December 25, 2006

December 13, 2006

wednesday, must be...

...a long time since i used that opener.

in any event, the real answer would be: yet another hotel. which means away...

...for the last time.

...this year.

(enjoy the season - i know i will).

December 03, 2006

driver's ed...

so... took brennan out for his first beltway driving experience thinking five lanes of traffic would be exciting enough...

he handled the disintegrating tire remarkably well...

from the mobile (from the shoulder of the highway - still)

November 30, 2006

blog was getting cluttered... i tidied up a bit - new format, same content. my thanks to those whose code i may have borrowed.

November 27, 2006

mobile net neutrality update

ok, so maybe it's not a breakthrough, but every little bit counts.

there's little attention paid in the popular dialogue (such that there is) to the mobile side of the net neutrality debate. i've touched on it multiple times in the past, highlighting that in the current regulatory and market environment u.s. consumers are limited to a measly choice of handsets (from hundreds that are actually available in the market) and an equally-limited (and perhaps not terribly competitively-priced) selection of services, applications and content.

looks like we may have seen a chink in the armor last week... an interesting ruling came out of the copyright office (via, of all things, the librarian of congress) related to the digital millennium copyright act exempting "...certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works." specifically of interest on the mobile front, the fifth of six announced exemptions: "computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network."

huh? well, in other words, there seems to be a recognition - however narrow - that in the current environment consumers aren't able to recognize the full benefit of their handsets due to locks on same and, as such, going forward, tinkering with software or firmware locks in order to liberate a handset for use on alternative networks is no longer a no no - at least for the next three years.

a chink in the armor indeed, but way arcane and for the moment probably of little benefit to the average consumer. nevertheless, it's a start. and i'll certainly stay tuned to see how this may also evolve to apply in terms of operator barriers related to mobile services, applications, content, etc.

November 15, 2006

mid-term vote & net neutrality...'s that for two topics with seemingly (and i suppose actually) little in common?

in terms of the midterm elections, there was (thankfully) not as much dust-settling as i'd expected - bottom line: the democrats are firmly driving the house and marginally in control of the senate. sadly, i'll not be holding my breath waiting for any renewed bi-partisanship. indeed, beyond the early posturing around force reduction in iraq and the not-unexpected rhetoric about "first 100 hours" agenda items (count my vote in favor of hiking the minimum wage), expect the dems to exercise a lot of "oversight" (think "investigation"... better yet, think investigation of halliburton-iraq, for just one example). and, of course, expect the republicans to cry foul and/or gridlock ad nauseum between now and the 2008 election (which, incidentally, has already started). fun.

on the network neutrality front (recall multiple previous posts), the congressional swing may well mean that consumer interests will be better heard (even met?) in ter,s of the ability to access the services and content we actually want. for those asking "what exactly might that mean?", check out my 3/26/06 post. further to that post, for whatever it may be worth, maybe the real solution is for the market to compel access providers to divest themselves of or otherwise separate their "access" businesses from their (existing or planned) services businesses. the former - effectively a utility - then offers non-discriminatory access to the latter, as well as other traditional (including internet-based) or alternative service providers. or not...

(from helsinki. headin' home tomorrow and looking way forward to a couple days off next week. later...)

November 07, 2006

symella & more for s60 3e...

...the wait is over - and add a nifty bit-torrent app to the mix. sweet.
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics - Symella

November 05, 2006

happy 18th morgan...

posted a day late, from the mobile, from the airport (sigh, again - this is gettin' a bit tired).

i know you didn't want me to, but i had to post a pic.

November 03, 2006

fall (deja vu)...

...dolan and leaves (from the mobile)

October 13, 2006

unlike astod, ownskin is free...

so, one way to get fresh themes for your nokia series 60 device(s) would be to access sites such as that linked in the post immediately below, or much larger selections which i've referenced before from, for instance, mobile9 or zedge. lots of free stuff out there.

or, as posted in late august (link), you could check out which provides a very user friendly on-line tool for creating custom themes (including series 60 third edition) - at five bucks a pop. (another option is of course the pc-based theme studio - but it's a bit, um, well, let's say cumbersome, at least for the average user).

enter ownskin - a nice take on the astod model (a bit less sleek, but equally functional), but free. nice. and with a growing community of folks sharing their custom creations.

the hits just keep coming...


October 12, 2006

mobilestuff updated... include some nokia series 60 3rd edition themes and apps. simple site set up for over-the-air direct to the mobile device download. link: mobilestuff

October 01, 2006


it's just nice to have a quality multimegapixel camera built in... (from the mobile)

September 21, 2006

fring - free mobile voip

ok... this is gonna be another slightly arcane post so if you're not already familiar with the concept of ip- or internet-based telephony and services such as skype or googletalk you may not want to bother reading any further.

there's been a lot of chatter over the last year about voip over mobile and there are multiple solutions being developed, whether for enterprise or consumer. skype, googletalk and/or other voip solutions for mobile are popularly expected (or already emerging in some cases), even if the mobile networks (at least in the u.s.) may not be quite up to the challenge. but it's coming, and it'll be disruptive, 'cause it basically means offloading a bunch of your mobile voice minutes into your all-you-can-eat data plan bucket.

