Archive for March, 2007

LA to NY from the back seat


I found this video ages ago on the web showing the backseat view of the road trip from LA to New York in a few minutes. It’s quite amazing. If I could find who to link this to, I will. I really need to sort out the seating in the KozOdeon. It sucks.
posted by Koz Farina on Ungnyo using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Spot the Geeks on JibJab!!

Ha! Wow! What an honour! Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo and Mike Arrington are in the latest offering from JibJab called ‘What We Call The News’! (at 01:22) That’s so funny! Apparently they’re the 3 percent of the USA to ask if you want to know how to get to Kabul? Erm.. Yeah… Me neither. Heheh. 🙂

jib_jab_geek_small.jpg

Larger image here

OS Twitter and Services

twitbot.gifIn light of Dave Winer’s recent post about Twitter since the announcement on TechCrunch that some new API features are on the way, I thought I’d point back to a couple of earlier posts I made about these very subjects. Ie: Using Twitter as a ‘service layer’ and Open Sourcing the Twitter server (without SMS) – that post also talks about the’@dictionary word‘ TwitterBot which I created after having the idea as a proof of concept.

I think it’s great and all that people like Nik, Steve and Dave are looking at this too. Let them pick up the ball and run with it. (Ermm. Did I drop it? Ah I see, there’s more than one! Heh)

The new Twitter stuff will enable developers to write ‘GroupWare’ too by delivering messages privately. I hope that Obvious add ‘groups’ soon though. Also the ability to distinguish/register an account as a ‘bot’ as opposed to a human.

BTW : Bots should not have ‘friends’ – only followers. That’s how a ‘client/user’ can register with the bot/service more easily. Simply add the user account.

I also use Twitter for server alerts too, letting me know when somthing has completed or gone wrong – this will help ‘privatize’ them without needing an ‘alt’ account.

I started out by asking my followers where I could find a decent search engine that can respond to a ‘human question’ – after not finding a good enough one with a decent API, I plumped for the Urban Dictionary, which can provide very amusing results ;)

One of the unique things about Twitter is the difference in push/pull with info than we are used to. Usually we ‘push’ a post, then ‘pull’ the website or feeds. Here, we have also have Twitter not only ‘pushing’ email, but also SMS – for ‘free’.

That’s so incredibly useful. ESPECIALLY given all the places in the world where mobile phones work, but the internet does not. Third World etc. This should be exciting to people working in remote situations.

Open Sourcing the Twitter server without the SMS capabilities would make the central Twitter.com/Obvious server like the ‘Sun’ where all the other OS Twitter servers would connect like ‘Planets’ – Obvious could then handle and monetize all the SMS transactions (which the OS server might lack) by charging for this feature.

Tweet! Tweet! Kerrchingg!! 🙂

Oh and I’ve been building a new forum-like content/communications system with RSS and OPML at the heart of it. Imagine ‘structured Tweets’ – with the ability to also attach files – as a payload – can you imagine how easy it is to flow, connect and direct all these via RSS and OPML? Wow!

Designing Conversations : slideshow

Here’s a neat little slideshow which Steve Garfield pointed me to after finding it in the Boston Globe. Designer David Armano says “it’s all about experiences that are enhanced by conversations and community, making consumers active participants in the process” which is a great idea.

References within the slideshow include YouTube, Twitter, Dell and BlogHUD! 🙂 Cool!

desconv.jpg

Click here to view this slideshow at SlideShare – which is a great little tool for sharing presentations. I hope they soon sort out a simple embed code for WordPress.com users.

Apparently, David Armano is giving a virtual seminar over here on Thursday. (Not free)

What’s up with Nokia Nseries and Orange UK?

nokorange.jpg[update: Orange now DO stock the N95. And I now have one!]

While having a quick look around for more info on the Nokia N95, which I want to get my hands on, I came across a long forum thread here, which has been going since long before the recent news of the N95 came out – but it mainly focuses on when this gread handset will be available from Orange. More on that in a moment.
I am an Orange UK user and have been since they launched back in 1994 – my answerphone message is still the same one I recorded back in the day with the old ‘black brick’ – heh. I miss the old 0973 dialcode though. I also worked for an ad agency on a load of B2B multimedia presentations they did back then – touting their services and per second billing to business users.

So, I looked on the Orange UK website to see what was published there about the Nokia N95 – ‘Coming Soon’ it says.

Back to the thread of this forum, here’s a post which got an alarm bell ringing when they called Orange Upgrades:

Just phoned Orange upgrades:

Me: “Do you have any information on if you will be getting the Nokia N95?”
CSR: “We will not being doing anymore N-Series phones”
Me: “What – never again?”
CSR: “No”
Me: “Why?”
CSR: “There are too many problems with them, so we won’t invest any more money into them”
Me: “What happens if they make a really good one, and you miss out”
CSR: “That won’t happen.”

And then more recently, this one:

I popped into my local orange shop yesterday to check up on this phone, and knowing that it was in their catalogue had a quick glance at it, before asking one of their employees if they had any dates yet, he seemed unsure, but his boss over heard what was said and proceeded to tell me that although it was in the catalogue she had just heard that day that orange would not be selling it despite it being in the catalogue due to nokia refusing to let orange upload their music player onto the N95. She said that it was unlikely that either side would back down and until one of them did it won’t be available on orange – it all seems rather petty tbh. Looks like I’ll be changing to O2 then…

According to another poster, the Orange Music Player is “.. Orange’s attempt at a MP3 player, costs £3 for 3 tracks. Each track has an embedded license so you can’t send them to another phone!”

