Bryan and I are heading to the Mobile 2.0 Europe conference on Thursday. Looking forward to a great event and the opportunity to meet up with assorted friends. Many thanks to Rudy for the last minute invites!
Anyone fancy meeting up for dinner on Thursday night?
In a few weeks we celebrate one year in the UK. Methinks it was a good move
So for your reading enjoyment, bits and bobs of strange mobile news from Canada.
- Fido annouces 3G services: “Of course, the fun seems to end the moment you want to actually use the service as rates are pinned at $10 a month for 12 MB data and a penny for every kilobyte in overages. To put that in perspective, a 250 MB month would cost you ’round about $2500 for the data services alone. Thanks, but no thanks, FIDO.” [Engadget]
- But hold on, if you’re a Virgin subscriber you can get unlimited monthly surfing for $10–but only if you happen to own the MOTOKRZR (with an ever-versatile WAP 2.0 browser) or Samsung M510 (the browser here is so insignificant that Samsung doesn’t even list it on its specification page…oh and don’t try to download Opera Mini either–sorry, not supported)
- Rogers has started 7.2 Mbps HSPA trials in Montreal and Brampton — Brampton? (insert name of your favourite local suburban wasteland here…) Apparently….”The consumer appetite for mobile applications is undeniable in Canada and around the world,” said Rob Bruce, President, Rogers Wireless.” The data speeds achieved in this trial will enable Rogers to meet our customers’ needs with the most advanced, innovative services today and in the future.” Huh? What? Reminder: the most advanced Nokia for sale in Canada is the 6680 But then…maybe this is why…
- Canada has the highest penetration of Blackberrys: “Canada was the birthplace of the BlackBerry platform and Canada continues to generate the highest per capita penetration of BlackBerry smartphones in the world today,” said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM. “We are fortunate to be located in a country with a thriving wireless industry that continues to offer businesspeople and consumers world-class wireless data services.” (Can’t stop laughing!!)
- Meanwhile, because Candians still use the word ‘cell-phone’, a random Google search for Canada and ‘mobile’ returns this LOL! result as #4 (right on the heels of #3; an article entitled “Canada Worse than 3rd World Countries when it comes to Mobile Data Access.”
Yeah…Nokia is opening a ‘flagship’ store in London (whoever invented that term was brilliant…instant glamour for what is technically nothing more than a local branch. )
I’m quite happy. I’ve been oogling a couple devices that are hard to find here and didn’t want to simply order them from the Nokia UK site without the opportunity to play with them a bit first.
More here from PaidContent UK.
A big welcome to Mobile Monday Jakarta.
A working team consisted of executives from some of the highest-profiled mobile companies in Indonesia including Nokia Siemens, Nokia Mobile Phones, Ericsson, Sony Ericsson as well as the country’s giant network providers like Indosat, Telkomsel and Excelcomindo.
According to Andy Zain, founder of MobileMonday Indonesia, Indonesia’s working team is supported by an advisory board consisting of senior management from all major operators and media companies in the country, “ensuring that MobileMonday Indonesia is always in tune with the industry trends”, he said.
More information can be found on their web site or this article on CNet Indonesia.
We’re moving on again (on Monday…yikes…) Bryan has been offered a full-time position working with Future Platforms in Brighton. I will be taking a month or so off to sort out what i’m doing next (definetely something mobile…) and in the meantime; I already have a very full schedule.
- September 29-30: Mobile BarCamp at Fjord in London
- October 10-13: HandHeld Learning 2007 (There are a bunch of discounted passes on offer at the moment. Tony Vincent at Learning In Hand is offering Â£70 off while Tribal CTAD are offering a 15% off voucher over on Geoff’s blog.)
- October 16-17: Symbian Smartphone Show (they have some pretty eclectic speakers on offer–all for free–including Padmasree Warrior (CTO Motorola), Tomi Ahonen and Matt Millar from Adobe EMEA(/Mobile Innovation.) And of course lots of phones to play with…I really miss the tech malls in Bangkok so this will be my hansdet fix for the month
- November 9th: I will be moderating a panel discussion at Wireless World Forum’s mobileYouth Trends Workout 2007
- November 14: I will be attending the Future of Mobile event (for you Flash Lite folk…this will be the second opportunity to see Adobe’s Matt Millar talk about ‘Next Generation UI’s.
