That Whatley chap, he gets around a bit…

…YEAH he does

– Beautiful, Huh? –

Although I’m not about to start setting a precedent for talking about myself in the third person…
The man they call Whatley, he say No.
Heh.

Anywhoo!

It’s been a while hasn’t it?! One week and one month to be precise.
Cor! I have been slacking!

To be honest, ‘slacking’ isn’t really a fair description. I have been just a leeetle bit busy, y’know?
You’ll see…

Got a helluva lot to catch up with and well, this post here – this one – the one you’re reading right now, is more of an introduction. A Prologue if you will…
Last night, not long after I got in from Frankfurt, I started compiling all of the media (photos, videos etc) that I’ve taken over the past month or so and have actually, finally begun to make sense of it all… it’s nearly ready for sharing! Excited? Much?! πŸ˜‰

However, as you can no doubt imagine, there is a LOT to get through –

First there’s the conferences: Nokia’s Openlab in Finland, Web 2.0 Expo in New York, Blog World Expo in Las Vegas, ad:tech London, Future of Web Apps London aaaaaaaaaaand most recently – Voicedays in Wiesbaden!

And even though I’ve already put up some of the above over on the SpinVox Blog, Big Talk – namely part of the The US Tour and My Voicedays Presentation – I still have plenty to say on each, so don’t think you’re getting short shrift.. πŸ˜‰

Crazy Crazy Crazy…

THEN of course, there’s the ma-hoosive list of really cool stuff that I’ve been playing with lately – from Alfie’s uber-cool ‘Find Me‘ project (best. thing. ever.), to messing about with ‘Hotel Visualisers’ (no really – they’re actually quite cool), from enormous Bean Bags (like – HUGE), to some brand spanking new phones (super swish), and back once again to some cool BBC-based activities (which I really can’t talk about right now – but I will). Tops.

So.. The Plan:

The mission from here on in – for now at least, (until I clear my back load), is to try and blog once a day. I need to get this thing moving and the more time that passes the more information I have stored up that I simply have to share…

(plus there’s the small matter of my head *actually* exploding if I don’t get it all out soon)

And that is my promise to you dear and loyal readers.
Watch this space.
One post a day.

Starting.

Now.

P.S. For those of you that don’t know – aside from my day job at SpinVox, I’m also part of the team behind the Mobile Industry Review.. and each week we produce a 30min show about, you guessed it, the mobile industry…  You can catch the show, every Monday over on the TV pages of the website.

I normally keep that stuff separate but this week’s show really is our best one yet –
So, here it is, reprodcuced for your viewing pleasure…
I hope you like it:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/1960048[/vimeo]

See you tomorrow!

πŸ™‚

MIR: The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury: Intro

Greetings readers, your friendly neighbourhood Whatley here;

While some of us are off gallivanting around the Maldives – sorry, ahem – A DESERT ISLAND, other bloggers, like myself, have to make do with the festival season to amuse themselves here back in the UK.

And what better festival other than the Mother of all festivals: Glastonbury!

:)

Yes, it really IS that muddy. I took that photo myself.

Last year, I think I’m pretty safe in saying;

I was the ONLY person to live blog Glastonbury from a mobile phone.

Yes. That’s right, I blogged the whole darn thing (well as much as my battery would allow) from my Nokia N95-1 (the original silver one, the one with the REALLY poor battery, y’know?).

In fact the only reason my current blog exists is because of my then(?) obsession with Mobile Blogging.

You can go back and read some of my exploits here, here and here if you’d like.
But really, all you need to know is, at the time, the only way I could do this (AFAIK) was through VOX.

VOX has a neat little application that sits on some/most Nseries phones that you can download and is also available as one of the upload options in the Share Online app, also found on most Nseries phones.

Power wise, again only for last year, I had three N95 batteries (BL-5Fs for the true geeks among you) and these two things below:

That on the left is an independent battery charge-base and that on the right, a portable double AA battery powered phone charger.

