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Mobile Open Lab 2009 - A proposal

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2009-03-13 18:02

It's been 6 months since a few mobile folks met in Helsinki for Nokia Open Lab 2008 as Mike Maddaloni and CT Moore have pointed out and my mind is still reeling. It's time to start thinking about a Mobile Open Lab 2009. I say worldwide, done via our mobiles, self organized and distributed! What say you? [the following is in the order it was on the 2008 wiki, forgive me for omissions and typos!] Mike, Steve Dembo, Rebecca, Whatleydude, Gwapz, Eddie, Nick, Solobasssteve, Philip, CT, Glenn, Mickipedia, Rahul, Steve Rumsby, Chletten, Apocalypso, Jussi, Jason, Rafe, Jen, Thej, cybette, tnkgrl, Matti, Mikko, Nate, Antti, Nick, Vinnie, Kristine, Yuhui, Anne, Janne, Anssi, Brian, Luis, and Stefan please update the Mobile Open Lab 2009 wiki page with your ideas or leave a comment here! And let's get the ball rolling!

Ideas from Roland Tanglao (Vancouver, Canada)

flickr: roland, twitter:rtanglao, nokia chat:rtanglao, jaiku:roland, qik:roland

(NB these are just brainstorming ideas!!!!!! No commitment implied :-) ! )

  1. the "original 50" are all co-organizers and responsible for organizing in their home town
  2. the original 50 must present a mobile 10 minute or less "1 year later" status/way forward/whatever and must recruit at least 1 participant in their home town to present as well!
  3. done via mobile video streaming e.g.ustream, qik, kyte, mogulus, etc. for 2 days world wide & archived
  4. the 2008 workshop presenters will reprise their workshops in a 2009 stylee
  5. Outcomes:

    1. a user vision of the way forward for nokia and the mobile industry
    2. "raise a barn " i.e. create a mobile app / site / something that we all agree on beforehand for a cause that we all believe in
  6. Things I can help with: Drupal, Bug Labs Bug, S60 Python, "dis-coordination" :-), blogging, wiki gardening
  7. Things I am not so good at: getting sponsors (do we need any?), politics, web design
  8. Looking forward to the cool ideas from others!

Nokia Beautiful Connections Text Art - what if it were GPS based?

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2009-03-07 18:13


Text art is part of the Nokia Beautiful Connections (this URL does not rock, IMHO it should be something like project. It draws your text onto a algorithmically generated graphic (see above pic for an example). It's cool but wouldn't it be cooler if the art that was generated was rooted in the GPS coordinates and the place, e.g. if you were in Stanley Park, it drew art based on algorithms written by Salish aboriginals?

From Nokia E71: Beautiful Connections:


I recently had the privilege of being commissioned by Wieden + Kennedy to creating an artwork for Nokia’s new smartphone E71. It’s a new model featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, and is intended to function as a complete communication platform for people on the move. As a response to this purpose, W+K’s campaign focused on the idea of “Beautiful Connections”.

My contribution was a mobile app that allows the user to type in a short SMS-style message, which is then used as the basis for a generative animation that results in a visual compositions of curling forms. The final image can then be sent to other users as a MMS or saved to the phone memory for use as a wallpaper.



Free Nokia viNe and Sports Tracker tutorials for Vancouverites in exchange for coffee

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-02-04 22:16

It appears nobody in Vancouver uses Nokia phones and ShoZu even though it's FANTASTIC because nobody has taken me up on my free ShoZu help in exchange for coffee offer. Bloodied :-) (ok, not really!)  I am but undaunted as well, here's another offer: Free photo GPS tagging tutorials using Nokia ViNe and Nokia Sports Tracker and Nokia phones in exchange for coffee. Interested? Email roland AT or text me: 604 729 7924 or twitter rtanglao

