Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Nokia's Lifeblog

Old post recovered from 2004.

Nokia's «Lifeblogging» software. Jeff Jarvis reports on Neil McIntosh's fascinating
glimpse of a Nokia blogging application. []

I'm really thinking these guys at Nokia get it. Their move into the digital photography space has not gotten much attention but the are doing some very interesting things. Chrisitan Lindholm who is leading this LifeBlogging effort was one of the key people behind Nokia's NaviKey interface (Check out his book on Mobile Usability). They currently have among the best camera phones (may not be the most mega pixels but it takes good pictures) and I keep on thinking about two things: the first is a real camera with wireless (cell and wifi) built in and the second is a more special purpose camera for surveillance/security/monitoring that can hop on the cell network and start transmitting (I could use one of these tomorrow for my vacation home). Nokia has many of the core building blocks to make this happen.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Verizon GetPix

Verizon GetPix secret discovered! Still waiting on KMobile......
OK, I figured out the GetPix upload secret - it was burried in a send menu that you would never go to unless you were searching your address book. >>>>> problem solved - it appears the U on my new AudioVox phone looks an awful lot like a V. I do feel a little foolish but I can't imagine I'm the only one who will make this mistake. I suggested to the Ofoto guys that they set up an alias for

Verizon Picture Services Frustration!

Wow, if companies like Verizon Wireless really think they are ever going to make any money off of enhanced services stimulated by picture phones, they had better make some serious investments/improvements in their online photo services and get some phones that can actually take a usable picture!

I once again gave in to temptation and upgraded to a camera phone from Verizon Wireless. I was able to get on a new rate plan to reduce my monthly bill plus get free in network calling which is a big bonus for me plus the phones were on sale. Some of you might remember my experience last year with the LG6000 which I returned mostly because it was digital only, but the image quality was also very poor. I need tri-mode since I spend a lot of time in northern New England. So my answer came in the form of an AudioVox CDMA 8900 camera phone. Big color screen, speaker phone, VGA camera, perfect! Well, not quite. Once again, the picture quality is poor, poor, poor....... what more can I say (politely). The camera is useless in low light situations - 100% useless. We were at a restaurant last night with indirect lighting and you couldn't even tell that there were people in the picture. See below for an outdoor scenery shot. OK, it is a 1/4 inch diameter hole in the phone with a lens, it is not my Nikon. But I expect something better than this!

My bigger disappointment is with Verizon's so called picture services. They have a site called Pix Place which you get at part of your GetPix monthly fee with 1 Mb of Storage. I have now had the phone for five days and I can still not figure out how to get the pictures from my phone up to PixPlace!!!!! After playing with every menu on the phone for hours I broke down and have read and re-read the documentation, the help on the web site - I talked to Customer Service who was answering me from some generic script and then I emailed support and they emailed me a copy of the exact same script the Customer Service Rep. had read to me! I have yet to get a picture from my phone to PixPlace.

I had seen an announcement recently that Kodak and Verizon has partnered to provide mobile imaging services to Verizon Wireless Customers so I looked up the press release on Yahoo and clicked to The instructions seemed logical. Activate your camera phone number with KMobile and then send them as email to, since you registered your number and it is in the "from" line of the message, they will automatically route the images to a My Mobile Photos folder in my KMobile Account that I can they used with Ofoto. Such a deal with a 90-day free trial. So, after going through all of the mechanics, I have sent several pictures to "save at kmobile" and they are nowhere to be found. After reading further - looks like I'm supposed to use a WAP browser to get to my Photo folder on Kodak Mobile. Well the only problem is I signed up for the $4.99/month GetPix service, not the $4.99/month mobile web option which would allow me to access my pictures! Still waiting from Kodak tech support to reply with some idea where my pictures are.

Give me a break - this is waaaaaaaay too hard and frustrating. At least when I used a Sprint Phone at Seybold last year, it was reasonably seamless to get the picture to a storage place on the web. The folks responsible for these products at Verizon need to "eat their own dog food" - because if they did, they would realize that they are dishing out heaps of frustration to their subscribers who are buying camera phones!

P.S. Both the Nokia 3650 and the Handspring Treo 600 have much better picture quality than what I have been experiencing with these Verizon phones.