Feet up!

2007-08-29 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Thu, 30 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

2007-08-28 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Wed, 29 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

First N81 Spy Shots

Nokia Go Play logo

There you go, in the background of the picture above you might just see a Nokia N81, near the large Nokia Go Play logo on the old Billingsgate market. It's literally straight across the river from my office, so I'll be waving at Nokia all day.

I have to admit that I had to squint to see the phone, but never mind we should see it a bit more clearly tomorrow, when we might also see the Nokia N82, and perhaps the N95 variants (8GB and US 3G). Perhaps the biggest story in the long term though is going to be the rumoured music store. There's already some fuss about this in the UK with Orange throwing their minimal weight around, and threatening to provide a shoddier service than usual, I'm not quite sure how this is a compelling proposition for Nokia or Orange's customers, but welcome to the wacky world of operators...

Perhaps my favourite commentary on Orange's hissy fit is from the guys at techype:

"If Orange's music channel really only sells 100,000 tracks a month to the many millions of Orange customers with their millions of MP3-enabled devices, I think Orange should just do the decent thing and take the channel round the back of the barn with a shotgun."

Which might rather ruin the thrilling prospect of an exclusive blue N81 from Orange, erm, yawn.

The All About Symbian folks suspect that the N-Gage brand is going to be finally fully launched after the Nokia mutterings and promises of the last few years (anyone else remember the N-Gage games ported onto the N93 a few years back?), so look out for games keys on various devices and a slew more announcements from games publishers, on the revamped All About N-Gage site.

[Tue, 28 Aug 2007 22:11] | [mobile] | #

Rainy days

windsurfing on the Gorell Tank

I'm having a few days off work at home, so what does it do? Rain...

Something like 2 inches (50mm) in four hours this morning, enough for the guy above to go windsurfing on one of local car parks (the Gorell Tank) where there was around 2 feet (60cm) of water. Here are some pics of what it looks like normally. Crazy weather, and it's supposed to be summer!

[Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:58] | [general] | #

The summer of Symbian IRC love

IRC Hacks book, front cover

First off the new boy of S60 IRC mIRGGI is starting to turn into a much more mature product, it's not as slick as WirelessIRC yet, but it offers other functionality and more importantly is currently the only native S60 3rd edition client.

Onto UIQ, the venerable Quirc is still the Daddy on UIQ2, and it looks like a UIQ3 port is on the cards very shortly, as Quirc author Bowman has recently obtained a Sony Ericsson P1i.

And back to S60, the surprise news of the week is that the classic WirelessIRC is due for a new release in the next week or so, for S60 3rd edition! For an app that's been barely touched since the heady days of the Nokia 7650 and 3650 this is quite a surprise.

I've been chatting with the author (over irc of course), and he seems optimistic and excited about the new version. I used to love WirelessIRC, and I was concerned about the fate of the previous version, but I've been assured the new version won't turn into abandonware again. The previous reasons were that he got snowed under developing other Mobileways products, and that GPRS data plans in Germany used to be stupidly expensive to be online all the time, so he couldn't afford to scratch his own itch.

New features in WirelessIRC include a revolutionary UI, (configurable) auto-posting of urls to your del.icio.us account, /away and /me messages can be sent to Twitter, and a bundle of othe interesting looking functionality. It sounds like there are a few other features in the pipeline, such as a link manager, and del.icio.us <-> phone bookmarks synch. Logging (and possibly auto-posting to your blog or to a webdav dir) is currently being considered, my impression is that he's very open to feedback and ideas.

Oh, and irc on the iPhone? Yeah, it might be posible via some web app (cgi:irc perhaps) I guess, but who cares?

[Fri, 17 Aug 2007 23:08] | [mobile] | #

N800 with WiMax

So the rumour mill is throbbing again with tales of a WiMax equipped Nokia N800, curious stuff on many levels. Now I like the N800, but not enough to buy one from my own pocket, and perhaps that's crucial, because I'm probably very close to the target demographic, young(ish), tech-savvy, gadget-loving, Linux-using, Ubuntu-following, open-source fan (thrist-quenching, ever-fizzing. No, don't go there). So, if I can't get excited enough to actually buy what appears to be a good match for some of my device requirements, how can Nokia present this device to the public and sell it in quantity?

