Miscellaneous Debris

Foursquare BART badgeSo, we’ve got a lot going on lately, what with the move and all. We’ll try to keep the content rolling despite real work.

Rich attended Startup School 2009 over the weekend, and although he didn’t find much to blog about, you could try to rally him into a post by commenting or pestering him on Twitter (@rmanalan). That might work.

Paul has been doing some deep thinking about foursquare, the latest shiny object. I’m hoping he puts them into a post. If you read here, you’ll recall he enjoys the intersection of work and play and has a lot of good ideas there.

Figured I should fill the dead air with something, so here comes a few tidbits I noticed over the last few days.

BART + foursquare
Just when you thought you couldn’t hear more about foursquare from me, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) announces a partnership with foursquare last week at the Web 2.0 Summit. From the announcement:

“Foursquare will offer a BART-themed badge that can be unlocked by regular riders of BART, which provides train service in the San Francisco Bay Area. BART will award $25 promotional tickets each month for the next three months to riders chosen at random from all the riders who have logged Foursquare check-ins at BART stations, starting in November.

. . . BART also will look at other ways to coordinate promotions with new and existing venue partners, through www.mybart.org, its free service offering contests and discounts for entertainment, sports and other events.”

So, not only will there be IRL incentive for people to ride BART, but it sounds as though BART will work with other foursquare venues to create additional incentives, all based around a silly game that no one would ever play. Right.

When I read about this agreement, I immediately pinged Twitter with a plea to Portland’s TriMet to investigate something similar. Portland’s public transportation is much more cohesive than the Bay Area’s and, generally speaking, Portlanders use public transportation more frequently.

Plus, there are a lot of people playing foursquare here, so it makes sense. TriMet should be open to the idea, since they already offer web services free to developers who want to build transit apps.

Project Eagle Claw
From the it’s-about-time department, the Nigerian government has begun cracking down on 419 scammers, arresting 18 and squashing 800 websites. Apparently, this is just the beginning, as the project becomes fully operational in 2010.

Good news for the victims out there who fall for these scams and an about-face from the Nigerian government’s previous stance. I guess it’s bad news for the scam-baiters, who’ve provided quite a bit of humor, but in the end, I suspect they would agree it’s better for everyone to have fewer 419ers out there.

Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10
Windows 7 launched last week, and I’m mildly interested to take it for a test drive on a VM. I tried in vain to get a beta version; the in vain part was frustration with the download times and registration process.

Rich says it’s pretty nice, but has no intention of switching. I agree. It would take a lot for me to go back to Windows.

I’m much more excited for the GA release of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, which reached the release candidate milestone last week, coincidentally the same day Windows 7 launched.

I’ve heard great things about 9.10 end-to-end, and I just hope the upgrade process goes more smoothly for me than 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope did.

Let’s take a moment and consider how awesome it is that Canonical will be releasing not one, but two major OS updates this year. They did the same last year and have consistently done so for five years now.

Awesome feat. The Linux community rocks.

ORACLENERD goes gratis
Chet, recently unemployed again and looking for work, has decided to offer his services for free, which is an interesting model, especially considering the current state of the Economy.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds, and this business model has worked for centuries, i.e. give them a taste for free and sink the hook. Sound familiar?

So, Chet is offering his services for 2-4 week engagements, although the timeframe is negotiable, to clients in the Tampa area. His resume is here.

I wish him luck, and I’m curious to see how this model works for employment. He might be on to something big.

Floating airport?
And finally, from the crazy-ideas-FTW department, there’s a legit plan floating (no pun intended) around to construct a new airport off the coast of San Diego. That’s right, a multi-level, floating, oil-rig style structure that would be accessible by ferry or underwater light rail. Update: The plan calls for an entire city, not just an airport.

Sounds pretty sweet, except for that last bit. That sounds like disaster-flick fodder in an area prone to earthquakes.

Anyway, maybe Joel Garry can comment more on this crazy-cool architecture plan, since I think he’s from San Diego.

So, that’s about it for now. Find the comments.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

11 comments

  1. zzzzzzzz *** huh? wuh? Oh, some idiots proposed a floating runway in the bay… without realizing it was 90 degrees from the prevailing winds and would have a bird strike problem!

    As far as a floating airport off the coast, why not just build up on some of the shallow banks out there? Answer, as well as a serious problem with the floater: Coastal Commission is insane. (or not, depending on your bias). If I were as rich as Gates, I'd build my own island…

  2. Interesting local perspective. There's talk of a floating mega-airport to serve both LA and SD which sounds like a complete fail. I hadn't thought of the bird strike problem, which would be a much bigger issue than on land.

  3. The bird strike problem tends to be worst next to places where birds congregate, which tends to be riparian habitat. Some major coastal airports are built on large flat areas, which tend to be bays and estuaries and often environmentally protected areas (when I was growing up near the LA airport, they were taking out rich peoples houses between the airport and the beach, which then turned into a habitat for an almost wiped-out butterfly. It was a big deal). So it is worst for the San Diego bay floater, and perhaps not quite so bad offshore. But hey, land your plane in the Hudson river, be a hero. Is that on PSP yet?

    The Disqus link was 2ifuk huh-huh.

  4. That whole wetlands thing near LAX is a cluster. When I left, they were building condos in what used to be protected land between LMU and Playa Del Rey. Seems like each change in government changes that area. Meh.

    I do like the term “San Diego floater” though 🙂

    Dunno what you mean about the Disqus link.

  5. I mean the Disqus link was literally 2ifuk, preceded by the domain. That's the thing about short links, the namespace is small, the likelihood of bad IM-speak words is high. Somewhere recently there was a post about… oh yeah.

    The Ballona Creek development used to be Hughes Aircraft and a bunch of beet and bean fields. As kids we used to play in those canyons until security would chase us off. The recent politics of the area are indeed absurd. Later we used to play “Bullet” getting our cars airborne in the area just west of the airport, among the rare butterflys.

  6. Ah ha, got it. I actually find the accidental coincidence of cursing through short URLs one of their redeeming qualities 🙂 At least I can laugh while the interwebs is destroyed.

    Glad to hear you did your part to conserve the butterflies and their habitat. Sounds like fun too.

  7. That whole wetlands thing near LAX is a cluster. When I left, they were building condos in what used to be protected land between LMU and Playa Del Rey. Seems like each change in government changes that area. Meh.

    I do like the term “San Diego floater” though 🙂

    Dunno what you mean about the Disqus link.

  8. I mean the Disqus link was literally 2ifuk, preceded by the domain. That's the thing about short links, the namespace is small, the likelihood of bad IM-speak words is high. Somewhere recently there was a post about… oh yeah.

    The Ballona Creek development used to be Hughes Aircraft and a bunch of beet and bean fields. As kids we used to play in those canyons until security would chase us off. The recent politics of the area are indeed absurd. Later we used to play “Bullet” getting our cars airborne in the area just west of the airport, among the rare butterflys.

  9. Ah ha, got it. I actually find the accidental coincidence of cursing through short URLs one of their redeeming qualities 🙂 At least I can laugh while the interwebs is destroyed.

    Glad to hear you did your part to conserve the butterflies and their habitat. Sounds like fun too.

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