Monthly Archives: March 2010

Skype on Blackberry (Verizon) goes live !!

Skype has released the download page for the Verizon Blackberry version.  They already had the webpage up for Blackberry, but the official VZW one is now alive as shown below. Loading was fast and easy on the Tour.  We had an issue on the Storm (v1) but will work to see why it didn’t load right immediately.  Testing will begin right away with a full review.

Skype mobile for Verizon

I confirmed that it would not function on other carriers, as shown in this screen shot

Only for Verizon

Integrate Blackberry Messenger, Facebook and friends with barcode ease

Blackberry has released anapplication for your Facebook profile allowing anyone that can see your page to scan a barcode and attempt to add you on Blackberry Messenger.  You must be running the latest Messenger version (5.0.0.57) to even begin.   They even allow you to modify the colors for the 

this is NOT my barcode !!

this is NOT my barcode !!

barcode.  Simply enter your Blackberry pin number and click through the easy 3 steps.  I was able to get it completed including adding it to my profile in about a minute.

I was also able to email my barcode to any address so the person could scan it.  That added some humor as I tested this with another Blackberry user and while they were able to receive it on their Blackberry, of course they could not scan it.  This feature is made to send to someone to pull up on their computer for the quick addition without sending your pin number.

My overall opinion is this is a great way to expand and exploit the usage of Blackberry messenger.  I know many of us in a specific community use it on a daily basis to quickly get in touch with someone over a secure channel with the added ability of pictures, audio and location.  Something SMS will never be able to perform.  With the added level of the communication never leaving the RIM network, and being encrypted as I mentioned, we get peace of mind in sending business related data.  Also be no the lookout for adding groups in messenger with the same barcode.

So if you own a Blackberry, make sure you update to the latest Messenger version and get to sharing barcodes.  There is even some sites allowing you to share pin numbers, but I will review that in another posting.

I know who won #SxSW – because they forced it on me

I have diligently (ok not fully diligently since that is what smart filtering is for) followed the feeds, news and tweets for SxSW the past few days.  I was hoping to glean more information from the conference than just two things:

  1. location service wars
  2. privacy statements

Yes, they are both important items, but I feel that the press is forcing me to believe that location services are the big news.  ReadWriteWeb(with over 30 articles on location at SxSW) tried to break the news on CheckIn, (from the makers of Brightkite) to no avail.  Humorously I wrote about this very idea Saturday before seeing the article they wrote.

What I have gathered from all of the news is the sheer madness in the number of checkins, the number of friend requests and the limited consumer side usability of the data. Sites like Vicarious.ly perform a Google mashup of checkins overlayed on the map in Austin.  In about 10 minutes you can’t see the city blocks through all the checkin icons popping up.  Great, people are tweeting like mad and checking in wherever they walk.  What does it do for me?  Will the forthcoming firehouse approach to all this location data give me anything more than a headache?

Should we fall into the trap of helping predict a winner from all of the great, and varied, location services out there?  Do we trust badges? Events? More locations? Games? Better descriptors? More friends that are also users?  I don’t quite know where to begin on any of these options.

With the hundreds of panels down there, where the heck is the rest of the news?

Over 300k checkins for Foursquare, now how do I find you?

With the sheer volume of people that everyone is becoming connected to in  Foursquare, Brightkite, Latitude and Gowalla, I discovered something about the whole process.  Even with so many friends an no issues checking multiple services, there is no fast way to perform this task on any of them.

I have no groupings, easy search or other feature for locating just the user I want.  Not everyone broadcasts or has a widget.  Not everyone uses the same service so interoperability is non-existent.

So how do I best query where you might be?  What if you check in when you leave somewhere for privacy?  I am now at a loss to whittle through what are considered close friends, social friends and just followers.  As well as what service any one person might be on.  Could this be the birth of a winner or the death of many of the services?

How well does it really work for conferences like SXSW or Lotusphere back in January?  Everyone is very fluid during the day, moving at a constant pace.  By the time you check in and I check for you, you have moved and checked in again.  Latitude gets the closest in providing accurate and real-time updating as compared to the others.

Where is the value in this form of activity?  Is it in my ability to trace my own movements?  How long should I plan on being at a location before I get the urge to check in?  is there a rule on being in place?  Is there a rule on time before moving?

How do we bridge the location services into something more than an advertising platform for restaurants, bars and vendors to a service we need as people?  Is utilizing the service about a discount or socializing and locating?