Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

MMS: what happened?!

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A long long time ago I got my first "internet capable" phone which contained a new messaging technology. That phone was the Ericsson T68i and that new technology was MMS! While the phone had a camera attachment, it was a separate purchase, and it was an anemic 0.3MP (which is what my SonyEricsson P800 camera was, I think).  In any case, the idea behind MMS was that it would be a cross-platform, cross-carrier way of being able to send multimedia messages.  Users would be able to snap photos, videos, gifs and jpegs that they have on their phone, as well as text (formatted text!), smiley images and sounds to create a multimedia extravaganza.  In MMS applications the user was able to create slides (sort of like powerpoint) and a slide count contain text, images and sound. Slides could be laid ontop of one another to create shows and animations (sort of like the youtube video bellow).

Well, that was the idea. Not that everyone would create such a multimedia extravaganza, but the option was there.  As we started to move away from Symbian, and Windows Mobile started entering the phone space, and as the iPhone was gung-ho about not including MMS, we've slowly gotten away from MMS as something rich, and we've seen MMS as a simple photo sharing. Now we are starting to see apps for the iPhone which are starting to explore those same issues as the original MMS spec and I am starting to wonder whether people have used the original MMS apps to their full potential and found iPhone capability lacking? or whether original MMS apps were too avant garde for their time and we are just coming to the point where these features are wanted.



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Generic GOP candidate to beat Obama

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So specific GOP candidates get whooped by Obama, but a generic one doesn't ?!?!?!  Well, meet your generic candidate, America!


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Poke! φοβερή διαφήμιση!

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Τις προάλλες έβλεμα τα νέα του ΑΝΤ1 στην ιστοσελίδα τους και είδα μια διαφήμιση της Cosmote για το πακέτο τους internet on the go με κάρτα.  Αρκετά φάση ο τύπος - Poke μελανχολία! λολ

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Greece ή Hellas;

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Την περασμένη εβδομάδα πέτυχα στο twitter εν τουίτ την @ediva στο οποίο έγραφε "Γιατί Hellenic και όχι Greek;". Η αλήθεια είναι πως και εγώ αυτό αναρωτιέται εδώ και χρόνια. Όταν μάθαιβα Αγγλικά (πριν πάρα πολλά χρόνια) και μαθαίναμε τα ονόματα χωρών, το όνομα που μάθαμε για την Ελλάδα ήταν Greece. Μετά από κάτι χρόνια μαθημάτων αγγλικών επέστρεψα πάλι στην Αμερική όπου είχα τακτική αλληλογραφία με κάποιους κοντινούς φίλους. Πριν το Ίντερνετ ήταν πραγματικά ωραίος τρόπος να κρατάς επικοινωνία με φίλους αλλά και με την (πνευματική) πατρίδα.

Κατ´α το 1995 ή 1996 κανά δυο φίλοι μου, λες και τους τσίμπησε μήγα, άρχισαν να γράφουν Hellas, στους φακέλους τους και απ ότι θυμάμαι είχαν την απέτιση να γράφω και εγώ Hellas. Εντάξ' είπα και εγώ να το δοκιμάσω και αντί για Greece στα γραμματά μου έβαζα Hellas. Ελαμ' όμως που τα γράμματα αυτά δεν παραδώθηκαν ποτέ! Μετά απο κάτι μήνες έστειλα γράμμα ξανά (με Greece αυτή την φορά) να δω που χαθηκαν και ταυτόχρονα μου έστειλαν καυτά φιλαράκια να δουν που είχα χαθεί. Όταν έστελναν γράμματα με Hellas το γράμμα ποτέ δεν έφτανε στον προορισμό του, ενώ με το Greece έφτανε.

Μαζί με την ντίβα απωρω και εγώ, Γιατί Hellenic και όχι Greek;


-- Post From My iPhone
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Best use if a QR code!

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I was watching the Daily Show this past weekend and in one of the episodes from last week Stewart was making fun of CNN and the republican candidate debate; more specifically CNN's use of on-screen QR codes to rake viewers to some CNN website (stats about the candidate ? LOL). In any case Stewart throws up his own barcode which too you to a website with the image bellow. Well played sir! Best. QR code use. Ever!




-- Post From My iPhone
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Wii U - is it weird or just me?

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Alright, so Part II of my E3 observations... the Wii U (Wii University?!?!?!) Now, it is me, or is this contraption just weird? Now, to be fair I did think that the original Wii was a bit weird having a controller schema that was so unlike previous joypad schemas - and in the end, having used a Wii at my brother's place, I didn't find it all that bad.  The Wii U sort of reminds me a bit of the Dreamcast's memory unit where you could save your game and level up your character in some games when away from your console.  This console could be good, but it seems like the handheld unit cannot be used away from the device itself.  I do wonder if the DS and the Wii lines will merge or be more closely interoperable in the future.

All things considered, I'd give Wii U a try, despite it's silly name and the oddness of the controller.  I wonder if this controller will allow you to more easily play gamecube games.


