Fishing Boats and Seagulls

November 3, 2008

Fishing Boats and Seagulls

I have spent the last few days away on holiday in a place called Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast.

Lovely place, however connectivity was seriously lacking. The place we were staying at had no internet which generally isn’t an issue for me as I have a 3G USB stick (or I use my phone as a tethered modem or using JoikuSpot as a wireless hotspot).

However despite the area being very trendy and popular could I get a mobile phone signal? No I could not! No signal from T-Mobile or Vodafone…

As a result I had no connectivity apart from when we travelled to an area with a mobile phone signal or at a place with wifi.

Now generally when I am on holiday lack of the internet is not a problem – hey I am on holiday – but even on holiday it can be useful to have net access for holiday stuff: finding out opening times for attractions, locations and pricing. Also useful for finding out the times of In The Night Garden. It was also weird just having four TV channels, my Freeview Tuner for my Mac couldn’t pick up any channels in the area.

However this time (though I try and avoid working on my holidays) I had a meeting to organise in London and was also blogging at the JISC online conference, so as well as slightly inconvenient on my holiday, was annoying from a work perspective.

It did make me think about those learners who don’t have easy access to the internet, and despite falling costs of both broadband and 3G it can still be sometimes impossible to get online as the area itself does not have broadband or 3G coverage. Rural and coastal areas are often places with minimal 3G coverage and broadband access. Using 3G at 7.2Mbps in the centre of London streaming video and browsing really fast makes you sometimes forget that in some areas this is an impossibility.

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Feeling and touching the Google G1

October 15, 2008

I have felt, touched and used the Google G1.

Here’s the proof…

First impressions? Well I am impressed.

The web browsing experience is very nice, same kind of touch interface as the iPhone, but with the addition of a scroll wheel which means you don’t need to use your finger unless you want to.

The keyboard is quite small, but looks quite usable and certainly more usable than the numeric keypad of phones like the Nokia N95.

The camera works as would be expected from a cameraphone, I did think that the quality could have been better, but the iPhone and N95 are just as “bad” so it’s not really a disadvanatage.

It was only a quick hands on, so didn’t have a chance to try other features or applications.

It will be in the shops in the UK on the 1st November, and for new customers will be free on £40 per month contracts, on cheaper contracts you will need to pay for the phone.

For existing customers (ie me) a different story depending on your contract, where you are in that contract and how much you pay per month.

It is different to the iPhone, but I am seriously considering getting one now.


Google phone to be on sale in UK in time for Christmas…

September 23, 2008

I did say in my previous post.

I wonder how long it will be before it comes to the UK.

Well according to the BBC it will be in the UK in time for Christmas on T-Mobile.

The T-Mobile G1 handset will be available in the UK in time for Christmas.

The first device to run the search giant’s operating system will feature a touch screen as well as a Qwerty keyboard.

It will be available for free on T-Mobile tariffs of over £40 a month and includes unlimited net browsing.

Other features include a three megapixel camera, a ‘one click’ contextual search and a browser that users can zoom in on by tapping the screen.

I think it has potential, but is it going to match the iPhone?

I don’t think it will have the buzz that the iPhone had. However the applications that the Google Phone could have and the way that they are installed on the phone means that it may have more potential as a learning device than the iPhone.Google phone to be on sale in UK in time for Christmas...


Sidekick Slide

October 25, 2007

The Register reports that T-Mobile is launching the Sidekick Side in the UK.

T-Mobile last night unveiled the Sidekick Slide, the first handset in the consumer-friendly email gadget range to appear since T-Mobile cut its ties with Sharp and signed up Motorola as a manufacturer.

Sidekicks (sometimes referred to as Blackberrys for kids) is a quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge phone aimed at the younger social end of the market.

Sidekick Slide

With a 2.5″ screen and a 1.3MP camera, it allows users to browse the web, send e-mail and use Yahoo Instant Messaging. It also comes with a slide-out qwerty keyboard for text entry.

If this is the sort of device that some of our learners are using, we need to ensure that they can access learning content via it. It  looks like an interesting device for mobile learning.

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