Archive for December, 2007

Way to Go My Brother

I have a fax/printer/copier/scanner that I bought a few years back… it’s a Brother MFC8840D.  The thing has been rock solid until my 4 year old, Asher, decided to use the top door thingie as a diving board.

I think it gave him some pretty good spring action until the hinge broke off.  I called Brother and within 5 minutes I had a new hinge on the way and will be sure to keep the Brother out of harm’s way from now on.

Way to go Brother - solid customer service! 

 

December 28th, 2007

2008 - The Year of Mobile

“Mobile goes big in 2008″ …okay, so I’ve been hearing this sentiment for the last 10 years or so (and it’s making the rounds in the plethora of ‘08 blogosphere predictions).  Although, I don’t think ‘08 is going to be the breakout year, we are going to see a very interesting year in the mobile space:

  • The iPhone was a big step in the direction of usability/beauty and will force Nokia, Microsoft, and RIM to up the ante - i.e., we will see some cool new devices
  • We will see some Android phones in the wild and with that some innovate software and hardware
  • Location based services will begin to emerge (Google’s “My Locations” is brilliant… if I could get the darn thing to work) and Yahoo’s Fire Eagle looks promising
  • Very interesting mobile applications based around social software and location (that isn’t a PITA to use) will emerge and engage consumers
  • One of the big guys (probably Google) will start to experiment w/ mobile payments which further entrenches mobile devices in the hands of consumers
  • Live streaming video to/from mobile devices will mature and create a killer opportunity (Scoble is already messing around with Qik and comvu has had this for Windows Mobile for a while [thanx for that pointer Andrew]) - I called this one way back in the olden days ;)
  • Exposing and sharing data (docs, video, photos, etc) to your mobile will see some interesting action - I created a very cool syndication platform a couple of years ago that I tabled and now is the time for something like this to go big time.  Take a look at this to see what I am talking about - http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/12/run-vista-gadge.html

But, we won’t see the true mobile revolution until the middle man (yeh, you know who) is out of the equation!

December 24th, 2007

Twitter Goodness on Your Mobile Device

Tiny Twitter Love
[point your mobile browser at http://m.ttwt.at to get the latest version of Tiny Twitter (v 0.9.9 12/15/2007) on your mobile device. You’ll be up and running in under 2 minutes]

Earlier in the year I started regularly using Twitter… soon after (aka pre-iPhone era) I built a mobile Twitter client for my Blackberry. I built Tiny Twitter for several reasons, but mainly I wanted a way to avoid the SMS traffic. On nights and weekends over the past year I have tuned Tiny Twitter - mainly adding features and fixing things for me and my fellow Tiny Twitter users. The latest version, 0.9.9, is looking pretty good!

Tiny Twitter will work on Nokia devices, Blackberries, and pretty much any mobile device that is Java enabled (including T-Mobile phones for those feeling the T-Mobile/Twitter pain):

Tiny Twitter on Crackberry
[Tiny Twitter on Crackberry]
Tiny Twitter on Nokia
[Tiny Twitter on Nokia]

*NOTE: on Nokia devices you’ll want to adjust the font size to the smallest setting (go to Font Settings from the Options Menu).

I also own a few Windows Mobile devices and have been wanting to build a Twitter client for these devices too (my Tiny Twitter Java client is just to wonky on Windows Mobile). The biggest thing holding me back from creating a Windows Mobile version of Tiny Twitter was the need for creating a custom control for rendering the follower timeline. This is something I had done in the past, and I just never had the time or desire to jump in head first. Well, one day I was having coffee with my man Matthias and turns out he was psyched to tackle this task. Matthias hunkered down and a few days later had the beginnings of a rock solid control - Matthias is the man. With the hard part out of the way courtesy of Matthias, I took some time over the Thanksgiving break to clean up some things, fix some defects, and add some features. I and some early users started using Tiny Twitter on Windows Mobile… and now you too can get Twitter love on Windows Mobile:

Tiny Twitter on Windows Mobile
*NOE: you’ll need to have the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 SP 2 at a minimum.

Enjoy! Twitter is a cool AND useful application after you start using it and it gets even better when you have a Twitter mobile client. I love Tiny Twitter and hope you will too.

Here are some of the features you’ll find in Tiny Twitter:

  • Automatically updated follower timeline
  • Automatically updated inbox (direct messages)
  • Delete all or single tweets
  • One click replies (@) and direct messages from the timeline
  • Quick access to see a follower’s timeline
  • Access links embedded in tweets
  • Hide friends (Java only)
  • Settings to customize the update interval and UI appearance
  • And of course most importantly send tweets!!!

Have fun you twittering fool go to http://m.ttwt.at and check it out :)

December 16th, 2007

Mobile Web Formatting Can Bite

Take a look at these two web page headers:

<head><title>MSNBC - MSNBC - Breaking News, World and US News Stories & Headlines - Get the Latest Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, & Technology updates from around the world Front Page</title><script src=”/js/std.js” mce_src=”/js/std.js” ></script></head>’

<head><title>MSNBC - Breaking News, World and US News Stories & Headlines - Get the Latest Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, & Technology updates from around the world- msnbc.com</title><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/css/html40.css” mce_href=”/css/html40.css” /><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/default.ashx/id/21589549″ mce_href=”/default.ashx/id/21589549″ /><link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”/default.ashx/id/21731496″ mce_href=”/default.ashx/id/21731496″ /><script type=”text/javascript” src=”/js/std.js” mce_src=”/js/std.js” ></script><script type=”text/javascript”>gEnabled=false;</script><meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″><meta name=”description” content=”MSNBC.com is a leader in breaking news and original journalism. Stay current with daily news updates in health, entertainment, business, science/technology and sports.”><meta name=”Search.Document” content=”front”><meta name=”Search.Updated” content=”Mon, 03 Dec 2007 23:17:49 GMT”><link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”MSNBC - Top Stories” href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032091/device/rss/rss.xml”&gt;
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”MSNBC - Most Viewed” href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3058960/displaymode/1026/eventType/1/rss/rss.xml” mce_href=”http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/3058960/displaymode/1026/eventType/1/rss/rss.xml”>…

Can you tell the difference? Okay that’s an easy question… they’re totally different.  Nice job grasshopper.  Well, these headers come from the same web resource (msnbc.com). The only distinction is that one is served up to mobiles.  And I’ve seen similar behavior for many of my test sites.

So, the piece that annoys me is the removal of the link elements (that’s bolded above) used for feed autodiscovery (the RSS icon that lights up in the browser, the super cool functionality you get in FeedDemon for adding subs, etc… you get it).  Ah man, no feed auto detection love on mobile devices for lots of web properties.  That sux.

December 3rd, 2007


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