Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Houston Bloggers: Garf wants you to call him

Houston Bloggers: High Tech Texan Michael Garfield wants to speak to you this Saturday from 12 Noon to 2 PM:

So how about I open the phone lines on my radio show this Saturday to bloggers? I want to hear from Laurence. From Greg. Kuff, JK, Kevin, Anne, Jay, Tom, Perry and everyone else who blogs regularly from H-Town. Dwight said he is traveling this week but hopefully he will make an appearance one day soon.

Share your tricks of the trade with others who are trying to grasp this technology and create their own soapbox. At any rate you’ll get a nice opportunity to pimp your blog! Bring it on, please.

The High-Tech Texan Show airs on TalkRadio 950 KPRC each Saturday from 12p-2p. You can listen live online and even tap into our videoconference (it WILL work, guaranteed). You got the number. See ya on the radio Saturday.

If I wake up in time, I may just walk up Post Oak bearing home-baked bread.

If I don’t, well, I’ll at least listen in my jammies with the kittycats.

Our Calling Has Arrived!!!

So I was clicking around (and being rather unproductive at the office) the Hyperdictionary site and noticed that the elves at Hyperdictionary are working on a “City Reference” guide too add to their already kick-ass features.

I noticed that on the Houston link, they mention that they are looking for volunteers to help build the content.

Dudes… that’s like soooooo us. Who wants to join in on the mayhem?

City-wide wifi is good – but good for all of us?


Tonight is another technology geek / non-profit group meetup with the Houston NetSquared group.

We’ll be meeting at the Stag’s Head Pub ( 2128 Portsmouth St.) at 7pm for drinks, munchies and discussion about Web 2.0 technologies and their role in non-profit organizations.

Here’s what I’m really excited about – Jim Forrest of Technology For All will be speaking to us on their Houston-oriented technology projects. These guys have worked on great initiatives like Community Technology Centers, Houston Hope low-income technology work and their free TFA-wireless network community program. Cool stuff for Houstonians that sometimes get the short end of the stick and for the city in general.

Thinking about wifi networks (and how much wireless Internet rocks in general) brought me back to last month’s wifi discussions – like Dwight’s on the Technology Bytes blog.

Wifi all across Houston is no doubt a great thing – not only will it make our city look more appealing to potential Houston-area businesses, but to me just makes sense in the long run looking at the future of digital technologies.

Two things have concerned me about the proposed wifi plan, however:

1) The Wifi project is going to cost a lot of money – probably more than I’ve seen discussed in most places. I think it’s totally worth it, but don’t appreciate feeling lowballed like that. (ope – here’s a link talking about just that)

2) There are an awful lot of Houstonians that don’t have access to wireless capable computers – who is going to get them hooked up with the hardware to use their newfound wifi access? Groups like Technology For All do what they can, but we’ve got a lot of residents to cover.

Am I missing something, or are we only wanting wireless access for businesses, government offices and rich people?

Sounds like great discussion for NetSquared, as well as the Houston Wireless group.

Can I get some service(s)?

General question to the folks in and around Houston: what web services are you using? The web has definitely taken a shift towards community based portals over the last few years, and I’ve seen some sites become really popular with other cities, but I have the nagging suspicion that Houston is under-represented. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong sites?
Put to good use:


It looks like there are about 48,000 photos on flickr tagged “Houston”. Not bad at all.

Indeed, tagging seems to work…


Also highly active: 12,000+ personals; 22,000+ for sale; ~4,000 jobs and ~6,000 services.

Sorely lacking:

Though they haven’t updated much code since Yahoo bought them, and there are still issues to overcome, is a good model of what a community events calendar could be. Sadly, hardly anyone in Houston seems to use it. Only 19 events listed for Houston. Compare to 264 events currently listed for Los Angeles or 369 events for New York, and the 4th largest city in the country is barely a blip on the radar.


Looks a little more promising–more than a thousand local events listed–but the demand queue is pathetically small. (OK, granted, that’s a new feature to the service, but we should get that thing populated and let bands, etc. know that we’d love for them to play here.)

Are there some web services I’ve overlooked? What are you using to track the goings on in the city?

