Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-11-26 23:48

Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required is my conclusion after a month. Slow means under a 1Megabit sometimes  64 kilobits! But more than good enough to run GPS and do maps and geotag photos. Recommended if you are cheap :-) and want pay as you go data! Or just want a second phone with data and don't require voice! Only tested with a Nokia N8 with Nokia Maps and Pixelpipe but other folks have got it working on Android and iPhone. (see my previous speakout post for setup details).

 


Speakout Wireless Nokia N8 Internet access setup details

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-10-22 16:25

(should work with Android too if you are technical enough to map Symbian to Android; this post describes how to do it for the iPhone)

tl;dr: N8 auto config sets up a WAP access point. All you have to is copy the WAP Access Point to your Internet Network Destinations group and setup the Positioning Server to be that WAP access point and you are done.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Settings
    IMG_20111022_153428.jpg
  2. Connectivity
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153444.jpg
  3. Settings (yes Settings | Connectivity | Settings i.e. a 2 level settings menu is something only Symbian has :-) !)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153457.jpg
  4. Internet
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153522.jpg
  5. Create a WAP Access point under Internet configured as (or if you are lazy just copy the WAP access point from WAP Services to Internet)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153534.jpg
  6. I was lazy and copied the N8 autoconfigured one called "GoRoger"s so Symbian called the copy "GoRogers(01)"
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153647.jpg
  7. Databearer: Packet Data, Access point name:goam.com, Username:wapuser1, Prompt pasword No, Password:wap, Authentication:normal, Homepage none
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153656.jpg
  8. Advanced Settings: IPV4, Phone IP address:Automatic, Proxy Server address:010.128.001.069, Proxy port number:80
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153726.jpg
  9. Next configure the GPS Position Server under Settings|Application Settings|Positioning
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153759.jpg
  10. Positioning Methods
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153810.jpg
  11. Check: Assisted GPS, Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi/Network, Network based
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153819.jpg
  12. Settings|Application Settings|Positioning server|Server settings
  13. Tap on supl.nokia.com
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153829.jpg
  14. Change Access point to: GoRogers(01) or whatever you created the access point in step 5
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153846.jpg

Speakout Wireless pay as you go unlimited data for $10/month works for A-GPS & uploading photos to flickr on my N8

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-10-19 07:44

[UPDATE: detailed internet settings for Nokia N8 on Speakout Wireless]

Speakout Wireless pay as you go unlimited data for $10/month works for A-GPS & uploading photos to flickr on my N8 via WAP and it works beautifully. Full N8 setup details forthcoming! Setup Summary for the impatient: Nokia N8 auto configuration for WAP works; just copy the WAP access point to the Internet group and setup Application settings | Positioning to use the WAP access point for the positioning server. Haven't tested email and any other apps but I don't care :-)

There may be gotchas but it doesn't appear to require a voice value plan or any voice plan! I'll also post in a month or two to confirm whether there is any fine print to trip up on! But for now appears to be a cheap and cheerful pay as you go unlimited data plan!

Is Speakout Wireless's $10/a month pay as you go data plan good enough for A-GPS?

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2011-10-14 17:56

(via a comment on my blog about Fido Data)

Tired of not having A-GPS on my N8 and considering Speakout Wireless's $10 a month pay as you go data ("unlimited" 56 KB/s 3G browsing on a Rogers MVNO). Does it work OK on an N8? Anybody know?

Nokia is behind Apple in overall cameraphone user experience and that's what matters - A response to cameraphone expert Damian Dinning's great comment

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-10-06 01:09

(in response to Damian's comment)

Nokia is behind Apple in overall cameraphone user experience and that's what matters! Sure Nokia is still king when it comes to technology as Damian pointed out (f2.2 on N9, 12 megapixels on N8, Xenon flash on N8, the size of the sensor and microphone technology) but in terms of overall cameraphone experience, I believe with the iPhone4S, Apple has passed Nokia.

It doesn't matter how great the cameraphone technology is if the overall cameraphone user experience isn't great!

Overall cameraphone user experience = great image quality + great cameraphone apps that take advantage of that image quality like Slow Shutter, Camera+, Pro Camera and a dozens of other great  iPhone-only cameraphone apps that don't exist on Nokia cameraphones at the moment; Nokia is now severely lacking in great cameraphone apps and falling behind in video cameraphone technology. That's the lesson of Steve Jobs and Apple I think, great user experience trumps the technology no matter how great the technology underneath.

