Friday, December 19, 2008

All your mail in one place

Did you know that Gmail is capable to integrate several mail accounts? Most of us have separate company and private mail addresses, and usually we need to check them at the same time. 
With gmail, you can reach every mail server via POP and SMTP. Apart from having all your mail in one place, you can also benefit from the great accessibility provided by Gmail, eg. the traditional webmail interface, mobile webmail for WAP browsers distributed with cellphones, IMAP and POP protocols for desktop and mobile mail clients, etc. You can even send mail from your integrated mail accounts via any of the above mentioned interfaces of Gmail.
For details, check out the Settings / Accounts tab

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The funniest iPhone app ever

It is the first application that I could not reject. While it definitely will not earn money for you or save your life, it is extra ordinary amusing, and delivers high quality every second of usage.
So what is it all about? This app turns your iPhone into a 4-wholed Ocarina. You just blow the air into the mic, and hold 1, 2, 3 or 4 fingers on the virtual wholes displayed on the screen. And that's not all! While you play, your location is determined, and the songs are streamed out to the Internet. Others might listen to your song and see where You played it... Incredible!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Android vs iPhone OS - vol 2

In my last post I was to say that the strongest argument for Android is the total integration with the user's Google Account. Whatever you save on your phone, either an appointment or a contact, is immediately synched with Google Calendar or Gmail. That is extraordinary useful. People may invite you for appointments, and you will promptly be notified. Should you enter an appointment on your handheld, those you authorized to see your Google Calendar will instatly see the new event...
Though not officially, but the same thing works for iPhone, too. There is a free webservice by nuevasync that takes your Google accounts and streams your data as a MS Exchange server does. And this kind of service is already supported by iPhone.
I must say that this feature is my favourite one...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Android vs iPhone

For those of You not yet purchased an iPhone, I recommend to think twice. Android is here, the first device running on it is just announced by T-mobile.

But how does it compare to iPhone? First of all, iPhone is a complete package of SW and HW, optimized for the best sinergy. Android is "just" an operating system that many HW supplier will apply. So the HW and SW are not bound together that tightly. On the other hand, Android provides total integration to the Google world, meaning the mail, calendar and contact data are the very same like on the web, they are kept in synchrone with the web servers. Though such functionality could easily be established on the iPhone, too, it is just not yet done.
So let's wait for the first test results...

Google Maps for Outdoors

Ever longed for Google Maps in your packet when far from home? 
Wish You could search for a suitable GPS tracklog published by someone else... In fact, these are all onhand since the latest (silent, as usual) upgrade to Google Maps for Mobile (GMM). Now you can display user contents with routes (so called lineStrings) and folder structures, as well. There are sites providing complete networks of hiking trails in kml format. Just search for the URL of the kml in GMM, and follow the line with your GPS-enabled cellular phone.
Pls note that all this is only available in v2.2.0, on J2ME platform, currently.

Give it a try here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The mobile geo-blogger, for iPhone

You might have seen a previous post on this blog, describing a work-flow, how to let Google maps show your photos and the pace they were taken. It is fun to have such a "geo-blog", it lets your readers follow your movements along with photos, all posted by You on the go.
That was just a few initial setup steps, while posting itself is practically not more than sending an email with a photo attached. In the message body you needed to either specify a place name like "Murau, Austria", or put down the exact coordinates using the geo microformat, eg: geo:lat=47.123 geo:lon=19.123. This is an universal method, you can use it from almost all cellphones able to handle emails.
Fortunately, there are some new deviced capable to geocode the pictures you take. This means that each picture gets and EXIF attribute containing the exact coordinates determined by the device. With such gadgets You needn't specify the location anymore, your picture already contains it. Just do not forget to attach the photo to your mail :)
Now, let's see how to set up such a geo-blog.
First, subscribe for a Flickr account at In your profile, enable the server import location info from the EXIF attribute of the photos. Also here, check out the email address that receives photos and puts them in your gallery.
And it is almost done! Send a test image to your gallery via email, and visit it on the web. Copy the geofeed URL, and use it as a search criteria in Google maps. Take the URL of the search results of Google maps: this is the link to your geo-blog!
Have fun, happy geo-blogging!
Ps.: in case of iPhone 3G, there is a known issue that the mail app cuts off the EXIF from the pics. Until it gets fixed, use indeed

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The incredible first Everesters

