Apparently, the Mail app in iOS 7 has an intersting feature that somehow went unnoticed for most of us. It allows you to choose which Folders and Mailboxes appear in the top level menu of the app. It’s especially useful if you have multiple email accounts. Check it out.
About a month ago, I came across a great article on Medium. In it, Refe Tuma tells us how he and his wife dedicate November (or, as they call it, Dinovember) to making their kids believe that their toy-dinosaurs come to life every night and play around the house. They do it in order to promote their kids’ imagination and creativity.
It got me thinking and made me want to try something similar. There were two issues, though: it was too late for November and our daughter isn’t big on dinosaurs. However, Christmas was conveniently around the corner and she likes to play a lot with Playmobil figures.
So, I created for her, “December Magic”: every night on December, the Playmobil figures come to life thanks to “Christmas magic” and play around the house!
(photos of the project on Flickr)
So far it has been a great success. She gets up every morning in a hurry, runs to see the latest Playmobil mischief and enjoys it very much — with exception to the day when they tried to steal her lollipops!
To be honest, I think we enjoy it even more than her, both every night setting them up and every morning watching her reactions!
Last night, iOS 7 came out. It’s the new operating system for Apple’s iPhone (4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S), iPod Touch (5th gen) and iPad (2, Mini, Retina). As expected, the internet is already full of reviews. If you don’t have time to read them all, here are some of the basics to get you started:
- Multi-page folders! Now I don;t need to have 3 “Game” folders. All my games fit in sup-pages inside a single folder (bonus tip: now you can finaly put “Newstand” in a folder).
- Background App Store upgrades! You will no longer have dozens of apps waiting to be updated when you open the App Store! You can enable this by going to Settings → iTunes & App Store → Automatic downloads (you may want to leave unchecked the “Use Celular Data” option though).
- Background App Syncing. Apps can periodicaly “wake up” in the background and download new data (podcasts, news articles etc) so they will be ready and updated when you open them. You can fine-tune this by going to Settings → General → Background App Refresh.
- Multitasking has changed. When you doubletap the Home button you see all running Apps. If you want to manualy close one, drag it upwards!
- You can blacklist people you do not want to get calls or sms from. Add them to the blacklist in Settings → Phone → Blocked and Settings → Messages → Blocked.
- When you drag upwards from the bottom edge of the screen, you activate the new “Control Center”. There you can switch on/off airplane mode, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, brightness, volume etc. Also, you can turn on the LED flash (for use as a flashlight), or jump quickly to the Camera, Stopwatch or Calculator app.
- Dragging your finger from the left edge of the screen towards the right works as a back button in most apps.
- In Safari, in tab view, you can delete a tab by dragging it to the left.
- Take a close look on the Clock App icon. It’s alive!
- In Messages, drag the message bubbles slightly to the left to see the time the message was sent.
- Camera burst mode. Just keep the shutter button pressed and the iPhone will take multiple shots as fast as it can (about 2 per second on my iPhone 4S).
- Check out the new ring and notification tones. Some of them are realy nice!
Undeniable proof that in film storytelling, editing is everything. If I didn’t know better, I would easily believe this is the next epic blockbuster!
Do you want something to read on the weekend? Here is a small collection of interesting links I’ve gathered in the last few days:
In a quest to make concrete more durable and sustainable, an international team of geologists and engineers has found inspiration in the ancient Romans, whose massive concrete structures have withstood the elements for more than 2,000 years.
A briefcase seeded with sensitive papers was chained to the wrist of a dead man carefully selected from a British morgue, dressed as a Royal Marine, and taken by submarine and floated ashore on the coast of Spain where Nazi spies were known to have links to local officials. The papers included indications that the next Allied invasion — after Operation Torch had helped liberate North Africa — would be in the Balkans. A jovial reference to sardines in a letter from one senior leader to another led the Germans to believe that a landing on Sardinia was also possible.
And that, was Operation Mincemeat.
Shusaku Tani is employed at the Sony plant here, but he doesn’t really work.
For more than two years, he has come to a small room, taken a seat and then passed the time reading newspapers, browsing the Web and poring over engineering textbooks from his college days. He files a report on his activities at the end of each day.
Sony, Mr. Tani’s employer of 32 years, consigned him to this room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Center, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes. But Mr. Tani, 51, refused to take an early retirement offer from Sony in late 2010 — his prerogative under Japanese labor law.
At last, you can find out what has been bugging you for so long: whitch ship is faster? Star Trek’s Enterprise or Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon? Or perhaps the Battlestar Galactica? I can tell you it’s definitely NOT NASA’s Voyager 1.
How do you effortlessly slice tomatoes? In two words, with a serrated knife (like the one you use to slice bread).
Next week — finally — we ‘ll be gone for a couple of days. So, have a great summer!
