Monday, November 29, 2004

EBU Conference in Istanbul

Great conference in Istanbul. Great views too...interesting that the Asian side is more European than the European side. Istanbul airport has Wi-Fi to the gate...brilliant. Schiphol could learn something from that. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Looking towards Asia on the other side of the Bosphorous... Posted by Hello

Inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul Posted by Hello

Inside the Istanbul Grand Bazaar...4000 shops and around 12000 salesmen...but friendly and willing to bargain. Posted by Hello

Beside the Bosphorous

Just been to a very cold but very interesting Istanbul. Walking around on Friday and Saturday was an eye opener, busting a lot of cliche pictures I had of Turkey and the Turkish. Met some interesting people....definitely not my last safari in that direction. Posted by Hello

USB humidifier?

There is a great French/English blog published by regular visitors to Akihabara, the gadget capital of Tokyo, Japan. They spotted this USB powered humidifier, although I am not sure you want to get water too close to your labtop. But outside the big cities, some form of "air conditioning" is useful in Japanese homes, especially during the summer.

USB Humidifier

Long in the Tooth

Too slooooow and too late. Even though a growing number of cell phone manufacturers are adding Bluetooth capabilities to their products, I don't think the technology is fast enough to survive. Bluetooth technology in the phone and headset allow conversations to be transmitted wirelessly between the devices.

According to research firm IDC, 13 percent of mobile phones shipped worldwide this year feature Bluetooth. By 2008, an estimated 53 percent of the world's phones will have Bluetooth while 65 percent of those shipped in the United States will offer the wireless technology, IDC said. Make a note of that number for future reference - it is way over the top. Have you ever tried to activate a bluetooth connection? Bloody nightmare - especially if you're in a hurry. No, Wi-fi has much more of a future - give me a phone with encrypted wi-fi not Bluetooth. The two technologies also interfere with each other since they use a similar frequency spectrum. Went to a conference in Amsterdam in April 2004 - Bluetooth and Wi-Fi had a REAL problem co-existing in a confined space.

Apple i-pod and Analysts

Make a note of this number for future reference. Analyst Charles Wolf (Needham & Co.) predicts Apple will sell 13.3 million iPods in 2005, with that figure jumping to 23.5 million in 2006. That’s a lot of white headphone-toting individuals waiting to happen!

One of Wolf’s more interesting predictions is the expectation that 100 million Windows users will be iPod owners by 2008. He thinks the iPod trend will generate a critical mass that could result in a surge in Mac sales, even if only a nominal fraction of the Windows-iPod convert.

I think he is over ambitious. It depends whether Apple continues with the software innovation, not so much the player itself. i-tunes at the moment is rather biased towards English language repertoire. I think the success will continue along these lines when foreign language music databases are coupled to i-tunes and you can get this stuff onto your i-pod too. It has to be -act global, think local.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

NORDLYS - Northern Lights


Some solar storms today, with more great aurora pictures possible. Planning an expedition to go as see some more "live" sometime soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

World Sunlight & CloudCover Map in Real Time

Click here to see where the sun is right now and major cloud cover. Looks great- so why doesn't he allow links for other to put it on their site? Interesting for radio fans as they're interested in day/night propagation.
 Posted by Hello

Just opened a bottle of Bin 7 Australian Shiraz from the Dorrien Estate, Barossa Valley...Wow..Blackberries galore...Highly recommended Posted by Hello

There is money in the "Innovation" debate currently going on in the Netherlands - why has this country slipped so low in the international ratings when it comes to innovation? Lack of ambition - reminds me of the great slogan - Unleash the Power of Mediocrity! Except with 300,000 empty work-stations in the Netherlands - this is no joke. Posted by Hello

Radio for the Troops -A Petition

Radio for the Troops is a website campaigning for more liberal views on the American Forces Radio & TV Service. They argue that America's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines currently are only hearing a single politically oriented talk radio host--the intensely partisan Rush Limbaugh.

