We’ve Reached “Peak Messaging”

As the quintessential early adopter and a propoent of creative disruption, I never thought I’d find myself saying this: when it comes to messaging, I’m old school.

Sure, email has it’s problems, but it works. The same goes for SMS. Both are ubiquitous - it doesn’t matter what mail client you have or what phone you use, it just works. For everyone.

A few weeks with Coin

As one of the original backers of Coin, I had completely given up on it. 

I figured it was an experiment in crowdfunding, one where I was the butt of the joke.

Imagine my surprise when, after almost two years, I received an email asking me to confirm the shipping address for my Coin. ("Wow. Is it *really* going to ship this time?")

A week later, I was finally holding the impressively engineered device in my hand.

Double-Duty Dongles

Chances are that if you have a MacBook Air, you have dongles. You know, things like USB sticks, ethernet adapters, video cables for external displays and, thanks to it's two lonely USB ports, probably a USB hub. Or two. I got fed up with carrying my Bag O'Dongles and in the process of looking for… Continue reading Double-Duty Dongles

It’s time to bring back the .Beat

In 1998, my wife bought me a Swatch Beat watch. I think she heard me mention it after reading about it in Wired magazine and she got it for me as a gift.

WTF is a .Beat?

Swatch, along with the endorsement of Nicholas Negroponte, who was then the Director of the MIT Media Lab, proposed a Universal Internet Time known as the .Beat.

It works like this: A day is divided into 1000 ".beats". So, one Swatch ".beat" is equivalent to 1 Minute 26.4 Seconds.

You set your watch according to Biel Meantime (BMT). (In a classic marketing move, Biel, Switzerland is the corporate headquarters of Swatch.)

So, when you want to schedule a phone call with someone across the world, you don't have to figure out time zones - you simply indicate that the meeting should take place @xxx .beats.

Wingstand Portable Tablet and Smartphone Stand

If you're like me, you use a variety of gear to remain productive.

The mainstay of my workflow is my MacBook Air, with my iPhone being second in line, followed by my iPad.

In my opinion, any real work on an iPad requres a keyboard. Perhaps, if you grow up using an on-screen software keyboard, you might feel differently, but I get frustrated by the lack of tactile feedback that a real keyboard provides.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I frequently live-tweet some of the professional events that I attend. I don't always have a net connection for my MacBook or iPad, so the iPhone is my fallback device. It's these times that I wish my iPhone also had a full-size keyboard.

While this has been possible as of iOS 4, using Bluetooth, the remaining problem is about placement and orientation: what do you do with the iPhone while you're using an external keyboard?

This is where the Wingstand comes in.

An iPhone SLR Mount is here – and it’s no joke

I've often said that the best camera I own is my iPhone 4 except for the fact that it lacks an optical zoom lens. But I don't want an SLR. The size, weight and cost make this class of camera an unattractive option for me.

Now, it looks like I can have the best of both worlds. Sort of.

Photojojo has released their iPhone SLR Mount for use with Nikon or Canon EOS lenses allowing you to add not only a simple optical zoom, but enabling you to take your photos to an entirely new level.

QR Codes Provide Quick and Easy Access to Facebook Likes On-The-Go

Recently, Optify shared some research inferring that social signals (Facebook "Likes") correlate with search engine results. Given this fact, it's a no wonder that so many web sites and businesses are asking you to hit the Like button.

I advised a client that he could use a number of incentives to get people to Like his Facebook page, including using a Like as an entry in a drawing. He took the advice and decided to giveaway an iPad to people who like his page.

What he didn't tell me was that he wanted people to Like his page and perform the giveaway at a professional conference made up of less-than-tech-savvy attendees.

This was a bit of challenge. Access to social networks are, by design, very personal. Most people engage with them on their computers or smartphones - neither of which would be on-hand by many folks at this event.

The fallback method I suggested for acquiring Likes and entering people into the drawing was SMS. Simply send a text to

32665

with the text 

like yourpagenamehere

The only problem with this approach was the name of the page. Instead of being something quick and easy to type like facebook.com/YPN he had chosen a long, search engine-friendly version such as facebook.com/thisismyreallygreatsuperduperpage

It's enough of a challenge to get someone to opt-in so the last thing you want is for him to feel foolish when he can't type the long name on his flip phone or his touchscreen smartphone.

The solution - which I didn't deduce until after the fact - is a QR code. Yes, there still aren't too many people who have QR code scanners installed on their phones either, but it does solve the text-entry challenge.

Satarii Star: Like having a camera operator in your pocket

So, you're one of those people who likes to shoot video of yourself and post it to YouTube or maybe your blog. Or, you might be producing video interviews with clients of your company. Or, maybe you're a journalist without a camera man. Or, maybe you want to use FaceTime on your iPhone 4 while you're moving about the kitchen.

Ok. Maybe you don't fit into any of these profiles but like many of us, you've probably grown tired of having a camera with a fixed location and the confinement it requires in order to get a good shot on your pocket video camera.

If you own an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Flip, Kodak Zi8, Android phone or (insert video recording gadget here) then you'll love this product from startup Satarii. (Keep reading to see it in action)

Trunk.ly: Delicious for the Twitter Era

I'm as nostalgic about the "sunsetting" of Delicious as anyone. Delicious was a staple for me back in the early 00's when I used it as a way to share links with my friends, post the links I found to my blog and even do show prep for my digital media podcast. So what happened?… Continue reading Trunk.ly: Delicious for the Twitter Era