SEC Sports Roundtable 118: Pros Throwing to College Kids

Shane and I redact some of our previous statements about SEC basketball and break down the SEC’s surprising success in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. We also discuss the recent decision by Northwestern football players to unionize and breakdown Johnny Manziel’s pro day. Oh, and of course, there’s a little bit of Bruce Pearl talk as well.

The Supervisor’s Prayer

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Lord, when I am wrong, make me willing to change. When I am right, make me easy to live with. So strengthen me that the power of my example will far exceed the authority of my rank.

One of the biggest influences in my life, Dave Ramsey, mentioned this prayer in passing on his radio show several months ago.

Many view Dave simply as a “personal” financial coach. Although he has made a name for himself as a financial coach, he has made some waves over the past couple years as a leadership coach.

His book, EntreLeadership, teaches those in leadership positions how to be efficient and Godly examples for their team members.

Although I am not a supervisor, I do manage a team of volunteers on a weekly basis at our local church. Every week I have to check myself and make sure that I am being a Godly example to my team members in everything that I do.

Even if you aren’t in a leadership position people still view you as a leader. Whether you stand up for something you believe in or simply show Christ to someone today, you are a leader.

This prayer is for all of us. We are all leaders. No matter the scale, no matter the platform.

SEC Sports Roundtable 117: SEC Basketball Tourney Preview

I joined Shane, Blair and Jon to talk about the first and second round games of the SEC Basketball Tournament and predict our big winners. We also discuss our proposed changes to the one-and-done rule in college basketball and offer up some suggestions for the NBA D-League.

Using FaceTime Audio for Podcast Recording

Skype has long been a thorn in the side of podcasters who frequently feature remote guests or co-hosts.

Although there are many alternatives to the Microsoft-owned VOIP client, it is still regarded as the gold standard in podcasting circles.

Several podcasters have turned to Google Hangouts, but many feel that the platform still has packet loss issues that can greatly affect audio quality.

Stephen Hackett, host of The Prompt on 5by5, has done some extensive testing with Apple’s new FaceTime Audio product.

Although FaceTime Audio has been a feature in iOS for several months now, it recently was added to Mac OSX.

When I first heard about FaceTime Audio I was extremely interested. FaceTime Video has always provided amazing quality, in my testing, even over 3G and LTE networks.

Stephen and his co-hosts use a very fool-proof setup that he calls “double-ending”. This technique allows for the highest quality recording possible and isn’t reliant on the overall quality of the Skype call.

Although Stephen and his co-hosts use this technique, he still tested the recorded quality over FaceTime Audio.

His consensus is a bit underwhelming for those looking for a true alternative to Skype.

At this point, I think it’s best to think of FaceTime Audio as a good backup for Skype, but I won’t be moving to it anytime soon.

I wouldn’t write FaceTime Audio off just yet. Although it may not be up to Skype quality, it still offers some advantages including built-in integration with iOS right from the call screen.

SEC Sports Roundtable 116: Not Having A Crawfish Boil Will Get You A Show Cause

Shane, Drew and I continue to express our discontent with the state of SEC basketball. We chat about possible coaching replacements for Anthony Grant and Cuonzo Martin. We wrap up by breakdown the performances of the SEC’s top players at the NFL Combine.

SEC Sports Roundtable 115: Iron Fist With Lots Of Holes

This week Shane, Britton and I offer up rule changes for just about every single sport. Britton takes his stance on the 10-second substitution rule, we talk about opening weekend around SEC baseball and share our latest complaints about the state of SEC basketball.

SEC Sports Roundtable 113: Snowed In

I joined Shane to talk a bit about the winter storm that has been plaguing much of the Deep South including my hometown and the University of Alabama. We also discuss Jacob Coker’s potential impact at Alabama and plead the SEC to return to basketball prominence.

30 Years of Mac

On this day in 1984 Apple’s first Macintosh went on sale in the United States. Boasting a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM it was one of the most innovative computing-products in history.

Apple has a great ode to the Mac on their homepage today.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people — as remarkable as the telephone.”

Steve Jobs, 1984

Apple Hardware: Over-Powered for the Price?

Mike Elgan writing for Cult of Mac:

Apple is often accused of making “disposable” devices, and some of those criticisms are valid. But if we’re going to slam Apple for making devices with user non-removable batteries and put together with glue, rather than screws, we also need to give Apple credit for future proofing products when they do so. Over-specing the hardware is one way to future-proof. If you buy a Mac Pro for example, you’re probably set for a decade (especially given the fact that Mac Pro is CPU-upgradable). Advanced features extend the amount of time until you’ll feel the need to buy a replacement.

First of all I find it very interesting that we are even having this conversation. How long ago was it that every non-Apple biased journalist was calling out Apple for pricing themselves way above the market? Now journalists are calling them out, essentially saying that Apple is making their hardware too powerful?

In part, I completely understand what Mike Elgan is saying here. The new Mac Pro (Late 2013 model) is extremely over-powered for almost anyone in the consumer or prosumer market. More than ever before the “Pro” tagline on this product carries a descriptive meaning.

This computer is strictly for those who use it on a daily basis to make a living. That’s it. Now granted, that doesn’t mean that consumers don’t have the right to own one, but it is ludicrous to call this computer over-powered. Apple simply put the best hardware combination available in their top-of-the-line computer. The user base and pricing structure should (and probably will) reflect that.

Earlier in the article Elgan references the 64-bit A7 chip Apple recently introduced in the new iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and the Retina iPad Mini. He states that there is no use for the 64-bit architecture in the mobile world. Thus saying that Apple has made the device over-powered. Really Mike, really?

