Over the weekend I looked for a quick solution to an internet relay chat interface using html rather than Java.
Once I got this running, I was able to use it on the N800, which was pretty cool.
At last! Nokia have finally got around to releasing what I think is one of the most important devices to come on to the market for a long time. The N95. The last time I said this, it was about the N91 with its Wifi and built-in 4Gb hard disk – two years ago. A fantastic podcast listening device. (The time before that, it was salivating over the Sony Ericsson P800 four years ago)
I had the opportunity to play (for a very short time!) with a Nokia N95 while at CES and a couple of other places over the past few months. It absolutely blows my mind what is possible with this device – if it can hold power for long enough!
Words can’t describe how much I want one of these. As. Soon. As. Possible.
So what’s so good about it?
Not only is it a mobile telephone with a very nice big QVGA screen, it is also a GPS device. It has WiFi 802.11g. GPS / HSDPA / EDGE. A 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera lens. FM Radio. Text-to-speech. Stereo Bluetooth. It has landscape and portrait viewing. It has hard buttons for the media player and camera. It has a regular headphone jack (now becoming a wise standard on the NSeries handsets). It has USB for transfers to the microSD card. Shows up like a hard disk (when set to). It comes with some podcast software too, supporting OPML and RSS data very nicely. FlashLite 2 support. Phew! *takes a breath*
The built-in mobile browser on Symbian Series60 supports the input type-file tag! This is VERY important (take note Microsoft Windows Mobile). It means that it supports a standard file upload form which you see everywhere – with the bonus of a progress bar already there for you. I think all the latest Series60 browsers now support this money-saving feature. Ever see the difference in price to sending an an MMS over uploading/emailing with web access? A lot.
Oh, did I also mention that it has a TV-OUT! (Perfect for my Samsung SyncMaster171MP monitor/tuner with PiP)
AND to put the icing on the cake, Nokia are giving you the mapping for free! Amazing, though I think you might have to pay if you want ‘voice-over directions’ etc. And no doubt other info like where the nearest caffeine fix is.
Also, with the GPS capabilities, you’ll be able to store your Geo location data in the ‘EXIF data’ part of a jpeg photo taken by the camera. This will be optional.
So, this is why I built NOKLOG.COM in preparation. When I eventually get my hands on the N95, I will add maps to the system – as no doubt flickr will automatically do too since they read EXIF data all the time – and make the real world of blogging very much like the virtual world of blogging which I have cooking away over at blogHUD.com in Second Life.
Also think what Twitter will be like with real GPS data with posts. I met with people from Nokia Series60 a while ago, and asked them about seeing if we can get the GPS data available for a browser form. So we’ll see about that 😉
What’s wrong about it?
The only possibly unwise move I think Nokia have done recently is to get too deep under the duvet with SixApart. For many years, Nokia have had a product called LifeBlog, where they provide a system to post your life’s txts, photos and stuff to a timeline / blog.
But from what I remember, the problem with this was that you were forced BUY a TypePad account if you wanted to blog using this software. Argh!
Due to some new abilities for developers on the new Series60 version 3.0 using .cfg files, these new N95s and some of the other models will be shipping with the ability to post your photos immediately to flickr. And also – hello again SixApart – post to a blog on a VOX.com account.
Double argh!!! If Nokia had looked around at all the most prominent Nokia based blogs there are out there, not many use Vox do they? And do you think they are about to swap their blogging systems over to a blogging system, which doesn’t output an RSS 2.0 feed – Atom only! (not to mention the most consistently vague developer docs I have ever seen)
So fear not, dear gadget-loving, pocket-burning, blogging friends. When I get the N95, I’ll have a solution out there for those of us who want to use OUR EXISTING blogging systems! A free one. With all the things I NEED to do, all right there 🙂
Where can I get one? NOW!
More reports from the blogosphere here:
Update: I have also just found something else this phone does with an app called ‘Sensor’. But that’s for another post. 😉
I see that Scripting News has been thinking of Twitter. I’m surprised at the reaction from someone who usually see so much potential in simple things. (Something seems to be up over there too – I tried to comment but they vanished)
UPDATE : More discussion from Dave Winer
At first, I thought – “so what’s so great about this Twitter thing?” – it’s just blogging with just titles. One-liners. With contact lists. Aggregation of those contacts’ one-liners. And an SMS communication layer to distribute those short messages away from the desktop…without the internet.
oh, hang on.. 🙂 — hmm…aha!