And nothing lasts forever; I believe Apple could be dethroned in overall cameraphone leadership and I believe you, Damian :-) and your team's great cameraphone technology combined with Windows Phone 7 Metro UI  or a post Meego user experience and developers that develop great cameraphone apps on top of this great user experience could dethrone Apple. I'm rooting for you and for an ecosystem of great cameraphone apps to develop in the future for Nokia; after all Apple cameraphone users can't have all the awesome cameraphone app experience forever to themselves :-) ! Competition will re-assert itself :-)

 

iPhone4S overall beats the N8 & N9. Unbelievable but true that Nokia the cameraphone leader in 2007 is behind Apple in all fronts except the Zeiss lens

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2011-10-04 22:09

With the iPhone4S, Apple is now the leader in cameraphones. The only advantage left to Nokia is the Zeiss lens. They have fallen behind in everything else! Sad but true! I hope Damian Dinning and his fab team at Nokia have an even better Nokia cameraphone waiting to be introduced before the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

The iPhone4S has a camera processing chip, the so-called image signal processor aka "ISP" and it has over 6000 cameraphone apps and a f2.4 lens and HD video. The N8 and the N9 lose in all areas except when it comes to raw megapixel count (the N8 has 12 megapixels) and perhaps in the lens quality: the N9 has 8MP and f2.2; the N8 has 82MP and f2.8; both are Zeiss optics which are better lens (methinks) than the iPhone4S 5 element "no-name" design.

Time will tell if Nokia can regain its cameraphone crown but back in 2007 (the time of the "laughable" iPhone 2G; I didn't laugh; I had an iPhone 2G as well as my Nokia N95 and N82 which combined I used to take tens of thousands of photos and I loved the original iPhone web browser and knew back then the iPhone wouidn't be a toy cameraphone in 2011) nobody in the land of Nokia watchers and enthusiasts would have thought that that Apple would produce the iPhone4S that overall beats Nokia cameraphones and not only that will ship in volumes that dwarf the N95 and N82 sales: Every single deficiency that the original iPhone had compared to Nokia cameraphones in 2007 has been corrected and surpassed by the iPhone4S in 2011

Samsung Android Galaxy Tab 10.1 first impressions - looking for a good case

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2011-10-03 09:04

On September 12, 2011 at the Mozilla All Hands all the employees (lucky us, thanks Mozilla!)  each received a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (or an ASUS Transformer). First impressions of the Galaxy Tab:

  • Heavy but useful as a great Google Reader client (I truly am addicted to Google Reader on all platforms: Firefox desktop, Android phone, iPhone and now Android tablet)
  • Great PDF displayer as a second screen for reading e.g. programming books while programming while using a computer
  • Built-in touch keyboard is not so great for me. Investigating Swype and Swiftkey
  • Needs a case, I am afraid of dropping it, can anybody recommend a good case?
  • Not nearly as much software as the iPad (I'd love something like World of Goo and Flipboard; Pulse is alright but :-) !)
  • Firefox Mobile Nightly with the new Tab interface is very sweet. I could happily just use it and no other apps except Google Reader!

 

Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-10-02 23:41

The Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable for different reasons. The Android one has dead spots (e.g. try hitting the space bar on the Nexus S; enjoy the dead zones :-) !). Symbian's is unusable because it's two step (you have to tap a checkmark and then tap again to get the keyboard input recognized) not to mention the fact that pre Symbian Anna the portrait keyboard is a touch version of T9!). I am exploring different keyboards and hopefully will find something decent for both Android and Symbian and then I'll blog about it.

Round 3 - Nokia's App store requires a Valid SIM card to work

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-10-02 23:15

Invalid SIMs don't allow you to download apps from the Nokia App store for some reason. Totally unfriendly. You just get an "download error" message (and the download partially succeeds without a SIM card). Anyhow, popped a valid SIM card in and was able to download ShutterPro and CameraPro finally! (see part 2 for earlier attempts)

There is no substitute for a hardware shutter button for "real" cameraphones

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-10-02 22:24

So perhaps the iOS 5 hardware button option will make the iPhone a truly usable cameraphone; the missing hardware button is the only thing keeping the iPhone from being a "real" cameraphone (6000 cameraphone apps CHECK! acceptable 5 megapixel sensor CHECK!). As the germans say, mal sehen!

Design Thinking, Grow Conference, HackVan, Design Nerd REFAB Jam - an amazing weekend of Vancouver tech & design events

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-08-18 23:19

An amazing weekend of Vancouver events awaits us. Unfortunately I can't go to all, all recommended:

  • Design Thinking 2011 at Granville Island - Trevor Boddy on Vancouverism and more on Friday August 19 and Sat August 20, 2011 unconference. I'll be there!
  • Grow 2011 - Startups, entrepreneurialism and more - Friday August 19th and the rest of the weekend. I won't be there but there will be lots of incredible startup folks from Toronto, Vancouver, the rest of Canada and Silicon Valley
  • HackVan - Saturday August 20th at Mozilla Vancouver - hack on some cool APIs like Tin Eye cool image stuff and Context.IO email API and meet the incredible Joey deVilla. Say hi to Joey for me!
  • Vancouver Design Nerds REFAB Jam - Saturday August 20th at The Hive across the street from Vancouver Hack Day and on the same day Saturday August 20th from 7-10p.m. I'll be there. C'mon down after Van Hack!

