Daily Archives: December 30, 2006

Twadget and Twitter

A few days ago Andrew Parsons reminded me about a Web 2.0 service called Twitter that both he and Frank Arrigo have been using. Basically you just keep sending it little status updates about what you are doing and it creates a log that you can share with your friends. Right now Frank is watching “You, Me & Dupree” and Andrew hasn’t updated for a while. Anyway, I like the idea of the service, its kind of like a community heartbeat but for me it was too much of a hassle to keep updating it via visiting the site and I was worried about the costs of the SMS-based updates.

Anyway – I thought that a Sidebar gadget would be a good idea but before creating my own I did a quick search to see if someone had already crated one – I found this (note the interesting domain name).

 

What is my disclosure policy?

One of the people that linked to my blog over the last couple of days is “VC Dan” who has the blog over on DisclosurePolicy.org. The same folks that are behind DisclosurePolicy.org are behind PayPerPost which I hadn’t actually heard of until Robert Scoble mentioned it on his blog a few days ago. I guess having a disclosure policy is required if you are going to pay bloggers for giving positivie reviews about your “stuff”.

Anyway, the main point of Dan’s post was that a lot of the bloggers (like me) that received a laptop from Microsoft and AMD for review purposes were a little haphazard in their approach to disclosing the fact. I think that most disclosed it front was good but without a policy on disclosure how can readers of our blogs be sure that we always will. So there is a difference between simply disclosing something at the time and stating at some point in the time that you will disclose something if you need to (action vs. policy).

The Disclosure Policy Blog links to their own disclosure policy which looks like a fairly reasonable document. The cool thing is that if you go to the main Disclosure Policy site there is a generator where you can step through a wizard to generate your own.

I decided to give it a stab and I have come up with this policy (its one generated by the wizard with a few tweaks). Hopefully by being explicit about this people can feel more comfortable with the way that I write the content that I post on my blog. Of course whether content on my blog has ever been influenced is probably subjective but I am happy to defend what I write especially considering that I have outlined some key affiliations.

Note that I am not planning on participating in PayPerPost, its just a bit to fake for my liking (personal opinion).

 

But where is the JasJar Mk.2?

Engadget has posted up some photos of the latest HTC mobile devices which will be coming to the market in 2007.

I’ve been a fan of the HTC devices (branded as i-mate’s in this instance) since I first got a SmartPhone (SP2) and latter picked up a JasJar (HTC Universal) which sports a 3G antenna and a 640×480 screen along with a reasonable size keyboard. While everyone around me got smaller devices I went for the heavy weight. I’ve been pretty happy with a device and I think that it has been mostly trouble free (except o`r a very specific problem that the device has).

I know that within the next twelve to eighteen months I am probably going to need to upgrade the device but I haven’t really seen anything that replaces the JasJar. What I want to know is, where is the JasJar Mk.2.

Unique Features and Usual Refinements

The hallmark of a JasJar Mk.2 will be what it keeps the same as the original. Here are some of the unique features of the JasJar that I wouldn’t want to see change.

  • Keyboard size and layout.
  • Screen size and resolution.
  • Flip and rotate screen.

On top of that there are a few things that all PDA/Phone devices can expect to have moving forward:

  • Dual cameras – one for video calls and one for taking photos, although to be honest I haven’t really used the video call feature of the JasJar.
  • Decent external speakers and microphone for doing things like recording and listening to podcasts.

So that is what they need to do to “not screw up the JasJar” but there are a few extra things that I think that they need to add in to the unit.

New and Improved

So I am going to layout a few improvements that I want to see to the device, those who have a JasJar will know what I am talking about for most of these, but some are just general innovations that I’d love to see road tested on the JasJar.

  • External caller ID/Windows SideShow display; one of the great things about JasJars is that the screen is protected but that can make it hard to screen calls because there are no visible indicators of who is calling on the outside of the device. It would be nice to have a small 1×1 inch screen which does caller ID, music select and Windows SideShow – the screen would need to be tough and scratch resistant and below it would be controls for answering calls (the ones on the spine are terrible). In addition to call control there would need to be be media controls.
  • Thinner and lighter; OK, so the thing is a brick, but given technology enhancements over the past couple of years I reckon they could stand to shrink the base of the unit by half and still fit everything in.
  • Fix the cell broadcast issue.
  • Light my way; I have to say that I often use my JasJar as a torch, so why not make it a key feature. Across one edge of the device insert a series of bright LCD lights (may four of the one that is next to the camera) then have a quick access button for turning on the light.
  • Address the issue of loose stylus docks; over the course of the first six months of use the dock for the stylus gets very loose. Either tether it so you can’t loose it or come up with a better locking mechanism.
  • Act as a router; add the ability for the device to act as a router to 3G and nextG networks so rather than having to dial out from a laptop you can just plug in the USB lead and have it look like a USB network adapter, and while you are at it make sure you don’t use a prototype hardware vendor ID like you did with the USB Modem feature.
  • Come with wrist straps; I want to wear my JasJar on my arm (left).

If the HTC guys want some more design tips you know where to find me :)