Yes, it's true. Every time an iPhone user gets laid...
In case you were wondering, what publicists do all day is think up the kind of shit OK Cupid pulled last week. Reported extensively in a variety of media outlets and geekblogs, the online dating site’s media coup came by saying iPhone users have more sex.
Almost a year ago, Qik made me one of their sponsored livestream videobloggers, but between the phone and working out the bugs, it made live videoblogging from the phone spotty. Now, Qik has tightened up their (free) service and it’s seriously versatile and easy to use — and I got my hands on a brand new Nokia N95-4. It’s a hell of a gadget, and now that it’s out of the box I can’t stop playing with it and it’s never, ever far from reach. And I know I’m not even maximizing it.
I’ll get this out of the way: I have a phone from Helio (an Ocean) and that’s my trusty phone, with a qwerty keyboard and extremely reliable everything; I’ve had 3G for years, my friends. So the N95-4 isn’t quite going to replace my Ocean — but if the Nokia had a qwerty keyboard, it would in about .00006 seconds. On the Nokia I will read your email and enjoy the experience very much. But on the Ocean I’ll respond. Yes, there are other Nokia phones with keyboards: but you say, the E71. Yes, it’s lovely, but it only shoots 15fps video, and that just won’t do.
After charging the N95, the first thing I did was turn off all sounds and get to work. In just a few minutes, I went to “Web”, and downloaded and installed Gmail, Google Maps, and my Qik. I found it unfortunate that the phone’s default search is Yahoo, but without qwerty I won’t *exactly* be blogging from the phone, so I don’t really care. Then I went into the menu>tools>settings>general>personalization>standby mode and changed the “shortcuts” and “active standby apps.” In here, I changed the phone’s desktop icons to Gmail, Google Maps, and other things I’ll want with one click, and I changed the right and left softkey buttons to be Qik and “camera”.
Next, I went into gallery>open online service and it already had Flickr installed; I just entered in my information and activated it. Now when I take a photo (it’s got a 5mp camera, Carl Zeiss lens, with 8G storage and 5M photos size), I click once and it uploads the big, sharp photo to my photo stream — quickly, with the 3G.
So I can press one button from the interface and open the Qik livestreaming app — that’s neat. I’m ready to shoot live video in a few seconds. Qik has integrated with a lot of other online services; when you get a Qik account, you can do what I did and link it to my Twitter, YouTube and 12seconds account (there’s more, but that’s what I’m using right now). So far everything works except the 12seconds integration; when I livestream to Qik, an automatic message (that I customized in my Qik account) is sent to my Twitter stream, and the video is simultaneously uploaded to my seldom used YouTube channel. Here’s a Qik video with the Nokia:
A couple people have raved about the high quality of my phone-to-Qik videos (and they look great; in video ‘settings’ make it high quality and put steady shot ‘on’). But I know that the phone is capable of better video than the 320×240 Qik default, and I really love 12seconds — and the integration not working really isn’t my problem. And I’m impatient.
So I set up the phone’s mailbox, which with Gmail was actually an unbelievably complicated pain in the ass. Fortunately, this is not a road less traveled. Once that was set up, I noticed that when I took a photo or shot a video (not in Qik, just with the phone), when I hit “send” I now had an email option — but no contacts. To keep it simple, I put in two contacts: my Flickr email posting address (find it in your Flickr account), and my 12seconds email posting address (it’s in your 12seconds account). Now when I shoot a high quality video with the Nokia’s nice camera, I can hit “send”, pick Flickr or 12seconds, and it’ll upload my video to either service. Three or four clicks. Here’s a too-dark, dorky test video I shot and sent to Flickr:
So now if someone confiscates my phone for shooting video of say, a BART police shooting, the video will be in so many places already it won’t matter. But mostly, I’m now frighteningly agile with live media and feel like having fun. I also made some physical modifications to the phone:
Instead of a kewt fob, I sacrificed my girly style for a practical camera strap.
I placed a thin strip over both the red ‘record’ light and the flash. There is unfortunately no way to set the phone’s camera default to “flash off” and I do not shoot with a flash. Plus, the red light is something people find intimidating; if I simply tell people they’re about to be on video, and then say okay, they’re a lot more relaxed than the visible cringe I see when the red light goes on and everyone poses and doesn’t know what to say anymore. Well, anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So there.
