Baby mistakes iPhone for his mama

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. In this Slate piece, the author talks about how his young son has taken to calling iPhones (and eventually all smart phones) “mama.”

“And then one day, about two months later, my iPhone rang. My wife’s name appeared on the screen. Before I responded, Luka called out, “Mama!” I was so surprised—and proud. Evidence of their special bond, right? Soon after, Luka blurted out “Mama” again, while we were all in the living room. But he wasn’t facing his mother. He was facing the phone.

It became clear: Every time Luka spotted my iPhone, he called “Mama!” Could he really be mistaking an iPhone for his mom?”

This Week in Nerdery

Here’s what’s happening in and around The Nerdery this week, and next.

iPhone tech talks: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29&30Jon Rexeisen is doing tech talks on iPhone development two nights in a row at The Nerdery. Several of us are staying after school to hear from our all-things-Apple guru, and the public is welcome – please send a direct tweet to the_nerdery if you’re interested (so we can order enough pizza). Both sessions are 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday’s tech talk will be a iOS 101 session covering the basics of iOS development, where to get documentation, etc. Then on Wednesday, Jon will do an iOS 4 session covering the new retina display on iPhone 4, the block APIs, Grand Central Dispatch on iOS, TapGestureRecognizers, and iAds.

Gaming and marketing at JMU612: First thing in the morning Thursday, June 30, Mark Hurlburt talks gaming to a group of marketers at JMU612 from 8-9:30am at Urban Bean in Uptown (Bryant and 33rd). More at

PHP meetup: Later that evening (6-8 pm, this Thursday), the MN PHP user group meets at The Nerdery, with a session on Doctrine 2 led by Justin Hendrickson and a talk on Gearman by Mike Willbanks. RSVP at

Agency primer webinars: Our two free HTML5 and CSS3 webinars are Tuesday, June 29 at 10:15 am and Thursday, July 1 at 3:15 pm, RSVP at to get the goods from Brian Litzinger and Matt Tonak.

Looking ahead to next week, the MN Python user group meets at The Nerdery Thursday, July 8 from 7-9 pm, more info at

Nerdery Open House for Recruits: On Friday, July 9 from 3-6 p.m., we’ll host an open house geared at recruiting the next generation of much-needed nerds. Some of our local talent is leaving soon to colonize a new Nerdery in Chicago. Replacements, please RSVP at

Looking further ahead, July 12-18 is Pentathanerd Week ( Watch the second coming of The Summer Games right here (exclusive coverage).

WWDC iPhone 4 announcement

There’s nothing like the WWDC keynote to make your less-than-a-year-old iPhone 3Gs look like an archaic piece of junk worthy of Zack Morris. Also, I have to say this keynote didn’t seem to have the same sense of anticipation. I blame the Gizmodo leak from a few months back.

So here’s what all the pundits have to say about the iPhone 4 and iOS4.

How to raise a nerd

Have you grown tired of reading about how the 4.G iPhone was lost, what Nick Denton (he owns Gizmodo) thinks about it, and letters from Apple’s lawyers? (and really, how could you grow tired? It’s like the awesomest, nerdiest soap opera this month). But if you are tired of it and need to cleanse palate go read How to Raise a Nerd. It’s tender and sweet (though I warn you, you’ll have to ignore quite a few distracting typos). Plus, it’s pretty awesome to see others reveling in their nerdom.

“But why would I ever want to raise a nerd?

For me, I take nerd to mean someone who has in-depth knowledge on a topic. (I realize there are other connotations the word obviously has, but for me , this is my definition.) So there are video game nerds, sports nerds, anime nerds, history nerds and so on and so forth. What makes nerds so great is they are fountains of information, making some truly intriguing conversations possible — and better yet, some truly heated and even truly meaningless arguments.

But, in short, nerds care. They have fires in their bellies. They have passion.”