Houston Chronicle named ‘Top Blogging Newspaper’ in the US


Not too shabby — ‘The Blue Plate Specials’ (a group made of fifteen journalism undergrads, two grad students, and one professor) from NYU recently conducted some research on the state of major newspapers blogs.

The Houston Chronicle topped the list at #1 – ‘by a mile!’.

Very interesting stuff – check out their breakdown of America’s 100 largest newspapers, including number of blogs, blogging topics and paper ownership.

Rankings were given based on several different factors: ‘Quality of Writing’, ‘Voice’, ‘Reader Participation’ and ‘Ease of Use’. Congratulations guys!

Thanks to Ed for the heads up!

So what do you think?

Hey Houston – any thoughts on our new Houston Metblog look?

The brains and brawn behind the Metblogging family (like LA blogger and Metblog founder Sean, among many others) have really put a lot of work into the new design.

Be sure to check out the ‘Categories’ dropdown box on the left, to help you navigate Metblog posts by topic, and also be on the lookout for new Houston events and photos features that are soon to come. Here’s a full post on the redesign and all of its coolness.

We’re working on accepting new Metblog authors right now – but in the meantime, we remain as pleased as punch to have you hanging out on our site. Cheers!

Call Failed: Network Busy?

Although I know that T-Mobile isn’t the only wireless provider in Houston, I’ve always been a very loyal customer. Recently,, however, I’ve come to question whether or not I should stay with them.

Over the past couple of days, when I try to make calls during times that could be considered “peak” hours (rush hour, etc.), I keep on getting the message “Call Failed: Network Busy”. I’m eventually able to place the call, but it is starting to get a bit annoying.

I remember reading somewhere that in the Houston area, Verizon actually offers the best coverage/service. I would never switch to Verizon though, as I don’t like the limit in phone choices (they don’t use GSM), and I also think their calling plans are a bit more expensive. With that in mind, I guess the only company I’d consider switching to is Cingular. Since the number portability law is now in effect, switching wouldn’t be that difficult; I could keep my existing phone and number – all that would change is the SIM card.

Has anyone else been having similar problems with T-Mobile? Or do other networks have this problem as well?

Artcasting Houston’s museums


An avid iPod lover and podcast fan, I really love the concept of museums developing podcasts for visitors to download and walk around with on their tour of exhibits. Sure beats paying to wear someone else’s headphones.

A specific example I noticed today in Houston:

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has an audio tour for their mummy exhibit and will do the same for their upcoming ‘The Royal Tombs of Ur: Ancient Treasures from Modern Iraq’ exhibition in February.

Other museums in states non-Texan go so far as to give discounts for visitors who bring their mp3 players loaded with the audio tours (like SF’s MOMA, who also is holding an ‘Artcast’ competition).

BUT!! What I like even more is the idea of average-joe-schmoe-gallery visitors making their own recordings for fellow visitors/art-appreciators. (read some info on ‘art mobs’ here) Nothing fancy or piercingly educated, just general commentary on the art galleries around us from people with opinions and an open-mind.

Anyone interested in tackling the Basquiat exhibition??

SXSW is coming!!


Austin’s SXSW Festival is less than 2 months away. Are you going??!!?? Are you going??!!??

Please comment or email me if you are going to be in Austin for the festival – it would be fun to meet up, talk nerdy stuff, compare schedules and have breakfast at Magnolia Cafe. Or a beer on 6th Street – that would be cool too.

Make sure to check out the Austin Metblog for coverage on all SXSW events and happenings. See you there :) and please excuse the non-Houston-related post.

New Houston Chronicle and Theater District sites

Don’t know if you’ve noticed the new and improved interfaces of two pretty useful Houston sites:

The Houston Chronicle – Still not quite used to the orange homepage, but I’m liking the new look. I kind of wish that they had more news briefs on that front page, as I’m lazy and don’t always like digging into a site for the info I want.

The Houston Theater District – Beyond the velvet-y gorgeousness of the site in general, I really love the downtown parking map and the club/restaurant/theater map. For someone who gets lost constantly downtown like me, this is a really useful tool!

What are your favorite Houston sites?

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