enter fring (and before i forget: many thanks to milan for pointing me at this)... sweet little beta app that delivers free mobile voip to nokia series 60 based devices, allowing for use via your skype, googletalk, fring or simultaneous ids. registration and download was a breeze, as was installation and setup. first thing i did was dial the fring test number and, sure enough, i could easily hear the automated recording as well as the playback of my own recorded message. seemingly little to no latency - in other words, it felt like a phone call. and that was over gprs - not even a real 3G network. cool.

second thing i did was call a friend and ask him to register, download and install fring on his device so we could try the fring-to-fring experience. and, what-do-ya-know, it worked. and rather well. a bit of static and a minor (very) echo, but, again, only very slight latency. caller id worked once the other party was added to the fring client as a contact. speaker-phone and volume controls on the device did not work, but a bluetooth headset functioned fine. the default ringback and ringtone are a bit bizarre - but who cares? incoming mobile call while voip call was in progress went straight to voicemail - which is fine enough. notably, our voip connection did eventually crap out - but only after 15 minutes and was quickly re-established. and, remember, this was over gprs, not 3g...

very, very cool... but one downside: i had to switch back to a nokia series 60 v2.x device to use fring - they're not yet supporting s60 third edition (see earlier post).

stay tuned...

happy 16th brennan

August 30, 2006

s60 online theme tool

i've posted a reference or two to in the past (most recently in the post immediately below), without really doing it justice. there are any number of sites from which s60 themes can be downloaded (as ref'ed in post below), and there is of course the somewhat cumbersome pc-based theme studio application, but astod currently stands alone as a resource for quick and very easy (and online) generation of custom s60 themes - albeit for a price. definitely worth checking out.


August 18, 2006

the switch to s60 3rd edition...

no doubt that subject line means squat to most folk, but...

...whatever. in any event, i've been way wary of making the switch, waiting for a critical mass of s60 3rd edition applications to emerge beforehand. but, my current phone recently stopped waiting with me so i had no choice but to make the move. gotta say, it's not been bad so far. granted, there's not a lot of free/found-ware out there to trawl through, but it took me less than a day to get the basics up and running.

- s60 3rd edition themes are still scarce, but i grabbed a couple from mobile9. also stopped by to create my own. while i won't buy one of theirs, i've been willing on ocassion to pony up the $5 bucks for my own design. their online tool is a breeze compared to the pc-based theme studio and they wasted no time retooling for s60 3rd edition.

- on the mobile imaging/blogging/movlogging front, shozu - still my favorite such app (see multiple previous posts) - has a nice s60 3rd edition app and i'm up and running without a hitch.

- in terms of video, the folks at lonelycat offer an evolved s60 3rd edition smartmovie player which (minor amendment to earlier version of this post - i know, that's cheating...) unlike previous version packs key codecs into the app so they don't have to be installed separately on the device.

- as for im'ing, agile messenger - another old favorite - has also put out a s60 3rd edition app. also now up and running.

- and, the folks at google can be thanked for upgrading their mapping / local info app for s60 3rd edition as well (see previous post).

so, that's a start. but still missing some key stuff.

- as yet, no s60 3rd edition app for yahoo!go (previous post), which is a shame since i got used to the push email and won't sign up for the pay service just to get POP mail to my phone - guess i'll be g-mail'ing it for awhile (free is key).

- on the music front, the built-in mp3 (etc.) player on the device is sweet, but i still want my streaming radio (i can't seem to find an s60 3rd edition version of the virgin player i was using but did stumble across an interesting - if beta - alternative here). and. lastly, an s60 3rd edition version of symella is a must...

more later...

August 12, 2006

the whole clan - bethany 2006

one of the best beach weeks yet. only twelve more months...

August 10, 2006

beach week winding down...

...gettin' melancholy already. sigh. great week though.

nice snap of 4 of the 8 from the mobile (from the beach). more to follow.

August 03, 2006

more bitter than sweet...

link at bottom (and here) to walt mossberg review of the new lg "chocolate" music phone from verizon - "an ipod designed by committee" indeed...

aesthetics aside (and i s'pose it looks cute enough), the promise of mobile music is so very real, and yet from rokr (see 9/7/05 post) to chocolate we keep seeing the same sad hobbling of what should be basic yet essential functionality - all in the questionable pursuit of control. the "connected music" product and service offering that ultimately succeeds will feature a simple-to-use device that plays back mp3 - however found - married to an intuitive, open and reasonably priced (e.g. not two bucks a tune) music download service.

stay tuned (as it were)...

Personal Technology -- Personal Technology from The Wall Street Journal.

August 02, 2006

in the odd event...

...anyone was wondering about the recent silence - i'm in the midst of a mid-summer hiatus, soon to feature sand and surf. later.

July 14, 2006

dolan swims 25 free at meet

Watch the video
...from the mobile

July 05, 2006

7/1/06 swim meet... the interest of brevity (and parental pride), i'll only list the events in which the kids swam.

quite a good showing this weekend: cullen and brennan sweeping all blues (with brennan swimming 15-18 for his first year); luke pulling in a solid string of seconds and his customary first in breast; ryan - just turned 11 and swimming as 13-14 - nailing a first in IM and placing consistently high in other races; peyton locking in first in back and second everywhere else; brogan edging a close second in breast; and morgan delivering first as usual in back and placing well otherwise against a team with quite a strong 15-18 girls class. not bad at all...

