Category Archives: Mobile

Tony and Daniel on portable device convergence

Tony: Rae actually discovered we can change our phone picture quality to high over the weekend so I’ve fallen in love with my phone all over again.

Daniel: Woo hoo! (Must put my phone contract expiry in my diary. Upgrade to camera phone top priority.)

Tony: The latest crop, the ‘i’ models for Nokia, have 1.5-2 mega pixel cameras now. Very very impressive.

Daniel: So by the time I upgrade, I’ll probably be able to get 3mp, which is what my Real Camera has! But even 2 is plenty for web use.

Tony: When I went to Canada all those years ago I had a 2MP camera and thought it was the bees-knees. I’m leaning more and more towards the phone being the great convergence technology. I can put a 1G SD card in to my phone now to turn it in to a more than adequate MP3 player, it even plays AAC files. A 2MP camera would do just fine for snaps. It already has the calendar feature and all my contacts. I probably won’t get another PocketPC when this one falls over.

Daniel: It makes a lot of sense, because making phone calls is really the killer app for mobile technology. I’ve long taken the view that I’ll carry a phone no matter what, so the more features I can pack in there, the better.

Tony: Exactly. The phone and keys are the two things you always seem to have on you.

Daniel: I might turn this conversation into a GR.

Tony: Cool.

Hotspots, iPod and the death of cassettes

The Hotspot index says Melbourne has 26,243 people per hotspot. Sydney comes in at 36,000, Australia as a whole at 42,850. US 38,632. UK 22,963. But the modern Asian megacities beat all, with HK at 19,654 and Singapore 12,604. In Melbourne (and I assume other cities) they were investigating the idea of hotspots on trains, which could be a moneyspinner. Would almost make an hour-long commute from somewhere like Frankston or Belgrave bearable.

The Queen has an iPod. Hmmm, can’t see her rocking out to Bohemian Rhapsody.

Meanwhile MP3 players and CDs appear to be killing off cassettes. Yeah, and good riddance, say I. Poor sound quality and no random access combined with a fragile physical media. But it does remind me of a classic line from Alas Smith & Jones: “What is Dolby? It’s basically a very complicated system for playing cassettes with the little green light on, or off.”

Proximity sense travel cards are vital; processes support falible memory

I lost my train ticket the other day. My monthly. A hundred bucks worth. I recalled that I’d validated it on the bus to get home (because the bus was there; I don’t wait for it if it’s not there – the timing’s a little vauge and I’m not that adverse to exercise). I remembered left in my back pocket along with a bus timetable. And I knew it was lost, because I have processes to deal with a decaying memory. I lock the car with the car keys now, because the car can be locked without them and I know that I can and have left the keys in the car; so locking it with the key means I can’t do that. I knew that I’d only recently walked in the door, and that I’d only been in a limited number of places. I knew that there was only one place it should have been, where I leave all my pcoket stuff – phone, wallet, MP3 player, keys, coins, ID lanyard and travel ticket. And it wasn’t there. Because I was in the process of trying to put it there. But the other stuff was. It wasn’t in any of my pockets.

I concluded that the only remaining explaination is that I had dropped it, which seemed ludicrous. How could that have happened? It was in my pocket! I retraced my steps back to the bus stop, and halfway there I found the bus pass. Another hundred metres and I found the ticket. During the walk home it had worked its way out, sliding up against the bus timetable and onto the footpath.

Now, the reason I had it in my back pocket was because it was a Friday, and on Fridays its casual day at work and as such my shirt didn’t have a pocket in it. So, there was process failure there, but it was to be expected. Little I can do about casual day.

I’ve had scares like this in the past. The reason I keep my ticket in my pocket is because I need it easily accessible, for feeding into the barriers to let me in and out of the train stations. There are most secure locations I can keep it, but they are less accessible. So I’ve left it in the pocket of the previous day’s shirt and not realised until I’ve arrived at the train station.

But the crux of the matter, the reason this is a GeekRant article, is because if the damn ticket was proximity detect I could keep it in my wallet or on my ID lanyard and never lose it and also have it ready to validate at a moment’s notice. The lanyard would be best, because then I couldn’t get to work without taking my lanyard with me, which would remove another thing I could forget and would inconvience me. And this is all the more important now that I’m lugging a thousand buck yearly ticket around with me. It’s not like it can’t be done either – all the validating machines have proximity sense detectors on them. At least the yearly tickets are plastic and will survive a trip through the washing machine.

Stupid MetCard.

SMS spam from

I got an invitation to join A quick Google seemed to indicate it’s not a great idea unless you want to give your mobile number to people who will SMS-spam you.

Further, if they convince you to reveal your Hotmail password (on the pretext of letting you read it from your mobile) they’ll also spam the people in your address book, inviting them to join. Delightful. And the person who “invited” me? She wasn’t even aware it had happened.

So remember kids: is bad. Now email this warning to all your friends.

Copy Protection?

Back for my birthday, Cathy bought me The Cat Empire CD. Which is great, I love The Cat Empire. After unwrapping the present, I read the back cover and realized it was one of the broken copy protected EMI CDs. And after much howling and frustration it went back to the shop (still in its shrinkwrap) to be swapped for a CD that complies with the Red Book standard.
Fast forward to last week, when I was at my local library. There was The Cat Empire CD! “Great, I’d Love to listen to that”, thinks I. I take it home, and in a fit of pique decide to see if I can load it onto my MP3/WMA player… and it does, using XP’s Media Player.
Isn’t copy protection meant to work? I guess that’s why I bought the LiteOn CD drive – it has a reputation for reading “difficult” disks. I can listen to the music, and haven’t paid for it, when I would have been happy to pay for it… the CIA calls that “blowback”, don’t they?