I’m currently writing several features for Allaboutsymbian again, and the first of them was published there last night. Here’s a link.
A while ago, I noticed that photos taken on my Nokia E55, with its LED flash, were casting the people in an unnatural blue tint. One day I couldn’t take it any more and fired up The GIMP to see what I could do to tweak these colours. I was so stunned at the results I obtained with such little effort that I had to write about it.
Originally, I was going to post here, but then it struck me that the only people with this problem are people taking photos on camera phones, so since I was already contributing to AllAboutSymbian it seemed logical to publish there instead.
While writing, I realised it was going to be a super-dry read, and that a screen-cast video would be a much more appropriate choice of medium. So, this was my first experience of capturing and rendering a hi-def screen capture. I had a few hiccups along the way, the most problematic was sound. I don’t have a proper microphone, and so was stuck using the laptop mic, which would have been fine, but my laptop’s fan is super noisy. So, I had to apply some noise reduction in Audacity, which worked, but did leave me sounding kind of tinny and muted, at least to my ears.
It also pushed my four year old laptop to the limits, scrubbing along in Kdenlive made it choke a little, and actually completing a two-pass render took around 90 minutes (for a 6 minute video!). I really lamented having to buy a laptop when I did, because I only missed getting the first dual core CPU’s by three to four months
Anyway, I’m pleased with the overall result, and it’s another article to add to my publication list!
Nokia Share Online with Furtiv's added social media gateways for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube
Furtiv, a new internet start up in Helsinki, is creating a service to be a social media gateway, making it easier to send content from your phone to all of the various social media websites.
Their first beta project is an addition to Nokia’s Share Online application. Most new Nokia handsets come with the Share Online application allowing you to upload photos to Flickr, Ovi and Vox. Furtiv uses the API from this application to create gateways to more websites, like Facebook, Picassa, Twitter (via Twitpic.com and Vid.ly for video) and Youtube.
They are using the open Atom standard to achieve this, and they implement it in such a way that you don’t even need to have an account with them. Furtiv’s presence is completely transparent, once you get everything set up by visiting http://furtiv.mobi on your Nokia browser. Further instructions on getting set up can be found here.
I’ve tested this service out and it works perfectly. To qualify this, I tried it along with other readers from AllAboutSymbian.com who read about it there. Possibly coincidence, or possibly with us all flooding the service, but there were some early teething troubles. This is to be expected with any new system, although the Furtiv team had it fixed again surprisingly quickly, so kudos for that.
The benefits of this service are clear to see. Being able to plug-in to existing services on your handset saves having to install any extra phone applications. It also saves you having to figure out how to use e-mail portals and mobile site uploads. Every site you could want to upload to is there in your phone’s own services. This has the potential to remove more inertia in the way of the proliferation of social media, especially for non-technically inclined users, which can only be a good thing. Not withstanding Facebook becoming littered with as much mindless content as can be found on Youtube!
Just writing this down for the archive really. Steve Litchfield who produces “The Phones Show” decided to do a special testimonials episode. At the last minute I recorded a clip about my E51. So here’s the episode, which I’ve deep linked directly to my part. Although please, if you find this interesting watch it from the start!
Okay, time for my first favourite video podcast. This is “The Phones Show“ (formally known as “The Smartphones Show”). This is a one man phone review show by the gentlemanly Steve Litchfield. You may be forgiven for not knowing who Steve is. Although, for anyone (like myself) who was into handheld computing back in the late 90′s (just before the web went mainstream), Steve was there running his 3Lib site supplying useful articles and software reviews for Psion (and later Palm) handheld computers. In fact, Steve reviewed my only ever shareware software release, “Analyser” for Psion Series 3a/c/mx palmtop computers.
The Phones Show
Considering that handheld computing has shifted into smartphones, with new and old handheld platforms, Steve Litchfield was just the man to step up and tell us what’s what!
With the phones show, you get honest and down to Earth reviews of the latest and greatest smart (and not so smart) phones. The show has been sponsored by Nokia in the past, and currently by their mobile Symbian based operating system “Series 60“, which may account for the greater supply of Nokia review models. This is no bad thing, as Nokia are still dominant in the mobile market, and Steve will let you know which Nokias to go after and which ones to avoid. Having said that, just about every other smartphone brand and operating system is amply catered for too.
Steve reviewing the latest Nokia smartphone
I can say all of this knowing I have put my money where my mouth is. Steve’s review of the Nokia E51 was instrumental in me ending my year long search for my ideal smartphone. A fantastic handset which I have since reviewed too.
Well, if all of that has interested you enough, here are the links you’ll need: