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)