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Archive for the ‘things to fring with’ Category

mind expanding with fring as a platform

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

If you read my previous post “Sandy’s fring fling” you might just get the hint that the fring / Sandy / Twitter / G-Talk application is quite mind expanding.

There is a tendency to think of microblogging services, like Twitter, and IM chat services, like G-Talk, as toys. Kid’s stuff.

This reminds me of the reception e-mail got when I was involved in implementing my first hundred seat plus Local Area Network (LAN) back in the long gone pre-web early 1980s. We told our customer that now his staff were all online, he could now use his new infrastructure investment to for e-mail as well. It came bundled free with the network operating system. His reply “E-mail is a solution in search of a problem.” I’m sure today our customer relies on e-mail as much as anyone.

IM and microblogging are growing up …fast. And fring provides a mobile phone deployment platform for the growing range of services, like Sandy, that themselves embrace Twitter, still the world’s most popular microblogging service and G-Talk, an IM platform built on open standards.

This is likely to be a dynamic and important new business technology space. fring is both an important third party enabler and an easy introduction path for those wanting to get their heads around this mind expanding new world.

Sandy’s fring fling

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007


“I want Sandy” is a great new Web 2.0 service that gives you a on-line personal assistant, Sandy.

Well thats the branding and it’s fun. What it really provides is an on-line reminder service that works by e-mail, web interface and Twitter. Sandy comes with a powerful near natural language text interface that can turn “remind me to ring bob tommorrow at 9 pm” into an e-mail or Twitter “tweet” that actually reminds you to call him. Sandy can also handle repeating reminders as well. Don’t forget your second cousin’s wedding anniversary ever again.

My brief description of Sandy’s capabilities doesn’t do it, or should I say, her, justice. The best advice is to try Sandy out and see. And there is a real fun factor in this application too. I hate it when you read software reviews that say “this application rocks!” But this one really does.

But wait there’s more!

Sandy speaks Twitter. Although the onsite instructions for marrying Sandy to Twitter still need some work, the whole process is not difficult. Sandy can tweet reminders to you and you can tweet Sandy (or “S” as she’s known in the Twitter-verse) with what you’ll need to be reminded on.

Twitter, the world’s most popular microblogging service, plays an important service multiplier role for Sandy. Sandy uses Twitter to provide an SMS text messaging interface from Sandy to the whole mobile phone world. Well not quite. It is the whole mobile phone world if you define the world as the United States. To date Sandy / Twitter phone support is limited to US carriers.

This is where fring comes to the rescue. Sandy’s Twitter interface can also provide IM (Instant Messaging) output to services like G-Talk. Google Talk. And G-Talk talks to fring.

So Sandy users outside the US, via fring, have access to Sandy’s Twitter mobile phone reminder service. Even US based Sandyites may find fringing Sandy cheaper depending on the fine print and pricing particulars of their cell phone contract.

And did I mention the Australian connection?

“I want Sandy” is definitely a homage to the much covered great 1965 pop classic “I want Candy”. It was released by “The Strangeloves”. The greatest fake Australian band of all time.

Thinking about fring and “Emergency Twitter”

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

fringsters will be aware that fring has been offering connectvity to twitter for some time.

The fring / Twitter service is easy to use, easy to set up and easy to turn on and off if and when you want to send and receive ‘tweets’. In short, it’s great!

What all fringsters may not be aware of is that there is growing interest in the use of twitter as an emergency communications service. A recent Wired headline sums up the new interest. “In Disasters, Everyone, Not Just Bloggers, Should Use Twitter“.

The following video from American disaster management specialist David Stephenson discusses some of the advanatges of using twitter as an emergency communications tool. YouTube Preview Image
The scenarios described above apply mainly to Twitter services delivered via SMS. The recent Southern California forest fires (see article here ) have attracted attention to the issue, and as an August 2006 interview by Robert Scoble with the Twitter development team showed (see here), Twitter definitely sees, at least, a secondary role for itself in disaster communications. With the Australian bush fire season now upon us this is an issue that could soon be relevant to many Australian readers.

The arguments in favour of the use of Twitter in emergency situations really revolve around the likelihood of voice cell phone network congestion. In a disaster impacted area, numerous users simultaneously attempt to make voice calls overwhelming capacity designed and optimised for ‘normal’ periods. The SMS service (”text messaging”) is less prone to debilitating congestion for two reasons. Firstly the SMS system is based on “store and forward” “half duplex” communications and, unlike voice conversations, does not need a two-way or “full duplex” circuit. (A “half duplex” link can be thought of as a “one way” service, i.e. one user at a time, where “full duplex” is two way, simultaneous communications.) Secondly SMS packets are transmitted in unused ’space’ on a GSM network’s control channel not the ’service’ channels that carry normal voice circuits.

Using fring enabled Twitter would share, at least, the first advantage with SMS enabled Twitter but not necessarily the second. That really depends on local arrangements made by cell phone network service providers. With those caveats in mind, fring could however under many circumstances provide a superior emergency communications channel than voice services which would be the first to be impacted by congestion. During ‘normal’ times however, outside of emergency situations, fring enabled Twitter is (again depending on your mobile service plan) likely to be cheaper and easier to turn on and off than SMS enabled Twitter. This would be especially so for Twitter users who ‘follow’ and receive a large number of incoming tweets.

Worth thinking about.

Who will be the first ‘fringME!’ fringster to be ‘Street View-ed?’

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Well as discussed the new fringME! widget allows fringsters with Symbian 9.1 or Symbian 9.2 operating system mobile phones to post a website link to their location via GoogleMaps. Now this raises an intriguing possibility. Have you heard of Google Street View? If you haven’t there is a fun video from Google about it here.

