Monthly Archives: January 2008

Define Hands Free

As of Jan. 1, 2008, the State of California has a law on the books that one can only use an mobile phone while driving if it is hands free.
In all the articles released in the last week that I have read and the summaries of the new laws that went into effect on January 1st, no one defines what exactly hands free means, there is an assumption that one knows the legal definition of the phrase.
Does this law define hands free as you must have a “hands free” system that mounts your mobile phone on the dashboard and only works with voice commands? If so, I am screwed and will be illegal, as every time I check the website, they do not have any hands free car accessories for the N95 by this definition. Should I ask a European friend to order a Nokia n95 hands free car set up for me on their local Nokia website, I pay them back, and then they can ship it to me?
Does the law define hands free as a bluetooth ear/headset that allows one to answer calls with a minimum of touching one’s mobile? If so, then more problems, as I have yet to meet a bluetooth earset / headset that fits me and is comfortable. If I have a problem with small hands, also have a problem with small ears.
Does the law define hands free as using the Nokia wired headset / microphone set that comes in the box with the Nokia N95? I don’t think so. Some of the early literature I read about the new law last year said that wearing wired earbuds did not count and violated a law from years ago that one can’t where headphones while driving. Yet, other sources, such as the California Highway Patrol site’s FAQ page, suggest that the idea of the law is to keep both hands on the wheel and not to be distracted while driving.
Hello, Nokia USA, please start selling useful accessories on your website for mobile devices that you are selling in the US!
Hello, Nokia! Hello, how about having one website for accessories that is not country dependent?
Let’s be honest here… I am not really a talker on my mobile phone. I have a lovely lovely camera with GPS and an internet connection that on occasion rings much to my dismay. Given the amount of time I spend in my car, if the State of California wants me to be completely hands free with voice activation for tasks, then Nokia – make my Nseries phone’s camera voice activated and let me moblog with voice activation while driving safely.
Anyone who reads this website or watches my flickrstream or has been in the car with me knows that I love to take photos whilst driving and moblog them on the spot… ;o)

Nokia N95 versus the N82 – Any Questions?

Irish Brothers - Nokia N95 Irish Brothers - Nokia N82
Photos of the Irish Brothers taken on Thurs., Dec. 27, 2007 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, Calif.

The true test of any camera is shooting movement indoors at night in low light situations with no flash. The ultra true test of any camera is shooting a band at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, Calif, as there are no windows, the interior lights are low, the walls are all painted dark red, and there is no stage lighting whatsoever unless the band brings their own. Shooting live band photos at Alex’s is a huge challenge without a pro-sumer SLR camera with external clip-on flash, but extra flash is a no-no in rock photography as it distracts the band, and at many concert venues will get one kicked out of the photo pit for using a flash.
Any good music photographer worth their salt learns how to push one’s camera to shoot in any nightclub or concert venue situation without a flash early in their career. I learned how at age 15 with 400 iso film and setting my f-stops and shutter speed for low light but fast movement. With the advent of digital photography in the late 1990s, this became a challenge as most early digital cameras were point & shoot for daylight at best.
One of the fun & challenging parts of mobile photography with my various Nokia camera phones has been concert photography. To see how I can capture a photo with a camera that was never designed for low light / fast movement situations. Two of my favorite concert photos I have taken in 24 years of shooting shows were two photos I took with my Nokia 7610 – one of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness and one of Mike from the Riverboat Gamblers. The fact that the little kickin’ 7610 could get those photos… rock on! Rock on!
The big disappointment of the Nokia N80 and Nokia N95 is the delay between pressing the shutter button and … and… and… and.. and.. focusing… and… and.. and… photo taken. Many times this can take up to 15-30 seconds, esp. in low light situations. How many times did I wish it would just trust me and snap, like the 7610. Stop over thinking, just do it.
The glories of the Nokia N82 is that it just takes the photo. Rarely is there a delay while it thinks, focuses, and snaps. In most situations, even at night with the flash off, it trusts that I know what I am doing and takes the photo without fuss. Without the big delay to focus and refocus and pick its nose and refocus again, like the N80 or N95 does, the N82 about 90% of the time will take the photo that you saw through the viewfinder at the time of pressing the shutter button. Yay!
In the above two photos (double click for the larger versions) I took the one on the left with my Nokia N95 with no flash and the one on the right with the trial N82 with no flash. The Irish Brothers kindly made my job easier by bringing in their own bluish halogen lights that that cast a strong upward light. In the above photos, the N95 was able to capture the two front men clearly and the background decently. The N82 blurred the Keith & Karl a bit, but captured David the drummer and the background with great clarity and lighter than the N95 did.
I also used the flash on both camera phones, of which I am not displaying the results as it was not conclusive in this case. The N95’s flash did not add much illumination or significant difference, as the dark red walls of the room and lack of light eat up any of the N95’s flash real fast. The N82’s powerful Xenon flash was actually too bright and gave both Keith and Karl glowing red eyes, as well as added some flash light bubbles to the photo. In this case it was better without the flash for both Nokia camera phones.
Using the Nokia N82 to take photos at night and at a show was a delight. This is a big step towards camera phone I have been dreaming of, except for the fact that the N82’s pre-installed Lifeblog is not interfacing with this MT4 powered blog when there is not good reason why it shouldn’t.
Up next in Ms. Jen’s review of the Nokia N82 – all the night and indoor photos that I have taken with the Nokia N82.