From Geotags help locate photos by Jeffrey Simpson in the Georgia Straight


An avid cyclist, Tanglao takes photos during his rides and has more
than 44,000 photos on Flickr, a great many of them geotagged. Recently,
he’s been taking pictures with a Nokia N95, a smartphone with a
five-megapixel camera whose image quality rivals that of some basic
stand-alone digital cameras. With a built-in global-positioning-system
receiver, the N95 automatically tags photos with geographic data


Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with Fido SIM installed

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-01-28 14:37

The Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with my valid Fido SIM installed and even though the Nokia Canada site says there are updates for these two phones. This used to work with my Fido SIM with prior versions of the Nokia Software update and prior N95-1 and N82-1 updates. I also tried using my Belgian, Finnish and AT&T SIMs and that didn't work either. Any ideas? Is this Canada specific? I can't believe NSU would be updated to block these firmware updates but anything's possible with Rogers and Fido I suppose !

Nokia N97- finally a decent looking competitor to the iPhone!

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2008-12-02 05:28

Or at least it appears to. The N97 proof is in the pudding which is the user experience including hardware and software (skeptical about S60 but willing to be convinced), but at first glance appears to be great. Hope it's both North American and European 3G and available in Canada officially soon! I trust it has lots of RAM and will run ShoZu, Qik and viNes in short order! Vive la competitiion! Go Nokia go!

QUOTE [From Nokia N97 - The Nseries Dream Device: Nokia S60 News and Reviews]

So what makes this Nokia's Dream Device? The N97 is the first Nseries device with QWERTY keyboard!!!!! Now thats not the only thing that makes this a dream device... and let me just state that the endearing term "dream device" is solely based on my own initial impression and opinion of the device.


QUOTE [From Meet the Nokia N97 - The New Nseries Flagship!]

On first glance the N97 compares to the 5800 in size and seems like it’s older brother … until you slide the keyboard out and realize you’ve got an altogether new breed in hand. While it’s not a small device, the N97 feels great in your hand and can easily be used while walking without needing two hands in most cases. The virtual keyboards (numbers and T9) were clear and the softkeys seemed eas to access for quick data entry. Of course for larger text needs a quick flip and you’ve got a real keyboard at your disposal. Weight (Approx. 150 g) felt semi-comparable to the E71 and in the front pocket of my jeans it was not in any way uncomfortable.


QUOTE [From Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Nokia N97: the ultimate Facebook device «]

Nokia just announced the N97. I got a chance to play with it last night and realized they have built the ultimate Facebook device. Now, I’m sure, lots of you will wonder how it compares to the iPhone. Well, for a Facebook user it isn’t even close: the new Nokia device wins hands down. Why? Let’s compare:

1. It does 16:9 video. The iPhone doesn’t even do video. So, how can you go to a Daft Punk concert and record it to taunt your friends?
2. It has a 5 megapixel camera. The iPhone only has 2, and the quality isn’t even close. The camera also has a dual LED flash, so you can take pictures in the dark where the iPhone can’t.
3. I can type three Facebook status messages on the N97’s nice QWERTY keybord in the time that I can type two on the iPhone.
4. It does copy and paste, so you can copy URLs to send to your friends. The iPhone can’t do that.
5. It has replaceable batteries so you can charge up three batteries and Facebook for days, while the iPhone needs to be hooked back up to the wall for recharging after a few hours.
6. The GPS device does turn-by-turn and has a built in compass, so you’ll get to your parties faster than with the iPhone, which doesn’t have a compass and doesn’t do turn-by-turn.

OK, so how else does it compare to the iPhone? It has a touch screen, with a cool customizeable home screen. You can add a Facebook component and can drag and drop different components with your finger. You can also use gestures so you can “flick” through your photos. That part is very similar to the iPhone, so you can see that Steve Jobs had a big influence on the user experience.

The device itself has only one button and you can see Jonathan Ives’ challenge taken up all over the device. Close your eyes and touch the device and you don’t feel buttons or other things protuding. Smooth.


Nokia to reveal insanely great device at Nokia World on Wednesday Dec 3, 2008!?!

