Netflix adds instant streaming to iPhone & iPod!

Netflix has finally added instant streaming to the iPod and iPhone!  Last Thursday (somehow I missed this last week) they release the app in the app store.  You can now use your iPod or iPhone to watch any movie or video available on Netflix Instant!  This is huge for me–I’ve been drooling for this since the iPad was first released.  Netflix had the app available for the iPad several months ago when the iPod was first released, but they held back on releasing the app for the iPod and iPhone for some reason, until now.  My guess is that they made an exclusivity deal with Apple so they could sell more iPads for the first few months of its release.  Arrg.  Anyway, it’s here now, and I’m much happier.  I now have thousands of movies and TV shows available almost anywhere I am, instantly!–WITHOUT having to jailbreak my iPod.

Facebook redeems itself

I just discovered an awesome option on Facebook that just prevented me from totally quitting the whole thing! I was getting so fed up of everyone’s dozens of “Mafia Wars” and “Farmville” status updates scrolling everything actually POSTED off of my Facebook page, and last night I was ready to just quit Facebook altogether because of it. Then, this morning I did some looking around and found that if you hover in the upper right corner of one of those Farmville postings there’s a big X. Click it and you get several options. The first two are “Hide ‘John Doe’ and Hide ‘Application Name’, where ‘John Doe’ and the ‘Application Name’ are the actual names of the respective user and application you’re viewing. Click “Hide Farmville” and you no longer see Farmville updates on your page!! Whoohoo! It’s such a relief that I don’t have to quit altogether!

Now, another complaint I have with Facebook is that I was unable to post the above paragraph to Facebook.  Why?  Because it was twice as long as a Facebook posting can be.  I just found out the hard way that Facebook postings are limited to just over 400 characters.  The paragraph above is over 800.  Just another plus for having your own blog.  Now I just need to get my blog to auto-post my entries to Facebook for me… I know it’s possible, I just need to find the right plugin…

Vote for “Kaiden from Kenosha” for the next Gerber Baby!

Kari’s ‘lil man’ Kaiden is in the running to be the next Gerber Baby!  He has a chance at starring in a Gerber commercial and winning a $25,000 scholarship!  Please click on this link, search for “Kaiden” from “Kenosha”, and cast your vote!  You can vote daily, so please do, and help him win this contest!! Thank you!!!

Classic Photo Album #7 Completed

I am re-publishing this posting with an updated link.  It was originally posted on 7/25/09 and I can’t believe it’s been that long since I scanned an old photo album!  I have tons of them left to do.  I need to get busy.  The last “Classic Album” (#7) and every other old photo posting on my website was posted with links to my old “Jims Photo World” website, so none of the links work any more.  So this posting is one the the few that I’m re-posting, but pointing it to the photo album’s new location on Flickr. It includes 54 photos. This one included many tiny, square (less than wallet-size) photos, as I’m sure you’ll see by the quality, but there’s a lot of good old memories here.  Highlights include many family members when they were very young, including me (Jimmmy), Beth, Loretta, Clifford and Clayton, and Karen.  There are also photos from my mom’s activities with the Mothers of Twins Club and Clifford and Clayton’s Cub Scout Troop.  There were also many photos of our pets in the back of this album, but unfortunately they were removed.  I think some of them might have been used for the big photoboards we created for my dad’s funeral though, I’ll have to check.  So there ya go.  As usual, click on the thumbnail to view the photos.

Slacker

My latest obsession on the iPod is Slacker Radio (often used when I’m playing Words With Friends). I’ve tried a lot of different radio apps on the iPod. Several of them I liked, but a big feature that I found with Slacker that kept me using it is it’s station caching. Since I use the Touch and not the iPhone, Im not always connected to a network. This alone eliminates the functionality of most radio apps, but with Slacker’s station caching, all I have to do is choose a cached station in Slacker and I can play everything just as if I were connected to a network. It can take several minutes to cache a station, but that’s expecte. From the details I’ve read, Slacker will cache 100 songs for a station initially, and gradually increase the cache as you listen to the station and refresh the cache. They do some nice shuffling in the background apparently, because I can listen to a station over and over and it seems I always hear songs I haven’t heard before, yet I still sometimes hear replays, but most of the time it’s only for songs I’ve “hearted”, which you do when you hear a favorite you like. When you refresh your cached stations (you have to do them all at once, you can’t pick and choose which ones to cache and any given time) it seems to take longest to re-cache stations you’ve listened to since you last cached, so I would guess it’s dumping the songs you’ve banned, adding more new songs, and syncing your listening preferences with the Slacker servers. Every time I visit the website on my PC it shows me everything I’ve listen to, so it certainly “remembers” everything. Other features include many curated stations from Slacker, including a couple of very good Comedy channels (one Explicit, one ‘clean’), search features to find exactly the artists or songs you want to hear, the ability to build your own custom stations, bios, lyrics, and reviews of the songs and artists as you play them, large thumbnail of the current song playing (WHOOHOO! Love it!) and much more. A few of these features only work in “Slacker Plus”, the subscription service, but that’s expected. Since the service is only $4.99 a month (or $3.99 a month if you pay yearly), it’s well worth the price for the features you get, in my opinion. There is also an web version of Slacker, which is actually much easier to use for building custom stations than the iPod is, and fortunately every station and favorite you save immediately appears on both your PC and your iPod, since it saves to your Slacker account itself. They also list many stand-alone digital radio devices that now support Slacker, which is a good indication of their stability as a company. Overall, I highly recommend Slacker as a music streaming service, it ROCKS. Here’s some screenshots of it from my iPod, and here’s the Slacker website