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Obama's Speech and Metrics (Metrics = FAIL)

Obama’s speech seen by 38 million viewers, this is the headline that was used by  NPR on this story
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94112461 from Associated Press.

Then they put this line in at the bottom “Obama’s audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn’t have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.”

And thus when MSM (Main stream Media) can not monitor what is going on it can not understand it and use dumb words like “might be higher”.  Also the article doesn’t mention that the democrats.org website also had the speech streaming as well.(via silverlight so I didn’t get to check it out)   Then to make things even more confusing this was global.

I and many other people I know watched the events live from all over the world, I was tlaking in the twitter back channel to people in Melbourne, Sydney, San Fran, Brisbane, Perth e.t.c about events as the CSpan stream came in.  At which point I switched to the ABC local stream and told all the people on my twitter list and in my office to watch that version).  So there were hundreds of people that I have some form of contact watching Obama’s speech.  And mainstream media says “Might” .

Thanks to twitter I had a copy of the speech as well before he said it and could see what he was saying line for line and how he improved small parts (very impressive skill) and drop quotes into my twitter timeline.  But don’t forget the audience “might” have been bigger.

It is this grass roots tech approach that paid for his campaign, it is why he refused public funding (he can make more from people on his sms list) that got him to where he is now and shows why someone at 47 years old is a major shift in how things could and should be done.

Now of course being an Australian I cant vote for him but given the effect that Bush had on this country I sure as hell will be hoping that he gets over the line.

If he gives any more speechs along the way myself and most of the people I know “might just watch” as well.

Location Location Location (did I mention location?)…


“The final phase of Android Developer Challenge I is now complete. Out of 50 teams of finalists, 10 teams received a $275,000 award each and 10 teams received a $100,000 award each.”

First of all I must say congrats to all the finalists and winners but I must say there is a common theme to a lot of these finalists… 90% of them are location based.  That is no small number and given how google have moved from the search to the location business in the last few years you can see how location is the tech of the future.  A future that is now.

Having a GPS in your car is now considered necessary and unless my taxi driver speaks fluent english and drives a black london cab I want my taxi to have a GPS as well.  But now phones are GPS devices with most manufactures putting them in not only high end models but midrange devices now as well.

I geotagged tweets and photos create KML files e.t.c, but soon and very soon there will be tech that says I am here and what is around me.  Some of these Android apps will flow back into the market on other platforms some more than others.

For example Compare Everywhere will change the face of shopping and shopping districts in a very short period of time.  Image a world where you scan the bar code, your phone then looks around where you are and lets you know if there is a cheaper item online or at another store say walking distance away.  This will not be a small shift in how we shop but will result in a fundimental shift on how shops work.  Perhaps even service will make a come back into a lot of these increasingly homoganised shopping malls.  When a store 3 shops up has something cheaper and you don’t have to go there to find out then you will reconsider you purchases.

Sure a lot of people are going to whine about geoprivacy but like all things there are levels at which you can interact and places you can and wont.  My home is my space for example, but lots of people know where I live and people can work out a lot about you even without computers.  Sure it makes stalking easier, but if we pander to the few bad apples then Newton would never have sat under the apple tree and we would have GPS 🙂

Some new photos and KML's

Sydney CDB from 7915 metresBeen up in Sydney for a few days for a planning workshop with the Sydney crew which was all very nice, amazing how much work you can get done in a 5 minute face to face conversation over a nice glass of red (Thanks for the invite to your place Chris).  And got to spend sometime with my sister and by time I mean complete a set of tasks revolving around setting up and fixing various bits of tech in the house.

But that aside… and back to the non work stuff, I managed to squeeze out some photos on the flights up and back and get some new GPS traces for you to look at in Google Earth.

Holding the Clouds in CheckWhen I finish the project at work that is a month late due to my lack of calcium intake and low immune system I will be playing some more with the plug in version of Google Earth and will try and get my KMLS to work off this site directly.  Also hopefully soon my ISP will get off their arse and put PHP 5 on my damned server and I can run some more scripts at this end to show off some of the data I have.

