Tag Archives: iPhone

Vail Resorts seeks to bypass Foursquare & Gowalla

Drop Your Knee Not Bombs!

Powder day at Vail. Photo credit: Flickr, zachd1_618

Vail Resorts has begun beta testing a new location-based social network for skiers and boarders at Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek in Colorado and Heavenly in California. Dubbed Epic Mix, the system relies on the existing bar code scanners the lift operators use to scan your lift ticket before you board the chair lift.

I found out about it when a friend skiing at Vail this week posted an update on his Facebook page. (Apparently I missed Vail Resorts’ August news conference in New York announcing Epic Mix. I mean, it was in August. Who holds a news conference in August?)

This video explains:

At any rate, the idea is pretty simple. If you have an Epic pass, which is a plastic ID photo with an RF identification chip embedded inside, you can join the network.  Continue reading

If You’re Getting an iPad, Why Not Make it a 4G iPad?

Apple does product launches better than anyone. Period.

Their next big launch is the iPad this weekend. While I am not in the market, for those who are, you should consider getting the WiFi version and then make it a 4G iPad by getting the Overdrive from Sprint.

Of all the things we sell at Sprint, this is my favorite product. It’s a mobile hotspot where you can connect up to five WiFi enabled devices to the Internet. You connect at 4G speeds where that’s available and to 3G where we haven’t rolled out 4G yet.

Just this week we launched another 4G market — this time, Houston. We’re already in 28 markets covering over 30 million people. By the end of the year we expect to cover 120 million people with Sprint 4G goodness. As for our competitors, they are still in the testing phase with 4G.

Oh and when it comes to all these rumors about a 4G iPhone, they’re actually true. You can get a 4G iPhone from Sprint right now.  😉 Watch:

For My First SXSW, I’m Channeling Zen

South by Southwest, the Internet/Music/Film festival and conference also known as SXSW or “Spring Break for Geeks” is almost here. Somehow, I’ve lived my entire life and never made it to Austin, Texas for this confab, but that’s about to change.  I’m heading to my first SXSW next Saturday as part of my work at Sprint. (I’m going for just a few days of SXSW Interactive.)

There seems to be no shortage of tips on what to expect and what are the “must dos”. Nearly everyone says be prepared to walk a lot, stay hydrated and recognize that you can’t do everything and meet everyone you hope to meet. To be honest, it’s all a bit overwhelming.

But you know what, that’s OK. I’m channeling some Zen by focusing on a few things which I am really looking forward to.

  • Reconnecting with all the friends I made when I was in Austin last year to help Sprint launch 4G. Austin is packed with really smart, laid back people who love live music and good food. What’s not to like?
  • Tech Karaoke. The concept is simple. Techies sometimes need to cut loose when they get together and they don’t all want to talk about work or wonkiness. I’m looking forward to people singing 80’s music in a cool setting with a live band. (Sprint’s co-sponsoring this party with Awareness, Chirbit, BarStar, MobileRoadie, TechCocktail, Mashable, the Social Media Club and Pinqued. If you want to come, you have to sign up ahead of time at www.techkaraoke.com.)
  • Showing off Sprint 4G. Since I was last in Austin, we’ve introduced a 3G-4G personal hotspot known as the Overdrive. It allows you to connect up to 5 Wi-Fi enabled devices to Sprint’s 4G or 3G network. iPhone owners frustrated with the network Apple chose to partner with in the U.S., look for our street teams giving demos in downtown Austin throughout SXSW. (We can run your iPhone on our 4G network.)
  • San Antonio. In addition to managing media relations for Austin, I represent Sprint with media in San Antonio. The two cities are so close, it makes sense to visit both on the same trip. And just like the people in Austin, the people in San Antonio are bright, energetic and love live music and good food as much as I do. Plus I’ll get to hang out with Nan Palmero, who has more energy than anyone else in Texas.
  • Warm weather. (I’ve still got some snow on the ground in my back yard from last month’s blizzards, yet I’m packing shorts for Texas!)

If you’re going to Austin, tell me what you’re looking forward to; if you’ve been before, share your tips for first timers like me. Meanwhile, here’s a bonus tip for your Austin visit: check out The Oasis on Lake Travis at sunset. (It’s a good place to relax away from the craziness of downtown.)

Do You Bring Your Work Home? Or Your Home to Work?

Earlier this week I had lunch with a friend who works as contractor to a Federal government agency and he told me an interesting story. Recently, the facility where he works established a new policy where he is no longer allowed to bring his personal laptop into the office. He can keep it in his car or in a locker at the front desk where he works, but he can no longer bring it into his office.

If you’ve never worked for the Federal government, you probably are wondering why someone would want to bring their personal laptop to the office. Well, to check personal email for one thing. At work, for security reasons, he’s not allowed to use his work computer to access his personal email. This particular friends runs a blog in his spare time, so he’d like to be able to manage comments and do a little writing on his lunch break, which most of the time he spend at his desk because of his pressing work load.

I understand the importance of security to the government; it’s a very serious matter. But get this, employees are still allowed to bring in personal cell phones, BlackBerrys, iPhones and other PDAs into the facility. When you think about it, a smart phone really can do just about everything a lap top can, and in some cases, like taking photos and video, it can do things a lap top can’t. Wouldn’t that be more of a security threat?

My friend seemed think so. But he really made me laugh when he shared what he told his management team about the new policy. “If you won’t allow my lap top in your office, I won’t allow your BlackBerry in my home.”

I know he’s joking, but I think he has a point. Do you find because you carry a smartphone or PDA as part of your job that you bring your work home with you? Or do you use your work computer for personal purposes during the workday? My experience is that the younger you are, the more comfortable you are with blurring your personal life with your work life. Or maybe you’re a cell phone refusenik?

As for me, I don’t think I could do my job without a BlackBerry, yet some times I need to turn it off and step away from the unending flow of email, Google alerts, Factiva alerts, Facebook updates and Tweets.

What about you?