What I Learned from 2 Weeks without Data

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When I arrived in Italy for what would be an epic 2 week honeymoon, I had a plan in mind to make sure I would not be without a cell phone and data connection. My wife got me a Nexus 5X last Christmas so I decided to sign up for Google’s Project Fi for international cell service. It’s much cheaper than ATT and I’d get to spend some quality time with Android after being away for about a year. However, when we arrived in Venice I noticed I was connecting to cell towers, but I wasn’t able to text or get online. I thought maybe Venice was spotty but as we moved down country, I still had no luck. I was relegated to calls anywhere, but text and data only on WiFi, which was basically at the hotel. Here’s how that went.

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The Mobile Web App Developer’s Dilemma

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I’m currently sitting on an Amtrak train from NY Penn to Exton, PA (the Philly-ish area). The ticket taker was coming by on his nifty device scanning tickets, which would then check a database of purchased tickets to confirm the purchase and the identity of the purchaser. However, when we hit a tunnel (and therefore no data connection), the device stopped working; any scans returned “Ticket not found.” You would think that whoever developed this system for a subway/train company would have considered that at times there might not be a data connection, but that didn’t seem to be the case. This is a bit of a dilemma for anyone developing apps for mobile.

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Quick Tip: Download an Archive of your Facebook Data

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There’s a lot going on on the Internet right now. Websites getting hacked (Blizzard being the most recent), companies doing presumably whatever they want with our data, and the cultivation of a group of people who over-share (this includes yours truly). I’ve written a bit on Facebook and other social media and how I think it’s affecting our culture. What I haven’t seen a lot of is writing on what’s called, “Data Liberation.” This is, retrieving your data from the social networks you use so often.

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People Need to Relax About Google’s New Policy

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I’m going to tell you a story- an anecdote of sorts. I decide one day that I am going to, of my own free will, run down a crowded street, screaming facts about myself. “I’M 26 YEARS OLD,” “I COME FROM MIDDLETOWN, NY,” “I SING A LITTLE TOO LOUD WHEN I’M IN THE SHOWER.” A few days later, I read online that someone said I’m a 26 year old man that sings too loud in the shower and I get pissed about it. Doesn’t that seem unreasonable to you? I freely gave up this information in a very public way. This is how I view people that are reacting poorly to Google’s new privacy policy, which really, isn’t anything new.

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