I, For One, Welcome Our GPS-Enabled Overlords

I bit the bullet and got the Foretrex 201 - it's the smallest thing I could find with a serial port, has a very nice UI (a lot of people ought to look at embedded UIs for inspiration - it's amazing what you can do with six buttons) and lets me review tracks on a time basis.

Using a Bluetooth GPS would have forced me to carry around a PDA (which I'm not too keen on) or a Series 60 phone (which will probably have AGPS in a couple of years), and this way is just simpler - less (and more durable) junk to carry around.

Ease of use and reliability were a prime factor in my decision - I don't care much for GPS-driven maps when walking, since they tend to dumb down your sense of orientation (although the purchase of a TomTom Go is still in the cards for road trips and city traffic), and I wanted something that was both absurdly tiny and that could work on its own.

Yeah, yeah, I know all about how mobile data will revolutionize GPS navigation - and even if hooking up a Bluetooth GPS to MGMaps sounds very appealing, I wanted something that did not require fiddling with the device, the Bluetooth connection and the phone/PDA.

That may sound strange coming from a gadget-driven person like myself (maybe I'm turning into a Luddite), but this way I just switch the thing on, pick up my camera, and shoot away.

Then when I get back, I'll review the stored waypoints (or the track info, which looks precise enough) and manually tag the photos of interest.

Sometime in the future I'll be figuring out how to automatically geotag photos from the Garmin track data, but doing it manually for a while ensures I actually learn something in the process.

(And yes, I did my homework and have been investigating GPSPhotoLinker and a few other Mac OS X/Linux GPS applications for a couple of months now...)

But enough already. Here's some news:

  • If you're Portuguese (or are visiting and know the language), no-prato.com is in the process of being revamped into a Wordpress site (yeah, that's still my silverware on top - Bruno was kind enough to keep it around). Restaurant reviews will, of course, be complete with GPS coordinates (even if mine will be rather terse compared to the great and informative descriptions the rest of the gang puts out).
  • Birds imitating ringtones. Not the first time I've heard of this (and I once heard a chirp very much like the Nokia ringtone, back when phones didn't let you download tunes), but the prospect of the Crazy Frog going "wild" scares the willies out of me.
  • And since we're talking about imitation, Optimus has launched their Quick Talkie (PoC) service, atop a rather limited set of devices. Guess the good names were taken. Full disclosure: I work for Vodafone (here's the usual Disclaimer).
  • Phoney Economics - an interesting representation of how the revenue model may change for telcos.
  • Windows Vista - I actually like the name, even if the last beta screenshots doing the rounds are rather gratuitous in their use of transparency.
  • A minor update on the iBook and Mac mini rumors of a couple of days back.
  • If you've already read the Wil Shipley interview, then go back, scroll to the bottom, and download "The Art of Delicious Library" PDF. Good interface design takes time - and lots of prototyping.