Stylized Apple logo with the text  "Hey Siri, give us a hint."

It’s September, which means it’s time for Apple to hold a big event. This one, which they’ve named “Hey Siri, give us a hint” in the promotional material, takes place today in San Francisco at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern, or 17:00 UTC). In this article, I’ll show you how you can watch it online as it happens if you have an Apple device, how to get live updates if you don’t have an Apple device, and what Apple watchers think will be announced today.

How to watch it online (if you have an Apple device)

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivering a keynote presentation, with the Apple logo projected on the screen behind him

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivering a keynote presentation.

Apple will livestream the event at, but you won’t be able to access it on just any old system that you may have lying around. It may be Apple snobbery, a way to make the Apple faithful feel special, a way to keep the broadband bandwidth and costs for what’s likely to be an insanely popular event down, or some combination of all three, but the most — but not all — of the ways you can watch the livestream involve an Apple device.

In order to watch the livestream, you’ll need one of the following:

  • An iOS device — that is, an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later. If you’re like most iOS users, you’ve kept your device reasonably up-to-date and should be fine. To double-check which version of iOS you have, go to Settings, then select General (you may have to scroll down), then select About; then look for the Version item.
  • A Mac — Macbook, Mac Mini, iMac, or Mac Pro running:
    • OS X 10.8.5 (OS X 10.8 is also known as “Mountain Lion”) or later. To double-check which version of Mac OS you’re running, click on the Apple menu and select About This Mac. The version number should appear just below the headline for the window that appears.
    • Safari 6.0.5 or later. It has to be Safari: Apple is a jealous and angry god, and they won’t let you view their event on anyone else’s browser.
  • An Apple TV. It’ll need to be a second- or third-generation one running software 6.2 or later. To see which version of software your Apple TV is running, go to Settings, then General, then About.
  • A device running Windows 10 and the Microsoft Edge browser.

How to get live updates

Members of the press liveblogging at an Apple keynote

There are always a number of “liveblogs” of any given Apple announcement.

If you don’t have an Apple device or don’t want the full-on distraction of a live video stream, there are a number of people who’ll be “liveblogging” the event with short, quick, rapid-fire updates of text and photos. Here’s out list of media outlets who’ll be liveblogging today; just click on their link to see their liveblog:

What to expect today — the pundits’ guesses

Tim Cook and a slide showing a pocket watch, Stonehenge, a Casio digital watch, and a turkey leg.

Sometimes Apple surprises us at their keynotes.
Photo by Adam Lisagor. Click to see the source.

Here’s our list of articles that attempt to predict what’ll be announced today. Take them with the appropriately-sized grain of salt:

this article also appears in the GSG blog


Tampa’s OpenHack Ybor meetup: Tonight at Brass Tap!

by Joey deVilla on September 8, 2015

openhack ybor - new world

OpenHack Ybor’s August gathering at New World Brewery.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

If you’re in the Tampa area tonight and would like to get to know your fellow developers, show off your current passion project, find out what their passion projects are, and enjoy some pizza and beer (or whatever beverage you like) in a friendly, convivial atmosphere, you might want to come to tonight’s OpenHack Ybor meetup!

openhack ybor - new world 2

Another scene from the meetup at New World Brewery.

OpenHack Ybor, held once a month at one of Ybor City’s many beer-dispensing hangouts, is run by local Ruby developer Tony Winn for software developers of all stripes who want to get to know other local developers, see what they’re up to, and enjoy some free pizza. We’ve already had two OpenHack Ybor meetups — the first at the new pub at Coppertail Brewing, and the second at New World Brewery. Tonight’s meetup, which starts at 6:30, takes place at the Brass Tap in Centro Ybor.

centro ybor

Tonight’s meetup location: Brass Tap in Centro Ybor.

If you’d like to attend, RSVP on OpenHack Ybor’s meetup page (there’s no admission, the pizza is free, you’ll have to buy your own beer) so that Tony’s got an idea of how many will be there and can order pizza accordingly. It’s fun, it’s friendly, and it’s one of my go-to geek events. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there too!

The article also appears in my personal blog, The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Google’s new logo

by Joey deVilla on September 1, 2015

Google announced today that they have a new logo:

new google logo

This is the first really noticeable change to Google’s logo since 1999. There were a couple of tweaks in 2010 and 2013, but unless you’re into design, chances are that you didn’t notice. The transition from the original serif font, which has been less embossed over time, to this new, simpler, sans-serif typeface will be obvious even to non-designers. I suppose we were given a hint when Alphabet was announced — the new font is the same as the one on the alphabet blocks on that page:

alphabet blocks

According to their announcement on the Official Google Blog, the new look is meant to reflect Google’s ubiquity across all manner of computing devices — “whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!” It also fits the “bold, graphic, intentional” look and feel that they’ve been going for since they unveiled Material Design.