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-12-01 05:11

Nokia has to do something soon. Don't think it's quite as urgent as "must introduce something this week" as Scoble describes but the window is closing for Nokia to re-capture the "high-end today but quickly becoming profitable mainstream" mind share that they have lost.

What do I want? Here's my N999 "multimedia-creator phone" vision updated for Dec 2008 (not in order of priority):

  1. screen the size of the 5800 Tube
  2. S60 simplified and fixed as Rui describes
  3. 5 megapixel camera with cover and Xenon flash with 3x optical zoom and 640x480 30fps video (basically re-use the awesome N82 camera hardware and software)
  4. Quad band GSM and 3G (i.e. works on Rogers and AT&T in North America AND European 3G out of the box just like the N85, no funky North American model)
  5. Built in ShoZu (with 10MB limit removed for 3G and WiFi, make the limit 50MB for 3G and WiFi) - killer app for photographers and videobloggers
  6. Bult-in Qik (killer app for videobloggers!)
  7. Awesome web browser (Nokia's Web Kit browser was great in 2006, it is now far behind Apple's)
  8. Lots of available RAM (as much as the N95 8GB please!), 8GB storage on built-in card
  9. Built in Nokia viNes to take advantage of Nokia's great GPS hardware (killer GPS app!)

Here's what I don't need:

  1. QWERTY keyboard
  2. Email (Email is dead to me; I continue to use it reluctantly for work)
  3. Touch (would be nice, but not convinced Nokia has the software chops for this; I am not interested in S60 transmogrified with touch, I would prefer touch to be part of a totally revamped user interface that's NOT S60.)
  4. Micro SD card slot
  5. Calendar (would be nice but that's what my laptop is for :-) !)
  6. IM (Twitter is IM enough for me and I am fine with using it in the browser)
  7. VOIP is dead to me except for Skype
  8. MMS - I am not convinced I need it, I can always use ShoZu email photos :-) but I was wrong about SMS (so maybe I am wrong about MMS)

Would be nice:

  1. Built in S60 Python so I can hack around and do some Geo hacks (and with reasonable security model to let mash up creators create some insanely great mashups) - Sorry widsets, Nokia WRT and flash lite don't cut it for me, but I am willing to be convinced of course!
  2. Built-in Skype (the one on the N800 is fab and yes I know it's on a different operating system but Nokia has some awesome developers, c'mon and get with it :-) )
  3. USB charging
  4. Over the air firmware updates

QUOTE [From Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Nokia’s touchiest week «]

Translation: this is the week that Nokia either shines or moves to the B list of the cell phone market. Yeah, you won’t know how this week turned out for a year or two, but there is no bigger week for Nokia.

Now, can you count Nokia out yet? No way. It has the biggest slice of the cell phone marketshare pie. Its devices are much better engineered than Apple’s are (GPS on Nokia is better, so are the antennas, the cameras, and bluetooth radios that Nokia uses). But engineering does NOT equal a great experience. Yeah, my Nokia does not drop phone calls in places in Silicon Valley that my iPhone does, but generally I reach for the iPhone when I want to make a call or surf the web. Why?

Nokia is behind in experience. The executives here from Nokia that I’ve talked to know that. They know this is Nokia’s touchiest week and one where they either deliver a much better device or they are going to face a very tough 2009 globally.


Almost free ShoZu help for Vancouverites - Helping the ShoZu MIR Campaign

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-12-01 00:57

Hey Vancouverites! Got an N95, N82 or other Nokia cameraphone and a data plan (or a Wifi phone)? If so, I'll show you how to install ShoZu and configure it to send photos to any email address, flickr, facebook, twitter, Now Public, any arbitrary email address, etc. (ShoZu supports an incredible number of photo and video services in fact over 90% of the popular ones!). All I ask is we do this over coffee in downtown or Gastown before work or at lunch and that you buy me a $2.25 macchiato :-) in return. Text me at 604 729 7924 if interested! iPhone ShoZu users, the offer applies to you too but I doubt you need any help :-) !