I love it. I won’t leave the house without it. And like I said, if it had qwerty, I’d use it as a phone. And probably also as a portable computer: add Google Docs and my blog via the web browser, and I’d be invincible.
For those of you with unboxing fetishes, the unboxing photos are after the jump. Here are a couple of photos from the Nokia:
Image: the infectious logo of cupcake trasmitted diseases, Cupcake Camp.
It’s true that a couple of years ago, you could point a buttercream frosting covered finger at me and hold me partially responsible — saying, ha! you were there, spreading the cupcake meme in your sexed-up way, you. But it wasn’t just me — it was the cupcake blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. And then the craze hit, spreading like spilled batter across the interwebs to bring smiles — and addiction — to every unsuspecting, innocent baked goods enthusiast who even got near a cupcake photo on a laptop screen. Then Cupcake Camp came along and I thought we’d all get group treatment; but no — it only made things worse.
The meme was so infectious, even people who didn’t like sweets, had never baked in their lives, and especially the cooking-impaired tech scene was “into” cupcakes. I am not Patient Zero, nor am I Cupcake Mary. But I saw it happen. Now, everyone’s “so over” cupcakes yet the enthusiasm still rules. We’ve all been waiting, hoping for the next cute edible — macaroons were just not enough. There is only one explanation.
Cupcakes are a virus.
My final proof came today in the most nonsensical cupcake association yet: Android announces “cupcake” development branch (arstechnica.com). These people should probably be quarantined. It’s a prime example of one person catching a CTD and passing it around. But this time, it’s taking down Google. Think 28 Days Later, my friends. The exposure levels are off the charts with this.
Gizmodo tread lightly around the issue. Engadget openly wondered, “Google’s now gifted the world with a bunch of changes it had been developing in secrecy in a private branch called “cupcake.” Why “cupcake,” you ask? We’re not sure…” The details are at Ars Technica but read at your own risk — they openly state that CUPCAKE IS A GROWTH:
Unlike the main Android trunk release, which is built on Linux 2.6.25, cupcake has been built on the updated Linux 2.6.27. Notably, the new system software offers basic x86 support and will allow third party manufacturers to develop and deploy their own handset-specific APIs.
Cupcake is a development branch rather than a release branch. According to the cupcake roadmap page, it remains distinctly a work in progress. This first release represents a big commit of changes since Android’s 1.0 release; future plans are for smaller updates as the cupcake changes stabilize. The announcement page emphasizes that cupcake is an outgrowth of Android’s roadmap; the roadmap allows for project forking with development continuing on in private branches, which is what cupcake is. (…read more, arstechnica.com)
I was very lucky to be invited at very short notice yesterday to get a self-guided preview of the unfinished, unopened California Academy of Sciences. It’s finally restored to its former home in Golden Gate Park, and it is simply mind-blowing and may be the “greenest” aquarium, planetarium and museum on earth. I took several photos and videos; you can give yourself a tour of all media by visiting the CAS virtually through all the media in my CAS Flickr set (videos are paired with images, etc.) Or, take a taste of my favorites in this post. Some videos are hosted at Flickr, which has a limit of 1.5 minutes but very high quality; the short videos are hosted on my 12seconds channel. All photos and images were captured entirely with two phones: my Helio Ocean and my Nokia N95. No standard cameras were used. Qik would not livestream, sadly, and the end result is that I wish both phones were one and the same.
Check www.calacademy.org/index.php for the opening date and more information.
This innocuous looking device, discovered on Gizmodo, is a new bluetooth microphone designed to be a dental implant. Installed in a tooth, it insures that you always look like you’ve come from lunch without checking your teeth. After the dentist appointment this morning, I think I’ll wait until there is some sort of implant involving invasive surgery. Wonder how it reacts to tinfoil?
Image taken with my Ocean.
