional wrestling fans pay good money to watch fake fighting because at least they know they're going to get action (modern-day WWE fans would disagree vehemently, of course). It's not very often when watching an MMA show the announcers put over PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING as being more fun to watch.


So I tried to finish the show this morning on the treadmill and ended up ANOTHER long Gracie fight, this one going approximately 119 years that finally ended in a submission.

But you know who else tapped out? Me. On this show. Because it was really long and wasn…

Twitter's new features: Now you see them...

Earlier today, Twitter added a new feature: the ability to send Tweets via direct message.
Starting today, we're rolling out the ability for you to share Tweets via Direct Messages: https://t.co/zRFhYTfKDP
— Twitter (@twitter) November 20, 2014 Pardon me if I don't jump up and applaud this development. Because I was a huge fan of another one of Twitter's much-lauded new features - embedding tweets within tweets - and that lasted maybe a few months before being quietly killed off with no announcement whatsoever. Embedding a tweet in a tweet let you reference the tweet without having to quote it and use up most of your valuable 140 characters. It was a great feature and Twitter just killed it.
Embedded tweets in tweets are the greatest thing ever. http://t.co/yzXvbpiEZp
— Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) June 23, 2014 RIDICULOUS UPDATE ALERT: So I actually shared a tweet in a DM today, and, hey, guess what!? It's a tweet embedded in a tweet! So Twitter just moved t…

Eating #LasVegas

Watching Pride FC: Pride 1

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I recently subscribed to UFC Fight Pass, and decided that instead of randomly watching stuff, I'd try to work my way through an entire promotion's tape library. And I'm starting with Pride Fighting Championship from Japan. I loved Pride back in the day, but never really got to see much of it in "real time" instead having to rely on the DVDs that eventually came out after the promotion went out of business and was purchased by UFC. But even at that, I've probably seen maybe 10 total Pride events, so this is a chance to work through the history of the entire promotion. Similar to how I did my reviews of the UFC 100 Greatest Fights (http://www.the-newsroom.com/p/ufc-100-greatest-fights-dvd-review.html) these reviews are going to be entirely from memory as I'm not taking notes while watching.

Pride 1:

Kazunari Murakami vs John Dixson: These 2 guys are about 15 weight classes apart and Dixson looks like he's eaten several smaller fighters. Dixson is comple…

Twitter iOS app no longer lets me tweet pictures

One of the better innovations on Twitter in the past year has been the ability to add up to four photos and tag other Twitter users in them. I don't use the feature often, but when I do, I absolutely love it. And then I noticed that at some point in early November, I could no longer send Tweets with photos from Twitter iOS app on my iPhone 5S. More info in my Google+ posts below. I still don't have any solution to this problem, nor can I find anyone online with a similar problem.


Auto Awesome: My lovely wife playing with my dad's weird bird

Google Inbox: Less than meets the eye

Shortly after posting this, I switched back to using the Mailbox app on my iPhone/iPad. Google Inbox isn't quite there yet.

Jawas: They'll sell you droids AND candy! #starwars

Loading In a little known deleted scene from Star Wars, before selling R2D2 and C3PO to Owen, Beru and Luke, the Jawas handed out M&Ms. View on Instagram

They're not phishing

A beautiful Edmonton day

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It's been a long time since I used the BlogPress app. And it's been a while since I blogged directly on The Newsroom rather than using a Google+ embed.

And really all I wanted to do was post this photo of the North Saskatchewan River from the new Henday bridge in the west end.





Delicious Gmail pi!

Today's Gmail update version number is pi. pic.twitter.com/k5fdWFbfiy— Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) October 6, 2014

This season's pre-emptive "Oilers suck" post

Auto Awesome is (you want me to say awesome, don't you?)

One of the great built-in features of Google+, and why I'm doing most of my real blogging over there these days, is the Auto Awesome feature, whereby the GOOG takes your pictures and edits them for you in to what it calls and Auto Awesome. Most of them are pictures that get some kind of filter treatment, but Google+ also can take images that overlap and turn them into a panorama, or can take burst mode shots and stitched them into an animated GIF style "moving picture." The bonus here is that Google+ can automatically upload pictures from your camera roll (well, it could, at least until iOS 8 came along) and does this all without you asking. It's very cool. Here are some examples.

iOS8: Second impressions

If WestJet and Air Canada can do it...