It is apparent, at least to me, that this is once again Apple taking a huge innovative leap in the market. This isn’t the first time Apple has done something like this. From the release of the original iPhone to the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint scanner, Apple is once again pushing the market.

In fact, Samsung has even teased a new chip for CES that could be 64-bit.

The market is already responding to Apple’s latest innovation. Surprise, surprise.

Book Review: The Mobile Writer by Julio Ojeda-Zapata

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I rarely post book reviews (by rarely I mean “have never”), but seeing as I am trying to revive my blog I decided that this would be something great to share.

Let me be clear, I am not a book nerd. I never have been, but a couple years ago I learned that I love to read. Granted, it took me a while to allow myself to admit that I was actually having fun reading a book, but once I got over that I was golden. Oh, and by a couple years ago, I really mean just over a year ago.

This review is profiling Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s The Mobile Writer, but just as a brief aside, you may be asking: what was the book that got me into reading? I am a bit ashamed to admit it, especially in mixed company, but it was Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. There. I admitted it. It feels pretty good, until one of you decides to make fun of me for it. Anyway…

As an aspiring writer I have also come to the realization that good writers read about twice as much content as they write. Now, for a long-winded soul like me, that only means I have a ton of reading in my future. I am nowhere near reading twice as much as I write, but this book was a small step in that direction.

Julio Ojeda-Zapta is one of my favorite tech writers that many have never heard of. That is due mainly in part to the fact that he is one of the few tech writers that still writes for a print newspaper. That’s right, some people still get their technology news from dead trees. This was news to me as well (I kid, sort of). I first learned about him from Leo Laporte’s TWiT podcast where Julio has been a guest panelists several times.

Julio has written several technology books including iPad Means Business and Twitter Means Business. His latest book The Mobile Writer is currently only available on the Amazon Kindle store, but he has suggested that print and iBooks versions are coming as well. Although there is no real benefit to reading this as an e-book, I still recommend grabbing the book now from the Kindle Store. Just to clarify, by “no real benefit” I mean features like interactive content or embedded media. I actually really enjoyed reading this book on my iPad Air. Before the Air this wasn’t always the case, but with the reduced size and weight the experience is much better. Plus, this book is almost exclusively mobile-centric, as the title suggests. So it’s just a great experience reading it on a mobile device. Not to mention the e-book is much cheaper than the upcoming print version will be, I’m sure. You can download The Mobile Writer from the Kindle store for just $2.99 (hint, hint: this is a steal).

The Amazon description actually sums the book up fairly well.

Get real writing done with iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Chromebooks, and other mobile hardware (including Microsoft Surface). Learn how top journalists, authors and public-relations professionals write using an array of mobile gadgets. Get recommendations on the best mobile hardware, software (apps!), and accessories.

Julio dives deep into the ends-and-outs of the mobile writing space. That’s one of the things I love about his writing. He can be very exhaustive and informative at times, but I never got bored or overwhelmed.

I must admit, as an avid writer as well as an iPad user, I am very familiar with writing on mobile devices. I actually went into this book thinking that I wouldn’t learn anything. Although I was familiar with many of the topics covered in the book, I actually learned a thing or two.

Julio does an amazing job profiling apps for every single mobile platform that is popular today. He even makes some recommendations for writing apps under Windows and Mac which I found to be a nice surprise.

Although the app recommendations will probably prove very useful to someone new to this space, I loved the “user profiles” that are included. Most of these read like case studies of individuals that are prominent mobile writers. Julio does a fantastic job of profiling users from many different backgrounds.

My favorite user profile was of Patrick Rhone, an author and blogger. I have read several of Patrick’s pieces online before and even listened to his podcast, but I didn’t know about his interesting writing workflow. Not to spoil the book, but Patrick actually does most of his writing from an iPad or an iPhone without a keyboard. That’s right, without a keyboard. He claims that although he is a bit slower on the iOS virtual keyboard it makes him a better writer. Granted, I’m not sure I will ever be able to write a full-length article with just an iPhone, but more power to you Patrick! I still find this to be incredible.

Julio stresses that our mobile devices are some of the best writing environments imaginable and I totally agree. Although I am not going to be tossing my Mac anytime soon, I love writing on my iPad from time to time. Especially with the improvements with the new iPad Air, it’s hard not to sneak off to a coffee shop with just my iPad and my Bluetooth keyboard.

iOS is my platform of choice, but Julio covers other platforms like Android and Chromebooks in-depth.

I found this book to be an extremely quick read. I purchased it right before I came home for Christmas Break and after only two days of reading for an hour or so I finished it. This is a great book if you’re looking for some tech content to read on a road trip or even on the upcoming long weekend.

Final Verdict: 4.5 ♥s out of 5.

There was nothing not to love about this book. It’s cheap, an easy read, and very informative. If I had to pick one thing that I didn’t love it was the lack of media. Maybe I’m used to reading iBooks and other interactive books, but I would have loved some pictures to go along with the app profiles or setup pictures for the user profiles.

After all, this is a book. I’m still a kid, I guess, complaining about the lack of pictures.

For those interested, I am planning on detailing my writing workflow in a future post. Julio actually details my favorite writing app prevalently in the book.

Stay tuned for more book reviews in the future. No guarantees on timing though, I’m a very methodical reader (read: uncommitted).

Oh, by the way, I wrote this entire review on my iPad Air. Using a Bluetooth keyboard, of course.