Archive for the Tech Category

Visualizing mobile OS distribution

06/21/2013 14:54

This is so incredibly cool. It’s been all over twitter but just in case anyone didn’t see it, look at this:

New Cell phone update

10/3/2010 10:03

So, further to my reports of life without out a cell phone (here & here), I got myself a phone with Wind at the end of June. Despite many reports on forums of narrow home-calling areas and many drop-outs, I’m finding it works just swell. Except: the home zone doesn’t extend into my office! The phone goes into Away zone whenever it sits on my desk. I gots to say, that’s very annoying. It’s in home zone for much of the rest of the library. It even stays in home zone if I hang it from a hook on the wall of my office (seriously!). But I keep forgetting it when I do that.  Luckily, my N810 connects to my voip account in my office so I’m still reachable. And the new cell forwards to the old voip but I haven’t quite worked out the best call-forwarding settings yet so, the cell phone saga continues.

New cell phone setback

01/28/2010 12:50

As I reported last post: I was expecting that I’ll have to eventually get a new phone contract to allow the family the perception that they are in constant (potential) contact with me.

However, I’ve reached a temporary setback.

We have a FIDO “couples” plan. But only one phone on it at the moment because I removed my old phone last summer. But I didn’t change the plan because I wanted be able to add a phone back on to it. And so I called them and asked to do that.

Not so fast. To add a phone to this “existing” couples plan, that has only one phone on it, triggers a new 2-year contract. I’ve been a FIDO customer for 9 years. I don’t owe them any 2-year-contract. Ever again. But, says the customer rep, you can change the existing plan to a “legacy” single-number plan (with no fixed term contract) and add a new no-contract phone (as a separate account, I assume). But then we lose the pooled minutes and the legacy plan has too many minutes on the wrong phone. I told the nice pleasant customer-service rep that if I have to start new plans or new 2-year-contracts it triggers the necessity for me to research the other phone providers (including new ones coming this year) because I can’t assume that what Fido is forcing me to change to would be best for me. She told me I’ll have to do that homework.

Damn. Looks like I’m back to square one. Ever since Rogers bought Fido, my phone company has been an obstacle who acts like they’re out to screw me.

No Cell Phone: Update

01/16/2010 9:13

At the end of December I bought a Nokia N810 on Ebay.  Among other things, it’s perfectly set up as a wifi-voip mobile phone. I’m getting used to saying “call me at xxxxxxxx”, then having people say, “oh, you have a new cell phone”, and I say, “it’s not really a phone but you can call me and when I’m in a wifi zone, I’ll call you back.”

Some people are intrigued and ask me more about it, but some people really don’t get it. The whole “not a phone but you can call me” is just too weird, I guess.

Anyway, it’s turning out to be very useful but one of the values of a cell phone (that family can call at any moment and have, in their minds, a reasonable expectation that I’ll answer) is a little bit lost on them. The fact of the matter is, however, that when they phoned while I was on my way home from work I wouldn’t likely hear or be able to reach my phone and it would go to message anyway.

That said, it’s pretty much a given that I’ll get a phone too, at some point in the near future. I’m just hoping not to give out the cell number to anyone but those who really have to use it (re: family).

This is really good

11/14/2009 13:26

I ain’t no kind of design guru but this wordpress theme is really good:

Very clean and neat and to the point. Hmmm. Even makes me think I might want to change my themes, almost.

Thanks to Jon for tweeting this.

No iPhone. No cell phone of any kind.

10/22/2009 13:37

I just handed back my iphone. It belonged to work and I changed jobs and I don’t get to keep it. So, now I’m without a cell phone for the 1st time in ten years. Will I survive?

I’m not sure. However, when I got the iphone in June I kept my old cell number by porting it to a voip provider who have very cheap, pay-as-you-go rates. This provider has a feature that emails me everytime someone calls and leaves a voice mail and, in fact, the email contains the voicemail as an attachment.

So, I’ve carried a wifi-enabled handheld device for years. In fact, at the moment I’ve just re-commissioned my old Palm Lifedrive and that device can usually connect in a wifi cafe and see the emails. Whether it can listen to the attachments, I’m not sure, but there’s also a voip app for the lifedrive which lets me actally make calls. But at the moment the lifedrive microphone isn’t working well and the audio from my calls is inaudible.

Anyway, there’s more work to do on this front and who knows, if I get this all sorted, maybe I won’t need no stinking cell phone!

Scoopler redux

09/13/2009 21:00

So I was able finally to try out scoopler. Okay. Pretty handy.

In fact, it taps a thread that I’ve been thinking about for a while: the idea that the “standard” supply of  information content that means something to a given community has to include comments, criticisms, posts, and blogs by the very members of the community. And these posts and comments are now, increasingly, on these social networks that are hard for traditional information-agglomerating tools (website search (google), catalogues (library), listserv archives and digests, and so on.

Last time I tried to use it, scoopler were having some reliabilityi issues. But this time, while I think there’s still a few speed issues, it works pretty well and, in fact, it’s pretty handy to have. Especially for info on events and ideas that are moving fast. It’s worth checking out.

Maybe scoopler might be great, I don’t know

07/30/2009 22:21

I read an article on a list about Scoopler and how it might be great because it was going to try to catch tweets and status post realtime and let you search for them. But I’ve tried to use it twice and I keep getting a blank search-page that says this:

“We’re having a little trouble keeping up with all of you Scooplings! Please try the homepage again in a few minutes or email if you need more help.”

Hmmm. Even late on a Thursday night. I guess the web never sleeps. But this doesn’t bode well for realtime tweet searching.

Here is the proof: there is no way to predict our digital future.

07/20/2009 21:30

This ( is really cool! Now I’m not a videographer, as you might know. But, oooohhh, there’s something about hacking into the camera’s OS to make much more than what was originally intended that just makes my head spin. Who would ever predict that this would happen. If it catches on, film-making might never be the same. Wow!

Thanks to Baden for the tip.

Walking with the iPhone

06/25/2009 21:57

Walking with an iphone means I have a 2gb camera in my pocket, all the time. That means, I’m prone to taking pictures, all the time. Generally speaking, the total lo-res package is pretty bad but, still, a camera is what you make it to be. So here’s a couple pictures.