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All posts tagged Google

Chromebook will run Android Apps. That’s right.

Chromebook will be able to connect to the Google Play Store and install Android Apps. This was big news on the Google Chromebooks blog on May 16th 2016 and then we didn’t really hear about it again until CES 2017 last month.

The news at CES was about specific Chromebooks supporting this feature: the Samsung Chromebook Plus / Pro & the Asus Chromebook Flip to name two.

Chromebook getting Android Apps - First News

Not All Chromebooks are created Equally

CES showed us that if you are thinking of buying a Chromebook, and you have an Android phone, then you are going to want to examine carefully which of the new Chromebooks are going to support this feature. (I find it hard to imagine an iPhone owner with a Chromebook but stranger things have happened).

Furthermore, this might not be an out-of-the-box feature; according to the official pages of the Chromium project only 3 Chromebooks currently support this (although there is a list of those which will support it in the future, sort of an Ikea “coming soon” ticket).

To get the feature, your Chromebook may need to work in Developer mode. After testing this on a brand-new Lenovo (intel inside) Chromebook, I could enable this thru Developer Mode and access the Google Play Store once but since reboot I have not been able to replicate the scenario. Since then, I discovered this how-to from Google which means retesting this.

Chromebook - Android App Play Store

The Warptest POV

This is a bold and sensible move by Google. Running Android apps on Chromebook is going to make for an interesting and more competitive market. Android phone owners are finally going to have one more reason to make their main productivity device a Chromebook.

Will Android apps run in virtual machine or emulator like Google’s Arc Welder? If not, then Android apps are going need to look and act different from a floating phone / tablet app on a laptop screen. This implies that the next major release of Android Studio will allow Developers to build one app for both platforms with responsive UI. For now, the instructions on optimizing your Android apps are here.

Sound familiar? It should because this is the foundation of Microsoft’s UWP. The Universal Windows Platform has allowed Microsoft Developers to build once and deploy across device types. Admittedly the Microsoft suite of devices is more diverse but this has been a pivotal part of their success.

Chromebook - Android Apps sounds like UWP

Is this another knock Google for copying Microsoft post? No. A recurring theme in this blog is that competition stimulates innovation and emulating ideas is at worst a homage. Why reinvent the wheel?

Can Google emulate this success? Will this push greater Chromebook adoption amongst Android phone owners?

Will Android developers see the value of investing in building “Universal” Android Apps or not? What do you think?

Microsoft Clip Layer Is The Latest Garage App…

Clip Layer is a great Android app from the Microsoft Garage, Redmond’s worldwide experimental projects lab that delivers a slew of interesting apps and resources.

Microsoft Garage - Clip Layer

The Garage is all part of Microsoft’s cross-platform leadership strategy, delivery apps to all mobile platforms. Clip Layer is one of these apps.

Why would Microsoft do this other than the reasons laid out in the link above?

Consider that Microsoft allegedly $5 to $15 on every Android device sold and

approximately $2 billion a year on patent royalties.

Nuff said?

What Problem Does Clip Layer Solve?

Android allows app developers a highly granular approach to in-app permissions. In this case the developer can disable select-copy-paste even at web view level. Along comes the app user and sees a vital piece of information and bang! No way to easily copy from the app and paste elsewhere. At best the user can take a screenshot but a graphic is not text.

Clip Layer allows the user to grab, clip and copy any text from any app, even when blocked. If the app is running, then just hit the home button to ignore those app permissions and copy that much-needed information.

A simple and elegant solution.

The Warptest POV

I hear those screams of outrage:

  • How dare Microsoft run roughshod over the app permissions set by other developers?
  • Worse, how is Google allowing Microsoft to get away with this kind of crap?

On the one hand, you’re right. At least until you are that user who wants to copy something and is blocked. On the other, Android allows developers a lot of freedom including geo-blocking apps which doesn’t stop users from changing their location to access the app (Microsoft has been known to geo-block their apps too).

