Permalink Saturday, February 21, 2004
Permalink Wednesday, February 11, 2004
The coolest band around
A picture named Air_Birmingham_Academy.jpgSeeing Air live at Birmingham Academy last night confirms that with their latest album they have the coolest sound around at the moment.
Permalink Monday, February 2, 2004
Got your mobile domain name yet?
iTAGG are opening their doors on the 9th Feb and will be accepting mobile domain name registrations. Ok, maybe not quite strictly domain names in the accepted sense but their new service aims to make it easier to contact people using mobile devices. The idea behind the company is as follows. let's say i register a mobile domain name with iTAGG, for example 'david'. You then send a text message to the iTAGG short access number quoting my domain name. By return the iTAGG server will automatically send you any text that I pre-configure using my account. For example, I could pre-configure my account to always return my contact details whenever you 'finger' me at iTAGG. Alternatively I might pre-configure instructions for meeting so whenever anyone sends my domain name 'david' to iTAGG they get my instructions.

Nice idea. Except, there are probably alternative methods of achieving the same result. It was no coincidence that I used the verb 'fingered' above. Back in the good old days of the Internet the Finger protocol essentially did the same thing. Is anyone still using Finger?

I'd also question why I'd need to register an iTAGG mobile domain name to get this kind of functionality. For a start this is a proprietary commercial service. Are iTAGG's mobile domain names likely to achieve proper domain name status? Well we'll see but don't count on it. Also, I already have a unique mobile domain name. I call it my mobile number. The nice thing about my mobile number is that there are already well-established mechanisms to ensure that my number is unique. Although iTAGG will guarantee you a unique 'domain name', rival companies (if they ever emerge) will be under no obligation to adopt an interoperable naming convention. Sure, iTAGG domain names are easier to remember than numbers, right? Maybe. Once all the cool and obvious names have been registered you'll be stuck with the Hotmail username scenario (yes, I'll probably end up being david-davies834. And not to mention that you'll also have to remember iTAGG's short access number to make the system work at all. So with iTAGG you'll have to remember both my domain name and the access number.

iTAGG have a nice idea and I'm sure many will use it. However, as smart phones get more popular then why not use that other unique identifier we all posses, an email address. Just send me an email and I'll give you my contact details or send you instructions for meeting up. That is of course if you can make your email stand out from amongst all those Mydoom messages.

Permalink Sunday, January 18, 2004
Applescript Image Events application
Well Apple sneaked this one in when we weren't looking. The latest version of Mac OS X (Panther or 10.3 to you) has built-in ability to manipulate images using Applescript. You can flip, rotate, pad, crop, scale and convert images all using simple Applescript commands. Now here's the fun part, both Userland Frontier and Radio can speak native Applescript. Anything you can do with Applescript you can do with Frontier or Radio.

So by way of a test my assetManager tool can now create thumbnails for moblog posts. I've built-in an Applescript routine into my Radio Userland tool and I'll release an update during Sunday for anyone who wants to give this a whirl. If you can't wait and if you are using Mac OS 10.3 click on this link to get a standalone Applescript file that scales images. As an aside, another cool feature of OS 10.3 is the ability to create Applescripts on-the-fly from an applescript:// URL action (try clicking the previous link)!

Well done Apple and well done Userland for supporting Applescript.

Now with added thumbnails

A picture called Newyear1.jpgThe assetManager now does thumbnails! This is a test post from my P900. The thumbnails feature is only available to Mac OS X users. It'll be out as an update to the tool tomorrow.

Permalink Sunday, January 4, 2004
New Year's Resolution

A picture called 403D0018.jpgNew year's resolution #1, give up cycling in the woods! From left to right, Rob, Prem & me.

Permalink Wednesday, December 31, 2003
New Year's greetings blog bot!
For a limited time only (probably 24 hours) I've set up a Happy New Year blog for anyone to post to! This is an email blog so to post a message just send an email message to the blog's address and your message will be automatically posted to the web for all to see! If you have a mobile phone then why not post a message from wherever you're celebrating. Better still, if you have a picture phone attach a picture to your message and it'll be added too! In fact pictures of your New Year's celebrations are particularly welcome.

So here are the instructions. Send your New Year's greeting email messages to:

'weblog at'

obviously replacing the ' at ' with the @ symbol. I didn't want this address scraped by spammers! Anything you enter in the subject line will become the title of your post. Your email address will not be posted so remember to add your name in the body of your message.

You can attach GIFs, JPEGs, and 3GP video clips. Try not to include huge signatures or ads as everything gets posted! All your posts will appear here.

The weblog is automated and therefore unmoderated but I'll look in from time to time to remove any offensive posts (please no!) or any corrupted/failed posts. This isn't a foolproof system due to the variability of email clients but it is pretty robust. I know I'm taking a bit of a risk with this but hell, it's New Year and I know you won't abuse it :)

Happy Posting!

Sony Ericsson P900 vs Nokia 7650
Having now had a week to play with my new phone I thought I'd do some benchmark tests to see which is better, my new Sony Ericsson P900 or my trusty though now old Nokia 7650. The first test I did was to compare the quality of pictures taken with the built-in camera on each device. Lighting and subject matter were the same for each. I took a picture using every setting offered by the phones. In the case of the Nokia all pictures are 640x480 pixels with 3 quality settings, High, Normal and basic. The P900 offers more options with quality settings of High, Medium and Low for each of 640x480, 320x240 and 160x120.

A contact sheet of all pictures in the test is here.

The results are interesting. Although it'll doubtless be a matter of subjectivity I think the P900 wins. The pictures are sharper and the light more natural looking. The Nokia takes pictures that are slightly softer and all seem to have a slight blue tint. What's more interesting are the file sizes. The Nokia's images are all roughly the same size with little difference between the quality settings. The P900 on the other hand seems to be using quite different compression settings for each picture and file sizes reflect that. The highest quality picture on the P900 at 640x480 pixels was 82Kb compared to 27Kb for the equivalent size/quality picture on the Nokia. Taking into account file size the Nokia performs really well as its high quality image is only marginally inferior to the equivalent on the P900 but is 1/3 the file size. For mobile blogging that could be a significant advantage although it's unlikely you'd want to display a picture at full size i.e 640x480. More likely you'll want to display your images at no more than 320x240 in which case you have a choice, display the full-sized images scaled down in the browser or take pictures at a lower resolution, in which case the P900 wins hands down as you can't specify pixel dimensions on the Nokia.

More tests later.

Permalink Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Image editing because I can

A picture called Zappa.jpgThe P900 also comes with picture editing software. Oh OK I don't know what you'd use it for either but that's not the point, it's there if you need it! Snap, edit, post.