Not to mention Linux Conf 2011 Vancouver which started on August 17th and ends on August 19th

X7 review: It's hard to use another cameraphone after you have used the N8

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-08-03 23:02

At Nokia Unfenced II in Canmore, Alberta, Canada at the beginning of July (a fun event consisting of horseback riding, a challenging ropes course and other mayhem and hijinx which was impeccably and beautifully organized by Donna Suffling and Tom Hall of Womworld Nokia; my thanks to Donna, Tom and Womworld for paying for the whole shebang and providing us review Nokia X7s!), I received the Nokia X7 for review. I tried to love the X7 but after the N8 I think it's really impossible for me to love another cameraphone fully unless it beats the N8's picture quality. It's all about the pictures for me and the N8's pictures are the best in spite of Symbian's many unfriendly eccentricities (check out the my X7 pictures for yourself: X7 Set 1, X7 Set 2).

Loved:

  • X7 build quality
  • Symbian Anna is getting easier to use (the eccentricities are very nearly all gone) but is it too little too late? Probably in my estimation but time will tell;

Not loved:

  • No lanyard slot (but I realize that most people don't carry their cameraphones around their neck for quick camera access)
  • Probably no lanyard slot because it's too heavy for wearing around your neck :-)
  • The EDoF EOF i.e. fixed focus  camera. Sorry but when you can get an iPhone 3GS with macro and real focusing for  free on contract, why would you settle for a fixed focus camera ?
  • Disappointed to find that the Symbian Anna Browser doesn't run my HTML5 map mashups made using the CloudMade API e.g. my map of Vancouver flickr photos taken the day the Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks to advance to the 2011 Stanley Cup final (but Android Web Kit browser, Firefox Mobile and Mobile Safari do and my guess is Opera Mobile on the X7 would work). When will Symbian get a real HTML5 modern built-in browser? Symbian Belle?

Better Support Living through Software Presentation

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-06-29 23:30

Presentation created for June 30, 2011 Vancouver Ruby / Rails meetup (flickr set, slideshare, pdf)

See my Better Support Living through Software for the full details

And just for fun here are the flickr pics of the slides:

I. Better Living

BETTER SUPPORT LIVING THROUGH SOFTWARE

II. Just Say No

Just say no aimless support forum browsing

III.We Can Do This

We Can Do This with: Ruby, Get Satisfaction API, Mongodb

IV. Support Comes to You!

Support Comes To You !

V. Fork this!

Fork This!

AttachmentSize
BetterSupportLivingThroughSoftware.pdf348.82 KB

Better Support Living through Software aka Support Forum Browsing is a waste of time

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-06-19 23:14

Manual Support Forum browsing is soooo 1990s and a waste of support folks' time aka my Get Satisfaction Thunderbird API ruby and Mongo DB side project finally has born fruit :-) ! Seriously if you are manually searching your support forums and don't have customized support querying and reporting  so vital, can't miss stuff comes to your support contributors via email (or some other semi-automated method like RSS or whatever) then you are doing support wrong.

I wrote a Ruby script to read via Get Satisfaction pseudo-REST API all the Thunderbird Support Topics into a MongoDB and wrote a ruby script to generate  a custom email support report  so cool, relevant, urgent stuff comes to me instead of me having to surf the forums.

Not only that I wrote a brute force search engine that allows searching the fulltext of all 40000 Get Satisfaction topics and tags via regexes.

Even cooler: Anybody who uses Get Satisfaction for support can use my code!!!!!!! All you have to do is:

  1. change "mozilla_messaging" to your Get Satisfaction company name
  2. change "mozilla_thunderbird" to your product name
  3. configure a gmail account config file called email.conf with 3 lines:
    1. from_address
    2. to_address
    3. p for your password

Finally, here's the README which serves as the documentation

(since this is a side project, the README is shall we say lacking :-); I hope to somehow get this into the SUMO project so that all support contributors not just me can use it; to this end I am writing a spec for this, fingers crossed)

Roland's utilities for Get Satisfaction Metrics and other GS fun stuff

  • hardcoded for now for the Thunderbird product i.e. getsatisfaction.com/mozilla_message/products/thunderbird
  • easily hackable for any other product
  • forgive the barebones documentation for this project :-) !
  • HELP WANTED: would love for a real developer to fix this code and enhance it
  • email rtanglao AT mozilla.com if you are interested

Prerequisites:

  • requires a MongoDB running on local host with a database called "gs"
  • and with collection in the gs database called "topics"

Usage:

Update the Mongo - ALWAYS do this first before running anything else!