To me, it’s the SMS layer to mobiles which makes this interesting. It’s very easy to duplicate – but not so easy to pay for. But SMS ‘can’ make a lot of money (but for who, eh? *nudge*)
The actual content back end must be very simple indeed – but no idea about what they are doing with scaling that, but it seems to get better and worse now again, which means they are constantly tweaking it I imagine.
They say they will be adding groups. This is a good idea, as it will extend what users can do privately – and that means it could be used for businesses.
Some sites have started to ‘ping’ their TwitterBots (which have no friends – as they don’t read – but many followers) with the latest updates to their systems – Techmeme, BBC, CNN, Podcast.com, etc. – It’s a little river of news, mashed up with commentary, streams of consciousness – and the mundane. I have a little function on my server, using PHP and Curl to ‘Tweet’ me from a special account when something goes wrong.
I’m toying with couple of usernames which I am ‘Sqwitting‘ (That’s username squatting on Twitter, folks) which I plan to make respond to certain calls and queries after any user who the ‘befriended’ the account calls using @question or @answer – which has now become the de facto way to openly reply to another one of your friends. It’s easy to list recent posts from friends with the API, so why not get it to ‘look’ for @name calls? *Bingo!* It’s like a machine!
There are heaps of combinations of feeds – in different formats – to play with and construct all sorts of useful things – all with that very handy SMS layer 🙂 It won’t be long before someone builds something very useful based on this system. But only when it’s reliable and faster! 🙂
Rex Hammock quotes a great line from Joi Ito on how Americans, when looking at new technology immediately ask, “What’s the business application?” In Japan, however, new technology is handed to children who are told, “Go play with it.” The kids play and do stuff that later becomes things that others realize would make sense also in a business context.
(and I think this is important)
I think that they should Open Source the main Twitter server system structure NOW. Before it gets cloned all over the place. (As happened with YouTube, etc)
All except the SMS layer. There is a huge potential business model in then creating that connection between all the various ‘TwitterPlanets’ in the ‘TwitterVerse’ to that SMS layer to enable that which is most valuable – staying in touch with the network while away from the desk or internet using a device most of us already have in our pockets.
The potential here and NOW is huge. They could wrap this up. Think of all the extra features that could come from it. Think of all the useful ‘special agent bots’ – each with different abilities from different (Twitter)planets. How that could also help the ‘mother hub’ itself. It’s almost a model of what will happen when Linden opensource their Server system. The universe, metaverse and Twitterverse will benefit.
What do you think?
Yes folks, head on over and free your souls from all your sins!! 🙂
SIN in 140 characters or less!! Anonymously get it off your chest!
The Twitterati forgive you!! Follow us Brothers and Sisters! Have mercy on your mobiles!
Disclaimer: This service has not been approved by any deity or creed. No infringment is intended.
I have had a load of thoughts and ideas about Twitter recently, but that’s for another ‘tweet’ .. 😉
Follow me at http://twitter.com/kosso
If you make a browser these days, you MUST support a simple, basic, easy-to-use, tag called type=file in your web browser. It enables those forms we see which allow you to browse your local ‘memory’ (which you paid extra for) then upload a file to a website. Just like YouTube lets you upload a (potentially) massive file to create (and freely host) a smaller flv file in the browser – with progress bars! (If you need a desktop app to convert to flv BEFORE posting to YouTube – let me know – I have it built right here)
If your mobile browser does not support this then you’re losing out – trust me. Those that DO support it – don’t just support one system. The Metaweblog API (and even the Blogger API) was created for a reason. Those blogging vendors who don’t support that are leading your device into a walled garden – and no one wants that in the long run/tail.
It’s simple. This form tag supports systems that are easy to build. It’s ‘open’. It’s been around for years. If your device’s native browser does not support this, then it’s clear to me that you’re not supporting the user : you are supporting the carrier alone (hello iPhone) . Did you know that an MMS post typically costs about ten times the amount that a file upload via your mobile connection costs? If your device does not support open ‘wifi’ even though you harp on about that kind of ‘802 dot’ connectivity – forget it.
This is why I created camoby.com – which is now noklog.com for now. (Links to come once I sort out some setttings on WP which I fiddled with) – if your device’s web browser does not support the type=file tag then I’m sorry, but you’re missing out. You’re not in the game. You’re playing catchup with those that do support it. And what’s more : your carriers are rippiing people off. Period.
If you are a device product manager, or have any kind of sway in what goes out to the consumer, then please..’do what is right’. Enable the ability for mobile web developers to create systems which enable the owner of a device/phone/etc. to CREATE as well as CONSUME content. Your device CAN do it. If your app supports the ability for the device owener to add and browse OPML and RSS, then you just about have it right there. Hi Noki!
