This follows hot on the heels of the last release as the new clouds layer service running on this blog can update far more frequently than the source used prior to 3.45. You will now get a fresh helping of clouds every hour! Unrelated to this release I've improved the quality of the clouds image as well. If you're interested you can read about this in exhaustive detail here.
I only just released 3.44 with some timezone updates but in the past week the location I had been using for global cloud cover abruptly shut down. If you like up to date clouds you'll want to install the new versions as soon as possible. With this update I'm building a cloud image every three hours and serving through this blog (and thankfully CloudFlare) so any further changes should not require a code release.
I do a fair amount of time-lapse photography as a hobby and one format I really love is the single frame time-lapse. This is where hundreds (or thousands) of images are stitched together into a single picture instead of a video. There are several examples on this blog including trippy clouds, cranes, a living room and a video which is a time-lapse of single frame time-lapses (made from 1,581,120 photos!)
Until recently I shot the frames like I would a regular time-lapse and then combined them into a single photo using some custom software. This is fairly tedious and so I've packaged up the entire process into an Android app. It can shoot from a minute to 24 hours using the front or rear camera and then saves the finished photo.
I have 20 free license codes for ITHCWY readers. If you'd like one just send me an email.
Both updates fix a problem with the clouds layer not updating. The Android update also adds compatibility for Android 5 / Lollipop.
Also, Catfood Earth for Android is now free. I had been charging $0.99 for the Android version but I've reached the conclusion that I'm never going to retire based on this (or even buy more than a couple of beers) so it's not worth the hassle. Catfood Earth for Windows has been free since 3.20.
Skype for Android is finally getting there. Push support means that it is now useful for more than conditioning your battery. Conversation read status is mostly synced between different client instances which is a big time saver. I'm actually starting to use it.
There is one horrible usability crime. When you open the app you get a list of unread conversations. Your set your finger in flight to the first one and then notice an ad sliding down from the top of the screen. With horror you realize it's too late to change course and you hit the ad instead of the conversation.
I'm not complaining about Skype being ad supported here, but if you were going to try and design a UI to trick people into clicking ads you really couldn't do better than this. I expect better from Microsoft.
Other than this the only real complaint is that new posts to group messages sometimes make it through to the notification bar and sometimes don't. You have to run the app periodically to see if there is something new.
Fortune is now available on Google Play. It's an Android version of the UNIX fortune program and will send a random fortune cookie to your notification area at 8ish every morning.
Catfood Earth 3.20 for Windows is now available for download. This update fixes a change in the feed address for the earthquakes layer. I've also switched to using the new NASA Black Marble night-time image and 3.20 includes the latest time zone and political border data.
Earth for Android has been updated to 1.30. This includes the new Black Marble image.
It's a nice streamlined UI and for the first time on Android it actually loads the 15,422 chats I'm required to participate in work and is usable and responsive. I've used it for a few days and really want to like it.
Even though it's faster and prettier it still destroys battery life. Imo.im ad Plus.im manage to handle multiple networks all day without putting a noticeable dent int the battery. With Skype up and running my phone is dead by the early evening. It's useless.
They also haven't fixed syncing the read state of messages which is the worst deficiency of Skype on both mobile and the desktop. Imo.im did this wonderfully until Skype cut them off at the kneecaps.
Back to Plus.im for now...
I recently upgraded to the HTC One which has a transparent notification bar. This makes it hard to see notification icons when using Catfood Earth as your wallpaper, at least in the summer when it's always light at high latitudes and your white icons are displayed on top of polar ice and clouds.
Catfood Earth for Android 1.20 fixes this with an option to paint black under the notification bar. That's the only update other than the latest Xamarin runtime.