Flower Hill(286.5) at Eldwick(490.5)

1 Boys 12 & Under 100 IM
1 Cullen Plummer (EW) 1:31.99
2 Luke Plummer (EW) 1:35.12

3 Joel Denicoff (EW) 1:38.59
4 Nicholas Ferentinos (FH)1:54.53
5 Paul Mayer (FH) 1:56.75
David Hedgepeth (FH) DQ

10 Girls 13-14 50M Free

1 Abby Poston (EW) 32.90
2 Peyton Plummer (EW) 33.57
3 Melanie Ottenstein (EW) 34.10
4 Michaela Nesmith (FH) 35.31
5 Elise Prizzi (FH) 35.78
6 Tessa Jones (FH) 37.00

11 Boys 11-12 50M Free
1 Cullen Plummer (EW) 36.35
2 Luke Plummer (EW) 38.15

3 Jason Horsley (FH) 39.00
4 Joel Denicoff (EW) 39.04
5 Alex Narrow (EW) 42.53
6 David Hedgepeth (FH) 42.75
7 Alborz Zibaii (EW) 44.10
8 Joseph Mcaleer (FH) 44.78

13 Boys 15-18 100M Free
1 Brennan Plummer (EW) 1:07.00
2 Michael Porter (FH) 1:07.69
3 Eli Goldman (EW) 1:10.10
4 Harry Groh (EW) 1:12.93
5 Jimmy Hughes (FH) 1:13.47
6 Matthew Jones (FH) 1:15.84

14 Girls 15-18 100M Free
1 Danielle Nesmith (FH) 1:11.29
2 Morgan Plummer (EW) 1:13.57
3 Erin Lawlor (FH) 1:13.81
4 Katie Porter (FH) 1:16.12
5 Jennifer Saber (EW) 1:24.03
6 Rebecca Friedland (EW) 1:27.35

15 Boys 13-14 100M IM
1 Ryan Plummer (EW) 1:36.43
2 Andrew Simon (FH) 1:41.46
3 Matthew Ferentinos (FH) 1:46.18
4 David Friedland (EW) 1:46.73
5 Keegan Kane (FH) 1:49.84
Greg Tapper (EW) DQ

16 Girls 13-14 100M IM
1 Abby Poston (EW) 1:24.29
2 Peyton Plummer (EW) 1:25.47
3 Michaela Nesmith (FH) 1:32.03
4 Pooja Deb (FH) 1:32.22
5 Michelle Fish (EW) 1:35.36
6 Katelyn Mcaleer (FH) 1:35.50

21 Boys 15-18 100M Back
1 Brennan Plummer (EW) 1:15.62
2 Eli Goldman (EW) 1:23.13
3 Kevin Bubar (FH) 1:24.32
4 Matthew Jones (FH) 1:26.63
5 Geoffrey Cannock (EW) 1:33.28
6 Jimmy Hughes (FH) 1:33.53

22 Girls 15-18 100M Back
1 Morgan Plummer (EW) 1:24.57
2 Katie Porter (FH) 1:26.32
3 Erin Lawlor (FH) 1:26.60
4 Maureen Healy (FH) 1:35.90
5 Julia Bassiri (EW) 1:46.50
6 Rebecca Friedland (EW) 1:47.19

23 Boys 11-12 50M Back
1 Cullen Plummer (EW) 41.91
2 Luke Plummer (EW) 45.54

3 Jason Horsley (FH) 49.63
4 Alborz Zibaii (EW) 58.69
5 David Hedgepeth (FH) 1:01.53
Nicholas Ferentinos (FH)DQ

25 Boys 13-14 50M Back
1 Ig. Moron-Svartz (FH) 42.06
2 David Friedland (EW) 46.81
3 Ryan Plummer (EW) 47.00
4 Alex Bae (EW) 47.24
5 Andrew Simon (FH) 52.16
6 Keegan Kane (FH) 54.35

26 Girls 13-14 50M Back
1 Peyton Plummer (EW) 38.68
2 Michaela Nesmith (FH) 41.47
3 Pooja Deb (FH) 44.03
4 Courtney Koenig (FH) 44.65
5 Melanie Ottenstein (EW) 47.03
6 Michelle Fish (EW) 48.33

27 Boys 15-18 100M IM
1 Brennan Plummer (EW) 1:19.91
2 Michael Porter (FH) 1:22.25
3 Harry Groh (EW) 1:24.30
4 Jimmy Hughes (FH) 1:24.40
5 Kevin Bubar (FH) 1:25.07
6 Geoffrey Cannock (EW) 1:26.09

28 Girls 15-18 100M IM
1 Danielle Nesmith (FH) 1:21.91
2 Erin Lawlor (FH) 1:25.03
3 Maureen Healy (FH) 1:27.03
4 Morgan Plummer (EW) 1:28.47
5 Jennifer Saber (EW) 1:36.40
6 Rebecca Friedland (EW) 1:37.65