Cities Visited, 2007

Eoin Arrives at LAX Wild Youth Jessica and Ms. Jen @ Lunch Mom at Old Salem Steve Shakin' Tern! Kristin and Grandpa Sunday Supper Earl & George At the Fair Custom House Cranes At Bowling Mom, Me, and Ruth Blue St. Paul's

Upon reading Steve Johnson’s post today, My Year in Cities, I remembered to post my 2007 in Cities or places visited for fun or for business or both:
Huntington Beach, CA (lived)
Las Vegas, NV (2)
Austin, TX
Palm Desert, CA
Raleigh, NC
Durham, NC
Salem, NC
Denver, CO
Seal Beach, CA (live)
Carmel by the Sea, CA
San Francisco, CA (2)
Oakland, CA (2)
Los Angeles, CA (mulitple)
Sequoia, CA
Fresno, CA
Yosemite, CA
Bishop, CA
Chicago, IL
San Jose, CA
Alameda, CA
Ojai, CA
London, UK (3)
Oxford, UK (3)
Brighton, UK
Dublin, IE
Omagh, NoIE, UK
Letterkenny, IE
Cantebury, UK
Chicester, UK
Salisbury, UK
Swindon, UK
Long Beach, CA (multiple)
I will not make caveats or explanation, if curious puruse the photos and text on this blog or flickr for the last year.

Tidbits :: Wed. Jan. 2, 2008

Ben Brown on why he quit Facebook: “I don’t want the Internet to be the bastard child of basic cable and
Walmart. I want the Internet to be something better, where control of
the media really is democratized and where I can truly find content and
services that are crafted with me and people like me in mind.”  (Ms. Jen says – Preach it, brother!)

Happy New Year!

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95 while on a walk today with the dogs.

The true glories of winter in SoCal is the mild weather, which roses and gardenias love. As I was walking the dogs this afternoon, I spotted this rose next to the sidewalk on 10th St. in Seal Beach. It was similar to a Double Delight rose, but with an apricot yellow rather than cream colored interior. Gorgeous. I was so taken by its beauty that I forgot to sniff to see if it smelled like a Double Delight. Must walk back tomorrow.
The New Year’s Resolution Part of the Blog Post:
I received an email from Mrs. Kennedy the other day letting NaBloPoMo 2007 participants know that various folks decided to take NaBloMoPo even farther and start Blog365. When I read the rules, I signed up.

– Blog everyday for 365 days.
– Feb.29th is a Free Day and will be the Blog365 day of rest!
(Thanks Leap Year)
– You do not HAVE to post to the same blog as long as you post everyday.
– No internet? Write your post locally and post it once you are back on the grid.
– Computer Broken? Grab some paper and do some old school blogging.
– A post is a post, not everything has to be in writing. Photos, YouTube videos, and the like are all considered content.
– Have fun, because that’s the whole point!

So, I signed up. This I can do, as I do post either photos or text to some spot on the ‘net everyday anywhoo and if I don’t I do write in one of my two notebook / sketchpads. What I will set as a goal for myself is to post to this blog everyday in 2008, be it a photo or text or both. Wish me luck.
Happy New Year!