Some little known cool ShoZu features:

  1. Did you know you can use ShoZu to send to multiple flickr accounts (e.g. one for work and one for family)?
  2. Did you know ShoZu supports videos? Who needs when you can send 20 second videos from your Nokia to flickr (or anywhere else! e.g. facebook)?

QUOTE [From The ShoZu Campaign begins on MIR! | Mobile Industry Review]

And here we are: My Campaign! I want to raise awareness of ShoZu amongst the Mobile Industry Review audience and beyond. My hope is that you, dear reader, will take it upon yourself to educate at least five normobs about ShoZu. Further, I hope you will help them get the app installed on their handset and setup to send to Facebook or Flickr or the like.

It’s my firm belief that ShoZu is a ‘gateway application’ — like a gateway drug — that converts a normob to a mobile data user (a ‘promob’).

ONCE you’ve tasted and started using ShoZu, you ‘get’ mobile data. You can start to look at other applications and uses. You might like to check out Jaiku. Or try and get your head around Twitter.

But the key is photos. Photos OFF your handset, on to the internet. That’s the magic that converts the normob.

Too often, nobody cares. We’re all busy. Normobs just get on with their lives. Take 10 seconds out to explain the concept though — and you spread a little joy with your technical experience.


Nokia viNe fun mobile app, shame about the website

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2008-11-26 06:44

1st Y! Purple Bike Ride - Nokia Sports Tracker Beta

Just tried viNes on the E71 (check out my my Y! Purple Bike 1st ride route). The mobile app part of viNes is much nicer than Nokia Sports Tracker (this could be a "honeymoon effect" due to the E71's expanded RAM and fast processor but viNes on an E71 is much better than Sports Tracker on an N95-1! Sadly viNes doesn't work on an N95-1). In a bit of an oddity, the maps show on both the Nokia Sports Tracker site as well as the viNes site. The website (like far too many Nokia websites, what is the problem Nokia? Adopt Joomla, WordPress, Drupal or Rails, stop using proprietary web systems with ridiculous amount of flash please!) is still very bad: not enough social media features (that you get for free on the aforementioned platforms), too much gratuitous flash and bad URLs (check out my past whingeing :-) about the Sports Tracker site!). Someday when the iPhone has background processing, an app like this will come to that mobile too! Until then, viNes is much better than any of the iPhone GPS tracker apps I have tried.

QUOTE [From Nokia viNe Has Been Released - Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen]

It is official, Nokia viNe has been released into the wild and is now available for download. This version of Nokia viNe is a mobile geo-path-tracking / photo / video location based mobile app that allows one to create "vines" or "journeys" on one's phone and then upload it to the nokia server to be displayed on the web or via a widget.


Nokia Bicycle Cradle is a nifty tool for taking bicycle wheel POV photos and videos

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-11-24 00:38

Thanks to fellow Nokia Open Lab 2008 participant, Glenn Letham, for the Nokia Bicycle Cradle. Got it on Wed, mounted it on the bike yesterday and have done lots of photos and a few videos (one is embedded below). It seems the Nokia Bicycle Cradle was designed for GPS tracking, specifically for Nokia Sports Tracker and viNes but with a bit of jury rigging it's a fun tool for taking videos and photos from the handlebars of your bicycle (albeit with a not too useful view of your wheel and the road; it would be superb if we could tilt it really high or if the cradle was re-designed for on the bicycle video and photo taking). Apparently this handy cradle is NOT generally available. C'mon Nokia make this cool accessory available to all please! (And if anybody knows a similar thing for the iPhone please let me know!)

