MIR: Mobile Web 2.0 – What?!

Whatley here, reporting in.

Founder of Moblog.co.uk and all round friend of SMS Text News, Alfie Dennen, has set up a new blog in lieu of the Mobile Web 2.0 Summit which takes place in London next week.

The weird thing for me (for a start anyway) is the name “Mobile Web 2.0” – so weirded out was I by this in fact that I had ended up dropping a note to Alfie explaining my thoughts.

Well he went ahead and published it:

“When did we have Mobile Web 1.0?

What the hell just happened?
First up: If you ask ANY consumer on the street: Are you using Mobile Web 2.0?
They’ll probably look at you like you’re from Mars.

Second: These naming conventions genuinely drive me nuts. WAP. Mobile Internet. Mobile Web. Internet, made Mobile. Mobile 2.0. Mobile Web 2.0. ENOUGH ALREADY!

We may as well ask: Is this the year of the Mobile?

Just so we can tick every box (and seriously, that question is now, officially, a joke, you know it’s a joke because whenever anyone asks it these days the response is LAUGHTER).

It’s like when people carp on about Web 2.0. More often than not I find myself chiming in with something like: You know people just call it the web now right?”

And so on. You can read the full post here. There’s a whole bunch of great content up actually (not including my post ;) ), so yeah – head over and check it out!

MIR: Welcome to Three-Fail

Afternoon readers, Whatley reporting in.

My post quota has been a bit low lately, (sorry Ewan), I’ve been working hard on a top secret SpinVox project, (more on this next week – promise), in the meantime however allow me to share with you something that appeared on my radar earlier today care of my friend Roger.

Roger, aside from being a girl, is a good blog-buddy of mine.
She and I write and maintain:

Why Don’t Grownups Get it? – conversations we have had with growdups, by Roger and James.

We tend to take it in turns to post up stuff and normally it’s quite non-techy and it tends to lean towards the ridiculous.

But, as I said, this afternoon Roger posted up something that I felt I just had to share:

Roger – Over to you:

I don’t know if it is just me, with my seemingly magnetic ability to attract idiots, but I don’t have much luck with customer service types.

See my post on Dell. I rest my case.

Or I would rest my case, but I’m afraid I have to shake it into wakefulness for another round, this time concerning those ever-helpful bods at 3 Mobile.

Don’t worry, it’s not a longwinded rant. I’m really not cross about this one. Like Ron Burgundy when Baxter eats the cheese, I’m not angry. I’m impressed. With the sheer level of idiocy.

It’s a quickie. And here it is:

My phone broke. This happens. I took it to the 3 shop (one of those ones in a Superdrug, where you can’t tell if they are shop assistants or muggers, you know the ones). They sent it off on a three day repair on Monday. And credit to them, it came back into the shop, all shiny and fixed, today.

Of course, when I switched it on it went mental beeping away with hundreds of voicemails and texts from lots of terribly important people trying to get hold of me (it’s a social whirl being me, it really is).

And here’s the thing.

One of the messages was from 3.

Telling me my phone was ready for collection.

Let’s see if we can spot the flaw in their logic, shall we?



MIR: Doing things in ‘Sequence’ – the hidden Nokia feature!

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited along to take part in a new food-based event rather amusingly entitled: ‘Nom Nom Nom‘.

The brainchild of London Underground blogger, Annie Mole – Food 2.0 Nom Nom Nom (to give it its full title), was a LOT of fun.
I was there in two capacities. First as a representative of SpinVox (lead sponsors of the event), and second, as a competitor.

The event you see was the online/digital version if you will, of Masterchef.

As one half of GO TEAM SIX (the other half being my good friend Ribot, foodie, photographer and a mobile UI designer to boot), the challenge was twofold.

First to create three dishes (one of which had to be cold) for four people in just under two and a half hours. The second to create ‘output’ for the Nom Nom Nom blog pages.

Ribot and I, being the mobile geeks of the group, Qik’d and photographed EVERYTHING. I went armed with my trusty N95 8GB, my spare N95-1 (packing an 8GB Micro SD), and also my rather snazzy Nokia Tripod.


After reading a blog post by a fellow contestant – one Russell Davies – I had an idea for the day’s content. As well as Qikking left, right and centre and of course, snapping anything that moved I decided to set my N95-1 to SEQUENCE MODE.

What is this crazy mode of which I speak? Well, at first I had no idea. I even put a call out to try and find some software for my phone that would allow me to do this… One email conflab with Mr Davies later and it turns out that this mode is right there!
And what’s more – it’s been there the whole time!

sequence 1

I never knew it was there. I had to be told about it. That’s right. The first Mobile Geek of London didn’t know about sodding sequence mode!
(but it’s OK I did my research and not many other folk knew about it either)

Moving swiftly onward I popped my N95-1 into the tripod (as shown above), and set sequence mode to go off at 1 minute intervals…

sequence 2

sequence 3

Over the course of the afternoon, while Ribot and I put our chosen dishes together, my cheeky little handset took 154 different photos, and to what end?