One way of staying warm in the Arctic! Posted by Hello

Dave says he was in a vehicle about 300 metres out from the towable building complex in which they stayed. See for more on what all this is.
 Posted by Hello

Firefox - Rediscover the web

Installed a copy of the Firefox browser today. It seems faster than Microsoft's IE but I can't go fully over to Firefox until the plug-ins are compatible. I am surprised the Blogger plug-in doesn't seem to work - or Snagit - one of the best programs I have found for capturing screen shots.

Friday, November 19, 2004

More Bears

And what about this one? Posted by Hello

More from Dave Rosenthal

More pictures from Dave Rosenthal on his arctic travels with his wife, Donna. She writes for Car & Travel, the New York metro AAA magazine and Dave was doing a piece for the amateur radio magazine QST on sampling the HF spectrum from that part of the world. Interested to know how well the ham radio world is surviving - I thought it was virtually over, but I stand corrected. Still have the call G8WGN.
 Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Worlds First Terrestrial DMB-receiving Mobile Phone

Worlds First Terrestrial DMB-receiving Mobile Phone has been announced in Korea. DMB uses the DAB robust delivery system but broadcasts video rather than audio.

Aurora in Canada

Old friend Dave Rosenthal sent me this fantastic shot of the Aurora he made in Canada. They were taken on the Southern shore of Hudson Bay in extreme northern Manitoba in the vicinity of the tiny town of Churchill (59.75 degrees N, 94.1 degrees W). That elongated blob above the buildings is the totally eclipsed moon (2 minute exposure).
Dave was there with his wife on a photo shoot for Polar Bears. Great to hear from him again - we had some great laughs when he worked for Radio Netherlands Media Network (propagation features) and for the science show Research File. These are really great shots.

NORDLYS - Northern Lights is just a fantastic website - direct from Northern Norway. If you're interested in the Aurora, then this site keeps coming up with breathtaking stuff - put's the world's problems into a very different perspective.

Level of Geomagnetic Activity Today in Northern Norway Posted by Hello

Cinekid on Children's Documentaries

Just finished writing a report on Children's Documentaries for TV in Europe. It is based on a workshop I moderated for Cinekid on October 22nd. It looks like Scandinavia and The Netherlands have the most freedom to play with formats that will appeal to kids around 12 years old. Other countries seem to either frown on co-productions (e.g. UK) or the documenary genre is seen as totally unsuitable anymore (e.g. France). If you'd like a copy of the report, just get in touch with me. I think it has some useful guidelines for others. Posted by Hello

Delphi's MyFi for XM

Delphi's MyFi is the first personal satellite-radio receiver to offer a truly portable, I-pod-style for satellite radio. It only works in the US - because you need to sign up for XM's pay radio service. The MyFi lets you listen to all of XM's 130 digital stations anywhere you can see the not indoors without an antenna.. It will be available in December for a list price of US $350.

According to CNET, the MyFi has a programmable TiVo-like recording buffer that can store up to five hours of XM broadcasts. For example, set it to record a favorite radio programme overnight, and you can play it back on your commute without worrying about passing through tunnels or other reception blind spots. You also get some nice extras: chargers and stands for both your car and home, a cassette-tape adapter, an FM transmitter (to play broadcasts on any FM radio), headphones, a remote control, a belt clip, and a carrying case. Still not sold? The MyFi also displays sports scores and stock quotes, and in a pinch it can even be used as an alarm clock. But if the $350 list price is not enough, don't forget that you'll need to continue your $10-per-month XM subscription to make the MyFi more than a paperweight.

After years of luggable boomboxes, we're finally getting a truly portable satellite radio. The MyFi's small size and built-in recording feature have all the makings of a killer app for satellite radio--and the device is smaller and lighter than anything Sirius yet offers.
 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Selling Your Podcast

According to Engadget, a company called Inspired Broadcast Networks is installing music vending machines in a couple of subway stations in London that’ll let you download music to your cellphone or MP3 player. They’re going to charge £1 per track, with each kiosk having about two million songs to choose from, and they have plans to install more than 20,000 of them at pubs, stores, and gas stations around the UK.