- Haven’t decided if i’ll be attending Flash on the Beach yet…would have loved the option of a 1 day ticket…not enough I want to see to pay for 3 days. I have signed up as a volunteer however so you may see me handing out t-shirts!
Who knows what else will come along… Then at some point I will have to get back to work…probably far sooner than later…(I don’t do ‘idle’ well )
The nice folks at O2 have sent me a Cocoon to play with. My thoughts so far…
Things I like:
- The form factor of the handset itself is quite nice. It’s got a nice weight to it and placing the music controls (pause, forward, volume jog-dial) on the outside are a nice touch. I’ve never really cared for clamshells as many feel cheap to me (even some of the Nokia ones ) but I like the feel of the Cocoon when closed as well as open (but then the UI goes and ruins it—more on that below.)
- The volume control jog-dial is a nice touch. Feels somewhat retro compared to the more space-aged controls about on other devices and I like not having to interact with the UI to adjust volume. That said, being able to (digitally) see the actual volume level on the outside of the phone is a nice touch. A good mixture of new and old combined. [If you haven't seen the Cocoon yet, the back of the handset sports an LCD status/display area that lights up through the phone itself—kind of like a Japanese rice-paper Ikea lamp with an LCD behind it. It displays all sorts of messages related to multimedia and device functionality—the name of a song that's playing, who a call or SMS is from etc.) A bit hard to explain but a nice subtle effect and surprisingly fun. Gives the device some personality!]
- The phone comes with a cradle which I’ve yet to use (for personal reasons—my laptop is a bit unstable and I don’t want to install the PC Suite drivers or Windows Media 11 which are required for the synchronization.) I do like the aspect of giving the handset a ‘home’ on your desk. Reminds me of all the handset cozys I see in Asia. I could do without the drivers, extra software and cables however.
- Nice touch…an adapter is included to plug two headsets into the phone!
- Personalization features abound on this phone. I’m finding new ones all the time. They’re not necessarily always well implemented—Funny Frames for example superimposes a very pixilated ‘scene’ (birthday cake, clown’s head, big nose and sunglasses) around/above your photo)—but at least they’re trying.
Things I don’t like:
- The UI really kills it for me. Grant it i’m a very visual person and accustomed to the Series 60 UI (not exactly a fun UI but elegant, well designed, takes advantage of coulour etc.) but the Cocoon UI just keeps disappointing. Some aspects of it seem far too basic while others are surprisingly colourful or detailed (the alarm clock animation for example—do people really care when they’re half asleep and trying to find the off switch ) There are also usability issues like the shortcut menu/bar. Maybe it’s just me but I find it really hard to tell what i’m looking at as a scroll through it and the fact that all the icons (save a bizarre green bit on the corner of the music icon) are black an white (actually…more like a dull grayscale) really doesn’t help.
- Where is the owner’s manual? A nice booklet with snappy copywriting and endless product shots came with it but what about a plain old owners manual? Turns out it’s on a CD which I applaud from an environmental point of view but since they took the trouble to include the booklet (full colour, thick paper stock, embossed logo on the cover) why not include some instructions in there too?
- I’m disappointed by the absence of Flash Lite—even if just for the UI. I think it would have been a great addition and could have helped with some of the more visual aspects of the personalization features.
Overall, it’s a nice little handset. They’ve done a good job. I was chatting with someone last week who is also part of the Cocoon beta (small world) and he commented that it will likely be a great phone by the time they get to version 2 or 3. I tend to agree.
I’ve been invited (thanks Martin) to sit on a panel at this year’s Microlearning conference. I’ll be chatting with Ajit Jaokar and Roger Fischer. Ajit’s keynote is entitled “The future of mobile data and Mobile Web 2.0 and the impact on information and learning”. Should be an interesting discussion!
Microlearning 2007 is taking place June 21-22 in Innsbruck.
