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demoFone, a WebCasting app for S60 and UIQ3…

I recently became aware of an application called demoFone, which is a webcasting application for S60 and UIQ3 devices.

I personally own a nokia N95 8GB and try out all the new apps!  This is akin to qik on the (share your sreen with all) level.

If you are at all familiar with webcasting, you know the benifit of being able to share your screen with people, ‘specially when you’re trying to get a point across without flying around the world to point to “that” icon on the desk, or email that “massive” raw photo you just took.

With WebCasting you can have virtual meetings around the world and share the contents of your desktop, images, video, documents, etc.

After just a few minutes of testing the demoFone application, I was more than sold!  I’m always trying to explain myself over the phone with some luck, but run into problems when it comes to the photo I just took or the document I have local to my device, etc. but don’t really want to email it out (just yet) or I’d rather walk someone through the use of an application on my device.

With demofone I was able to do just that… and with video capabilities as well.  It does not have audio (yet), but with more users and the likelyhood of it’s popularity, I quickly see this application becoming a winner with many who just need to get their point across without mailing or texting  back and forth like crazy! AND, like many older webCasting services, you can just make the phone call (on another device) or on the same device (assuming you have some sort of semi-detached headset so you can see what you’re doing on the device) and talk at the same time.  It’s that easy.  I’d of course use wi-fi for display, as it will be much quicker, but if you need to, your mobile providers data connection will work too, slowly, but it works.  :)

demoFone, you g/uy/al/s have a great product here!

Below is a short video I took with qik of the application in use on my device.

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Windows 95 on a Nokia N95

Even though this is a shot of Windows 3.1, Windows 95 was installed on a Nokia N82 (more ram to handle it), video below.

If Win 3.1 can run on the N95-1, I have little doubt it can run on my N95-4 (8GB).  I’ll have to see if I can figure this one out.  :)


The link to the site/forum is in Polish, but here is a google translation link:

As many other sites will state, it’s very slow and kinda pointless, but totally fun to show off!  :)  Now, for OSX!  ;)





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Microsoft Tag: Microsoft’s own 2D barcode – istartedsomething

January 08th, 2009 | Category: Camera Phone,iPhone,N95,Nokia,technology

Microsoft Tag: Microsoft’s own 2D barcode

blogged by:
Long Zheng on January 8th, 2009

Click here for Video

It just wouldn’t be right if Microsoft didn’t have its own barcode technology too, which is why today Microsoft Tag (Beta) was announced at CES 2009. Much like other 2D barcode technologies including the popular but underwhelming QR Code, Microsoft Tag allows data to be stored in a graphical bitmap using shapes and colors. But with a twist.

If you were to assume Microsoft Tag is just a clone of QR Code, you’d be wrong. In fact you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking about it. Microsoft Tag is based on a whole new technology called High Capacity Color Barcodes (HCCBs), which was invented in-house by Microsoft Research. The difference is not using square pixels, but triangle shapes and colors to store data. The following diagrams show off its advantages.


Unlike other tag technologies too, the Microsoft Tags don’t actually store the information. You see, all it stores is a unique ID which it then sends to Microsoft’s servers. This way, you can include much more information, and more variety of information, then if it was just on the tag itself. A nice side-effect of this is also the ability for publishers to gather reporting data on how many times it was seen.

To read these tags, Microsoft is making available today a downloadable application to a handful of mobile platforms including Windows Mobile, J2ME, iPhone, Blackberry, and Symbian S60 phones. A camera and internet connection is obviously required. To get the application, point your phone’s browser to

I’ve only played with Microsoft Tag for a few minutes on my Windows Mobile phone, but its a noticeably better experience than I’ve had with other 2D barcodes in the past. For example you can read it from a very far distance, from a very side angle and even if it’s partially blocked.

In addition, it wouldn’t just be a Microsoft platform without developer tools. That is why starting today the “tag maker” service is also available so anyone can create these tags. For the moment this is a free service, but out of beta, one could potentially see this is where Microsoft plans to make a buck.

