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December 2006 Archives

December 15, 2006

Global Voices

I'm attending the Global Voices Summit in Delhi!

December 16, 2006

Outreach Suggestion for Global Voices

We are discussing "outreach" and how to get blogging out there. Perhaps the focus is too blog centric rather than one about empowerment. It's simply too hard to get villagers to blog. They don't have the skills, the background, the technology, nor the bandwidth. This suggestion is where and how to put

Let me offer a simple suggestion for global voices outreach. Encourage the development of an SMS program. Enable and empower people to send in comments, pointers for news and items that meet the mission.

In India SMS is already being trained to use SMS to respond to TV programs, provide or vote for outcomes etc.

The opportunity for each and every SMS is to provide a "thank you" SMS with every submission supplying and educating with each submission what gets real recognition. Plus each SMS could provides a link to where the SMS was posted. It could becomes a Twitter style blog for the individual. It also becomes a place / page where they can learn more about GV. People in their area, etc. 

Eg first SMS provides info on what GV is looking for and what policies  apply. Completely private unless there is consent / confirmation by SMS.

If you create / use a Twitter type network in the area GV members could then connect groups watching / looking at things in the same or a local area. Thus some filtering system. This is just simply swarms or Smart Mobs.

I'd like to see SMS augmented with free MMS for contributors who are already / qualified (ie x amount of time). I'd like to see more photos (worth a 1000 words) to capture people on a more gut level. In India many are getting both their first phones and cameras. A program that teaches them how to use them for change could be very powerful.

I'm attending the Global Voices Summit in Delhi!

Translation & Global Voices

I've just been reading Ethan's blog and his reference to GlobalVoices translation. IMHO there is only one way to do translation when there are no resources. Rather than some selective services at the moment turn the problem over to the readers.

Offer translation opportunities to readers. There should be a button next to every post that enables any reader to offer up a translation. This translation would not be immediately verified. It would need to be vetted by others and voted on as correct. A link to the translator should be provided. It's a perfect demonstration to their services and capability. If a translator translates many posts then their credibility should create a rating and capability. As posts become translated the "flags" should just be added to the posts.

I'd also add that schools and colleges can provide a wonderful opportunity for content translation.

MediaWiki and Wikipedia have already shown the possibility that are open here.

Like contributors "GVTranslators" should get high level recognition. For many translation is their business. Translators could also become point people for news and explanations into their own countries. I learnt and have watched many initiatives and exchanges in Skype that have involved both auto chat translation and have encourage the introduction of a translator (via conference call) into the conversation.

There are clearly some issues of who's content and whether you can
translate without permission etc. GV can solve that problem with
appropriate creative commons licenses. This is a fair point.

I'd like to see all GV posts on the home page in the language they were written. That it is the default. Then  offer me an English view.. but also tell me how much I am missing out on, or how many French, Hindi etc. readers are missing out.

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Jaiku and Presence Streams

I'm playing around with Jaiku, another mobile app that like Twitter is trying to address "context" rather than presence with simple updates. Unfortunately, I can't test the full power of the application as they haven't yet released a download for the N80 (which is much more restrictive than earlier Nokias).

On first glance it is similar to Twitter, although Twitter only aims to provide contextual updates (via SMS). Twitter is also much more advanced as a SNS at the moment. By contrast Jaiku aims to provide a contextual update service and display current status for buddies. For those that can download the app to their Nokia's it also provides provides a directory listing. I can't comment on how well this is integrated with SMS etc. However it clearly illustrates the way these apps are moving forward. We will see more apps like this emerge.

Jaiku also enables you to adds blogs and flickr to your presence stream updates. The functionality is right on target. It lacks sophisticated privacy controls and is reliant of GPRS for real participation.  

Naturally you can share you context changes on your blog or Myspace pages.

December 20, 2006

VoIP Mobility & the Nokia N80

I'm using an advance in mobile telephony that is every bit as big a deal as Skype was when it launched. It drives down costs of mobile calling to VoIP levels. It lets me use VoIP on my mobile without worrying about funny call numbers, or wasting my minutes. The mobile I'm talking about is the Nokia N80IE (Internet Edition). It is a real leap forward providing a dual mode handset with real SIP support built in.  

Do you want more than one line on your cellphone? Would you like to make cheap calls using VoIP rates? Do you have a GizmoProject account? Are you willing to try yet another VoIP provider? Do you have the money for one of Nokia's fantastic N80IE 's? Relevant questions? Who will want it? Those that live in WiFi enables areas all the time. Home/Work/Campus. (sorry about the fuzzy pics! just poorly taken)


What you need:

Last night I finally got the third line (Truphone) working on  the N80. Thus when I'm on a WiFi hotspot you could ring anyone of three numbers and reach me. While I know that may be too much availability it suggests some ways to manage your access.

Armed with this I could easily enable my work number to ring my cell all around the office. And while at home I could continue to take those calls or turn that line off and use the other VoIP account for my friends and family. In practice controlling and letting people have all these numbers and trying to route them is less than practical. (Thus showing why Grand Central is making one play on this space). On or Off is not an effect paradigm for access. Alec Saunders pipes in too.

GizmoProject comes ready to install on the N80IE. It's accessed via a new folder "Internet" / "Downloads". A simple click, your Gizmo Project account details - name and password, a connection to WiFi and if you are like me.. you are up and running. It worked so well that I went and bought a 3 month GizmoIn number and put some dollars on the calling plan. Depending on where you call the rates are pretty good. I'd hoped I'd be using it from India on this last trip, however Cisco has installed some "security" firewalls and I've not solved it for calls from there yet. I'm taking a travel router back so next visit it should work just fine.  GizmoVoip also enables a web directory of your Gizmo  pals.

Truphone. I installed Truphone last night. It was a hassle. I followed the instructions which fail to point out that you must install to phone memory. Once I got that sorted (thanks to Jim Courtney) it worked fine. A SIP to SIP call with him again proved that the call quality was higher than on a normal cellphone call. It's also a much better call when in my home where the cellphone almost doesn't work. At the moment the deal offered for the US and the UK is better on Truphone than on Gizmo. However, rates to other countries look less competitive.

  • These new services demonstrate that having a low cost "voip" channel on your handset is the wave of the future. Next years hot Christmas present will be a cellphone with WiFi for the college crowd. 
  • Once the "install" bugs are fixed even the common user will get it and will be able to use it. Note the Nokia N80 can be set to be "VoIP" centric. Ie it will make all calls using VoIP when in a hotspot. There's an opportunity to refine the management of this on the handsets. See Alec's comment on Iotum below.
  • Note adding a VoIP service is only adding a "channel" that enables the customer to talk. Access is still only an "on" or "off" thing. That's not really what users desire. From the users perspective the only thing that matters is whether they can talk over it. The user is effectively channel agnostic.
  • The mobile operators are in trouble. Because like the PSTN they forgot voice quality. I will choose better voice quality every time and even more often if the price is cheaper.
Thanks to Andy Abramson for letting me try out the latest N80IE. I bought the original N80 back in July hoping I could make it do just the things that the IE is now delivering. It is still unclear to me whether Nokia has 'obsoleted" my N80 without an upgrade path or if the upgrades will soon be offered. I and I know many other N80 users hope it is the latter. I'll share more on that later.

There are many other features packed into the N80. I've taken thousands of pictures with it, use and try lots of other software etc. I'll keep that for a separate post.

See also:
Andy Abramson on GizmoVoIP
Alec Saunders on both services and Iotum He puts the case why he thinks it will provide huge saving for him.

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About December 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Unbound Spiral in December 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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