Well, with the content that came out of it, I was able to create the following video:

Shot on a Nokia N95-1, standing on a Nokia Tripod and edited together using Windows Movie Maker, (who needs a Mac anyway?)

I know this ain’t ‘news’ per se. But it’s a feature I didn’t know about and it’s made me look at my N95 in a completely different light.

I thought I’d share it and show you just what’s possible.
The original N95 still manages to surprise even me.


MIR: Walking with Normobs – A Response from our man Whatley

Been a bit busy of late folk, hence the absence of my regular Whatley on Wednesday slot.

Been a bit busy of late folk, hence the absence of my regular Whatley on Wednesday slot.

Trying to get down for the weekly podcast mind…

But yes. Reading the site with interest as I often do, I really enjoyed Tuesday’s ‘Walking with Normobs‘ piece.

So much so that I stirred from my blogging slumber and decided to join the debate…

First off, I totally agree with where you’re coming from. I do. Terry. I do.
But you need to look ahead.

The Normobs of the future will be at the early adopter stage we’re at now.
Underestimate them at your peril.

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited along to a Nokia End User group test thing wotsit.

On the N81 8GB.

Yes – the same device that I reviewed way back when and the same device that my esteemed colleague Ben Smith lavished hatred upon recently also.

This is no strange thing. I often find myself in these kinds of focus groups.

Well I’m one of those people. One of those people that when asked:

“Would it be ok to contact you in the future?”

I say “Yes”

If I’m not busy, and if I have the time, then I’ll gladly offer assistance. From big companies like Vodafone and Nokia after some customer insight or for a friend’s friend whose N95 keeps breaking because her firmware is ‘stuck on v10’.

I like to help.

Anyway – off I went to this group gathering – just off Carnaby Street, and lo, as is the norm with these things, I entered a room full of folk from all different walks of life/areas of London.

In fact – one guy had such thick urban ‘accent’ that the gentleman running the session actually found it difficult to understand at times. Love it.

I digress.

The point is, Terry, these kids – I was, it seemed, the oldest chap in the room, (quite refreshingly so too). These kids knew their stuff. We had a mechanic, a trainee IT bod, a couple of students and an accountant… and me, obviously.

As I said – these kids knew their stuff.

They knew about firmware updates, they knew about downloading games (N-GAGE or otherwise), they knew about all sorts of stuff.

I was genuinely impressed.

They referenced other devices in their analogies. They reminisced over handsets of yesteryear when articulating their complaints.

They. Knew. Their. Stuff.

You and me, Terry? We’re the old men of tomorrow.
Our kids? What handsets will they be concerned about getting us?
We’re early adopters now. Our kids will be too. Their kids. And so on.

The normal mobile users of tomorrow will be using the products you and I use today.
You make valid points about Skype as a service. Skype is a different way of making a phone call, branded. Tell your Dad to make a phone call by pushing the Skype button, and he will. Tell him to make a call over Skype? He’ll look at you like you’re from Mars.

Similarly with other naming conventions/terminologies: Podcasts vs Radio Shows. Blogs vs Diaries.
And so on…

Of course we’re not expecting our folks to go out and start making VoIP calls tomorrow.
But that’s not the point.

I’m pretty damn sure that the big guns aren’t really concerned about the Daily Mail reading, Marmalade eating Normobs taking up their services. Of course, it’d be lovely if they did! But I doubt very much they EVER will. The Daily Mail will die out as new generations come forward with new ideas and thoughts. Challenging the way we think and the way we view the world.

I read recently on a blog in Clay Shirky’s Book “Here Comes Everybody” about a little girl who, on a recent trip to see some family members had, on arrival, taken one look at the television, screamed and then run behind it suddenly looking for something…
The reason?

She was looking for the mouse.
The girl in question had never seen a screen without one before.

These small changes in behaviour and expectancies of ‘the norm’ take generations to change. Sometimes things go faster, but often things move a lot slower.

There is a particularly fond day dream of mine, where all of us geeks are sitting round at dinner late into our 70s and there we are still moaning about the lack of X and how Y never really did turn up etc etc…

And our kids?

Well they’ll be doing their equivalent of blogging and moaning about the lack of parent-friendly services/devices on the Market I’m sure.





And as an afterthought, going back to that focus group for a second, maybe those kids in the room weren’t that savvy after all.

Maybe it was just that bloody device that made them get online and learn something.