The Microlearning Conferences are about new forms of learning emerging in the microcontent-based digital media environments.
Microcontent is the kind of (very) small pieces (quite) loosely joined that emerged in the last five years, in the Web as well as in the mobile/cellular sphere. As “microcontent”is breaking free from macro-sized silos to form new, much more loosely coupled formats and structures, old forms of e-learning, of knowledge management, and of information acquisition must fail.
Four thematic focal points will be approached at this year’s event from the micro-perspective:
- Mobile Web 2.0: Possible uses for education, knowledge and information
- Micro-environments: Transformations of knowledge through digital microcontent & Web 2.0 micromedia
- Classroom Without Walls: The impact of micromedia and micolearning on courses, learners and teachers
- Corporate (Micro-)Learning for the “Information Workplace 2.0″: How learning, training and knowledge aquisition must change
Carnival of the Mobilists is holding a series of competitions this week. One for post of the year and the other for host of the year. I was surprised yesterday to find out i’d been chosen as finalist in the top 10 posts category. There are lots of great entries this year…
Prizes are graciously being offered by Khosla Ventures with full details regarding the competition available at MobHappy.
Be sure to vote online for post of the year (password: mobilists) then visit MobHappy once again for details on how to vote for Host of the Year.
The winners will be annouced on Monday evening at the Global Peer Awards 3GSM party. And if you can’t make it to Barcelona (like myself…our trip was cancelled ) you can watch the event live on the web (via Vancouver’s ComVu!) starting at 3pm.
Good luck to everyone!
Yeah! Yiibu has been selected as one of the Scottish participants in the annual BBC Innovation Labs.
The Innovation Labs are a series of creative workshops for interdisciplinary teams of professional creative technologists, application designers, software developers and interactive media designers. We are inviting independent new media companies from across England and Scotland to pitch ideas in response to a briefs set by New Media commissioners across the BBC. Up to 10 projects in each of four regions – Scotland, N England, London and S England – will then be selected to attend a 5-day long Lab. During the Lab, they will work with BBC commissioners and other mentors to develop the idea and prepare a final pitch. On the last day of the Lab, the ideas are pitched to the BBC commissioners for further development funding.
The briefs this year were quite mobile focussed and many of the companies selected have some sort of mobile background so it will be interesting to see what concepts have been pitched. The Scottish finalists include TheFifthBusiness, Mobile Acuity, Ambiesense, Oneill productions, Teebster Productions, ThinkTank Mathematics, Blootag & Ambisense (joint submission), ThinkTank Mathematics & DZR (joint submission), Inter//media, ThinkTank Mathematics & New Media Bureau (joint submission). I also see a few familiar faces from the south of the country. Congrats Tom!
We are in very good company and are honoured to have been chosen. Congratulations to all of the other participants and a big thank you to the BBC and all of its partners for this opportunity.
If my blog is quiet it’s because i’m still wading through the mass of bizarre paperwork involved when one moves to Britain.
I was chuckling last week at a story on Dina’s blog about the perils of buying a flat in Mumbai where you can be refused a property if you’re not vegetarian. I don’t have that problem (kinda wish I didâ€”the vegetarian thing would have worked out just fine for me!) But instead Bryan and I seem to have moved into a flat that that doesn’t really exist and at the same time, has bad credit.
For starters, our postcode is wrongâ€”except it’s not. All the lovely folks we need to pay money to like the council tax, TV license and power company know exactly where our flat is. Everyone else, says our postcode is incorrect so sorryâ€”you can’t sign up for this and that until you provide us with a postcode our computer system will accept. On top of that, the last tennant seems to have vanished leaving a slew of unpaid bills that are of courseâ€”wait for itâ€”linked to our postcode. I don’t think you can get by more than a day in this country without a firm (and typically mandatory) request for your postcode from someone or other; and woe are you if you can’t provide it!
So in a nutshell, we don’t live here but since we do; we have bad credit
To think we had briefly discussed moving to France instead but gave up on the idea due to the legendary French paperwork and bureaucracy. Ah, the joys of the expat lifestyle!
(Little Britain Live! – Computer Says No on YouTube)