33 Boys 11-12 50M Breast
1 Luke Plummer (EW) 46.72
2 Joel Denicoff (EW) 46.85
3 David Hedgepeth (FH) 49.56
4 Alex Narrow (EW) 53.02
5 Nicholas Ferentinos (FH)53.84
6 Joseph Mcaleer (FH) 1:01.50

34 Girls 11-12 50M Breast
1 Michelle Illig (EW) 48.04
2 Brogan Plummer (EW) 49.28
3 Sophia Tapper (EW) 49.65
4 Clare Healy (FH) 52.26
5 Deanna Hedgepeth (FH) 1:00.40
6 Jenifer Hartley (FH) 1:02.50

35 Boys 13-14 50M Breast
1 Andrew Simon (FH) 43.90
2 Greg Tapper (EW) 44.62
3 Matthew Ferentinos (FH) 53.00
4 Thomas Albert (FH) 53.06
5 Ryan Plummer (EW) 53.51
6 Alex Bae (EW) 56.19

43 Boys 11-12 50M Fly
1 Cullen Plummer (EW) 41.65
2 Joel Denicoff (EW) 49.49
3 Jason Horsley (FH) 52.00
4 Alborz Zibaii (EW) 59.10
5 Joseph Mcaleer (FH) 1:02.66
6 Nicholas Ferentinos (FH)1:02.78

45 Boys 13-14 50M Fly
1 Greg Tapper (EW) 40.44
2 Ryan Plummer (EW) 47.40
3 Keegan Kane (FH) 48.53
4 Andrew Simon (FH) 48.85
5 David Friedland (EW) 49.59
6 Thomas Albert (FH) 51.59

46 Girls 13-14 50M Fly
1 Abby Poston (EW) 37.07
2 Peyton Plummer (EW) 38.46
3 Pooja Deb (FH) 41.34
4T Michelle Fish (EW) 44.72
4T Michaela Nesmith (FH) 44.72
6 Courtney Koenig (FH) 48.10

47 Boys 15-18 50M Fly
1 Brennan Plummer (EW) 31.60
2 Eli Goldman (EW) 34.16
3 Kevin Bubar (FH) 34.78
4 Michael Porter (FH) 36.59
5 Jimmy Hughes (FH) 36.78
6 Geoffrey Cannock (EW) 44.15

48 Girls 15-18 50M Fly
1 Danielle Nesmith (FH) 35.70
2 Katie Porter (FH) 36.31
3 Maureen Healy (FH) 39.53
4 Morgan Plummer (EW) 40.46
5 Jennifer Saber (EW) 44.60
6 Julia Bassiri (EW) 46.72

July 01, 2006

June 23, 2006

wonkette posts a true classic... just got re-elected to congress - let's embarrass him before he even gets there...

as classic as the pix are, the comments are even more so...

link to wonkette post "Brian Bilbay's Kids Love Social Networking..."

June 17, 2006

June 06, 2006

"send to phone" for firefox

so here's a cute little retro app - a google extension for firefox that allows you to send web content as a text message to a mobile phone from your browser. the intended purpose: use your curser to highlight whatever text in your browser window you feel compelled to share and then, by clicking on a little phone icon that appears in the upper right-hand corner of your browser once you've installed the firefox extension, send that text as a short message to a mobile phone number you designate. it's simple, but neat. indeed, you don't even need to copy and paste the text you want to forward - just highlight it with the cursor and when you click the phone icon and the window pops up to input a phone number the text you highlighted is already populated in the message window (which you can further edit). keen.

'course how often would i want to send text off a website to someone's phone? probably pretty rarely. but that's the supposed intended use. i just think it's kinda cool to have this icon in my browser that i can use to quickly send off a text message to someone if i don't feel like keying it into my mobile.

link to download the google send to phone extension for firefox.

if you're not using firefox (and i can't imagine why you wouldn't be - among other things this site renders more nicely than it does using IE), then obviously this tool is of little use to you. if you are using firefox then you are probably already well aware of the various browser extensions (add ons) you can employ to enhance your experience. in the odd event that you've not made use of extensions - go to this link for more info and to get started.

June 01, 2006

yet better movlogging...

Watch the video

...from (linked). sample video - posted "direct" from the mobile - above (yet another boring shot out my window).

yet another (perhaps better) version of the "pass through" i was looking for ('course that means yet another service - albeit free - to subscribe to). signing up is pretty painless, as is linking to and setting up "auto cross-posting" to an external blog (e.g. this one). there's no application necessary on your device - all you need is the ability to e-mail from your mobile (and I find the yahoo! go solution, which among other things enables yahoo! mail on your mobile - see my january 6 post - more than adequate in this respect). shoot your video and then send it direct from your mobile to the e-mail address that assigns you after you sign up and enable cross-posting via the settings described above. presto. your video (mp4 works, by the way) posts directly (well, kinda) to your blog - similar to the shozu solution described below, but with a still image (the start of your video) rather than a shozu graphic. click "watch the video" and it launches in your browser window ("back" key to return to your post). not bad. not bad at all. (i should note that 1 out of every 2 times I tried to post from the mobile I got alerts from yahoo mail telling me the mail had failed, but who knows what the cause of that might be...).

