Federal Tax Deadline Extended, But Not All States Follow Suit

As you may or may not know, the deadline this year for filing your federal (2010) income tax return has been extended to April 18th, 2011 (instead of the typical 15th). This is due to the IRS observing the Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.

However, not all states are following the IRS’s lead, so some state tax returns will still be due on April 15th. You should double-check your state to determine this years deadline.

Here in California, the 15th is still listed as the official deadline, but they go on to say, “Due to the federal Emancipation Day holiday on April 15, 2011, tax returns filed and payments received on April 18, 2011, will be considered timely.”

PLAYMOBIL Apple Store Playset

Apple Store Playset
Apple Store Playset
Apple Store Playset from ThinkGeek

Love it, love it, love it! ThinkGeek always comes up with the best stuff on April 1st. I don’t know if they’ll actually start selling these PLAYMOBIL™ Apple Store Playsets, but they sure are cool. The optional Line Pack is especially hilarious!

A year or two ago they put up this Tauntaun sleeping bag as an April Fools gag, but it was so popular they decided to actually make them. So, who knows?

Sparrow: A simplified Mac email app. It looks cool, but IMAP support is still lacking.

Sparrow - Mac Email App

Today I gave Sparrow a try. It’s a simplified Mac email app that recently gained support for imap email accounts. Prior to version 1.1 it was strictly for use with Google’s gmail (which I don’t use).

I was curious about the idea of using a much more streamlined email client. Currently I use Apple’s Mail, and although I have no real complaints about Mail, I’m always looking for ways to simplify my day. I wasn’t sure if I would like Sparrow, but that’s the beauty of imap – if I decided I didn’t like it, I could seamlessly go back to Mail without worrying about losing anything or having to migrate from one app to another since all the mail lives on the server and syncs to any app I use.

Unfortunately, Sparrow’s imap implementation has one big problem that made going back and forth a little more painful than it should be. When I set up my email address in Sparrow it didn’t recognize my existing imap folders for Sent, Drafts, Junk, and Trash, so it proceeded to create it’s own versions of these folders. That kind of sucked, but the real oversight from the developers of Sparrow is not building in any way to manually map it’s folders to your existing folders. The result is I now have two sets of folders – one being used by Sparrow, and the other being used by Apple Mail. Both sets actually show up in both apps, so messages aren’t getting lost, but it adds a layer of complexity that doesn’t need to exist.

Supposedly the next version of Sparrow will add the ability to map existing folders, but in my opinion the imap support should have never gone live without this basic functionality. I won’t be trying it again until they fix this.

Although my testing was cut short due to Sparrow’s lack of proper imap support, there was one (negative) thing that jumped out at me right away. If you select a message and hit the delete key, the message isn’t moved into the trash, it’s moved to a folder called, archive. Presumably this behavior is due Sparrow’s roots as a gmail-only app, because gmail archives deleted messages, but I found this behavior just plain wrong.

To me, an Archive is a safe place you use to store items you’re no longer actively accessing, but you need to keep for possible future use. The Trash on the other hand is a place you put things that you no longer want to keep. By these definitions, it makes absolutely no sense to hit the delete key to move items to a “safe place”. As the name implies – delete means throw away. I can’t think of any other software where hitting the delete key actually saves something instead of deleting it. To make things worse, Sparrow also has an Archive button – clicking it also moves items into the archive folder, so essentially archiving and deleting do the same thing. If you truly want to delete something you have to hit Command-Delete. I find this behavior very confusing and I hope they correct this soon.

My last gripe is actually directed at the developers themselves. They kind of make it a little difficult to have conversations with them as they’ve somewhat closed themselves off. Their blog is powered by Tumblr, so that means no comments. Their suppor site is hard to find, as they don’t even provide a link to it on the Sparrow site. I personally find this annoying.

Maciek Jasik Photography

Maciek Jasik Nudes
© Maciek Jasik. All Rights Reserved

I’m loving the photographic work of Maciek Jasik, especially this series of nudes. I’m very curious if Maciek is achieving this look completely through post-processing, or if he is shooting through some sort of colored material.

“…The focus only reaches part of the figure. The rest is a blur in a vibrant, limitless sea of color, a confluence of emotions and feelings. This evokes the traces of memory we have for each other, and the inability we have to ever fully understand each other”

Via WhyNot?

iPad 2 Really is Awesome

iPad 2

This afternoon I was over at my neighborhood Best Buy and I got a chance to play with an iPad 2 demo unit. It wasn’t until today that I realized just how much nicer they are than the first-generation model that I have.

Although the iPad 2 is only 15% lighter than mine, I could feel the difference. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was noticeable. What was more apparent is the difference in thickness, or should I say thinness. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner, and the difference in how it feels is dramatic. I also think the new, more tapered bevel around the edge tends to emphasize this difference, making it feel even thinner.

Although the screen has the same resolution as mine, it actually did seem more clear and crisp. I’m not sure why that is – did they change the display?

Although I’ve told myself I don’t need a new iPad, it did take some willpower to walk out of the store without one. Even though I was tempted, there’s no getting around the fact that mine still works fine. As proof, I used it to compose and publish this post.

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau

This afternoon we saw The Adjustment Bureau. Unfortunately, it was just, OK. I was mildly entertained, and I wouldn’t want to totally discourage someone from seeing it, but I think it’s more worthy of a Netflix rental than a full-price theater ticket.

I didn’t know much about the story going in. I had only seen the first teaser trailer. The movie turned out to be nothing like what I had expected. I was kind of under the impression it was going to be sci-fi – kind of a cross between The Matrix and Inception. But, I would now say it’s more of a cross between Heaven Can Wait and City Of Angels. It’s not so much sci-fi as it is god-fi. And, the promotional image (above) is far too menacing for what is actually a pretty light movie.