The Esoteric Techie

Goodbye Google Wave

Posted by in Project Management, Technology

On August 4th Google announced that it would be discontinuing support for the Google Wave web service at the end of 2010. This decision was due largely to the fact that the once lauded web tool failed to gain traction and increasingly frustrated users trying to discover a workable use case. Wave was a light that burned out quickly in the tech community, hardly even reaching it’s first birthday before Google pulled the plug. There are those that will mourn it’s demise, but for most it will pass unnoticed as…read more

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Some Favorite Tech Viral Videos

Posted by in Technology

I’m researching an upcoming article on the history of viral videos and in the process I came across some of my favorites with a tech theme and wanted to share them. Some of these have been around for a while, but they are all near and dear to my heart. Viral videos are one of the most interesting phenomenon in the digital age. It seems like everyone is constantly trying to recreate them, but nobody has found that secret recipe that makes one video take off and another fall flat. When…read more

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LucyPhone Waits On Hold For You

Posted by in Technology

How many hours of your life have you spent on hold? LucyPhone.com is a service that looks to put an end to the need to sit on hold for hours just to talk to a live person. All you do is select the number of the company you need to reach and enter your number and LucyPhone takes over from there. The service patches you into your desired number and you navigate the phone tree like normal. Once you get to placed on hold waiting for that ever-elusive human being…read more

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Hunch, The Taste Graph

Posted by in Technology

Hunch.com is a recommendation engine based on user provided input. After signing up for Hunch users are asked to answer multiple questions to train Hunch about themselves. Surprisingly, the questions that provide Hunch with its data may be the most interesting part of the site. Hunch makes these questions fun and I easily found myself looking up from the monitor 30 minutes later not having realized how much time I spent teaching the app all about my likes and dislikes. Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Hunch, calls her service a…read more

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Google & China Trade Threats

Posted by in Technology

Google and China are at it again. Google announced January 12th that agents hacked into their system and attempted to access information stored on Google servers regarding Chinese political dissidents. While Google has been careful not to make any direct accusations, it is very clear that they feel these acts were carried out by or on behalf of the Chinese government. Chinese officials continue to deny their involvement in the attacks even when the hackers have been traced to a prominent Chinese technical university and vocational school with ties to…read more

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Adaptive Project Management Using Scrum

Posted by in Project Management

Since time immemorial man has been undertaking great projects. The Pyramids, Stonehenge, Amazon.com just to name a few. All of these projects have had one thing in common; A lowly human with no superpowers was the one responsible for making sure that necessary tasks were accomplished in order to achieve the end goal. Whoever that person was, an Egyptian Pharaoh or a Celtic priest, that person was the project manager. The job existed long before it was given a name. Of course, as soon as society did name it we…read more

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Manage Your Websites Locally With MAMP Pro

Posted by in Technology

As any web developer worth his weight in JavaScript knows, you have to test your web sites and applications in detail, and in the environment where they will ultimately exist. This necessitates the need to recreate that environment locally, a sandbox for experimentation and testing. There are several server environments out there, and I don’t want to get into the strengths and weaknesses of them here, but suffice to say that the one most widely used on the interwebs is the open source Apache web server with PHP and MySQL….read more

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Apple Tablet Will Make All Your Dreams Come True

Posted by in Technology

By now everyone is aware of the anticipated announcement tomorrow by Apple. Rumors are flying and it seems everyone has a “reliable source” that can confirm that the new Apple tablet will have a 10 megapixel camera powered by pixie dust. Wild speculation might be fun, but I will be abstaining in this article. Instead, I would like to focus on my wish list. The below are features that very well may not be included in the final design, but I feel would be invaluable in any computer with a…read more

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BumpTop For Mac 3D Desktop Interface

Posted by in Technology

BumpTop is a creative 3D interface that changes the way you think about a computer desktop. After installing BumpTop users find themselves looking at a three quarter perspective view of the desktop, complete with four walls. Files and folders can be dragged around and now react with other objects in real physics. Features include the ability to group items into piles just like a real desk. The difference is that these piles are sortable and searchable. Files easily pin to any of the walls and can be stretched or shrunk…read more

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Facebook Is Lexington, Twitter Is Concord

Posted by in Technology

Social Networking has changed everything. Anyone who is still not convinced of this truth either has been hiding under a very large rock for the last 5 years…or they’re disagreeing with you just to be contrary. People communicate today in ways like never before. If the internet was the most important shift in communication since the printing press then social networking is the digital age’s equivalent of the first newspaper. It is difficult to understand exactly what the communication landscape is going to look like once all of the dust…read more

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Gowalla and Location-Based Social Networking

Posted by in Technology

Gowalla is a fun, location-based social networking game for your iPhone or other mobile device. With Gowalla, users can check in at each location they visit. This lets friends know where you are and also earns points towards pins which you can earn for both shear volume of check-ins or for visiting specific locations. The service can be connected to both Twitter and Facebook accounts. Whenever users check in they can also post status updates to their social networking service. Gowalla offers a limited number of developer created “trips” or…read more

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Putting Surround Sound In Its Place.

Posted by in Technology

Since I program custom home automation and A/V systems for a living I am around some really nice, high-end audio equipment all day, every day. This being said, what I am about to say might come as a surprise. Surround sound is WAY overrated. People have bought into the sales pitch that has been going on for years. Don’t take this the wrong way, I do believe there is a great place in the world for surround sound, but I don’t think it is the best format for everything. Movies…read more

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Twitter + Talking = Twalkin

Posted by in Technology

It seems there is no end to Twitter integration applications. As such Twalkin (http://twalk.in/) should come as little surprise. Twalkin allows users to schedule and moderate ?Twalks? or Twitter integrated teleconferencing. Complete with an iPhone application and an Android version soon to come, Twalkin has several practical uses. 1.Host a private Twalk: This allows you to have chats with only a select few users. It’s a neat feature, but honestly I can’t see what advantages it might have over a typical conference call. 2.Host a public Twalk: This is the…read more

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Classic NES Memories

Posted by in Technology

I have owned many video game consoles in my life. The original Nintendo Entertainment System was not my first video game console, nor the last. But like so many gamers who have continued to carry on with childish things into adulthood, this is the system that cemented, for all time, my love of the medium. No other system is remembered with the nostalgia of this one. Emulators abound on the intrawebs for die-hards that, twenty years later, still can’t get enough of Ninja Gaiden or Metroid. I dare anyone to…read more

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Planning for the future, HTML 5 or The Flash Platform?

Posted by in Technology

Being a Flash Platform developer, I often have amusing conversations with front-end developers about when and where to use The Flash Platform in lieu of a more native approach like JavaScript. It always happens the same way. I say something mean about HTML, they say something mean about The Flash Platform, and then ultimately we Kumite to decide which approach to take. Lately however, the battle has become personal. Now, instead of being told how “non-search-engine-friendly” The Flash Platform is, I’m being told how I should just move on from…read more

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