Feet up!

2006-04-28 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Sat, 29 Apr 2006 06:30] | [linkblog] | #

Are gadget blogs just spam?

Gadget blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo, we all know them, and they have their uses, but are they shooting themselves in the feet?

I bet I'm not the only one who can't be bothered to subscribe to their feeds any more, with say 50+ posts a day each, it's just too hard to keep up with torrent. Sure there's some nuggets in there, but picking them out amongst the swamp of Hello Kitty usb-powered electric toothbrush type gadgets is just too tedious.

Sure, I know why the endless churn of posts is necessary, they're reflex posting about pretty much every press release that passes in the breeze, for two reasons, ad-click hunting and the fact the publishers' pay scale encourages quantity over quality. The figures I've heard on the grapevine - which may well be a long way out - are that Weblogs Inc pay something like $500 per month for 125 posts, as Engadget's their flagship I guess it pays a bit better than $4 a post, and apparently Gizmodo pay about $11 a post. You won't get a living wage from that without spamming your audience into submission.

How about slowing it down a touch, hiding the crap items on a once a day round-up post, and paying the writers to write something coherant and intelligent?

[Thu, 27 Apr 2006 21:42] | [tech] | #

Australian maps get the Web 2.0 treatment

After my complaints about the lousy state of Australian online mapping, my wishes have come true, the ProjectX guys behind the ZoomIn New Zealand maps have come out with an Australian ZoomIn maps beta. It looks great, although maybe the maps are a tad more ugly than the NZ maps, is this down to the underlying map data, or am I just mistaken? It’s also a little slow from the UK, I’m assuming it’s just on a titchy server right now, and there’s beta code running with lots of logging and debugging info.

The URL‘s have a lovely hierarchical feel to them e.g. http://www.zoomin.com.au/australia/vic/melbourne/cremorne/gwynne+street/ for Crateman’s location, sure that’s a bit lengthy, but it’s jolly readable. Nice one chaps, where next? ZoomIn’s front end would certainly look nice on say OpenStreetMap’s data.

[Wed, 26 Apr 2006 21:52] | [tech] | #

Can you have too big a range?

I'm writing this on the eve of what looks to be the announcement of three more Nokia Nseries phones, the smart money is on the N73, N93 and possibly the N72, but I wouldn't bet my house on any of these.

By my reckoning this makes Nokia's range of smart phones look pretty extensive, a veritable glut compared to Motorola's apparent reliance on one comfy old slipper of a feature phone.

Counting through the current range I see ten in the shops today, namely the 3230, 3250, 6630, 6670, 6680, 6681, 6682, 7610, N70, and N90. Coming soon (some sooner than others), we have four Eseries phones in the E60, E61, E62 and E70, and also four Nseries phones in the N71, N80, N91, and N92. Add in the 7710 and the S80 communicators 9300, 9300i, and 9500 you have twenty-two different smartphones, is this too big a range?

Sure, you can almost half the above list by removing the phones that are being sold alongside their effective successor (6630 -> 6680 -> N70, or 3230 -> 3250), but still it's a big range. I've wondered before whether people don't buy Nokia models, because they don't do a kitchen-sink style one-phone-that-does-everything and perhaps their model diversification is even bigger now than it was in the past.

Following this thinking, what would be an ideal range? Perhaps a barebones line up of a candybar, a slider, a flip, a blackberry/palm style qwerty pad (is there a generic name for this form factor?), and a communicator; all well-equipped, i.e. wifi, 3g, megapixel camera, fm radio etc etc. Sounds simple and straight-forward no? A simple clean range of perhaps five phones.

But, hang on a minute, what about the corporate customer who won't tolerate a camera? What about the need for cheaper models without wcdma and wifi for the third world? What about a music phone with lots of expensive memory and/or a hard disk? What about a DVB-H capable phone? What about a specialist camera phone for video recording and quality photos? Oops, there's at least another five phones, perhaps more if you apply these feature demands across the range.

It's starting to look like the number of models in a range is a game that Nokia can't win. If they provide a simple range of phones they get criticised, if they provide an extensive range they also get slated. However, to me it looks like Nokia are listening to the market - three years ago a Nokia flip was a rare beast - and judging by Nokia's market share it's a successful strategy, slightly wiser I suspect than putting all your eggs in one thin basket...

[Mon, 24 Apr 2006 21:14] | [mobile] | #

Shutting up shop

No, not me!

I'm sad to see Russ calling it a day. His style of blogging was what attracted many, but it's a costly way to blog. To consistantly produce lengthy, well written, cogently argued pieces almost every day takes a level of commitment that I for one cannot afford to expend on what for me is a hobby site.

I know Russ didn't look at his blog as a mere hobby, personal branding was his style, and he spent considerable time in maintaining and revising not just the content of his blog, but also the style so that it sent out the messages he wanted to impart.

