Christmas Vacation

Just a note to let you know I’m going to try and disconnect over the vacation to spend time with my family. I intend to take some photo’s, I’ve neglected the Canon 400D for a few weeks, so the batteries are charged and it’s ready to rock.

So merry Christmas to you all!

Nokia Music app is a fail

I installed the Nokia Music App v1.0 a few days back to give it a try and see if I could manage my music on my E71 using it.

The clue here is version 1.0, that’s the key point, it’s the first version and it’s shockingly bad. The music sync is so slow and constantly fails. So updating the E71 with new music was a painful experience.

The killer reason it’s been wiped from my Netbook is I when fired up my booted yesterday, it got stuck in a hideous loop and wouldn’t load or install the new version it stated I needed to install. A trip to the Nokia web site and a download of the latest version fixed it.

The whole experience has further tainted my experience of Nokia software. The Nokia PC suite is about as flaky as it gets, it used to be good now it’s rubbish. The best app ever from Nokia was lifeblog, which was great, but that’s been sidelined. Nokia is going to have to shape up if it’s going to move into software. The PC software is an important part of the experience these days, so a badly implemented solution is going to turn people off from Nokia, just look at Apple’s iTunes integration.

There are some other Nokia software horror stories bouncing around, messing up people’s OVi sign on’s, the whole OVi strategy is a mess though.

Anyway, I’ll just sideload music directly onto the E71 from now, on come on Nokia sort it out.

Who should manage privacy in the age of Ubiquitous Computing?

It’s clear that privacy is a concern in today’s web 2.0 world; the postDoes Google’s flu-tracker raise privacy issues?’ talks about Google’s ability to mine data and its potential impact on privacy. This is a valid concern, but may appear insignificant  in the future, when simply walking across an airport, or even an office floor, could confirm your identify, highlight your political sympathies and provide your state of health to the management via an imperceptible event.

Ubiquitous Computing , described by Mark Weiser almost 20 years ago in the article entitled ‘Ubiquitous Computing #1‘ , sets out this new age of imperceptible computing. One major premise of Ubiquitous Computing , or Ubicomp, is that  the computing process will become almost invisible- this is because the falling cost of the micro-processors means that they can be inserted into the built environment at almost no cost. The insertion of these computers into the fabric of the built environment in which we live would allow computation to flourish away from the PC- a huge  development considering the extent to which we depend on the PC today .

So how could the computational power of Ubicomp be utilised? Imagine you are walking across your office lobby. Firstly the smart floor identifies who you are, and thus determines where you work -for example office 12, floor 48. The express lift door would open as you approach and whisk you off to floor 48 without so much as a button press. Of course, in the meantime, your office heating has come on, your coffee machine has powered up and the status of your inbox is being presented to you as you walk along the corridor in the scenery of the pictures on the wall– lots of bonfires and you’ll get the hint as to what you’re about to walk into.

The Ubicomp world is enormously interesting and many commentators believe that it’s already on its way. However, it presents a challenge to the level of control that individuals have over their own privacy. What should happen if, for instance, your combined data presents a picture to your employer that he deems to be damaging? Think Virgin Atlantic’s Facebook fiasco without the need for Facebook.

It appears that Ubicomp is going to happen, but this raises questions about who will manage the data, and who will control privacy and the rights of individuals. Given that TELCOs provide the network backbone, would they be a better choice to manage the data than the Government, or  a non-elected organisation ?

TELCOs have the capability to filter data travelling across interconnected networks, could they provide the answer and control the data and execute the privacy levels set by the users in the same way they manage firewall policies? Could you choose to allow all data flow and benefit from that, or would you want only a subset of your data to flow and put up with having to swipe your ID badge and press the button for floor 48.

also posted to Orange Business Live