The summer eccentricity.

There are four phones on my desk that are well adapted to tracking hikes. There is the nexus one, the e51, n95 and n97. The reason I mention this is battery life. In my experience if you go on a long hike at least one of the phones will die.

You could buy an extra battery or two to make sure that this never happens but a more practical solution is to take all of your phones, install the tracking application on them and swap phone once the battery dies.

Of course this would involve taking three chargers with you but at least this way you could track the hike in terms of chapters and somehow aggregate the data for a true hike map.

Google Latitude and Automatic stalking for only your closest friends

logo of google latitude Google latitude is the perfect tool for anyone that works and has a life where logging into locations would be an unsightly thing to do. By that I mean that you can’t arrive at work and log into the location. It gives colleagues the impression you are not serious about your work.

Now take this same situation in a social context. You go hiking and the people around you are not necessarily as passionate about technology. They’re walking around with paper maps after all.

That’s where Google latitude comes into it’s own. Location is tracked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week every single day that your device is on.

Why am I doing this? Am I not mad? Do I not have this location information to hide, and no shame? Well of course I have things to hide and shame but with this network only your closest friends can see where you are. And they only know your current location, not your previous locations.

That’s where the service differs from foursquare, gowalla, yelp and all the others. Your location history is private. Only you have access to it.

Then why use it in the first place? Well that’s simple. It’s a lifelog that’s not broadcast. You can keep track of how much time you’ve spent at home, at work and out socialising. Once a week I get to find out whether I was at work for more than fifty hours, whether I was at home for too many hours. More importantly i get to see whether I should not be a little more active in going out, from a personal life point of view. That’s where I’m lacking at the moment. Google latitude’s dashboard will help change that.

Now, how could it improve? First of all automatic location check in. If I’m by starbucks in Geneva airport log me in if I’m seeing that network more than ten minutes. If I’m at the apple store for that amount of time log me in there. If I’m at a bar and I lose signal in that region due to poor network coverage then assume I’m in that bar.

By being automatic and private location information could be quite a bit more interesting. More to the point that data is being collected anyway by mobile operators so why not take advantage of this?

I believe this to be the future of mobile geo-location. With more android phones out there and more devices capable of multitasking this could easily become the norm.

Gmail V 2.0 on the N95 8gb

Having just noticed that the new gmail application for S60 is out I have noticed some interesting new features, the most interesting of which for some of you may be the accounts tab so that you may use more than one gmail account at once. Other features include Chats, outbox, mobile drafts, Chat, contacts and more.

One of the more interesting options now is that you can search through your e-mails straight from the application on the phone rather than using the website. As a result it’s far easier to find that particular e-mail with flight information or the route you were planning on taking.

7000 youtube views

Over the past month I have seen an increase of 7000 views in relation to the videos I have posted on youtube. The two events that helped make this a reality are the Geneva Lake Parade and the Paleo Festival. For the Paleo Festival scantily clad girls were an attractive proposition.

As to the paleo it was taking video I had streamed live on qik and sharing it via a number of video sharing websites of which youtube was one.

To give an idea of the audience peaks we saw over 900 views for the Lake Parade footage and over 1300 views for Manu Chao. That’s a respectable audience.

The question is whether there are any events you would like me to cover (via live streaming from a mobile phone) and whether that would attract a big enough audience.

The 3g golden Goose and it’s noose.

You see, 3G is the golden goose for wireless carriers. It’s technology that turns their networks from boring voice systems to multi-functional data systems. They’re going from being a diner offering three specials/day to a restaurant with a huge buffet. This buffet is enticing and offers something for pretty much everyone but you’ll have to pay for it.

And that’s the part I like. The phone has never been my medium of choice. Too disruptive, too many factors to take into consideration.

Looking forward to when the golden goose has de-valued data to such a point it’s as cheap as broadband has become.

Two very different types of Qik videos

We climbed the ladder for two different reasons.

Today both a friend and I are among the top qikkers of the day. Whilst Documentally of was in Milton Keynes getting an iphone 3g and streaming a number of videos on the experience I was filming dancers at the Geneva lake Parade. Both these events have appeal for different reasons.

We’re used to watching videos of Americans getting the iphone and doing a variety of geek events and for once we had the English experience. It’s not a very visual occurrence but at least it’s been streamed and shared. He also took the opportunity to speak about lifecast, a new way of sharing the media you generate over a day.

The Lake Parade is a very different type of event. It’s the type of event photographers and camera oeprators go to in order to get video and photographs of girls dancing to music. It’s only once a year and previous years have been better. I like the fact that I can go to the event with a phone, stream video straight to the web and all without the hassle of a camera and laptop.

I’m commenting on the latter because it’s the second time I see someone walking with a laptop in order to do some live streaming of an event whilst I’m very light. I could have shot in high definition but everyone’s doing that. What interests me is going to an event, finding some action, sharing it live as it happens and not have any real post production concerns.

In general live streaming from mobile phones is an interesting way of covering events that does not get much publicity. As a result the audiences are not as large as they could be but that will change. It’s just a matter of getting people used to the idea of webcams and live streams being more interesting than a static twenty meters from where the action is happening.

Finally re-united with my Macbook pro

After over a month without the macbook pro it finally appears to be working again. Both the motherboard and the superdrive have been replaced. i’ve upgraded to the procare package and I’ve decided to have a secondary machine running linux as a backup. 

It’s a shame that apple authorised resellers would take over a month to put my machine right bt now it’s done and I’m not going to think about upgrading mac machines for the next two years… unless I come to a large amount of cash in which case I’d rethink that. 

What I am more interested in now though is what can be done with mobile phones and mobile devices. In particular I was really happy to have the N95 8gig because it allowed me to cut out the laptop all together. 

The point is that now all devices should be self contained, able to do everything without the need for a laptop. For weeks I couldn’t get the latest podcasts or keep up with feedreading. Even checking e-mail was less practical. Now is the time to see how far we can go in doing everything from a portable device. 

Mountain streams

Whilst some people are perfectly happy sitting at a desk chatting to others via webcams I prefer to be out and about streaming daily life. Today was one example of what I like to do. I went up to La Dole for a walk with the n95 and streamed a few landscapes for people following me on twitter to see.

We finally got caught out by some hail and thunder but my phone survived.

I want more people to do this type of thing. Come out and have fun, stream life as it happens. Show us what’s outside your living room or home office.