Here is a tag I created:

What I like so far over the 2D tags is that the image (perhaps their software) scans much quicker and interacts immediately.  In comparison to the 2D bar codes I’ve created, they can be slow and fight with white/black contrast, so focusing and reading sometimes compete.  (where it trys to read while it focus’ and or stops reading after it’s focused (a timing issue I’m sure with the software/read).

All in all, my views on the blog above and the product, is it’s a winner and I can see it easily taking off, espically since Microsoft has implemented numerous software for numerous platforms all at once!

Here are a few tags Long created so you can try it out.


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skyfire’s Awesome Mobile Browser!

November 20th, 2008 | Category: AT&T,ATT,GPRS,live stream,N95,N95-4 8GB NAM,Nokia,qik,TWIT

Up ’till now, I’ve added hacks, and workarounds, and multiple different browsers and software programs to all the different mobile devices I’ve owned, just to make it do things like, get a decent browsing experience (close to a full on computer), listen to audio (any), watch video and most important of all in todays “NOW” environment, do this all live!

Nokia came with a decent browser, capable of many things, but not enough, enter Opera…

I was hoping Opera’s browser would improve upon the lack of things Nokia’s browser was not capable of doing, (live audio/video, better browsing through “more like PC pages”), etc., sadly, no.

Opera would display pages a tad nicer, but that was about it.

What I REALLY wanted was the ability to watch streaming video LIVE! Not, download the video from YouTube or similar sites and watch it… but stream live while the situation unfolds.

Many devices say they stream, but in reality they were simply downloading a “file” to then watch (the buffer might have been the closest thing to an actual “stream”).

Today, I ran into a newer browser called, SkyFire.

SkyFire is currently available for S60 devices (N Series and E Series Nokia mobiles) and Windows Mobile.

I must say, I was more than shocked, as SkyFire did not advertise it’s ability to stream live content, it simply touted it as a browser more like your PCs browser. That alone intrigued me. After all, I had tried several other claiming similar things to no real avail.

This is exactly what I wanted! I was amazed! The first site I tested (simply due to the fact that I wanted a streaming experience) was my favorite live a/v guy, Leo Laporte at Here is the footage I took while testing it.


Then I moved on to my mobile video streaming site and sure enough, they both streamed the live content right as it came out of my mouth. It was odd looking at my delayed qik video being streamed up, and then back down to skyFire’s browser on my N95 (over AT&T’s sluggish 3G network), (it was kinda of like watching what I stream from my phone on my full on computer) but hey, it worked, worked well and I am VERY happy!

The browser does not stop there, complete with standard back, forward, enter URL, bookmark, fit to screen, and zoom -+ options, but, I’ll still most likely use my default Nokia browser for quick and dirty things as it’s not really feasible to view a web page built for a monitor resolution of 1024×768 or higher on a 320×240 screen (despite zooming, just too much scrolling at normal size). But when I need a more full on computer like experience, you can bet, I’ll be turning to my newest browser, SkyFire!

No comments vs stickam

Well, I’ve done a reasonable amount of testing with the newly release mobile stickam application.

Here’s how I feel about it:
It’s ok. There, done. ;)

No, really, the app is nice, BUT… qik still has it over stickam.

Reasons: Qik records your video/stream and you can link to the archived footage, download it in 3GP or FLV formats, auto or manual post it to YouTube and a multitude of other Social Networks (video/audio/or text). Qik also has a bit better quality going on for it!
I’ve been using qik since it’s release pretty much… and the developers have also been easy to talk with, and obtain special releases to test, that eventually get out into the wild. :)
Qik also has the application available for more than the Nokia N95.

What does Stickam have, that qik does not? Well, from my testing, only two things… stickam shows you the number of viewers (qik could easily impliment) and stickam allows you to change your cameras orientation (when using the back (higher quality) cam). I do like both those features, but, not enough to do a total switch.

