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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Google Voice App Rejections: Catalyst for Cellular Openness?

If you haven’t heard, Apple rejected Google’s official Google Voice application several weeks ago (article from this week). However, I (at least) didn’t hear the news until recently, when it became known that Apple also began pulling other Google Voice apps from its iPhone/iPod Touch App Store. TechCrunch’s sources say that AT&T was behind the bans, and I’ll believe it. Now, I’m not an Apple fanboy, but I’ve been considering getting an iPod Touch lately. One of my roommates here at Emerson’s summer program (yes I know I need to blog about that too; soon, I promise) has one, and …

Read more

GrandCentral Becomes Google Voice!

It’s taken 21 months—almost two years—but GrandCentral (“One number for all your phones, for life”) has finally gotten an upgrade (and a new name). I’m totally excited, and happy that the long-awaited upgrade (previously known as GrandCentral 2.0) is finally here. Meet Google Voice: “One number for all your calls and SMS”. New Features Yes, Google Voice added several new features. One of the things that always, always bugged me about GrandCentral was the fact that my number couldn’t receive or send text messages. Well, now it can. According to TechCrunch’s expansive overview, the same technology that powers the SMS …

Read more

Google Infringing on Sun Patents with Android’s Dalvik?

OK, so Google doesn’t call it a Java VM; to them, it’s “Dalvik”, not Java. It does accept Java bytecode, though, and turns it into Dalvik bytecode. Sun hasn’t filed any lawsuits yet, and as far as I know doesn’t consider Google’s custom virtual machine to be a problem or infringement on their intellectual property. But the developer community and Sun are going over the nonstandard VM that Google made. When Android came out, I was determined to ignore it, as mobile phone technology doesn’t really affect me these days (not until I actually get a cell phone). Since then, …

Read more