The former proved itself to be extremely useful, then and indeed over the past year of ownership too. With that handy little device I can always have one battery in my phone, while another charges. This, of course, is all well and good until you go and lose the damn thing; which is what I did a matter of days ago.

I digress.

The thing on the right, I bought that from Amazon, thing is mind.

It . Was. Rubbish.

In fact I think it actually USED more battery power than it actually gave back. I ended up passing it onto some fellow festival-ite in our circle of tents. It conveniently came with a bunch of other adaptors – not just Nokia; covered SE, Motorola, Blackberry… the lot. You name it. So at least that much was handy about it.

However, for me, it was no good.

And don’t even start me on the quite frankly RIDICULOUSOrange Charge Tent‘.
I mean, who wants to QUEUE for an hour to charge their handset, only to discover that when they get to the front, they then have to wait around for a further two hours to watch their phone charge at an unsecured bar.
Joined up thinking really not their specialty it would seem.

So, how did I stay charged?

Well, while the Orange monkeys were missing out on potentially 3hrs of great music, I managed to find a little store amongst the clothes stalls and falafel vendors, which specialised in phone charging.
You paid a fiver a go and it was kept under lock and key and all was fine. The system the guy had running behind him reminded me a little of chargebox and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one and the same, I’ll ask them this year and see. Anyway, this little store became a daily haunt for my good self.

In the morning I’d get up, review any content from the night before, write a quick post or two and then upload as much as I could before my battery died. After that I’d mosey on down to aforementioned phone charging establishment, pay my fiver, and then go off and meet friends who I’d arranged to meet at a later time (do you remember when we did that?!).

Later that afternoon I would pick up my phone, liaise with all the folk that had been trying to reach me for God knows how long, and then get off to another stage where upon I’d take more photos/videos that I would later, no doubt upload.

Lovely stuff.
So aside from the not-so-brilliant portable phone charger, last year was a reasonable success.

But what about this year?

Well, my VOX blog is still up and running.
So I’ve got that working just fine, but now look at all the other things I can do!

I can upload via SMS, MMS or Email via Moblog.
I can simply make a phone call and speak a blog post through SpinVox.
I can boot up Qik and stream LIVE content direct to the internet. Not only direct to my QIK page, but if I hit ’55’ while I’m streaming, my 500-odd followers on Twitter will get told about it too!

The plethora of Social Tools now available to the modern, festival-going geek, really, truly, is a spectacle to behold.

I shall be using ALL of those services/apps/tools I’ve listed above, and probably more.

The question is Dear Readers, which ones do YOU think I should be using?

What should your Mobile Geek of Glastonbury be packing in his rucksack to ensure a complete all round mobile performance?

Leave your suggestions below or, if you have anything you want showcased/tested over the coming festival season, email james@whatleydude.com

Cheers! πŸ™‚

MIR: Whatley on the iPhone – β€œMeh. Next!”

I’ve actually been working my ass off all day and haven’t really been paying that much attention – I’m sick of all the tweets TBH. I got the vibe that others were too.

I did take a look though. I wasn’t amazed. And I think, as our mate Jon said “the difficult 2nd album” as it were.

There was scope to do better.

*shrug*

And as for new pricing? As I said above – I’ve not seen it, not bothered, not paying attention.

What is Apple’s ‘Mobile Me’? Not bothered. Really. Not. Fussed.

Not upgrading. I told you that I am a content creator. I told you that my phone does everything for me. That iPhone? Nah. Nothin.

THEY HAVENT EVEN UPGRADED THE CAMERA.

*sigh*

NEXT.

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: I CANNOT BELIEVE o2!

Right.

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.”

Brilliant.

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.

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!

*gasp*

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.

MIR: Jaiku Unwrapped – Part 2

In years gone by, expert craftsmen were named Masters. Master Builders, Master Blacksmiths and so on. In this new period of our history, labels are changing. Whatley is one of the only Master Jaikus that I know. He knows and uses the service inside out. Jaiku is his third eye.

Today we bring you part two of the Joy of Ku – Jaiku Unwrapped. Part One is here.

All good? The Master pulls down the hood of his dark billowing robe, turns toward us as we bow benevolently – and over to James.

