For some time, there has been some talk about where near-field communication (NFC) might be going. If it is to take off, many people see it as something that people will use to pay on the go. Want to buy that cup of coffee? Purchase office supplies? Pay for your gas? Just swipe your phone.
While several companies are working on ways to do NFC payments, I don’t know if that is where NFC might take off initially. As noted in two articles I read [here and here], the option for NFC payments as a replacement for other payment forms isn’t the key. Rather, it is the features on top of that which will convince consumers and merchants to participate.
Where I think this could see some use is in marketing. More and more companies are putting themselves on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, among other servers. Some businesses even have stickers and banners telling their customers that they are on these networks and services, too.
So why not link up NFC technology with these services?
Let’s say I want to check in to a store I enter. All I would have to do is swipe my phone near their (let’s say) Foursquare banner. My phone would bring up a dialogue asking if I want to check in or not. With one tap on the screen, I’ve checked in.
The same could be done for any number of things. Do I want to like their Facebook page? Do I want to connect via LinkedIn? Do I want to follow their Twitter account? If those options could be given to me with the swipe of my phone, I would be able to easily keep up with that business online.
If this business is using social media or location based services to offer promotions and deals or to stay in touch with their customer-base, this would be an easy way for their customers to take part and stay in touch.
Or let’s say I go into a deli but have no idea what I want. Why not let me swipe my phone and link me to a menu that I can read for myself? I wouldn’t have to bring up any QRCode app to scan/photograph a code.
In short, there are many options that can be explored with this technology. Will it see wide acceptance? Probably not for a while. Will mobile NFC payments take off? No way to know. But payments aren’t the only option for this technology, and there are many avenues that can be taken with it.
Personally, I would rather use NFC for this type of ability than payments. If someone were to steal my phone, I wouldn’t want them to be able to pay for things with it. But I would be perfectly okay with them checking me into Foursquare.
Alert! This post will contain spoilers! Beware of what is below!
So, I know I have yet to talk about the new Doctor Who episodes, starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, but I thought I would already post some ideas about possible themes that I have caught in the first two episodes of season five (that is, “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Beast Below”).
- Zero – “The Eleventh Hour” dealt with an alien named ‘Prisoner Zero’. Obviously, the concept of zero was important in that episode. However, in “The Beast Below”, I heard zero mentioned at least once, making me wonder if this was an element worth keeping track of.
- Silence is Falling – The alien in “The Eleventh Hour” said that silence is falling. What does this mean? I’m not sure right now, but I think this may be something that comes up again, if not in the season finale, then during another episode in the season.
- A Crack in the Universe – This one is blatantly obvious in the new season so far. When we first meet Amelia Pond, she has a crack in her wall. We later see that crack on a monitor in the TARDIS before the Doctor and Amy disappear. We then see this crack on the side of the ship in “The Beast Below”. Clearly, this is some kind of obvious foreshadowing (or a red herring). In either case, it is blatant in these episodes.
As we see more of the new Doctor Who season airing, we’ll see what else comes along. If you have noticed some more trends, please post them below!
I haven’t blogged in a while, but I can assure you that the ideas have been floating around! So, what can you expect to see?
As I was asked one or two months ago, I’m going to begin a series of posts about the internet, various aspects of it, and ways that you can use it. I’ll also point out potential dangers, as well as showing how you can protect yourself from those dangers.
I’ve also got some posts ready to go with regards to Apple. Those posts will be out once I finish with a few certain things.
Is there a topic that you would like me to write about? Post it as a comment to this article!
I’ve been asked by several people to put together this article. As such, if you would like to contribute to it, suggest improvements or changes, or even write a similar article for me to post, leave a comment and let me know!
So, you got yourself a Twitter account. It is the big craze, after all! But you’re not sure about all of the other Twitter users. Or perhaps you want to keep an increased level of privacy around your account.
Well, this article, hopefully, will tell you how you can keep yourself safe on Twitter!
Now, why do we even need to consider Twitter safety? Well, perhaps you want to keep your activity away from the public eye. Perhaps you wish to keep yourself safe from possible predators or other ominous folks.
What are some ways that you can protect your tweets and privacy?
- Protect Your Tweets – You don’t have to have your tweets open to the public. There is a built in feature in your Twitter settings that lets you make them private. The only way people can read your tweets is to be approved to follow you. This not only protects what you say but also who can read your tweets. This is the biggest step!