./mongoUpdateSlurpGS.rb 2011 6 16 2011 6 19 2>mongoslurp.16-19june2011.818pm.stderr.txt & 

Daily email metrics (I run this twice a day, typically 9a.m. and 4p.m. Pacific)

./emailDailyMetrics.rb & 

Weekly Metrics to CSV files and stdout (run once a week to generate support metrics for the Thunderbird Project Call)

./weeklyMetrics.rb 2011 6 13 2011 6 19 2>13-19june2011.stderr.txt 1>13-19june2011.stdout.txt 

Search the Thunderbird Get Satisfaction MongoDB for regexes in the fulltext (title+content+replies) & tags

e.g. for Thunderbird 5 here's a sample search ("-r" is a comma separated list of regexes to search the fulltext for and "-s" is a comma separated list of regexes to search tags for)

./bruteforceSearch.rb 2011 6 1 2011 6 30 2>19june2011.tb5b1.bfs.stderr.1020pm.txt 1>19june2011.tb5b1.bfs.stdout.1020pm.txt -r tb5, "tb 5","thunderbird5","thunderbird 5",beta -s "tb 5",tb5,thunderbird5,"thunderbird 5","beta feedback",50,tb5,"tb 5",beta 

Ovi store purchase of CameraFX failed I believe because there's no SIM card & it's trying to do carrier billing

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-06-18 10:22

Would have been nice to have a proper error message like "Purchase failed because there's no SIM card and therefore we don't know who to bill. Please insert a SIM card or add a credit card number to your OVI account and try again". Tyranny of the SIM card and tyranny of the carriers all in one!

I will add a credit card number to my OVI account and try again and post a blog post on what I find. (hopefully not a case of the #maplesyrupcurtain :-) !)

Still don't have real time geotagged photo web in 2011! Proof: lack of geotagged Vancouver photos on flickr after Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-05-29 22:20

We still don't have a real time geotagged photo web in 2011. Even in 2011, where there are many more geo capable cameras and cameraphones than ever, people still wait hours, days, weeks or hours to upload their photos to places like flickr as evidenced by my video of the 276 (as of this writing) photos geotagged in Vancouver on flickr taken on the day the Vancouver Canucks beat San Jose Sharks to make it into the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

My prediction: after a couple of months, we'll have about 500 photos (up from the 276 currently posted) from this day geotagged in Vancouver and uploaded to flickr.

Video of HTML5 mashup of Vancouver Beats San Jose May 24, 2011 which is currently 271 geotagged flickr photos

Far less then the approximately 2500 geotagged photos taken during the 2010 Olympic Gold Men's Hockey day in 2010 when there were far less geo-capable phones and cameras.

Code

github.com/rtanglao/rth5/blob/master/vancouver-beats-san-...

Try it out yourself (you get to see my cool reverse fade :-) !)

dl.dropbox.com/u/361757/CCC/vancouver-beats-san-jose-24ma...

Compare and Contrast with 2010 Olympics Men's Gold Medal Hockey Game

dl.dropbox.com/u/361757/CCC/mens-gold-medal-hockey-game28...

Das Blinkenlights - Vancouver and San Francisco Video Style!

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2011-05-25 00:08

As promised, videos of my San Francisco and Vancouver real-time HTML5 geotagged photo mashups driven by the great flickr and CloudMadeAPIs (each time a geotagged photo to the city is uploaded to flickr, a dot is posted on the map; the dot does a reverse blue fade-in and then alternates between green and red and the map alternates between orange and pink). Next up, add music driven by the neighbourhood (i.e. a different tune for each woeid, which means 26 different tunes for Vancouver).

Vancouver real-time flickr cloudmade html5 mashup:

Code:

github.com/rtanglao/rth5/blob/master/vancouver-emerges...

Try it out yourself! (may take some time for photos to appear since dots are only added when photos are uploaded to flickr geotagged in the city of vancouver):

dl.dropbox.com/u/361757/CCC/vancouver-emerges-d3.html

San Francisco real-time flickr cloudmade html5 mashup:

Code:

github.com/rtanglao/rth5/blob/master/sanfrancisco-emerges...

Try it out yourself (may take some time for photos to appear since dots are only added when photos are uploaded to flickr geotagged in the city of san francisco):

dl.dropbox.com/u/361757/CCC/sanfrancisco-emerges-d3.html

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