I searched for specific criteria in Play Store Acceptance criteria officially making Microsoft the bad guy for circumventing copy blocking but, didn’t find it. Most people using this app won’t have nefarious intent, just a desire to share information. Why would you block that and why would you want to annoy your app users that way?

So, Android users take Clip Layer for a spin and see how it helps you. A modest award for the most creative use shared in the comments. Game on!

Google Made The News This Weekend…

*** Google Chrome Extension Story UPDATE *** Gizmodo posted a follow-up to this story indicating those behind this plugin have wider plans than just the Chrome extension. They have a GitHub page (currently down and hopefully due to GitHub banning them). which when up has the code for a Firefox plugin and or sideloading the extension. Worse still is that this GitHub page had a list of all the echo tagged Jews. ***

Google may have pulled a Chrome Extension designed to identify and target Jews by allowing online racists to tag the names of journalists, bloggers (etc) they believe to be Jewish. This was done using (((alleged Jewish Name))) around the name, this became known as the echo. Once Google became aware of this, the extension called Coincidence Detector was pulled. There are bigger questions that need addressing: –

1) Are Google working with Law Enforcement to ensure the company and developers responsible for this face justice?

2) Are Google working to improve their review process for their Extension and App submission process to ensure hate-apps do not even get approved?

Approximately 8800 people were identified by this extension allowing anti-Semites to harass and threaten them and have no doubt, this would have escalated. It’s time for Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others to aggressively police themselves, their app stores and social networks they manage.

Make no mistake this “hate-app” may have been caught but others will be out there and the unpoliced hate-speech should be cause for concern for us all.

Fear Lead to Hate, Hate Leads to Anger & Hate-apps Lead to Violence…

This would not be the first time technology was exploited by anti-Semites to target Jews. The Nazis exploited the German subsidiary of IBM to access their technology. This enabled them to tabulate and collate lists of Jews and other minorities for extermination during the Holocaust.

Just last week we read that Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft agreed to apply EU rules to a code of conduct regarding online hate-speech. One of the contributory causes to this decision between the EU and these tech giants has been the increase in hate-speech online, recent terrorist events across Europe and the unquestionable increase in online recruitment by terror groups. However, the Verge’s post on this leaves one with a feeling that this is not an improvement. I strongly recommend you read that post carefully. Why are these companies not adopting a worldwide stance that goes beyond the letter of local laws?

The Warptest POV

For us to entrust these companies with our personal and commercial data we need to be sure that these companies can be trusted to do what is right and just. There is no question that anyone who would develop technology to target any specific group for harassment or threat will escalate to physical violence.

Many of these companies have not done enough in the past to handle their acting as a funnel for this kind of hate and the spread to apps and extensions is both logical and foreseeable.

google - stop hate-apps

If so, why is the approval process not designed to catch this? To be fair, a smart developer will do everything to obfuscate the intentions of such a hate-app. This doesn’t mean that these companies shouldn’t be doing more. Nor does it mean that governments or law enforcement should be ceding the fight to private corporations.

These corporations are currently fighting to allow access to their customer and user data. Law enforcement needs to demonstrate a responsible attitude not the greedy “give us all your data” and we’ll find the criminals stance. The NSA with PRISM and the FBI with their petition to decrypt the San Bernadino terrorist’s iPhone demonstrate the balancing act needed here.

Ultimately, the public needs protection from these new threats to their safety. Do we sacrifice freedom of speech or privacy for this? Tough questions and ethical dilemmas abound but ultimately this is about peoples safety. This means at the very least, the debate should be a burning issue right now.

There are others out there who will undoubtedly be working to actively locate and identify those behind this new threat. I expect we will know the names of the developers behind this particular Chrome Extension within short time.

One ray of hope and a tinge of humor was an article on Tablet Magazine explaining how astute journalist Yair Rosenberg used twitter to crowd-source an appropriation of the echo tag (((alleged Jewish Name))). Well played Yair for showing that Twitter is still relevant and is a valuable tool in combatting this kind of hate.

