Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here's what my iPod should do

ipodI was thinking this morning as I was pulling into my office parking lot that the iPod I was listening to in my car should some how be able to automagically tell my computer exactly what song I was listening to, exactly where I stopped in that song, and start playing that song when I walked in the door.   Is that realistic?

Let me answer that in a few ways:

  • Basic iPod -- seems like I should be able to take a basic iPod in with me and the very first thing it should transmit is the data I described above and my computer should start right where I left off.  Low tech, but functional and seemingly achievable.

  • iPod Touch -- if I were in range of my work wifi network and I turned off the car, the iPod should wirelessly transmit that data to my computer; if there's no wifi network, then it should work the same as the basic iPod.

  • iPhone (I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this) -- should use wifi or the data network to notify my computer.

Are there potential problems with this?  Sure, especially if the computer it's trying to notify doesn't have the music on it, but that's a pretty simple test.  In thinking more about it, my guess would be that it would probably be easiest to implement this in an iPhone if someone could figure out how to have the iPhone auto-trigger an e-mail that then triggered an automator response once received by the machine.  That's kind of kludgy though, and it would be much cooler if iTunes was the black box for this process. 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Add browser shortcuts to your applications on your BlackBerry

blackberryYup, pretty much just like the iPhone, but a little bit more complex.

Here's how:

  1. Go to this site

  2. Either type the over-the-air URL into your BlackBerry browser, use the Google Send to Phone site to SMS the OTA URL to yourself and copy and paste it into your BlackBerry browser, or download the installer to use with Desktop Manager (super-lame choice).

  3. Using the OTA method: download the "Shortcut Hub Utility" and at least "web shortcut 1"

  4. Open the Shortcut Hub Utility

  5. Define the URL and image URL -- images must be 32 pixel by 32 pixel PNG files (leave the background blank for best display) and here's an example that I made for Grand Central.

A few notes:

  • The default for the image is "http://", so if you don't change this, it goes into an infinite loop looking for the logo to download.  I believe if you blank this out, it should work

  • This would probably be very useful for deploying corporate websites as applications and there are instructions on the site about how to do this. 

Monday, February 04, 2008

The "friendly skies" become a little less friendly for tickets purchased after Feb 4 for travel on or after May 5


Here's the meat of the e-mail I got from United:

As of February 4, 2008, United has a new checked baggage
policy. Non-elite Mileage Plus® members and non-members
traveling on non-refundable Economy tickets within the
United States, Canada and U.S. territories, may check one
bag for free and a second for a $25 fee. The new policy
applies to tickets purchased beginning February 4, 2008 for
travel on or after May 5, 2008.

Wow!  I haven't gotten this notice from any other airlines -- is this becoming a new standard or is United hoping to lead the way on this one?  I guess you can look at this is an extra benefit to being a premium member, but most will probably look at it as another reason not to fly United.  I would be surprised to see Frontier, Jet Blue, or Southwest implement this policy.