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PS Vita

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Last week I was wondering if anything came out of E3 that was worthwhile.  I honestly did not know that E3 was even happening! I had connected my XBOX360 to the web to see if there were any firmware updates to be done, and I saw some xbox live gold special, $2 for a 2 month subscription, and E3 special. In any case, this piqued my interested and I was wondering what was happening with the next generation PSP.  Well, apparently it's out! (or at least it's available).

There are some welcomed additions to the PSP2 (or PS Vita as it's known), such as 3G, tilt controls, a touch screen, a second analogue nub and no more UMDs.  Well, to be honest UMDs didn't bother me that much, the only thing that irked me was the load-times on some games especially once your character had kicked the bucket and you waited to be respawned. Since  I got a 4GB memory stick for my PSP and I downloaded some games, I was more or less sold on the idea of DLC (despite the drawbacks that I noted in a previous blog post).

If I were to get a PS Vita, I am not all that concerned with transferring over my UMD discs to electronic-only formats.  If I keep my PSP, I can still play those games, while if I give away my PSP (or sell it) those UMD games go with it. If I like the game sufficiently enough I can always sell the UMD and use the money to buy it as DLC.  The only real issue with this device (at least at this point) is the proprietary storage format that Sony has implemented on it. Heck memory sticks are somewhat standard, why not go with those? Why not have some built-in flash memory in addition to one (or two) SD or MC slots?  This is a major fail, Sony.


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DLC...the dillema...

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This past weekend I was considering getting a couple of expansion packs for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood as well as Bioshock 2 for my xbox360.  In addition I was on my PSP and I downloaded the "welcome back" pack, for free, that was available after some sort of snafu that happened on PSN.  I downloaded little big planet and pursuit force - nice! I was also tempted to pay $20 to buy Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, because I am such a big fan of the series, but decided not to. Why?  Well, when I get something for free I don't care if I don't have anything on media or if I can sell it off or transfer the license to someone else, but when I pay money, it starts becoming an issue.

Even though historically I haven't sold any of the software that I have bought (I have given it away though if I didn't need it), that issue of (free) transferability of the license is a big issue. I would love to be totally discless, to be able to download all games and apps from the net, and the net keeps track of what I've bought, but what if I want to sell something or give it away if I don't need it?  I currently can't and it makes me feel like I've wasted cold hard cash.  I have to admit that it's quite convenient having AppStores, but what sort of freedoms does one give up?
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Mobile(ish)?

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I downloaded the mobile version of blackboard for my iPhone this past weekend since the instance of blackboard that we have for testing has mobile enabled. This would be a good opportunity, I thought, to test the mobile elements of the blackboard learn 9 platform.

When I opened the app and tried to connect to our instance I was greeted with the message in the image - must connect to wifi in order to use the app. Is it me? Or is this a major fail? How mobile can blackboard be if I need wifi in order to connect? After all I can use mobile safari and access blackboard (or our current WebCT) just fine. Sure it doesn't formal well for a mobile screen but it's usable- so why do I need wifi access in order to use the Blackboard app?

I hope that they fix this soon. I was impressed by the blackboard demo last week (and the responsiveness of the Bb folk); it would stink if they overlooked such a major area of the LMS by making it wifi only.


-- Post From My iPhone
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Adieu iDisk?

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I guess iCloud is the next best thing in the Apple domain.  Man this service has changes so many names over the years; iTools in 2000, .Mac (dot Mac) in 2002, MobileMe in 2008 and in 2011 it's going to be iCloud.

I just got the following email from Apple regarding the service:

Dear MobileMe member,
We'd like to share some exciting news with you about iCloud — Apple’s upcoming cloud service, which stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to your devices. iCloud integrates seamlessly with your apps, so everything happens automatically. Available this fall, iCloud is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users.
What does this mean for you as a MobileMe member?
When you sign up for iCloud, you'll be able to keep your MobileMe email address and move your mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to the new service.
Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.
When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about iCloud.
Sincerely,
The MobileMe Team


Now the great new is that the service is free and I get a complementary year of MobileMe! I can save those $99 that I would have spent on MobileMe this coming August. Most services, like calendar, contact and bookmark syncing seem to have remained intact. Some services, like iDisk, are left up in the air.  Will apple still continue to offer iDisk as some sort of premium product? I have 8GB of stuff on iDisk which I would like to continue to use!  I suppose I could go with Dropbox, 50GB for $10/month (which is MORE storage than I actually need and more expensive than MobileMe). ZumoDrive and SugarSync seem to have better deals in terms of pricing. I suppose I could divvy up what I have on MobileMe among 3-4 free services, but it's nice to have it all in one place.

Another issue, albeit somewhat minor, are emails.  Do I get to keep my @mac.com and @me.com aliases? Or do those go away?  I don't want to have to resubscribe to all my mailing lists... I guess we will see come September.  I think over the summer I will try to migrate all of my emails from MobileMe to Gmail so I have one less thing in the fall - I can have a look and see which mailing-lists I really follow and resubscribe there using gmail.

What's your plan? 
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