14 Apr 2007

why you should get a nokia n95 contract-free

this video compares an orange (+vodafone) locked phone vs a contract-free outright phone. in the orange nokia n95, they've disabled the internet telephony features in the UI so that you cannot make use of IP telephony applications that integrate with series 60 phones.

i don't know whether that also applies to nokia n95's purchased with O2, T-Mobile or 3.

[UPDATE: vodafone officially comes out to say that it is for our own good that N95 does not have VoIP enabled. because otherwise we'd be ripped off and incur more expensive phone charges! thank god for vodafone's babysitting otherwise we'll be paying those ridiculous mobile bills. oh hang on ...]

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11 Apr 2007

definition of "unlimited" HSDPA

our internet connection had died for a little less than 24 hours yesterday. so this morning i've been curious about how much it would cost to have an unlimited HSDPA (3G Data) plan. turns out that vodafone has an unlimited data plan with a Mac compatible USB dongle for £45/month (expensive!!).

three has this new thing called x-series that is an add-on to an new/existing plan that gives you "unlimited" data for £5/month. you can only currently sign up for an nokia E65 that costs a total of £40/month (hong kong three has a choice of 7 phones, and australian three allows you to sign up on an x-series on any phone). HOWEVER, if you look at the terms and conditions, their definition of "unlimited" is 1GB!! (again, australian three is quite clear that you can only use 1GB, uk advertising regulators should really crack down on this "unlimited" false advertising.)

that is why in their terms and conditions, they do not officially allow you to use the E65 as a modem, even though you can reportedly do it and on the mac too.

UPDATE: after talking with anil on friday, i've pointed out that the nokia N95 is the most amazing phone that is current shipping with GPS + 3G + HSDPA + GSM + 5MP Camera + Music Player + WiFi (b/g) + Bluetooth 2.0 + etc. he seems to really like t-mobile's web'n'walk data plans which again is advertised as "unlimited". again, in their terms and conditions, this is 1GB fair use policy.

UPDATE 2: however, if you pay an extra £10 for the (web'n'walk plus) you get 3GB (still advertisted as unlimited) and then an extra £5 more will get you the (web'n'walk max) that will give you 10GB/month. and of course, you can pay-per-use at £1/day which gives you 40MB/day. damn it is a complicated world.

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09 Apr 2007

blog comments

btw, here's an update to apease anil, so that his new fangled all-singing all-syncing rss reader can act like it is useful.
maybe someone can suggest what i should do with this blog entry which has been flooded by DS friend codes (for playing online), and this other blog entry about free vodafone sims that is now flooded with what seemingly are a bunch of indian rap artists who are all are exchanging MSN user names? i have trouble reading what any of those comments are saying.

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09 Apr 2007

weekly blog update

the first (and possibly last) installment of the weekly update.

1. lack of blog activity. yeah, i've been kinda busy with work, and pretend work. i also haven't been out and about enough to blog about anything interesting. but there is another reason ...

2. tumblr. i've been enjoying using tumblr because it really is blogging stripped down to the bare minimum. no friction, and much more fun. the highlight for me is the super easy interface to add a link to an image on a page. it automatically grabs thumbnails of the page in question and its just a matter of click-click-click (3 seconds for a post). no copying urls, resizing, etc. check out my tumblr log here. one day i'll integrate the posts into this main blog. but right now it's two separate things, this one for more substantial posts (that take me more than 30 minutes to write), the tumblr for random links, images and pictures that i come across.

3. jaiku. so after the initial twitter high -- leo laporte's move to jaiku basically introduced a whole load of people to a personal status/location aggregator that is even better than twitter. unlike twitter, jaiku started off as a location reporter tool, and the status messaging and rss aggregating features came later. the bonus for jaiku is the series 60 (nokia) client that recognises gsm cells and bluetooth devices to guess common locations. my jaiku page is here. but i'm still gonna be using twitter.

otherwise, nothing much has been happening. ceiling developed a weird wet patch discoloration over the weekend, but has dried over the weekend leaving a weird patch near where i would put a TV if i had enough money to buy one.

managed to have some decent chinese food in canary wharf. was it worth the price? yeah the service wasn't bad and all the plates were elevated with golden plate raising thingies. i wish i took a picture.

finally, i'll leave you with a photo that you'll only find in an multi-mac household:


guess who's apple remote is who's?