I think Russ's blog has been a great success, it's moved his career forward into the market niche he's sought for a long time, and going out on a high has to be the way to finish. No HTTP Error 447, and no shuffling about threatening to quit, nice one, a neat classy exit. So long Russ, and thanks for all the fish!

See also: Nice obits from Rui and Frank.

[Mon, 24 Apr 2006 18:28] | [mobile] | #

Carnival of the Mobilists #24

Mr. X's Rio Carnival album

So the Carnival's come to town and we're ready to shake our tail feathers; first off a big thanks to Terje Sørgjerd for allowing me use one of his splendid Rio carnival photos. And so, on with the show!

My post of the week is from Tomi Ahonen and queries why Vodafone are moving from their mobile-only direction towards a clumsy looking converged fixed-mobile approach, it's a thought provoking and incisive piece, are landlines just for old fogies?

You can read Tomi's thoughts here, and in a slight evolution of the carnival format we're encouraging readers and contributors to join in the discussion on this subject, either in the comments on Tomi's blog or here, or even better on your own blogs - to contribute to the carnival, follow these simple instructions. Carlo at MobHappy has already had a kick at this football, and I think there's plenty of scope for significant further coverage and analysis of this subject. Kudos to Xen for proposing this expanded direction for the carnival.

Darla and Justin at mopocket both question why their mobile phone bills contain a tax introduced in 1898 to finance the Spanish-American War, and point out that you can actually reclaim this tax - Darla's post and Justin's - I can only hope this sets a precedent and that UK income tax, introduced in 1798 and still only a temporary measure, gets the same treatment.

In the strange-but-true category Emily at picturephoning.com asks the surreal question, did Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr invent 3G? I double-checked my calendar and it's not April the First, fascinating stuff!

More fun and games for Stuart Mudie, who spots the Nokia N-Gage in an unlikely role, whilst C. Enrique Ortiz discovers the ideal tool to play games and write texts.

Back to sensibility and Dennis at wapreview provides a superb overview of the Japanese mobile market, whilst Scott Shaffer (the Pondering Primate) highlights Microsoft's latest mobile innovation, using the camera on your mobile phone as your mouse, Samuel Rose at Smart Mobs points out how mobile phone usage is transforming African life (who needs a $100 laptop?), and finally Daniel Taylor asks where are the "Big Box" vendors in the mobile enterprise?

Join up with the Carnival again next week over at Golden Swamp

[Fri, 21 Apr 2006 12:35] | [mobile] | #

Getting Ready...

So the carnival is coming to town (or this blog at least) this Friday, following on from the Wireless Data News Blog's hosting of Carnival of the Mobilists #23 I've garnered the honour of hosting #24. Needless to say, I've got the candy floss, weirdly shaped inflatables, beers, toffee apples, whistles, and water guns all lined up and ready to go, I guess that's the right thing to do, isn't it?

Fortunately, the Carnival should take on a saner route next week at Judy Breck's Golden Swamp. You can follow the Carnival's splendid journey on this route map on MobHappy, instructions on how to enter etc. are also included there.

Get your silly hat on, the carnival is coming to town!

[Tue, 18 Apr 2006 21:10] | [mobile] | #

2006-04-11 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Wed, 12 Apr 2006 06:30] | [linkblog] | #

2006-04-07 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Sat, 08 Apr 2006 06:30] | [linkblog] | #

2006-04-05 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Thu, 06 Apr 2006 06:30] | [linkblog] | #

Suggesting Tunes

Followers - or sufferers - of my link blog will have noticed a few links to rock bands going through tagged with forEwan - I know this isn't the traditional for:nick del.icio.us tagging style exemplified in Joshua's plea for new music, but as far as I know Ewan doesn't use del.icio.us, and it seemed a good way to suggest bands that I reckon ought to be on TPN Rock. Some of the ones I've spotted so far are great, and I'd suggest using the same tagging trick if you spot a band that'd fit nicely in TPN Rock's wide range of music.

[Wed, 05 Apr 2006 22:56] | [music] | #

Motorola, lost in the desert

CTIA, America's top exhibition for mobile technology is taking place, so Motorola really push the boat out and announce 3 new colours for the RAZR.

Is this the best they can do? Two years back they were releasing Symbian powered UIQ devices like the A1000 and M1000 with more functionality than anything SonyEricsson - UIQ's leading proponent - have shipped to date. They also bought out the brains behind Sendo's stonking X2, but only managed to produce the lukewarm ROKR, what's happening to Moto? Have they lost their direction, or is something better up their sleeve?

[Wed, 05 Apr 2006 22:30] | [mobile] | #

2006-04-03 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Tue, 04 Apr 2006 06:30] | [linkblog] | #

2006-03-31 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Sat, 01 Apr 2006 07:30] | [linkblog] | #

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