My Bug Bundle has been delayed until September. Bug is switching to Poky Linux and they closed a 3rd round of funding. I am still very enthusiastic about The Bug but it's hard to be an enthusiast when you are itching to experiment and shipment is delayed by 3 months. And as I have said before I don't really like simulators. Oh well, perhaps I'll activate one of my dormant iPhone application ideas!
Well I went to FutureShop expecting more of the same old same old and I wasn't disappointed :-). Cleaner lines and better organized stuff but really not much different. Oh well.
Here's what I want: a store staffed by people who are all like the "Apple Geniuses" i.e. if I am looking for an iPhone lanyard strap, I could talk to an iPhone expert, if I am looking for a washing machine, I could talk to an washing machine expert. And there would be WiFi and computers so I could do my research in-house. I'd rather queue for somebody who knows what they are talking about than have to deal with three friendly people who don't.
I don't really enjoy dealing with staff who obviously don't have any product knowledge or who know less that what a Google Search would reveal. Unfortunately that's the norm for stores like these.
However, I am dreaming I know. I'll settle for a staff that isn't afraid to admit they know less than the customer and who are charming and friendly without being overly so.
And if anybody knows where I can get a lanyard case for an iPhone 3G, please leave a comment!
Not so great when you have over 300 tags! Oh well time to go back to Ecto which is not very pretty but does tag search and auto-complete
UPDATE: Vincent Janelle says that it could be that the Eye-Fi card is not approved by the CRTC. Thanks Vince!
I am going on Darren's client Future Shop's blogger opening tonight and I know it's off topic but I have a question for Future Shop buyers: Why don't you sell the cool gadgets? Like the Eye-Fi card which IMHO is mass market (and to my knowledge has been available in the USA for over 6 months but is still unavailable from Canadian mass market retailers) but still cool?
I have always loved gadgets. Ever since I have been a kid back in the 1970s I have been buying (via mail order) gadgets that were unavailable in Canada. Things are better now, since we have E-Bay (which I loathe, but that's another blog post) but we are still behind. Perhaps somebody should open up a retail version of TigerDirect.ca? I'd pay a premium to touch and feel cool gadgets that aren't officially available in Canada and to buy them immediately without suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous duty, mail order, e-bay and other annoying things like that.
iPhone 3G arrives - google reader faster, browser crashes, camera s*cks, apps are great but limited by Apple's SDK and p*ranoia
Got the 16GB iPhone yesterday. Stream of consciousness notes so far:
- Just like the original iPhone, ithe iPhone 3G still camera s*cks and not having video also s*cks! A slow, 2 megapixel camera doesn't cut it in 2008!
- Does seem a bit lighter and battery is faster
- 3G doesn't seem that much faster than EDGE
- Browser crashes more often
- Google Reader is noticeably faster
- ShoZu doesn't geo-tag and only posts one photo at a time and only at 640x480 (yes i know shozu is working on it! go ShoZu go!)
- AirMe is better but only does 1024x768 and rquires bogus userid registration (complete with bogus personal questions)
- Apps are great; I have already thought of some that would satisfy Apple's p*ranoia :-) and might be fun to develop and might even make money! Apps are great both because of Apple's p*ranoia and also despite it! A "mass market, mobile GPS with decent connectivity and bandwidth" platform is what the iPhone is; the first ever. Sorry Nokia you don't have such a platform (S60 isn't it, Maemo isn't it, S60 Python isn't it, Widsets isn't it, Flash Lite isn't, etc,, time to focus Nokia!) yet. Vive la competition; I trust Nokia has something in the works; it's been a year and either the Nokia cupboard is bare or they are going to launch something truly great soon.
- I am waiting for Qik (aka live video streaming) and Nokia Sports Tracker
- I like Tap Tap whatever it's called even though it's dumbed down from the unofficial SDK version
Now all I need is a North American 3G phone to confirm 100% that my 3G plan is not locked to my iPhone.
Like Richard, I just added the $30/month 3G data plan to my existing Fido plan. So it should be cheaper (and faster) than the $50/month I pay for my current grandfathered unlimited EDGE data plan. If the SIM isn't locked, I am thinking about buying an unlocked N95 8G NAM because the camera on the iPhone s*cks (but the 3G lifestyle (it's great! thanks to iPhone 3G I can now tell people about ShoZu and other apps I have been enjoying with my "2.5G" lifestyle and how you can create multimedia content in real time, post it immediately to the internet and get feedback in real-time) of always-on geo-enabled consumption and creation, usability and ecosystem of iPhone apps is far superior to what Nokia and others have done! Nokia, you blew it, this could have and should have been been your market to run away with). Luckily it's early and not too late to win in mobile in the long term but unless S60 usability is improved it's not going to happen!.
