Nokia Location Tagger Beta

An interesting new beta app from Nokia, the Location Tagger uses GPS to add in your precise location to the EXIF data of photos you take on your phone. I’ve tested this out on the N95, and it does work, although within the limitations of the GPS in general (i.e. it can be rather slow to find your position, and it’s not likely to work inside). Nokia are suggesting they will in time add this functionality to their general camera software. The initial suggestion seemed to be that it would add this info as geotags for Flickr, but that doesn’t seem to happen yet. Worth playing about with though, good little app.

How I doubled the traffic on my WordPress Blog

I’ve just checked the stats for this blog in my Google Analytics account, and lo and behold, over the past month the number of visitors to graemehunter.co.uk has doubled! This is the biggest jump I’ve ever seen, and it isn’t a one day leap either, a nice steady progression upwards.

I think the main reason has to be the redesign of the blog I did a month ago. The simple tactic was to keep my current Links posts on the front page, by using a WordPress theme that used asides (where a particular category is listed in a separate column in a smaller font). More links on a page, and also it looks more interesting. I have main content in the main column of the blog, then those links (which are posted automatically from my del.icio.us account each night, a summary of everything I’ve bookmarked for the day). Very satisfying to see such a result for a few changes.

How I broke Google Reader (and Bloglines too)

Quick answer: I imported too many feeds into Google Reader

Long answer: Well I found an old OPML file. I think it may have been something that combined a load of my old feeds with what Robert Scoble was reading at the time, so I suspect it was from 2005 or so. I then noticed a couple of others such files, so I thought it might be fun (note to reader: I have an interesting definition of fun on a personal level, please do not try to apply your own or indeed any dictionary definition of the word here) to put them all together, see what was going on, who was still blogging, if I was missing out on any good feeds.

To begin with, I didn’t want to mess up my reading list, so I thought I’d import them all into Bloglines. Approximately 1400 feeds later, Bloglines was not happy. It was taking an age to load, just didn’t seem to be coping. However I could export from it, so I assumed that Google Reader would be able to cope.

And it didn’t. Page errors all over, massive loading times, and something of a pain to undo too. What I found through trial and error was that it was still flaky with about 800 or 900 feeds, and then once you slipped under that number it was fine, just as good as if you only had a couple. So worth noting if you are an obsessive feed reader like myself that if you’re really stacking up the number you read, it may be worth a prune sometime.

Hair! (Age of Aquarius playing in background)

I’ve been letting my hair grow for about three months now. I normally get it cropped to a grade one every eight weeks or so, but I couldn’t be bothered over Christmas. It was really cold the first few weeks afterwards as well, so I decided to stick with it.

Getting your hair shaved to a grade one or two is kind of an anti-hair statement, showing you don’t want to deal with hair, have to comb it, style it, maintain it. You just want to wash it and rub a towel over it, and be done. I’m sort of getting used to having hair for a change now. The warmth for one.

Anyway, I raised the idea of keeping on growing it with mrsfb. The conversation went pretty much like this:

“I was thinking of letting it grow. What do you think?”
“You’ll look like a cunt”

I’m getting it shaved soon.

Spicebird 0.4 available for download

Spicebird is an open-source collaboration suite. Simply put, it is built on Mozilla’s Thunderbird code, and also includes calendars, instant messaging, notes, contacts, feed reading and an old-school news reader. It look nice, is well put-together thus far, has a lot of integration with Google applications such as gmail and calendar, and is shaping up nicely. It isn’t there yet, you can only use Jabber (including Google Talk) with it thus far, you can only import Google Calendars thus far, but I’m in the market for something that I can stealthily replace Lotus Notes with on Linux, and this has some potential.

I’ve tested Spicebird out quickly, it works on 64 bit Kubuntu without much complaint, it seems fairly intuitive, and definitely has a lot of potential. If I could have all my IM accounts in there (so MSN, AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC as well as what it does at the moment) I’d be interested. If it could do social networking like Flock does, I’d be very interested. If they could build Firefox into it, so all my desktop tabs mixed with my web tabs, I’d be incredibly interested. All these all possible, I just wish I could sit down for the next few weeks and write them myself (if only).

EDIT 2014 update: Spicebird is no more, but some of its ideas are availbable as plugins for Thunderbird, and Mozilla even now offers its own IM client, Instantbird.

Relaxation

I had my first session of reflexology last night. A friend is doing a course on it, and needed some volunteers to practice on. So we both stepped forwards to help out. Now, I’m not particularly a believer in any forms of alternative therapies, but if it achieved anything, I am massively relaxed now. Slept rather well for one. And also achieved an ultra state of relaxation afterwards, almost a chilled euphoria. We have five more sessions, and I’m looking forwards to them now, interested to see if they have any effect beyond relaxation, whether they work on the particular areas that the session focused on (particularly my back). Still not sold yet, but from the relaxation point of view, I’d recommend it highly.

Chugging into the week

Grinding day learning about and playing with my search engine at work. Starting to come together now. Also been trying out some new games and things on my mobile phone. Keeps me busy. Will play a bit of Phantasy Star Universe in a bit, seem to be getting the hang of the retail outlet I’m running there at the moment, each time I come back I have a little more money, which is nice.

Nokia Mosh – Share Applications and Media

I’ve been meaning to write about Nokia Mosh for a while. It is a place to share all forms of mobile media, from images and videos to themes and applications, for all of their current and recent phones (including of course the N95). You can upload and download anything on the service. There is also a social networking side to it, as you can build up a collection of your favourite apps, comment on them, and share them with friends.

It is of particular interest to anyone interested in new Symbian applications. You can search for new releases and versions, and see what is popular with other users. It is fairly open, anyone can upload what they like, but they do police it, through a combination of observation and complaints (it isn’t a huge service, and is still in beta). It is worth reading the comments on an application to see how other people have got on with it, and none of the content is assured by Nokia, so any installation is at the users own risk.

I’m going to work through some of the applications I find on there, and talk about them on here over the next few months. I’ve set up my own collection on Mosh if you want to see what I’ll be looking at. I’ll make no guarantees for any of them either yet, but have a look through them, and obviously if you use the service yourself, add me as a friend.

Welcome to flotsville, a MyMiniCity city

A little oddity this, flotsville. You don’t even sign up for it, you just enter where you want your city, and the name of it. Then as people visit it, it expands. A little like the Sims, obviously, except the only thing that promotes growth is vistors. Every visitor each day adds inhabitants and makes it grown. Have a look, have a go, and if you start your own city, let me know in the comments so I can come visit too.

Taking it easy

Nice lazy day today, we did have every intent of a long walk down by the river, and indeed did set off on it, but rain and an evil cold breeze beat us. So we accepted defeat and headed for a nearby pub instead. Not quite as bracing and healthy as we intended, but still, got us out of the house.

Other than that we’ve chilled out, I’ve done some behind the scenes work on a couple of my blogs, and I’ll probably do a bit more. Also watched the third episode of the Sopranos, which is just fantastic. So glad I’ve bought the first series, I think we’re going to steadily work our way through the whole show this year. Fantastic thing to have in stock to watch when there isn’t anything on telly (such as tonight, which is utterly dreadful).