Quick Cite – Life Hacking Bookstores and Libraries

One of the constant questions from under graduates is how to cite or reference a book. There are numerous tools to help with this at the writing stage such as End Note and web based tools such as BibMe. What if you could get the reference from your iPhone?

Quick Cite ($1.19) in the Australian store allows you to scan the bar code and it emails the citation to you in seconds. This is handy, as many online tools are a kind of folksonomy, and it’s not always easy to know which edition, or citation is correct – after the fact.

It’s handy if you are browsing too, in that you students often take one or two books on loan, but may have been interested in more. It’s a handy way to come back and remember which you wanted – or to later look for a digital edition.

You might even want to scan your own library, just filter the inbound messages from the application. It would be nice if it extended itself to produce citations that would be recognised by things such as Mendeley too, but I’m finding it a handy tool.

For those people who browse book stores and then buy online — lifehackers that you are, you could scan and use Booko to get the best price.


Cool Tools for iPhone App Development

This is a presentation and collection of resources that was shared by the Apple Distinguished Educators at ITSC. I did check that this was okay to share and he was happy with it, but please cite where it came from. It was a very brief, but interesting ‘unconference’ as the speaker put it. Personally, I thought it was the best 10 mins of the day.

Resources for Up and Coming iPhone Developers (or those at least thinking of it…)

Starting Points
1. Beginning iPhone Development by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche. A good book for absolute neophytes – takes you through all the steps in developing an app. Also has an excellent support page: http://www.iphonedevbook.com/

2. http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs193p/cgi-bin/drupal/
This is the homepage for CS 193P iPhone Application Development, part of Stanford Engineering Everywhere’s online course. Lots of lectures, handouts and sample code to get you started. Assumes you have some knowledge of Objective-C.

3. http://developer.apple.com/iphone/index.action
This is the official iPhone Dev Center from Apple. Contains all the documentation you require to get started, as well as the SDKs to download and all the other odds and ends. Good reference tools here, too. They are also working on developing forums.

Images and Icons

1. http://www.iconspedia.com/
If you’re like me, and can’t draw to save your life, this site is a godsend. Plenty of great icons that you can use in your iPhone apps – all completely free!

Sample Code

A very simple getting started page. Tells you what you get in the SDK, how it all fits together, the principles of iPhone software design, and finally shows you how to build

2. http://www.iphoneexamples.com/
Some simple examples for common tasks in iPhone App Development.

3. http://howtomakeiphoneapps.com/
Matt Drake runs this site; he regularly updates it with useful tips for all iPhone developers. Lots of sample code here too.

4. http://www.aboutobjects.com/tutorials.html
Excellent examples here, and the sample code is provided free of charge. Very good site.

5. http://www.iphonesdkarticles.com/
Lots of examples here for sample code, as well as some reasonable explanations, so you learn why you are doing and not just how to do it.

6. http://appsamuck.com/
30 different samples here – covering a whole range of apps, from simple to quite complex.
Don’t forget to check on youtube for lots of examples!

1. http://www.iphonedevsdk.com/
If you ever have a problem, this community will have someone who will be able to solve it for you. Very useful when you are stuck. Also has a few examples.

2. http://forums.theappleblog.com/development/
Another useful forum. This one focuses on all mac development.

3. http://cocoadevcentral.com/d/learn_objectivec/
An introduction to objective-C.

4. http://www.codza.com/how-to-debug-exc_bad_access-on-iphone
Some hints and tips with debugging apps here.

What are those things?

picture-28 Someone asked me today if used Firefox. “Yes, I said”. After a pause they said “What are all those icons where the site address goes”. I thought for a moment and replied “waypoints”. After a slight nod of acceptance came “what do they do?”.