And for the record, Rogers still s*cks and so does Fido:
- Their website is inaccurate; existing Fido customers should just call 611 to get an iPhone 3G
- The hiring of MS&L digital was a waste of money (despite their blog practice, BlogWorks, MS&L did the non social media aware thing of emailing people and didn't blog, twitter, flickr, facebook or in any way engage social media)
- 3 year contracts s*ck; in 2010 I bet I could easily go over 6GB/month. There's no reason other than short term economic gain which in the long run hurts the entire Canadian economy by hampering innovation and experimentation and reducing productivity.
- Giving priority to new Fido customers over old faithful Fido customers like myself who have been paying $100/month since July 2004 is unacceptable. Why should I have to wait for my iPhone unlike new customers? Why can't I go to the Fido store like new customers and order it there rather than being forced to order over the phone?
I rode in the June 2008 Vancouver Critical Mass bike ride (check out my Mobile Muse Channel with pictures, videos and text as well as my partial Nokia Sports Tracker map of the route as well as flickr pictures which I can't get into the Mobile Muse Channel since there's no RSS feed) and streamed video live using Qik from my Nokia N95, like I did for the Vancouver Car Free Festival. Only this time I didn't use WiMax just Edge
Some observations and comments:
- The ride is quite the phenomenon. As a 3-5 days a week bicycle commuter; it was quite liberating to "take over" the streets and cycle with impunity (if you were in the middle, not so in the back) and be a 1st class citizen (for once!) on the road rather than feeling the need to maintain a constant vigil for cars not seeing you and running you over. Is this a form of civil disobedience or are we just Critical Massh*les? To be honest, I fluctuate between both.
- Lots of people taking digital photographs and using their cellphones and taking video but nobody doing this live. Imagine 5 years from now when everything is live!
- My Io Gear power unit Nokia N Series power connector is flakey! Aaaargh, too late to return it too.
- The N95 really isn't designed for streaming video live over a cellphone network from a bicycle. The S60 interface is designed to be used with one hand while standing still and the phone itself is not designed to be mounted on a bicycle. I would love for Nokia to build a mobile cellphone streaming device but realistically making my own with something like the Bug from Bug Labs (hopefully I'll get mine soon) will (eventually) be the way to go
iPhone Pricing in Canada - Rogers' American PR firm, MS&L Digital, sends bloggers identical unhelpful emails - import iPhone?
There are far more important issues to deal with than the Rogers iPhone rates (e.g. the ridiculousness of Bill C-61, global warming, etc) but I was forced to comment after I received the exact same email from MS&L Digital (Rogers' American PR firm) that Tris Hussey received: (my current plan is to invoke the "Ian Bell option", i.e. import a unlocked 3G iPhone from France and buy a r*poff 1GB/month data plan from Rogers which gets around the 3 year contract!)
QUOTE (from Tris' blog which he received permission to post, the email I received is identical, anybody else get the exact same email?)
My name is Nicole Burguess and I’m writing on behalf of Rogers to give you some additional information about the Rogers rate plans available for the iPhone.
The iPhone 3G bundles released June 27 are not the only price plans available to customers, they are the high value plans that allow Rogers customers to use the device to its fullest and offer considerable savings over separate voice and data plans that exist in market today.
That said, Rogers customers have more choices available to them and can use their existing voice and smartphone data plans if they wish. For example, they can select from the new data pricing (ranging from $30 for 300MB to $100 for 6GB or $50 Flex Rate plan) and add a voice plan, or they can choose a combined voice and data plan to best suit their individual needs.
Customers are not required to take the value packs, and can order most other features a la carte, such as $7 for Caller ID.
Existing customers can keep their existing voice service plan and pick a separate data plan (not in the iPhone 3G bundle) to meet their needs. They will need to check their upgrade eligibility, but any customer with a monthly service fee that is over $30 can upgrade to an iPhone 3G at $199 (for the 8GB model). Other options outside the iPhone bundle may be available depending on the customer’s individual information.
If you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to help you.
Account Executive | MS&L Digital
Here's my response:
Thank-you for your email but it does not respond to the concerns that many people including myself have namely:
1. Why are the contracts 3 years for the iPhone rather than 2 years or 1 year like they are elsewhere in the world?
2. Why is data so much more expensive for the iPhone than AT&T plans? Why is there no unlimited option? I can guess at reasons but this is something that Rogers in my opinion needs to make clear. I have been using a Fido "grandfathered data plan" for unlimited EDGE data for $50 a month. Until Rogers communicates clearly why an unlimited 3G data plan at a price of $100/month or less is nonviable, the lack of an affordable unlimited data plan is indefensible.