May 31, 2006

one more...

...with the cap, in front of the house (from the mobile)

morgan graduates hs...

...a steamy affair at d.a.r. constitution hall downtown. congrats morgs. (from the mobile)

what i didn't remember...

...but as was pointed out by andy in comment to my message immediately below (thanks andy), is that shozu does indeed support direct from mobile to blogger posts via "other destination" settings. i'd set this up in the past (months ago) but had some challenges getting it to work at that time. based on andy's reminder, i gave it another whirl and sure enough, it works - including for mp4 video. nice. only (slight) problem - unlike the embedded youtube flash player, when you click the shozu embedded video you have to go through the process of waiting to save or open the file in a player (quicktime) window - sample video below (another view out a portal). all-in-all, notwithstanding the load/wait time issue, this may be the best blend (so far) in terms of direct mobile video to blogger posts.

view out my front door

Posted by ShoZu

May 30, 2006

mobile video blogging - almost...

couple of weeks ago youtube (linked) announced support for mobile video uploads - shoot the video with your phone and send it over-the-air to youtube. cool. yeah. but not enough (at least in terms of mobile blogging...)

first off, seems youtube's not accepting mp4 formatted video so i had to convert the file on my mobile to 3gp before sending. conversion's no big deal in my case (it's actually quite easy on my device), but it's an extra step that'll probably alienate most potential users in the same situation (and, moreover, 3gp video quality pales in comparison to mp4 - see below). don't get me wrong, the youtube solution's still cool, but it doesn't do what i really want - direct mobile video upload to my blog, same way i do with images. that said, at least the youtube solution does allow you to later embed the video directly into a blog posting (see bottom).

enter the folks at fotojive (linked) who in addition to delivering a free mobile imaging service that seems to do most of what shozu, zonetag, etc. can do (see multiple previous postings on these solutions in the "mobile-related posts" column at left) are also supporting over-the-air mp4 upload. sweet. hopefully this will drive the youtube folks in that direction if they're not already headed there.

fotojive works just like shozu, et al - you download a small application directly over the air to your device (and you're gonna want to have one of dozens of compatible nokia handsets - either symbian or java based - 'cause according to fotojive's site they only support four relatively obscure non-nokia handsets). installation's a breeze (although, unusually, the app doesn't seem to feature any menu so i'm not sure how to turn it off short of uninstalling it). after that, once you snap a photo or capture a video you get a quick prompt asking if you want to save to fotojive - say 'yes' and it's on it's way (or say 'no' and your image/video is saved to your phone like normal). like shozu and zonetag, the files transfer via data stream rather than multimedia message (mms) so no worries about mms surcharge nor constricted file size (but you'll want to have that unlimited data plan). 'course unlike the other two apps, fotojive offers its own storage and image processing-related services so isn't linked to flickr - a bit of a downside in terms of having to manage (and remember) yet another online site for file storage. to its credit, fotojive has a sleek enough flash-based interface which, in terms of managing/sharing images/video, is pretty simple and intuitive (nitpicks: it's a bit choppy at times...and don't get me started on the banner ads).

but, of course, neither fotojive nor youtube acts as a pass-through for direct video posting to the blog (hardly in their current brand interest). and fotojive stops short of youtube in terms of embedding video - while they offer a so-called "easy link" feature it's nothing more than that - a button to click which automatically populates your clipboard (strangely without telling you) with the html link to your video for pasting into your blog...

so, with a sigh, until blogger cuts the right deal, i can either copy and embed youtube code or "easy link" to fotojive. either way, i gotta use a pc to pull up the relevant site from which to post to the blog. sure, i suppose the extra headache rules out folks posting all sorts of frivolous video cliplets to their blogs, but, well, isn't that kinda the beauty of mobile blogging - the spontaneity - being able to capture and share a moment (or a few moments) when the happen wherever you may be? don't get me wrong, being able to do any of this is definitely cool - and, for those who're just looking for a simple solution to upload and share video from their mobiles, both options beat the heretofore status quo (i'd personally go with fotojive for best quality video), but, well, i just wish i could get my video straight from the mobile to the blog... soon, i trust.

just so you know what it looks like - immediately following is a link to the original mp4 video (about ten seconds of staring out my office window... yawn) shot from my mobile, uploaded to and hosted by fotojive.

view out my window

and below is the same video hosted by youtube, in the converted (and definitely lower quality) 3gp format.

May 20, 2006

like bookends...

morgan and her pre-senior prom date... i refuse to feel old.

