Archive for the 'tech' Category
Last week, the location based social network, Foursquare, released its new Explore feature. The new feature centers around recommendations technology to help people answer the question, “what should I do?”
The recommendations engine carries some exciting possibility, and may even help break the flat-lining usage of location-based services. The app will mine your check-in history to glean information about your preferences, and locate ‘expertise’ within your friend list to help you discover new places, food, and activities you may enjoy.
As you can see from the category list though, there is one omission that should have been obvious: volunteering.
I’d love to see Foursquare help people discover great places to volunteer in their community. This would not only increase volunteerism, but would help drive innovation in the nonprofit sector, the same way that food critics and Yelp reviews drive improvements in the restaurant industry.
80 million Americans volunteer every year at roughly 2 million nonprofits. I hope Foursquare will not miss a major opportunity to enhance the activity that so many find so rewarding.No comments
I’ve been trying to use Twitter more frequently lately, but it is hard without a good client at home on my Linux machine. I’ve tried several native linux clients, including gtwitter, which is so feature lacking as to be almost pointless, and Twittux, which is better, but still leaves much to be desired—you can’t even click on URLs in people’s tweets. You have to open up twitter in the browser, and then follow the link. I even resorted to setting up a Prism app on my desktop, but none of these prevented my account from fading into total disuse.
Fortunately, however, I was able to install Thwirl on the Linux alpha version of Adobe Air. I’ve been waiting several months now for the day it would work, and it actually turned out to be mostly pretty painless to install.
chmod +x adobeair_linux_a1_033108.bin
Then you follow the GUI installer to finish installing Air. When that is done, go back to the command line:
/opt/Adobe\ AIR/Versions/1.0/airappinstaller ~/Desktop/twhirl-0.8.2air
Voilla, now there should be a link in your applications menu.
Apple has become quite fashionable lately. I’ve been openly talking about ditching Microsoft Windows for some time now, and several of my friends keep trying to convert me to a Mac. Fortunately, however, I’ve found a much better alternative to Microsoft: I switched to Ubuntu about 2 months ago.
I won’t deny that I’ve been tempted once or twice to buy a Mac; their products, of late, have a lot of great features and pretty good design. There are some major deal breakers for me though.
- Chiefly, proprietary lock-in.
Open source matters. As does freedom from DRM. These are more than just personal preferences for me; they are basically moral issues. In this sense, buying a Mac would be a deal with the devil. Microsoft is certainly a wretched sinner in this department, but Apple is Satan. To have the privilege of running their software, I am forced to buy their computer with their peripherals, to buy music on their store to play only on their music player, and only after it calls home to check in with their DRM system. (oh and I get to give them more money to be locked in to all of their products) Only recently did they deign to allow us to run another operating system on their machine.
Ok, I can grant that Apple makes pretty good products now (and admittedly, partly because of this tight integration) but they haven’t always. What happens if/when they start to suck again? What if more products go the way of their single-button mouse??? Are you telling me that the company that introduced this revolutionary device can’t see fit to add one more frickin button?
I choose Ubuntu because not only is it a GREAT operating system, but it gives me the freedom to use my system the way I want. I would pay more for that, but the kicker is, it’s free!
Oh, and I know this might be knit-picky, but for all of the reading I do on my computer screen, I don’t think I could deal with Mac’s inferior font rendering.
And finally, I would eventually be driven to madness by the never ending slew of products with names consisting of a generic word preceded by a lower-case i.2 comments