Brainfeed — Educational Videos for Kids by Paulo Fierro

This week we had the pleasure of shipping Brainfeed, an iPad app I've been working on the last few months aimed at providing educational videos for kids, 7-years and older.


Each video is handpicked by a team of enthusiastic educators from around the globe who are tasked with finding short (under 10 minutes) and documentary style videos that are curriculum based, entertaining & engaging, visually stimulating, age-appropriate and child-friendly.

The app itself is free, but there to unlock all of the content you have to sign up for a subscription. The videos are great so its well worth it.

We were responsible for building the iPad app as well as the Sinatra based backend system for adding and tagging videos.

Its something I'm really proud of and its now available on the App Store.

What lurks on ports 5050-5500 by Paulo Fierro

This morning I was using Charles to monitor some HTTP requests like I do. I noticed some odd requests were showing up every time I changed tabs in Safari, but also when swapping to and from Safari.

The requests were going to something on localhost that was running on a range of ports and accepted a request at /snap/new. So something is trying to take snapshots of every page I visit in Safari.

This can't be good.

Suspect requests

After looking around I checked the Safari Extensions to see if I had installed a rogue piece of software and there it was. Nothing fishy at all, just Ember. There to do its job which is to take screenshots.

Disabling the extension got rid of the requests and I could get back to what I was doing without poor Charles getting flooded.

Console flooding, USB timeouts & Garmin ANT+ by Paulo Fierro

While I was working this morning I ran into some issues with an app and went to check if the Console (under /Applications/Utilities) was reporting anything.

Unfortunately the log was filled with some USB device timing out with the following error:

AppleUSBEHCI::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfa, timing out! (Addr: 5, EP: 1)

A very noisy log

This timeout was annoyingly happening every few seconds. The error did give me a few clues. It was happening on USB bus 0xfa on a device attached to address 5.

To find the device in question I generated a System Report ( > About this Mac > More Info > System Report) and looked for the USB bus with the same address.

Finding the USB bus number

Finding the USB bus number

Then it was just a question of going through the devices connected to this bus that had the address in question.

The address of the USB device

The address of the USB device

Found you! The device in question was the Garmin ANT+ stick that transmits data wirelessly from my Garmin Forerunner 610 watch.

Unplugging it fixed the problem and the Console stopped being flooded.


Removing tags on Github by Paulo Fierro

I love git and Github but I don't have any git-fu, as in I don't know how to use the command line version of git to save my life.

Don't get me wrong, I'm fine using the Terminal and for some tasks I even prefer it. But for version control, a GUI does it for me and in this case my app of choice is Tower.

And while Tower is great, and the web interface on Github is good too I recently ran into something I couldn't do with either (or I couldn't figure out).

Deleting tags.

I use tags all the time. Bookmarking commits — what's not to like? For simple things like "this is version 1.1" which we can come back to and branch off of if we need ship a bugfix for 1.1, while at the same time developing new features on the main branch. And for things like "this is where I was before that sketchy merge".

For the first example, this is probably a tag we want to keep and add some release notes. But for the latter, we might want to delete it when we're done. Once we've done testing and QA and everything is good we can nuke that sucka.

So in Tower you can right-click a tag and delete it but if I then push and check "Push All Tags" the tag doesn't get deleted. The next time I pull that tag will come back because I didn't delete it from Github.

We can do this on the command line as follows:

  1. Delete the sketchy tag locally: git tag -d sketchy
  2. Delete the tag on Github: git push origin :sketchy
  3. Push the change: git push --tags

If you added any release notes (and you should) they'll now show up under your project's releases as drafts that are no longer tied to a tag (because you deleted it). To remove it, click to edit it and then Delete Draft.

Paddleboarding & SUK by Paulo Fierro

Recently Niqui and I have become addicted to paddleboarding. We've started doing paddlefit with the guys from Waterman and renting boards in the weekend to go paddle around Seven Mile Beach. This is especially beautiful at sunset.

A week ago we made the jump and picked up a cheap deal on a second hand board on eCayTrade which we've been sharing.

This resulted in us doing what we call a "paddle run". Start at Governor's Beach and one runs the 2.5km down to Royal Palms while the other paddles. Then we switch and head back. Good fun, but the runner always wins.

Being summer and there not really being much wind I was intrigued when I saw this video on how to SUK:

Tried it out yesterday but it didn't really work out, there simply wasn't enough wind. I also fear the my kite is too small (12m) and/or the SUP is too big (10' x 29" x 4.5") but I intend to giving it another bash.