Friday, February 1, 2008

Archives- February 2008

February 29

SecondLife on the Nokia N800

More as a proof of concept, than a long-term solution, my Nokia N800 running SecondLife via LogMeIn remote accessing my desktop. Since my Nokia doesn't have a keyboard, I'm not inclined to stay on and do any excessive gaming but its a neat way to read missed messages and view given inventory.

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February 28

Ads on TiVo

An interesting thing happened on my TiVo2 yesterday. I was watching a recorded episode of Law&Order and decided to fast forward through a commercial for auto insurance, when I noticed that there was a static text ad overlayed on the commercial as it fast forwarded. It looked something like this:
 
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 What on earth? I had heard some rumors about 'forced advertising' by TiVo-could this be it? To be honest, so far, the ads on TiVo haven't been so bad- even these.  But this latest step has me concerned about what could be next. I mean, my TiVo1 in the living room is afflicted with none of these symptoms.
One of the other rumors I had heard a while ago was that the TiVo would not allow you to fast forward through certain ads. Is this next?
February 25

Needed: Twitter App for N800

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Today I decided to give Jaiku a try- after all, I've heard a lot about it and also was under the impression that it could incorporate my Twitter feed into its stream. Well, it just wasn't for me. My Twitters didn't get into it, and I didn't find the following that I wanted.
But it wasn't really Jaiku that I wanted- I just couldn't find a Twitter application for my N800! How could this be? Twitter is much more mainstream than Jaiku is, but I am forced to use the web-based version of Twitter and constantly refresh the screen. Its not impossible- I've just gotten spoiled by all the Mobile Twitter options on my Windows Mobile device.
So, to all the developers out there, how about it? Can we get a Twitter application for the Nokia N800 that looks as good as Mauku- the application for Jaiku?

Nokia N800 Upgrade

If you've been watching my tweets, then you already know that I got an upgrade to the Nokia N800 and it finally arrived this morning! I've been playing with it extensively and one of the first things I did was to flash to OS2008.  Let me just say, I have flashed Windows, Windows Mobile, Palm....and none of them come close to the speed and ease of flashing this Nokia OS! It took about 5 minutes, if even.
I'm still putting it through its paces, but so far I've customized my home screen how I want it:
 
 
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And was finally able to get Canola2 working. Sadly, it was only after I installed it and got seduced by its sassy interface that I learned that this version does not yet support streaming from my home network. Still, it is pretty gorgeous and iPhone-rific:
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Remote Desktop Access

One of the things that I periodically like to use on my UBi, as well as my laptop is LogMeIn.com to have remote access to my desktop PC. Its a free, quick and web-interfaced way to view and control my desktop when I need to get hold of some information or something. I found out that LogMeIn also works with my Nokia N800 and on the larger screen, its a much more pleasant experience than on my UBi. Its a bit on the slow side, so I wouldn't recommend any longterm computing, but it works nicely for a brief session.
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Orb Games- A hidden gem

I'll admit calling the Orb game feature 'hidden' is a bit of a stretch, but I had always assumed that tab referred to games on your PC, and since I don't have any I never bothered to check it out. However, curiosity finally got the better of me as I wondered how 'game streaming' would be possible. Turns out that Orb has hundreds of flash, web-based games available! I've enjoyed playing several if them so far, though obviously they must be played while connected to the internet, and you cannot save or continue the game.
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February 22

Why Twitter became my SecondLife

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It's been over a year since I've really spent a good amount of quality time on SecondLife and there are a number of reasons why that is. First of all, time has been scarce- especially lately. The time I do have is in spurts and subject to interruptions at any time. In my heyday of SecondLife I would be able to spend a two or three hour chunk of time dancing at a virtual nightclub chatting with residents and enjoying good music.  I can only say BRB (be right back) or AFK (away from my keyboard) for so long before it gets old- believe me, nothing kills a good conversation more than a perpetually absent partner. I made some good friends on SecondLife, and even now I pop on periodically to say a quick hello. There was also the unpleasant business that lasted for many months where I couldn't get SecondLife to run on my laptop. That was probably what alienated me the most from SecondLife, because at the end of my pregnancy sitting at my desk in the study was not the most comfortable.
The limitations of SecondLife these days far outweigh the benefits- logging into a separate program (which must be continuously updated, mind you) is a tedious proposition, and not at all conducive to multi-tasking. Teleporting, while initially cool, is annoying after a while. Chatting with friends is fun, but because you are in a 'bubble' sharing links entails opening and closing windows. Its also not the easiest thing to meet people with similar interests...let me re-phrase that- meet people with a nonsexual agenda.
I joined Twitter early last year, and for a long time, was stumped about what I could really do with it.  I texted our progress as we drove cross-country last year and it was pretty interesting to look back on once our trip was done, but that was it. Then, I realized that Twitter was best used in conjunction with friends and followers, especially using the 'in reply to' feature to have a conversation thread. Combined with the various ways to access Twitter (web, text, IM, TinyTwitter, Twhirl) from a combination of devices, phones, etc it makes it a perfect solution for me. I have a group of friends who I follow, and I am able to keep updated on brief thoughts or what everyone is up to. I can respond whenever I have a chance, or just catch up on the conversation when I am less busy. And on the right side of this blog, you can keep updated on my latest Twitter entries.
So, for me, Twitter fills the void of SecondLife and then some- it's totally free, multi-platform, simple, and can be as time intensive as I want it to be. And I can catch up on the discussions/updates no matter how long its been since I last logged on!

