Foursquare lets users toggle friends to 'Always On'

It's never been easier to stalk, ahem follow, your friends on Foursquare. The social network announced a new feature today called "Always On."

This feature lets users get all check-in notifications from their specified friends at all times, no matter where they are. To use the feature, members simply need to go to their friends' profiles on the site and toggle the "Always On" button from the drop down menu.

According to Foursquare, this feature will help people know the necessary goings-on with friends without having to text or call them. It also lets armchair … Read more

Google unveils app for managing off-site workers

Google today unveiled a location-based, check-in style service designed to help businesses oversee and direct their employees in the field.

Google Maps Coordinate could, for example, be used by a dispatcher at a utility company to find out which of its repair trucks was closest to a downed power line, assign that driver to the repair task, and issue appropriate instructions, Google said in a blog post.

Mobile staffers download the Coordinate app to their smartphone and can then share their real-time location with their dispatcher or manager. They can also use the app to check in when they've … Read more

Foursquare hits 20 million users, 2 billion check-ins

Foursquare is celebrating its third-annual 4sqDay in impressive fashion.

Whenever users check in on the service today, they'll be awarded the 2012 4sqDay badge, which is accompanied with a message announcing that the startup now has 20 million users worldwide, and has hit a whopping 2 billion check-ins since it was founded in 2009.

"In 2010, Foursquare fans declared April 16 4sqDay (4/4^2 - nerds after our own heart!)," the message that accompanies the badge reads. "Two years and two billion check-ins later, you're still why we get out of bed each day. … Read more

Kevin Rose demos Oink: Check-ins for things, not places

SAN FRANCISCO--At the Web 2.0 Summit, Kevin Rose of Digg fame showed off Oink--a service for checking into and rating "things," as opposed to places. Oink is the first product from Rose's new company, Milk.

You can rate, for example, the best teas at a specific location (Example: Samovar Tea Lounge) or all the teas within walking distance. Rose says early Oink users are mostly rating food and drink. But also seats at venues, attractions at theme parks, and so on.

There's a gamification element to Oink that will pay users back. "I'… Read more

Foursquare moves toward ditching check-ins

SAN FRANCISCO--Interviewed at the Web 2.0 Summit, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley talked about how the location check-in app is becoming more passive.

"One of the big hurdles we have is that you have to think about using it," he said of Foursquare. "If we can lower that barrier, we can juice the experience."

That's why the company recently launched the Radar feature, which, once you turn it on, collects info about where you are, the direction you're going, and so on. It'll tell you if people you like are nearby, and "… Read more

How to disable autotagging on Facebook

If you have friends who love to upload pictures to Facebook, chances are that you get tagged pretty often. But sometimes you don't want others to be able to share pictures of you without prior permission. By default, Facebook lets friends tag you in posts, in photos that look like you, and check you in to places that you haven't visited. Here's how to put a stop to any (or all) of these tag-happy features:

Step 1: Log in to your Facebook account and click on the menu in the top-right corner (small arrow).

Step 2: Select … Read more

Earn Foursquare-type badges by watching TV

Like a Foursquare for TV programs, Miso lets you check in to the movies and shows you're watching so you can earn points, unlock badges, and share your viewing experiences with friends. It's also a great platform for discovering new programs by following users with similar viewing interests.

Miso's interface is minimal and intuitive. Its Home screen has a search button and six icons for all of your basic functions: Activity, TV & Movies, Badges, Profiles, Friends, and Notifications. To check in, hit TV & Movies, search for the title and episode of the program you're … Read more

GetGlue is unique and addictive

GetGlue is a Foursquare-style social networking game that lets you "check in" to the movies and shows you're watching, books you're reading, games you're playing, and more. It then takes your check-in data, along with your Likes, Favorites, and other Ratings, and recommends other forms of entertainment it thinks you'll enjoy. The more you interact with the app, the better its recommendations get. Plus, if you perform certain actions, you can unlock stickers for your profile. Unlock at least 20, and you can actually request that physical stickers be sent to you, free of … Read more

CheckoutCheckins maps your Foursquare travels

Foursquare is fast approaching its first anniversary. The free social service, which lets people share their location with others from their mobile phones, launched at last year's South by Southwest festival. It has since gone on to become a Web 2.0 darling in a way that its predecessor Dodgeball (also from one of Foursquare's co-founders) never did, due mostly to the growth of users with GPS-enabled smartphones.

But short of its badge system, which awards heavy use with virtual trophies, the service has always been lacking a sense of reflection--a way for users to look back on … Read more

The 404 229: Where there's no one here to pick on Wilson

With Jeff on vacation and Justin dying of stomach herpes, Wilson is left alone to hold down The 404 fort. Mark Licea and Joey Kaminski join him today to talk about Quantum of Solace, Obama's BlackBerry, and ordering pizza from your TiVo.

Unfortunately, Wilson doesn't have the writing prowess of a one Justin Yu, but he'll do his best today to sum up what was a relatively disaster free show. First of all, he actually did pay attention to the chat room. So all you haters out there, Wilson can read. We also wish our second favorite Asian, J-Yu, a speedy recovery. We know we shouldn't have let him go home with that woman. Mark Licea joins the show to talk a bit about the latest Bond-movie and how kick ass it was. Mr. Kaminski chimes in on President-elect Barack Obama's BlackBerry addiction and its threat to national security. People keep on getting lazier, with cell phone airport check-in and ordering pizza from their TiVos. This, in turn, brings up memories of My Half-ton Dad on TLC. (Seriously people when you hit 400 lbs. put down the cheeseburger and see a doctor!)

Finally, the latest trailer for the new J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek comes out today. So for all your Trekkies out there, check your pants. It's already an order of magnitude more exciting than the craptastic Star Trek: Nemesis we got a few years ago. And we pay our respects to ValleyWag and Total Request Live. Only the former deserves our respect.

EPISODE 229 Download today's podcast Read more