Apr. 6th, 2013

ashnistrike: (lightning)
I've sold the transhuman starving artists story to Crowded Magazine.  It should be coming out over the summer.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
Thank you to everyone who shared data on phone plans.  After some discussion, we decided to stay with our current provider after all, for a single smartphone.  S will stick with a plan-free dumb phone for now, and in a few months when the budget gets more predictable we'll try out the cheap smartphone plan that [livejournal.com profile] danceswthcobras suggested.

So I now have a lovely new Samsung Galaxy S2 with Android, and like everything about it except that, like all smartphones, it doesn't actually fit in my hand.  I'll cope, but I'm a little sad for the passing of tiny flip-top communicators.  Be that as it may, I'm now in the much more fun stage of finding apps.  I once again seek suggestions.

My app aesthetic is that anything that's cluttering up my screen should take advantage of the fact that this is a small, portable device with GPS and/or camera.  Carbon footprint calculator that would work fine on a laptop except that I wouldn't have to squint?  No thank you.  Something that tells me the carbon footprint of the trip I'm taking right now?  Much more interesting.

I'm particularly looking for

  • a shopping list program that can pull up coupons for things I'm already planning on buying, but that is primarily an easy way to track needs and purchases.  Bonus for comparing prices at the stores I visit most often without me having to enter them by hand.  Bonus for pulling up sustainability information.

  • a packing list program as good as Packing Pro is supposed to be, but for Android--one where I can create sublists to add or subtract from a given trip (e.g., a "con costuming" list that means I don't have to remember, every Wiscon, that we need both my belt pouch and S's gloves)

  • good naturalist identification programs--what's that bird?  What's this plant?

  • Anything that will tell me cool things I didn't know about the space around me--for example, right now I've got Google Field Trip running, and it tells me about historic events that happened along my commute.

  • A Twitter client that will let me easily flip between my lists, with one click to open a new message window.  I tried Twicca, which is well-reviewed but doesn't seem to work on my phone.  Right now I'm stuck with the standard Twitter app.

  • A widget that will let me access my camera from my home page.  Maybe this is something in settings, rather than a separate app?

  • A good face recognition app--I don't think this actually exists yet.

  • Apps that can distract toddlers without driving me up a tree.  That means no talking, and the option of turning off sound when the point is to keep the kid quiet for a few precious minutes.  I know I've seen these around--apps that create colorful lines or fireworks trailing behind your fingers.  Right now the best thing I can find is a sort of minimal bubble-blowing-and-popping app.

  • Good adult fidget apps.  May overlap with the toddler apps.

  • Interesting sustainability/environment apps with some sort of enhanced reality component

  • Physiological measurement and tracking--pulse rate, sleep quality, etc.

  • A traffic avoidance program known to work well in the Northeast.

  • apps to facilitate taking over the world and/or showing them all

  • Other things you've found particularly useful or fun.

The future is kind of a strange place.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
Bound for Canaan: the Epic Story of the Underground Railroad )

Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks )

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal.  Pride and Prejudice, with illusion magic and gender politics.  Good stuff, even if the ending felt a little too pat.  Recommended.

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel )

Shadow Unit, Volume 1 )

Shoggoths in Bloom, by Elizabeth Bear.  New short story collection.  Some of the older stories have a little too much random unnecessary self-sacrifice, but the newer ones are brilliant and dark and thoughtful.  Highly recommended.

Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. Reread in preparation for the new one coming out.  Funny, snarky urban fantasy that doesn't take place in Not-the-World-of-Darkness.  Highly recommended.

Talking Man, by Terry Bissom.  There are some brilliant images in this--I will never take a road trip again without thinking about the Mississippi River Canyon--but ultimately, it turns out that I don't like magical realism regardless of whether it takes place in South American or southern Appalachia.  I like things to happen for reasons.

A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer.  Freebie at the AAAS conference.  Awesome freebie.  This is a bunch of short essays, by a brilliant science writer, about how you probably know a lot less than you think you do about viruses.  They are weird.

Total Books: 9
Recent Publication: 6
Rereads: 1
Recommendations: [livejournal.com profile] papersky recommended the Bissom, and the entire internet recommended the Kowal.
New Music: None.
New Media Created: Some intensive work on the urban infrastructure fantasy, and I actually finished the Jewish Narnia drabble cycle.  Anyone have any idea about markets for a Jewish fantasy drabble cycle?


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