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AT&T Sucks, giving free Wi-fi to iPhone customers only!

October 30th, 2008 | Category: Apple,AT&T,ATT,Cingular,EDGE,GPRS,HSDPA,technology,Wi-fi,wireless
AT&T has decided to give away their massive wireless network to iPhone users. Yes, I said, JUST iPhone users. Personally, I just think this sucks! Granted it’s only an opinion.  

For years there have been customers using wifi capable handhelds, and paying carriers through the nose to use their data service just so they’re mobile (not laptops) were more than just a calling device. But whenever they are at an airport or location that does not provide the faster more efficient connection for free, they’re forced to use the slower and more frequently annoying 3G, EDGE or GPRS connections OR pay for the wifi they find.

I’ve dumped nearly $100 a month in their pocket for 5 years just for the use of 3G, and since the release of the iPhone (and 3G capable device) the cellular data connection has only gotten worse. With that, I have owned multiple devices that have wi-fi capability, simply due to the poor and getting poorer data connections they provide.

NOW, I find out through iPhone users that they have received a message (click image above) indicating they can get (as an iPhone user) free wifi on any of the massive number of AT&T wifi hotspots. Personally, this just makes me steam!

AT&T, if you can’t bring enough to the party for everyone, don’t bring any at all.

Sorry iphone users, I love everything Apple, but the stupid @$$ deal they’ve made with this carrier!

Just call it what it is, give it another Apple name, “Free iFi”!

AT&T Sucks, giving Free wifi to iPhone users ONLY!
   
 

1 comment

iphone 3G, pleeease.

July 11th, 2008 | Category: Apple,AT&T,ATT,GPS,HSDPA,iPhone,live stream,qik,voip,Wi-fi

This is silly, just silly.

I have to agree with Leo Laporte (of twitlive.tv) and many related to the industry when It’s said that you may be wasting your money if you let “At this time” screw you into a contract for a partially functional (based on definition) device!

Leo’s been online (live) since the first Apple store opened in New Zeland, on Friday July 11th, 2008 convering the launch of the 3G iPhone! And, although I don’t have his following, I have been re-streaming Leo’s audio for those that can’t view it, but want to stay connected via audio only. (my live stream on the right menu). This has been nice for those who only have their mobiles or capable of a .pls stream.

Just as a plug for me and Leo, (as it’s my site)… I re-stream Leo whenever he’s online, for those interested in a mobile version at a lower bit rate for ease of cellular streaming.

But…, the title of the post is really, “iPhone 3G, pleeease.”

So far this is what we’ve learned about the new iPhone 3G.

1. It’s got GPS (but it seems to act more like triangulation) the kind that google maps uses for mobile devices. Hmm, not turn by turn… seems that’s what GPS is mainly used for.
2. It has 3G (thus the title). However, as it’s been repeated, 3G is really (At this time) only available in Major Metro cities (and not even all of them). In fact, there is more wi-fi coverage across the globe than 3G, so you decide which you’d rather use and (NOT) pay for?
3. Apps, Shmaps. Software is cool, but many other devices that have many other cooler and “completely functional” hardware have been open for development for a long time!

These seem to be the 3 most noted changes in the launch of this new device (and the apps don’t really count) since the software version 2.0 enables new apps on the old iPhone, and if you can install Google Maps on the old iPhone, then your “triangulated” GPS has been available since it was installed. Sooo… it seems 3G is the only enhancment. No?

Personally, I’d not get screwed into a contract, and rather have the immediate option to buy the device and plug my own/old sim to work. Sadly, Apple descided that was not a good idea (for who knows what reason)?

In addition to all this, with all the activation problems, (servers down, etc.) Apple and or AT&T “At this time” are sending people out of the stores with an inactive device. This may just lead to some never activating it “under contract”. Rumor has it, it only took approx 3 1/2 hours to unlock it yesterday (Via someone in New Zeland). This of course won’t take long to get into the wild for everyone to use, and thusly, if you have a device that is unactivated (opposed to activated forcefully in the store)… you may just be able to unlock it and pop in your existing sim.

Hmm, I’d love to know the numbers on that one.

