A few weeks ago, I stopped by my local Verizon Wireless store. In the course of conversation, the subject of the iPhone inevitably came up. Rather than the standard “I don’t know” response, the gentleman helping me gave a somewhat cryptic but clear response: “Someone, somewhere, is making an announcement on June 26.” Playing along (albeit a bit taken aback by his forthrightness), I mused that the person making this announcement might be wearing a turtleneck and tight jeans while standing on a starkly-black stage. The Verizon employee nodded affirmatively.
While I understand that rumors appear and disappear regularly on this subject, never before has an employee of Verizon Wireless provided such direct responses when I’ve brought up the iPhone’s availability on the carrier’s network. Some may respond with skepticism founded on doubts that store employees not at a managerial level would have such knowledge, but if the announcement does come on June 26, I can only suspect that Verizon’s preparations for the melee that will ensue include informing its entire staff of its plan for handling the throngs that will turn out for the device. The staff alone needed to process all of those individuals looking to transfer their service from AT&T will likely require a carefully coordinated effort on Verizon’s part.
Come the end of June, I can only hope that this rumor is confirmed as my upgrade eligibility date follows soon thereafter.
Twice in the last two weeks, I’ve encountered Foursquare’s version of Twitter’s now-infamous “Fail Whale.” In Foursquare’s case, the outage notice depicts a a mayor2 adorned with a cracked crown accompanied by the message, “Looks like we’ve got some problems on our end. We’re on it though – stay tuned!”
Granted, a short outage once a week is nothing to complain about, but it further confirms the service’s growing popularity.
Badges are awarded based on various accomplishments, such as checking in at 50 different venues or check in to one location with 50 or more people. ↩
Any Foursquare user who checks in to one location the most number of times in a two-month period is labeled the mayor of that location. ↩
This past Thursday, Sirius|XM released its Premium Online streaming application for the BlackBerry Curve (8500 & 8900), Bold (9000 & 9700), Storm, Storm2 and Tour. As a longtime subscriber to Sirius (and, in the interest of full disclosure, a shareholder), I must admit I got overly excited about the announcement. My excitement waned, however, when I realized that a separate subscription is needed after the seven-day free trial.
Since switching this site to the Intense Debate (ID) commenting system, one function I missed was the ability to integrate reCAPTCHA1 into my comment forms. While I understand some are not fans of the system that adds nearly inscrutable text to a form that then must be typed in to the accompanying box to continue, the mechanism does significantly reduce the volume of comment spam.
reCAPTCHA is one form of a challenge system, known as CAPTCHA or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, developed at Carnegie Mellon University. More information is available on Wikipedia. ↩
To better showcase my web development work, I’ve relocated the pages related to my WordPress plugins to http://www.ethitter.com/plugins/. Any future announcements concerning plugin updates and new offerings will be hosted at ethitter.com.
As part of the move, my plugin development feed is now http://feeds.ldmh.us/ETHPluginDev. FeedBurner does not automatically redirect renamed feeds, so please update your reader accordingly. Anyone subscribed by email, however, should continue to receive updates.
The now-infamous Fail Whale isn’t Twitter’s only creative way of responding to problems with its service. As I discovered last week while creating a Twitter list of everyone involved with WordCamp Boston, the folks behind the service have some other, equally creative, graphics to inform users that something has gone wrong.
For the past few months, I’ve helped organize the inaugural WordCamp Boston, happening this weekend in Cambridge. For the uninitiated, WordCamps are community-organized events for users of the WordPress platform of all experience levels (WordPress just so happens to power this site).
Having never organized a conference before, the experience has been enlightening, to say the least. Luckily for our attendees, my fellow organizers have much more experience with these types of things, ensuring this weekend’s event will be one of the coolest, most unique WordCamps thus far.
If you can’t make it or couldn’t get a ticket, be sure to keep an eye on wordcampboston.com throughout the day Saturday for a glimpse into what the camp holds. In the weeks following the event, videos of the sessions will be available online, likely at WordPress.tv.
Recently I discovered Fluid, and I fell in love immediately. Its simple interface belies the power this tool provides. Because I rely so heavily on web-based applications, particularly the services Google offers, Fluid provides convenient access to the sites I visit hundreds of times a day.
Fluid, a single site browser generator for Mac OS X, takes a specific website and turns it into a standalone desktop application. With support for Userscripts.org, the applications generated by Fluid can be extensively customized and integrated with existing desktop applications. Particularly useful is Fluid’s support for Growl, which provides notification support for many OS X programs.