Something afoot at MWG

Theres definitely something funny going on at MWG Their devices are no longer receiving forum support and many of them, such as the new Atom life, are experiencing substantial and multiple price drops. Hmmm, I smell another 'I-Mate Gate'.

February 21

The Good Ole Days

Funny, I was just thinking recently about the good old days- yeah, the ones from way before I was even born. It seems like such a genteel time, where things were simple and incomplicated:
 
Where marketing didn't have to be fancy or worried about pesky lawsuits or being politically correct:
 
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I love these ads, as they capture the essence of the times. Feeling nostalgic for a time before your time?
February 20

Streaming Media- Take Two!

I'm sad to report that streaming video is not going to be a regular feature of my Nokia 770. Most of my video content is converted from my Tivo desktop, and that file format just seems to stump the Tablet. Its a shame, but thats how it is. I tried Canola- I couldn't even get Canola2 to work, and Canola1 just seemed too resource heavy for the Nokia. I eventually got Media Streamer which works more consistently, although like Canola it often resets my Nokia when I stream video. But I like the fact that all my media (photos, music and video) can be accessed from the same screen.
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My video consumption mainly takes place using VideoCenter, which downloads my video podcasts.
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February 17

Gadget Girl

I've been promising to show my setup now that I've tidied up a bit in the new house. So, without any further ado, here it goes:
 
 
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Desktop- HP Pavilion d4990y with HP w2207 22 inch monitor
Laptop- HP Pavilion dv6000
Internet Tablet- Nokia 770
Camcorder- Sanyo Xacti HD 700
MP3 Player- Zune
PDA Phone- UBiQUiO 503G
Camera (used to take the photos) - Minolta Dimage XT
All my gadgets are placed on the Central Docking Station that Dean custom made for me a while ago. It has holes in the back for the AC/USB cords to go through, and little angled holes in the front to hold styli. This was very handy way back when I had a collection of various PDAs.
Our setup in the home office is that his desk, which is identical to mine, faces me. His PC is a Dell, and his phone is my old T-Mobile SDA unlocked to Cingular.
And that's our home office!

Starbucks QuickOrder App for iPhone

What, WinMo users don't drink coffee? Although this looks like a marginally cool concept, I am a bit annoyed that yet again Windows Mobile users (who have been around drinking Starbucks for ages, mind you) have been left out in the cold. Enjoy your caffeinated beverages, iPhone users. Its the *least* you could do.

February 16

HP iPaq 614c available Monday

http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/473/f/6512/s/9248fb/story01.htm

No, I wasn't in a zombie trance when I wrote a few days ago that the 614 had been cancelled- its been cancelled only here in the States, which makes it even more cruel!
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February 15

Streaming Media on my Nokia 770...Got It!

So far, I've gotten Canola1 working on my Nokia 770 but the video playback is not so great, and I can't get the video to play fullscreen. But...it IS streaming from my PC and audio and photos are looking fantastic. Newly emboldened, I'm going to try Canola2 now. If I still can't get it to install, I guess I'll make do with version 1. I needed to install Orb on my PC to get this working. Here are some shots:
 
 
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Yahoo OneConnect

Here's something interesting that Yahoo is working on. Its called OneConnect and will support tons of networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr to name just a few.
 
 
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This looks like it could be the application once its fully developed and released- in fact there isn't even something comparable to this for the desktop! The world just keeps getting smaller with cool networking applications like this.
Here's more information from the Yahoo site:


 screenshot of Yahoo! Go

EXPECTED Q2 2008

Yahoo! oneConnect™

A whole new way to communicate on your phone.

Mobile communications that will bring your world to life.

It’s time for a revolution—for a new way of communicating that starts with your mobile phone. Yahoo! oneConnect™ will be the first product that brings it all together—your people, your life, the ways you communicate—seamlessly, into the palm of your hand.
Stay in touch with anyone, any way you want.

Stay in touch with anyone, any way you want.

With Yahoo! oneConnect you’ll be free to use all your favorite communications tools and services to connect with anyone, at anytime. From IM or text, email or social networks; Yahoo! oneConnect intends to integrate all the ways you communicate into a unique, mobile experience. Imagine having all your contact information at your fingertips; email, phone numbers, text, and IM addresses; in one location—your phone.