May 18, 2006

gates/otellini on pc's - ok, but... the wintel heads got together to crank out a may 15 wall street journal commentary to object to other recent journal pieces that may have suggested the end of the pc era, or the advent of the so-called "post-pc era." link to their commentary: - End of the PC Era? Hardly!

they make some good points. doubtless, the pc is here to stay. but, the suggestion (paraphrased from the commentary's conclusion) that any time you want to share pictures, download music, synchronize devices or watch lost "you sit down at your pc, of course" conjures an image of heads deeply sunk into a trough of pc koolaid.

no doubt, our lives are truly richer for the pc, even more so since the advent of the commercial internet. but the picture painted in the linked commentary is incomplete - the landscape is actually far more vast. sure (as they write), the traditional fixed or portable pc and related internet penetration rates may indeed be poised to surpass the 1 billion mark next year, but what about the already more than two billion mobile subscribers worldwide who are also either already attached or have the potential to attach to the web today?

i s'pose it's all just semantics. after all, what used to be called mobile phones are rapidly becoming richly-functional handheld computers in their own right. and, such devices - so very, very versatile - liberate us in ways that the pc and the array of peripherals mentioned in the gates/otellini commentary have only hinted at. the bottom line is: the device in your hand or pocket at the moment you need it is the device most valuable to you - all the more so when that device has an always-on broadband wireless connection and the ability to create, share and/or consume content ranging from images to video to music to blogs to whatever...and beyond.

the commentary did have it right in citing andy grove's reference to the pc as the ultimate darwinian device. the evolution of computing is indeed darwinian - mobility is the next stage. sure, "sitting down at your pc" is always an option. but it's just that, another option - with obvious limitations in terms of time and space.


May 11, 2006

thursday, must be...

helsinki airport...

net-neutrality related question of the day (from a perspective on the issue that deserves more focus): why can't the average u.s. consumer expect as rich a range of device choice from american wireless carriers as the random european traveler can from a tiny airport kiosk?

(from the mobile)

May 06, 2006

dolan crashes... quads bday party - one week early (from the mobile)

April 29, 2006

what i woke up to...

who steals a friggin' wheel? jeesh. (from the mobile)

April 24, 2006

net neutrality - visit this site...

reference my recent (march 26) post below on same... link to "Save the Internet"

April 14, 2006

view from the zipper...

...why did i get on this thing? it's older than i am. (from the mobile)

April 06, 2006

March 26, 2006

net neutrality...

this is gonna be another long one.

picking up on a theme raised in a couple of posts last year focused on convergence - net neutrality, to be specific. the lines couldn't be drawn much more clearly in washington. at stake: your ability to use the device(s) of your choice to access the content and services of your choice over the broadband network of your choice.

imagine the electric company telling you which lamp you can use to light your living room, which wattage bulb, and, depending on whether or to what extent you'd like to avoid the occasional brownout, charging a premium for the service of dis-serving you. nah, the electric company knows better.

ok, so maybe it's not quite that simple in the telecom space...

i can certainly sympathize with the access providers wanting to reap the benefit of the billions they've invested in their networks, but it would seem that if they have their druthers, they're likely to undermine the very profits they hope to squeeze out of those very networks. wielding to-the-home (or -pocket) market-power by blocking or down-speeding third party apps, content and services and dictating which selection of devices might be allowed to attach to networks might buy a short-term edge (first-to-market for their own services, apps and content deals, etc.). but ultimately it's a potential lose-lose for everyone. the history of internet innovation ends when new internet players have to negotiate with each or every bit pipe to take their innovation and (potential) consumer benefit to market.

but let's be fair... those who've prospered suckling gratis at the internet teat shouldn't expect to ride free forever (although who can blame them for wanting to - and i acknowledge that the gratis reference is a gross generalization). indeed, to the extent their plans to unleash next generation online wonders hinge on network evolution to true and ubiquitous broadband, it's be a bit unrealistic to expect the bit pipes to keep upgrading at their own and sole expense and competitive disadvantage. more lose-lose.

so where's the happy medium? well, for starters, to the extent the telcos want to intro new services like video, let 'em at it - that's a leveling of the playing field with the cableco's that's been a long time coming. but, don't block or throughput hobble others from competing as well. there's no easy answer here, but there has to be an access pricing scheme that allows non access provider internet players a better chance of survival then the vast graveyard of one-time competitive local exchange carriers (clecs) who were muscled out by the telecom incumbents, well-meaning but perhaps limp-wristed regulation notwithstanding.

as for the device conundrum, i'd argue there really isn't one. indeed, seems to me the easiest decision in the whole equation is that regarding device attachment. provided the devices are built to standards developed to ensure compatibility and interoperability with networks, there's no reason to block them. arguments about interference, security, capacity or other concerns - including in the wireless context - are, well arguable.

so do we need congress or the fcc to weigh in with some or another or a suite of new legislation or regulation? maybe. but at the very least, a powerful spotlight - a truly public dialogue - on the whole situation is necessary. while there's not yet any strong indication of abuse or market failure (not for lack of strong suggestion of such), by the time such is demonstrated it might be too late to remedy. it's not that there's any realistic concern that the internet big boys get muscled out, but what about the less robust or altogether newcomers?

stay tuned...

March 16, 2006

classic dolan...

...from the phone (as received from brennan's via mms)

March 01, 2006

another mobile photo app...

