Moving to Posterous

April 12th, 2010

For now, I just want an easy way to blog.

I’ll do some writing and someone else can worry about the site management.

So, I’m moving over to Posterous:

In fact, I already moved a few hours ago.  Posterous imported everything from here with no hassles.

I have a Tumblr account also, but I’m giving Posterous first try.

At some future point, I will remove Wordpress completely from here and replace it with something else.  Perhaps just a launchpad to my various places in the cloud.


On Twitter and such

October 12th, 2009

Miley Cyrus has left Twitter.  Is it the beginning of the end?  I doubt it.  She’ll be back.

My account has gone 44 days with no tweet.  I often feel the need to reply to tweets that others have written, but sadly Twitter does not support this nicely.  If only it was FriendFeed that managed to grip the world as Twitter has done.

When the net was getting popular in the late nineties, things grew fairly slowly.  Just a few companies had added web addresses to some of their advertising.  Then a few more.  Then a rare web address appeared on a TV ad.  Commentators in the media would spell out web addresses h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-w-w-w-dot-, etc.  It was all very drawn out.

But Twitter has really burst onto the scene.  It is now basically standard for your contact details screen to specify your Twitter handle.  TV shows are advertising their own hash tags.  Top Twitter trends make the evening news.

And I think it’s great.  This up to the second communication stream is very interesting to browse and consume.  Practically everything you are interested in is now served up to you in nice little bites.

And it is only going to get bigger.  People seem driven to have massive follower lists and be the first and best source for news and gossip.  Great, I say.  All good for the consumer.

But enough about Twitter.

iPhones.  Clearly they are phones.  But, I wonder how often they are used for non-phone-stuff.  I’d be confident to predict it is for the greater majority of time.  So.. why should they be called *phones*?

The PDA market successfully branded themselves non-phones.  But many of them make phone calls.  But.. the term PDA isn’t very snazzy.

I wonder if we will get a new term for the mini-computer in our pocket.  The thing we use to view websites, watch movies, listen to music, take photos, run applications, play games, tweet, email, etc.  Oh, and make phone calls and SMS.  I wonder even if a non-phone iPhone is the way of the future, so long as it could connect to the internet from anywhere (an iPod cannot do that yet, of course).   And then, a Skype-like solution may be all that is needed.

The new term needs to be one of those cool words that is easy to grab and use, like Google.  It needs to fit into a quick sentence; “send that to my XYZ”; “I’ll look it up on the HIJK”; “my QRS is broken”; etc.  The word communicate could make part of it.  That would be cool in a Star Trek kind of way.  A lot of the good words have been taken, of course, and then have dodgey history.

Anyway, enough rambling.  More Twittering.   I’m off to register

How to Kill the iPhone

July 5th, 2009

There have been many supposed iPhone-killers. Each with their own “feature” that will trump Apple. Open source OS, “real” keyboard, fancy camera, multi-tasking, etc.

But they all miss the mark. And I’m sure they must realise. The iPhone has the X-Factor.

The original iPhone was very feature-poor. No app store. No GPS. So many missing “bits” that we have now. Yet it was wildly successful.

Pick up an iPhone and push any button. The screen comes alive and tells you how to begin - slide. Now the screen has 20 or so colourful rounded icons with simple short labels. It’s obvious how to select one. But where are the rest of the icons? Well, I probably slide my finger again. Yep. And already you are falling for the iPhone. It’s so tactile, intuitive, easy.

So, how do you kill the iPhone? What will make millions of people want to dump their current phone and switch? I think it’s essentially a matter of improving this user experience. A device that can make an iPhone user think ‘I wish my iPhone understood me like this gadget does’.

So, what do I want in my iPhone replacement?

  1. Customisation - A large benefit of jailbreaking your iPhone (so I hear). And something unlikely ever to be supported by Apple. Different colors, icons, sounds, backgrounds, lock screen displays, sleep displays, etc. I want my device to be a reflection of the things I like, not just be a clone.
  2. No restrictions - Apple forces you to use iTunes for basically everything. No simple drag and drop to a removable hard drive. And no applications on your iPhone unless they have been approved by Apple. I want my device to be flexible and let me do as I please.
  3. iPhone useability - Or better. Three year olds can instinctively use the iPhone. It is that easy. A new device must meet this no-instructions-necessary requirement.
  4. Tactile - It really feels like you are physically moving the pages to one side when swiping the iPhone screen. It’s not a swipe - wait - then the screen changes - scenario. This is a must have, for me. The accelerometer adds to this immediate feedback sensation. How to make this better? Haptic response will be a good start.
  5. Uber-device potential - This is a key advantage of the touch screen only approach. The device becomes a blank slate that can transform into almost any hand held device imaginable. A few well placed generic buttons really helps, but no device defining keypad/keyboard please. Note this interesting link I found while Googling uber-device.
  6. In hand feel - The iPhone does look nice but really isn’t natural to hold. The river rock approach of the Palm Pre is an excellent attempt.

What about tens of thousands of applications? That part of the iPhone world is hard to replicate or better. The existing iTunes payment system is another huge Apple advantage. Maybe some method using PayPal or even Amazon could rival this. Imagine for a moment that your extra apps disappeared. Would you want to switch back to a Nokia? I’m doubting it. The iPhone App Store is a big hurdle, but not impossible to overcome.

So bring on the iPhone killers. Competition is great for me, the consumer. And keep adding fancy features. A TV remote control would be nice.. But for now, my rapidly ageing device is looking destined to break out of jail.

Renovations planned..

June 13th, 2009

I’ve been spending time on Twitter and FriendFeed lately. The plan now is to feed data from those services into this website. It’s a sign of things to come. Everyone will soon be doing it. Scobleizer was one of the first, of course.