Moon and Earth CurveAnyway click on the images for the bigger versions of these Nokia N958-gb geotagged photos and then click here to download the following KML Files…

Sydney-to-Melbourne-Flight2.kmz and Melbourne-to-Newcastle-Flight.kmz Both of which have the taxi and take off sequence although the gps lost fix due to the rapid climb in height.  They are not the cleanest traces either but getting a fix inside a 737 is never easy, especially when you put your phone into flightmode and then put it away as well.

Canberra at Night This Photo doesn’t look like much at this size, and infact only looks good once you get up to the larger sizes, but it is Canberra at Night. There is a touch of a reflection, but given that I use only a camera phone on Night Mode with the general vibrations of an Aircraft and a few glass of wine before the trip this worked out better value than I anticipated.

Raw NEMA Log File + N95-8GB creation….

I finally found the bit of software I was after for my n95-8b.  It was a raw NMEA183 sentences log generator.  See the Sports tracker logs are o.k.  And yes it does create a very nice KML file for google earth.

But really three is a lot of data missing….  For example..  I can see only the average speed the max and min speeds.  With a Nema Log file I can see the speed and elevation e.t.c at any point of the trip.  Of course you need other software to deal with these files, but I have that from running things like OziExplorer on the R2H.

the software is called eGPSTrack .  A Java App that hooks into the internal GPS and writes all the raw GPS data at an interval that is configurable by the user.

This is from there about page….

eGPSTrack is a gps tracking Java application for mobile devices with J2ME and a Bluethooth , internal or serial gps receiver. It isn’t a navigator, it is a positioning tool that tells you were you are at each moment, and which route you have been travelling. It is primarily aimed at outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking and cycling

eGPSTrack can load calibrated maps (cartographic or satellite images), and show your current track, position and direction on the map, providing you a global view of your trip. Old tracks can be loaded and showed at same time as your current track. Tracks can be exported to GPX and KML files so that you can view and edit them on a computer.”

There are some issues with the software, for example it doesn’t handle the rotation of the screen very well, and occasionally wigs out a little.  But it is a very low version number and it does what I want.  So if you really want to track yourself with your phone, rush out and download this FREE application.

Oh yeah… and one last dig….  Try and do that on your non jailbreaked Iphone… leave a gps task writing in the background whilsts listening to music, making a log file via Sports Tracker and taking a call 🙂  Sorry had to get that in. 🙂

Geotagging and Flickr

As most of you should be aware I am a bit of a geotagging/gps nut (acutally I am just a nut).

with 99% of my photos geotagged on Flickr and a tendency to send out geotweets (is that even a word, guess it is now)  I am always trying to show people how to set up their phones to do it….

Well Kevin Anderson has written a great blog post based around an n82, flickr and geotagging.  And with him being a much more bettera writer than I am…. I figure I will just give you the link to his post and you can read it all over there.  It works for the N95 and N78 roughly the same as well.
Howto: Geo-tagging photos for an easy map mashup


I may have finally found the raw nema writing for the n95-8gb that I have wanted for a long time, but I didn’t read the manual for the software so I have yet to get it working properly (will get back to you on this shortly)

Comparative Photos..N78 – N95-8gb

As Promised here are a few photos to compare the cameras on the Nokia N78 (3.2 Autofocus Camera) and the Nokia N95-8gb (with its 5mg Autofocus Camera).

Both of these were done on default settings and because I am ambidextrous I took the photos simultaneously as well.

Note to self: Must stop doing that in public makes me look even more of a tosser than I actually am.

Oh and click on images for bigger versions as well

This photo is looking at the N78 having just taken a photo of the n95…. Notice the Finger prints on the black plastic already.


Long View – N95
n78 - Long View out a window

Long View – N78
n78 - Long View out a window

Plant – N78
n78 - Plant close Up

Plant – N95-8gb
n95-8gb - Plant close Up

The only other thing to note is that the only two photos that was nativelly geotagged was the N95 Plant and the N78 window, the rest of the Tags I have added in Flickr.

With the N78 it geotagged the window shot, even with out the Assisted GPS turned off using the new Auto Geotagging built into the firmware.  I do think it is a bit faster at getting a fix that the N95 but it was using Location Tagger which is still the only way to do it on the N95.  Evidently it will be coming in the next firmware update.

The N95 Plant shot was tagged as I had the GPS already running using Sports Tracker for logging my driving in the car.

I will try some geotagging tests soon.

Twitter SMS Updates….