Do you want something to read on the weekend? Here is a small1 collection of articles I’ve gathered in the last few days:
Companies traditionally used the 402 for accounting, since the machine could take a long list of numbers, add them up, and print a detailed written report. In a sense, you could consider it a 3000-pound spreadsheet machine. That’s exactly how Sparkler Filters uses its IBM 402, which could very well be the last fully operational 402 on the planet. As it has for over half a century, the firm still runs all of its accounting work (payroll, sales, and inventory) through the IBM 402. The machine prints out reports on wide, tractor-fed paper.
These guys really believe in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” moto. And here I thought my G4 Mac Mini from 2005 was old.
So how do you prank your parents? After they leave for the weekend, you replace all the family photos with photos of… Steve Buchemi!
According to legend, Almon B. Strowger was a Kansas City undertaker who found he was losing business to a rival. Potential customers would telephone Strowger but “mistakenly” be connected to his competitor. Strowger noted that the competitor’s wife was the switchboard operator for the local telephone system. His revenge was to invent a device that would eventually displace operators almost everywhere.
The amazing story behind the telephone numbering system and it’s origins.
Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual—often without realizing it.
OK, but how do you get up and start exersising in the fisrt place? That’s what I need to know!
The billion-dollar, cutting-edge science of convincing dogs and cats to eat what’s in front of them
Dry pet food, which took off in the 1940s, is nutritious but tasteless. Food scientists coat it with liquid or powdered palatants to entice cats and dogs to eat it.
It always puzzled me why our cats refuse to eat anything other than their dry food pellets (and shrimps — they go crazy over shrimps).
This remote mountainous town is inside the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000–square-mile area where most types of electromagnetic radiation on the radio spectrum (which includes radio and TV broadcasts, Wi-Fi networks, cell signals, Bluetooth, and the signals used by virtually every other wireless device) are banned to minimize disturbance around the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, home to the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. For most people, this restriction is a nuisance. But a few dozen people have moved to Green Bank (population: 147) specifically because of it.
I have some friends who would happily move to that place. I — on the other hand — wouldn’t last there for a minute!
Henrietta Lacks was only 31 when she died of cervical cancer in 1951 in a Baltimore hospital. Not long before her death, doctors removed some of her tumor cells. They later discovered that the cells could thrive in a lab, a feat no human cells had achieved before.
Soon the cells, called HeLa cells, were being shipped from Baltimore around the world. In the 62 years since her cells have been the subject of more than 74,000 studies, many of which have yielded profound insights into cell biology, vaccines, in vitro fertilization and cancer.
At a media event in London on Monday, taste testers took a bite of the world’s most expensive hamburger, a five-ounce patty that cost $325,000 to grow in a lab.
Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands produced the synthetic meat by placing stem cells extracted from the shoulders of cows in a nutrient broth. Google co-founder Sergey Brin funded the project.
After it was thawed and fried in a little sunflower oil and butter, the test tube burger earned rave reviews such as “close to meat” and “like meat.”
Just as I was going to order a couple of burgers (no joke)!
If you thought the notion of artificial burgers is strange, take a look at this man’s ideas of what children should eat:
The ubiquitous lamb chop embodied the highest principles of scientific childrearing, the prevailing doctrine of the early-20th-century nursery. Its central text was The Care and Feeding of Children, by the pediatrician Emmett Holt. First published in 1894, it stayed in print for nearly half a century, instructing mothers, nurses, and, apparently, chefs that young children were not to be given fresh fruits, nuts, or raisins in their rice pudding. Pies, tarts, and indeed “pastry of every description” were “especially forbidden,” and on no account were such items as ham, bacon, corn, cod, tomato soup, or lemonade to pass a child’s lips before his 10th birthday.
- As a matter of fact, this is a rather large collection of articles. But, as we have a looong weekend coming up here in Greece, I thought it was appropriate. ↩
I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone named Kim Komando…
Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn uses pop culture references for their daily specials. These 9 specials are themed around Game of Thrones. Beware! Dinner is coming.
Your computer works, your data is backed-up, your network is secure, your website in up, your iPhone can log in to Facebook and your printer’s ink cartridge is full. Your sysadmin makes sure everything works and this is the time to let them know you care. You see, tommorrow is the last Friday of July and that makes it… System Administrator Appreciation Day!
Today, my wife gave our daughter some sheets of paper and some finger-painting colours to play with. When she told her mother that she was painting the cat, my wife assumed that she was making a picture of a cat on paper.
It turns out that she was actualy painting our — too lazy to move — cat with yellow paint! Her reasoning was: “don’t worry mom, you can wash it off”.
So, when I get home I have to find a way to get the cat under the water and keep him there long enough to wash off the paint, without him tearing my hands to shreds with his claws…