Movember: sponsor my mo and help us untaboo prostate cancer

Willi Chevalier, Mo Freestyler
Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health issues.

Please sponsor my mo and check back here for updates and photos!

If you are in Australia you can claim your donation as a tax deduction.

Also check out the Google Maps geo-mo mashup.

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I’ve just finished Neal Stephenson’s latest epic novel “Anathem”. It might be described as a philosophical techno-adventure comedy with aliens. Highly recommended. Here’s the widget of the book of Stephenson’s exceptional mind…

It’s fascinating to trace one of the founding ideas of Anathem back to some sketches that Stepehenson made for the Long Now Clock in 01999. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take Stephenson too long to follow up with a prequel or sequel or paraquel.

p.s. Hidden in the widget above is a link to the full text of Cryptonomicon, essential techno-adventure comedy for anyone involved in a technology start-up.

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Xumii @ DEMOfall


We’re going to DEMOfall ’08, how exciting! Stand 61.

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Nangqian Tibetan Foundation

Nangqian Tibetan Foundation is a charitable organisation that I’ve been involved in for a while, aiming to improve upon the poor health and illiteracy of Tibetans living in a remote, mountainous region on the Tibetan Plateau.

*Update*: some new pictures have arrived from Nangqian, showing the construction work that has begun on their new school building, thanks to the generous support of the Lonely Planet Foundation and Architects Without Frontiers, and the tireless efforts of Fiona Allison. Donations can be made by clicking on the Paypal button below.

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World of Spectrum

Recently I was contacted by Gerard Sweeney over at World of Spectrum, the consummate digital museum of all things related to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Gerard was asking if the details on the WoS database about MegaFruit were accurate, including the adverts scanned from Computer & Video Games magazines of 1984 (the year, not the novel).

Such diligence beyond the norm deserves a mention, so @WoS big respect for keeping the ZX torch alight.

While we’re on the topic, here’s Facebook Megafruit and Bebo MegaFruit.

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so how did I get here?

Here’s a video interview recorded a few months ago with Sally and Steve from LaVolta, and brought to you by Viocorp.

If I look younger, it’s because it was pre-Xumii!

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Thanks to the wonderful MoFuse I have been able to launch two mobile websites while sitting in bed tonight; if you are one of the 1,000,000 people who bought a shiny new iPhone 3G over the weekend, and if you are still waiting in line.

Clicking on those links from your web browser will launch a handy emulator if you want to pretend that you have an iPhone 3G.

MoFuse also makes it easy to migrate your audience from web to mobile; here’s the SMS widget (US cellphones only) and QR code:

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Xumii Public Beta
Xumii J2ME client
Today Xumii moved out of stealth mode and into public beta, with integration to Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Google Chat, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and Flickr on over 100 different devices.

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Live video streaming from your mobile phone

qik is live video streaming from your mobile phone; perhaps the next killer mobile app? Certainly the data charges would be near fatal in Australia, at 3Mb per minute for a 320 x 240 x 15 fps stream.

Here’s looking forward to mobile data plans that encourage mobile user generated content rather than mobile user generated discontent, and here’s Jack & Luke streaming via N95:

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Xumii emerges from Under the Radar


Xumii is unveiled today at the Under the Radar conference in Mountain View. “Take all your contacts from your social networks with you — on your phone!”

Here’s Jennifer on stage:

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Xumii private beta launch


Today we launched Xumii in private beta.

Xumii is an open mobile social messaging platform. More soon..!

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On the cusp

Today I’m on the career cusp. After two fantastic years of looking after digital innovation at Lonely Planet, the time has come to move on to a new exciting challenge.

Here begins my uiActive journey. Stay tuned…

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3G iPhone mod: upgrade your iPhone to 3G speed

When Applie released its iPhone last year as a 2.5G EDGE device, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering why it wasn’t 3G.

I thought it might have been a form factor issue. I imagined the product meeting where an Apple engineer cuddles his fast but chubby 3G iPhone prototype, but is beaten down into submission by the Apple designer stroking his sexy but slow 2.5G iPhone prototype.


Then Steve Jobs claimed that it was actually a battery life issue. That sounds more credible; Moore’s Law doesn’t apply to battery life.

So I have been patiently monitoring RSS, waiting for rumours of a 3G iPhone release, and playing with my brother-in-law’s 2.5G iPhone in the meantime, to fend off my appetite.

Last night however, an interim solution was identified, on the sidelines of Mobile Monday Sydney‘s great iPhone “Hope or Hype?” debate.

I feel compelled to share, so here goes the instructions on how to mod your iPhone to 3G speed:

  1. Put on your jacket. You’re going to need some extra pocket capacity.
  2. Install JoikuSpot Light on your Nokia N95 to create your very own Wi-Fi hot spot.
  3. Insert said N95 into said pocket.
  4. Switch iPhone to Wi-Fi connectivity.
  5. Wander around enjoying 3G data speeds on your iPhone.

Thank you Ben and Randal!

2G GPRS 0.025 Mb/s
2.5G EDGE 0.25 Mb/s
3G HSDPA 2.5 Mb/s
802.11b Wi-Fi 6.0 Mb/s
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The Human Race and Space/Time poverty

When I found out that the human race was speeding up, by around 10% over the past decade, I deliberately walked around slower that day.

A study carried out in the early 1990s demonstrated that pedestrians’ speed of walking provides a reliable measure of the pace of life in a city, and that people in fast-moving cities are less likely to help others and have higher rates of coronary heart disease.

Using identical methods to those employed in the previous work, the present day research teams discovered that the pace of life is now 10% faster than in the early 1990s. The biggest changes were found in the Far East, with the pace of life in Guangzhou (China) increasing by over 20%, and Singapore showing a 30% increase, resulting in it becoming the fastest moving city in the study. More here from Richard Wiseman.

I find that rate of evolutionary acceleration a bit unnerving. And here I am, sleepless in Sydney at 4am, waiting for baby to arrive and now wondering if there’s any geo dimension to all of this. So here goes:

  1. A Google spreadsheet of the data
  2. geo-coding from Geonames, imported into the spreadsheet using importXML
  3. a flickr photo of someone walking in each city, imported into the spreadsheet using importFeed via a Yahoo Pipe. The photos don’t look too releveant, maybe I need to clean my pipe.
  4. some Google Maps code generated from Pamela Fox’s Spreadsheet Map Wizard

Space/Time poverty: how fast do people walk, where?

Click on the markers or list to see how fast.

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