Archive for July, 2008

MyMotion – GPS Tracking in Action

July 30, 2008 2 comments

Well, I put MyMotion through a decent workout on Sunday – tracking my team’s position along a 60 mile bike ride from London to Cambridge. And as you can see, it did pretty well.

Where have you been?!?

Where have you been?!?

I chose to export the routes to KML for now – included in the KMLs are the route – which thanks to my Kaiser’s GPS receiver, seem pretty accurate – and also pushpins for the distance and time intervals I set, which were 0.5km and every 90 seconds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more of the instantaneous speed information out by exporting to a more ‘purist’ GPS format, but for now, it’s quite cool being able to retrace the route we took the other day… and it was clear and sunny then, as well.

As for the stability – this has always been a problem, since running reliably for hours on end in the background isn’t something anyone who knows Windows Mobile would expect to happen. For this reason I saved and restarted the logging 3 times. And – two of the runs completed successfully. The middle route stopped half-way through, meaning I lost around 15 miles of the 60 in the middle of the route. Still – not as bad as you would expect. Turning off the Auto-Start/Auto-Stop settings on MyMotion seems to help as well.


Revo Blik Radiostation Review continued…

July 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Well, I’m still playing around with the Radiostation, and have a few more comments to add…

Has it revolutionised my life yet? Well – I do have it on most of the time; it’s nice to have sound on, and I’ve been trying various stations on and off over the last few days. A friend who speaks Italian came round yesterday, so I put on a few Italian stations, which reminded us both of the times when we were over there – which was not quite revolutionary, but still very nice.

On the downside, I’ve still not tuned in to a station on any medium (DAB, FM, WiFi) that impresses with sound quality. I think that could be the stations in the case of WiFi, and I know DAB is much lamented, but I would have thought FM would be better. However, playing some MP3s from my PC, with the Radiostation plugged into my surround system, isn’t bad.

The buttons still annoy – a design where they could be laid out more intuitively, rather than all being identical, would have been preferable.

Also – I’ve been playing BBC Podcasts this morning, but found that after a while (15-45 minutes), one will pause, disconnect, and then restart… from the beginning. I’m hoping there’s a fast forward, or a config to store the last position (nope, I’ve still not read the manual), because otherwise, this is an absolute pain for anyone who regularly listens to podcasts.

Actually, they could have a fast forward/rewind – operated by jogdial, a’ la iPod. They could tune using a Jogdial.. select using a jogdial… Do away with every identical button on the damn thing and replace them with just a jogdial!

And.. that’s my thoughts on jogdials.

So – good. But not great.

When will you be able to send your location in Google Maps Mobile?

July 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Because it’s a big deal.

How many times have you been trying to find someone; you’re in a city, and you don’t know how to get to the street they’re in; they can’t find a street name or building number to relay to you; or you’re at a gig, a festival, a show, and there’s no easy landmark you can use.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a “Send my location” feature? Just something that reads your position from your GPS, and puts it in an SMS, so you can send it to a friend… and then they can click on it, and see your (and their) position on a map.

Wouldn’t it be cool?

Well… there are problems for this. Quite a few on Pocket PC, and probably on other platforms too. But, chances are, even if you do have one, then your friend will have another one (or none at all), and they’re no use to either of you.

But you’ve both got Google Maps Mobile. Of course you do – everyone does!

So – given that we have almost a ubiquitous program on most people’s phones, that already allows you to look up a location or POI, and send the details as an SMS (but only the address; not the coordinates) – why can’t Google add a simple feature that gives you a “Send this location by SMS”. Or “Send MY location by SMS”.

They’ve already got the connectivity, the the mass market. All they need to do is add that little piece of code!

And then you won’t spend half your festival standing on a railing, holding your phone to your ear with one hand, and waving frantically with the other.

Aliph Jawbone 2 (New) 30 second review

July 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Only had it 12 hours so far, and my thoughts (using it with an HTC TYTN II):

  • Beautifully small and light
  • Fits very comfortably on my ear – slides on easily, and I really can wear it all day. It’s lighter than my previous favourite, the HBH-610 fitted with an HBH-65 ear loop.
  • Mike noise reduction seems at least as good – made a phone call from the train, and the called party had no complaints
  • Cool looking, not overstated, very cool LED
  • Received sound / speaker sound is at least as bad as the old one – quiet and scratchy, but not as tinny. Apparently this varies by device, so might be better with a Blackberry, etc.
  • Charger is very similar to the first Jawbone’s but the magnetic attacher is much easier to use; no more headset-wrestling as you’re trying to detach it.

Also – I remember some complaints on other reviews about having to push the rear (NoiseAssasin) button so hard you have to surgically remove the headset from the ear canal. Top Tip to avoid this: the documentation is misleading – it seems you have to push against the side fascia of the headset, at the rear, but that’s just because all their diagrams are ‘side-on’ views. The button’s actually on the end of the headset – so you should press on the end, not on the side, for this button. 🙂

It’s a very nice, practical, wearable headset – so far. My two big gripes are:

  • Speaker sound still isn’t great
  • Only practically usable with one device; you have to repair to use another.

Cheap / Free Bubblewrap, anybody?

July 9, 2008 Leave a comment

[ Apologies for lack of formatting/linking – I’ll do this later! ]

Being a reasonably keen private eBayer (recycling for money), I always reuse boxes and bubblewrap wherever possible; most of my buyers will get a box that came from a recently received gadget.

However, Bubblewrap tends to be in short supply, hence my efforts at other packaging materials (see my previous post on popcorn). Until…. while In Sainsbury’s buying some apples, I noticed the bubblewrap used to protect the layers of the easily brusied fruit, and something went <click>. I picked up a few sheets, and put them in my basket. No-one complained, and the cashier asked me if I wanted to keep them – I surely did.

So – no shortage of bubblewrap ever again, and no need to buy any either. Granted, they’re not huge sheets, but for the average-sized gadget, they’ll do.

Green, clean, and fresh-smelling too!