I thought it couldn’t be done. I thought the Ocean was all locked down — and the UI definitely is — but the iPhone isn’t the only handset hottie of the year to get her mods on. I’m not a particularly technical person, so these suggestions are not the “…then you go into terminal” kind of hacks, which scare the g-string right off me. They’re the “here’s some fun, easy things to make the Ocean kick a little more ass.” Oh — and the usual disclosure: Helio sent me an Ocean, and I just unwrapped my Fin. More on that later.
* Heliocity is the “unofficial Helio resource”. There’s a lot to be learned in the forums, and they blog bugs — and the fact that Helio listens, fixes and responds (like with the YouTube issue). You can easily see how them being a small company makes Helio human — in the best way possible, I think.
* Here is the ultimate post on Ocean how-tos, like getting YouTube videos. If you’re a Mac person, don’t bother with file conversions (yet). In this post, they walk you through Opera but… About the Opera Mini 3 browser — yes, you can download it and have lots of fun, but no keyboard support. Java only goes one way on this device — for now. Lots of people *love* Opera on their Helios, but POO on them for no qwerty.
* In this respect, Opera is sadly like Drinktini. It downloads easy, nice idea, but going to the corner store is faster: I like looking for new drinks and sharing them with friends, but damn it’s slow — and because it’s Java, only works in the slider orientation (no keyboard).
* Surf better. First, go into your browser, go down to the bottom and take off Mobile Safe Search. Just because. You can bypass the Helio home page with your bookmarks: Take a few minutes to click “surf”, and add a few bookmarks — like Google search. You might want to even go to the bottom of the page, view the HTML version and bookmark *that* version, as it’ll have complete content. Then to surf, all you need to do is hit “menu” and left softkey for your main sites. I put my blog login pages in the lineup, so I can sign in and blog from anywhere. Works for MT but only for text; we’ll see about WordPress soon.
* Periodically clear your cookies and browser autofill, especially if it starts acting funky. Launch the browser just click Menu, then tab over and click Settings. Clear the cookies, cache and history, then uncheck auto-complete and save. Then close the browser (end key) and restart.
* Download Google Maps GPS. It’s *so* worth it, you can GPS yourself and never get lost. When it’s on, hit the red alt key then P (numeric zero) and it’ll find you. Change to street view to see what streets you’re near. I found a propane filling station for our last SRL show in San Mateo with that app, very handy.
* Make your photos sweeter: in the menu, make them the highest resolution (1600-1200) and quality “fine”.
* Photos — Helio Up or Flickr? Emailing to Flickr takes a minute and a half to post on your Flickr photo page, but only because you go into the email interface to send the image. Tag your images in the Flickr interface with a few defaults if you want (like moblogging), and tag them in the subject when you send them in, too. You can Geotag them, too. Helio Up takes seconds — but watermarks your images, bleh. They know people don’t like the watermark, so it’ll probably change soon.
* Don’t forget to sync your contacts: go into contacts and synchronize. It’ll update your online Helio address book. Here’s how to get your Apple contacts into your Helio account.
* How to switch devices so easily it’s scary: Gizmodo has an excellent post that takes you step-by-step. Niiice.
I love my Ocean. We’ll see how I swim with the Fin — with such a nice camera and no qwerty it’ll probably just be my party phone, but it’s way sexy enough for that…
Image: Karl Rove on his iPhone, via.
It looks like AT&T — yes, former Cingular, and the carrier for all your iPhones — has admitted to actively censoring media containing anti-Bush remarks. First, it was at last week’s Lollapalooza, where AT&T edited out anti-Bush remarks (and lyrics) form Pearl Jam’s performance — but they apologized, claiming it was an ‘isolated incident’. That happened over and over. But it looks as though this political editing is SoP with the telecom’s handling of artistic material. The Chicago Sun Times has more, snip:
AT&T’s controversial edit of comments about President Bush from a Webcast of Pearl Jam’s performance at Lollapalooza last week was not the first time the telecommunications giant has silenced political statements by musicians.
An AT&T spokeswoman initially characterized the sudden audio edit that silenced Eddie Vedder’s lyrics “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home” during Pearl Jam’s performance in Grant Park last Sunday as “an unfortunate mistake” and “an isolated incident.”
