Archive for October, 2010

Analytics and AdSense

I just put in my application for adsense – let’s see if it goes through and if I end up making any money. I did as recommended, ie: run the site for about 3 months before applying.

I also decided to switch on google analytics for wordpress. I’ll report back on how easy that is to use. Also, not quite sure how that compares to slimstat, a plugin for WordPress.

I am also starting to think that this neat layout might now start to be a bit boring, so I will need to look into a few more themes.

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 14:28

Categories: General Blog   Tags:

Mobile Data Roaming (in country)

If you are in your own country – or at least where you have a decent mobile internet connection and at a decent price – then here are 2 solutions which are really good.

Option GlobeSurfer. This company does some good routers that take your SIM card directly – rather than having to invest a mobile modem card. These are quite good – but also quite expensive. Plus you cannot use your SIM card whilst it is plugged in.

JoikuSpot. This is a solution running on Nokia phones. The premium version gives you encrypted traffic. Works pretty well – until you try to connect an Android phone to the JoikuSpot network – at which point the JoikuSpot network cannot even be seen from the Nokia phone. This is related to Android not being able to see adhoc networks – one solution.

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:58

Categories: Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Mobile Hotspotting

A few weeks back, we stayed over in France. The guy renting the apartment to us did not want to provide us internet, so we were forced to look at other options. We did not really find the answer, but to help other people out, here’s some of the things we did.

McDonalds – was the nearest free wi-fi and also air conditionned, so quite nice in the hot temperatures.

Orange PAYG – the lady who sold me 50EUR credit clearly did not know what she was doing, as she said it would only cost me 1 EUR per day. 5 hours later I had used up all the credit.

JoikuSpot – ok, I did have to give this up very quickly, as it was clear it was going to cost too much.

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:40

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Dictation Programs

I have been watching dictation software with a lot of interest since 2004. Apart from the obvious use of being able to be more efficient by creating sms/email whilst on the move, I thought another good use was for a friend who had RSI and was not able to type any more.

Anyhow, I have been quite disappointed so far with the results. I think the best one is Dragon Dictate, but to be honest their product definitions confuses me and I have never worked out which one I need…

Google Voice looks as though it might be good. However it only seems possible in the US, so no good really if you want to keep legal.

This weekend though I tried Vlingo on the Android app market. This really seems to have got it cracked – and I might finally have a safer answer to sending an sms as I run down the stairs to the next meeting!

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:33

Categories: Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Translation Services

I was watching BBC’s Click yesterday (second only to the Gadget Show). They were covering translation tools. Living in Finland is a really good test for these tools, as not many of them will support it. Anyhow they mentioned 2 companies: Jibbigo (unfortunately on iPhone and not covering Finnish) and ETCACO (does cover Finnish). ETCACO does 2 devices – both seem pretty good, but also pretty expensive: iPod like device and flagship device (with or without handheld scanner).

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:21

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Finland, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Skiing in Finland

Best place to see all the ski resorts in Finland: http://www.ski.fi/hiihtokeskukset

If you ski with a buddy and want to tour round Finland, the card is well worth getting.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:29

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Finland   Tags:

Pubs – Finland

🙂 it’s a well cited joke amongst my friends that anywhere I go, I usually try to find some good pubs. I’ve deliberately delayed adding this post until I had a few more in the pot. But here is my list for Finland (mainly Helsinki area):

Aussie Bar is a good place which gets very lively after 22h, especially at weekends. This was my local for a while when I was working in Finland during the week. Also does Sky for the football freaks.

Molly Malone’s in Helsinki and now in Vantaa. Molly’s is one of the best places I know to meet new people, enjoy live music or disco – plus there are the regular IESEAF quizzes.

O’Malleys at the base of Torni is superb for live Irish music – on a Tuesday if I remember correctly. Good view of Helsinki from Torni as well.

Teatteri on Esplanadi is a very chilled place. It’s good on a Thursday to listen to the music and sip your gin and tonic.

Crazy German bar that I cannot remember the name of, but near Esplanadi. A small bit of Munchen beer festival in Helsinki.

Kaarle. I need say no more – great place.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:21

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Finland, Mobile Living   Tags:

VOIP Calls – Part 2

So whilst looking at roaming sims, I thought I would also see if VOIP call technology or services had been updated. As well as the previous VOIP Call services I listed previously, I found 2 new ones (for me anyway): http://www.rebtel.com and http://www.jaxtr.com. Both work in roughly the same way (and there are other services that do the same thing too). Doing a quick browse it looked as though rebtel was the one that had been out longest – but it was a close contest. Of course both have iPhone and Android applications to simplify the process.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:07

Categories: Finland, Mobile Living   Tags:

Roaming SIM Cards

As I had lost my roaming SIM card, I decided to investigate roaming SIMs again.

Roaming SIMs are pretty cool things for the traveller: they allow you to accept calls for free in most of the countries you would travel to (usually around 60-75 countries).

There are some gotchas:

– validity. Some cards will lose their credit if you have not used them for XX days – or even worse you will lose your number

– connection charge. Some charge connection fees.

– incoming numbers. Some have weird codes, like Latvian numbers. For example onesimcard has a Latvian number so US callers would need to call that, or the toll-free US number (which you then pay 29c/min for them to call).

– phone constraints. Your phone needs to be SIM free and usually needs to support callback.

Other bonus things to look for:

– additional numbers. For example, US number (although I think this service should now really be for free).

Unfortunately data roaming still seems enormously expensive – so probably not an option (yet).

The cards I looked into were:

http://www.0044.co.uk/, http://www.globalsimcard.co.uk, http://www.onesimcard.com/, http://localanywhere.truphone.com/ (replaced sim4travel), http://www.travelsim.co.uk/

This site was pretty helpful (but the links are not intuitive): http://geosim.roamingsims.com/

Anyhow long story short, if I was living in the US, I might choose: http://www.onesimcard.com/, (free air miles – but watch the connection charges). But I am living in Europe and this one – which is the one I had before – is the one that appeals to me: http://www.travelsim.co.uk/. It’s primary number is a UK one (so my family can call me cheaply), but – when in the US – you can get a US number (cost 29c/min to forward on). The customer service is pretty good – I do most of my questions by email and usually get a reply within the hour. The only drawback is their fair usage policy where you need to be making as many calls as you are receiving – although I have not run into that barrier yet.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 17:53

Categories: Mobile Living   Tags:

GPS Watches and googlemaps

We spent our vacation in France. The great thing about France are the big specialist shops over there – especially Decathlon. Whilst there I bought: Keymaze Kalenji 700. This fabulous watch (mainly functional, not beautiful) allows you to define a route in googlemaps via the client and then upload that to the watch – which will then tell you when to turn right, left, etc. The battery is rechargeable when plugged in & when recharged will run for 8 hours on GPS function. I’ve already used it a few times and it is great.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 16:21

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags: