Friday, June 30, 2006
As I mentioned, we released a beta of NewsGator Mobile for Windows mobile a few weeks ago. In the next month or two, that will go gold, and we'll also release a beta of NewsGator Mobile for java-enabled phones. If you're using a palm-based Treo, a Blackberry, or any of a number of other devices, you'll get a similar rich experience as Windows mobile users.
Moving forward, these kinds of applications is where it's at. Truly delivering information at your fingertips - but this time, it's not the information that MSN or Yahoo! has selected for you - it's information you've subscribed to yourself, or information you've otherwise indicated an interest in.
What we're focused on here is user experience. Folks don't spend hours reading on their mobile phones - the key is to provide the right information, at the right time, in a way that's usable. And this includes audio and video content as well - on certain devices, this can be a great experience, and is becoming more and more important, and we're going to bring that to market. One of the mobile applications we acquired along with SmartRead was a mobile podcasting client; expect to see that technology rolled into our mobile applications."
Mobispine is a FREE service that provides very cost-effective Instant Messaging & Blogging facilitites for mobile phones.
These services are available between Mobispine users - it does not use standard MSN or AIM, or Blogger etc...
To see a list of supported cellphones, check http://www.mobispine.com/Support/SupportedPhones.do
A recent FREE blog service available for educational usage is EDUBLOGS.ORG
What makes edublogs.org different from, for example, Blogger is that we’re dedicated to educational professionals, we’re nice and small (by blog provider standards), we’re aiming to provide more and more freely available (and ad free!) emerging online technologies for your use… and we’ve got a much better blogging tool at our disposal :)
Check them out!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Many cell phones come with preinstalled WAP browsers that (to be diplomatic) fall short of the mark when surfing the Web. Opera aims to change that with Opera Mini 2.0, a Java-based mobile Web browser. According to Opera, you can use it on just about any phone that has been made in the past five years, provided you have an appropriate data plan.
There are two ways to get Opera Mini 2.0: Either go to http://mini.opera.com from your phone's WAP browser, where you can click a link to download it, or send an SMS message to 96077. In the latter case you'll receive a text message back with the tiny applet attached. Once you download and install Opera Mini 2.0 and place a check mark in the end-user license agreement box, you're all set to go. For this review I tested Opera Mini 2.0 on a Motorola RAZR V3.
Compared with the RAZR's built-in WAP browser, surfing the Web with Opera was a dream. Sites that wouldn't open at all with the WAP browser, or would open to display only part of the page, worked beautifully under Opera Mini. The formatting wouldn't always impress a Web designer, but I was able to see all the important text and links in nearly all test cases. I read news, caught up on blogs, and ran Google and Wikipedia searches without a hitch. On some pages (such as The New York Times), I had to scroll through a site's navigation bar before getting to the main text, which was inconvenient.
Opera Mini works great - better than I imagined, and its FREE!
There's a nice Java demo/simulator of Opera Mini working on a cellphone here
The only shame is that there is no Opera for Palm OS :-(
Monday, June 26, 2006
The biggest surprize was the lack of technology skills of the 3rd year Product Design students - in particular their lack of understanding of RSS and inability to setup
RSS subscriptions from their Blogger accounts.
In retrospect, the main issues are:
1. Not enough preparation and support for the students - a two hour intro to the concepts and technology at the start of the project was 'too little, too late'!!! - we need regular sessions, I would suggest at least 4 x 2Hour, overviewing the use of the technology, PRIOR to the start of the project.
2. Lack of Tutor engagement/integration with the technology - i.e. no modeling of Tutor Blogs, no comments from Tutors on student or group Blogs, no use of WMDs in delivery of the course by Tutors.
3. A lack of student connectivity - a surprizing number of students still have NO Internet access at home, the limited WiFi connectivity options at Unitec (meaning students were always 'face-to-face' when they were in WiFi range anyway!) .
4. We complicated the Blog process too much by requiring students to engage with 3 different Blogs (individual, group, and public).
Most of the other issues are merely technical that can be easilly overcome. More details to follow...
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
The MyNews option is a reasonable RSS reader, but I think the WizzRSS extension is more fully featured.
I preferred the old style Blog editor & Flickr toolbar integrated into the main window of Flock - now they are separate popup windows. I suppose you can m,ultitask better that way - will play & see what I think.
The setup wizzard is rather buggy too.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
1. litefeeds.com synchronizing with the litefeeds java client (very similar to newsgator & marsedit synchronizing on my Mac!)
2. Java RSS & blogging apps - e.g. mreader
3. SMS blogging via letmeparty.com (probably the cheapest option - but no RSS reading option)
So now I don't have to wait for the M600 to start mobile blogging after all!