Friday, February 29, 2008

Urbanista: Vienna

02-25-2008, originally uploaded by clickykbd.

I haven't had much of a chance to blog, lack of internet access. But I have been through Vienna, Berlin, Florence (substituted for Milan), and this morning I am off to Paris.

This photo was a relative highlight from Vienna, my first stop. On a subway platform watching a couple kiss and talk. Considering it is a camera phone I am relatively blown away by how I managed to time this one. A favorite so far.

More posts soon I hope.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Off I Go...

note: post delayed, in Vienna as I publish, was written before leaving.

My contribution to the Nokia Urbanista Diaries begins today! At 11:35pm CST on Feb. 21st I board a plane for Washington, and then on to Vienna, Austria, where I will be meeting up with Ms. Jen, the previous participant as she concludes her 2 weeks in India.

After that short stop in my beloved city with lovely cafes, it gets a little more hectic and fast paced! See my previously posted itinerary or just look at this map for where i'll be stopping off during my two weeks...

View Larger Map

You can follow me and view photos I produce over at (if your machine doesn't choke on their intensive FLASH) but I've particularly enjoyed watching Ms. Jen's photos scroll past in my news reader (Google Reader) after subscribing to her flickr stream.

Yup, of course you can do the same with me, but I thought I'd go a little further in the effort to make following along easy, and experiment with other "tracking" web-services. I've assembled a page that pulls in location plus data from all kinds of places (my feed) that I'll be posting media and text during this journey, and even means to reach me on the go. If you are a mobile geek or GIS/GPS geek be sure to check it out, as this is my first effort at such things. But, I mostly threw it together (indeed, one sitting and quite crude) for my closest friends to keep tabs on me and invariably harass me.

Following Clicky, The Definitive Guide

I'll be posting here when I get the chance... but that might be infrequent, so definitely use that cheat-sheet if you want constant updates. Are you stalking me? Do I know you? (Half Joke, Half Scary)

The Goa Airport Tarmac (by Ms. Jen)
The Goa Airport Tarmac
originally uploaded by Ms. Jen

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is a dollar worth?

These days, the US Dollar isn't really worth that much. I am not even sure you can get most newspapers for under a dollar. My last trip to the laundry mat certainly didn't qualify. And I'll DEFINITELY notice it during the pending currency conversions to the Euro and the Pound.

But the difference of a dollar is another story entirely.

WOMWorld was trying to send me my 'Urbanista Kit' which included spare Nokia N82s, batteries, rapid-charger, keyboard, SIMS, and other goodies for the upcoming trip. I got a call day before yesterday from FedEx Trade Network that it was stuck in US Customs due to missing paperwork. With two days before my departure date there was quite a scramble to fax documents and make corrections.

One of those items of paperwork I was responsible for. This was a piece of red tape, providing my Tax ID or Social Security number, and only required when the total value of the international shipment is 2000.00 USD or greater.

Guess what value WOMWorld had declared my package. 2000.00 dollars exactly. Next time, when dealing with governments and bureaucracy... don't round up, UNROUND DOWN, 1999.00 and we would have been smooth sailing!

However, I'm happy to report the package did make it this morning, with 24 hours to spare. ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

chaos makes the world go round...

Fone frow 1, originally uploaded by birdlouise.

As demonstrated by Bird Louise with this camera toss photograph posted to our community gallery on flickr. Interestingly the distortion achieved with this simple interaction of the sensor and motion resembles the very popular digital transform manipulation referred to as micro planets, typically achieved with panoramic techniques and coordinate re-mappings. But seen here produced entirely in camera!

But boy is the sentiment accurate. Just under 3 days before my departure to Europe on the Nokia Urbanista Diaries project and today I was informed by FedEx that my necessary hardware gear (N82 model phones, SIMs, etc etc) being shipped from London is now stuck in US Customs due to paperwork errors. What else could go wrong? Well we have yet to reconcile the nature of a photo license agreement with Nokia for the project! Hmmm what else. Ohh the fact I don't own a credit card thusly no Hotel accommodations beyond the first city have been made. I suppose all the disorder is appropriate for someone who actively encourages people to embrace a little more chaos in their image and art-making. Irony can be a headache sometimes.

Wish me luck. Shortly I will be posting some tools beyond the interface Nokia provides for keeping up with me on the journey, now obviously destined to be brimming with chaotic forces.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

cool concepts: Aviary!

Web creative types listen up! Wouldn't it be cool if you could take all your favorite creative desktop applications and wrap one web community around them, track sources, attribute authors, create, and share!

Seems impossible... but that's just what the folks of are trying to do with their new effort, called Aviary []!

Currently they have a few tools, all written as web-served Adobe AIR/RIA applications, in private Beta. Primarily Pheonix, their brush-based image editing tool. But they also are dropping tantalizing teasers of their others tools on their tool blog, which uses range the gamut including font-creation, pattern generation, 3d-works, image fingerprinting, etc etc. A designer's dream suite, free... and on the web. These insane folks in New York have rolled in an impressive list of up and coming technology, not to mention embracing some ideals about content and rights management that are long overdue. More on that in the business blog.

This is hands down the most exciting and innovative web service startup I've seen since, well, since flickr. I've been playing with Pheonix for 4 days now, the tools still need some work but are by far the most powerful web-based version of such things I've seen. Worth1000 itself (A photo editing contest forum) is kinda fun, but I think Aviary is going to be paradigm shifting! Hold on tight.

The silly buzzword of "web3.0" might even be appropriate here. Bravo!

Not to mention, if there was an award for "best looking" (as in aesthetics)... Aviary takes the cake.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Urbanista Update: Ms. Jen's turn!

Quick update about the progress of the project with Nokia and WOMWorld beta testing the travel/creative related capabilities of the Nokia N82 phone/camera/platform.

Jenifer Hanen's 2 week leg of the journey (through India mostly) has just begun, taking over from Jay who is returning from Thailand.

My turn in two weeks, which starts by meeting Jen in Vienna.

For following Jen's adventures perhaps...

The Nseries Urbanista Interface/widgets
Jen's Flickr (where she's posting photos)
her Blog
her Twitter

It also looks like she's just set up her YouTube for trip videos.

View of Chennai From Hotel Room (by Ms. Jen)
View of Chennai From Hotel Room
originally uploaded by Ms. Jen

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Urbanista Update

An update on the travels of Urbanista Diaries particpant Jay:

He seems to be having a grand old time in Thailand... gonna be hard to compete with some his experiences in the uniqueness (and cuteness) categories. For example...

Jay rides an elephant!

And Jay plays with the baby tigers! Oh my god... cute.

UPDATE: Jay put video of the cubs up, and it's his longest video posted yet, can't blame him, hard to resist.

You can view his trip activities logged via GPS and photos/media over at Nseries or view this route and photo directly on SportsTracker.

My trip starts Feb. 23rd where I meet up with Ms. Jen and take over in Vienna, Austria.

PS, I had to move these snapshots to my Picassa web-albums because attempting to hot-link to the URL directly on SportsTracker is exceedingly painful (image delivery speeds are miserable).