Google in my pocket during Bond Quantum of Solace (the Bolivian Desert)

Besides an absolutely killer Aston Martin opening chase and an even better dog-fight and parachute scene later, two things stuck in my mind from the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

First, James Bond driving hybrids. Ford got lots of hybrid vehicle product placement (listen for the electric motor during takeoff and stopping).

Second, the Bolivian desert. I didn’t know there was a desert in Bolivia. That ignorance induced the whip-phone-from-pocket reflex to load up some Bolivian geography (sociological pressure kept me from lighting a bright screen in a theater). It wasn’t the movie’s doing, but the ability to supplement one’s experience with personalized metadata is finally here. I’ll remember this when future grandkids ask when we finally started wearing computers.

The movie was good. Not as good as Casino Royale, but I’m liking this style of Bond more than any of the others.

For those stumbling upon this post looking for more on the Bolivian desert try these blogs, photos, and maps:

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Always Plugged in…

Other than last weekend, I’m almost always plugged in. I pride myself on this. I carry around two phones, both with ‘net access. One is for work, and the other for personal, but both are pulling in information, news, and texts.

So I shut down for last weekend. Took no calls, just Twittered a bit and stayed in tune with email web browsing. And finally checked personal voicemail on Monday. Holy hell! 14 voicemails… Seriously?

Well – after not taking calls for the first time in months, I wished I had. In those voicemails were messages from family letting me know of my aunt’s passing. Anna, who was my mom’s midwife. An amazing person.

Voicemail is not the way to hear this. That sucks. There’s something to be said about staying connected.

Written on an iPhone on a slow-moving train.

N82 for my broadcasts – iPhone 3G for everything else

I picked up the Nokia N82 yesterday from Import GSM, a great hybrid brick-and-mortage / online store. Think Dynamism for phones. It was my first visit, right at closing, and despite trying to get stuff out the door for the evening shipment the guys helped out with descriptions and subtle nuances between the N95 and N82 (special thanks to Eric – good guy).

Anyway, so why the heck would someone get a Nokia N82 when the iPhone 3G is getting released tomorrow? There are five reasons, one for each megapixel, and a lot of backup arguments. The iPhone 3G doesn’t hold a candle to the image sensor quality, flash, or lens quality.

This wasn’t meant to be an N82 vs. iPhone 3G post. They’re both the best mobile equipment one can get (imo).

The N82 is going to be my net enabled camera and broadcast machine. No more notebook + Canon SD-1000 combo!

The iPhone 3G is for everything else. I had the iPhone (1.0 / original / whatever). iPhones are the best for usability and communication. I gave it to my wife and she’s gone from check-email-and-browse-at-home to check-email-send-texts-and-monitor-weather-while-away. The wife-o-meter was pegged.

The Nokia’s OS, after 30 hours of tweaking, is finally usable for me. Very steep appreciation curve. I would only recommend such a phone to a power user needing the best tool for quality images… I can’t wait to start posting and qik’ing them.

Mobile phone GPS a security risk? Only to those who follow you

Steven Hodson, in a post over on Mashable, describes security risks and the waste of information that mobile phone GPS use brings (when pinpointing and announcing our locations). He poses some extremely valid points in regards to announcing one’s geolocation via Twitter, Brightkite, or FriendFeed being useless noise.

Telling people via a highly conversational medium such as instant messaging or an SMS text that you are currently at 13th St and Ash Lane is nothing more than noise. It’s a waste of precious conversation. To a few of your closer friends it may be relevant, such as a buddy that would meet you for coffee. But for the masses, it is unimportant and you’re guilty for wasting their time.

I’m guilty of this lately. I’ve been trying various mobile phone GPS services. It’s been fun and interesting, but I’m in agreement with Steven about this announcement being a waste (at least if it’s without background information). Steven doesn’t mention it, but my thought on optimal geolocation announcement is in a widget placed on one’s blog. It’s there for interested followers, but not intrusive or annoying.

But that’s where we agree. He describes broadcasting one’s geolocation as a security risk and I strongly disagree. Yes, there are some situations where it is. US soldiers in Iraq will not benefit from this feature. Folks in witness protection programs, runaways, victims of domestic violence, those being stalked, cheating spouses, and those in organized crime probably won’t either.

The typical citizen without conflict is not at risk. It’s easy to figure out when someone is normally at work, so knowing an optimal time to break in to someone’s home is already simple. It’s easy to find a person in a public place, so it’s already easy to find the optimal time to commit physical harm.

Note: If one is being stalked or believes him or herself to be in a situation where announcing location is dangerous, it’s simple to turn the feature off.

As I’ve said before, people are inherently good. They don’t go around looking for someone to damage or rob. There are some people who commit these crimes. These people use crow-bars instead of Facebook, and are stopped by alarm systems and deadbolts rather than a lack of geolocation data.

More ideas on mobile GPS mashups

Artist's concept of the GPS satellite constellation
Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

Just a couple ideas on GPS, tied to proximity of a mobile phone…

  • Proximity based ads (walk by Banana Republic and get a coupon via SMS)
  • Location based music ( channels playing artists from your location)
  • Mobile OnStar

Think of your favorite services on the net and add a GPS component… It probably enhances it.