Got this email this morning from Twitter…..

Short version outside the US and the UK direct SMS updates will no longer come to my phone. I can still send updates but not receive them away from my computer.

Two things could happen.
1- Twitter is about to suffer a major blow outside countries that have SMS updates now.
2 – If they are fast and australian telco’s aren’t greedy things will be back up to normal very soon.

I am afraid that here in Australia with the way that data charges are that a sms gateway for Twitter may not eventuate for quite some time.

This is a major concern for me. Sure I can still send sms updates, but the receiving of them is vitally important to me to keep the service viable as people have come to use it. If people want me that are not in my circle of physical friends in the last few months I have “DM Twitter” friends for news, information and social gatherings. All sitting in a state of flux.

One of the biggest advantages of twitter was that it broke the IP Model. I can be outside of an IP controlled space (and ironically the IP costs) sitting on an old Nokia 8250 and still follow the world and have to world follow me (not that many did :-()

I only hope that this gets addressed quickly as the Twitter Space was nearly at threshold to break out into true mainstream globally.

I’ll write more later on this subject!

….. The Letter ……

I’m sending you this note because you registered a mobile device
to work with Twitter over our UK number. I wanted to let you
know that we are making some changes to the way SMS works on
Twitter. There is some good news and some bad news.

I’ll start with the bad news. Beginning today, Twitter is no
longer delivering outbound SMS over our UK number. If you enjoy
receiving updates from Twitter via +44 762 480 1423, we are
recommending that you explore some suggested alternatives.

Note: You will still be able to UPDATE over our UK number.

Before I go into more detail, here’s a bit of good news: Twitter
will be introducing several new, local SMS numbers in countries
throughout Europe in the coming weeks and months. These new
numbers will make Twittering more accessible for you if you’ve
been using SMS to send long-distance updates from outside the UK.

Why are we making these changes?

Mobile operators in most of the world charge users to send
updates. When you send one message to Twitter and we send it to
ten followers, you aren’t charged ten times–that’s because we’ve
been footing the bill. When we launched our free SMS service to
the world, we set the clock ticking. As the service grew in
popularity, so too would the price.

Our challenge during this window of time was to establish
relationships with mobile operators around the world such that
our SMS services could become sustainable from a cost perspective.
We achieved this goal in Canada, India, and the United States.
We can provide full incoming and outgoing SMS service without
passing along operator fees in these countries.

We took a risk hoping to bring more nations onboard and more
mobile operators around to our way of thinking but we’ve arrived
at a point where the responsible thing to do is slow our costs
and take a different approach. Since you probably don’t live in
Canada, India, or the US, we recommend receiving your Twitter
updates via one of the following methods.

m.twitter.com works on browser-enabled phones
m.slandr.net works on browser-enabled phones
TwitterMail.com works on email-enabled phones
Cellity [http://bit.ly/12bw4R] works on java-enabled phones
TwitterBerry [http://bit.ly/MFAfJ] works on BlackBerry phones
Twitterific [http://bit.ly/1WxjwQ] works on iPhones

Twitter SMS by The Numbers

It pains us to take this measure. However, we need to avoid
placing undue burden on our company and our service. Even with a
limit of 250 messages received per week, it could cost Twitter
about $1,000 per user, per year to send SMS outside of Canada,
India, or the US. It makes more sense for us to establish fair
billing arrangements with mobile operators than it does to pass
these high fees on to our users.

Twitter will continue to negotiate with mobile operators in
Europe, Asia, China, and The Americas to forge relationships

that benefit all our users. Our goal is to provide full, two-way
service with Twitter via SMS to every nation in a way that is
sustainable from a cost perspective. Talks with mobile companies
around the world continue. In the meantime, more local numbers
for updating via SMS are on the way. We’ll keep you posted.

Thank you for your attention,
Biz Stone, Co-founder
Twitter, Inc.