However, perhaps the general public are not the niche that the N800 (and its children) are aimed at, sure each iteration has been a little slicker, a little more - dare I say it - user friendly, but at the end of the day it is still almost a technology demonstrator, a true child of Nokia's 7700 and 7710. The news that the N800's user interface technology (Maemo) is being rolled into the most user friendly Linux distribution Ubuntu, is another nudge towards the mainstream, but it's still a long way from being a device for your Gran.

So there's the N800, a great tech toy, but not quite ready for the mainstream yet. Then add in WiMax. WiMax - the WiFi-utopian's network technology of choice. WiMax is almost invisible in Europe, where the mobile variant is widely seen as a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, it appears to offer little that HSDPA/HSUPA can't already provide, apart from the cost and inconvenience of rolling out yet another network. Rui probably puts it best:

"WiMax is still getting soundly trounced by HSDPA in Europe. Lacking regulatory framework, competitive equipment and (most of all) actual solutions to existing problems, it is pretty much stuck in the mud. I expect that to change, but not just yet."

Apparently on a greenfield site WiMax is cheaper to roll out than HSDPA/HSUPA, with a slightly lower mast count, but the only parts of the world without significant HSDPA coverage already are the third world, and the US.

So N800 with WiMax, it looks like we're back to technology demonstrator status, no?

[Thu, 16 Aug 2007 08:33] | [mobile] | #

SCO survives, just

SCOX share chart

So after the legal defeat, were you (like me) wondering how SCO's share price had remained above zero?

I think the answer might be in the comments to this Register story:

SCO : assets = $ 19.85 m (last SEC filing)
SCO : liabilities = $ 12.65 m (last SEC filing)
Due by SCO to Novell for SUN and Microsoft's SRVX licences : $ 25.46 m
Net worth : $ -18.26 m

However, if SCO are still arguing about the license fees, then they've got around $7 m to play with, and at 40c/share their market cap is around $8.5 million. Watch it creep down though, as the hopeless reality of their position becomes clearer.

[Wed, 15 Aug 2007 08:13] | [tech] | #

Carnival of the Mobilists 86

Carnival logo

So the carnival has come full circle again, and returned back to where it started in 2005. Carnival of the Mobilists 86 is up on MobHappy and Carlo presents the latest and greatest in mobile news, reviews, and analysis. Quite a good round up this week, less of the Mobile 2.0 nonsense that's cursed it recently, well worth a read.

Next week's Carnival will come from Andrew Orlowski's favourite drooling blogger, the fluffy pink Nokia-loving Darla Mack!

[Tue, 14 Aug 2007 18:41] | [mobile/CoM] | #

2007-08-13 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Tue, 14 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

International CD Baby Delivery.

At first glance it looks really expensive to order from CD Baby if you're not a US-ian.

However, checking out CD Baby's delivery prices properly, it appears that if I order more than one cd it shouldn't cost much more than 2 usd per cd, and with the usd worth less than 50 pence, you're quids in with CD Baby's pricing.

The shipping price for international orders comes down a lot if you choose slow delivery and bin the crystal boxes, which is nice. I can buy crystal boxes cheaply in bulk in the UK, so I don't need to pay a high postage rate to send one or two of them across the Atlantic. Nice stuff!

A simple digital distribution option might be even better, a couple of links to an iso or similar and some scans of the cover paperwork; we have colour printers and CD burners in Europe too! If the bands were concerned about potential piracy, it'd be easy to brand the iso and paperwork with my name or CD Baby login. That's better security (DRM ha) than they get with the physical CDs anyway, as it's trivial to rip and redistribute a CD if you were so inclined. CD Baby guys, could you do this?

