Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Use Case: Talking on the phone while browsing data

I will admit the current Verizon and AT&T wireless squabble over one network being able to handle a voice conversation while at the same time allowing you to use the internet, does have some legitimate uses.

1) After seeing the commercial, I hadn't realized that this was a limitation of my phone, so I then tried it. It turns out, that if I disconnect from WiFi, thus does indeed happen. But I did need to be on my headset for me to still be able to talk, which I am not very often connected to.

2) While using the GPS navigation, which requires internet, I suppose a call could come through in which I would be required to interrupt a data navigation session to take the voice call. True, again another case. However, I don't drive, but when I do, its for a two hour inter-city commute that I know all too well, that the GPS is more for a driving companion, that the voice call would replace.

Final note, the flagship device of the accusing network can not actually multi-task, so although the network can do it, the device is not going to allow you to background a call to tweet your grandmother that you'll be joining her for butterscotch candies and a game of bridge. I mean how rude would it be not pay attention to Grandma's tweet because you were too busy talking on the phone?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

MOG.com -- The best thing to happen to those who like music

A Software Developer friend of mine prophesized about a time in the future when music is so easy to access, that music piracy is actually less convenient. Spot on! Because I'd like to officially plug MOG.COM as the best music website.

Whats so great about this music website? I already have a way of "how I get my music".
Well, here's my favorite features.

  • Play any Artist, Album, Song, and have it stream instantly, or fill a queue to play
  • Make a playlist just by adding any song you want to it, you can then share that playlist.
  • Artist Playlists! Artists from David Byrne to Elvis Costello, make monthly playlists which are a mashup of awesome, and you just click it, and its in your play queue.
  • You can "follow" others who have good musical taste, and what they like will show up in your feed. Its like your brother-in-law who you only catch up with twice a year to get music ideas, being able to add music to your check-this-out list as they like it.
  • Its only $5 / month. Less if you do it 6 months at a time. Thats like half an album on iTunes. So you'll probably die trying to build a music empire on iTunes, while I've already listened to all music ever. Or you'll have issues like having to run out of space or the time it takes to sync your device. Or, you could just connect your mobile device to their web service and have music on the go. * Mobile Apps come out in Spring, ** Internet is not so good in tunnels

I'm sure it will continue to get better, and plus it doesn't have crappy ads all over the place.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gmail productivity tip: Superstars for keeping track of ToDo's

To get a grip on a busy inbox, keep on top of important emails by giving them Superstars.
yellow-star - Generic Star
red-bang - TODO
green-check Completed
yellow-bang - Waiting for response

And with multiple inboxes in Gmail, you can have one of those inboxes just for showing messages with one of those stars. So 5 entries from my TODO list sits above my inbox. That way I'm always atleast concerned with keeping on track.

There are other stars, but I haven't felt that they make more any more productive. Maybe as I have even more plates to balance.

Not in use:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Working International, and how Ubuntu can help

Due to the project that I'm working on now, a large open source software project, its helpful to know what time it is for each person. Due to time-zones, some people live in the future, where they are already living tomorrow, and some are living in the past. So it helps to know what time it is, so you'll adjust for when its a good time to send a quick message, or leave an overnight lengthy email. Or know to stay up a few more hours, or to be sure to make it in early.

Anyways, here are my tricks for keeping an eye on the time of your peers.

In Ubuntu, add the cities of your peers so you can see what time it is for them, and the weather, so you can make jokes about it.

As in, its summer in New Zealand and 60+ degrees, vs 20 and snowing in Columbus.

Plus you can check to see that they'll be coming online soon. In Ubuntu it has a nice world dark-ness overlay to see what everyone sees. And if you're cooped up in the office, to get out because its dark.

The other trick I like is in Gmail.

Its a labs feature called Sender Time Zone.

It shows what time it currently is for them, so you can know better than to just call someone, or to expect a response shortly.

It sits neatly next to their emails so you easily what that they're likely there or not.