3. The lack of reasonably priced data plans is hindering Canada business which in the end hinders Rogers.
I'll be blogging the above and your response (unless you ask me otherwise) at rolandtanglao.com.
...Roland Tanglao +1 604 729 7924
p.s. Canadian idealists (of which I am not one) would be outraged that Rogers is reaching out to Canadian bloggers using an American PR firm (I realize you have a satellite office in Toronto but your headquarters are in the USA). I "googled" your firm and was encourage to find out that you have a social media practise and that you were behind the GM FastLane blog; hopefully you will influence Rogers to engage in social media and to clearly communicate in a timely fashion; something they have been incapable of in the past.
IF you are a multimedia creator and a north american THEN get an N95 8GB NAM or N95-3 NAM
IF you are a multimedia creator and a european or asian (except japan of course) THEN get an N95 8GB or the original N95, the N95-1
ELSE get an iPhone 3G when it comes out
That's my capsule review of the N78 :-) What can I say? I am spoiled by the iPhone's ease of use and wonderful application environment and the N95's wonderful 5 megapixel camera and video! And with the N95 coming down in price, I can't recommend the N78 (which except for the GPS being faster seems like a downgrade!).
- Pricey at $US 500 for the N78 NAM (NAM = North American 3G version), especially when the the N95 North American is $469.97
- Only 3 megapixel camera on the N78 (but it takes great pictures but not greater than the N95!) unlike 5 megapixel camera on N95
- Camera is slower to focus (even in fixed focus mode) than N95 which means more blurry photos
- N78 Keypad is awful, number keys are fine but the Green and Red Keys are very difficult to hit consistently
- S60 3rd Edition FP2, the OS on the N78, has hardly any real improvements. I'd rather have an simplified, easier to use UI than FP2's eye candy. I'd also rather have a phone that doesn't reboot like the N78 did on me (could be due to the Nokia Sports Tracker beta I was running but all the S60 phones I have used since 2004 randomly reboot). Please make S60 more stable!
- N78 Lanyard/strap clip is cool.
- N78 GPS seems faster and better at getting a satellite lock.
- Video is only 15fps unlike the 30fps on the N95 (and the difference is noticeable!)
Interesting. I still think that S60 needs a drastic UI overhaul and simplification to compete with the iPhone long term and that Nokia would be better off with a Linux core for their mobile phones rather than Symbian and S60 but we'll see. Go Open Source S60 go! Does this mean both S60 and S40 will be 100% open source within 2 years? As the cliché goes, the devil is in the details!
Nokia isn't finished with its acquisition spree just yet. Tonight the Finnish company announced a plan to acquire the 52 per cent of Symbian it doesn't already own and make the platform open source
From The Symbian Press Release :
Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0.
Rogers iPhone pricing plans revealed: 3years $3440 but appears to be no explicit bandwidth cap and no 3rd party app ban
So the questions start:
- Is there a bandwidth cap?
- Are 3rd party applications like ShoZu and Qik (if ShoZu and Qik don't port to the iPhone others will) allowed?
ShoZu-like and Qik-like applications appear on the iPhone 3G and they work well and Rogers allows them with a reasonable bandwidth cap (reasonable to my multi-media creation needs is 2GB YMMV :-) !!!),
THEN (it's not a r*poff, hurrah!) AND I'll get a 3G iPhone (since net-net, it's only about $10 a month more to pay than my current $50 per month grandfathered EDGE Fido plan).
The only thing that still gives me pause is the 3 year contract but I can live with it if the apps are there!
So I guess I don't buy one on my birthday but wait to see if the 3rd party apps that I want appear and if Rogers allows them.
$199 + 36months x $90 = $3440 and that’s if you buy the cheap one. Don’t forget the GST/PST.
However, you’ll probably realize you are likely to spend at least that much on cellphone service in the next three years, no matter what your plan.
Had a blast bicycling and checking out Car Free Vancouver 2008 from Commercial Drive to the West End to Kitsilano and back to Commercial Drive (we skipped Main Street since it didn't start until 4p.m.)
Here's some of the media we created:
- My Vancouver Car Free Vancouver 2008 Videos (Part 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Jean's Videos - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 , 11, 12
- JMV's Videos - 1, 2
- JMV's Pictures
- My Pictures
Things that were Great
- The weather! Perfect!
- Jean's McGyvered bicycle mount - although I am investigating using the N95 ProClip Motorcycle Mount, anybody know whether it will work on a bicycle?