But yesterday, a reader e-mailed the Sun-Times saying AT&T’s Blue Room Webcast also had silenced comments during two performances at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee last June, cutting remarks by the John Butler Trio bemoaning the lack of federal response to Hurricane Katrina and comments about Bush and the war in Iraq by singer Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.
“The sound did not cut out at any other time – only when someone was talking about George Bush or the government in a negative way,” the reader, who identified herself as Andrea K., wrote. Flaming Lips management said the band was unaware of the edit but was investigating, and the John Butler Trio could not be reached.
But AT&T did confirm that other, unspecified political comments have been cut from its Webcasts.
The Senate passed the new(er) FISA act friday and Bush signed it yesterday (sunday): Bush and Gonzales now legally have the right to spy on you (us) — thus legalizing all the wiretapping and spying on US citizens they’ve been doing illegally all along. The shiny new legalized wiretapping act gives the NSA six months to solidify their backdoor access to major telecommunications switches on American soil with the cooperation of major corporations. They did this over the weekend. Crooks and Liars sums it up with their post (incl. video) American Civil Liberties Destroyed. But the truth is laid bare in white-knuckled anger in Enough Already with the Pathetic Excuses over at DailyKos, snip:
I know what a lot of you 57 Democratic Representatives and Senators are going to be saying over the next month while you’re speaking on the home turf. You did it to protect Americans. You didn’t want to take a chance. You had to stand up to the terrorists. You really had no choice.
If anybody asks why in hell you chose to legalize what the Cheney-Bush team has been doing illegally since 2001, you’re going to tell us you did it for our own good. You amended the 29-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – originally passed to put some modest restrictions on agencies whose outrageous and frequently illegal behavior had been exposed by journalists and the Church Committee – to make us safe. You’re going to tell us you’ve got our backs.
You’re going to claim we can depend on you to be tough against terrorists even though you just put your foreheads to the floor at the feet of the most loathsome duo ever to sink their talons into the office of the Presidency. You’re going to tell us you couldn’t stand up to the blackmail, although that’s not what you’ll call it. You’re going to say Democrats can’t afford to appear weak.
At which point, if I happen to be in the back of the room, your bodyguards will probably have to drag me off. Because I cannot imagine how I will be able to quiet my laughter long enough for you to get on to the next question.
Frankly, you epitomize weak. Your every pore exudes feebleness. You are surrender monkeys. And you’ve just casually tossed away a basic protection as if it were a banana peel.
So, how do you prove you’re being spied on when the people spying on you are trying to be all sekrit about it? Good question, though when the whole spying program is illegal to begin with… Chicken, meet egg. A great writeup about a piece of disturbing news from friday by Ryan Singel at Wired — don’t miss the wrapup at the end (re: “the more than 50 lawsuits pending in a San Francisco District Court against the nation’s telecoms”). Snippy:
A federal appeals court threw out a ruling that the government’s warrant-free spy program was unconstitutional Friday, finding that the ACLU’s plaintiffs had no standing to bring suit against the National Security Agency program since they couldn’t prove they were spied upon.
That program, revealed in December 2005 by the New York Times, eavesdropped on certain emails and phone calls that involved Americans on American soil conversing internationally with persons the government said it had some reason to suspect had ties to terrorism.
The Administration ran the program, dubbed the Terrorist Surveillance Program, outside the purview of the secret court set up to watch over foreign intelligence wiretaps that involve Americans or happen on U.S. soil, an end run that many civil libertarians called illegal. The Administration says the president’s wartime powers allow him to wiretap anyone unilaterally.
In a research paper appearing in the November/December 2005 issue of IEEE Security and Privacy, we analyzed publicly available information and materials to evaluate the reliability of the telephone wiretapping technologies used by US law enforcement agencies. The analysis found vulnerabilities in widely fielded interception technologies that are used for both “pen register” and “full audio” (Title III / FISA) taps. The vulnerabilities allow a party to a wiretapped call to disable content recording and call monitoring and to manipulate the logs of dialed digits and call activity. These countermeasures do not require cooperation with the called party, elaborate equipment, or special skill. Preliminary drafts of the paper have been made available to the law enforcement community; contact the authors at the above email address.
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