Monthly Archives: March 2009

App Review: Skype for iPhone

I’ve been a fring user for quite a while, but I usually use my vonage SIP account to make VOIP calls from my iphone.

Had a problem the other day though with fring due to the lack of speakerphone and inability to pass through tones once a call was connected. I’m please to say that the new skype client seems to address both of those points for me. Thanks to the Japan app store I even get to try it out early!

The app is pretty simple and works exactly as you would expect it to. It also fails exactly as you expect it to, but will explain that in a minute.

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I made a few test calls. Call quality over wi-fi was good. Not quite as good as cellular, but as good if not better than using vonage over fring. Connection time was very fast. Speakerphone worked well, and the dialing pad can be brought up during a call and tones are sent, so voicemail systems are no problem (something that messed me up earlier in the week with fring).

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Now for the hate. And this is not directed at skype, but at Apple and the carrier overlords. Time to give it up. VOIP wants to be free. So stop it with this “no voice over 3G” crap. It’s anti-consumer and we all know it works fine, so there is no excuse other than carriers prefer to make more many than slightly less money. Sooner or later consumers are going to take the matter out of the hands of the carriers. I do not think it will be pleasant.

Other problem of course is the lack of background processes or push notification. Hopefully OS 3.0 will help this out, but a phone that needs me to run a client app to receive a call is really not much of a phone. Well, on second thought, the I call you when I want and you can call me when I want thing might have some potential…

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Not sure how this will effect my connectivity. I use fring mostly for IM and for emergency phone calls. skype has a nice app, but I’m not sure how much use I will have for it with the wi-fi only restriction. It does make a nice new option though and free is a hard price to beat.

update: Corrected the wi-fi/3G thing. Thanks Spundot! Blogging at 3am is perilous. Sleep now….

Temporal anomaly spotted on Google Streets

A strange temporal anomaly was spotted in the most unlikely of locations, namely the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales.

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The Telegraph reports of what appears to be a woman dressed in dated clothing appearing to phase halfway through the photo capture. The internet is abuzz with rumors of time-travelers and other theories for the odd phenomenon.

I have on only two words of comment.

“Bad Wolf”

Telegraph.co.uk: Victorian ‘ghost’ picked up by Google Street View

Update: I’ve located the location the street view was from, but it seems as though some strange virus has destroyed the data for just this photograph. See the next one available below.

http://maps.google.com/maps/sv?cbp=12,167.15590548812395,,0,6.319052987598646&cbll=51.465118,-3.164344&v=1&panoid=&gl=&hl=en
View Larger Map

Electro-sheep art

Simply the greatest thing I have seen all day.

Via Bill Gibson

and this on the same day I saw CatShitOne

Mobility

Just made what has to be one of my favorite purchases in recent months.

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I have now greatly improved my overall mobility in Tokyo.  Now that I have moved into downtown Tokyo, I can use this bike to easily get around.  Having tooled around for the last week, it is like discovering a whole new city.
I've figured out that it is a lot easier to get from place to place by using the backstreets, as they don't get as packed with cars and pedestrians.  Now I am seeing whole new areas filled with all sorts of interesting things.  Hopefully I'll find some things to post about later.
One thing that makes this a lot easier is the iPhone mount I found.  With it, I can use the GPS and mapping capabilities of the iPhone to navigate to my destination.

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There is even an app I can use as a cycling computer!

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Hopefully more things to come!

Tokyo Nikon Photo group meetup

Got invited to the Nikon camera group meetup by Setsuko Harada. They let me in in spite of my Sony weakness. A great group of people from pros to amatuers. Will be learning a bit tonight as well as taking a few shots. I rely a lot on my flash for night and indoor shots so looking forward to getting better without the crutch. Tokyo Nikon Photo group meetup

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