Nokia Sports Tracker - I want to believe but I can't because it's flakey

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-11-10 02:22

Seeing Ms Jen's and Glenn's posts about the Nokia Sports Tracker Widget a few weeks back made me create my own Sports Tracker N Series Widget page. Unfortunately Sports Tracker is maddeningly infuriating in that annoying kind of "Nokia can almost make software way" because:

  1. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it would freeze or stop tracking my movements in the middle of a bicycle ride when I first tried it (using the built in GPS on the N95-1 and the built-in GPS on the N82 (North American version). And I tried to make it work about 70 times (yes I have 70 routes on Sports Tracker and far too many are incomplete because the GPS froze) which I think constitutes a fair trial!
  2. So I bought an LD-4W GPS when I was in Finland for Nokia Open Lab 2008, thinking that would improve the reliability. Well it did for ShoZu but for Sports Tracker it was no more or less reliable
  3. I want to believe :-) ! Maybe it's the fact that I have an N95-1 so maybe I run out of memory? Maybe the N82 NAM doesn't work because it doesn't have the latest normal N82 firmware updates. Maybe it's because I don't use 3G (I'd love to use 3G but none of the devices Nokia has sent me to date has North American 3G)
  4. And yes I know it's beta, I hope the next version called Nokia viNe is less flakey. Maybe both Sports Tracker and viNe are more reliable on newer phones like the N95 8GB NAM, N96, N85 etc! ShoZu has dramatically improved in reliability in recent versions for fanatical 30 pictures or more per day users like myself (pretty reliable for normal folks all along methinks)! Fingers crossed that the same thing will happen for Sports Tracker and viNe.
  5. Postscript: just tried logging into my sports tracker account with my Nokia Account and it failed, in fact I can't login into my Nokia account at all. Here's the error message: "Servlet error: An exception occurred. The current application deployment descriptors do not allow for including it in this response. Please consult the application log for details." - Weekend maintainence? Regardless, a very unfriendly error message.

N82 - 2300 photos since August 26, 2008 - going back to N95-1

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-11-03 21:42

Kris briefly lent me his N82 but asked for it back so he could give it to a friend today.This led me to  look up how many photos I have taken with the N82 since August 26, 2008 when Kris lent it to me: 2300 public photos! Lots of blurry ones but some decent ones. Last N82 observations after 2 months of use primarily from my bicycle but also private ones of of the kid :

  1. It's the North American Version so none of the recent software upgrades are applicable. No, I didn't consider changing the product code to get around this. Life is too short for ridiculous :-) hacks like changing phone product codes.
  2. The N82 is actually slower shot to shot than the N95 when the sensor powers down. My theory is that the Xeon flash powers up for pre-flash/pre-focus and that takes time and this time is not needed in the N95
  3. The built-in GPS seemed faster than the N95 but not much faster perhaps if I had the European variant which has had more firmware updates I would notice more of a speedup.
  4. The keys are too small. Like Whatley Dude I prefer the N95's keys.
  5. Sports Tracker *seemed* less reliable. Again this may be a firmware issue

Back to the N95-1 tomorrow! But my power cameraphone recommendation of choice for Canadians and Americans remains the N95-4 aka N95 8GB NAM (and if you have lots of money, the gorgeous sounding N85 (come on Nokia Blogger Relations send us North American 3G phones please!  which also does North American 3G). For a power user of cameraphones, life is too short for EDGE!

N96 World Tour will come to Vancouver where it was designed (fingers crossed!)

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2008-10-22 03:10

GorillaPod+DT-22+N95+Bike=fun - IMG_5948

Steve Rocks (literally since he's a bass player! And figuratively since he's an articulate and very cool person!) ! Met him in Finland at Nokia Open Lab 2008. I applied to the program so, "Global Omnipresent Delivery Services" (GODS hat tip to Neal Stephenson) and Nokia willing, the N96 will make its way to Vancouver (apparently the N96 was designed/integrated in Vancouver) for me to take it on a bicycle and have my devious (ha ha !) ways

QUOTE [From N96 World Tour starts here! — Steve Lawson: Bass 2.0 — the soundtrack to the day you wish you’d had]

A few weeks back I was contacted about a project involving the Nokia N96 - the idea was to send one round the world, getting various people to use it, upload video and photos, add apps to the phone itself, leave stuff on it, basically put it through its paces and tell a story… It’s a great fun idea, and I’m the first one to get it! So I’ve got a brand new lovely N96 to play with for a week or so.


