The Esoteric Techie

Pencil by 53 – iPad Stylus

Posted by in Technology

Pencil is at it’s core a stylus for your iOS device. But the team at 53 knew that for a stylus to be useful, it would have to do more than than simply replace your finger. Pencil can do this by allowing the stylus to connect to your device via BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy. This new standard in Bluetooth technology allows devices to communicate with one another without the drain to battery life that has traditionally come with pairing a bluetooth device. What this means for Pencil is an…read more

IFTTT Automates Your Digital Life

Posted by in Technology

Wouldn’t you like to web to work the way you want it to? Have you ever posted an image to Instagram and then had to go through the same process of posting it to your Twitter account? I bet you wish there was some way to automate that process. If This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that connects all the other services and products in your digital life. The way it works can seem a little complicated at first, but it’s actually remakably simple once you’ve gotten the hang…read more

Timeful Makes The Most Of Your Time

Posted by in Technology

Time is one of our most valuable resources. It’s finite and fleeting. For many of us, filling our free time with meaningful activities is a challenge. Human beings are easily distracted. It’s in our nature. The founders of Timeful have tackled this problem head on with a new iOS app that brings a bit of artificial intelligence to your daily schedule. By combining a to-do list with your calendar, Timeful can learn how you spend your time and allocate tasks in between your appointments. Need to finish that client presentation,…read more

Stitcher – Smart Radio

Posted by in Technology

For a while now I’ve been using a podcast aggregation app called Stitcher. Many of you may already be familiar with this little slice of app heaven, but for those of you that are not…get ready. Stitcher does for podcasting what Spotify did for streaming┬ámusic. It makes the medium itself much more useful. Sticher works directly with podcasters and collects feeds from all manner of topics. Everything from news and commentary to sports talk to educational podcasts. The app is available as a web-based service, but the most useful platform…read more

Waze – Social Mapping

Posted by in Technology

Smartphone mapping applications had been pretty well dominated by Google Maps until Apple cut ties with the Mountain View based web giant. But Apple stumbled mightily with the introduction of it’s own Maps application. The term debacle comes to mind when describing the failure that was Apple Maps. To open the door even further Google took it’s sweet time releasing a custom built application for iOS. The quibbling of the two tech behemoths created a virtual land grab for users. A myriad of mapping applications made their case for home…read more

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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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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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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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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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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FarmVille Madness – The Curse of Facebook Games

Posted by in Technology

Lately my Facebook news feed seems to be choked with status updates. Most of the time I use these updates to keep up with my friends and what’s going on in their lives. But that has become increasingly difficult because of a plague that is ravaging the social media community. Yes, I’m talking about Facebook games. First it was just the occasional Mafia Wars update that I would casually ignore, but now I’m inundated with updates from Restaurant City, Know-It-All Trivia, Zynga Poker, Bejeweled Blitz, YoVille, Fish World and the…read more

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To Jailbreak Or Not To Jailbreak?

Posted by in Technology

Most everyone who has an iPhone loves it. But human nature compels us to wish for more. There are some very specific applications and functionality lacking in the native OS. Apple would have us believe that jailbreaking your iPhone makes you a bad person. Personally, I believe that once I purchase a piece of hardware I am entitled to do whatever I want with it. However, part of what makes apple products so unique is the way software and hardware works together in such harmony. So the question remains, is…read more

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