If you don’t need the cellular, just get an iPod touch, install a VOIP client and use wi-fi for phone calls. :) Hey, at least your coverage would be greater with Wi-fi. ;)

One positive thing I can say, even though the new iPhone STILL does not have video recording (built in) (as I understand it), a company called qik.com will allow you to do just that, and live at the same time. So, if you’re one of the secondary “early adopters” of the newest iPhone, don’t fret completely, it has one improvement. (oh wait, the old iPhone can do qik too). DANG!

Thoughts, if Apple and At This Time are going to go into a shady @$$ deal like the last and this one, things really need to work, immediately! No? Or, was it your intention to have many unactivated devices in the wild?

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I’ve been Qiking like crazy…

I need to do a video comparison of the recordings my Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM does on it’s own (stored locally) and those that Qik.com allows me to stream at its highest quality.  I tell you, if the qualities are anywhere near the same, Qik will be most likely replace my local video storage all except for those moments I just can’t stream.  :)  I recently recorded my bike ride utilizing numerous functions of my phone to get a real good test of things.

I received my wind powered (solar backed up) charger and mounted it to my bike.  Once that was on, I turned on my devices GPS (using free.3dtracking.net) to record my ride, I turned on the music so I’d be have something to pedal too and utilized the front camera of my device to stream via Qik’s mobile audio/video streaming service!

I tell you, this just rocked!  Not only did I start off with less than a full battery, but, I road for an hour (recorded for 59.30 minutes) and used all those things the entire time.  Once I stopped, and unplugged my device from the wind powered charger I still had 4 bars.  The wind powered charger did exactly what it said it would, and streaming on the lower end of Qik’s service was great.  Using all those things without a charge station of some sort would really put the drain on your battery and it would be dead in less than an hour (I’ve tested this just by recording using qik.com (not playing music or using GPS, just recording on qik).)

I was most likely on AT&T’s 3G (HSDPA) service the whole time, and never saw a (delay indication).  Granted I was not always looking, I’ve managed to drive with it and have no delay indicator.

I streamed up to qik, recorded the entire time, (the screen stays lit while recording with qik) and as we all know, screen activity reall drains a battery.  I was constantly pulling a gps signal from a min of 9 sats, and uploading my position every 30 seconds to track using free.3dtracking.net and playing the music.

All in all, I’m very impressed with all the features mentioned above.  The Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM rocks, Qik.com rocks, free.3dtracking.net rocks, and so does thinkgeek.com’s solar and wind powered charger!

How will I ever make this “analog thing” work?  :(

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Additional Qik Testing…

Ok, in testing Qik further today, I managed to get an entire 120:30 minutes recorded!!! On an odd note, Qik only represents it as an 18:09 min file, although the entire recording seems to be there. :) Now that is freakin’ awesome! I just dinked around, sat down and watched a movie and checked it when the movie was done!

I tell ya, (despite that it’s not high-def, hey the camera is not), it beats not having that kind of storage on many devices, espically if you want to record everything, and walks all over Comvu PocketCaster’s 100mb of storage. All you really have to worry about with Qik’s service (as far as I can tell at this point) is a net connection for the broadcast/recording and juice (battery). I had to plug my N95 in, but since I was connected to my wi-fi, I was fine for connectivity!

I recently purchased a solar and wind powered charger from thingeek.com to mount to my bike and or other portable situations and will be recording some riding as weather permits. :)

I’m guessing that Qik will handle as well (if not better) than Comvu’s PocketCaster with 3G (HSDPA) in streaming content, but we will see how well it holds up to that type of connection while traveling on a bicycle at 20+ mph for 16+ miles. Cell hand-offs can be a pain, even for calls, so it will be a great test to see a transmission in movement. Obviously I won’t be able to blog on it while riding (except for the concentrated grunts and oofs) and it would be better blogged about after I view the recorded stream, but feel free to comment if you are watching it live when I do it, I do believe that will show up in the view comments.

I’m not sure what days will be nice enough to ride here in Seattle soon (as I don’t have a weather proof holder for my bike yet)… but I’ve ordered a case that will allow me to mount the phone to the bike along with the chargers. Once I receive those, I’ll blog that I will test or that I have tested and you can check it out then… (it should be soon as they are all in the mail)!

Lastly (for tonight)… I use a free live GPS tracking service called “3DTracking“… I plan to use that at the same time as I like to record my rides and my fiancee likes to watch me ride up to her work or see where I am on a long ride! :) For Qik, I am requesting such a service be built in conjunction with the next software build! It would rock if I could not only record massive life experiences, but where they took place as well without having to write it all down later… exif baby, exif! People could not only see the live experience but view exactly where it is on the map at the same time (again, always live!)

