What Is Being Creative?

What is being creative? from Kristian Ulrich Larsen on Vimeo.

We may not always create or invent, but we always learn when we try. If this phone ever goes from concept to production, you can count me in.

The flip phone is based on a concept conceived during a six-week long workshop by Kristian Ulrich Larsen, Ewa Sendecka, Jeppe Vestergård and Victoria Kusk. It was then developed further for a semester by Kristian Ulrich Larsen as part of an MA program at Kolding school of design, online at dskd.dk.

Yanko Design are behind the physical design of the phone. Spot the Android screens then follow it up on Wired and Engadget.

Roaming Cap In Play Today

All of a sudden it seems that I’ve come from a family who like to travel a lot. I’ve managed to get away twice this year, most recently to Portugal at the end of the May. My brother has just returned from there. My grandparents are just back from Poland. One cousin has just left for France for the summer while my parents are currently driving around Italy until the middle of the month.

I’ve a sneaking feeling they’ll not have brought my MAXroam sim but if they do get to catch up with the blog today, they’ll be happy to read (as will a lot of people) that the new cap on roaming charges comes into play from today including

  • Receiving a call capped at 19c p/m
  • Making a call capped at 43c p/m
  • Sending a text capped at 11c p/m

Whatever about the call charges, I’d certainly be happy with the reduction of the text charges as (at least in Europe) I would tend to rely a lot on them for the usual light communication chit-chat (“there in a minute” etc.). That said, unless anything changes at the last minute or I take a notion, the next stint away within the EU will be Paris next May.

You can read more on The Guardian’s site, with details of pricing in UK sterling.

Mobile Movie: Mankind Is No Island

I attended the premiere screening of The Suitors in Kilkenny last night, the latest in a long line of feature films to get produced by Young Irish Film Makers. This morning in my inbox (via YIFM) came this gem, Mankind Is No Island. The above short was filmed entirely on mobile phone in New York and Sydney and was the winner of Tropfest 2008, the world’s largest short film festival (so they say). Tropfest NY 2009 takes place this coming July.

You can also get a sneak peak at The Suitors, here.

Say Hello To 3G iPhone In Europe

If word is to be believed, we’re getting closer to the launch of the 3G iPhone in Europe, or at least the announcement of it. Of course, we’ve all known it’s been coming for months.

Engadget Mobile reports via Reuters that this Monday or Tuesday will see Italian mobile carrier TIM announce the availability of a 3G model of the iPhone, certainly something more suitable at present for potential Irish users.

Though I would be quite happy to bag an iPhone without 3G capability, the addition of the 3G service would certainly push me closer to picking one up as a second phone (yes, a *second* phone as I love my N95 a bit too much), with the option of running the iPhone as a strict data phone only.

Touch.net (translated from Italian) are reporting the launch date to be June 9/10, following an announcement from the US, presumably at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference being held in San Francisco next week.

Quadband GSM, triband HSDPA and GPS are all said to be a runner (see here) on the new model of the phone, along with a stylish new black design (black is the new black don’t you know) and a fwe aesthetic modifications.

Let’s wait and see what happens on Monday, shall we?

Biting The Bullet, Upgrading To N95 8GB

8GB Nokia N95I’ve been waiting, and waiting, for the Nokia N95 8GB to hit O2. While Vodafone have recently announced the dramatic price drop in the N95 8GB model (moving to Vodafone could bag you for phone for under the €200 price mark), I’ve opted to stick with my mobile operator and take the N95 upgrade, available from today online.

Of course, my local O2 shop knew about this but won’t have any phones in stock until the end of the week at the earliest. Carphone Warehouse didn’t actually know anything, their response being “It’s only available on Vodafone, you know that?” until directed to the O2 website. There doesn’t seem to be any physical stock available in Kilkenny, Waterford or Carlow (trying all the numbers listed on the O2 website, yes, I was willing to make an early morning Saturday spin 40 minutes and back in one direction or another) so I’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade the phone online, saving €30 in the process and picking up 300 free texts to match.

When I caught wind of the phone in August I thought, excellent, there’s my Christmas present. When asked what the next gadget I would buy was I replied “Nokia N95 8GB” please.

