Saturday, March 27, 2010

My #palmspot Idea

For those of you who don't already know, the folks over at are having a little contest.

Basically, make your own Palm Prē commercial.
I'll let you head over to the site for the rest of the details (and prizes).

And I came up with what I think is a good idea.
Problem is, it invoves a celebrity.


As I'm married to a foodie, I've seen my share of "Good Eats" episodes. The host, Alton Brown, is always talking about how your kitchen gadgets need to be capable of multiple tasks and have lots of applications.

As he puts it, the only uni-tasker in his kitchen is a fire extinguisher.

Now that all of the non-foodies are caught up.

We take AB here, and have him in his kitchen when he sudddenly needs to make a call, or look something up.
Point is he needs a phone.

Then Thing (a little hand who often hands him various items) pops out, and tries to give him an iPhone.

AB takes one look at it, says his line about uni-taskers, tosses it off screen and says while picking up a Pre, "No, /this/ is what I need."
And then have him highlight a few of the multi-tasking features of webOS.

Yes, it's still a rough idea.
No, I don't expect Mr. Brown to guest star in an ad for /me/.
And it's target audience is foodies.

But my wife loved it.

Last I checked, William Shatner uses a Pre.
Palm should get him to endorse it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What has Michael been up to?

Let's start this off by answering the Army question.

For those of you that don't know yet, the Army doesn't want me. I shaved my head for nothing.

Pectus excavatum ( ). That's why I was rejected. They're afraid that I have a "diminished lung capacity" that would interfeare with going through Basic.

I assured them that I can breath.
I told them that I lettered in wrestling in high school.
I told them that I'm an Eagle Scout who has gone on countless hikes.

I also applied for a desk job dealing with satellite communications.

None of that seems to matter.
Just wish it didn't take them over 2 months to figure this out.

Oh, and my recruiter also has a pectus excavatum.

Meanwhile, I landed a job at Sam's Club as a Gas Station Attendant.
I had previously been unemployed since mid-November.

Enough of that.

As all of you should know, I'm the proud owner of a Palm Prē (you should be too. Available on both Verizon and Sprint.).
I have recently tried my hand at app development.

I currently have 5 apps published.
I hope to submit number 6 tonight.

Along the same lines, I review webOS apps over at
Head on over and take a look.

And as exciting as all of that is, there's MORE!

I recently began working with the folks at Jenolan Caves ( ) in Austrailia.
They have a self-guided audio cave tour. This year, they're expanding the offered languaguages by 3.

I'm providing the Klingon translation.

I started translation earlier this week and things are moving along swiftly.
I have to say, it's a whole lot more enjoyable than translating an anti-virus.

Looking Forward.

It's only March, but my year is filling up fast.
This July I'll be co-presenting a panel on Klingon at InConJunction here in Indy.
And to make the weekend that much more enjoyable, I got the Con to invite Keith R. A. DeCandido, my favorite author, as their Author Guest of Honor.

Then in September, I've been asked to go to Chicago for a weekend to give a basic language lesson to the actors in "A Klingon Christmas Carol".

November brings Starbase Indy.
Last year, I co-presented a Klingon Language panel.
Nothing is set yet, but I'll get something in the works before long.

Lem'me know if you have something to fill in those gaps.

What've you been up to?

Brightkite vs Foursquare

I've been using Brightkite since it was in closed Beta.
At the time, it was exactly what I was looking for.
I traveled a lot for work, and I enjoyed being able to look at the little map of pushpins.

It was fun.

But it never really caught on.
I had some friends on there (and made some friends on there), but not a whole lot.

And then came Foursquare.
They took the same idea, but they turned it into a game.

While Foursquare isn't more popular with my friends, I get to play with complete strangers. People I don't know oust me as Mayor. I oust them.

I get to earn points.
As far as I can tell, they're worthless, but I earned them.

I can recommend things, like "try the ribs".

It makes using Brightkite kind of boring.

The one feature that Brightkite has over Foursquare is the ability to comment at a place after check-in.

If I show up at a restaurant, I don't know what I'm going to have or how long the wait is.

Brightkite lets me post countless times at a location.
Foursquare let's me comment with my check-in.
All other comments are in my stream, but not specifically at that place.

So what do I do? I bypass Foursquare for those follow up comments and send them directly through Twitter.

There's also no native notifications.

Brightkite let's me subscribe to my friends via e-mail and SMS. I also get notofied of comments.

Foursquare let's me get my friends check-ins via Direct Message in Twitter.
And as far as I can tell, there's no way to comment on a post.

So Brightkite has the features, but Foursquare has the sparkles.

If Brightkite wants to compete in this expanding market, it's going to need to get some bling.

(Gowalla just frustrates me.)