Thanks for the GREAT software, I promise to keep testing it like crazy!!

1 comment

Qik rules!!!

Ok, I’ve just now gotten, (received) my QIK authorization, and software link and as you can tell from the “rain like” sound in the background as it re-echos the sound of my keyboard typing in the firefox tab behind my review, QIK rules!!!.

So far, the quality beats PocketCaster by several levels (not quite DVD (or near) as the N95 produces on it’s own, but quite nice. I’m using wi-fi at the moment at my house… so further tests will show it’s ability and quality once I’m out using AT&T’s HSDPA (3G) or GPRS connections. However, I must say it is VERY nice so far! I’ve still not received a notice for flixwagon, so that will be another post, if I ever get an invite!

Thanks QIK guys, (and I’d guess Michael more specifically.) :)

Download was near instantanious over my N95-4 8GB NAM once I got the SMS to my device, installation was a breeze at 313kb, and usage is simple, straight forward. I’ve yet to figure out if there is a rotation function in the software (as it is taking the footage wide screen (but HEY, don’t we all love widescreen)? ;)

The stored recordings online are equal quality to that of which I see on screen, and appear (at the moment) not to have a limit of storage size. Sadly, PocketCaster has a limit of 100mb, and I just hate having to delete my life once it’s recorded! Ya know what I mean? After all, I got the service for the purpose of recording my every move (granted my battery stays charged). :)

You also have the ability to post to:

twitter, seesmic, blogger, mobuzz.tv, justin.tv, youtube, and pownce… I’ll use the provided embed codes for posting in wordpress. I’m sure with a bit more research (beings I’ve only had it active and playing for approx 20 minutes now) I’ll find out more FUN things to do with the software and website! Bravo QIK!.

Now… for that test while I am sleeping, what do I sound like. To bad the N95 does not have a night mode so I can see it too.

I’ll keep you posted on the testing and fun, otherwise, check it out at qik.com

The echo is kind of funny. Specially when I clear my throat. ;)

You can reach my videos by going here: http://qik.com/thecolor… or you can subscribe to my video rss specifically here: http://qik.com/thecolor/latest-videos

Here is the embed function Qik provides from the user profile page:

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3 live mobile video streaming services…

To date I’ve run into three mobile streaming sites, and have so far only been able to test only one: Comvu’s PocketCaster

Rating 4 * * * *

of course, what does a rating mean if you have nothing to compare it to?

I still REALLY want to try out QIK but can’t seem to get a membership no matter what I try, signing up multiple times or emailing a commentor from my blog has yet to work. OIE!. :(

Today I came across another broadcaster called flixwagon. From reading up on FlixWagon, it seems they too are competition for the latter two services.

Either way, I’ve signed up for their services as well and we’ll see how easy it is to get an account and what they offer in comparison. So far it’s been 10 minutes and I’ve yet to get a welcome or confirmation email, so we’ll see.

On a side note, anyone offering a service, (alpha or beta or whatever), I personally feel it’s a good idea to make sure you have a confirmation email of some sort to the party that signs up, so they know you’ve got their request. I know, I know, 10 minutes is nothing. Sadly, the internet and computers have pushed me well beyond patience, thusly the need to be able to tell anyone, anything, anytime, anywhere, (the reason for such services like, Qik, Comvu PocketCaster and flixWagon.)

Stay tuned for whatever might come my way by Qik or flixWagon. :)

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My Stickam cams…

Well, I had these going (or visible) on my forum. Now that the forum is inactive, I needed a place to stickam (no pun intended).

I’ll try and better organize media and copy on my blog later. For now, at least the content is there for those that may have actually viewed it. :)

Obviously as before, if you see HAL… then I’m not live on that cam.

