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Tim Keller on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC speaks about his weekend sermon topic and touches on his latest book – King’s Cross


Foursquare – Some companies seem to be getting it…


A few months ago I started playing with Foursquare. It is an iPhone (android, blackberry etc) app that allows people to check-in as they go from place to place and rack up points. For example, I go from the house to the train station to Penn Station, I can get 6 points, add the Gym, Starbucks and a lunch run and I’m up to 10-20 points.

Now, go some place new or “off the beaten path” and you can add a new location and rack up more points, unlock “badges”, become “mayor” of a location, and beat your friends in a weekly point battle – fun, but so what you say…. That is where I have been the last couple of weeks UNTIL

I checked into my office and a little tag popped up on the screen “special nearby”. I check into Crunch as a new user and non-member I can get a free week guest pass, check in as Mayor and get a bottle of water. Now, this is getting interesting. Starbucks is doing something similar with mayors getting $1 off a drink.

Imagine walking into a Subway, Starbucks or Duane Reade and getting a coupon I can use immediately on something they can scan off the phone – this is getting interesting. I still need to interact with it so I’m not feeling like someone is invading my “personal space”, but what a great idea.

Anyone have any thoughts, let us know. If you have an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry device, try it out and let us know what you think…

iPad impressions a few days later

After a few days and more info (but still 2 months from getting one in anyones hands), I continue to see a value in this tool. There are a few things – BUTS if you will…

I (along with loads of other people) want a great task list – The Omni Group is talking about migrating their apps to the iPad screen and platform. I would really like to see an Apple or excellent task list for the iPad. Omnifocus is something I like for the iPhone but cannot really use it efficiently with the smaller screen. Things or The Hit List would be a nice addition.

I also have been looking at Billings 3 and Billings Touch. I want to have something that can take the place of a laptop when working with clients – tracking time, taking notes and communicating with clients without having to do work twice… NOTE: I have a beef with Marketcircle (Billings 3) right now since I feel a bit cheated by the “in-store purchase” of Billings Touch when the App is “free” from the iTunes App Store, but I’m waiting to see if I hear anything back from their PR/Sales people…

I also want to see how I can interact with the iBooks app. If I could download a VMWare vSphere 4 book (one that I have a physical copy of right now for $40 and ~500 pages which I do not take with me ’cause of the size), highlight, notes and link to a web site from within the book – no brainer for me (and millions of high school and college students).

Another thing for me (and a growing number of other people) will be how people continue to interact with email. I love the way Mail looks on the iPad, but I have not used an email client in over a year. I am getting to the point that there is so much email I would much rather get it on my iPhone or via the web from anywhere than have a client I have to use… This will be an interesting test since I do not feel a need for an iPad with 3G, how could I interact with email “offline”? Remains to be seen (and if Google continues to rock the Mobile Google pages – this could easily be a solution).

Much more to come over the next couple of months and of course, a hands-on as soon as humanly possibly…

Nexus One – Google’s Phone

Google has released “their own phone” with the help of HTC. The Nexus One is a phone that Google has worked on from the ground up with HTC to address a number of things.

First, it is running the Google Android (Google’s Operating System) version 2.1 (The Motorola Droid from Verizon is running 2.0). Google has said an update to phones running older software will be available shortly – so you should be able to update the Droid (and maybe the Eris) to 2.1 – that would be cool… (the talk is that around the 22 of Jan an update will be available to the Droid and Eris).

Everything about this phone looks and seems to be going in the right direction – this review from David Pogue at the NYTimes I believe is a great summary of the Nexus One.

Read, review, consider… I know I am…

A few notes: right now the Nexus One is being subsidized by T-Mobile ($180) or unlocked ($~500) and an expected verizon option is in the works and should be available the first half of 2010 (I’d guess close to the T-Mobile price). Carriers are a big part of the solution today (for example the iPhone is a great device, but a average phone). Again options are not a bad thing!

Apple Tablet for Early 2010?

For the last couple of years, the internet has been discussing the possibility of an Apple Tablet (I like to call it an “applet” – though I may not be the first). The talk is that it would be essentially a large iPhone (8-10″) with only a touch screen…

Apple generally participates in MacWorld in San Francisco early in January but Apple has pulled out of MacWorld AND CES (Consumer Electronics Show) but the latest is that Apple may be doing it’s own announcement/event towards the end of January.

What I would like to see and what the internet is buzzing about:
A 10″ tablet PC with a full version of Mac OS X installed
Simple wireless (802.11n) connection
Excellent touch keyboard (a lot like the iPhone) with the option to add a physical keyboard/mouse via Bluetooth or USB
Storage on the device of at least 160GB (320GB would be GREAT)
Battery life of 8+ hours

Other ideas, requests?

Only end of January will show us the future…

Merge all duplicate contacts in Google Contacts

Just yesterday, Google released a “find duplicate” option in Google Contacts. About 2 hours before I was attempting to do just this manually (export a CSV file, remove dupes, upload the “clean” CSV file). After about an hour of frustration with the CSV file, I was about to bag it and saw this note.

I re-imported the duplicate-laden (1600 contact) file to Google Contacts, clicked the button and watched the system merge and clean my contacts to about 450 (in 15 seconds).

I have this technology knack of doing something with technology that is time-consuming and frustrating only to find in the following 12-24 hours it has been done easier and better than I just did it 🙂

If you have contacts in Google (use Gmail or Google Apps), check this out – it is wonderful and saves a lot of headaches…

Apple buys Lala

I came across Lala a couple of weeks ago. I have been really enjoying Pandora and, but had not really found or needed Lala. Two of the things I liked about and Pandora was the complementary iPhone app.

It is now being reported [via TUAW] that Apple bought Lala. It was then followed up and confirmed by Wall Street Journal and the NYTimes. The discussion is Apple has been looking at integrating streaming services into iTunes and this could be the method…

After looking at Lala, the music and site has a lot of music and would be a great addition to iTunes (especially if it has a complementary app for the iPhone). More to come…