It looks like Orange have had a problem with the RAM and apps on the previous Nseries phones. I certainly hope that Orange DO get the Nokia N95, or I’ll have to ‘go underground’ and ‘sim-free’ which can cost a FORTUNE!

Damn you Orange, you used to play so well. Say it ain’t so.

If the firmware looks likely to be tampered with by Orange, then I might have go for the sim-free route. Hmmmmmmm….

Another poster shares an email from Orange from last week:

Dear Bradley

Thank you for your email.
I can confirm that Orange have no current plans to
introduce the Nokia N95 to their range of phones.

All phones available on the Orange network can be
viewed on the Orange website at www.orange.co.uk

I hope this assists you.
Kind regards
Steph
Orange Customer Services

SO. What’s the score? The website says ‘soon’ – yet customer services are sending out mixed signals to all the people on that thread asking them.

Orange used to have possibly the best customer service EVER when they launched. It was one of their huge strengths in the early days. Now it seems like it’s a different story all together.

Nokia finally ships N95 multimedia phone with GPS

At last! Nokia have finally got around to releasing what I think is one of the most important devices to come on to the market for a long time. The N95. The last time I said this, it was about the N91 with its Wifi and built-in 4Gb hard disk – two years ago. A fantastic podcast listening device. (The time before that, it was salivating over the Sony Ericsson P800 four years ago)

nokia_n95.jpg

I had the opportunity to play (for a very short time!) with a Nokia N95 while at CES and a couple of other places over the past few months. It absolutely blows my mind what is possible with this device – if it can hold power for long enough!

Words can’t describe how much I want one of these. As. Soon. As. Possible.

So what’s so good about it?

Not only is it a mobile telephone with a very nice big QVGA screen, it is also a GPS device. It has WiFi 802.11g. GPS / HSDPA / EDGE. A 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera lens. FM Radio. Text-to-speech. Stereo Bluetooth. It has landscape and portrait viewing. It has hard buttons for the media player and camera. It has a regular headphone jack (now becoming a wise standard on the NSeries handsets). It has USB for transfers to the microSD card. Shows up like a hard disk (when set to). It comes with some podcast software too, supporting OPML and RSS data very nicely. FlashLite 2 support. Phew! *takes a breath*

The built-in mobile browser on Symbian Series60 supports the input type-file tag! This is VERY important (take note Microsoft Windows Mobile). It means that it supports a standard file upload form which you see everywhere – with the bonus of a progress bar already there for you. I think all the latest Series60 browsers now support this money-saving feature. Ever see the difference in price to sending an an MMS over uploading/emailing with web access? A lot.

Oh, did I also mention that it has a TV-OUT! (Perfect for my Samsung SyncMaster171MP monitor/tuner with PiP)

AND to put the icing on the cake, Nokia are giving you the mapping for free! Amazing, though I think you might have to pay if you want ‘voice-over directions’ etc. And no doubt other info like where the nearest caffeine fix is.

Also, with the GPS capabilities, you’ll be able to store your Geo location data in the ‘EXIF data’ part of a jpeg photo taken by the camera. This will be optional.

So, this is why I built NOKLOG.COM in preparation. When I eventually get my hands on the N95, I will add maps to the system – as no doubt flickr will automatically do too since they read EXIF data all the time – and make the real world of blogging very much like the virtual world of blogging which I have cooking away over at blogHUD.com in Second Life.

Also think what Twitter will be like with real GPS data with posts. I met with people from Nokia Series60 a while ago, and asked them about seeing if we can get the GPS data available for a browser form. So we’ll see about that 😉

Noklog will allow crossposting (as blogHUD does) to your own blog, supporting WordPress (.com and self-hosted), Blogger/blogspot (old and new accounts), LiveJournal, Typepad and Friendster.

What’s wrong about it?

The only possibly unwise move I think Nokia have done recently is to get too deep under the duvet with SixApart. For many years, Nokia have had a product called LifeBlog, where they provide a system to post your life’s txts, photos and stuff to a timeline / blog.

But from what I remember, the problem with this was that you were forced BUY a TypePad account if you wanted to blog using this software. Argh!

Due to some new abilities for developers on the new Series60 version 3.0 using .cfg files, these new N95s and some of the other models will be shipping with the ability to post your photos immediately to flickr. And also – hello again SixApart – post to a blog on a VOX.com account.

Double argh!!! If Nokia had looked around at all the most prominent Nokia based blogs there are out there, not many use Vox do they? And do you think they are about to swap their blogging systems over to a blogging system, which doesn’t output an RSS 2.0 feed – Atom only! (not to mention the most consistently vague developer docs I have ever seen)

So fear not, dear gadget-loving, pocket-burning, blogging friends. When I get the N95, I’ll have a solution out there for those of us who want to use OUR EXISTING blogging systems! A free one. With all the things I NEED to do, all right there 🙂

Where can I get one? NOW!

More reports from the blogosphere here:

Engdaget , EngadgetMobile , jkOnTheRun and a great unboxing ceremony at AllAboutSymbian

Nokia N95 Product support

Update: I have also just found something else this phone does with an app called ‘Sensor’. But that’s for another post. 😉

UK Budget flies into SL


While the Chancellor of The Exchequer announced the changes in the the Budget for the next year, updates were picked up on a huge red briefcase in Second Life from the Twitter account at http://twitter.com/budget. You could also hear the audio here being streamed through a test shoutcast from my living room. An interesting idea. Which worked! (But could have done with video and more people) 😉
posted by Koz Farina on Nooribeom using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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