It's all about the usability, not the features - Nokia unveils S60 5th Edition and DRMed Comes with Music

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2008-10-02 14:17

S60 5th edition and touch *sounds* good but if it's not in an easier to use form than the current S60, it's useless. And I am sorry but DRM'ed Windows only music doesn't work for me (I don't buy DRMed music from anybody including Apple)! Anyways Apple badly needs competition in the usability department so my fingers are crossed that this represents some sort of competitive threat to them. Go Nokia go! Viva la compétition!

QUOTE from Nokia unveils iPhone competitor — Alec Saunders SquawkBox

Comes with Music (press release, backgrounder) is Nokia’s new digital entertainment service. When you buy a supported Nokia device, including the NSeries, any of the XPressMusic phones and some other mass market phones, Nokia gives you access to the Nokia Music store at no additional charge for an entire year. Download (and keep) as many tracks as you like. This is not a subscription. You get to download and keep as many tracks as your heart desires. Tracks are delivered in Windows Media format, with DRM.

S60 5th Edition (press release) was also introduced. This latest operating system release includes support for new displays, the touch UI, a widescreen mode, a variety of new sensor support, and updated applications and browser support. Wonderfully cool things are possible with the new sensor support, like being able to stop the ringer by picking the phone up and putting it back down face down.

A touch screen phone and operating system were not unexpected. After all, Nokia had to respond to Apple’s phenomenal success with iPhone. However, the gutsy decision to give away the music goes straight after Apple’s cash cow, iTunes.

Scorched earth is a powerful offensive posture. One wonders what kind of deal with the devil RIAA Nokia had to agree to in order to gain the rights to distribute all those tracks for no money… and what the impact will be on their bottom line.

Look for 5800 XpressMusic devices with North American standard radios to land here Q1 2009. Exciting times are ahead.

[From Nokia unveils iPhone competitor — Alec Saunders SquawkBox]


Going to Nokia WOMWorld Workshop in Helsinki September 10-14

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2008-08-19 23:00

Details have yet to be finalized, but it looks like I'll be going to a Nokia Mobile workshop (paid for by Nokia, including carbon offsets!) September 10-14,2008 being organzied by Nokia's WOMWorld folks. Sounds like fun. Maybe I can lead a session on Mobile Muse and SIFTTool.

Here's a portion of their invite:


It's taking place in September between the 11th and 14th, and will be the first of its kind hosted by Nokia. We're contacting everyone from creative's, designers, video producers to open source software bloggers and mobile tech pioneers. There will be a number of workshops that'll see discussion with participants, and with Nokia guys, about the future of different online arenas and mobile technology. Workshops that we hope you'd like to join in with and make yourself heard.


In the meantime, time to start my travel research. If anybody has been to Helsinki, love to have the following questions answered by a Helsinki person:

  1. Where can I get a pay as you go SIM Card with several gigs (2GB or higher) of data so I can blog, flickr, youtube, et with my Nokia N95-1 while at the workshop?
  2. Can somebody recommend the best place to rent a bicycle in Helsinki? I am a "born again" bicyclist who's been commuting to work for 16 months 5 days a week and who has taken thousands of photos from an N95 and uploaded to Qik while bicycling. So I'd want to do the same in Helsinki.

Ordered my 16GB iPhone 3G today from Fido, will receive it in August

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2008-07-15 21:58

Somersault over Kits Beach - Image593

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:

  1. Their website is inaccurate; existing Fido customers should just call 611  to get an iPhone 3G
  2. 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. 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.
  4. 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?