In a nutshell, there needs to be a zero tolerance standard adopted by these companies. A standard that acts to prevent these threats from going live online. A standard that publicly outs these provocateurs of hate and racism. A standard that willingly supplies the identities of these people to Law Enforcement. Not cleaning up after the fact.

Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others: this is your call to action.

Google+ Is A Testament To Collective Mindlessness …

…the collective mindlessness that if everyone else is “doing” a social network then we should too.

Google+ - Don't be sith

Add this to Google’s Sith-like ability to force the coupling with YouTube comments and a case study in giving the finger once again to Windows Phone users by having no Google+ app and ceding this demographic to their competition and you end up with what?

Google+ - tumbleweed

Google+ Is Deintegrating From Other Google Services

This is the post from Bradley Horowitz, VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing explaining the conscious uncoupling of Google+ from other services such as YouTube comments, Photo App and more.

Google+ - conscious decoupling announcement

Don’t get me wrong there is a lot to like about Google+ in terms of UX and features but a social network built atop a draconian attitude is a recipe for disaster.

Does Google need their own Social Network? Google indexes content. Bringing content sharing and commenting into a Google platform? Headslappingly obvious.

Can it be fixed by these steps of deintegration? Doubtful, perhaps Google+ will be reinvented the way Google Wave and other services were.

The thing is between Google+ and the hibernating Google Glass, Google needs a win. Especially whilst Microsoft are doing everything to dominate the productivity app sphere with Office 365 evolving into Office Everywhere.

The Warptest POV

It’s harsh and not entirely accurate to call Google+ a ghost town but equally it can’t seem to compete with Twitter or Facebook. Can it be saved or fixed? The best hope for Google+ is to look at the features it has and what it should be integrated with; were Google to pivot from a Social Network and integrate with Google Apps transforming Google+ into a Social / Work Productivity Dashboard where users could collaborate on documents in Apps and on their Google Drive in using Google+ comments, allowing Hangouts to see a document in review and allow real-time group collaboration then Google+ might evolve into something valuable.. a shared workspace. Frankly, I’m befuddled why Google+ wasn’t part of Google Apps for Business this way from the get go.

Microsoft are already ahead of the game with Delve (formerly Project OSLO) built on their social graph. Can Google+ catch up if they make this change?

I’m not sure, but I’ll be posting this to my Google+ page. Will you respond there?

YouTube Had Big News Today…

… with the announcement that their Live Streams now support HTML5 playback and a dazzling 60 fps (Frames per Second) video.

Google+ already offered live streaming and you could also access this feature from your YouTube account by doing the following: –

  • Sign in to YouTube with your Google account
  • From the top menu bar select upload from the right hand side
  • Now select the Google+ Hangouts On Air from the right menu bar by clicking the broadcast
    button.
  • Add the necessary details and you are good to go (assuming your webcam and mike are working).

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All the Details

After reading several of the tech blogs I decided that they, especially Venturebeat had covered the technical aspects of the story nicely, explaining the facets of 60fps and HTML5 support.

For most of us the biggest issue here is, will our browsers support this? Venturebeat goes on to explain that the latest versions of IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera should all handle this just fine.

This is a big step for HTML5 platform/ technology maturity.

Venturebeat’s post looks at the ramifications for Gaming, eSports and Twitch but for my money they are missing the big picture …

The Warptest POV

Anyone not living in a cave and reading about Live Streaming right now will know all about the battle for dominance in Social Live Streaming between Meerkat and Periscope (Twitter’s recent acquisition).

When I wrote about this in March I already suspected / predicted that it was a natural evolution of YouTube / Google+ Live Streaming and Hangouts mobile app to begin competing against these other two apps.

youtube - google+ hangout app

With the news today, the technology is in place and it doesn’t take much to see a YouTube Live app with Google+ social integration landing in the Play Store in the next few weeks or months.

