Creating the perfect bathroom

I do a fair amount of traveling and have been subjected to at least three, arguably four, cultural buckets (European, North American, Asian, and South American). One thing that I always find humor in is the drastic variations on bathrooms from one culture to the next. My experiences have led me to think about what would make the perfect bathroom, by taking bits and pieces from around the world to create a single bathroom.

  • Toilets in Europe and the UK have two flush mechanisms. One is a small button with a single dot on it and the second, larger button, has two dots on it. I find this to be an extremely simple and elegant solution to conserving water.
  • Speaking of toilets, have you ever crapped on a Japanese toilet?! Holy. Shit. Besides my Googler friends, who have been happily crapping on space age Japanese toilets for years, we’ve all been missing out. Seat warmers, bidets, music, automatic lids, and freaking medical sensors! I mean, why don’t they just add laser beams?
  • Public restrooms in Europe, the UK, and Japan have fully enclosed small rooms for their toilets. There’s absolutely no cracks or open air around you. Total privacy while taking a crap in public. Pure genius.
  • Showers in every place I’ve been to in Europe and many in the UK have two knobs, as you’d expect, but they do totally different things. One knob is temperature (many have the actual temperature numbers on them) and the other is pressure. Never fumble around adjusting hot and cold until you get it just right!
  • In Thailand their plumbing systems weren’t made for flushing toilet paper and such so they have a small spray hose (think of the sprayer by your sink attached to a wall by the toilet). Toilet paper is merely used to dry off your clean bottom. I got used to this method pretty quickly and much prefer it over toilet paper.

If I ever do build my own home or renovate another bathroom I’ll be including all of these in my bathroom as I think they really do make the perfect bathroom all together.

Chess Wars is live in the App Store

It’s taken a long time to get here, but the first version of Chess Wars is live in the App Store. It’s a bit awkward, but the general story is that Crash Corp was started to make these games, but switched gears when Matt Galligan and I teamed up to seek funding for other, more interesting, games. As a result, Blunder Move was born.

Chess Wars allows you to play your Facebook friends in chess using Facebook Connect. Here’s a list of features for Chess Wars:

  • No signup process. Simply log in with your Facebook account using Facebook Connect.
  • Play against your Facebook friends! Send challenges and invite your friends to play against you.
  • Works over WiFi, EDGE, or 3G. Play using your iPhone or iPod Touch.
  • A little rusty at Chess? Don’t worry it highlights potential moves when you select a piece.
  • Play and keep track of dozens of games with our simple inbox. Games are organized by game state (e.g. My Turn, Their Turn, New Challenges, etc.).
  • Our in-game chat system allows you to taunt your friends easily. Everyone loves rubbing a good move in!
  • Get notified on Facebook when a friend makes a move or sends you a chat message.
  • Scroll back through move history easily.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us with your issues. We’ve got a lot of plans for next versions and will be releasing checkers and reversi next.

Changing your artist name in iTunes Connect

The short story is it’s not possible to change your artist name in iTunes Connect. The longer story is that, when you sign up for an iPhone developer account, you enter in your artist name and, likely, forget all about it. That is, until your app goes live in the App Store and you notice “I dunno” is what your app is listed under.

What makes this so frustrating is that there is absolutely no way to find out what your artist name is. It’s not shown in any of the certificates nor it’s not shown in iTunes Connect. Sure, your copyright holder, company name, etc. are all viewable, but that very important artist name, which your application actually gets listed under? Nope.

Luckily, I didn’t have to contact Apple through normal channels, which I hear takes 4 – 6 weeks to get a change done, but I did find plenty of things to be annoyed about.

  • You cannot preview your application in the App Store without actually publishing it into the App Store.
  • Your artist name is not listed anywhere in iTunes Connect so you cannot verify any changes.
  • You cannot view the status of a case number anywhere. You have no way of passively viewing the status of your case. You have to email them to find out if it’s closed or not.

Apple could easily fix all of these with very little effort. In fact, they offer a preview of what your applications will look like when you sign up, but not after you’ve submitted apps. I’d like to see three things:

  • The list of your applications in iTunes Connect should be switched to look exactly like they would be listed in iTunes.
  • In the applications overview it should show the artist name (even if I’m not allowed to edit it I should at least be able to see it).
  • Allow me to see a simple overview of any pending cases I have. Just something like a case number, when it was opened, and status (e.g. “In Review”, “Not Assigned”, “Waiting on Developer”, “Closed”).

Add this to the long list of things Apple should fix in iTunes Connect and the App Store for developers.

John Deschanel is probably retarded.

Over the recent 4th of July holidays a Wisconsin man’s protest, an upside down flag, was removed from his private property prior to the town’s parade without reason or warrant. There is so much WTF in this story I’m not really sure where to begin, but the most ignorant comment comes from Village President John Deschane.

“If he wants to protest, let him protest but find a different way to do it,” Deschane said.

I have to give him credit for fitting so much ignorance into such a short sentence. First off, the courts have ruled over and over again that the American flag can be desecrated as a form of protest. Second off, you don’t get to choose how people protest your own decisions (as long as they’re doing so legally).

I really hope the ACLU takes a picture of this idiot as he’s writing a fat check to Vito Congine for stealing his property, trespassing and violating his civil rights. MMmmmm … Crow.