surfernerd

Tech, surf and other random interestingness, curated by Gianfranco Lanzio.

Nov 10, 2014

Someone Reading a Book is a Sign of Order in the World

In one sense, reading is a great waste of time. In another sense, it is a great extension of time, a way for one person to live a thousand and one lives in a single lifespan, to watch the great impersonal universe at work again and again, to watch the great personal psyche spar with it, to suffer affliction and weakness and injury, to die and watch those you love die, until the very dizziness of it all becomes a source of compassion for ourselves, and our language, which we alone created, and without which the letter that slipped under the door could never have been written, or, once in a thousand lives—is that too much to ask?—retrieved, and read.

As you can imagine, I fell in love with reading. Again, and again, and again, and again.

Also, it's a time as good as any to tell you that if you still don't, you should read Brain Pickings.

Nov 6, 2014

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

Chris had come around on the idea of himself as a hermit, and eventually embraced it. When I mentioned Thoreau, who spent two years at Walden, Chris dismissed him with a single word: "dilettante."

Isn't everybody, he said, seeking the same thing in life? Aren't we all looking for contentment? He was never happy in his youth—not in high school, not with a job, not being around other people. Then he discovered his camp in the woods. "I found a place where I was content," he said. His own perfect spot. The only place in the world he felt at peace.

Other than being a fascinating story — I dare you not being totally fascinated by a man that lived for 27 years in the woods without human contact — it makes me ask myself: what do we need, or rather, what do I need to be content?

Oct 30, 2014

Glassy Pro

Being a nerd, I'm interested in everything regarding technology. This includes wearables.

Being a surfer, I love everything related to surfing.

So, when I found out that there's a wearable dedicated to surfers coming out1 I kinda freaked out.

glassy pro

The Glassy Pro One, made by the same team that released the Glassy Pro app for iPhone and Android:

[...] tracks specific surf parameters such as the amount of time a surfer is riding a wave, the speed he gets while riding it, and the number of waves he has taken in a session.

Which I'd love to have had during these last month because I swear trying to keep the count of how many waves you catch during a session is, well, impossible and data (especially about the things that you love the most — that's why I like the Jawbone Up so much, it gives data about ME) is utterly cool.

The fact that it has some social capabilities is definitely a plus too.

The surfing smart watch is currently on pre–order for €278


  1. Well, two, the other one being produced by Rip Curl: it costs $400 and has a gps. 

Oct 30, 2014

Tim Cook Speaks Up

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

This has been shared by everyone today, and for good reason. Pity something like this is still necessary, glad the CEO of Apple did this.

clap

Sep 12, 2014

Yahoo News Digest for iPad

yahoo

Yahoo News Digest provides a definitive summary of all the important, need-to-know news. Digests are delivered twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. All the top stories are summarized and presented with the key information that you need to stay on top of what’s happening.

It was previously available for iPhone and Android only, and it’s my to-go source for general world information. The app is sleek, well design and well-thought. I love how the information is limited and curated (usually between 6 and 10) and you get a “prize” if you read them all.

You can download it for free.

Sep 11, 2014

Fotonica for iOS

fotonica

FOTONICA is a first-person game about running, jumping, sense of speed, and discovery.

One of my favorite running games ever is now available for iOS and I couldn’t be happier. It feels like it was made for this platform (except for the cool but slightly confusing menus, oh well).

I love the music, the geometric environment and the fact that it's first person and you can see the hands. It almost feels like Canabalt and Mirror's Edge had a son they weren't supposed to have.

It’s 2,69€ on the App Store and is a universal app.

Sep 11, 2014

The only thing worth reading about the Apple Watch

watch

I’ve chosen to focus on the many things I believe Apple got right and those I believe they got wrong, all the while viewing this piece of wearable technology not as a digital peripheral, but as an actual watch. Essentially, what can our friends in Switzerland learn from Apple, and what can Apple learn from the Swiss.

I’ve watched the Keynote live and was not impressed. This is, right now, the only thing worth reading about the Apple Watch.

I’m a little more impressed, still don’t find a use for it (and I don’t have an iPhone).

Sep 3, 2014

Summer Gaming Roundup

Alone

This summer I've been playing games on iOS more than usual.

I'm sure I am going to leave a lot of worthy games behind1, but there are three that I have been playing a lot lately and feel like you should check them out too.

The first one has been on the App Store for quite some time and is called Boson X: it's a running game set in a particle accelerator. You jump right or left by tapping on the screen and straight by holding both thumbs at the same time. It's incredibly difficult (especially the new Dark Energy Containment Laboratory level) but always entertaining and somehow always feels like if you play "just one more time" you will get the score needed to get to the next level.

ALONE is a newly released endless runner that Andrea Latino suggested I tried, and I thank him for that. You are a lonely spaceship in the depths of space and by swiping your thumb up or down you have to stay alive by avoiding rocks and meteors (I immediately disabled the inverted controls). The game is hard and frantic and I didn't get this excited for an endless runner since Canabalt and that's saying a lot. The controls, once you get used to them, are perfect and both the art direction and music are top notch.

It would seem that my last suggestion, Rules, would be an easier and more relaxing game since you need memory and thinking more than reflexes and skills: quite the contrary. It's incredibly hard to get past levels ~20 but it's also extremely rewarding and you will always find yourself trying to get past your best score or your highest level. Good luck!

Hope you enjoy these games and I'm open to your suggestions, would love to try some new games out.

You can find them on the App Store (ALONE is also available for Android and Boson X is available for most of the platforms out there):

Boson X ALONE Rules


  1. Tweet your suggestions @gianlovessurf

Aug 11, 2014

Iceland & Greenland

iceberg

You might have been wondering (probably not much) why the surfernerd has been updated so little: I've been traveling quite a bit and living life and stuff like that and the technological sphere has been out of my mind lately.

But here I am to share with you some (not so) nice pictures about two beautiful countries I've just been to: Iceland and Greenland. For those that don't know they're both up north and in summer they're far greener than the names and general imagination would suggest.

They also have the rawest and most beautiful landscapes and nature I've ever seen so I'd suggest you go there if you have a chance (and I'm a warm weather–sun–beach kind of person).

August is nearing its end and both Metro Podcast and The Backseat Companion will be back soon, so keep your eyes open!

Jun 9, 2014

Do you like running?

I do. I mean, I don't.

I like the idea of running. I love the feeling after a run: it feels like I accomplished something and I deserve a pat on my back. I enjoy the scenery, the music in my ears, the fact that all the thoughts that I have live in a limbo that's destroyed as soon as I stop.

Sometimes I even like the actual running part.

But oh if there are some things I dislike. I dislike the part of thinking about the actual running: not the romanticized idea of putting one foot after the other in rapid succession to feel better afterwards but the gloomy thoughts of having to leave the comfort of my house and go do something I might as well not do. I dislike the weather: unless it's an early summer morning it's either too damn cold or too damn warm. There are times I hate running: nobody enjoys being out of breath, pain in the spleen area, hurting feet, legs and calves.

Still, whenever I can / find the strength to do so, I run.

Because, in some peculiar way, the act of pointlessly putting one foot after the other in rapid succession has some deep and cathartic meaning behind it – a sort of metaphor of what life is.