[Mon, 13 Aug 2007 08:28] | [music] | #

Blogging with IM

Not the "old" uber-techy blogging via a Jabber bot approach, but something far simpler, good old clipboard copy and paste.

<JimH> heh, there's another blog post, I'll just anonymise the 10-15 lines above
<Russ> Hehehe
<Russ> Oh, by all means, don't need to anonymize me.
<Russ> Hello Jim's Blog!!!
<Russ> Just copy/paste

[Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:07] | [blogging] | #

2007-08-09 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Fri, 10 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

Half a cheer for Dell Linux

Ubuntu logo

Dell are now selling Linux powered computers with the Ubuntu distro in Europe, interestingly with different models to those already on sale in the US.

It's a great move, but there are some downsides; it's not easy to find the Ubuntu PCs on the Dell site, the easiest route is to follow this link http://www.dell.co.uk/ubuntu or the similar ones for other European countries (list on the Ubuntu site).

More curious, is that if you spec up the Ubuntu equipped Inspiron 6400 to the same spec as that offered with XP or Vista, the price for the Ubuntu laptop is higher (£405.37 vs £398.99).

The basic spec Ubuntu laptop is cheaper (at £329), but adding a comparable processor (single to dual core), memory (from 512MB to 1024MB), and optical drive (DVD/CDRW to DVD+/-RW) makes the Linux laptop more expensive. With pricing like this, smart Linux users will buy the Windows lappy, and install Linux themselves, whilst Dell will drop the Linux option due to lack of demand...

I hope this is just a glitch in Dell's pricing model, component upgrades prior to purchase have always been an area where Dell make their profits. In this case though, it appears that Dell's greed has exceeded the Windows tax. However, my assumption that it is cheaper for Dell to supply a Ubuntu laptop may be wrong, their OEM deal with Microsoft might charge them for every computer shipped.

[Thu, 09 Aug 2007 22:44] | [tech] | #

Towards Better Blogging

The rebirth of Russ and Diego as bloggers has reminded me - not that my stats haven't been telling me for a while - that this blog has been crawling along. The posting has been sporadic, and whilst I've been quite happy with the quality of most of the content, the focus and sheer volume of interesting posts hasn't been there. Two or three years ago I was posting at least one item a day every day, it's now slowed to one a week (if you're lucky), sure there used to be more dross, but also more useful nuggets. I suspect the signal to noise ratio was little different, and it was a more interesting read overall.

So, to get back to those heady levels I'm going to re-embrace some of the techniques I used then, and bone up on a few of the strategies in the following guides:

I suspect the two Mark's are the ones I'm going to take most seriously, I wonder if Mark Twain has joined Google yet? It certainly looks like it...

Returning to the main theme, the most productive technique I used was to have one (just one) large text file in which I wrote all my draft posts. In this file I scribbled short sentences, ideas, and saved links for later use. I have tried other strategies (multiple files, dumping links on delicious, editing on a wiki), but none worked as well for me as one big melting pot. I'll use Unison to keep the file synched on multiple boxes, so I can take notes wherever I happen to be. I'm also going to be jotting down notes on the most interesting stuff I talk about on im or irc as some of that probably deserves a bigger audience.

[Wed, 08 Aug 2007 21:50] | [blogging] | #

2007-08-07 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Wed, 08 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

Summertime, and the cotton is high

Hot, hot, hot

Just an idle thought, but, does that classic lyric refer to hemlines? It's been a funny old summer in the UK, cool and very damp, but the sun's been out for a few days now and it's looking much better. However, compare and contrast:

Summer temperatures rarely go above 30 °C. The record maximum is 38.5 °C (101 °F) recorded in Kent, in August 2003 - Wikipedia: Climate of the British Isles

According to Whitstable Windsurfing the temperature has exceeded 40 °C on a number of days this August; is their thermometer sitting in the sun?

[Tue, 07 Aug 2007 19:26] | [general] | #

2007-08-02 links

Taken from Jim’s del.icio.us links

[Fri, 03 Aug 2007 05:29] | [linkblog] | #

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