See your friends in a whole new light.

Keep up with your social life with Yahoo! oneConnect and stay in the moment with your people. It’s designed to let you view new postings on Facebook®, photos on MySpace or a connection on LinkedIn®. See who’s online, available or nearby, based on your friends’ up-to-the-minute actions. Yahoo! oneConnect keeps a pulse on your people, delivering the most current action, right to your phone.
See your friends in a whole new light.
Yahoo! oneConnect product details are not finalized and subject to change. Descriptions and screen images are for informational purposes only. All third party marks are the trademarks of their respective owners. Neither this site nor the Yahoo! oneConnect service are endorsed by or affiliated with the third parties shown.

Get the latest news
on Yahoo! oneConnect

Download the press release

View your favorite networks

Yahoo! oneConnect™ will bring together your communities, social and professional networks. We plan to support:
 


Keep it Simple....Stupid!

Well, I've been able to solve one major annoyance on my Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and the solution is so simple I feel...well, stupid. Remember when I mentioned that I was having some trouble changing the regional settings.  At the control panel, when I tried to change the regional settings, I would get the error message "Device storage memory full. Delete some data to free memory." And a Google search pointed me to this post which implied that I would need to use xTerm to fix the issue. Well, I tried this until I was blue in the face to no avail.
This morning, with a clearer head, I decided to try and make the change from within the clock application. My logic was that at the minimum, I would be able to get the date within the clock to show in the format I wanted. When I entered the menu of the clock, I found a regional settings option there, and was prepared to encounter the same problem.

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Once I changed the settings, the device reset and I was thrilled to notice that the change took place. Now, you can see that my screen shows the date format that I wanted:

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And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how to change the regional settings on your Nokia 770 without any fancy steps! My next project is to figure out how to stream content from my desktop.

HP cancels 614...914 next?

HP decided to cancel their 614 device which makes me wonder if they will have a change of heart on the 914 next. I'm sure there are a number of WinMo lovers sweating it out as the Candybar Qwerty field could be getting sparser.

February 14

The Internet Tablet cometh

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Yesterday my Nokia 770 Internet tablet arrived, and so far I've had mixed feelings about my experiences. The screen is lovely and its a treat to have that kind of real estate available. Connecting to my WiFi was a snap and I was able to start surfing in no time.
But, here's where it took a turn for the complicated. Once I turned it on, I decided that I wanted to change the regional settings so that the date would swap to the Month/Day/Year format which is the standard in the US. Well, turns out that because its the 2007HE edition, it involves using xterm and following these instructions. I don't know Unix scripting (yet) so even though I could get it up and running, I got stuck at the edit step.
I also haven't figured out how to stream media from my home network. I was hoping it would be as simple as it is in Resco Explorer for Windows Mobile....not so. The application of choice is called Canola2, but I can't seem to get it to run on my Nokia. Hmmm.
But, on the plus side, I was able to install a cool screenshot application which will let me immediately upload my screenshots to Flickr. I was also able to use bluetooth to send my OPML list of RSS feeds from my Ubi to my Nokia. (Note, I still haven't been able to get my Nokia to connect to the internet via my UBi, but this isnt a major deal for me since this is going to be a device for at home use only.)

February 13

Sony Xperia X1

Sony Ericsson put out this new device, but while everyone is going gaga over its curved form factor, I find myself far more intrigued by the home screen being shown in the press photos. Does anyone know what program could accomplish something like that?

***Sony Ericsson launched the Xperia X1, an arc slider phone designed to address the growing need for a premium, converged mobile experience.
The Xperia X1 combines a 3-inch clear wide VGA display and a full QWERTY keyboard within a quality metal-finish body. With Windows Mobile inside, the Xperia X1 lets users choose from a dynamic range of activities; from enjoying favorite entertainment content to working efficiently on-the-move.
"Our vision for the Xperia X1 is to deliver a seamless blend of mobile Web communication and multimedia entertainment within a distinctive design," said Rikko Sakaguchi, Head of Portfolio and Propositions, Sony Ericsson. "Xperia is our promise to think foremost of user experience and to deliver the premium experience - anytime, anywhere, anything, with anyone."
The arc design gives a distinct and unique feel. Slide the screen upwards to reveal the wide pitch QWERTY keyboard. The Xperia panel interface allows users to access the web, multimedia, and applications from a desktop with just the the tip of a finger. The Xperia X1 lets users interact in different ways, by touch, full QWERTY keyboard, 4-way key and optical joystick navigation. With Windows Mobile, the highest data transfer rate (HSDPA / HSUPA) and Wi-Fi support, consumers can enjoy entertainment and work efficiently on the move.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 will be available in selected markets from the second half of 2008.***



  



   
February 12

Today Screen Animation

MyMobiler has just released a new version of its software which not only allows you to control your device from your desktop, but also allows you to capture video images. To test this, here is my Today screen.