Yesterday I was looking at the O2 Joggler device and thinking how, despite the environmental concerns, I wouldn’t mind a UMPC as a digital sign in the lounge giving information such as weather, travel status, internet connection status and domestic energy consumption. However the Joggler is locked from customisation and the Hack the Joggler website seems to be offline at the moment.
But I was stumbling around the net as I usually do and I found that DealExtreme (those fab people in China who sell cheap stuff to the world) are selling a little but potentially powerful UMPC called the Smart Q5, this little devil runs ARM Ubuntu, has a 667MHz Samsung S3C6410 SoC chip, 1GB of flash and a modest 128MB of RAM. Now the 128MB of RAM is a little on the short side but it is workable and the fact that the chip has some video acceleration could be an advantage. The big hesitation for me with this product was the fact that it only has a 4.3in display and that isn’t very big compared to my HTC Touch HD mobile phone. This brings me to find the Smart Q7 which has the same specification but with a larger 7in screen.
Overall they are fun little devices and not without their flaws, but they have potential to make a big impact, especially if they had a little extra RAM. With this in mind I have purchased one for ‘testing’ purposes and will report back my findings.
My Brother recently wrote a post in his blog about Context Browsing and it is an interesting concept, but the biggest bane of my life is email sorting at the moment.
I use a combination of Thunderbird for personal email and Outlook for work email (because of Exchange, Journal and OWA proxy). In Thunderbird I love using the Bayes classifier to guess where emails should be placed (one click to put it where it has suggested) and this would be a useful addition to Outlook.
However, beyond this I would like to take advantage of taxonomies and hierarchies because when moving an email it can often be difficult to decide which folder is appropriate. If it is an email from the PR agency about a client of ours, or if it is an event involving a customer I would like to tag them in both categories. Then I would like to be able to drill down through a tree of those hierarchies to find emails. Even if this left all the emails in the in-box I would then be able to search the entire in-box by hierarchical taxonomy.
The London Black Cab, or Hackney Carriage (as they may not always be black) is one of the most iconic symbols of London. This Christmas I was asked by Angeliki’s brother-in-law what company made them (what brand). Oddly enough no one company makes all of them, unlike in cities like Berlin where almost every (yellow) taxi is a Mercedes, the Hackney Carriage is infact a style of vehicle which has been around since the 40s. From Austin, LTI or Metrocab. The most notable thing about the Hackney Carriage is that it has a 25ft turning circle which allows it to turn around in London’s tight streets in one go, I doubt a New York Taxi could achieve such a feat!
London’s Hackney Carrage drivers are the only ones allowed to stop and ply for trade on the streets of London without a booking, so if visiting London only ever hail a black cab otherwise you might not be so safe. The other advantage of a licensed London Cab driver is that he must has passed “The Knowledge”, which is a test which is designed to ensure that the applicant knows every part of London inside and out. They are tested to ensure they can (without the assistance of a map) remember a selection of routes around London and the location of almost any street.
This is an article I offered for publication to the BKSTS, but after a couple of revisions it kind of fell by the way-side and has laid neglected on my storage since. So here it is, an analysis of satellite technology from the viewpoint of its use in D-cinema distribution. I hope it proves useful to someone and that some insight can be gained into the various technologies available.
(copyright Bob Hannent, do not reproduce without permission, yada, yada, yada…)