YouTube Preview Image

Now this has got me wondering. Who will be the first fringster using fringME! to have themselves and their location captured by Google street view? The always entertaining and informative Mashable site has a set of Google street view “gotchas” here.

I think there are good reasons to think an Australian fringster will be the first. As The Sydney Morning Herald Technology section reports today, Google’s Street View camera cars are on the streets of major Australian cities now.

fringME! on my Nokia E-51

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

You may have noticed a few fring announcements about our great new fringME! widget. The current version of the fringME! widget allows fringsters with smartphones operating under the Symbian 9.1 and 9.2 operating systems to post a HTML widget to their websites that enables site visitors to contact them via fring text chat services or to (optionally) view their current location via GoogleMaps.

Well a new addition to the Nokia E-series line, and a member of the Symbian 9.1 operating system family is the Nokia E-51. The E-51 sports some great features which include these (as described by the Symbian site):

  • Thin design loaded with features to help balance your business and leisure time
  • Access your email while on the go with support for most leading corporate and personal email applications
  • Browse the web and email with high speed 3G, HSDPA, or WLAN connection
  • Make lower cost voice calls over the internet with the built-in WLAN
  • Stay connected to the people and information you need with a long battery life and large internal memory

The following review, from episode 47 of the video podcast “The Smartphone Show” gives an overview of the product.

YouTube Preview Image

In addition to all these cool features, the Nokia E-51 is also the latest addition to the fring family. You can download the fring software to it and use it to fring your friends via your mobile phone carrier’s data network or via Wi-Fi! So happy fringing E-51 owners!

But, there’s more…

Just a word to Australian readers. If you check the Nokia Australia website you won’t find the E-51 listed. This doesn’t mean that unlisted Nokia models are unavailable in Australian stores. But you need to be careful with unlisted models. You may experience problems with warranties and product guarantees if the phone has not been officially released into the Australian market. I would recommend quizzing your retailer and double checking with Nokia before purhasing an unlisted model. Sometimes small retailers import them from other markets and Nokia does not recognise or provide warranty support for those handsets. I rang Nokia and received verbal advice that the Nokia E-51 would be officially released in Australia, even though as yet it is not listed on their website.

find me with fringME! – googleMaps meet fringME!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

In a recent blog post we mentioned that fring’s new fringME! widgets will allow fringsters with smartphones running under the Symbian 9.1 and Symbian 9.2 operating systems (…you can check your Symbian phone’s OS here) to use the new fringME! widget on their blogs, websites and HTML e-mail to initiate fring enabled text chat contact between their web site and mobile phone.

Well, that’s not all. As you can read here there has been some great news from fring on the geotagging / geolocation front.

For Symbian 9.1 and 9.2 GPS equipped phones, the fringME! widget can also be used to provide your phone’s current location via a GoogleMaps interface.

google map fringME! example

This is, of course, be an opt in service, so you won’t be providing your current location unless you want to. And you can turn it on or off from your handset’s fring controls. Privacy or transparency. It’s at your fingertips.

Until recently operating a GPS tracking system was both costly and complex, now thanks to fring and fringME!, for the supported phones, it’s fringing easy.

Keep coming back for more news from fring.

fringME! – text me with the new fring widget

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

fring is about to launch it’s own widget!

The fringME widgets will allows those fringsters lucky enough to have Symbian 9.1 and 9.2 operating system smartphones to link their on-line web ‘presence’ to their mobile cell phone. It’s an applet you can post to your web site or blog that allows your site visitors to contact you via fring’s chat capabilities. (Depending on your e-mail setup, it may even be possible to use fringME widgets as part of your signature block, at least in some HTML based e-mail systems.)

Two versions of the fringME widget will soon be released.
fring web widget images

The other version looks like this…

another example of a fring widgetFor those fringsters who don’t commit their smartphone technical specifications to memory (…what!! you don’t?) , and who aren’t sure what Symbian OS drives their handset, you can always check out the useful ready reference guide provided by the Symbian team here.

And remember, this is just the first generation of fringME widgets, extra capabilities and services will become available through the fringME widgets in the future. So stay tuned for more fring …and fringME… news.

STOP PRESS! UPDATE!

The fringME! widget has now been released. For more information please check out Alon’s fring blog post here.

You want fringing t-shirts!?!?!?!

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

So you want to strut around in a freshly squeezed fring t-shirt or fring sweatshirt or fring boxer shorts?

Then head over to our Cafepress fring store and order your fringy apparael today!

http://www.cafepress.com/fring

fring for your new Sony Ericsson P1i!

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Sony Ericsson P1i

The rumours are true… fring works on your new Sony Ericsson P1i!There are 2 ways to see for yourself:

  1. Go to www.fring.com, click on ‘download’, select Sony Ericsson P1i and we’ll send you an SMS so you can start fringing in less than a minute!
  2. Check some pictures and screenshots (Omri, fliker here).

fring on the P1i works like on all other Nokia and Windows Mobile supported devices…. So you can see who’se available before talking and chatting with your fring, Skype, MSN, ICQ, twitter and GoogleTalk buddies, and also save money calling regular phone lines using SkypeOut or hundreds of SIP providers.

fring on!!!

3’s mobile data charges drop to rock bottom.

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Just when you thought 3’s mobile data pricing couldn’t get any better….. it does! :-)

3 Australia has just launched new mobile data plans ranging from AUS$29 for 1GB of data to AUS$99 for 5GB.

Australian IT has more details here

Now that’s a lot of fringing talk time.

New 3 pricing here 

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