links for 2007-01-12

iPhone

iPhone playing The Office

There have been so many posts on the iPhone late­ly that I’ll try not to add to the noise with things that have already been said. Web design­er Jere­my Kei­th and inter­ac­tion design­er Dan Saf­fer have both tried to gath­er all the worth­while posts on the top­ic, from dif­fer­ing per­spec­tives. I’m sure they’ll make for plen­ty of (more or less inter­est­ing) read­ing.

My own view is that Apple have proven once again that they’re great at inte­grat­ing tech that was already out there in a pack­age that offers a pleas­ing user expe­ri­ence. I’m curi­ous about the mul­ti-touch screen and the appar­ent ges­tur­al and tan­gi­ble inter­ac­tion it offers. I’m under­whelmed by their choice to have the device work only with Cin­gu­lar (which appar­ent­ly is kind of crap) and am curi­ous if they’ll do the same when it’s intro­duced on this side of the ocean.

In short: I’ll have to actu­al­ly use the thing to decide whether it’s as good as it seems; it’ll come down to not just the UI, but also the per­for­mance of the GSM, WiFi, cam­era, and on and on. For now, I’m hav­ing fun watch­ing the online demos (at least that’s one thing Apple is very good at).

links for 2007-01-11

A few weeks of Jaiku fun

Jaiku's logo

I’ve been play­ing around with Jaiku for a bit now. I first down­loaded the client and gave it a spin a while back (before the site was there). When they launched the site, I rein­stalled the client, and after some ini­tial screw­ing around with my N70, I got it to work. I should note, how­ev­er that Jaiku has become great fun even if you don’t have a S60 phone.

Thanks to the enthu­si­as­tic use of col­leagues Tom and Edgar I’ve got­ten a taste of what the ser­vice would be like if all my (non-techie) friends would be online. Espe­cial­ly Edgar’s reg­u­lar updates dur­ing his vaca­tion in Aus­tralia were… inter­est­ing. I’m still not sure if I enjoy see­ing his “hav­ing a cock­tail here and there” updates while I’m post­ing a mes­sage that I’m hard at work. Oh well.

I first encoun­tered (the con­cept of) Jaiku at last year’s Reboot thanks to Jyri’s talk. The talk was cool, and main­ly focussed on how IM-like sta­tus mes­sages inte­grat­ed with your phone book would result in some­thing Jyri and friends like to call ‘rich pres­ence’. It seems that (as is so often the case) real use by real users, com­bined with the intro­duc­tion of the web front-end is slow­ly but sure­ly trans­form­ing it into some­thing more like a per­son­al pres­ence pub­lish­ing chan­nel.

I find myself reg­u­lar­ly updat­ing my sta­tus mes­sage, be it through the S60 client, their text mes­sag­ing inter­face or the web site. I’ve also hooked up most of the RSS feeds that track my activ­i­ty on a num­ber of social web ser­vices. This might just be my obses­sive urge to cache all my (on- and offline) activ­i­ty some­where in an effort­less way, but I can imag­ine more peo­ple would enjoy using it once tying togeth­er the loose ends becomes more intu­itive.

I would also like to thank the Jaiku guys for being very help­ful, sup­port­ing me with all the N70 woes.

For those inter­est­ed in more, check out the fol­low­ing links:

Final­ly, if you hap­pen to be using the ser­vice and would like to hook up, my nick is ‘kaeru’. Let me know yours!

links for 2007-01-09

links for 2007-01-05

I’ve been blog tagged

First of all: hap­py new year to those I haven’t yet met in per­son! I’ll kick off the year with a post (thanks Peter). Nev­er one to pass up a meme1, I’ll tell you five things you might not know about me (this could get embar­rass­ing).

  1. I enjoy play­ing role­play­ing games (the old school pen & paper vari­ety) and have been doing it on and off since puber­ty. Like many I start­ed out with D&D, CoC and Vam­pire. The past few year’s I’ve been play­ing a lot of indie RPGs. Play­ing these games (and some SNES clas­sics) might have got­ten me inter­est­ed in inter­ac­tion and game design… The best indie game I’ve played so far? Dogs in the Vine­yard.
  2. In my grad­u­a­tion year at the Utrecht School of Arts I spent three months doing research, writ­ing a the­sis and teach­ing at a media lab in Cos­ta Rica. Not only did that fire my appetite for trav­el­ling to trop­i­cal locales, but it also made me deter­mined to start work­ing in the inter­net indus­try. One of the research pro­to­types I came up with was a Flickr-like pro­to­type. I might throw that back up on-line some­time this year.
  3. I like to cook (although my old-style elec­tri­cal stove is giv­ing me headaches, got­ta get that kitchen refit­ted). My favourite foods are Ital­ian (my parent’s fault), Japan­ese (got start­ed on that because of the mar­tial art I prac­tice) and Indone­sian (although my girl­friend is best at cook­ing that).
  4. I’m a hor­ror afi­ciona­do, watch­ing scary hor­ror films is a guilty plea­sure of mine. The best hor­ror flick I saw last year? That must have been The Descent.
  5. Recent­ly I’ve start­ed hav­ing an inter­est in wine, this must be the def­i­nite turn­ing point for me becom­ing a snob. I have yet to devel­op any real taste and have a hard time describ­ing what my mouth tells me (does that sound obscene?) I do seem to pre­fer heavy Ital­ian wines (such as Nero d’Avola). Matt Skin­ner has been a good help.

Now to tag five oth­ers… I guess I’ll both­er Edgar, Tom, Iskan­der, Alper and Almar with this sil­ly meme. Sor­ry guys!

1 Even though it’s been rag­ing since Jan­u­ary last year and reached two peaks: first around July and sec­ond in Decem­ber (thanks Tech­no­rati)!