Flickr got maps – good time to GeoTag!

Two interesting news for today:
First, Flickr introduced some mapping feature for geotaged picture. You can see where these picture has been taken. Of course, visualisation is done through Yahoo Maps, which is less accurate (outside U.S.) than GoogleMap, but that’s a good start, and probably a big incentive for Yahoo to correct this soon.
Of course, this feature is nothing really new, but it’s nice to see in integrated. Note that “Pikeo” is an Orange project that intent to do the same kind of things, but not as smooth as I would expect it…


The bad side seems to be that you need to do an extra step, even if your photos are already geotagged. You need to “import” them (go to “organize”, then “map”). This step is probably not needed and useless.
The other issue seems that YahooMaps seems to contains a lot of errors, as you can see on this snapshot….

The other good news of the day is the announce that I am involved in the “mobup” project since some monthes now. Mobup is a free open source Flickr uploader. Now mobup haves some geotagging capacities: if you have a connected GPS to your mobile phone through bluetooth, Mobup will add Geotags to this. Of course, the geotagging picture capacities of J2memap are based on Mobup…

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Physical Widget (and revenge of the hardware)

  I wanted to write this post since some time, but the launch of the Chumby give me a good opportunity to post it. What it Chumby? Basically it’s a small lcd screen that can run your prefereed widget, and that can be connected through WiFi to the internet. Than, you can put some kind of “Widgets” to this device, like clock, flickr viewer, stock quotes, etc…
  Unfortunately (or hopefully?) these Widget are non interactive…

  So this obviously one of the latest “physical widget”. With the adoption of Wifi, and the cut down of hardware price, I expect to see more and more small hardware  application that do a single task , but do it well…This one still have a lot of different usage, but I think that in the future we will see hardware widgets, from toys, weather station connected to the internet,  msn status, etc…
   The other interesting side effect, is that the value is less and less in the software, but both in the service (we all knew this) but also in the hardware. What will make the interest of such physical widget: it’s the design, the fact it looks cool, trendy, etc…So after years where value was mostly in software, and hardware was just a commodity, hardware, and especially “internet connected hardware” will get his revenge, software being just a commodity…

Through TechCrunch

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LG Chocolate with FlashLite MMI

The Verizon Wireless Chocolate is one of the first north american phone with a vector based MMI, based on FlashLite. Result is quite good, and wall paper can also be a FlashLite file. The second and third level are a little bit disapointing, but the first level seems to be great. Unfortunatly, it seems that new UI can not be created by end user, or downloaded….
Through: Marco Casario blog….

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WayFinder 3D

In case you missed it (I’ve missed it!), a demo of Wayfinder 3D is available for Symbian S60. It’s a Symbian native application (1.7 meg and even, does not contains any map!). You can use it to find service…But with some strange behavior. For instance, to get weather, you have to re-enter (manually) your location! Does not work with GPS (says that I need to “update” it?)

Through mobitrends

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Mashup vs Widget?

Following the announce about the founding of “Mashery“, an interesting start-up that will create “resources” for developers, API providers and Mashup users, I was wondering if such company was targeting Widget developer or Mashup developer?
So, came the question of what is the difference between a Mashup and a widget, after all, they seems both some technology that could be used to create a new web page/service?

The actual situation:

  • a mashup, is a new web service, usually a web site, created by aggregating existing Web services. Typically,  a service tot display renting house on Google map is a mashup, taking information both from a renting site, and from Google Map, aggregate them, and displays them
  • a widget, is a “micro application”, that do a small individual task and that can be put as a component in a desktop or a web page. But some widgets can be a mashup…

So what are the real differences between the two? Today, a mashup is more a programmer affair, while widget is more an end user technology. The other actual difference is that most of the time, the newly creating service imply that there is glue between all data sources (for instance, some code to put house locations on Google map) while widget does not speak each other: the clock widget does not talk with your flickr badge widget, etc…

  But the limitation starts to fade down, and I think that this will slowly disappear, and I am quite sure that there is probably tons of widget that act as “mashup”.

  • It will be easier and easier to create new composites application, based on third party app for everybody, and not only technical people.
  • The question will be again business model? One trend in Widget industry is to provide money to developer according to widget usage, based on revenue like advertising. But the value come also from the data itself, the initial provided one. If the mashup/widget creator get some revenue from his creation based on external data source, these external data source could ask for money too….

This latest part will be an interesting challenge in the future, and I think that the value of company like Mashery will be also to be able to manage the value chain and provide fair revenue to the entire participant….

Update: waow, what a sync, I was ready to post the article when Techcrunch pointed out this new start-up, dappit. Seems to be very close to what I describe as the ability to create Mashup for end user.  But I’ve tried to use it and was not able to extract easily simple information for an HTML table, so I do not share Techrucnh enthusiasm. But this just means that there is still a lot to do, but direction is here

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PhotoSynth: check the applet

 PhotoSynth research project from Microsoft has been announced some time ago, but I’ve missed the fact that there is a live applet to play with. It’s worth a try:

 That’s definitevelly an interesting idea, especially in terms of user generated content. Use this thousands of picture taken everywhere in the world to create the ultimate 3D model of the world (something that GoogleLab have missed? ;-) ). Additionnaly, geotagged photo will contains a lot more information to facilitate such content creation…

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A small guide…to J2me benchmark/test midlets

Calibrator v.1.4 Many times I’ve browsed the web to find the “best” midlet to do testing, finding supported JSR, and so on. So here is a small list of resources I’ve found on this topic. So feel free to add unlisted things, so I will be happy to extend the list.

  • Calibrator
    This one is doing a good job in many areas, testing all capacities of different JSR, RMS speed,video/audio capacities, etc…Results are send to a server, but this server side is really lacking of polishing. No organisation at all….That’s the only point to improve, but the midlet proven to be very useful. That’s my current favorite.
  • TastePhone
    Here also, a lot of different tests are made, including RMS speed, copy speed, etc… Results are available on the result pages, but it might be in French only
  • JBenchmark
    On of the older, probably good for speed checking, but limited forother informations. Speed issue is only a small part of the problem. But good website to browser the results…
    Note that there are others benchmark now, JBenchmark2 (for MIDP2.0 devices) and JBenchmark3D (for JSR184).
  • GrinderBench:
    position themseves as an “industry benchmark” developed by EEMBC, but coming very late in the market, and focused only on speed benchmark.
  • FPCBench: Update: The author of FPCBench posted some info on the bench as a comment of this post. It seems that it’s more than just speed. Unfortunatly, my main concern with this bench is that the UI is not as simple as Calibrator (why a Calculator is needed in such program), and results seems to be send through SMS…
  • MicroCode: another project, not tested (thanks Wendong)

Other interesting resources:

I use frequently J2mepolish device database library, to quickly find if a handset support a specific JSR or not…. This database can be reused with j2mepolish to create specific build per device, or device family.

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