Winner: Qik, I love being able to read real time chats and converse with users on the other end (knowing how many people ware watching is not helpful if you can’t really chat). And the quality is great! In addition to all the other awesome networking features qik offers (like posting and downloading what you’ve done). :)

Qik, keep it up… and stickam, if you want to “compete” with the likes of qik, you’ve got a long road ahead. I’ll keep using stickam for my lappys and desktops, but while I’m mobile, it’s qik baby! :)


Chicago Photosynth

October 24th, 2008 | Category: Camera Phone,HDR,N95,N95-4 8GB NAM,Nokia,photography,photosynth

If you spend enough time taking lots of decent photos, and drop them in Microsoft’s Photosynth, you can end up with a pretty cool project. (the “synthier” the better).

It can be difficult to get a high synthi rating with lots of photos, but as stated above, take time, get good shots and lots of them, and it will work out really cool.

Here are my most recent additions to my Photosynth collection, (shots of Chicago’s downtown skyline(s) and the Reflective Bean):

Additionally, I saw a really cool project called “gigapan” at Wired’s NextFest in Chicago. One of the bummers of GigaPan is that you can’t upload your photos and have it auto stitch… you have to stitch it first and then upload the panoramic photo. Granted Photosynth is not exactly panoramic, it’s got that 3D in/out functionality that Gigapan seems to be trying for.

With that, I’m in the process of stitching the Chicago 3 Photosynth using CleVR’s service and will upload it to GigaPan to make a comparison. This could take a bit, so come back to see the results and compare. Please let me know your thoughts and if you’ve seen other similar or better services.

My next goal, is to merge HDR images I’ve created (all using my Nokia N95-4 8GB), and some tight shots both stitched and in Photosynth, to get some super impressive results. Again, come back and see. :)

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beta tested qik software version 0.08.72

Thanks to the awesome developers at, I was able to get a beta version of the most recent qik software for my Nokia N95 8GB 0.08.72!  Let me tell you, it was well worth it!

I’ve used their software since the original version, and it’s been great… except for a few little quirks/desires.

I recently road the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, 2008 again this year (my 8th time, thank you.  :)  Anyway, I had a few problems with the first version(s) of qik’s software in that, the back light (screen) would always stay lit, making it a major suck on the battery life, and, the inability to run in the background (use other apps while recording).

Enter “request” of the qik developers, of course what I wanted the features for (the 204 mile bike ride)… and they added both giving me the newest beta version to test out on this ride!  I probably don’t have to tell you, just those two features alone, made a HUGE difference functionality and longevity!  Not only did I get a massive increase in stream life (due to the light shutting off automatically), but I was also able to record with the camera in the background saving me from accidentally stopping it with bangs against the handle bars!

Having the camera in the background (using “stay in background”) was a life saver for a few reasons.  I could utilize other apps while I was recording, making it nice to grab information and relay it as you record, say, you’re doing an interview, and you need to Google info, or shoot a plurk or tweet, pick up a phone call, etc. etc.  With this newest version of Qik 0.08.72 you can do just that and not have to stop the recording or be limited to the 10 second time out if you leave the screen.  (picking up a phone call may stop the stream anyhow on a cell network, (unless your streaming on wi-fi))

Additionally, if you’ve left the qik screen, while it’s recording in the background, those annoying accidental depressions of a button that might stop your stream (like in my case of constant banging against handle bars), don’t happen.  Yeah!!  :)

The second feature, is a no-brainer.  (auto light off or “Economy mode”). We all know when the light/screen is active on any portable device, it sucks the juice from your battery VERY quickly.  Well, by simply allowing the back light to shut off while recording, basically doubled my recording time.  That was awesome!  OK, so I wasn’t able to get the entire 204 miles streamed, but hey, how many want to watch someone ride 204 miles?  Even the Tour de France takes breaks and has some commercial interruptions.  Saves on some motion sickness. ;)

One cool thing about qik (in a situation like this) is it’s live (it’s not yesterday).  While riding the STP this year, I saw some individuals riding in front of a pickup with a lady and her heavy high quality, (slowing the ride) camera.  Although great that they can give you that 2 mile an hour quality video, I think it’s over, it’s done, I’ve streamed it for you while it happened using’s service.  You can watch it as it happens or well, later.  :)

If you’re curious about the ride I’ve been referring to (the STP), see this post.  I’ve included some screen shots of the new version’s “options menu”.  Great work Qik Team!