- Watch What You Tweet – This rule applies to anything you do online. With the increase in Twitter usage, it seems easier and easier to just post anything. Yet, that is exactly what you do not want to do! Even if you have protected your tweets, do you want them to know about where you exactly live, or where you will be at an exact time? It is always better to play it safe!
- Use The Block Function – Do you have some shady characters that are following you that you really don’t want to see what you write? If you’re wary of certain followers, you can safely block them. This isn’t a sure-fire way of keeping people away from your tweets, but it can help you manage trouble-users.
- Remember Your Audience – Even if you have protected your tweets, there is the potential that someone will re-tweet you. With that in mind, any of your tweets could potentially be made public. Therefore, if you’re going to tweet something, make sure that it is something you wouldn’t mind someone in the public seeing. This goes in line with point #2, but it still is different.
In the end, common sense is what wins out with Twitter. Make sure that you’re always tweeting with your full thinking faculties. Otherwise, you may find yourself embarrassed, frustrated, or worse.
It’s quite possible that I missed some options for privacy protection. If I have, please leave a comment! As I stated at the beginning, I’d be willing to post guest articles as well, should anyone want to write additional material.
I think this is a blog worthy of a little trip down memory lane. All of this will take us on a cruise through the history of Instant Messaging.
Instant message has its roots before the days of the modern internet. Some types were peer-to-peer, others had people connect to a central server or network. IRC is one of those types, and it is something that is still quite popular in the interwebs today.
As computers became more ‘flashy‘ and graphical user interfaces (GUI) came on the scene, some of the more popular ones that we all know and love (or at least know) came about. These include ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger. Once AOL’s hit the web, other branded IMs came up. MSN, YIM, and a few other three lettered IMs that probably came up, too.
Well, each of those offer a service that allows you to chat with one or more people. They send a message, you respond. It doesn’t get any easier to explain than that!
So, what about Twitter?
I know that I am guilty of using Twitter for IM-type purposes. All you need is a Twitter app and you may as well tell yourself you’re using an IM app. And, before you even know it, you’re trapped.
It all starts with someone posting a very interesting link about images from the moon. Before you know it, you and them are chatting back and forth, sending each other @replies without a care in the world.
This seems to be the habit of more and more people. Have you seen this yourself? Have you checked Twitter, only to find that the past twelve minutes worth of tweets have been between two or three people, all replying to each other in rapid fire?
- Replies aren’t private – Just because you thought it would be cool to send a message to @BrentSpiner doesn’t mean that only they will se it. So, while you may think it’s cool to start messaging your friends, remember what you put in those messages. If it’s private data, you probably shouldn’t post it on Twitter at all, especially a reply.
- API Limits – No matter how fast you want your friends’ updates, you’re still limited. Twitter has a limit and, unless you want to sit on their web page and constantly refresh it, you won’t be getting true real time, or instant, messages.
Does Twitter have the potential to eventually be an IM service? It’s possible. It would take some changes on their set up to allow for it, but it could be done. Will it be done, though, is the question. Their current setup seems to be popular enough as is, so major changes would probably not be in their best interest.
Now, that said, Twitter is still a very useful tool for pushing out information to people. After all, it is called a micro-blogging platform for a reason.
Are there ways you can make Twitter more useful? I’ll be writing about that coming up soon.
What do you think? Does Twitter serve as your second IM? How do you use Twitter? Leave your comments below!
As reported by Fox News, Tampa Bay Online, the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and the Associated Press (via MSNBC), TV pitchman Billy Mays was found dead in his Tampa home. They say he was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead early this morning.
Wow, this makes for quite an interesting week! The month had started off in a weird way with the announced death of actor David Carradine on June 3rd. But the past week has seemed weirder than all of the speculation put around Carradine’s death.
June 23rd, Ed MacMahon, the voice of the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, passed. He was definitely a big name in the entertainment world for many decades. He and Carson both made for a great late night show which I would love to see more of.
Then, two days later, on June 25th, we first heard of the death of Farrah Fawcett from cancer. Her looks, and her time as one of Charlie’s Angels, made her an international star. Then, later that same day (and pretty much stealing the headlines, even to today), Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest. All you have to do is look at how the media is still covering his death, as well as see all of the tributes that have gone up to him (and, to a lesser extent, Farrah Fawcett) to see how people reacted to their deaths.