I learned a valuable lesson in the purchase of a sim free iPaq early in 2006 which didn’t last me six months so I’ve held off again and again in switching to a pricey mobile phone. However, in terms of productivity, further ability to work on the move, as well as tie in some terrific online resources (e.g. Qik) into activities outside of the office (thinking KilkennyMusic.com and The Devious Theatre Company), I feel I’ve made the right move.

The next part of the plan is to pick up an O2 mobile broadband connection before the end of the month, allowing me a bit of freedom when I hit the road for Sligo or find myself driven in the direction of the studio (which doesn’t have any form of web connection) later in the year.

While Carphone Warehouse couldn’t offer any assistance (I wouldn’t have bought the phone there anyway given the grief I had to put up with in 2005), the 3G store in Carlow (Meteor dealers) did tell me that Meteor are also bringing the handset to the market for April 21st / 22nd, something of interest to you Meteor contract holders looking for an upgrade in handset.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the phone arriving in the post mid-week.

The N95 Is The Next Gadget I’ll Buy

I missed yesterday’s Science Week blog post but couldn’t Thursday’s one as it’s an easy one for me. The question is asked, “What’s the next gadget that you want to buy?”. My answer, the 8GB Nokia N95.

As mobile devices to it’s a massive step forward and one towards the ideal mobile device. Connectivity-wise you’ve got everything you need if you’re working in an online environment – bluetooth, 3G and WiFi. The recent opening up of some Eircom wifi hotspots if you’re already an Eircom BB customer makes public internet access that bit easier. I won’t always have my laptop with me but need a solid mobile device that will allow me to

  • Make and take calls (a given).
  • Have a good quality camera. The N95 shoots at 5mp and I would miss the 3.2mp on my Sony Ericsson K800i.
  • Access the internet over WiFi thus allowing easier access to emails, connections to the office, grabbing music and last minute details around gig weekends, upload photos on the go to my Flickr account and more.
  • Keep up with Jaiku via the S60 client (thus reducing my SMS bill).
  • Allow me to grab and store podcasts on the go (to feed my habit).
  • These points are just for starters…

Again, in a non-laptop situation there’s always the possibility of mobile blogging, VOIP calls, mapping and more. I’ve written about the N95 being my Christmas present to myself this year, though admittedly it looks like I’ll be waiting until the New Year or whenever O2 sort out getting the N95 8GB model so I can make use of my contract upgrade. You can discover the N95 yourself here.

When it comes to phones I’m not a gaming person and in the 13 months I’ve had the K800i I can recall just the trip to Toronto last year that lead me to play games on the phone. I’m more about getting things done and having a device that will assist me in day to day activities.

Having used the first N95 briefly (briefly as in for a few minutes) and working alongside an N95 owner I can see the benefits of the device immediately. The use of IM before / after a client meeting, the ability to hop online and pull messages from MySpace or grab last minute mails before a gig (when you’re dealing with bands that communicate primarily through social networks as opposed to your actual phone then this is a must), passing spreadsheets or PDFs or word documents, plotting a trip on a map before you head away somewhere – and keeping that map in your pocket – that and the abundance of S60 applications that are available to run on the Nokia N95 to enhance your working experience.

Plus, it fits nicely in your hand or pocket and the call quality and speakerphone quality is also good (somewhere the K800i lacks.)

It’s been decided and I’ll wait patiently for my upgrade I think.

Nokia N95 8GB – Christmas Present Dressed In Black

When I was down in the O2 store recently to collect a Nokia E50 for KilkennyMusic.com I toyed around a little with a Nokia N95 display model and thought – yep, sure is pretty. Then you read God knows how many good things about it online, see the blog reports, the videos, catch photos of people with N95′s dotted around them…

Nokia N95
Nokia N95, Black, 8GB

Then yesterday I was driving through Waterford in search of breakfast and passed the big billboard at the outer ring round (by the RSC) which had a massive N95 on it with the tagline “Its What Computers Have Become” underneath. They’re right too.

Then this morning I’ve been following the likes of Bernie Goldbach, Damien Mulley and Conor O’Neill tracking the Nokia event in London where the next issue of the N95 has been touted.

Nokia N95 8GB
Nokia N95, Black, 8GB

It looks nice in silver, but it sure packs a punch in black.

With my personal O2 contract up for discussion / renewal in October and an upgrade on the cards I reckon I’ve just found my Christmas present. Why couldn’t the iPhone have a 5mp camera?