Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Status Here, Status There, Status Everywhere

MySpace just recently announced that they have a new app to update Twitter when you update your Myspace status. I think I heard that AIM is also jumping into the status bandwagon. I'm sure Yahoo is not far behind.

Of course, Facebook has had an app to Twitter for a while.

With all these apps running around that will update your status on all the social networks (yes, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and many others are now called social networks), the ordinary person can go nuts trying to figure out who updates who. Or else, you will see double, triple updates of the same status in one network. I've seen this happen on Twitter and on Facebook.

If you have a Facebook and MySpace and Twitter account (*raises hand* I do) and you activate the app on Facebook and MySpace -- remember Facebook and MySpace do not talk to each other (sacrilege, they are real competitors) -- and you put the same status update on Facebook and MySpace, Twitter will get the same status update twice. Because... Facebook sent it to Twitter. MySpace sent it to Twitter.

You really need to understand the direction of these apps.

Unless... You find an app that will update all your social network sites in one fell swoop. Is there such an appimal out there? There sure is.

I use I understand does it, too. You will need to trust these sites with your userid and password into your social networks. Yes, you do. If you use the MySpace connect to Twitter, you will need to give MySpace your Twitter information. Same is true for Facebook. How else do you expect the API to talk for you?

What I like about Hellotxt is that I can type in my status and decide which social network I want to update -- all of them, just two or only one of them. Hellotxt also gives me some visibility to my Twitter activity and I can use it to respond to my Twitter friends. I just discover another reason I like Hellotxt. I just tried to connect to and VPN blocks it.

As majority of my day is in VPN (yes, another acronymn. Virtual Private Network. I have to log into this for my job.) hell, all my social network access is banned. Google Reader gives me visibility to Facebook and some Twitter statuses. I don't care about MySpace.

If you have multiple social network accounts and each of them offer apps, you might want to seriously think of finding a service that will handle bulk updates for you. This also saves you time if you want to post the same status to more than one social network. has a great article about how Facebook statuses can be updated without being in Facebook -- HOW TO: Update Facebook from Outside. The article briefly touches on services like HelloTxt and

How many social networks do you belong to? If you belong to multiple ones, how do you update the status if there is one?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Continental's New Video System

Two Sundays ago, I finally got on a Continental plane, 737, with the new video system. Notice that I said video system and not audio-video system.

My return flight had the old audio/video system. Of course, I sat in the row that had the monitor right on top of the seats in front of me and the other monitor was just too far away. It's a good thing I was not interested in it. I had an ebook I wanted to finish.

Last Sunday, I got my second chance to explore the new video system again.

A year ago, as Continental started getting new planes, they were not rigging them with the usual audio/video system. Continental was waiting for the delivery of new equipment -- individual systems for each passenger -- and did not want to expend the cost of refitting the plane.

There were many disappointed customers who discovered they had to entertain themselves for 4 plus hours. Season traveler that I am, of course, I was prepared.

The old monitor every 4-5 rows and 12 stations. 2 stations devoted to audio for the video -- 1 English and other Spanish. The other 10 stations for different kinds of music. At some point, the cost of entertainment went from $4.00 to $1.00. The headphones even changed. Over the ear clip-ons changed to earbuds that you can use on your own portable player. It included a gadget to transform the plug from single to dual plug so you can use them on any Continental plane.

The new system is DirecTV. There are no music stations. The movies are stilled controlled by Continental. They offer 4 current ones each month. September movies are Night at the Museum: Battle of Smithsonian, The Proposal, Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation. Continental also has 4 additional stations for reruns of dramas, comedys and miscellaneous documentaries. You could consider this Continental Vision. If DirecTV goes out because of plane misalignment with the satellite, you can still watch these 8 stations. Then you have 75 DirecTV stations to surf through for more programming like TNT, FoodTV, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN.

The bad thing about this new system is that programming does not halt when the plane PA system is used, even Continental Vision continues on. It's very annoying as you will miss all dialogue when the crew speaks. If I want music, I guess I'll have to make sure my player has enough juice.

You do need a credit/debit card to activate the system. The cost is $6.00. Headsets (the earbuds with dual plug attachment) are complimentary. Hopefully, it does not go up anymore as I consider this high. (Yes, it's still cheaper than a movie ticket and, given enough time, you could watch two movies, like I did.) As always, it is free for First Class. Though another frequent flyer told me you can get Continental Vision, not the movie channels, for free. I'll have to explore that when I'm in coach with the new system.

Supposedly the planes with DirecTV also have power outlets so you can plug in. I tried this once in First Class but was never able to find a working one in Coach.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

I guess it's one of those things that some can do and some cannot. You know, like wiggle your ears or roll your tongue.

It seems the Vulcan Salute is another one.

What's bad though is when a Vulcan cannot do the hand gesture. The new Mr. Spock, Zachary Quinto, in The Star Trek movie cannot. He either had to have his hand positioned the right way before the camera shot or skin glue was used if it was the middle of the shot.

What was the eye opener for me was to discover that William Shatner could not do the gesture either. Conan O'Brien discovered this during his Tonight Show.

Can you do the Vulcan Salute? May you live long and prosper.