I have just found this photo in the gallery of National Geographic. Of course, it became my new background image immediately. It is so much motivating to look at the faces of these extraordinary people, standing on the snow at the base camp of Everest, back in 1924, wearing baize coats and weave trousers, with no doubt in their eyes, ready to try the ascent again and again, until they succeed... Sometimes I even say hello to them when they appear on my screen
Andrew Irvine, George Leigh Mallory - they story is widely known. But have you heard about Edward Felix Norton or Theodore Howard Somervell?
After two unsuccessful trials in 1921 and 1922, Charles Granville Bruce organized the third expedition, but finally he could not participate, since he got malaria while hunting for tigers in India. Norton took over the leadership, and together with Mallory, Irvine, Somervell, and some more great climbers they returned to the North-ridge of Everest.
From the summit camp, the first trial begun with Norton and Somervell, whose throat was so much ill that he could hardly breath. They made a traverse across the North-face and climbed along the Great Culoire - the recent name of which is Messner-culoire. At about 8500 meters over the sealevel, higher then anyone sofar, Somervell's throat allowed no more steps, he sat down to let Norton finish the job. Unfortunately, it was too dangerous to climb alone, so from approximately 8580 meters Norton decided to turn back. On the way down Somervell was so sick that he nearly lost control, but suddenly he could cough up the phlegm and suddenly he felt much better. If only it happened before leaving for the summit... Next day Mallory and Irvine set out, along the ridge, using Oxygen. After a couple of hours they disappeared, and it is still not calrified wether they managed to summit or not. Mallory's body was found in 1999, but not his camera
Anyway, the altitude Norton and Somervell achieved has not been reached for 29 years, and both of them returned home successfully, and lived a great life after the great adventure. From alpinistic point if view, the last 300 meters of elevation does not count too much, and considering that they climbed without oxygen, wearing very poor clothes, their performance is simply incredible

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The long-long silence...

After a couple of months of break, a new post is being posted!
So, what's up, what took so long?? Actually, the reason is WEB2.0, nothing else. I also happened to be touched by the new winds, and started creating my very first web applications, instead of publishing another articles around the scope of my interest. Before introducing these rather simple apps, I must confess that WEB2.0 is marvelous... No platform is more universal than the Internet itself. Any browser (running on any OS) that supports the latest WEB standard will handle the web applications seamlessly. OK, some plug-ins might be necessary to download, but the apps will take care of it as well. So, let's see the new stuff!
1. You are here
This is a mapplet, a private layer for Google maps, available under the My maps tab. Mapplets can be created and published by anyone. Typically, personal collection of geo-info is stored in a mapplet, like a hiking route, favorite places, etc. But mapplets are able to handle dynamic data, too. The "You are here" mapplet is one of these dynamic ones, showing your current location based on the available wifi signals. The calculation itself is performed by the Loki plug-in, get it at (pls note that Firefox3 is not yet supported, but is soon to come).
Should you have a break at a café in a foreign city - check out your location, and go on by discovering the nearby sights and other standard features of Google maps!
Get the mapplet here
2. People-finder
Now that we are able to handle the actual location of the user, why not go social with it? People-finder not only detects the location, but registers it on a server, and shows it to those You authorize to. All this is performed using the Google accounts and its settings, so You needn't register at another site or service. Log into People-finder with your gmail credentials, and check out the latest registered position of your friends, along with the info when they reported their location at last. You can share your position log by sharing your primary Google calendar.
Once logged in, you can start an instant conversation right from People-finder, or even a VoIP call! The map, the list and the calendar tabs are linked together - click an item in any of the frames, and the corresponding items in the other two frames are highlighted as well.
Yes, your position is stored in your calendar, currently. I am working on changing it for Yahoo's Fire eagle service. Find the application here

3. Alpine webcams and weather in 3D
It is an even smaller update here, I just added a couple of further peaks (Triglav and Everest) to the list, and applied the brand-new Google Earth plug-in. Hit the Earth button in the top right corner to switch to 3D immediately. Finally, there is a chat panel here to share your comments instantly with me, whenever I am logged in. The link is unchanged

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Map mashups on iPhone

Ever wished a GPS solution that handles dynamic and/or user-created contents, too? Apparently, iPhone is the gear. Yahoo has just published the new interface of Pipes, the xml manipulator optimized for iPhone. Y! Pipes is designed to organize xml sources (like news feeds, kml files, etc). Once the xml includes geographic info, You can switch to the Map application on iPhone to show and handle data as placemarks. The most appealing opportunity of this new feature - to me - is the ability to reach dynamic and/or user created contents to navigate to or from. Want to see the location of Your Google Calendar items on the map on your iPhone? Just put the RSS feed of your calendar into a Y! Pipe. Do you have your holiday plans in a kml file? Drop it into a pipe and go!
Hopfully the iPhone soon gets GPS support...