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30 Mar 2007

yahoo has better satellite pics than google in hk

Yahoo Google Hk

i was playing around with flickr trying to (geotag) place one of my photos and noticed that google map's satellite picture of hong kong is shrouded in smog/fog, whereas yahoo's one is crystal clear (damn i can't get yahoo to give me a link like google maps, but just search for HK and find the abandoned airport). also note that the angle of the photos are slightly different. I thought these pics would be straight down at 90 degrees from the surface, but it doesn't seem to be. yahoo's seem to be on more of an angle compared to google's.

with that said, yahoo unfortunately doesn't have street maps for hong kong where as google has both chinese and english street names.

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21 Mar 2007

mac annoyance: password entries resets keyboard layout

i have my own custom keyboard layout to turn my uk keyboard to a us one. namely it maps the tilde character back to the top left corner.

however, every time the keyboard is focused on a password entry box, either keychain access or anything that is an NSSecureTextField, it will reset to the system default one. grrr..

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19 Mar 2007

nintendo ds as my accidental paper and pen

a couple of weeks ago, in hong kong after a night of light drinking at lan kwai fong, i needed to write down a phone number. no one had pen and paper, so i fired up my nintendo DS (1), opened up pictochat, opened up a chatroom and then scribbled the phone number in(2). then the trick is the flip it close so it suspends itself (3), and then when you want to recall it, flip it back open (4). ta-da. your scribbles are still there.

so nintendo ds for inefficient note taking when in a pinch.


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14 Mar 2007

twitter and tumblr

as an experiment i started a tumblr blog to see what the fuss is about. tumblr is really the lowest friction rapid fire blog tool that makes things ultra easy -- even easier than vox. let's see how long i keep this up.

the other thing that is all the rage right now is twitter, which is basically the unix "wall" command, but for the internet! well, ok, it is closer to the .plan file for unix finger.

it isn't really that fun at the moment because i don't follow many people, nor do many follow me. but its cute for myself to look at and say, oh yeah, 2 days ago i tried to make a pizza while i was on the verge of starvation.

my way of explaining twitter:

twitter is to instant messaging what mailing lists is to email.

right now it's a tad slow. maybe all this hype for it isn't that great. someone needs to make a spotlighted twitter page so that i can be "friends" with interesting people.

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12 Mar 2007

r4 for nintendo ds

another cool bit of kit i got in hong kong was the R4 card for the nintendo ds. this is very similar to the ds-xtreme card which can play homebrew (and pirated *ahem* backup games) on the nintendo ds out of slot 1 (eg, the DS slot, and not the GBA slot.)

nice thing is that it has a microSD slot so unlike the ds-x, you're not restricted to 512MB. the most amazing thing is that i got this for HK$310 with a 1GB microSD and USB adapter included. that translates to about £20.

apart from playing games on it, it runs moonshell, so technically you can display photos and videos. i've got neither of those to work yet, but i haven't given it much time at all. the video encoding seems to be very windows centric, but i have found a script that claims to allow ffmpeg to encode videos suitable for playing on my DS. once i get some free time, i'm going to try getting that to work.

the main attraction for me really is the ability to fit many games on to one physical card. however, i don't know how to "backup" my saved games data from the real DS games. i don't want to have to replay all those levels in mario kart, brain age and new super mario bros.

one downside of buying it in HK though, the card itself is locked to the chinese kernel, so i can't get the english version of moonshell and kernel to run on it. i'm not sure why, although it doesn't bother me too much.

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12 Mar 2007

adizero pro

part of my loot from hong kong was a shiny new pair of running shoes known as adizero pro.

Adizero Pro
yes, the colour is hot-pink, or can be more masculine-ly described as red-orange. these shoes are incredible, not because they have a computer inside them like the adidas1, or nike+. but they are incredibly light. you really have to feel them to understand. they're nearly as light as my pair of slippers. in fact, the soles are really thin and the shoe is made out of this really light thin fabric called adiprene -- which i have no idea about.

these shoes have now removed the only excuse i've had to take up running. so for the last two days, i've started going out for a run when i feel mentally stressed out so that i can at least get away from my work and just stress myself out physically.

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