BREAKING NEWS: I am now charging $25 for the first checked bag. pic.twitter.com/8UAajXMKXu— Mike Jenkinson (@MikeJenkinson) September 18, 2014

First impressions of Apple's new iOS8

Who needs cellular minutes when you have FaceTime Audio?

Big iPhone is big

Google's services are lagging because it's too big

Reason 1,742 why Guardians of the Galaxy is so awesome

Memories of Lethbridge

My wife and I spent a lovely weekend in Lethbridge at a wedding. Consider this the recap post. All embedded content from Google+, which is my main blogging hangout these days.

Calendar chaos

Why I always get to the airport really, really early

A short list of what Edmonton needs. Someone get on this immediately.

Ad this

An evening with Michael W. Smith

Mount Rainier

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Mount Rainier

One of my favorite pictures from our recent Seattle and Alaska vacation.

#seattle#mountain 
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Alaska cruise vacation video

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Alaska cruise vacation video

Highlights from our just completed Alaska cruise. It completely surpassed expectations. An absolutely amazing time.

#alaska#cruise#whales#whalewatching

Auto Awesome of two humpback whales diving

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Auto Awesome of two humpback whales diving

Burst mode plus Google+ is a great combination.

#Alaska#cruiseship#whalewatching#whales#humpbackwhalephotos  
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Scenes from a Seattle sunset

Lucha! Lucha!

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Lucha! Lucha!

My younger daughter just returned from her mission trip to Mexico and brought me lucha libre mask!

#wrestling#lucha#mexico#blogsofaugust 8/3/14(2 images)

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy

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Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

I remember the day the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer hit. I was ... skeptical. Puzzled. A bit worried. Marvel made a comedy? With obscure comic book characters? And they used Hooked on a Feeling as the music to sell a space movie? Are you kidding me?

But with each additional trailer I gradually warmed up on the movie, having hit "cautiously optimistic" by the time the movie came out and "excited" after reading some gushing reviews.

Yeah, this movie is AWESOME.

And I know that word gets thrown out a lot to describe things that are merely "very good." 

But this movie is AWESOME. It had me tearing up in the first five minutes in the hospital scene, and then again near the end when the mysterious present gets opened. There's an emotional core to the movie that just works - and, yes, it involves songs like Hooked on a Feeling and the rest of the classic rock/golden oldies soundtrack. …

Movie review: Hercules

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Movie review: Hercules

Spoilers ahead....

This should have been a better flick than it was. The concept is intriguing: Hercules is really a fraud who does "hero" jobs for hire with his band of freaks, and has a good PR guy who spins the tales and turns them into legends. That has the makings of a very cool movie.

But what we got really felt like a low-budget rip-off of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers .... except the dialogue was far more hackneyed and cliched. And it has some of the worst CGI fire effects I've ever seen in a film.

The last 30 minutes after the plot twist is the best part of the movie. But following the prison break scene, it's hysterical how Hercules's wounds change severity and location on his body from one scene to the next. There wasn't even an attempt at continuity.

All that said ... I didn't hate Hercules at all. I figured out early in the film what it was going to be and decided to view it as a glorified B-movie from the 1950…

Bird watching: A heron near Whitemud Drive

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Bird watching: A heron near Whitemud Drive

I'm hardly a bird expert, but I'm pretty sure that's a heron standing next to the pond. We saw it yesterday out on a bike ride in Edmonton, near Whitemud Drive and Fox Drive (just down the hill from the Talus Balls). Edmonton locals will know that this location is very close to the river and in our river valley park system, so it's hardly unusual to spot wildlife around those parts. But I've never, ever seen a heron inside the city before.
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Google's latest auto-awesomes of my photos. 

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Google's latest auto-awesomes of my photos.  7/27/14
















(2 images)
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Our epic bike ride!

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Our epic bike ride!

My wife and set a goal this summer that we would do a 50 km bike ride together. I have done several rides that long by myself but she has never gone that far. Today was the day we went for it, riding all the way from our place in west Edmonton to Rundle Park and back, plus a stop over for a food truck lunch at the Interstellar Rodeo at Hawrelak Park.

All said and done we came in just short of 60 km in a little over 4 hours of riding time, and more than 6 hours out together on a fantastic day.