Today there’s nothing but a pretty video

It’s a grey and dreary day in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The kind of day that sucks all the energy out of a room and all the thoughts out of your brain. If I had any thoughts left, they’d surely be regarding this post about the history of the photo that’s the default wall paper for iPhones, or about how Facebook was really founded (be careful if you have delicate sensibilities when it comes to the f-word, there’s some swearing), or maybe I could weigh in on this point/counterpoint between Marco Arment and Merlin Mann.

But I have no thoughts, instead I have a very cool video to share.

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Tech Tuesday: Development for (and getting our Nerdery hands on) the Apple iPad

By now, you’ve read all about the Apple’s new tablet, the iPad. You’ve watched the videos. You’ve maybe giggled about the product name; let’s be honest though, the Nintendo Wii’s name hasn’t hurt its popularity. You’ve either dismissed it as a big iPod Touch that won’t go anywhere, or, you’ve already smashed your piggy bank and have money in hand. Regardless, Apple has a pretty good track record with their latest products (iPod, iTunes, iPhone) and we don’t want our ad and marketing agency partners to be the last ones to the party.

First, the iPad debut doesn’t mean that our agency partners should stop making iPhone applications. All iPhone applications will work on the iPad out of the box.

But how does the iPad affect our agency partners who have already created applications for iPhone and now also want to take advantage of the bigger screen of the iPad? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as hitting an Easy button (trust me, I have one) and magically all your applications are reformatted for the iPad. The user interface will have to be redesigned to support multiple resolutions. It’s also not just relaying out the design for the larger screen; it’s also understanding what the iPad is, and designing an amazing user interface to take advantage of the new user interface features.

When looking at creating a new iPad application, our agency partners really have two options: target just the iPad or target the iPhone and the iPad.  Targeting the only the iPad should have a similar development cycle and cost as developing an application just for the iPhone. If the choice is to target both devices, there will be some design layout changes, but the core of the application will stay the same. There will also be some additional time for our crack Quality Assurance team to make sure we release a great application.

If you don’t think the iPad is going anywhere, I present Steve Ballmer.

Then again, if you think Apple is infallible, I present the iPod Hi-Fi.

Either way, The Nerdery is ready to help you create great applications, no matter the platform.

Mobile TC user group welcomes non-nerds

Looking around but not finding a user group fit for developers and non-developers alike who are interested in mobile apps, Justin Grammens founded the Mobile Twin Cities user group in March. Programming experience is far from prerequisite for Mobil TC members and visitors – the door is open to anyone wanting to talk/learn about what’s possible on mobile platforms, including Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, Symbian and Windows Mobile.

“Being more on the technical side myself, I somewhat jokingly said, ‘I want to have people at these meetings that are NOT like me,’” said Grammens. “I decided that if I were to form a group, I wanted it not to segment anyone. I wanted presentations on both technical and non-technical subjects, by people who were interested in mobile technology and allow for networking, companies and new products to grow. I wanted it platform agnostic and skill level/knowledge/interest agnostic as well.”

Having outgrown its table at a coffee shop, Mobile TC makes its Nerdery debut tomorrow evening (Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m.).

On tap: Alex Brekken will demonstrate on a high level the Palm WebOS and the technologies involved on getting going with development on the platform. Justin Grammens and Sam Schroeder of Recursive Awesome will show some differences in a trivial iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palp Pre applications they wrote. And representing non-developers, self-proclaimed Nerdery senior account nerd Matt Albiniak will talk about how to make a paycheck as a mobile developer – come see if he also regurgitates some of what his ad agency contacts tell him about their ambitions for going mobile.

Want to make sure the Nerdery orders enough pizza for all? Then RSVP by replying to Justin here or by leaving us a comment. Same goes for those wanting to speak their mind – as mobile developers, users, interested parties, passersby – at an upcoming Mobile TC user group meeting.

Reviews roll in for new iPhone 3GS and iPhone OS 3.0

With the release of the iPhone 3GS only two days away reviews of the new Apple device are cropping up everywhere. I need to figure out how to be one of these wizbang gadget reviewers because much like most all the other people in the land my very first iPhone is being held for future delivery (boo).