One of the prevalent arguments I’ve heard is that without curation Social Live Streaming has a poor chance of success as the good content simply won’t be discovered. I disagree. If you follow people in your social networks already who provide you with valuable, meaningful content then some of them will already be delivering the same through Meerkat or Periscope. We don’t need curation, we need to use our common sense and leverage our social networks or robust discovery within the app(s).

This is where YouTube / Google+ has an advantage, it has Google search and an existing network to build on. In addition Google+ Hangouts On Air already has API support in place. Until now, the race was to see who would go from just having an iOS app to launching on Android (and hopefully Windows Phone too); Meerkat won this stage of the race.

youtube livestream competitor meerkat android

The next and even more important stage of the race will be based on API launch and Google is already there. The only question is when they launch a mobile app will it only be for Android?

So I’m going to ask one more question, who will be next (after YouTube) in the arena of Social Live Streaming on mobile? Who do you think?

 

ARC Welder Is Google’s New Emulator…

… and it runs from Chrome on the Mac, Linux, Chromebook or PC. After Installing the Chrome App Launcher you are then going to need to install the ARC Welder (Android Runtime for Chrome; the only prerequisite is you have Chrome browser v41 or higher.

ARC Welder - Chrome App Launcher

ARC Welder - install app from play store

After that all you need to do is click on the App Launcher > click on the ARC Welder icon > select the APK of the app you wish to use and away you go.

ARC Welder - setup

The user can configure ARC Welder based on orientation, form factor and several other variables:

ARC Welder - configure

The Warptest POV

ARC Welder is a great testing tool for a first look at an app. It is limited to one APK (App) and is no substitute for either a true emulator or installing on a phone or tablet.

It was able to use the laptop webcam for some apps (e.g. Instagram) but not for some others. So let the buyer beware, you may experience bugs with your app.

For testers who have limited access to devices, are interested in UI testing or who write test cases without spec this is a great tool for getting a look at what may be an incomplete app.

One more use case is for when you want to demo your app easily to a big screen or projector, you can do it from ARC Welder.

I’m currently looking at ways to use this in concert with Automated Testing tools that run in Chrome.

Google managed to release this for just about every major OS that Chrome is available on. I’m sure other Devs and Testers out there would love a similar tool from Apple that runs in Safari on Mac or PC but I’m not holding my breath.

If you can think of other good use cases for ARC Welder I would love to know them.

Google Project Zero Is a Project…

…where Google discovers security bugs (not exclusive to their own software or technology) and once they notify the owner of said software the countdown clock begins.

Once 90 days ends Google will as threatened reveal the bug publically.

google project zero - site

Screencapture: from the Google Project Zero homepage

The idea behind this is to encourage a safer internet for all but there are inherent questions when it comes to Google and Microsoft.

Vendetta

The long running feud between Google and Microsoft has displayed a variety of outright hostile behaviors: –

  • Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign.
  • Google’s repeated blocking of apps like Google Maps or YouTube from making it onto Windows Phone (after working in collaboration with Microsoft to develop the app).
  • Google’s attempts to shut down ActiveSync in favor of their own CalDav and CardDAV.
  • Microsoft’s GMailman Ad.

These and many more reflect the harsh competition between the two companies in many areas:

Search, Location, Online Productivity Apps, Cloud Storage, Mobile, Mobile Apps, Operating Systems, Browsers and more.

Forget about “Hello I’m a Mac and I’m a PC”. This isn’t just negative marketing but has reached a point where users are being affected.

Get a Mac Ad courtesy of YouTuber LukePuuk

The Warptest POV

The main concern is that this situation seems to be only escalating and the consumer may benefit long term but could be harmed in the short term… DO NO HARM .. remember that?

The whole issue is exacerbated by the resounding absence of any Google security bugs in the same database. One would assume that the only thing better than outing your competitors bugs is showing how well you fixed your own. Unless you subscribe to the ludicrous notion that somewhere software exists with zero bugs.

