Tech in a Madrid Café in 2003

Madrid Café 2003
Madrid Café 2003

This is what I used for on-the-go tech in 2003 sitting in a café in Madrid. A Psion 5mx and a brick Nokia mobile phone  The Psion had a great form factor that had a keyboard that was just big enough for touch-typing and small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. It also had the wonderful benefit of being distraction-free. 

Not forgetting the camera, a Canon Powershot S30. A remarkably pocketable device for the time. 

Mongolia about to use the most advanced location system in the world for its postal system.

Who knew that Mongolia would be the first country in the world to adopt the most accurate location system in the world for its postal service?

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

The new system is devised by a British startup called What3Words, which has assigned a three-word phrase to every point on the globe. The system is designed to solve the an often-ignored problem of 75% of the earth’s population, an estimated 4 billion people, who have no address for mailing purposes, making it difficult to open a bank account, get a delivery, or be reached in an emergency. In What3Words’ system, the idea is that a series of words is easier to remember than the strings of number that make up GPS coordinates. Each unique phrase corresponds to a specific 9-square-meter spot on the map.

Why doesn’t @UPS use up to date technology?

I have received one UPS package and am currently waiting for two more. After these arrive, I will not be using any supplier that uses UPS.

Why?

There is no range of when a package will be delivered. While waiting all day and 3 hours yesterday for UPS to arrive, it is impossible to leave as they can arrive at any time. I called the UPS office, they don’t even know the location of where their trucks are or where the location of a particular package is. The information that the operator had was the same that was on their website. That meant the location of the package is only updated daily.

This is not acceptable in an age of location tracking and smartphones. The service offered by the post office is better. If I’m not at home, a package is left at the nearest post office where I can collect it at a suitable time.

It’s time that UPS (and if other delivery services if they operate on a similar model) to come into the 21st century. They might not have lost a customer today who will insist on suppliers not using them from now on.

Google changes search engine to prioritise mobile friendly sites

I got an email from the Google Webmaster Tools Team in relation to one of my old sites.

Google systems have tested 204 pages from your site and found that 99% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 202 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

Now I have to update this old site. I feel it is a good time to implement some current technologies like angular.js and jquery with it and maybe some others. But this is really a tipping point in the supremacy of sites being ready for mobile devices above normal computers and laptops.

CMS Wire has more detail here about the change.

It’s possible to test a site for mobile friendliness using this link.

Irish now on Duolingo

Duolingo which is a fantastic language learning tool (I have it on my phone). It’s perfect for short bursts of brushing up on a language in small 10 minute sessions.

Now, I just found this post on Reddit that they have added Irish.

It’s still in beta so it can only be used on your computer. Once, it has come out of beta, it will be available on the mobile app.
Cool!

Giving yourself a chance to get your smartphone back

Very informative post about how one techie got an iPhone that was in flight mode back to its owner.
Robert Freeman’s post about how he got an iPhone back to its owner.

One of the main points was at the end of how any smartphone owner can help a finder get in contact with you if you ever lose your phone.

If you have a smartphone, take a look at it and think how anyone would get it back to you if you lost it. Why not put your contact details on the lockscreen right now?

iOS users can do this by replacing their lock screen wallpapers (screenshot above) .

Android users go to Settings > Lockscreen > Owner Info (if you have Jellybean).

Settings > Security (if you have Ice Cream Sandwich).

I need to do that myself later. One commenter suggested getting stickers done also. Nice idea.

Photo Apps for the iPhone

Some nice suggestions from Petapixel.

Some more suggestions in the comments but I tend to have too many of those apps on my iPhone 4S. I downloaded them all and will play around with them during the week. After seeing the ones that I like, I need to archive off the ones that I don’t use.

Flickr just announced one terabyte of space for every user!

Very interesting coming one day after they announce the acquisition of Tumblr and their promise not to screw it up. The look and feel of the site has also been updated and places all of the focus on the images. I wonder how this will affect the pro model that they use?

The BBC reports

“It puts Flickr back on the agenda making it relevant to both hobbyist and professional photographers alike, but it also reignites the whole storage capacity war that started with Gmail and that we are now seeing with cloud file sharing services.”

Google offers users a total of 15GB of free storage across its core cloud services. Facebook does not impose such a limit but downgrades the quality of high-resolution photos.

App for Adding Watermarks to iPhone photos

Just read this article on Petapixel about a new watermarking app. Something that I have been looking for in the last couple of months.

Photojournalist John D. McHugh was sick of having his photos stolen and infringed upon the moment he posted them online. And even though he can, of course, put watermarks on his photos in Photoshop, he found himself wondering if maybe he couldn’t come up with a better way. Enter Marksta, an app that allows you to watermark photos right on your iPhone before posting them to Facebook, Instagram, and other places where they may be easily stolen.

It’s currently free but not forever. Act fast!

Instagram Conditions and the new Flickr app #Instagram #Flickr

I haven’t used Instagram a lot for sharing photos although I do like going through the photos of my contacts. Today they announced they updated their terms and conditions which has resulted in the internet going crazy. One of the best posts I read was on Business Insider.

If you want to stop social networking services from exploiting your likeness for advertising, you’ve got to start paying up.

Within the article, a reference was made to a post last year from the founder of pinboard.in which basically boiled everything into “Don’t be a free user”.

So stop getting caught off guard when your favorite project sells out! “They were getting so popular, why did they have to shut it down?” Because it’s hard to resist a big payday when you are rapidly heading into debt. And because it’s culturally acceptable to leave your user base high and dry if you get a good offer, citing self-inflicted financial hardship.

So where does that leave everyone? Well, there is an alternative that offers a paid option for enhanced membership. Co-incidentally, they also added a new app this week that rivals Instagram in design and surpasses it in interoperability with other sites.Yes, it’s Flickr. Nice that they include a post clarifying the ownership and rights of photos

In fact, when you upload to Flickr you set the kind of license that you want to apply to the photos, ‘All Rights Reserved’ is the default, or you can select one of the many flavors ofCreative Commons licenses. The choice is yours and you maintain control over how your photo can be used by others. If you want to make your photo available for use by everybody in the world, license it using Getty Images, or to license it to a fancy magazine, it’s up to you..