- The event itself. Rockin' great time at all venus. Great food, great happenings (e.g. mojave, Paul Jarvis' band, Japanese food, African Drum circle, etc)
- Qik was rock solid. It just worked and buffered when we lost connection.
Things that weren't so great
- Rogers Portable Internet combined with FreeTheNet combined with splash screen = FAIL (or at least it seemed to fail a lot more than during our 2 dry runs during today's bike ride, actually we did stream a lot more video than I thought). Next time I suggest EV-DO card from Bell or a HSDPA card (i.e. something designed for mobile connectivity, Rogers Mobile Internet is designed to be portable NOT mobile) plus a travel router like the $170 Cradlepoint CTR500 EVDO/HSDPA 3G Router . I am a supporter of FreeTheNet but again it's designed for non mobile use.
- My IOGear Mobile Portable Power loose connection with my N95 caused me to run out out of power at one point - Jean's N82 had no problem so probably an issue with my phone, not the IOGear power.But probably points to the fact that the Nokia power connector wasn't designed to be connected horizontally for charging. I'd prefer a micro USB / mini USB for charging personally
- Nokia Sports Tracker's 1998isms (I realize it's beta but if they had used Drupal or any modern system they'd get these things for free) - i) Bad URLs that end in .do instead of being clean ii) no search feature iii) no tags iv) no RSS for tags
- Qik's tags have no RSS feeds
My brain has many, many "fun" ideas some of which could potentially be a money making business, some of which could not. I think BareBonesCafe ("BBC") is one of the latter :-) Feel free to steal the BBC Concept (all I ask for is attribution i.e. "idea inspired by Roland Tanglao")
- BBC is a cafe with a bar with six seats. No tables. You either stand or sit at the bar. Open 7a.m. to 5p.m. Monday to Friday.
- No WiFi, no internet no power outlets (I love WiFi Cafes but if you want that go elsewhere!)
- No Music
- No Advertising (I hate those scrolling LCD screens you see in a lot of businesses)
- No Tea (I love tea but this is a hyperfocused business :-) ! )
- No Food (I love food but again this is a hyperfocused business so no muffins no biscotti, etc!)
- Only fresh Coffee from an Espresso Machine and Espresso drinks brewed using the best tasting fair trade, bird friendly, blah blah blah, etc coffee. Nothing else. No Italian soda, pop, etc
- No Brewed Coffee,no french press, no Clover machine, etc.
- No takeout, only coffee in "real" cups
- No coffee cards, no promotions, no free coffee after buying 10
- Cash only, no credit, no credit cards, no debit card
- No tips asked for or accepted.
- Two people: Owner (me) and Barista.
- Barista makes $CAN 50,000 a year plus full benefits
- Barista only has two responsibilities: make great coffee and conversations with customers
- Barista can take as much vacation as she/he wants as long as they sub-contract to somebody who makes great coffee and conversations
Bicycling With Amy Walker to all Car Free Vancouver 2008 Venues on June 15, 2008 and streaming video from my bike
Wearing my Mobile Muse 3 technical evangelist and Fearless volunteer hats, I'll be riding my bicycle with Amy Walker, publisher of the fabulous Momentum magazine about all things bicycling, as part of Car Free Vancouver 2008 starting from the Fearless Mobile Booth on Commercial Drive at 12 noon Sunday June 15, 2008. We'll ride to all the other Car Free Vancouver venues (Main Street, the West End and Kitsilano) and stream video live from my bike to the internet.
Check us out at:
- Fearless's Mobile site (where we hope, tech willing, to display a stream from my bike and from a car in a sort of "car versus bike" video mashup)
- My Qik Car Free Vancouver archives which currently has our dry run videos and after the event will have the archive of my live stream
- My Nokia Sports Tracker site which shows our Car Free Vancouver dry runs (dry run June 8, dry run June 11 stream 2) on a nice zoomable Google Map
How you can help:
- Come on down and participate! It's free!
- Take photos and videos and blog about it and tag it: cfvd08
Finally for techies, here's a diagram of how the technology works!
The ongoing Fido (and Rogers) r*poff continues. The math: 0.10/0.15 = 66.67%. In a world where every other form of electronic messaging is decreasing in price, Rogers and Fido continue to raise their messaging prices. Needless to say the knock on effect for businesses and innovation and Canada is a net negative. I h*te SMS but it's essential for today's real time business and this is a tax by a member of the Canadian bandwidth oligopoly on businesses and consumers.
From Options you can add:
U.S. TEXT MESSAGING RATE CHANGE
Please note that effective July 15, 2008, the rate for sending a text message from Canada to the United States is changing to $0.25 (from $0.15). This change also applies to Text messaging options and certain Value packs, as text messages sent to the United States will no longer be included in the options. Pricing does not include applicable taxes.
