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Goodbye, Google Voice

Ralph Barbagallo Google Voice probably lives... (166 comments)

I was convinced Google Voice was next on the chopping block after they canned reader. The iOS app hasn't been updated in over a year, and they broke gmail GVoice calls awhile back. But they've now added Google Voice support to Hangouts, which leads me or believe it's going to morph into a Hangouts feature instead of a standalone service.

about 5 months ago

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

Ralph Barbagallo Didn't they already try this with the VUE? (769 comments)

I'm lazy and don't know how to actually make coffee. In fact, I didn't drink coffee regularly until the first Keurig came out. It's like 5X more expensive than brewing your own, but 100X more convenient.

But they already tried to come out with a DRM'ed successor to the Keurig called VUE and it totally flopped. The coffee was more expensive, and the machine just had a bunch of useless options making it not much better than the regular Keurig with much cheaper K-Cups.

about 6 months ago

MIT Develops Inexpensive Transparent Display Using Nanoparticles

Ralph Barbagallo Can it display black? (87 comments)

I'm curious if this can display black. One big problem with AR glass displays is drawing the color black. This could be a big a pretty big deal for AR glasses!

about 8 months ago

Google Wants Patent On Splitting Restaurant Bills

Ralph Barbagallo uWInk (196 comments)

Seems like prior art would be Nolan Bushnell's uWink restaurants. They were around the LA area, and had macs built into the tables you could order from. At the end of the meal you could select which of the items on the bill were yours and swipe a card to pay your share. Food was pretty weak, though!

about a year ago

China Lifts Bans On Social Media, Foreign ISPs In Free Trade Zone

Ralph Barbagallo Just in Shanghai last week (55 comments)

The Great Firewall seems inconsistent. Sometimes I was blocked on 3G from visiting Twitter, FB other times not. Wifi was spotty as well, but usually blocked. I used a VPN to access the Internet most of the time. But keeping the VPN up was tricky. Using the Internet in China was absolutely useless as a Westerner trying to get anything done. Such a weird place, they have a maglev train but you can't drink the water. #priorities

about a year ago

Russia Issues Travel Warning To Its Citizens About United States and Extradition

Ralph Barbagallo Shaky? (369 comments)

Is "shaky" a precise legal term?

1 year,11 days

Woz & Jobs 2.0: Leap Motion's Holtz & Buckwald

Ralph Barbagallo Leap doesn't work (86 comments)

I've played a few Leap games and it just doesn't work at all. They were just totally unplayable. In one case the game was designed specifically for Leap and the other was using the Leap as a mouse/touch replacement. In both cases the game constantly freaked out when Leap couldn't figure out where your hands were, or started tracking some random thing like your watch or a sleeve, etc. I had to keep removing my hands from the view area to 'reset' the game. This happened consistently throughout the game. After awhile I just gave up in frustration.

Kinect (both 1 and 2 which are each based on completely different tech) is a FAR SUPERIOR tracking solution--but it's much larger and expensive.

It's funny to see this company get all this hype for a device that essentially doesn't work.

about a year ago

Breaking Up With MakerBot

Ralph Barbagallo Had similar experiences (185 comments)

I wasn't using a MakerBot, but a BukoBot and felt the kit printers are just garbage for anything real. I ended up printing the same object (a 6 inch tall figure) using a low-end pro grade printer (uPrint SE...uses the same type of extruder/FDM print technology) with kind of spectacular results (before and afters here):

Also the price difference between the low end uPrints and the Replicator 2X isn't that great. About 2.5X. Now that the company that makes uPrint owns MakerBot, I'm hoping we see consumer printers as robust as these high end machines (that are as large as a refrigerator!)

Still took 20+ hours to print my figure on both machines.

The kit scene reminds me of the personal computer scene in the '70s. I expect rapid progress in this area. We've already seen drastic improvements in quality on the consumer side with the Replicator 2X and Form1.

I still kind of don't like stereolithography because although it's way higher detail, you can't use a support material--right? You still have to print 'fluff' that you crack off by hand?

about a year ago

Is Google Voice Doomed To Be 2nd-Class Messaging System?

Ralph Barbagallo The next Google product to be killed (172 comments)

I'm convinced Google Voice is the next Google product on the chopping block. It hasn't been upgraded in years, it's still kind of wonky. I love it, and use it as replacement for iPhone's Visual Voicemail. Plus it's awesome when traveling out of the country. And the ability to filter callers etc. is just basic stuff that should be available to any mobile customer. They have slightly updated the web interface by integrating it into Hangouts with the new GMail--but they also removed the ability to make calls from GMail. It's only a matter of time before Google kills it.

about a year ago

Sexism Still a Problem At E3

Ralph Barbagallo Ahhhh the '90s (737 comments)

It's nowhere near as bad as the '90s, early '00s. The show is absolutely subdued in comparison.

about a year ago

Green Lantern Writer To Pen Blade Runner Sequel

Ralph Barbagallo Rosebud (326 comments)

When will they get M Night Shyamalan to make Citizen Kane 2?

about a year ago

Siri's Creator Challenges Texting-While-Driving Study

Ralph Barbagallo Siri isn't totally hands-free (262 comments)

Yeah but the problem is half the time Siri requires you to tap the screen. Ask for directions, and it will ask you to chose from a list of locations by tapping on it. It also drives me nuts how it won't read me the screen contents sometimes--especially when doing simple data lookups form search engines, it should know to read the results (like what the weather is etc.) if you've got a BlueTooth headset connected (and maybe travelling fast!)...since your'e obviously driving.

about a year ago

Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

Ralph Barbagallo Brogramming -- a direct result of Dunning Kruger (400 comments)

The proverbial "brogrammer" is the only type of programmer your average valley C-level Dunning-Kruger sufferer can relate to.

about a year ago

LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers

Ralph Barbagallo LI isn't that bad! (164 comments)

I use LinkedIn like I used to use Plaxo--for an up to date contact list. Whenever I get someone's business card, I add them on LinkedIn and throw the card away. I don't see what the big deal is. I set the email prefs so LI never emails me ever, so it doesn't bug me. I will say I've accidentally sent out a lot of invites to random strangers because if you browse the "the people you may know" list on the iPad you can easily accidentally tap a profile instead of swiping to scroll which sends an invite out.

about a year ago

Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference

Ralph Barbagallo Oculus VR (62 comments)

The biggest thing there was Oculus Rift by a longshot. 2.5 hour wait to try it for a few minutes. Granted, GDC is not a consumer focused show, but I've never seen a crowd like that for something at GDC before.

about a year and a half ago


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