Man’s Best Friend – The iPhone

James Whatley just put this up over on his personal blog and while it’s not exactly Whatley Wednesday material, (nor is it, in fact, Wednesday), I still thought I’d publish this piece of comedy for your viewing pleasure:

Over to you Whatley:


That up there ^ is my friend’s iPhone, last week after his dog had got hold of it. Ouch.
Cue much laughter, finger pointing and merriment at his expense.
The iPhone’s screen is strong. But it seems it isn’t that strong…

‘Dave’ is a bit upset about this (I’ve changed his name to save him further embarrassment)


Anyway – after snapping that pic I asked ‘Dave’ if I could blog it, “Sure..” he said, “…and I’ll update you too.”


“Yep. Get this…”

Turns out, after the aforementioned mauling, Dave tried to claim on his home contents insurance. Note: ‘Tried’.
He has since discovered that he can’t actually claim ‘accidental damage’ as the dog did it deliberately.

(clearly a Nokia fan then)

After that Dave tried to claim it on his business insurance. Still no dice. Thing is, this policy doesn’t cover ‘phones‘.
It covers PDAs. Dave is trying to claim the iPhone is a PDA –

“…which it is!” Dave tells me…

However, the insurance company have never had a claim for an iPhone before and what with it having the word ‘Phone’ in its name, Dave’s hitting another brick wall.

Double Ouch.

Insurance companies can be tough little beggars at the best of times (trust me – I know) but are they in the right in this instance?

Is the iPhone a PDA? Or is it a Phone?

‘Dave’ sold his dog over the weekend.. and I am really, REALLY not kidding.
He was that upset.

So much for man’s best friend…


Looks like the SMS Text News Curse is contagious!

MIR: Bored bored bored bored

Mr Uber Mobile, James Whatley, is uninspired by the mobile industry this week. I get this now and again. It happens, it’s strange, but there you go. You’d think that the launch of two new Nokias would have got him moving? Not really. How about the brand new Nokia N95 8GB he’s brandishing? Not really. Things are so back to front that, traditionally a loyal Jaiku user, Whatley has even been playing round more on Twitter.

Over to him:

– – –

I’ve been scratching my head for some time about what to write; I’ve had such bad writer’s block lately that Ewan actually gave me the week off last week.

To be honest – I’m still kind of stuck.

So here’s a roundup of the stuff I’ve been kicking around in my head lately:


I’m hooked on Twitter.

I haven’t left Jaiku, not by any stretch. But do have a strange addiction to all things Twiterry at the moment. Don’t shoot me. It’s just the scope of the damn thing.

Put it this way:

On Jaiku I have a community. In twitter I have an audience.


Two new music phones announced yesterday, anyone notice? No? Yes? Meh.
I tuned in for the webcast when I nipped out for a latte yesterday and well, kinda wished I hadn’t.

*yawn* – Don’t just take my word for it, read what other people thought too.

Digs aside, (music phones ain’t my thing), but keeping the theme:

I’m really loving my new Nokia BH-501 Bluetooth earphones; a gift from a good friend at CTIA. Cheers for those, you know who you are.

Those earphones, combined with my new found love of Mobbler (Last.fm scrobbling S60 client) has made my music experience/sharing/social experience complete.

Earphones on, Mobbler on, Music on; Mobbler scrobbles my tracks on the move, uploads them to Last.fm, the feed from that goes into my Jaiku and my lifestream is complete!

Well the music part of it anyway. It all makes me very happy. Good times.

Unfortunately: Earphones on, (Bluetooth Connection), Mobbler on, (Internet Connection), Music on also equates to the battery life of about 3-4hrs.

“She needs more power Cap’n!”

When will the handset manufacturers realise that us power users, as well as numerous functions also require uber batteries to support them! The N96 battery sent a few shivers across the blogosphere when it was announced (weighing in at 950mh only) but the Product Manger assured us that the applications had been optimised to use as little power as possible. We shall see…

What else?


First up – Newsflash – Nokia N78 confirmed expected to arrive on Vodafone within 6wks. Nice.

Sticking with Voda – Thanks for the N95 8GB guys!

I really felt a bit icky when I first received it (special treatment and all that) but I’ve grown to like it; the screen is the big sell for me.

Shame you guys don’t do the N95-1 (original, silver flavour) anymore. I prefer being able to remove my memory and just dump music, images etc onto it over a card reader. Putting 6gigs of tunes on my phone when I first received it was an overnight process…. and I really wish I was kidding.

And – this is a phone fault, not a network fault – the onboard Mass Memory is SO SLOW it’s ridiculous. I often keep my SMS/MMS/Emails off of the phone memory, just to keep it free etc; I recommend NOT doing this with the 8GB. Makes using the messaging functions virtually impossible.
The S-L-O-W memory access also makes the recording of any video (straight to mass memory) equally futile. The image jerks continually and freezes and and and… well it’s just rubbish.