In addition to a full-on wordmark, there’s this icon, which incorporates its four colors into a single “G”:

google icon

Here’s their video announcing the new logo:

And if you’re a serious design nerd, you’ll want to check out “Evolving the Google Identity” on Google’s design blog. (And yes, my first question was “Wait…Google has a design blog?”)


tampa bay wave

joe healyThe Tampa tech scene wouldn’t be the same with the smiling face and hard work of Microsoft evangelist Joe Healy (he’s @DevFish on Twitter), whom I had the pleasure of meeting on the second week of my job at Microsoft back in 2008. Many developer/techie/creative events here in the Accordion Bay area come about with a little help from Joe, and I’m thankful for everything he does.

Every now and again, in order to help the community stay in touch — and possibly just to keep us off the streets — he holds “co-working office hours”, in which he opens up Microsoft’s Tampa offices to let indie, freelance, and other works not tied to an office space to come hang out, get work done, and even play a board game or two. I’ve been to a couple of these, and they’re part of my usual changes of pace that I set up to make sure I don’t go stir crazy at my home office.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1st, he’s hosting a special co-working day at Tampa Bay Wave’s headquarters from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m..

For those of you not familiar with it, Tampa Bay Wave is a venture center, incubator/accelerator, coworking space, and general booster of entrepreneurial and techie activity for Tampa Bay. Founded in 2008, they’re a  non-profit public charity whose goal is to support the local tech community and help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into growing businesses with their “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs” approach.

Tampa Bay Wave’s marketing manager, Gracie Leigh Stemmer (she’s @GracieLeighz on Twitter) has invited us to all work at their new downtown Tampa facility, and Joe will be playing host. I’ll be there, and if you’d like to be there too — to work, play, or a little bit of both — come on down! You can find more details on the event’s meetup page.

The details

  • Here’s the event’s page.
  • What: Co-working at Tampa Bay Wave. Bring your laptop, hang out, and get some work done!
  • When: Tuesday, September 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m..
  • Where: Tampa Bay Wave’s downtown office — 500 East Kennedy Blvd, 3rd floor.
  • Other details:
    • There’s lots of pay parking all around the area.
    • There are lunch places aplenty in the area — odds are that someone will organize a lunch expedition.
    • There may be an after-work drinks/dinner thing that night.



Of all the new features that come with the upcoming “2.0” version of Apple’s Swift programming language, there’s an annoying one: it breaks a lot of earlier code. I’ve been going through my more popular Swift articles and updating them for Swift 2, and now they’re ready:

How to program an iOS text field that takes only numeric input or specific characters with a maximum length: One of the most popular tutorials on this blog, this covers a way to constraint text fields so that they accept only numeric input or specific characters, and limits the number of characters they will accept.

How to work with dates and times in Swift, part one: An introduction of Cocoa’s date and time classes, and how they work together. This article covers UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), and the key classes: NSDate, NSCalendar, NSDateComponents.

How to work with dates and times in Swift, part two: Calculations with dates: Now that we’ve got the basics, it’s time to do some date arithmetic: comparing two dates to see which one is the earlier and later one, finding out how far apart two dates are, and adding and subtracting from dates.

How to work with dates and times in Swift, part three: Making date arithmetic more Swift-like: Cocoa’s date and time classes have an Objective-C heritage, which in the Swift context, feel kind of clunky. In this article, I look at ways — and by ways, I mean helper functions and class extensions — to make date calculations feel more like Swift.

How to work with dates and times in Swift, part four: A more Swift-like way to get the time interval between two dates: This quick article shows you how to make an operator overload that makes getting the time interval between two dates more like subtraction.

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Xcode 7 beta 6 is now available!

by Joey deVilla on August 24, 2015

beta 6 is out

If you’re the kind to keep up with the latest Xcode betas, you’ll want to go to the Xcode download page, because Apple have just released beta 6 of the upcoming Xcode 7! If you’ve been thinking about taking Swift 2 for a spin but have been holding off, you may want to try this one — we’re not far away from the GM release, and most of the changes seem to be bug fixes.


sandisk microsd card sale

Here’s your deal of the day! If you’ve wanted to dramatically increase the storage on your Android device, needed to shoot a lot of video on your digital camera, or needed extra drive space on your laptop but don’t want to lug an external hard drive around, this deal’s for you. From now until the end of August 30th, Amazon has taken 40% off the $100 price tag for the older version of SanDisk’s Ultra 128GB UHS-I/Class 10 microSDXC memory card, knocking its price down to a mere $60. The card comes with an adapter so that it’ll fit into full-sized SD card slots (like those in your laptop or digital camera) as well as in microSD card slots like those in your Android smartphone or tablet.

Note that this is SanDisk’s older model of 128GB microSD card, with a maximum read speed of 48MB per second (and you can assume the write speed is slower). The newer model, which boasts a faster read speed of up to 80MB/second, normally sells for $150 and is currently listed on Amazon for $110.