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Building your own ubiset:

– buy a modern 3G phone
– install the following software:
* Google Maps (http://www.google.com/mobile/)
* Tweets60 (http://www.tweets60.com/)
* Glogger Lite (http://m.glogger.mobi/)
* Fring (though it’s a battery drain)

This set gives you access to a lot of info on the road. You can keep in touch
and document (Glogger) what you see. Fring is quite on drain on battery, so be
careful with that. My mobile was sucked empty in 1 day instead of normal
3-4 days (at that point of its life).

Also, read EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) instructions about how
to preserve your location privacy. At least if you decide to give away
information you know how it can be (ab)used.

[ubiset = equipment needed for ubiquitous presence, the ability to stay in touch with a network of services and friends]

non-intravenous ED

Reading Time: 2 minutes

No, don’t open your mail. You have about 400 unread messages, of which
luckily 98% can be deleted without going further than a mere flick.
I won’t suggest that you’d be reckless, but I once deleted over
600 mails and the decision brought no pain whatsoever. It relieved
me a lot.

There’s a better way nowadays. You can Archive, with GMail. So
if you have second thoughts, you can always access your killed mail.

Mail hurts your brain. It’s a constraint to the creativeness we all
have inside. Unless Google Wave changes that dramatically. Well,
of course you have to be realistic. It’s our garbage that we
create, so I don’t expect a product to clean it all up.

But wait a second; am I really talking this? I live basically out of
mail, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. They are part of me.

The news company I was working for had a telecaster set up today.
It looked like a torture machine out of the 1930s, with a pole and
all those electrical cords attached to it. But it was high-tech,
I’m sure of that. And I really don’t mean to say that it wouldn’t
be efficient, it’s just that I think there’s going to be
a challenger around the corner.

I’ve been a geek since 1983. In the end of 1990s, there was a new
toy on the market: PDA. A personal digital assistant. Don’t let
the name fool you. It’s silicon alright, but not that kind of.
The machine consists of a screen, memory, cpu, keyboard, and
usually no direct mobile network connection. Essentially it
was a 8 megabyte address book.

It ran EPOC, which became Symbian. I remember that the operating
system excelled in being very tightly coded, and thus didn’t
hog up memory much.

Years roll by, but the amount of trash I carry doesn’t go down.
This is one point which will change. With things like Eyetap
(from Steve Mann) the user will be liberated from carrying
electronics around. I have to admit I have been quite
addicted to the concept. It’s such cyborgish! And provides
real benefits, not just geeky humour stuff. The eyetap
is something that has been waited for decades.
Did you know that the movie Terminator was partially inspired
by this technology? You can see a scene in which the Terminator’s
point of view is projected; the reddish scene, in which
Commodore C=64 assembly language statements scroll! 🙂
(Ok, it was called Apple II assembly, but they both
use the MOS 6502 cpu).

I’m currently riding a bus. With me, I have Branson’s newest book,
as Irvine Welsh’s; there’s an ED, my dear Nokia e71, a wallet, and my laptop with
3G card. I consider myself mobile. But I still want to trash most
the these gadgets, and start using a single one. Would be my
dream come true. Still, ED non-intravenously, please.


iTouched the iPhone

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Been there! Done IT!

The iPhone is way cool. I took a short test ride today, on 23rd June 2009. The authorized Mac reseller in Helsinki downtown had one these gems, that everybody
has been buzzing about for.. ages? I’d seen the gadget live twice before this. But never actually got a feeling for it.

The phone is visual. It’s very visual; nice contrast, good resolution, and the
navigation (since the keyboard is virtual – onscreen keyboard) is done completely
on the screen. Only a back-button exists, which you can push to get one level up in
the menu hierarchy. The functions (Stock, maps, photos, etc.) responded quickly – this is what I really like. It makes the user interface much more usable, when you don’t
have to stare at silly progress bars telling you the wait time.

The virtual keyboard is pretty nasty. I couldn’t do fast typing with it at all; a thing that I’ve accustomed to with ordinary computer keyboards as well as the Nokia e71 keyboard.

Would I take an iPhone? You bet! Waiting for my current mobile lease to unleash me. Perhaps it’s going to be the 3rd gen iPhone then.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I love trains. It’s not because of my mother’s side of the family has been working on railroads in various forms, but using a train simply feels so smooth. Luckily I have avoided most of the schedule problems, and read about them only in the news. It might be that my view would be completely different then.