So if I want to make any kind of recording I have to change the camera memory from mass to phone, record the video, then change the memory back, then transfer the file over.
Seriously, it’s PAINFUL.

Just a shame Vodafone don’t stock the N82.

I’ve touched upon this phone in the past and, having trialled the device at length (thank you WOM World) I can tell you that it is arguably one of the best handsets on the market today. 5MP camera, GPS, auto-screen rotation etc etc… Something that makes it standout from the crowd in particular however is the Xenon Flash. Wow. Just WOW. I never thought the introduction of just one feature would change the way I feel about a device.

Two examples of picture quality:

The only reason I haven’t actually jumped ship and got one is that it’s on o2, and you all know how I feel about them. However if you’re not in the UK, you really should find out from your carrier where you can purchase the N82. Seriously it is that good.

The good news is for UK readers is that the N82 (as well as the N81 meh) have both just been confirmed for release on 3UK next month.

So if you’re looking at upgrading or simply getting a new device/contract, then make sure you check this baby out.

Bad points? There are two that I personally know of.

The screen size. Now this one is arguable. I’ve recommended the N82 to four different people already (all of whom have gone on to purchase one) and they’ve reported no problems. But, having been an N95 user for the best part of 18mths now, getting used to something smaller took a little while. N95 users take note.

The buttons. Now these buttons suffer from ‘Marmite-Syndrome’. You either love them or you hate them. I *thought* I would hate them. I really did. They put me off. All I can say is: Try it. I found that actually they weren’t that bad at all. Depends how dexterous you are really, but don’t judge a book by its cover as it were.

But aside from that? Solid phone.

And that’s about it from me this week. Don’t know why it’s a bit hotch-potch, or as Ewan would say ‘all over the shop’, but it is.

I’m off to go play with an Archos this afternoon. Should be fun. Will report back next week.

Been playing around with ShoZu vs Location Tagger vs Flickr vs OVI etc as well.

Got a few other things percolating around upstairs but I guess I’m a bit bored really. Nothing new/exciting going on.

Someone send me something cool to play with huh? Get my brain working.


– – – – – –



Today I was going to publish my third and final part of ‘The Joy of Ku’.

What with Jaiku’s recent announcement that YES they are re-opening registrations and that NO Google are not turning out the lights on our beloved life-streaming app.

What announcement am I talking about? Well here’s this from Jaiku’s own Jaikido blog:

“We’ve been working quietly for a while to port Jaiku to Google infrastructure. Today we’re taking off our welding goggles to announce Jaiku will be one of the first apps to run on the new Google App Engine.

The Google App Engine enables applications to leverage powerful Google technologies and scale up to millions of users without infrastructure headaches.

Jaiku will be fully deployed on the Google App Engine in the near future. Andy & co. are working hard to ensure the port is a success and we will make a further announcement once the port has been completed.”

Fantastic news!

Jyri was quoted on Jaiku later on that day as saying:

“If all you notice is an increase in speed & reliability & re-opening of registrations, we’ve been successful.”


However today I will not be finalising my Jaiku opus. Something has reached my shores this morning that NEEDS to be blogged. I could NOT believe it when I read it. Could NOT!

The reason why I’m so annoyed about this is that I’ve been kicking around an article for while that reviews the quite frankly, fantastic Nokia N82. At the moment the Nokia N82 is (in the UK anyway) an o2 exclusive – the piece was going to end something like:

“On o2? Get an N82. Not on o2? Move Networks and get an N82”.

However, that will no longer happen.

No Sirree bob.

News has come to me this morning from Vero Pepperrell, Chief Blog Mistress at Taptu, that The Register is reporting that o2 3G customers are being capped/throttled/limited to speeds of 128Kb/s.


A quick 3G speed test on my Vodafone N95 8GB hits me with slap bang on 300Kb/s.

That’s 3G only (not 3.5G aka HSDPA).

Fwd: Whatley Wednesday... (o2 the f*ckers)

That’s more than double what o2 offer! And that’s before we even think about leaping onto 3.5G!

According to Vero, some smart chap over at 3G.co.uk did a speed test on the o2 network and here are the results:

GPRS 44kbit/sec
EDGE 145kbit/sec
3G 112kbit/sec
HSDPA 124kbit/sec

WOW. I am amazed.

iPhone owners on o2 using the EDGE network are getting FASTER connections than anyone on their 3G network!


I don’t really have much else to add to be honest.

My N82 review is still in the pipeline (as is my final part of the Joy of Ku), but I really must say RIGHT NOW that if you’re considering getting a new handset and you want to experience the wonders of the Mobile Web (over your network) then DO NOT go to o2.

I just needed to get that out of my system.

The FULL story is here on The Register – including updates and quotes from o2

And again, huge props to Vero at Taptu for waving this in my face first thing this morning.