...gettin' to be a pretty crowded field. and with yahoo! all over it (see bottom).

zonetag (linked) appears to be meant to work ala shozu (e.g. quick click upload to flickr) but with the additional (optional) feature of tagging your image with the cell ID of the tower you were nearest when you uploaded the image (independent of when/where you actually took the picture). interesting concept - another "sort" option (e.g. location) if nothing else.

i couldn't get it to work on my device, but that could be because the app's a beta, the phone's a proto, or, perhaps, there's some interference going on with one or all of the other three similar apps (shozu, vizrea, yahoo!go) that are loaded and running on the device. notably the others seem to still be functional.

as for the yahoo! comment, well, recall that yahoo! recently launched yahoo!go for mobile which includes y! photo synching with yahoo! photos proper. beyond that, yahoo! also owns flickr (which for some reason continues to operate separately from yahoo! photos). and, now along comes zonetag - a yahoo! "research prototype release" - which is meant to marry up to flickr. don't know if they'll penetrate the embedded shozu crowd (such that may exist), but if this thing launches mainstream without bugs, they may capture the lion's share of new users of such apps, at least from the pool of those with a strong yahoo! affinity.

February 25, 2006

some of mom's art...

a sample above, more linked here

February 24, 2006

google local for mobile

i recall excited conversation a couple of years back about the fantastic consumer, service provider and advertiser promise of mobile location-based services. much of the hoopla was more about technology than services, e.g. focused on handset-based (e.g. gps), network based (e.g. tdoa), or some combination of the two. as the vision went, mobiles would know/discover where they are and networks would pipe location-dependent services and/or ads to users poised to consume on the fly.

reality is, gps is not yet widely-deployed in handsets, and carriers/service providers have yet to otherwise deliver mainstream location-based services of any compelling value. and, it's unclear whether "discovering where you are" really adds all that much value (unless you're really, really lost). and, moreover, the potenially intrusive nature of "always or mostly-always on" location techs - e.g. in terms of pushed advertising - has it's downside as well..., if i know where i am, and know what i want (and/or don't want) in terms of service or information, why wouldn't a web-based service like google local for mobile (linked) be enough?

for me, lacking some compelling alternative that negates the comments above, i think it might do just fine - indeed, i like the level of personal control it affords.

i've been playing with the beta. screenshot from the nokia n70 above. there are some natural bugs - e.g. the address database is a bit dated - but nothing unlike what one regularly experiences with any online mapping or directory tool. truth be told, biggest issue i've got so far is rendering/loading times, and those are factors dictated by wireless network speed/throughput which should become of less concern as the networks are further upgraded to 3g.

yeah, for me this is fine. not bad at all. another indication, incidentally, that content is content, services are services, and brands are brands - regardless whether fixed, mobile, nomadic or whatever.

weekend. later.

February 13, 2006

shozu & yahoo, meet vizrea...

the mobile imaging (taking pictures with your phone) experience just got simpler. again.

while most people are still using their camera phones as latter day wallets - or perhaps to snap photos to use as background on their phone's display - doing something more with those images (sharing, storing, editing, printing) is becoming a more real and mainstream possibility. the timing's about right, since the picture quality/resolution of most camera phones has reached a level (multi-megapixel) that makes images worth keeping.

having now enjoyed a few months using the shozu app (linked) to upload images to my flickr account (also linked) - see my october 2005 post for full detail - and having had a few weeks to play with the yahoo!go photo sharing app (see my january 6 post for detail and links), i'm looking at the vizrea snap app (linked) with as seasoned an eye as any. and i like what i'm seeing.

like the other two, vizrea enables quick and simple straight-to-the-net sharing of the pictures you take with your mobile. all three solutions are designed for nokia symbian/series 60 devices - gotta love that open platform. no multimedia messages surcharge. no multimedia message-inspired file size limitation. rather, your photo uploads at full quality and as a simple data stream. as is the case with the other two solutions, you'll want to make sure you have an unlimited data plan before using.

vizrea doesn't stop there. it not only allows for uploading images for web storage, sharing, editing, printing, whatever (and tagged however you may wish), but also let's you upload directly to your (vizrea software enabled) PC, from wherever you may be. and, just as cool, the app allows you to in turn use your mobile to browse the images on your personal vizrea webpage or those images stored on your pc. all quite simple. really very cool.

and free...

February 12, 2006

view out the front door...

...after last night's storm - a big one (those bushes are s'posed to flank the door, not meet midway). from the phone

February 08, 2006

songbird takes flight...

...been waiting for this. open source desktop media player/internet music browser that's agnostic, e.g. not locked to anyone's proprietary digital rights management solution. quite sweet from what i've so far sampled (as it were) - mozilla influence is obvious. look out itunes, windows media, etc.

link to songbird.

February 07, 2006

another ringtone primer...

...this one not mine. quite a bit more detailed (and perhaps complex), with myriad links. while not a beginners guide, a worthwhile resource for those who've perhaps graduated beyond my november 2005 post post (linked).

so, without further ado, check out: mopocket (linked) february 1, 2006 post.

January 23, 2006

nice weekend...

fantastic as the g'town win may have been, it was topped by cullen (fly and back) and luke (breast) nailing junior olympic qualifying times at the swim meet. cool.