N78 – v N95-8Gb

30 Minute play review…

N95 – 8GB N78
99 x 53 x 21 mm, 96 cc 113 x 49 x 15.1 mm, 76.5 cc
128 g 101.8 g
240 x 320 pixels, 2.8 inche 240 x 320 pixels, 2.4 inche
– 8 GB internal memory
– 128 MB SDRAM memory
– Dual ARM 11 332 MHz CPU
– 3D Graphics HW Accelerator
– 76 MB internal memory
– 96 MB SDRAM memory
– ARM 11 369 MHz processor
5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, video(VGA 30fps), flash; secondary CIF videocall camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, Carl Zeiss optics, video(VGA 15fps), flash;
TV Out FM Transmitter
– Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
8gb on board storage MicroSD Slot (2gb supplied)

Candybar Bar verses Slider. I actually prefer the candy bar design. Sure it may be in most cases slightly bigger in your pocket, but one it is open the N95 is longer and thicker and heavier than the n78. And after 7 months my slider is not as tight at is used to be and the whole phone has a bit of a wobble, something that is not going to happen with the n78.

TV Out or FM transmitter… tough call, I have used and would use both. TV out is great in that you can make a presentation and take just your phone to a location and show clients something, or just review your holiday snaps on a big screen at the hotel. The FM transmitter means that you can listen to your music in the car straight from your phone. I’m still deciding which would be the more useful… work or pleasure.

The Camera is a big thing and so the N95-8gb camera wins hands down just on megapixel count and both phones have the same LED type flashes anyway so there is nothing in that.

The GPS is better located sitting at the top of the device as is the headphone socket (some thing that I really wish the N95 did) And it is good if not better at getting a fix as well. Also the Australian version came with a 3 month trial of the navigation.

I don’t see the problem that a lot of people seem to have that navigation costs more. I have paid for it and did so over buying TraveRoute for the R2H for the simple reason that I have my phone on me more than the R2H 9oh yeah and it is cheaper. Plus you are only paying for Navigation not the maps. You can see where you are and how to get somewhere for free anyway.

I have updated the Firmware straight away (came with 11.043 out of the box, going to 12.046),.  There was an issue with the updater saying it didn’t work, but it had 🙂 The Maps version has not been updated to Maps 2, as from a quick series of google looks there are issues with FP2 and the latest maps. (Pity)

The other great pity is there no Games or N-Gage on the phone. Games are great for one thing killing time on your phone. There is not even a version of snake for example. Power users will have no problems finding and installing free games, but Joe Average might end up paying for things that he didn’t need to.

The heart beat thing is also not upsetting me… I thought it would but given that the phone looks off when it is resting it is reassuring to know that it hasn’t died 🙂

Conclusion… If you want to get into the smart phone game the N78 is a winner. Sure the case will be used by CSI at some point in time to lift your finger prints.. but the geotagged photos will prove you were not at the location anyway. It may not have the screen and grunt of the N95 8gb, but it is a worthy device never the less.

I will put together some photos over the weekend to compare the devices and also the cameras as well.

n78 Update 3

Good news went passed the Chadstone Vodafone shop today and was served by the assistant manager (nice lass and should have remembered her name but didn’t :-))

Anyway quick swap and check of the paper work and a fire up off the new phone and I was done. Turns out on further inspection, it wasn’t just the camera, it was also the volume controls as well that were borked… Just a dud off the factory floor.

Anyway back to updating firmware.

One thing I have noticed that is bugging me already… and this one is really going to bug me.. The USB plug is different to my N95. WHY NOKIA WHY…. what it means is that when my wife and I go on the road, we will still need to USB plugs one for her phone and one for mine.

And one thing that is not bugging me… the battery for the n78 is the same 3.7v BL-6F as for the N95 8gb. So purchasing one spare battery will mean either phone can work (try and do that on your Iphone!)

The Media is missing the Point AGAIN.

“Losing his best friend in a freak boating accident was bad enough.
But Google’s Street View has made a bad situation worse for Bill, from Victoria.”


Yes, but having the story as the front page on The Age (FAIRFAX) is not just as bad, it is worse.

Google pulled the image, I suspect that they are monitoring Streetview and repeated spikes of traffic to places may get their interest tweaked.  The geo-ref for this was doing the rounds on Friday, by that night the image had been pulled.  And it would have stayed gone, occasionally doing the rounds of email in boxes I am sure, but now main stream media pulls up the screenshot, puts it on the home page for a major newspaper and screams about privacy.

If Google can blur photos and details, why can’t “The Age”.  Sure the story has more impact with the image, but by having the image the story also has hypocrisy! And that is why I blurred out the main part of the image!