  • Gizmodo says the 3GS is totally worth the extra $100 over the $99 3G
  • Walt Mossberg says the OS upgrade might be enough to keep older iPhone users happy
  • Ars Technica says the the S stands for subtle, which doesn’t mean boring

And for those of you iPhone owners who are probably in the process of downloading the update to iPhone OS 3.0 (or anxiously awaiting your chance to download) Mashable has a nice list of things you should know about the update.

Where is my mind/smartphone?

Minnov8’s Steve Borsch buried the lead nicely in his article on the forthcoming iPhone 3GS – let’s skip on down to the last four paragraphs of his story,  Smartphones — computers in your pocket — extend your mind and your reach”:

“I’ve been in conversations with educators about technology and social media — and about the current paradigm of cramming kids’ brains with facts — and my asking why we need to teach rote facts about the countries that surround, say, the Baltic Sea when it can be instantly looked up? Are there ways to focus on how to search, ways to seek and verify authentic material, and move toward an educational model that would assume an always-on, always-connected student population?

In our working world, enlightened companies are realizing that providing a solid and good experience to employees with access to information and work processes (and email, of course) allows the employee to access and deal with a task, communication or even an idea when they have a moment or when inspiration strikes, rather than hope that all that can be stored up and dealt with when they’re in the office.

Tapping into the streams of consciousness of people one follows on Twitter, reading blog posts and staying abreast of news and other information mean that all of us are more aware of the meaningful inputs of others in whom we find value.

Then there is just the simple utility of having movie showtimes, a dictionary, time zones, airfare lookups, stock tickers, and even games. This means that smartphones extend our minds, so that we’re no longer tethered to a desk for computer and Internet use in the same way that the mobile phone for voice made us free from a phone line.”

Read Borsch’s entire Minnov8 article reposted on MinnPost. 

The waiting for iPhone 3GS is the hardest part

Like kids waiting for a new candy store to open, The Nerdery watched and listened to what’s next for the iPhone during Monday’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote spiel. Now, while we pace in the waiting room like expectant fathers for the birth of the iPhone 3GS, we take this moment to page through a story in Ad Age by Rita Chang on what this baby has in store for marketers.

But before we get to what’s next, just dropping the existing 3G iPhone to $99 (everything must go) will likely attract younger buyers – and greater market share alone spurs greater interest from marketers.

Then, on June 19, “speed” puts the “S” in 3GS.  Speedier downloads, greater memory and processing speed, and AT&T’s pledged 3G network upgrade make for a capital “S.”

Writes Chang, “Krish Arvapally, chief technology officer of mobile ad platform provider Mojiva, said since Apple announced its new iPhone software in March, it has seen a 20% increase in the number of advertisers who say they want to target iPhone users.” 

“Bring them on,” says the Nerdery.

Another marketable upgrade with 3GS is its ability to record and edit video, upload clips to YouTube, and share video via e-mail or multimedia messaging. “Michael Chang of Greystripe notes that the ‘better camera plus the faster network bandwidth could be the start of mobile video renaissance,’” writes Chang. 

Location, location, location, you say?

“Until now, marketers had to count on users to enter their ZIP codes in a browser to geo-target offers via the mobile web,” writes Chang. “Now, with the Safari web browser pulling the users’ location data into the browser experience, marketers could serve geo-targeted ads to any iPhone user with an open browser – assuming the user has allowed the website operator to track his location.”

Also, writes Chang, “The iPhone 3GS will also sport a digital compass that tells users which direction they’re facing, with integrated mapping applications to automatically orient the map in the corresponding direction. Jamie Wells, director of mobile at OMD’s Ignition Factory, said he could see advertisers using the compass feature to make their creative more engaging – for example, a vendor selling merchandise at a sporting event could serve ads that instruct users to point their iPhone at the nearest concession stand to get a coupon.” 

The new iPhone also lets users glow in the dark, experience weightlessness and even travel through time. Not really, but wait ‘til next year.

Lastly, if you’re Tom Petty, I’m truly sorry about that headline – but thanks for reading.