Mobile Still Not Reliable For Doctors

December 18th, 2012

Mobile health apps are exploding. Last count on the iTunes store counts about 17k apps in the mobile health category. There are dozens of startups focusing on this area alone. However, doctors still love their rusty, trusty little pagers. Why? Because pagers are easy to use, and the wireless networks they run on are really reliable. Until mobile gets over that hurdle, doctors will be wary of the promises of mobile health startups.

Geogad’s New Tour of Amsterdam’s Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

December 3rd, 2012

Travelers to the center of Amsterdam have a new guide to show them the intimate side of Amsterdam. Since this Geogad Mobile Tour also includes Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District, we mean intimate. Travelers to Amsterdam, whether with boots on the ground or from their favorite armchair, can explore the corners of Amsterdam from the point of view of a local.

Geogad’s tour of Amsterdam’s Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll explores Amsterdam’s world famous Red Light District and also guides travelers to a side of this neighborhood that few traveler visit. This Geogad Mobile Tour begins at Nieuwmarkt, or New Market Square, and winds its way though multiple neighborhoods including Amsterdam’s Chinatown and the Zeedijk. Many of the individual tour stops are in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, which is a favorite of tourists. The tour explores how Amsterdam’s unique history has resulted in this district that is known throughout the world as the most visible example of Dutch tolerance. This tour also includes descriptions of how difficult it can be to maintain a balance between Amsterdam’s open, tolerant society on one hand and a safe, secure neighborhood for the average Amsterdamer. Several of the tour stops discuss how this district might change in the future as the local government works to maintain this delicate balance. The tour also contrasts Amsterdam’s worldly nature with changes in its religious views over time as the traveler is guided around several of Amsterdam’s churches. Travelers will see a new side to this popular destination in a few hours walk with an in-depth understanding as told from the point of view of a local Amsterdamer.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Travelers can purchase Geogad’s newest tour of Amsterdam’s Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll for $9.99 and access it across all of Geogad’s platforms including the web, the mobile web, and its Geogad Tours Android application.

Remember that what happens in Amsterdam…. stays between consenting adults.

Geogad’s New Tour of Lincoln Park Chicago

August 27th, 2012

This week has seen a great deal of exciting news for the Lincoln Park and North Side of Chicago. One great piece of news is the the Lincoln Park Zoo has welcomed a new born endangered Grevy’s zebra. The zoo is holding a naming contest to name the new colt.

But the best news of the week is that Geogad has just released its new tour of Lincoln Park and the North Side. This tour covers all the best locations that travelers have to see to get the full Chicago North Side experience. These stops include areas focused on nature, such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The tour also highlights Chicago’s culture, both high-brow like the Chicago History Museum and fun and social like B.L.U.E.S., a classic blues club with live music, and The Second City, a comedy club that is a kind of training ground for the best comedians in the world.

The tour also examines the life work of several of Chicago’s citizens whose beliefs and dedication have changed the world, both for better and worse. The Moody Bible Institute and Church began as a simple children’s Sunday school taught by Dwight L. Moody. From his beliefs and hard work, the Moody Institute continues its Christian outreach across the world. Just a few blocks away is the Henry Gerber House, the humble home of America’s first gay activist. Gerber fought for the rights of homosexuals like himself in the 1930’s, which resulted in him being arrested and losing his job. Gerber’s dedication to his cause helped pave the way for today’s rights for gay people everywhere.

The Geogad Mobile Tour for Lincoln Park also covers the dark side of Chicago’s Prohibition era crime. Travelers are guided to the site of Chicago’s most infamous crime, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Today is is a deserted, unmarked field that the Chicago Tourist Board would prefer to forget, but this tour will explain how this crime made Al Capone a household name. The tour also guides travelers to the Biograph Theater, which was the last stand of the murder, bank robber and first FBI Most Wanted, John Dillinger,

Travelers have the option of purchasing individual stops of this tour for $0.99 each or the entire tour for $9.99. Both options are available for download or streaming over the web or to Android smartphones.

Enjoy your travels to Chicago, whether real or virtual!

Facebook, Fix The Facebook Android SDK

August 14th, 2012

Think that using Facebook’s latest official SDK for Android would guarantee you an easy integration with Facebook within your Android app? Think again.

The Facebook Android SDK works OK with strange quirks here and there (such as having the user log into their Facebook accounts in a webkit in dialog window instead of in a regular web browser like Twitter does). But the weirdest to me is how difficult it is to clear the Facebook cookie after the user logs out. The Util class that is part of the Facebook SDK has a clearCookies() method that is called as part of the logout process. Problem is that it includes the code

cookieManager.removeAllCookie();

which will remove all cookies. All cookies means all including those that are required for other applications such as the cookies that are part of the Twitter login process. So, logout of Facebook and you screw up your Twitter OAuth setup.

I tried several different ways to log out of Facebook without destroying the Twitter cookies. These included trying to clear just the Facebook cookie, clearing the data within the Facebook cookie, and setting the expiration date for the Facebook cookie to be sometime in the past. The only working solution that I found was to

  1. read and store the Twitter cookie,
  2. run the cookieManager.removeAllCookie(); method,
  3. and reset the Twitter cookie back to its stored value.

Sadly, this solution only works for any specific cookies that you know that you want to keep. It would be much better if Facebook would clear their cookies within their code. Instead, their code is written to bring back the Facebook cookies and prevent them from being written over by other applications. These ultra-resilent Facebook cookies may be part of Facebook’s security, although some believe that Facebook just wants to keep their cookies around for tracking purposes. Both are equally valid reasons for them to stick around. However, it would be best if Facebook had a cleaner way to manage their cookies on Android without affecting other apps.

TIP:

For people who are new to managing cookies on Android, there are two CookieManagers, java.net.CookieManager and android.webkit.CookieManager. Both are less than useful for tracking what cookies are already on your system. For example, the code for java.net.CookieManager that should list all cookies return no cookie list.

How To Build Dynamic Online Travel Communities

August 12th, 2012

One of the few blogs that I manage to read regularly is published by Andrew Chen. I have been following him since he first came to Silicon Valley oh so many years ago.

His most recent blog post accurately sums up the delicate balance of e-commerce companies building dynamic communities. To quote Andy,

for most consumer products, the problem is getting more people, not rejecting them :) Yet at the same time, I’ve learned through a lot of first-hand experience that if you don’t curate the initial community and scale your traffic as a function of this group, you can easily fall into the trap of “designed product, but undesigned community.” That’s no good either.

Geogad’s travel content is managed to provide the highest quality for its travelers while providing easy-to-use tools for its professional travel content partners to distribute their content across the variety of platforms used by Geogad’s travelers. The trick is keeping the quality and ease-of-use very high for both the travelers and the travel content partners.

Let us know how Geogad can improve your travel experience.