Testing is not about “outing” bugs as an act designed to extort fixes or embarrass your competition because let’s face it Google, you are giving the finger not to Microsoft but to Windows users when you publicize a bug that the fix is not entirely ready for.

Will this encourage speedier solutions or compromises in testing and deploying the bug fix? Won’t the compromises just lead to regression issues? The goal shifts from fix the bugs to fix the bugs in time and not in a good way.

So come on Google, it’s time to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t be that guy.

It’s time to reexamine the paradigm for Project Zero and realize that every time Google publicizes one of these bugs they become part of the problem, not the solution.

Google Project Zero - With Great Power

Comic cover art and quote with thanks to the incredible Marvel Comics

As a tester and a consumer, I may not be pleased to learn that Microsoft hasn’t patched these issues yet but I’m seriously <redacted> at Google over this. There are lessons here for Google and Microsoft that clearly need learning.

Google should continue to test for security issues but if you are going to threaten others with a ticking clock shouldn’t the time frame match a real estimate of how long it would take to develop, test and deploy the fix? I doubt that all bug fixes at Google receive the same arbitrary timeframe.

How about you? Do you think Google needs to dial it back for the sake of the consumer?

The Most Frustrating Thing About Web Apps …

… is when they are not working and you aren’t sure if it’s just you or if the service is suffering an outage.

Web Apps - Confusing

Earlier this week I read this question in the Warptest mailbag,

“Dear Warptest, how can I tell if my Gmail, iCloud or other web services are down or if it’s just me?” <redacted>

The Answer(s)

Ok <redacted> let’s take a closer look at the popular web apps: –

Google App Status

  • The Apps status page (like most Google services) is geolocated and no doubt provides status on the servers my Gmail, Apps, Google+ etc are running from.
  • The page displays a chart of status for the past 7 days, you can scroll back in time and there is a handy RSS feed for each set of services.
  • The web services are divided between those covered by the Google Apps SLA and those not.
  • There is a link to the Apps help page and from there you can report an issue. This is one click more than either Apple or Microsoft’s page requires.

Apple Apps Status

  • The Apps status page displays the time as UTC +03 which is not my timezone. Is this a bug or does Apple not geolocate? Unsure.
  • The page displays an extensive list of web services (who knew there were so many?) and below a nice date / time slider bar to check status for different times.
  • A nice touch is the link on this page to contact Apple support for further help.

Microsoft Apps Status

  • The App status page UI is in keeping with the typographic New Windows UI and displays current status in the main pane.
  • For historical details you need to click on a specific service and the page will display past, recent issues related to the service selected.
  • Again you can report your issue from the web page

If you want your finger on the pulse regarding web apps like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other popular Apps then DownRightNow is the site for you.

  • The site provides a central dashboard for all these apps, their status and history.
  • The site encourages an element of crowdsourcing allowing users to report new issues via the site or their Twitter account. They have a good FAQ to explain the recommended hashtags when you tweet.

The Warptest POV

These are useful tools for techies who are faced with issues with Gmail, iCloud, Facetime or other popular services.

The real problem is what do you do next if according to the App Status your web apps (is/) are working properly?

One trick is if you have a smartphone, then check the mobile app for the service too. Even if you have issues with the desktop app, you may still be able to keep on working on your phone.

Of course, if it’s a recurring problem only with you then I expect I’ll be hearing from you to see if I can help out.

That should answer our mailbag question today. If you have a question of your own then send it in, don’t be a stranger.

At First Glance Windows 8 And Google+? What?!??

… however, after reading the responses online to Vic Gundotra’s announcement that he is leaving Google I ended up thinking about this over an espresso.

Vic Gundotra - Google+

Gundotra’s announcement led to a feeding frenzy of speculation (again) from all the “Usual Suspects” in the blogosphere that this was the end for Google+.

