Archive for March, 2004

Internet MCafe

March 31st, 2004, 2:01pm by Kelvin

So I came out to the local McCafe to scare up some breakfast and noticed a new addition to the high tech arsenal of McDonalds. Not only does this McD’s provide WiFi AND lattes, it is now equipped with internet kiosks that offer free internet access (10 min). The browser runs in kiosk mode, which prevents entering a web address, but luckily, the front page has a link to Yahoo, and from my “my yahoo” page, i can click on the rss feed to get to The Board, where I could make this post. I love i when a plan comes together. Anyway, it’s more trouble than it’s worth if you have a mobile internet device anyway– I took a picture and will have to add it to this post later on edit.
Still, you can’t beat the $1 latte promo they are currently running!
(editted on PC to upload the picture– not as easy as MFOP2)
Picture363_31Mar04 (Custom).jpg

Have you seen this dog?

March 30th, 2004, 8:55pm by Jake

After Dogster’s early brush with fame, the site came crashing down to earth & lost the records of thousands of dogs including Montana. As a follow-up to an earlier story, I decided to see if Montana’s would-be brother was back on the site. Turns out, he is! Maybe now that things have settled down, we’ll be able to solve the Montana/Dakota mystery once and for all.

Wi-Fi coming to SBC park

March 30th, 2004, 6:45pm by Jake

According to this article, the Giants & SBC have teamed up to provide Wi-Fi at SBC park. A spokesman claims that “We’ve created, if not the largest, one of the largest hot spots in the world” and “We’re the first professional sports facility to provide people universal WiFi connectivity.” While neat, these claims ring a bit hollow. I mean, whole cities (and college campuses) are implementing WiF-Fi, so a ballpark seems like no big deal. Also, I have a hard time believing that this is the first ballpark or arena to offer this capability. Since Wi-Fi is going on 5 years old (and 3+ years as a genuine phenomenon), I’m sure someone has beaten the Giants to the punch. So is the spokesperson just wrong (and the reporting too lazy to research), or is this really groundbreaking?

It's about time!

March 29th, 2004, 10:52am by Mike

I know I told some of you that I thought it would be cool if you could stream music off of a portable music player like an iPod so that if somebody saw you and thought you looked cool, and wanted to know what you were listening to, they could just listen in. Well, some people at Media Lab Europe have done just that — you can read about the tunA project here.
I mentioned this to someone at some point, when I was thinking that Bluetooth would be the way to connect these things. Whoever it was actually thought of an immediately-implementable way — just use an FM transceiver, and wear a t-shirt with your frequency on it (“Think I’m cool? Tune to 88.1 FM!”).

And I thought Zipcar was cool!

March 29th, 2004, 10:43am by Mike

So I’m sure we’ve all told you about Zipcar, the service that we use instead of owning a car, where we rent cars by the hour. Well, in Germany, they’ve taken it one step further — you can rent bikes in the same way! According to engadget, if you see a bike you want to rent, you call the number on the bike using your cell phone, and you are given a code to unlock it. When you’re done, you leave it at the nearest intersection, call up a number, and you’re given a code to relock it! You can read more details at their web site.
The reason this is cooler than Zipcar is that Zipcar is built for round trips, whereas this bike thing is great for one-way trips! I guess there’s no real way to do that easily with a car.

The Board, technology issues

March 29th, 2004, 2:10am by Kelvin

Any interest in a wap version of the Board? Mobilewhack reports that it would be trivial to set up a wap version of a moveable type blog. If a normal person can set this up in 10 mins, I bet our erstwhile site admin can do it in 8 (once he has 8 mins to spare, of course!). I know most of us are happily surfing html sites from our mobile devices, but maybe a wap site would still be fun to have to quick updates. Mostly an academic exercise, i suppose.
Also, i wonder if the link to our textamerica photoblog was deleted intentionally? Just curious… i updated it over the weekend, not that anyone here would know :).

Try to beat that!

March 28th, 2004, 11:50pm by Jake

OK, so I was waiting in DTW (Detroit/ Wayne County Airport), when I realized I didn’t feel like reading on the plan. Since I had deleted all traces of Bubblet from my Treo, I didn’t have any games on it, and I felt like playing BlackJack.
So naturally, I sent an SMS to Kelvin requesting card games such as Blackjack. A few minutes later (literally– I was only at the airport for like 1/2-hour), I had freshly installed copies of BlackJack, Klondike (Solitaire), Hearts and Bubblet.
I’m sure someone else has pulled off a similar trick, but I was amazed at how easy the whole thing was. The fast data connection, multiple modes of communication and seamless integration were all necessary to pull this off. Hats off to PalmOne, Sprint and PalmSource for making this possible.

Report from 35,000 feet

March 28th, 2004, 6:16pm by Jake

I had a good time this weekend with my brother and the rest of my family. Flew into Providence Thursday night, and the party got started right away. Nathan is a little bit bigger and talks a little bit better than the last time I saw him, and his vocabulary continues to astound. Max is walking now, and he’s a lot bigger since Mike saw him, over a year ago, or Derrick saw him in June. He’s starting to talk, too, and really likes playing ball. He’s really funny and understands almost everything you say.
I gave Season 4 of Curb Your Enthusiasm on DVD to my Mom, and I think I’m her favorite son again now. Anyways, here’s a picture of Aaron and Nathan from a hike we did on the first day of the trip. We went like halfway across the state– musta been almost 15 miles!

T610 vs 3650?

March 27th, 2004, 2:04pm by Mike

So my dad is in the market for a new cell phone, and he wants one with a camera. Since he’s on T-Mobile, his choices boil down to basically these two:
SonyEricsson T610
Nokia 3650
My recollection is that Derrick has the T610, and isn’t the biggest fan of it. And the 3650 is loved by all the hackers, since it can run Java and has some expansion capability, if I’m not mistaken. However, the 3650 is HUGE, and weird looking with that rotary-style dial layout, and it costs $50 more.
So, remembering that this is my dad we’re talking about, what do you guys think? He’s unlikely to use most of the features of the phone in either case…

What The World Is Waiting For

March 26th, 2004, 11:51am by Mike

I don’t know why several of my recent posts seem to have to do with cars — it’s not like I have one — but it seems like this Bluetooth thing is catching on as a good way to have handsfree phone conversations in the car. And linked from engadget today, there’s a story about how the new Cooper Minis will soon come equipped with a Bluetooth handsfree system. I had read (a couple months ago) about how Acura was doing this, and apparently (according to the story), BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln, and Chrysler are also using this same system (the Acura one may be different).
In my opinion, this is a perfect use for Bluetooth, which should be seen simply as the elimination of wires (the common analogy is that WiFi is to ethernet cables as Bluetooth is to USB). Think of the other cool stuff you could do with Bluetooth and a cell phone in your car — it could remind you via your PDA or phone to get maintenance (or just go ahead and call the shop and schedule it for you!), or when the car senses that you’re low on gas, it’ll pop up not only a gas warning light, but locations and directions of nearby gas stations found via the internet.
Now if they only made a hybrid Mini…

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