Blast from the Past: Offline Foursquare

This is a revamp of a post originally drafted in June 2011. The Foursquare universe has changed a lot since then, as have smartphones in general, but it was worth partially rewriting as a window into how things used to be. For a number of months after getting my first Android phone (), I spent a lot of time thinking about ways to check in on Foursquare without an internet connection. At the time, I used the phone on Wi-Fi only, for Internet things. I didn’t start on a service plan, because I had with a lot of accumulated airtime…

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My Google AdSense Account: Moved to Where It Belongs

Honestly, I’m no longer sure how it happened, but suffice it to say that a few years ago I did something stupid. No, no, it was nothing like that. I just applied for Google AdSense a few days before my actual 18th birthday. That, of course, netted me a declined application, because I was obviously still too young to participate in AdSense—but I wasn’t counting on it also killing my ability to reapply later. When I tried again to sign up for AdSense using my main Google Account, after I was old enough, I got nothing but errors. When I…

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Why I Will Not Use Seesmic, Ever

Update (06/01): Seesmic eventually killed the green bar overlay. They announced a time-frame (by the middle of June) for closing Ping.fm, and also confirmed that the new Ping service will have a free service level. I commend this outcome, . Update (03/03): This post garnered a response from a Seesmic employee, Yama, in the comments. From “figure out the best pricing model”, I gather that pricing remains undecided, so I maintain my hope for a HootSuite-like freemium model. I’m also glad to hear that the green bar will be reviewed for possible improvements. Thank you, Yama; if I have more…

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Finally: Google Voice Export Feature Released (sort of)

It took quite a while—more than two years since —but Google Voice finally supports exporting! I’d love to think had something to do with the end product released yesterday, but I seriously doubt it. Sort of… Let’s just say, Google Takeout isn’t behaving very well. The test archive I created yesterday won’t download, and I’ve tried both Google Chrome 13 and Mozilla Firefox 3.6. The feature isn’t there yet, but I’m sure Google engineers are working on it. I’m still happy…as soon as they make it actually work.

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Hypothetical Google Voice Export Format

Google Voice was released over a year ago, and I’ve been using it as my primary phone number since switching from its predecessor, GrandCentral, which I’d used since 2006 (also as my primary phone number). In the time since making the switch, I’ve seen the interface revised more than a little—the quality rating buttons for transcripts and calls are among my favorite enhancements—but despite all the new features introduced over the last 14 months, one has been distinctly lacking. That one feature: Export. Think about it. Google Docs lets one download all of one’s documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in a…

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“No Evil”: My NET10 Wireless Experiences

Update (2012-02-26): Apparently NET10 now sells SIMs for use with AT&T, T-Mobile, and unlocked GSM phones, if you’re willing to pay for the $50/month Unlimited Talk/Text/Data plan. Thanks to Anna for her comment. Last summer I began using a prepaid cell phone (an LG 300G, the cheapest, most basic model available at my purchase location) from NET10 Wireless, supposedly the “high-usage division” of TracFone. NET10’s rates are flat: 10¢ per minute (even if it’s actually one second, like any other per-minute charge) and 5¢ per text message in or out. The phone’s been very handy for some important calls and…

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reMAP: IMAP reConceptualized

Gabor Cselle, the founder of reMail, recently posted an idea for replacing the IMAP email protocol with something with which working would be easier. The proposed name? reMAP, short for reimagined Mail Access Protocol. He calls for a RESTful design that among other things would globalize message identifiers (rather than changing them the instant a message is moved to a new folder), replace folders with labels (a la Gmail), require the server to handle email search indexes, and make conversations the basic unit of email (instead of individual messages). reMAP would also make handling MIME messages unnecessary; the client could…

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Why I’m Always Promoting Dropbox

Image via CrunchBase If you’ve had much interaction with me regarding computers, no matter what the medium—Twitter, Facebook, email, dinner conversation, small talk during a gathering—I’ve probably mentioned a service called Dropbox. A few of you have already succumbed to my uncharacteristic marketing tone and signed up, but I thought I’d blog about it and perhaps get more people on board. I’ll start with the reasons I like the service, and then explain why, exactly, I’m doing this a little later. The site bills itself as an online synchronization and backup solution. I use it mostly for the backup, but…

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My First WordPress Plugin Patch: Wibiya Toolbar

The beauty of using WordPress instead of Blogger is, in a nutshell, the freedom that comes with using an open system instead of a closed one. Under Blogger, I had very little freedom to extend the platform. Everything I could do had to be added by someone from Google, with the exception of a few JavaScript- and Flash-based sidebar widgets. Under WordPress, I have access to literally thousands of open-source plugins to modify, extend, and replace the functionality of the site. The beauty of using this open system is that if something doesn’t work the way I want it to,…

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How I Beat Blogger and Redirected to WordPress

Yes, I really and truly have from Blogger. I know there are a lot of guides out there, but I think the method I used was different enough to warrant a new post. (I won’t duplicate the steps of setting up the new WordPress site and importing the content from Blogger; that’s pretty obvious, and it’s well covered elsewhere. Redirecting is the art form that’s been changing every few months.) Obligatory Rant Getting away from Blogger is really much harder than it should be. There should be a process to verify with Google that one is not a spammer trying…

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