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August 25, 2008

Living in the non-bank holiday zone – no end to surprises

ESPOO, Finland – Oy vey, it’s been a busy day here in Espoo. Add to that, JBC and Mike, on bank holiday in the UK, leaving me doing all the writing today, and I feel a bit pressured.

But, have no fear, there are some pleasant surprises in my rovings of late. So, I’ll keep things on an upbeat note. And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow there are things a bit more serious, I expect.

Try it, you’ll like it

Joel Spolsky is a well known software development guru. He was almost an Apple iPhone user, too. Yeah, he now uses a Nokia phone, a Nokia E71 to be precise. And he’s written his own review of the device. And, of course, I’m tooting our horn here.

The funny (or should I say, embarrassing) thing is how he talks about the stuff he didn’t like on the phone. In a back-handed way, he points out a device shortcoming and then shows how he overcame it, usually with an app he downloaded. Sure there are issues he found with the device. But, so what? His enthusiasm when overcoming these issues makes this a great review. He gets so much out of it and can add stuff to it (like that extra battery) that he seems quite content with the E71.

As he says, “In any case, it’s the best phone I’ve ever had and I’m loving it.”

Gives me that warm feeling inside. We have passionate users, too. (There, I said it.)

See it, say it.

I was listening to a Science Friday interview of the inventor Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil has invented many text-to-speech machines. One thing he mentioned in the interview was a text-to-speech app to put on camera phones. Quite different from the early ones he built that were immense expensive machines.

This is quite cool. Especially since Kurzweil developed it for the Nokia N82 (toot-toot). Did you know that there are already a few features on Nokia phones for those with sight disabilities, such as announcing the caller via speech and speech commands? Do you use any phone features for hearing or sight disabilities?*

Do it, show it.

What started as a lark, turned into a big thing. Matt (from Where the Hell is Matt?) took his goofy dance and desire to travel and parleyed it into the last best hope for Humanity. OK, so not _that_ great, but I just am transfixed by him, seeing all the places he’s danced and people he’s danced around. To me, it makes me think of how we are all related somehow.

And, the latest I found was him doing his thing, but this time, with tons of folks join him (and keep your eyes open at 02:37).

OK, so this doesn’t seem related to Nokia or mobiles. But, I think it teaches us something that we can apply to how we are as a company, interacting with the world and customers and enthusiasts. What Matt does here shows passion, creating together, and sharing the fun. And, if that’s not an indicator of the connectedness of humanity, then I don’t know what is.

I’ve embedded it below, but shoot on over to his channels to see his other videos.

*We did receive a comment about user-specified font sizes, say, to make fonts larger. But, I am not sure if or what Nokia phones do this. We’re looking into it. Sounds interesting.

Image from Randy son of Robert