Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

Google Mobile After all ?

I picked up this post on Vecosys, it’s a growing story I’m sure but it’s Saturday so not going to troll around for it and links from elsewhere

Today I can confirm that Google have done the deal to launch Google Mobile and branded Nokia phones following a conversation with 02. Expect this announcement in a few weeks.

I wrote a paper back in May last year suggesting some moves by Google which appear to be materiaising now if all the stories and rumours are to be believed, one short quote from the front page:

Having ‘conquered’ the Web space Google is now turning its formidable ability to innovate quickly to the mobile space and this is likely to be a significant threat in 2006, arguably more so in the USA but inevitably also across Europe.

I’d like to think I may have got something right for a change but let’s wait and see what happens, oh and it’s taking longer than I thought but when does anything in telco land move fast..

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New Plaxo

I logged on today to check a new contact had synced correctly, I use Plaxo because it was the easiest way I could find at the time to sync my Outlook address book with my Mac Address book.

I don’t always trust it, or more specifically the sync tool from inside our VPN to be precise, however it had worked and I was about to close when I saw a little white hippo asking if i wanted to try out the new Alpha version, so being a sucker for all things new and flaky I decided to give it a go.

Picture 1

The new interface is very nice, a couple of little errors on formatting (using Firefox on Mac) but it went flawlessly, new plugins for XP/Outlook and Mac, the XP one seems very much the same, however the Mac one is much better, for a start it supports Growl now so I can see what’s going on with it more easily ( I really like growling things)

I also noticed that I can now sync with Google so decided to try that out, it will be nice to have everything I use in sync, especially a calendar that’s easily accessible from anywhere, now I am spoilt for choice when I need access:

  • Outlook under XP with VPN
  • Outlook Web Access
  • Entourage under OS X
  • Plaxo online
  • Google

So should never have trouble accessing anything, even from any mobile device I happen to have at hand.

I have some friends that hate Plaxo with a passion, however they provide a valuable service for me so will continue to use, I may even pay for Premium soon if the Alpha works out ok (as I write this the Google sync part is having trouble apparently) and continues to improve the interface and underlying sync tools

Good job Plaxo !

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Reverse Scrobble

I recently lost my iTunes library as I forgot to back it up before rebuilding the machine, the library was fine as on a seperate disk.

Now I have lost all the play info, date added etc which is more of a pain than I thought, I wish I could reverse scrobble the info on Last.fm in my profile to update the iTunes metadata and fix that, perhaps with some poking about I might be abe to, also someone may have done it but a limited Google search fails to find anything useful….

This is another example of web services that aren’t quite what I want but as the boundary between offline/online or local/remote storage of data and metadata blurs this sort of thing will go away, it’s similar to how I would like iPhoto or Picasa to sync with Flickr

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Song Recognition

I’ve read at least two posts about Verizon offering a song recognition service today, the first by Techdirt rightly pointed out that this is nothing new and has been around for a few years, the second, V CAST Names that Tune on MobileCrunch leaves out this fact.

What it reminded me of was working on this several years ago, flying out to the Philips lab in Eindhoven to talk to the engineers behind the algorithm and being seriously impressed with what they were doing there, going to the offices of the then new startup Shazam and watching them build their own systems from component parts but the single best memory from the several moths I worked on it was the night the team went out in London to test the effectiveness of the, at the time, new technology, we went to a pub and got them to put on a CD of tracks we knew were in the small test database I had built, then moved on to a restaurant for dinner (where the reception was terrible so it didn’t work !) and rounding off the night in a nightclub in Soho where I had more women approach me than any other night as they wanted to know what the hell I was doing with my phone in a nightclub and were genuinely interested in how well it worked.

Ah those were the days…..

And in case you were wondering we went with Shazam as a 3rd party service and it’s still going as far as I know but haven’t used it in a while

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