Skip to main content

On Apple Remotes and Remotely Controlling Apples

Last week Erin and I gave in and purchased Apple TV. What is Apple TV? you ask. Well, it's a little black box, about the size of a coffee shop brownie, that sits next to your TV and allows you to access YouTube and Netflix on a screen bigger than your laptop's. This doesn't sound very magical, but our family watches a lot of YouTube (as you can tell by my frequent video links), and Netflix Instant has finally matured to the point were I can browse and find videos old and new that are worth watching. Hello, David Attenborough documentaries!

There are a couple of downsides. The biggest is that Hulu isn't available through Apple TV. Boo! Erin suspects this is because Apple would prefer to charge you $2.99 per episode of popular TV shows rather than letting you get by on your $8/month Hulu Plus subscription. I guess you gotta love the player but hate the game.

The other downside was more minor, and fortunately easy to fix: the infrared remote that comes with Apple TV likes to simultaneously talk to any laptop within earshot (eyeshot?). Fortunately the interwebs provide an easy fix, which simply involves unlinking the remote from your computer. Duh, I guess.

The note of remotely controlling someone else's computer reminded me of this xkcd cartoon:


This gives one pretty good ideas about how to prank one's office mate or spouse. Others include turning on voiceover narration in Universal Access, which allows a Steven Hawking-like voice to narrate the user's every move: "Safari, Dock, Finder, search for 'turn off voice.'"

Comments

Leah Bennett said…
first, i'm jealous you got the MacTV... maybe we'll get one someday :) second... hilarious comic strip :)
Bonzer said…
Then there's my personal favorite, using mobileme to send a loud beep and message to Lindsay when she's forgotten to turn the ringer back on.

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:


It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

The Long Con

Hiding in Plain Sight

ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30. One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? The answer is quite simple: very few people taken in by con artists ever tell anyone what happened. Thus, con artists can operate out in the open with little fear of consequences because they are shielded by the collective silence of their victims.
I can empathize with this. I've lost money in two different con schemes. One was when I was in college, and I received a phone call that I had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. All I needed to do was p…