It’s the capability of these monstrous big machines to inspire me, while the traveling is much smoother than taking a bus or a taxi (I know, having been on both sides of the wheel). The tracks are fascinating, since they’re like classic decisions trees in computer science – there are branches, and nodes (stations). And I used to play Railroad Tycoon for thousands of hours as a kid.

Today I got enticed by the penny category of a local games shop. Took Rise of Nations (Big Huge Games) to the test. I’ll be examining it piecewise, until I either drop it or drop into it. The thrill and possibility for addiction is always present. Nowadays it funny, I don’t have a clue about what games are good. I used to be reading all the games news with a magnifying glass in the 1990s. Then I just kind of lost interest in gaming; probably because of entering the army and starting studies.

Games are excellent thing. They’ve given me so much. And yet some think that playing games is dangerous and should be prohibited. I think it’s a lot about placing limits. I never had limits with those, but that didn’t make any different. My imagination
is quite vivid, and games of course spawned new worlds into which I could dive into. It was so much fun. Sometimes the thing went a bit over, have to admit 🙂 Playing just Civilization for 8 hours straight might be considered non-rational behaviour.

One more thingy – being without electricity really sucks. I was today in a situation
where my laptop and mobile had run out of juice. I felt handless. Really! It’s
through negation like this that I understand exactly how important gadgets have
become. The power supply politics should be better planned. Nowadays it’s not even
such guaranteed you can run into some shop and power from there. I thing small power
parks within cities would be really cool. Advertisers? Anyone out there knows
of this kind of idea been implemented already?

The next killer app for mobiles?

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You know what? Mobile software is not about bits, coding and all that. It’s about understanding trends and what our motivations, problems and limitations are. I don’t really know can you say that there’s been a killer app since short messaging (SMS)… That’s one thing that got adopted by a huge majority of mobile users. It’s pretty obvious, just take a walk in a city, enter the traffic terminals, shops – keep your eyes wide open; observe. It’s real fun! You can sense what people are looking for, at least you get some tips about it.

Where I see possibilities for new software & services is:
– logistics. Very easy to use, intelligent routing of people point-to-point
– exploration: satisfying our curiosity for getting more information; when you’re at certain place, you can download text and images of that place
– meeting people. Dynamic matching, getting to know casually. Business partnering, dating; all done with the help of a mobile. Currently we have basically listings of people and pictures, but there’s no geographical info. And no dynamism: the systems do not yet keep you updated about what really going around you, right now!

Logistics applications will be a major hit. Why? Because they are extremely useful. They really bind the code into real world, and make a big difference to the way we live. These applications can really suggest optimizations to our daily patterns. And there’s even more interesting genre of logistics apps: the ones that utilize our movement, and that of others; matching people with the same mission (“Do you want to suggest to Dave you share the car to work? You both have the same route.”).

The success of a system is of course the sum of all parts: the device, the network, applications software, and the operating system the phone runs. When all click into place, voila! Oh yeah, and add one more ingredient: the users! Without, you can bath in your private shampagne, but the skeleton needs some live meat to make it tick.

What we currently have, is a machines, more machines!! -phase. We get all these new mobile models, probably several each month. It’s good, this is a necessary thing for mobile evolution, but it’s not the hardware itself that should evolve.

The mobile world is an interesting one. I’m looking forward to getting some of those apps. I know there are legions of coders at work on the subject. So it will be anytime soon that someone blows the bank.

I haven’t tried yet, but would certainly want to get my hands on iPhone. Saw couple of those here in Helsinki / Finland. They’re not very popular yet. But all the things I saw convinced me that it’s going to be a pop machine. I really liked the large screen real estate. I think it is something that transforms the use possibilities in a major way. Instead of having a Web page rendering on a tiny backyard, you can now have it basically without modifications.

Have a good weekend! 🙂

traveling set: modest electronics

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We were on our Honeymoon in Thailand. What can I say.. Well, I’d never leave home without my
cellular. The iPod was really useful during the 13-14 hour flight from Helsinki,
and the video phone we bought from Bangkok. I took around 100 video flicks from the
trip, and I think their value is priceless once we get 15 years older with my
wife. Documentation never hurts. Except on Nixon’s case.

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