– – –

Ok – so those of you that read my last official Whatley on Wednesday a fortnight ago (ignoring all the N95 shenanigans that happened in-between); and were quite interested to read my little introduction to Jaiku, then you’re probably wondering what I’m going to cover this week in part two of ‘Jaiku Unwrapped’ (nice title Ewan).

First up: Are you on Jaiku? If yes, read on. If no, go to http://jaikuinvites.com and get yourself in!

Next: Let’s talk about features

Well, there’s a lot to cover. I first encountered Jaiku way back in the Spring of 2007 as an early S60 app. This first iteration being ‘merely’ the cell-tower-naming, life-stream-enabled, active contacts book… and breathe.

So what does that mean?

Cell Tower Naming – Each Jaiku user can name the cell tower that is currently in use by their mobile handset. This information is then shared with your [Jaiku] contacts. This is cool.

Most of the cell towers near me are called variations of Teddington; Teddington Station, High St, Home etc and if any of my Jaiku buddies find themselves in the area, their Jaiku app updates their location accordingly. Can be fun when you’re browsing your contacts and you notice one of your friends is in one of your cells.

Life Streaming – Jaiku was at launch (and arguably still is in some respects) WAY ahead of its time when it comes to TRUE life-streaming. Any and all feeds can be pulled in and aggregated into the one stream. Here’s mine:


Comprising of my Last FM, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Various Blog Feeds.

All of my content in one place. Fantastic stuff. Interesting how this is now the business model for the relatively new Friend Feed. Something that I’m yet to try out but I’m told offers a very similar service on the full life stream front. Big deal, Jaiku’s been doing it for ages.

Friend Feed lacks a mobile component however which means no cool, location based stuff.

That aside, all of this life-streaming is no good if you can’t do anythingwith it. Which leads nicely into–

Active Contacts – Now that you (and your contacts) are all life streaming content or Presence Information, Jaiku takes on a more interesting role as a replacement for the native contacts application within the handset. Having Jaiku as an Active Contacts book allows you to see who is and is not available for calling just from one quick glance. Each contact displays the stream coming from their handset – this encompasses everything I’ve mentioned so far (Location, Life Stream Feed Content) and adds to it calendar info (shared, hidden or busy) AND profile information too.

The screens below are taken from the S60 app with my phone set to three different profiles:

The Profiles being General (Green), Vibrate (Amber) and Silent (Red) respectively.

If my Jaiku is displaying a red icon, now’s probably not a good time to call.

Note you can also see my latest ‘kus’ as well as the next event in my calendar; this information is opt-in as part of the sign-up. For the sake of sanity (and privacy) I normally have this set to busy but have shared for the sake of the screenshots.

Having this option available for all of my contacts would be excellent.

A quick glance can show me:

Where you are, what you’re doing, what your plans are, what you’ve been listening to, the last photo you shared, the last video you shared, the last blog post you wrote.

It goes on.

All of this stuff comes together to form one S60 app that is truly something spectacular.

Not got an S60 handset? Try http://m.jaiku.com instead. Not as functional as the app but still easy and accessible from your handset.

All this so far has been about the utility. The product. The usability. The benefits.

In my next (and last) Jaiku-themed piece I’ll cover off the final piece of the puzzle.

The thing that, in my opinion, truly makes Jaiku special:

The Community.
First is this piece from Jonathan Greene who gives a rough outline of the features I’ve mentioned above. It’s a good read but the good stuff is at the end with his fantastic video (from last year!) about the (now live) beta client of the S60 app.

Second is this post from co-creator of Jaiku, Jyri Engestrom. Entitled:

Blind Men’s Baseball – The Social Importance of Peripheral Vision

This one quote: ‘phones were designed with the assumption that when a person picks up the receiver to dial a number, they already know who they want to call.’ says it all for me.

Next week I’ll be in Las Vegas spreading the SpinVox love at CTIA.

If you’re heading out yourself, come find me and say hi.

If not, see you in a fortnight.

Thanks for reading.