Streaming Video Vancouver June 2008 Critical Mass

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-07-07 03:02

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. My Io Gear power unit Nokia N Series power connector is flakey! Aaaargh, too late to return it too.
  4. 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

N78 Review - If you are a multimedia creator get an N95, else get iPhone

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2008-06-26 19:05

My fav N78 photo! 200806250007 N78 Photo 119

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!).


  1. Pricey at $US 500 for the N78 NAM (NAM = North American 3G version), especially when the the N95 North American is $469.97
  2. Only 3 megapixel camera on the N78 (but it takes great pictures but not greater than the N95!) unlike 5 megapixel camera on N95
  3. Camera is slower to focus (even in fixed focus mode) than N95 which means more blurry photos
  4. N78 Keypad is awful, number keys are fine but the Green and Red Keys are very difficult to hit consistently
  5. 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!
  6. N78 Lanyard/strap clip is cool.
  7. N78 GPS seems faster and better at getting a satellite lock.
  8. Video is only 15fps unlike the 30fps on the N95 (and the difference is noticeable!)

Car Free Vancouver Day 2008 Mobile Streaming Video Post Mortem Part 1

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2008-06-15 19:28

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:

  1. My Vancouver Car Free Vancouver 2008 Videos (Part 1, 2, 3, 4)
  2. Jean's Videos - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 , 11, 12
  3. JMV's Videos - 1, 2
  4. JMV's Pictures
  5. My Pictures
Nokia Sports Tracker data is missing! (mine didn't turn out i.e. most of my track is missing since I had to reboot the phone thereby losing my GPS Track, aaaaargh! Jean hasn't posted his!)
Things that were Great
  1. The weather! Perfect!
  2. Jean's McGyvered bicycle mount - although I am investigating using the N95 ProClip Motorcycle Mount, anybody know whether it will work on a bicycle?
  3. 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)
  4. Qik was rock solid. It just worked and buffered when we lost connection.

Things that weren't so great
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Qik's tags have no RSS feeds

Car Free Vancouver Live Streaming Video from my N95 on my bicycle

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2008-06-08 16:13
Fearless / Mobile Muse 3 / Car Free Vancouver Dry Run Route courtesy of Nokia Sports Tracker Beta

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:

  1. helmet mounted N95-1 for me and N82 for Jean
  2. N95-1 ran the following software
    1. Qik - streamed video live over EDGE
    2. Nokia Sports Tracker
Our videos and GPS Tracks:
  1. My video - also below
  2. My GPS Track and map
  3. Jean's GPS Track and map
A question: Anybody know of software to stream in real-time GPS coordinates in RSS, KML or Atom over WiFi or 3G or Edge from a Nokia phone?
Some observations and comments:
  1. 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
  2. A bluetooth microphone with wind reduction like a the Jawbone would probably result in better sound

My video:

Maura Rodgers on her Rogers N95 8GB NAM and S60 - S60 Ambassadors Video

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2008-06-08 15:36

Marketing maven and startup veteran and co-founder of Strutta, Maura Rodgers, on her Rogers N95 8GB NAM and S60

S60 Positives

  1. 1st reaction - "wow" "multimedia machine"
  2. Love being able to upload photos directly to flickr (presumably from Camera App) - allows her to upload photos directlyt
  3. Loves to connect to internet via laptop via her Rogers N95 8GB NAM
  4. Overall 1st impression - great
  5. Great for taking videos at Launch Party Vancouver and other events and Strutta videos
  6. High quality video
  7. It really is a multimedia computer

S60 Not so Positive

  1. Usability not great!
  2. iPhone user interface in comparison is awesome
  3. Too many clicks to get what you want
  4. Doesn't like the apps popping up without intervention e.g. Fring pops up when IM comes in
  5. Nested menus hard to comprehend
  6. Found it difficult to change ringtones coming from a BlackBerry
  7. Battery dies quickly
  8. Maura again hasn't heard of OVI (to repeat yet again, not suprising since Nokia OVI marketing is zero in Canada)
Here's the video:


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