If your device supports the ‘podcasting standard’ of recording mime types of (at least) mp3, and your browser can upload that content, without installing anything at all, then you have ‘it’. (If not, then sure, we can transcode it for you!)
There are billions of mobile devices out there around the world. Sure, the majority of those devices stay used for years, and only recently are beginning to get updated more frequently, due to network availability, so .. why not enable that user to harp on about who or where they are, using a mobile blogging system which they control?
I believe that those device manufacturers which embrace this opinion will ‘win’. People WANT to upgrade their ‘pocket computer’.
I rest my case – aka/now pocket 😉
Presenting NOKLOG.COM!!! 🙂
So, what else have I been working on? Well, some of you will already know about the BlogHUD system I built for Second Life users, which lets them post messages and articles to a blogging system. It will also crosspost the post to your external blog too (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc) – as well as send on any images you take to your flickr account.
Well, all this is really a model for a simple web application for mobiles which I started think about and testing back in 2004 called ‘camoby’. I used it to post articles of gadgets back to the BBC News website while I was out at CeBit in ’04. The editor back in London watched my RSS feed for things he liked for the site, then republished them on the BBC news site like a blog (one of their first, actually!)
So, the camoby system has evolved – as have I. Since learning many new skills since then,I was able to sit here in my hotel room in Boston/Cambridge yesterday and build the whole proof-of-concept system at noklog.com. (This will probably move to another domain eventually, as more manufacturers allow this very useful feature)
NOKLOG is a mobile publishing system, optimised for mobile browsers which support the oft-requested file upload form tag. (input type=file) Nokia’s Symbian Series60 web browser and Sony Ericsson’s phones with the Symbian UIQ browsers have supported this for a while. No need to build and install more apps on the phone. It all goes via the web. Sweet! it also works with the connected Archos devices (PMA430 and 604WiFi).
The difference with this and the camoby system is that I can now support ALL media types which the handset can produce. Ie: Images, Audio and Video. Once uploaded, the user can choose to publish/post the media to the main noklog.com blog, when the server then processes the image to a sensible jpeg size (with branding / watermark) and transcodes audio (.amr, .wav etc) to mp3 for podcasts and flash players AND now also video – .mp4, .3gp etc will get transcoded to the ubiquitous Flash video format (.flv) to use in a webbased Flash player, a la YouTube. No reason why I can’t transcode to MPEG4 H.263 for iPods and PSP too. It’s easy once you know how 😉
BUT, not only that – like the blogHUD system, users will also be able to share this content and extent its reach even further by crossposting to your own blogging system – if it supports XML-RPC / MetaWeblog / Blogger APIs or email publishing. There is also no reason why I couldn’t FTP the media to a host provider like Libsyn too!
This means that as well as sending you post to your blog, you can also send images on to your flickr account or even your YouTube or blip.tv account – AUTOMAGICALLY!!! W00t! (as they say!) heheh Also each user has their own ‘home’ page and RSS feed to share their mobile life. Aggretastic!
I’ll be improving this system over the next few days, as I stay out of the cold currently blowing over Massachusetts and add things like tagging etc.
Using Second Life and the blogHUD to model this system – as well as model my own abilities and support/iteration mechanisms has been a truly wonderful experience, One which I emplore any developer to try out. You will not regret it.
I’ll keep you posted when I can let some testers to NOKLOG in to try the system out. It shouldn’t be too long – because it’s simple! Just the way we like it 😉
Naturally, all this fits in perfectly with the podcast.com system I am creating, which is about to get a big overhaul to the new system upgrade I have nearly finished 🙂
I think one of the big breakthroughs we’ll see in mobile devices in 2007 will be Wireless USB. It’s apparently faster than ‘normal’ WiFi and uses less power (good news for mobiles). With a 10 metre range, it could provide all sorts of interesting sharing abilities rather like the Zune, or a ‘wiPod’.
Next year will be all about cutting the cord and going mobile, while staying connected to your network and free to copy what you want, where you want or allow.
Now, how about that cordless VR headset eh? ;p WiiHii!
What’s that number? Well, that’s the TEN (count ’em) mobile keyboard button pushes that will be required for simply typing the END of the url!!!!
Who even thinks these things up? At least .WAP was a simple ‘1927’ – let me guess, it wasn’t a european who came up with this .mobi top level domain – they(we)’ve used mobiles for a hell of a lot longer for mobile sites and data access.
I’m sorry, but though I like the idea of a mobile TLD, but to have to hit my keyboard TEN TIMES to type in the just the last past of a mobi url is just ‘3338822255444664022277729999999‘!!!!