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August 21, 2008

Sometimes there just is no connection between calculators, politics, search tools, and prizes

ESPOO, Finland – Here at Nokia Conversations, Mike and James (evil guys) have pushed me to talk about the things we link to via delicious. Some folks I know call it ‘blog all open tabs’, meaning as you find interesting things online and open them in new tabs in the browser, at some point, just write about all the stuff.

Sometimes I can see a thread or a theme. Or else, I was specifically looking for certain topics or developing news or trends, and can make something coherent out of it. Alas, as you can guess, today is a bit more disconnected, but no less thrilling. So read away, and let me know what you think of the topics below.

Calculate, away!

Back in June we (a bit prematurely) wrote about a new calculator app that would be eventually coming from Nokia Beta Labs. There was a lively discussion on our site and on other sites.

Well, it’s out and called the Enhanced Calculator for S60. Folks are all excited about it and I think the discussion around the calculator is sure to continue. Great!

Politics, away!

I’ve been following, with a bit of amusement, the twists and turns of the American presidential race. Politics aside, it’s also been interesting to see how mobile tools, like Twitter and Qik, have really been part of the reporting and communication, both by the reporters and the politicians themselves.

Debi Jones has a very good article on how social media has been shaping the way politics is discussed in the USA. She’ll be at the Republican National Convention, talking about social media tools and also using mobile tools to report from there. She’s also part of GOPUnconventional, a website that gives an independent view of the convention (and heavily using mobile publishing tools).

Wow. I think the openness of the convention organizers, and the transparency these mobile publishing tools afford, should make for an interesting convention.

Search, away!

OK, so this is not directly related to mobile or Nokia, but it’s a big trend I have been following and it’s not something to take lightly, so I thought I’d point it out briefly.

Google is the King of Search. But, it’s not the only game in town, as there are other companies that offer similar services – type in a word, get a list of links.

But that’s not enough. I’m starting to see services that are trying to get more out of the search results, make things more relevant to users, go beyond the bare linearity of a Google (or Yahoo! or MSN) search result (here’s a good overview of the Big Three’s efforts).

One of the more recent entries to make a flap is Cuil. Do a search and you get a lot of options that take you in diffferent, but relevant, directions, increasing the chance that you find something or stumble across something that you were looking for.

Another one is Oamos [via Loïc Le Meur]. Put in a search term and a dynamic visual and moving montage of results help you find videos and images related to your search term. Quite interesting.

I see this as a hot area in the next year as folks try to take finding and navigating, through the rising numbers of the data and info streams, to the next level. And on the mobile side, tricks we learn on the big screen could convert to better and more relevant search and find from a mobile device, where, usually, there are time-space-bandwidth constraints on all sorts of information interfaces.

Away, away! No, really. It’s gone.

Dirk Snoyt, on Darla Mack, reports that for the first time in 4 years, Nokia did NOT win the European Imaging and Sound (EISA) Award for best Media Phone [via The Guru]. Ok, so they changed the category to Smart Phone (and the HTC Touch Diamond, won that). But, still. Have Nokia lost its touch (ooh, sorry, just noticed the unintended pun)? Has Nokia failed to produce any decent photo-snapping handset in the past year?

We’re still trying to sort this one out. I need to interview the N82, who is sitting dejected and crying outside the gala dinner. I think she feels jilted and forgotten, after showing the world her beauty and abilities.

What do you think? Was the N82 forgotten, or is it already too old to be considered?

Image from the Dornoch Highland Gathering, 2007, by foxypar4. Felt Olympic to me.