I'm so proud of her! 7/27/14(4 images)


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Lazy Saturday

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Lazy Saturday 7/26/14(2 images)


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These are not photos from the Mars Rover

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These are not photos from the Mars Rover

No, that's the Sun, from Earth. Edmonton, to be precise. In a thick haze of smoke and ash from wildfires elsewhere that is obscuring the Sun and leaving us with a brown sky.

And, for the record, these iPhone photos have not been altered, filtered or retouched in any way.

#yeg#alberta#canada#smoke#Edmonton   7/16/14(2 images)


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Edmonton's gorgeous river valley

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Edmonton's gorgeous river valley

There are lots of great things about living in this city, but the enormous swath of forested area in our river valley is amazing. It's fantastic that you can walk and cycle for miles and miles on trails in the middle of the city, yet be basically in the forest or parkland.

These photos were taken off Whitemud Drive, along the path to the ski hill. 2014-07-15(4 images)


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Google now editing my photos for me

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Google now editing my photos for me

In addition to the usual auto-awesome photos that Google+ has been doing - stitching related pictures together into animated GIF files, mainly - GOOG is now using their photo filters on the pictures that get backed up to Google+. Here are the three most recent examples of Google+ editing my photos.

Now if only Google could find a way to take my pictures as well.... 2014-07-07(3 images)


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Grocery cat.

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Grocery cat.

#caturday
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Google+ Auto Awesome photos make great animated Twitter GIFs

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Google+ Auto Awesome photos make great animated Twitter GIFs

A happy discovery today: The auto awesome photos that Google+ creates can be used on Twitter as animated GIF files. See my Twitter example here using the bee picture:

http://ift.tt/1lqoONE 2014-06-25(2 images)


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Twitter's inconsistent feature set

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Twitter's inconsistent feature set

So Twitter for iPhone lets you tweet up to 4 pictures at once, photo tagging and has the ability to embed tweets in other tweets.

But the iPad version doesn't have the "4 pictures at once" feature nor the photo tagging. EVEN THOUGH IT'S THE SAME APP AS THE iPHONE!

Twitter on the web lets you do the photo stuff - FINALLY! - but it can't display tweets embedded in other tweets. 

And then there's TweetDeck, which lets you schedule tweets but has none of the multiple-photo tech of the other applications. Nor does it display tweets embedded in other tweets.

C'mon, Twitter! Let's get a standard set of features across ALL your apps.
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Kraft brings out chocolate peanut butter. Again

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Kraft brings out chocolate peanut butter. Again

I accompanied my lovely wife grocery shopping yesterday and I saw this in the peanut butter aisle: a half-sized jar of chocolate peanut butter.

Naturally, I bought it. I will buy anything with chocolate in it.

This is hardly the first time Kraft has put chocolate peanut butter on the shelf. Some 40+ years ago, there was something called Koogle (yes, like Google) which came in a number of peanut butter flavors, including chocolate, banana and cinnamon. Probably half a decade or more ago, I ran into a full-sized jar of Kraft chocolate peanut butter in the stores, and maybe again as recently as a couple of years ago? At any rate, chocolate peanut butter comes and goes from the shelves fairly regularly.

Alongside the chocolate one yesterday was a banana and a cinnamon variety, so maybe Kraft is returning to the Koogle days of flavoring its peanut butters. And, of course, this was all carefully positioned on the shelf next to the Nutella.…

#caturday

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#caturday
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Hello, bee!

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Hello, bee!
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The Alberta Legislature

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The Alberta Legislature
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When did operating systems become religions?

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When did operating systems become religions?

Let's start this out with full disclosure:

I own an iPhone 5S. I love my iPhone 5S. I have a retina iPad Mini. It is terrific.

I followed yesterday's keynote address from Apple at WWDC intently (well, after the fact. I couldn't follow it live because I was at work.)

I'm looking forward to using iOS 8 when it comes out this fall. I'm excited about the iPhone 6 (even though I'll likely never own it because it will be 2016 until I get my next iPhone).

I'm a small-g geek who loves technology and loves to try new things.

But I have never used an Android phone. Never used an Android tablet.

And here's the thing:

If you use an Android phone or tablet, good for you. It doesn't bother me one bit. I'm glad you've found something you like and use regularly.

If you think that Android is a superior operating system to Apple's, that's fine. I won't argue. It's not that important to me.