Category Archives: gadgets

Foursquare Swarm (August 12): some exciting updates – and a clarification

We’ve had some tweets from people saying the swarm badge already been unlocked in the UK. Yes, we know! But what we are saying is that we don’t think there has ever been a successful dedicated swarm badge party in the UK, where the sole purpose was to unlock the badge.

The badge has only ever been unlocked where there have been people already gathered – like football matches, festivals and conferences. We’ve checked with Foursquare – but please tell us if we’re wrong. So we think it would be special to be the first successful swarm badge party.

And now the updates

  1. Apart from a free glass of bubbly, you will also get a free sing at Brighton’s home of Karaoke, Lucky Voice, if you check in when we attempt the swarm. Details at the Lucky Voice blog.
  2. Foursquare have promised us the network will be working during our attempt so there shouldn’t be any technical problems.
  3. The current invitation suggests a hashtag #BrightonFoursquare4sqflashmob but this seems too long (hat tip @aral). Someone else kindly built the invitation for us – so we can’t change it. But can we please use the shorter hashtag #ukswarm instead?

Finally, this will only work if you invite people to come along to Metrodeco, 38 Upper St James’s Street, Brighton, from 7-8pm on Thursday August 12. So please tell all your friends online and offline.

See you next week!




Foursquare flashmob: be part of history

Right, we’re all set for the second attempt to unlock Foursquare’s elusive Swarm Badge.

I’m sure we all know what this is all about now – but there’s an explanation in our blog about our first attempt if you’re not sure.

The key points are: 

  1. We need 50 people to ‘check in’ within an hour of each other;
  2. There’s never been a successful dedicated swarm party in the UK – there have been swarm badges unlocked where people were already gathered for other reasons (like football matches and conferences) but no actual swarm parties as far as we know – so you have a chance to be a small part of internet history;
  3. It will only work if you invite as many people as you can to come and join in – so please share this blog (here’s a short url you can copy and paste: or use the ‘share’ button above or below)
  4. There’s a free glass of bubbly for the first 50 people to check in.

 Thanks to all those who suggested dates and times that are best all round. We’ve gone with the most popular and so I’m really sorry if you can’t make it.

So, all that remains is for me to plead, beg, beseech and implore you to come along, even if you’re on your way somewhere else or on your way home and you don’t have much time.

The details are as follows:

What: The UK’s first Foursquare flashmob right here in Brighton!

Why: To unlock the elusive Swarm Badge

When: Thursday 12th August, 7pm-8pm

Where: Metrodeco Tea Salon, 38 Upper St James’s Street, Kemp Town, Brighton – view map

Who: If you’re reading this, you’re invited. It will be a great opportunity to meet other social media types or simply to stop by for a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

The kettle that tweets!?!

People joke that their computers are so good the only thing they can’t do is make a cup of tea. Well, as if to prove that we now live in a topsy-turvy, crazy world, some mad scientists have come up with….no, not a computer that boils water and knocks together a warming brew – but the reverse: a kettle that tweets.

Yes, you read that right A KETTLE THAT TWEETS. It’s just an idea at the moment (news story here at Gadget Republic). But has been designed and is being heavily promoted ahead of a likely product launch. It will work by connecting to the local wi-fi network and automatically tweeting when it has boiled, meaning the thirsty operator can go off and do something else for a few minutes once he or she has filled it and hit ‘go’.

The designers say it could also do some other ‘fun stuff’ like tweet the energy usage and tea/coffee drinking statistics. You could even make it boil remotely.

Our verdict? As anyone who follows us on Twitter knows, we love tea and we love tweeting. But if you’re waiting for the bubbles and steam, isn’t it easier just to hang around near the kettle and have a natter with your workmate/cat/imaginary friend for three minutes than to check your Twitterfeed?

Is this really where we’re heading? Is this how we’re going to start making our tea? I think a cup of something a little stronger is in order.