January 21, 2006

hoyas down duke. sweet

(ok... so i took a quick snap with the mobile from the game and shot it to the blog, but, well, it just didn't do justice to the storming-the-court spectacle - so i'm randomly borrowing someone else's image from flickr to replace mine. gotta say, if i had to pick one game to have been at this season - or any other in the recent past - this was definitely it.

brennan's somewhere out there in that sea of humanity by the way...)

January 10, 2006

music service hampers mp3...?

interesting little tidbit...

...Verizon's Music Service Hampers MP3 Ability - Yahoo! News...

whither bluetooth, music? nah... granted, at first blush, this might seem to echo earlier decisions to disable bluetooth in some devices, with, per the opinion of some, the goal of controlling content/services and related "walled" revenue. but that's apparently not the case. near as i can tell, this appears to be a temporary disabling of non-vcast mp3 functionality until non-vcast content can be integrated into a single vcast interface. but it's not even that really...

if you're so disposed, you can apparently convert mp3 to wma, transfer to the phone, and get vcast playback (vcast platform relies on MS media player 10 software which, of course, supports wma, but not mp3). or, if you don't want to take this extra step, and don't mind what i understand might amount to a dual music interface on your device, the folks at pcsintel (linked) outline what appears to be a pretty simple 5 step hack (for one handset anyway) to turn non-vcast mp3 support back on.

hmmm... it shouldn't be this complicated. ideal: have tunes (legitimately acquired), have device, put tunes on device, listen, enjoy.

tuesday, must be copenhagen...

...just passing through, with a post-holiday, seasonably-appropriate willy nelson signature lyric twanging over and over again in my head. on the road again indeed...

January 06, 2006

Yahoo! Go for Mobile

Yahoo! Go - Get Started on Your Mobile

interesting (see final paragraph). useful little app. particularly if you have an affinity for the yahoo! brand and are familiar with yahoo! services or otherwise strongly identify with your yahoo! ID.

the app (downloadable here) - specifically for nokia series 60 devices - is quite elegant (although a bit larger than your average .sis file - a whopping 1.8 mb). installation is a breeze - the beauty of the open symbian/nokia series 60 platform. configuration is quite simple, which includes launching a couple of additional installs for synching, installing the IM client, etc.

in terms of functionality, mail is nicely integrated into the nokia messaging menu. mail management options are simple, intuitive - you can easily reply to or forward messages, or even file mails directly into your pre-established yahoo! folders which now appear in the nokia inbox options menu as a result of having installed the yahoo! client. slight downside: incoming yahoo! mail gets dumped into the same inbox as incoming sms and mms messages (duplicates appear in a dedicated yahoo! folder within the messaging menu as well), which makes things a bit cluttered. but, as said, it's easy enough to file and/or delete messages just as you would from a fixed terminal. bottom line on mail: i used to have to launch my browser to access y! to check my yahoo! mail on a static basis - now i get it pushed to me. sweet. and, near as i can tell, the yahoo! app does not seem to be interfering with my secure corporate push e-mail running on the same device.

as for calendar synch, seems wrinkle-free (haven't yet synched address book, but assume same). photo synch likewise (first time you use the photo synch you have to go through a quick install process - but it's automatic and seamless). as i'm already a regular user of shozu app for uploading images to flickr (also in the yahoo! camp) - from which i can share, post to blog, etc. - i'm not sure this new yahoo! solution in its current state will compel me to switch. but cool nonetheless.

the IM client (another quick install on first use) is also quite elegant - seems to look and act a lot like the agile messenger client, except that the latter allows simultaneous presence on multiple IM services (aol, msn, yahoo!, icq). for whatever reason, despite a decade-long history and strong affinity with yahoo!, i'm still more likely to use my aim moniker than any other so i'm gonna probably stick with the agile messenger solution for the nonce. but hey, that's just me. this is a pretty slick client if you're a yahoo! messenger junkie.

what i found perhaps the least intriguing piece of the package was the search/bookmark menu. it looks pretty, but once you click on an option - sports, finance, weather, movies, whatever - it launches your mobile browser, where you sign in at the familiar y! prompt, and then you get the familiar y! screens. nothing wrong with that, mind you, i've been accessing y! from the phone for ages. thing is, not sure why i'd want to toggle back and forth between the yahoo! search/bookmark menu and the browser to go from, say, finance to weather? for now i'll just stick to my existing y! bookmark in my browser and access the way i always have.

so, all of that said, and bearing in mind that this is an early, preliminary review based on limited exposure to the app/service (no doubt with experience i'll discover yet more value, and perhaps a shortcoming or two), all-in-all i'd say yahoo! go appears to be quite a handy little application that should serve to make the mobile internet experience yet a bit more user-friendly, for yahoo! afficionados and newcomers alike... for what all of this may mean for the mobile business ecosystem, that's another thing altogether. note that this yahoo!-nokia news comes out of CES the same day that google-motorola announced some sort of association. whole lotta changin' dynamic going on...

January 04, 2006

back to work...

...following a truly great winter break. didn't go anywhere. just stayed home with the family, caught a couple movies with the kids, went out to dinner with the whole brood a couple times, spent christmas and new years' eves at the in-laws, etc. oh, and wiped/re-partitioned a pair of hard drives (fun). all-in-all, great family time. can't wait 'til beach week in august...