My waypointsDelicious, Diigo, Zotero (still scares me), zemanta (awesome tool), Cooliris, Google Notebook – are all things I use to recognise where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and learned. They do add to productivity – but I am so used to using them that I almost forget they are there and just how damn useful my browser is. Add ons come and go, but these have been with me for a while now. They make the whole process of telecommuting, working anywhere so easy that I wonder how people who have IE, Word and Email cope with the ebb and flow of communication that passes by them daily. It all starts and ends with meta data. The ability to leverage poweful tools, from simple icons, and create a set of way points that help me navigate the stuff that I’m interested in makes Firefox a weapon of mass construction (sic). Not only do I explore the metaverse, but the tools make it easy to drop pixel pins all over it.

virtual-live-borderDo I prefer to use online tools? No. I just want to use powerful tools. I can’t do any of this in Word and Outlook, so don’t – unless I have to. A decade ago, I had Outlook open all day, now I have to remember to check Groupwise. All this comes with me as I wander around with my iPhone (which as a phone is not that great). I no longer carry my laptop around with me. I’ve also noticed that students on campus also don’t. I half expected that students would all have laptops or netbooks – given the free wifi. But no, they prefer their phone and then drop into a ‘lab’ when they need to use a PC. I think at times, these things creep up on us. We don’t make big jumps at all, but there is a constant upgrade at work. It is impossible to keep up, to know all that is there, or all that is possible anymore – and I am not sure we need to. Powering your browser allows you to do more. Talking Web2.0 to someone on stock IE6 is difficult. Developing learning systems using browser power-ups is something I am beginning to think is like an exoskeleton. In the brief conversation today, it was impossible to put this into a simple answer other than “they make things better”.

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Telstra – Unlock this.

Dear Mr Groom,

Thank you for your email dated 10 October 2008 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding Telstra.

The role of the ACCC is to ensure compliance with the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA), which is designed to encourage fair trading and discourage anti-competitive conduct through a specific set of competition and consumer protection rules.

I note from your email that you purchased an iPhone from a Telstra store for $850 and you were informed that you needed to call Telstra to arrange for them to unlock the phone to enable you to use it on the Three Network. You indicated that you asked Telstra staff if there was any applicable fees for unlocking the phone and they advised you that there was no fee. You also stated that you perused Apple and Telstra’s websites and did not see any reference to a fee for unlocking the iPhone. However you subsequently found that there was in a fact a ‘hidden fee’ for unlocking your phone. The conduct you have described could potentially breach sections 52 and 53(e) of the TPA.

Section 52 of the TPA is a broad provision which prohibits a corporation, in trade or commerce, engaging in conduct which is misleading or deceptive, or which is likely to mislead or deceive. Whether particular conduct is misleading or deceptive is a question of fact to be determined in the context of the evidence as to the alleged conduct and to the relevant surrounding facts and circumstances. If you think you have entered the contract under misleading circumstances, you should first attempt to pursue a remedy with Telstra. Section 53(e) prohibits corporations from making misrepresentations about the price of goods and services. The conduct that you describe may be at risk of breaching these provisions of the TPA. For this reason I have lodged details of your complaint in our national database.

In assessing any complaint, staff of the ACCC would generally determine whether or not the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the TPA, whether or not there appears to have been a breach of the TPA, and if so, whether the impact of the conduct is so serious and widespread that it is appropriate that the ACCC should take some action. The ACCC generally takes enforcement action in circumstances where there are broad flow on benefits for industry and consumers alike. While there may be some instances were a breach of the TPA has occurred, it may be more appropriate for consumers to pursue these matters individually as a private matter and in many instances their local Office of Fair Trading will be able to assist with advice on how to proceed in such matters.

The conduct about which you complain may also contravene the Fair Trading Act in New South Wales. For conduct occurring within New South Wales, the ACCC would generally refer consumers to the New South Wales Office of Fair Trading (Tel: 13 32 20; website: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au). If you have suffered any loss as a result of relying on any misrepresentation, you may be able to recover that loss in a Small Claims Tribunal. The New South Wales Office of Fair Trading can also provide details about this procedure.

Your matter is important to the ACCC as it assists us in determining issues with national or wider public interest implications. We closely study the patterns of complaints that we receive to ensure that our enforcement and education actions are focused on the areas of greatest concern to Australian consumers. Consequently, the details of your matter have been recorded and will be used to determine whether there is a pattern of behaviour by a particular trader or in a particular industry that raise broader concerns.

Thank you for contacting the ACCC with your concerns. I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely


ACCC Infocentre

Ph: 1300 302 502