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So after finishing my espresso I came up with this list: –

  1. Both are seemingly misunderstood or misrepresented by elements of the blogosphere. Google+ is no ghost town and Windows 8 is no failure. In a nutshell both are nonsense.
  2. Both require refactored branding / marketing to match user expectations.
  3. Both have displayed receptiveness to constructive user input: Windows 8 demonstrated this with the latest update and Vic Gundotra is incredibly forthright and engaging when approached in Google+ both as an individual and clearly a brand ambassador.
  4. Both have penetrated saturated markets: Windows 8’s greatest fight is for the hearts and minds of satisfied Windows 7 users and Google+ contends daily with Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Both require new users to shed existing preconceptions and accept there is a learning curve (albeit a rapid one) to getting the most out of them.

Productivity and Collaboration?

The Windows changes are clearly to refine consumer understanding of the vast capabilities across different devices of the OS. Google+ is an incredible place for social but has the enormous potential for collaboration and productivity which seem under explored.

Google+ for business has a strong customer discovery / engagement orientation and from within Google Drive you can share documents to Google+ but where is the Google+ feature to collaborate on documents / spreadsheets / presentations in your feed or in real-time in a Hangout? (This is about the only feature request I would make other than an official Windows Phone app).

Google+ Business

Microsoft understand the vast social element of Office365 with their new Project OSLO and Office Graph and Killer App Zula clearly gets the idea of mobile oriented collaboration.

The Warptest POV

I’m a happy user of both Google+ and Windows 8 and I know I have more to learn about both of them. Both have enormous potential.

Should Microsoft and Google be continually reevaluating the UX, ensuring the features deliver the maximum to users? Yes. Do they need to refine the marketing being done to increase consumer understanding of use cases and reasons for adopting these? For sure.

One more thing that Windows 8 and Google+ have in common? If you aren’t using them, you should be (and if you need help to get started then get in touch).

Microsoft and AOL Just Announced Their Deal …

Teaming up to offer AOL’s premium video content through various Microsoft channels.

The AOL post mentions MSN, Bing Apps for Windows and Windows Phone but also goes into detail about the dazzling array of content from sites under the AOL banner like:

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AOL On has a staggering 900000 videos across 15 channels and are announcing new original series this week. All of this adds up to a substantial boost for Microsoft in terms of entertainment and informational content.

I Had Speculated …

In a post unpublished last month that Microsoft might be well served by partnering with Vimeo or Yahoo Videos but since Yahoo are reinventing themselves as a competitor for Bing there was no apparent logic to Marissa Meyer agreeing to this kind of deal.

In the end I let the post sit in drafts and as it percolated this news broke changing the whole picture.

The Warptest POV

Microsoft have been lacking original video content and a sound means to compete with YouTube. This has caused all kinds of problems with Windows Phone and the failure to resolve differences with Google over the jointly created YouTube App.

This is a win-win deal for AOL and Microsoft and whilst AOL already has iOS and Android apps, how long will it take for us to see the equivalent Windows Apps? More importantly will this be one of the first big-league apps to be built as a universal app?

Windows 8 Ecosystem Universal Apps - Microsoft

Windows 8 Ecosystem Universal Apps

So video content consumption just got a lot better in the Windows 8 ecosystem. Is this the first of such content distribution deals and if so will device company, Microsoft explore a competitor to Chromecast too?

Chromecast - Microsoft

Will we see a Microsoft competitor?

Time will tell if Google should have just worked with Microsoft and released the YouTube app and not (de facto) created this partnership.

I’m looking forward to using these new AOL apps when they arrive. How about you?

Nokia Launched Five Devices At MWC

By now this is yesterday already but the significance of these devices and some other news reaches out into the heart of the mobile landscape and shakes things up.

Those who discounted Nokia’s ability to affect the mobile industry due to irrelevance or Microsoft buying them might wish to rethink their position.

Nokia Did What?!??

Suggestions of a dual-SIM Lumia Windows Phone aside on Sunday, Nokia announced additions to each of their existing platforms and 3 new Android devices branded as the Nokia X series.