Visit fido.ca/text for text messaging rates and other important information.
International text message Options
25 international text messages $4
50 international text messages $7
In preparation for a "car versus bicycle" streaming video showdown on Car Free Vancouver next Sunday June 15, 2008, Jean (Jean's blog post has the background and lots of useful info, read it!) and I did a dry run early this morning.
Our config was:
- helmet mounted N95-1 for me and N82 for Jean
- N95-1 ran the following software
Some observations and comments:
- Helmet mounted video is more stable BUT on the whole not great because everytime we check our blind spots, the camera moves which is more disconcerting than the jitter from a handlebar mounted phone. I think as Jean noted, we'll move to a handle bar mounted solution like a Gorillopod for the real Car Free Vancouver on Sunday June 15, 2008
- A bluetooth microphone with wind reduction like a the Jawbone would probably result in better sound
My guess for the iPhone in Canada plan from Rogers: $75 a month plus taxes and b*gus system access fee will include 1 GB of data (2GB would be much better but it's Rogers we are talking about and we can't expect them to be innovative :-( ), unlimited incoming and outgoing text and 300 minutes of voice calls to anywhere in Canada and USA. This plan will not include voice, SMS and data roaming to the USA. Roaming will still be billed at the current Rogers r*poff rates.
What's your guess (I am assuming all will be revealed tomorrow at 10a.m. after Jobs keynote!)????
I'll treat the commenter with the closest guess to a tasty beverage the next time they are in Vancouver!
- 1st reaction - "wow" "multimedia machine"
- Love being able to upload photos directly to flickr (presumably from Camera App) - allows her to upload photos directlyt
- Loves to connect to internet via laptop via her Rogers N95 8GB NAM
- Overall 1st impression - great
- Great for taking videos at Launch Party Vancouver and other events and Strutta videos
- High quality video
- It really is a multimedia computer
S60 Not so Positive
- Usability not great!
- iPhone user interface in comparison is awesome
- Too many clicks to get what you want
- Doesn't like the apps popping up without intervention e.g. Fring pops up when IM comes in
- Nested menus hard to comprehend
- Found it difficult to change ringtones coming from a BlackBerry
- Battery dies quickly
- Maura again hasn't heard of OVI (to repeat yet again, not suprising since Nokia OVI marketing is zero in Canada)
I love Kinzin's aka "These are my Kids"'s new (well not so new my blog post is late!) "Print Pack" feature. This feature allows you to ship 10 prints for $US 2.50 plus shipping anywhere in the world!
I use it to send 10 photos per month to my family in Belgium and Ontario and also to us. Great idea (which I and probably others suggested to them!)
Digital photos are great but having hard copies is also great. And finally through the Print Pack Feature I have an easy way to do it from flickr (or from your local drive or facebook but I don't store my photos on local drives or facebook).
Feature Request: do the same thing for videos i.e. how about a DVD from my flickr videos shipped once a month for say $5 / month plus shipping?
Feedback on These are my kids:
- Could we please have it as an independent website? There's no value for me having it as a facebook app (but I can see why it is a facebook app; the community is there, still I'd rather use it using my kinzin login rather than my facebook login)
- The default privacy settings are to make everything visible in your Facebook feed. I'd prefer the default to be that everything is NOT visible but I concede I am over zealous about the privacy of our child.
- Adding a photo to my print pack is not intuitive. You can't add all 10 at once, why not? Also I would prefer to have to be able to add photos via a tag e.g. kinzinprintjuly08 to my print pack.
Got my N78 yesterday from Nokia Blogger Relations yesterday (thanks!).
"Blink" reactions to the phone:
- I like candybar phones
- Why does the phone pre-flash even when I turn the flash off (I know it's to focus but why? The N95-1 didn't do this!!)? Can I turn off the pre-flash off?
- I don't like the small buttons on the numeric keypad. I keep hiting "7" instead of "*"
- Not a fan of brown. Can I have pink, green, orange, purple or some fun colour :-) ?
- Nice and light. The N95 feels very heavy in comparison
- Don't like the buttons in general: too small
- I wish it would charge via Micro USB
"Blink" reactions to the S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 software:
- As a experienced S60 user, I don't like the text in the middle e.g. "Open" - When I first saw that, I though hmmm, is there a new button in the middle? Of course there isn't. you just press the dpad in the middle to select that operation
- The zooming effects of the UI are ok but I could live without it. Rather have the menus simplified and fixed!
My unboxing video taken by the incomparable social media maven Dave Olson