This is my work Cam This is my home Cam or iBook Cam

And if you look at the pocketCaster post below you’ll get the live mobile cam from my Nokia N95 8Gb – NAM. :)

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PocketCaster Video

Here’s some links to my Comvu PocketCaster Videos. They originally were streams from my cellphone (live) and are archived on their site. Since I only have 100mb there, these videos may change… but, you can see if I am live by clicking, here: MyLiveFeed

livecast little workout
livecast mini tour of Seattle
livecast espresso maker
livecast finding da shoes

I’ll try the WindowsMediaPlayer embed again below. If you see a spinning globe, I’m not online. That’s probably a duh. ;)


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PocketCaster vs Qik Live Mobile Streaming…

Well, I can’t really do a VS.. but the title makes you look. :)

Reason I can’t do a comparison at this point is ’cause no matter how many times I sign up for QIK, I get the same, “we’ll let you know when were ready for you’ type of statement. It’s actually kind of annoying. So, I went with Comvu for software called “PocketCaster.” PocketCaster is a similar service that allows you to stream from your mobile device (in my case the Nokia N95-4 NAM).

So far, it’s a killer app. Simple install, simple usage, and (for a live mobile stream where most devices are not capable of that yet), it’s not to shabby. :)

I can stream using my front cam (the smaller lower res one) or the main (back) cam which still seems to be compressed for the upload, but again, still cool and convenient.

Again, it’s LIVE, not pre-recorded! :) I have all the connectivity options, wi-fi, standard cell data connection, GPRS, 3G, EDGE, HSDPA as well as the ability to store the file locally or remotely for that “pre-recorded” archive. :)

Quality options range from 24kbps to 160kbps, of course I set mine to the highest.

It also has a GPS location functionality, which I assume will let viewers know exactly where you are. Now that rocks. My first test was indoors, so I did not bother testing the location function, but will let you know how that goes.

My second, third and fourth tests were outside on a walk from home and after viewing the archived footage and hear/rather seeing the IMs my friend in the NL was sending me (while I was narrating and strolling home in the rain) touring them a bit around Seattle, were, “this is just amazing!!” Streaming over wi-fi was great at home, but over 3G and EDGE it worked beautifully, which is a nice thing considering a walk down the street on a router (wi-fi) does not get you very far (no hand off like a cell tower). Thusly I was very happy to see how well it did over standard cell connectivity. :)

The one thing I wish was added was the “always ask” feature the N95 typically uses for data connectivity… as you have to manually set your connection option, which can be annoying to have to go in and change if you’re not near wi-fi.

Over all, my first few tests are way cool and super fun. Now, if I could only get an account and software for quick for a better comparison!

The embedded player was slowing the blog load, so I removed the embeded player and added a link to the right column.  Or, here.  :)

1 comment

Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM review…


This is a great product, superior to the iPhone by far!!

I’ve wanted an N95 since the first version came out, and I’m happy it’s only better with the newest NAM version with a built in 8GB card.

I would have appreciated an included expansion card slot, as I will quickly use the 8GB if not for applications for music and movies, but it’s acceptable.

I am very happy that it has all the needed freqs for the US both voice and data, which really make the experience of making calls or using the net all that much better.

The GPS freakin’ rocks!.. to bad the free 6 month plan that shows on the box is really only 1 day. I’m not willing to pay for GPS navigation since most cheaper units come with it for free. So, I turned to a better java application to replace Nokia’s pay GPS (not once by the way, but monthly) called amAze GPS, it has all that Nokia’s “maps app” offers and more.

The 5MP camera and near DVD quality video is the best, no other all in one device offers something that high (yet).

The video out is nice, although it seems to show at the phones resolution, not ntsc resolution or higher (320×240 I believe, so the images are jagged or pixelated on TV)… so I might use it for a full on movie, but it’s nice for surfing on a bigger screen or watching things like YouTube, (included) etc. where my computer (already attached to the HD TV is not on, not sure how that would happen. ;)

I could go on and on, but over all, Nokia has always provided an excellent working and well built product, and I’m VERY happy I went with their newest N95-4 8GB NAM. I don’t know what cause me to stray.

As for mobileCityOnline, their service was great. I admit, I had been burned online before, so was skeptical when I placed the “pre-order” since their orders kept getting pushed back by the manufacturer or shipped in smaller quantities, but the customer service was great in respect to keeping me informed and the natural process of their specific business with outside manufacturers… so that made me feel good. As for their shipping, can’t say it was more than prompt. I paid an extra $10 bucks for next day service, and as soon as the device came in their warehouse, sure enough it was next day I got it!!! Now that is excellent!

I would recommend this product and mobileCityOnline for it’s purchase. Hey, it saved me several hundred from the manufacture or Nokia store price! :)

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