Category Archives: General

3 Down News – Submitted

When we upgraded from our 1GHz Titanium PowerBook to a MacBook Pro, I was finally able to dive into iOS App development. After a couple weeks of playing around, I’ve managed to piece together 3 Down News, and got it submitted to Apple for approval last night.

Along the way I’ve come across a bunch of tools that have been a great help, here’s the list:

  • TapLynx: This is where it all started. TapLynx is a framework you can base your program on to get your own app into the App Store without writing one line of code – although you can if you want to (I did!). There are a bunch of very helpful posts and nice people in the TapLynx Google Group.
  • Dropbox: Back it up!!!
  • Cocoa with Love: Matt Gallagher’s blog has a nice example of how to get streaming audio working in an App.
  • Inkscape: Created the 3 Down Logo with this great open source program
  • Gimp: Images, screenshots, logos, artwork, all made pixel perfect with The Gimp
  • Glyphish: Joseph Wain has created some free icons you too can use in your iOS App.
  • iPhone-Simulator Cropper: Create screenshots of your App, in the format needed for submission to Apple, from iPhone Simulator.
  • SimFinger: A great Mac OS X program that will help you create an environment to record a great demo video.
  • Jing: I used Jing to record some demo videos to send around to friends
  • Apple’s Dev Site: This is obvious, but I think it’s important to say. There are a couple reasons the App Store is huge – of course amazing hardware is one, but the development environment, tools, APIs, and documentation that Apple has put together is simply amazing.

I hope this will not be my last post regarding my iOS adventures!

New York Times and LinkedIn

There is a lot of interesting talk these days surrounding the New York Times’ intention of setting up a paywall, which has me paying attention to how the old-school thinking of the print media is (or isn’t) changing as the web moves on without them. As I was reading my morning news today, I noticed a little box with aerospace related stories on the side of the page. Hey! I work in aerospace, how neat. Wait a minute, there’s this little LinkedIn logo there too, neat… and disturbing, I’m guessing this is connected somehow.

LinkedIn Driven Content

LinkedIn Driven Content

So after a little more reading, I dug into the part of the privacy policy that deals with this implementation. has an arrangement with LinkedIn, a third party, in which we may use LinkedIn profile information to provide LinkedIn users with customized advertising and a short list of customized headlines when they read Business or Technology articles on By way of example, a LinkedIn user on might see a box highlighting headlines about the energy business if the industry selected in his or her LinkedIn profile is “Energy sector”. This is facilitated by sharing a cookie that contains non-personally identifiable information such as Industry and Job Function from that userís LinkedIn profile and matching that with relevant headlines.
We do not share any personally identifiable information with LinkedIn.

So it’s a shared cookie, and my LinkedIn data is not supposed to be sent from LinkedIn to the NYT.

Although this is nothing new, it’s the first time I’ve seen it. †I think it’s an interesting use of my personal information to serve me content, and ads, that will interest me, while still not sharing my personal information across sites without my consent. As long as my data stays in one place, if this will help the NYT to pay the bills so I can keep reading for free, then I’m cool with that.

MLB Simulator

From a link that was in the paper mentioned in the previous post, I started to read about RIOT, the MLB simulator at Berkeley. Here is an excerpt from their page:

Calculating the clinching and elimination numbers for the RIOT baseball standings involves systematically searching for scenarios in which particular teams finish with or without gaining playoff berths. For example, we determined that San Francisco was eliminated from first place in the National League West on September 8th by proving that no feasible scenario exists in which the Giants win the division. The problem of determining whether a team can advance to playoffs given the current league standings and schedule of remaining games can be solved by a single maximum flow calculation (see Hoffman and Rivlin [1] and Schwartz [2]). By introducing additional constraints, we extend this maximum flow formulation to derive integer linear programming problems which find the minimum number of games a given team must win to clinch a playoff spot or avoid elimination from post season play. Robinson [3] takes a similar approach to finding a scenario which maximizes a given team’s lead in the final standings. Interested readers should also consult Gusfield and Martel [4], who show how to find the minimum number of games a team must win to avoid elimination from first place by solving a parametric minimum cut problem.

Very neat. Click here to download their paper.

NHL Simulators

If you google for nhl playoff simulator my NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Race Simulator comes in at #3 in the search results. While I was checking my Google ranking, I found a paper written by some professors from the University of Alberta where they used some simple Monte Carlo simulations in Excel to simulate the end of the 2004 NHL regular season, and then the playoffs. If you are of the less math-inclined persuasion, skim sections 2 and 3, but be sure to read at least section 4. Here is a reference to the paper:

Ingolfsson A. (2004), “Simulating NHL Games to Motivate Student Interest in OR/MS,” INFORMS Transactions on Education, Vol. 5, No 1,