Now, the crazy news for today. In less than a week since Ed MacMahon’s death, Billy Mays is found dead. It seems so crazy to hear about yet another big named celebrity to die. Granted, time and unforeseen occurance befalls everyone, but it still is making for an interesting week.
So, goodbye, Billy Mays. OxiClean, Orange Glo, Kaboom, Handy Switch, iCan, Steam Buddy, Tool Bandit, Gopher, and every other product you were the front man for will never be the same again.
Well, maybe the same, but just quieter.
Now… I wonder what news we’ll be seeing this week.
Given how some people seem to not fully understand how the new Star Trek movie fits in with all other things Trek, I think it is appropriate to write a little about this.
Since the new movie has come out, I’ve heard various things. For example, I’ve heard some say that this ruins all Trek given what happens in the movie. Others have said that this finally explains how Kirk and Spock (and company) meet up.
Really, both are wrong! This does not ruin anything, and it also does not show us how anyone met anyone. At this point, I’d like to bring in a diagram to help show what I mean. [Picture used with permission from TerryN. Their original post is here.]
I think that picture definitely helps with explaining how the new movie’s timeline affects (or rather, does not affect) what is already established.
The events of Star Trek: Enterprise remain. The deviation occurs prior to what would have been the original Star Trek series. The difference is caused by Nero, commanding the Narada, falling through the black hole and encountering the USS Kelvin. From that point on, everything else was happening in an alternate timeline. (Which, coincidentally enough, is all but 2 minutes of the movie!)
Am I (or others) just making this up? Nope! The dialogue was said on screen, in the movie, between Uhura and Spock. If you don’t believe me, go watch the movie again.
So, did this new movie ruin previous Trek? Did it tell us the hidden truth behind Kirk and Spock’s friendship? Did it show how the crew found themselves together on the Enterprise?
One thing that stuck out for me: the new Enterprise is 2,357 feet long. That is roughly 718 meters. That makes it longer than the Enterprise-E!
Is that a trivial point? Maybe. It definitely means a few things, at least from my view point:
- The events in the alternate timeline of the new movie (we’ll call it the JJ-verse), following the destruction of the USS Kelvin (where the divergence occurs), apparently lead to Starfleet making things bigger. Perhaps this was in response to the large ship that destroyed the Kelvin in the first place.
- It is quite possible that, if we are to say that the TOS we know, for the most part, would have lived on if not for Nero’s interruption, that Starfleet would normally have went with more compact designs. This would explain the smaller Constitution-class ship we have all come to know and love from the original series.
- The impact of the Kelvin’s destruction did more than just affect Kirk, but many other things as well. Seeing the Kelvin destroyed at the beginning of the film was something that lead to many changes from what we currently see. Not only did it affect how the crew got together, but it could very well have changed Starfleet’s entire way of viewing things.
Of course, in the opening scenes, we see a much more modern looking Kelvin. It is easy to say, “Yes, it was just a movie, and JJ Abrams wanted things bigger.” That could be true. After all, George Kirk apparently saved over 800 lives from the Kelvin, which outnumbers even the original Enterprise’s crew compliment of 400-something.
Given that, while the new Enterprise may be bigger due to the Kelvin’s destruction, I do not imagine the Kelvin itself being a large vessel. Rather, to explain the number of people on board, I have to ask what the ship was doing prior to the movie. Did they just rescue people from some catastrophe, perhaps?
Whatever the case, I think this is something that may be analyzed for some time. I know that, given my level of geekness, I’ll probably be trying to make this new movie fit into Star Trek’s canon in some way, despite the fact that I don’t view it as a Trek movie. This film was a great movie in its own right. But it definitely means a new start for Star Trek, especially since there is now a whole new timeline to explore.
What were your views on the changes brought about by the new movie?
Update: I was given the following by @TheWillEd, and I think it’s worth adding to this post.
The difference in people on Kelvin vs Enterprise is explained relatively easier I believe. The Enterprise (TOS Era) was a war vessel with no families allowed on the vessel. While the Kelvin seemed to be more of an Exploration/Scientific vessel. This would mean that there’d be the standard staff for operation of the vessel (which may go upwards around the 400 range) with the addition of the science crew, and potentially families as well(with the inclusion of George Kirk’s pregnant wife… whom was never indicated if she had any involvement in Starfleet.) While it may not be an actual indicator, I like to believe that the fact that the primary uniform colour of blue on the Kelvin would be indicative of this.