Nokia Family of Devices

With thanks to Nokia Press Releases

The common thread running through the announcement was that regardless of platform these internet enabled devices will support Microsoft services including: –

  • Bing Search on the basic Nokia 220
  • OneDrive on the Nokia Asha 230
  • Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com on the Nokia X, X+ and XL Android devices

Clearly Nokia did something different with these Android devices: –

  • Nokia has proven that forked Android is possible with these phones built on Android Open Source Project; that’s right, no Google services.
  • Nokia ensured these phones have a similar Metro look to the Lumia line and are (by the skin of their teeth) priced below their Windows Phones (the X costs 89 Euro).
  • These phones will not even use Google Play for Apps, instead going to the Nokia Store.
  • Expect big-ticket apps like Facebook, Twitter, Swiftkey, Vine, Viber, Spotify and WeChat.
  • Microsoft services will be the default except where Nokia Apps exist. So forget about Bing Maps, you’ll be using Here Maps and Nokia Mix Radio.
  • Blackberry fans everywhere pay heed, BBM is coming to Nokia X and Windows Phone Lumia (later other Windows Phones).
Nokia X - Android

With thanks to Nokia Press Releases

The Warptest POV

The big question is how did Nokia pull this off with Microsoft? This is speculation but the conversation between Microsoft and Nokia may have gone something like this,

“You know we have been researching Android as a fallback option if negotiations fail…”

“We do and we want to know if you insist on pressing ahead with a Nokia Android phone even if the deal goes ahead?”

“Yes but we want to make this a forked Android. Android without all the Google services…”

“So Microsoft still gets its royalties and Google ends up out in the cold? No shuttering YouTube Apps or restricting CalDav?”

“Exactly, and we are prepared to go one better. Imagine all Nokia devices that have internet deferring to Microsoft services like Bing or Outlook.com except if we have a Nokia App.”

“You know this idea is really starting to grow on us. What would make this cost effective?”

“What if you were able to remove the more severe hardware restrictions on Windows Phone, sign more OEM partners and we would then have a way of producing cheaper hardware and dropping prices for the consumer?”

“You know Stephen, some days I think it’s a shame you ever left Microsoft.”

“Thanks Steve… It’s good to be back.”

Why a Vodka-Martini moment (in the title)? Recall in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig’s 007 is at the card table attempting to take Le Chiffre to the cleaners? He takes the time to order a very specific drink from the barman which is so enticing that it pulls in several other players who also order the same drink. This allows Bond to reassert his dominance at the card table subtly and also annoys Le Chiffre.


I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

Job Hunting Can Require Some Creative Thinking…

… If you decide to forego the shotgun approach of blindly applying for jobs then a targeted approach may need actionable intelligence.

targetted job hunting - crosshairs

You’ve decided what fields / job positions / titles you are searching for and you have defined the geographical catchment area probably based on just how much you are able or willing to commute but some companies decide to make it difficult for you and conceal their address on the job application or even on their website.

What do you do?

Many of us try the following checklist: –

job hunting - checklist address search

This approach is laborious and since most of the searchable information is garnered from the company itself, if they have opted to leave their local address off the website you will probably strike out.

At this point do you apply anyway or just keep job hunting? Has this compromised your targeted approach?

The Warptest POV

Recently I was contacted by a friend with a list of several companies like this and asked if I had any idea how to find their location.

I started suggesting similar steps listed above but then the word “location” gave me an idea… Foursquare

As Foursquare is possibly the largest locational database of retail and commercial locations it’s reasonable to try searching here first when job hunting:

Foursquare - job hunting

After testing this I confirmed that the popularity and gamification behind Foursquare encouraged company employees to check-in at each of these companies. Getting the addresses via Foursquare was a piece of cake.

So if you are searching for company addresses whilst job hunting then Foursquare should be your first stop.

Disclaimer: companies have many different reasons for opting out of posting their address online. Act responsibly and respect that. Use the information you discover but you don’t need to spread it far and wide.

Good (job) hunting!