Now for audio and (PIP) Picture in Picture for other incoming qikers, full on Video phone, here we come!  :) And AT&T (at this time), a better cell network so I can use 640×480 more frequently.  :)

On a site/api functionality level, it would be great if we could post “updates” like “I’m streaming live right now…” to an email address.  I love that qik auto posts to twitter, but I’d like to do the same with other SNs.  Many SNs have an email we can send to.  If we could set up email addresses to notify when we are live, that would seal a MAJOR gap in the notification process.  No?  :)

Click the image to see a better res view:

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My Seattle to Portland Bicycle Live Stream (Live STP)

OK, so this weekend is the STP  (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic) for those unfamiliar with the acronym (it’s not the Stone Temple Pilots).  ;)  The ride  is July 12-13 being a 1 or 2 day ride (we will ride 2).  This will be my 8th ride and this is my goal:

I plan to stream AS MUCH of the 2 day event that I can via my Nokia N95 8GB while riding.  I will be with some friends, so there will be a bit of banter, I’m sure (it’ll help keep it more interesting).  No music for safety (unless you want to mash up your own after each clip).

Here is the list of items I will use to archive this (a live stream) as long as I can.

Device: Nokia N95-4 8GB NAM
Software: Qik, Live Audio Video Streaming from a mobile Phone
Batteries: 1 1200 mAh and 1 1600 mAh
Standard wall charger for overnight battery refuels at the Centralia half-way point.
Green Recharging: HYmini Solar and Wind powered charger
Protective waterproof casing and a Gorilla Pod for stability

Here’s the trick… I will most likely be unable to stream every waking moment for a few reasons:
1.  this is being done via AT&T’s cell network.  So, we are dependent on their coverage which is obviously not everywhere.  :(
2.  even though I have portable recharging while I ride, streaming takes up so much juice, I can’t recharge as fast as I can use it.  :(  (however I will do a full recharge at the Centralia half-way point for finish line coverage.)

So, with those things in mind, feel free to keep this page open to watch as we go live.  If you never see the video come back, you may have to refresh, but qik (the service I’m using to do this) is pretty good at reloading when live.  Or, you can go to the direct page at

If you ask me, this capability is amazing!  It changes the way we “do media”.  Qik’s software and capabilities bring everything to us, NOW, and I’m totally stoked to do this!

By going to the qik page you can use the Live Chat feature, but please be aware I may not be able to see the stream, nor will I be looking at it allot for safety reasons.  I will glance every now and then to be sure it’s still streaming, etc.  but if you say something and I see it, I’ll speak up.  :)

Each of these streams are archived once complete and are available on qik as downloads and Youtube (under “thecolor“).  So, you can either refer others to the page for the live coverage + and or, just refer them to the specific recorded link/downloads if you want to show a previously recorded stream.

Wish us luck on a fun and sunny ride and that we get as much coverage of it as possible.  :)

Here is one riders page to wish him luck as well.  :)

P.S. if you want an auto notification of when it goes live (given those moments it drops for bad coverage, or otherwise)… you can follow me on twitter (user “thecolor“) and auto posts are made as soon as I go live.  :)


Jott just got better!!

I use two services for twitter, jott or twitterfone. They are good for their own reasons, although I might be leaning more toward jott for my overall functions. Why?…

’cause Jott just introduced the ability to listen to feeds, YES, any feed (rss).

This is freakin’ awesome! I’ve entered some of my favorite feeds, like Tech 5, and Tech Crunch, and twitter (YES, Twitter) so I can listen to those I follow as well as news, right on my phone.

Even still, since I typically use headphones, or stream it via bluetooth to my car’s deck from my N95-4 8GB it’s basically a text to speech stereo for news! “Wow”, is all I can say! This will help me in those situations I have forgotten to download a podcast or lack room for one (heaven forbid), or, if i’m on the move and something new happens and I get a text about it, I can follow it up by either reading it in the browser, slow, unsafe while driving, etc., etc. or, just call Jott and ask for the specific feed to be read! Oh joy!

Hope this is helpful to some, as it’s totally helpful to me! :)

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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 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 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 (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 and playing the music.

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

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

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