Archive for the ‘Mobile Lifestyle’ Category
I signed up with Verizon Wireless in March of 2005; I was on the Microsoft employee discount plan.
For the first time ever, over eight years later, I got an email from Verizon to validate my employment status. Fortunately, my current employer has the same deal with Verizon that Microsoft has, so nothing changed. I hope in 2022 my employer is signed up, too.
A little while ago I traded my smart phone (Droid 3) for a “feature phone“, the Gusto 2. The only thing that I found annoying was the lack of contact syncing; however, I found a way to do this indirectly so that’s no longer a problem. Among the plusses:
- week-long standby times
- lets me block all calls and texts not from a contact (very nice)
- light and small.
I was concerned for a while that I might be tempted to jump back, but the key question I asked myself was “do I get $50 a month in value out of a smartphone?” and the answer is “no”. This is how I got rid of cable tv, by the way. I wasn’t getting $60 a month in enjoyment out of cable tv, so it’s gone. I could cut $5 a month off my cable internet by getting cable tv, but I don’t want to inflate Comcast’s double play numbers and make a failing industry look better. Do I get $60 a year in enjoyment out of that? Yes, yes I do.
I was slightly tempted to jump to an iPhone, but they still piss me off. Love my iPad, to hell with iPhones.
I picked up Gaia GPS before heading to the great outdoors last week; after four days of use, I find it well worth the $20. The key feature is that it lets you pre-cache maps for when you’re offline; it also has a long list of map sources to choose from. You have to pre-cache the maps from each source that you care about, which wasn’t obvious to me before I headed out; I only had the USFS and USGS maps for the area, which are nice enough, but I would have liked to have the Google Terrain maps as well.
I’ve always bought small storage on tablets and phones because I don’t put that much on them; the ability to cache huge amounts of maps will change this.
The tracking and map making parts of the app are very nice; you can’t really create a rich point of interest, but you can take photos in the area of a POI and sort-of emulate it. You get nice elevation change maps on routes you record.
I somewhat suspect the utility on a phone-sized display. On an iPad, it’s wonderful; on a phone, I think you’d be scrolling and zooming an awful lot. The cloud sync is nice; all of your recorded data is synced to a website where you can download it for desktop manipulation.
It is missing the ability (as far as I can tell) to import KML. You also can’t edit tracks for re-use – if you take a side journey that isn’t productive, you can’t delete that data. You can download your tracks as GPX files, but you can’t upload them.
If you have Theolodite or Theolodite HD, Gaia GPS knows how to send stuff over to it. I didn’t find the feature very useful, but it was neat. I suppose if I used Theolodite more, I’d care about that.
Was discussing cell phone hygiene with a co-worker the other day; came up with the idea of solar-powered cell phone charging stations you put up at bus stops used by Google and Microsoft employees.
Tell them it comes with a free copy of something something, and use the “I’d like dancing kittens” attack to install malware, make a copy of the phone, whatever.
Needling Joe about his writing useful apps when so many people seem to find money in fart apps is fun, but I sat down with my partner in crime for dinner and we discussed building a fart app platform. What goes in to such a platform?
- Fart of the week: IAP for new farts, which drives:
- UGC, which means:
- 4square integration
- rev share – top farts of the week get rolled into the next update, owners get cut
- fart competitions
- fart ups
- international fart brackets
- pro-am farting
- Tag clouds (get it? clouds?)
- I only want whisky farts that echo
- no wet ones
- Think flickr for farts (fartr?)
- inter-platform competition
- rate phones on fidelity of recording and playback
- sell phones for a cut
- eventually, a fartr phone
- comes in one color
- Social media integration, of course
The worst bit is, I’m sure if this made it into the market, it would make plenty of money.
I was looking for a new, tough phone, and saw this one:
The Intensity III’s ruggedized design passes numerous MIL–STD–810F* military tests, so it’s durable enough to withstand vibration, shock, extreme temperatures and more.
What text hides behind the asterisk?
The Samsung Intensity® III meets MIL–STD 810F specifications except for rain, icing and immersion.
So… not so much.
While a Mac Mini is technically capable of running some really old video games, I haven’t been able to ignore how non-constant the frame rate is. Even with complexity settings cranked all the way down, the framerate for TF2 jumps from 60 f/s to 0 f/s for a few seconds. So, for that reason alone, I’ve kept the PC powered on.
When I mentioned this to John, he pointed out that the video card he gave me is really, really good, so comparing the PC and the Mac is really not fair. Point taken.
What I will compare is the iPod touch to my Droid 3; I noticed, after a while, that my Droid 3′s screen was looking grainy and washed out. I didn’t know the iPod touch has a high-pixel-density display; it wasn’t until someone pointed that out that the light went on. Non-Retina (I hate that term) displays are doomed.