Listen to the complete Brian Eno / David Byrne Album online

Posted September 18, 2008 by techmaster
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David Byrne speaking at the 2006 Future of Mus...Image via Wikipedia

Now that’s what I call a new approach to music distribution. David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) and Brian Eno (of Brian Eno fame) worked together on a new music album and are offering it for free in an online streaming format. Anyone can embed the album in his website with some embed code.

Too bad it doesn’t work in WordPress. But you can listen to it here:

http://everythingthathappens.com/

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Shipping the Nokia N96

Posted September 5, 2008 by techmaster
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Nokia-N96-0Image by Buou via Flickr

Nokia yesterday announced it has started shipping the Nokia N96, which means it will become available, SIM-free, in shops over the next few weeks. Availability via operators will take a little longer; the UK launch on the 3 network is scheduled for October 1st. The N96 is a high-end Nseries device with a focus on mobile TV and video (large 2.8 inch screen, video stand, DVB-H receiver, and preloaded movie content). It also features a 5 megapixel camera and integrated GPS

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What TV should look like in 2015

Posted August 17, 2008 by techmaster
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Michael ArringtonImage via Wikipedia

I totally agree with Michael Arrington on this one: if creating applications for set-top boxes was more like creating applications for the Web, we’d be able to do a lot more things with our TVs—especially if those set-top boxes were also connected to the Web. Want instant messaging and caller ID on your TV? No problem. Want customized information widgets for the TV that scroll breaking news, weather, sports scores or stock quotes from sources you choose in your own ticker at the bottom of the screen? No problem. Want to turn that annoying ticker off? No problem. Want to control the camera angles on that basketball game? No problem. Want to add the live video stream from your friend’s cell phone who is at the game? No problem. Want to create your own video mashup of fight scenes from various movies that you can edit right on your TV and share with others on their TVs? No problem.

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iPhone 2.0 stores GPS location data in photos

Posted June 12, 2008 by techmaster
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iPhone and its SIM slot.

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I made a small discovery in the new iPhone 2.0 firmware. When you take a photo, the iPhone stores the latitude and longitude (your location on the planet) in the photo itself. Geotagging.

JPEG files have meta-data information, the so called EXIF data. These may contain items such as the exposure, the date and the filesize. But you can basically put anything in there. Apple now puts the location data in. This opens up all sorts of location based services. For example, when you upload to MobileMe or Flickr, you may soon see where the picture was taken on a Google map.

Because the pictures I took were taken with an ‘old’ 2G iPhone, it’s not the real GPS data which gets stored. It’s the location, as estimated by my proximity to a cell tower or a WiFi base station. Apple uses Skyhookwireless to retrieve those data.

BTW. My phone is running beta7 of the iPhone 2.0 firmware (available for registered developers only), in beta6, this feature was not yet available, so it has been recently added.

On the screenshot below, you see the GPS information. The free tool I used is EXIF Reader.

iPhone stores GPS data in photos

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More trouble for Jamba

Posted June 3, 2008 by techmaster
Categories: gadgets, mobile

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1211 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), where News Corporation is based

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More signs that the problems at Jamba/Jamster are deepening. It seems the downsizing has already begun. Several news sources report that Jamba decided to stop developing its own mobile games, so is shutting its Ojom development unit. Berlin-based Ojom is actually one of VeriSign’s (NSDQ: VRSN) contributions to the venture with News Corp (NYSE: NWS). which will now concentrate only on marketing and distribution as far as games go. Jamba retains non-games production capacity including Fox content like The Simpsons and its latest ringtone irritation factor Schnuffel. CEO Mauro Montanaro says: “We now already have over 100 partnerships with well-known games publishers … Therefore, we no longer see the need to develop our own content in this specific area.”

I estimate another 6 months before this ringtone Titanic goes down.

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Jamba will be dead. CEO left because of big losses?

Posted May 26, 2008 by techmaster
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The Jamster logo, used in English-speaking countries

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One of my biggest irritations are the in-the-face agressive adverts for ringtones by the German company Jamba (known as Jamster in the States). Stupid, shouting, silly adverts for low quality mobile content, targeted towards children and teens. So I was happy to find this in the annual report of Verisign (who acquired Jamba together with Fox/NewsCorp):

“The decrease in content services revenues was primarily due to a $237.7 million decrease in revenues from Jamba, partially offset by a $26.0 million increase in messaging services revenues and a $46.2 million increase in revenues as a result of 2006 acquisitions. The decline in our Content Services business was primarily attributable to increased pricing pressure and a decline in the number of subscribers.”

Could that be the real reason why the Jamba chief got the sack last year? The ringtone business is over. Everone in the mobile industry knows it (just Verisign and Fox didn’t see it coming when they bought Jamba). A 237 million decline in revenue just proves it. Jamba will be dead soon. Mobile phone users and tv-viewers all over the world rejoice !!

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Crash Test Zombies

Posted May 9, 2008 by techmaster
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Saab Automobile ABImage via Wikipedia

Did you know dead people drive Saabs? Vägverket, the Swedish Road Administration, is reporting that General Motors used ten human cadavers for crash research. While it isn’t clear which GM vehicle hosted the corpses on their one-way trip into a wall, a spokesman for Vägverket said it was most likely the Saab brand. The spokesman was also quick to point out that all of the cadavers were people “who had donated their own bodies.” (Well, that is comforting to know!)

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