Goodbye foursquare

Uninstalling foursquare

If you haven’t heard about it yet, Foursquare recently split their app in two and released Swarm. And I’m angry about it. Well, as angry as I can be at a mobile app, which is not much.

It was about the same time as Skype released a complete redesign which also wasn’t popular, so the Swarm split was commonly dismissed as users resisting change. Just like every time Facebook changes its news feed, people go nuts about it.

To me, Foursquare always had three use cases (there might be more that didn’t apply to me):

  1. Seeing where your friends are. Since I don’t have many local friends that use it, it was only mildly useful on company meetups and conferences. This is the goal of Swarm.
  2. Discovering new places, the goal of the new Foursquare app. Quite useful (specially when traveling) and I’m sure it’ll still excel at this.
  3. The game. Not everything is about utility, and sometimes I wondered why I even bothered checking in, but it was fun. The mayorships, the leaderboards, the badges, the competition. The 200+ hours I spent in Battlefield 3 were not precisely “useful” either, but I even paid money for those.
My best week ever

My best week ever

I’d say the outrage is due to most of “the game” being gone. You might think this is just another case of users angry about losing features, but I think there’s more to it.

To me, there was an implicit social contract between Foursquare and its users:

You give us this check in game and we’ll help you build a database of places

Now the database is built, and apparently ready to be monetized, and the game is gone.

I’ve used foursquare since 2010, submitted a bunch of new places, sent corrections whenever I found errors or duplicates, and even considered applying to be a superuser.

I feel betrayed.

It might be their right as a private company, but it’s also mine to stop contributing to it. So I’m uninstalling foursquare today.

Uninstalling foursquare

 Update: I was thinking about deleting my account, and it’s funny how almost half their excuses for not deleting your account aren’t there anymore

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 16.29.23

OK, Google…

image

…have you lost your mind?

Just in case it’s not clear from the screenshot, my destination was in the same city

Programming sucks

I ran across this question on stack overflow while (still) trying to figure out date parsing. The summary:

Q: I’m trying to get an NSDate object that has 21:00 as the local time[...] The result is 0001-01-02 04:52:58 +0000

A: The problem is that railroad time wasn’t implemented until November 18, 1883. You’re neglecting to set a year so you’re getting a date before that. Prior to the implementation of railroad time, the US time zones weren’t exact hour differences from GMT. I’m not sure exactly what time zone Apple selects for you but whichever it was seems to have been adjusted by 7 minutes and 2 seconds upon the move to PST in 1883.

WTF

And it made me remember an article I read yesterday: Programming Sucks. If you’re not a programmer, you’ll get a glimpse of what it entails. If you are one, you’ll probably laugh. Go read it.

ISO 8601

ISO 8601 was published on 06/05/88 and most recently amended on 12/01/04.

I’m all for using standards for data representation, but this one is messed up. That same date can be written as:

  • 2013-02-27
  • 20130227
  • 2013-58
  • 201358
  • 2013-W9-3
  • 2013W93

And that’s before touching time zones.

Source: Wikipedia and and earlier revision of the standard, since the current revision costs $150.

Through my years of peeling boiled eggs, I have learned one universal truth: Eggs will peel exactly how they want to peel and nothing you do will change that.

From The Food Lab’s Guide to Slow-Cooked, Sous-Vide-Style Eggs

man abs

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.02.07

Now I’m surprised the first result was actually what I expected. But the advertising that’s coming to me… :(

High Hopes

High Hopes

No Amazon, I don’t “Hope to read” all those dictionaries just because they came with my kindle.

Planned Obsolescence

20140312-230349.jpg

How long does a battery last?

Inside each beacon is a non-rechargeable lithium battery that should last up to 2 years. Yes, the Bluetooth is really low energy. If the battery is running out of power, you’ll be notified. You don’t have to worry about changing it, because in two years time you’ll probably get your hands on our new much more advanced Beacons.

Seen at estimote FAQ.

So apparently now it’s cool to announce that you are expected to replace a product before its battery runs out. At least the other guys are subtler about it.

Pairing wireless keyboards

20140312-184055.jpg

I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re having trouble pairing an Apple Wireless Keyboard and you might have paired it in the past to more than one computer/tablet/phone try pressing the “play/pause” or volume keys. If something starts playing music, unpair that first.

It might save you embarrassment after half an hour of doing the power button pairing dance.

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