So let’s see, custom CD kiosks never really took off, why should music download kiosks do any better? It will all depend how easy it is to find and QUICKLY download music into your portable device. It also will have to overcome all kinds of compatability problems that are popping up with codecs and DRM standards.

But if your podcast is good enough...would people pay a quid to listen to your show? May be sometime in the future....not just yet.

Inspired Broadcast has a very annoying website - try and play with the navigation...aaargh...get a new designer!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Maim That Tune - Detune your head

Get rid of that tune that has been buzzing in your brain since you downloaded it off the web. Of course, you replace it with something else! My cure is to sing it out loud in full voice and then it goes away. Nice site.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Leonids Back

November sees the annual return of the Leonids meteor shower. The actually number of meteors per hour is variable at present. However, we expect the rate will be around 10-15 'shooting stars' an hour, peaking Wednesday 17th. The crescent Moon around this time presents no problems as it will have set by the time the shower gets going. Always interesting to see what HF propagation does at this time.

More details here

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wi-Max Coming Soon to Seattle

Excellent briefing on Wimax in the San Jose Mercury. This is a long-range version of WiFi, is finally getting real deployment, with the Speakeasy company getting ready to test out WiMax Internet service before the end of the year in downtown Seattle. Unlike WiFi, big bucks are involved at roll-out time. They’re going to be charging roughly 460 Euro per month for a 3 Megabits per second wireless connection.

We already know how convenient it can be to sit down at the corner cafe and surf the Web over a wireless, high-speed Internet connection. Imagine if you kept that connection as you left the coffee house and jumped on a bus or hopped into the back seat of your carpool for the commute to the office.

The technology that promises to bring wireless high-speed connections to entire metropolitan areas is on the way. It's called WiMax and is backed by 140 companies -- from start-ups to chip giant Intel to telecommunications companies.

WiMax is a lot like WiFi, the short-range wireless technology that allows Web surfers to connect to the Internet at Starbucks and other so-called hot spots. But unlike WiFi's 150-foot range, WiMax has a reach of one to 10 miles, offering a way to bring the Internet to entire communities without having to invest billions of dollars to install phone or cable networks.

That presents new opportunities to deliver high-speed Internet access to small businesses, homes and even road warriors who remain out-of-reach of cable and DSL services. But it also raises the question of whether WiMax can deliver what it's promising at a level that makes economic sense for businesses who long to jump into the market.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Steps Forward. The brutal assasination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on November 2nd has triggered all kinds of discussions in the Netherlands. Most are very emotional. Dutch Muslims and Christians urged an end to a cycle of retaliatory vandalism of mosques and churches Tuesday as slain filmmaker Theo van Gogh was cremated, a week after his murder by a suspected Islamic radical Others are trying to take a few steps back and fit the relationships between Europe and the Arab World into a wider context. Last Friday I was part of a media discussion between journalists from the Arab World held in the Hague. There are several initatives going on in the UK, Germany to bring professionals together. If all goes well, one in the Netherlands will also take off shortly. There is a huge need for dialogue.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Beyond Blu-Ray

Pioneer has developed a technology that they say will allow them to create optical data storage devices that can store up to 500GB of data, 20 times that of soon-to-come Blu-ray technology. Ultraviolet lasers emit shorter wavelengths than those of blue lasers, so the data can be packed tighter on the optical disc. No one knows when Pioneer will have this technology ready to know, but I guess that it’s just a few years away - 2007?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Hidden Printer Gold At HP

Chris Shipley's DEMO Newsletter passes on a link on HP's website which has a great piece of free software for those often travelling with a laptop - but without a printer. You know the problem - you have a document you want to print, but not the right driver for the printer. Providing the document isn't too fancy, this Universal Printer Driver is a godsend. It is true - the driver is easy to set up and use, enabling effortless mobile printing from a conference room, a satellite office, or remotely from a home office. And it is free....