How do you get creative with your phonecam?

25 09 2005

Some of the suggestion is very good idea. I do admit that I do take quick photo of store schedule few times. It works good for me. Why not :)

How do you get creative with your phonecam?

Your mobile phone camera can be more than a fast way to send your kitty photos to Grandma Pearl. Like a lot of people, I use mine as a ubiquitous capture device, recording ephemeral information and visual documentation wherever and whenever it’s needed.

I’m mostly curious to hear how other folks are using their phonecams (open comments below), but I’ll get the ball rolling with a few ideas, old and new:

  • Remember where you parked – In a parking lot or garage, snap a photo of the section where you’ve parked. If you’re parked on the street in a strange neighborhood, grab a picture of an address, a landmark, or of the signs for the cross street.
  • “Wishlist” items you might want to buy later – If you’re out and about and happen to see a CD, book, or other consumable you might want to pick up later on, snap a photo of the item’s barcode. When you get home you can look the item up on Amazon or and find the best price, or just add it to your canonical online wishlist.
  • Show people where you’ve put things – If you’ve moved the mayonnaise jar with little Tyler’s college money or relocated the good scissors to your work bench, snap a photo and mail it to your housemates.
  • Document your fender bender – If you get hit by another car (and once you’re safely off the road), take a few fast photos of the damage as well as the other driver’s tag and operator’s license. 
  • Record the hours of a new store – New dry cleaner or Thai restaurant you want to try? Grab a photo of the hours.
  • Capture inspiring design – See a poster, interior, or typeface you particularly like? Grab a snapshot and use it for later inspiration, research, or as part of a mood board.
  • Hunt for houses and apartments – If you’re looking at potential apartments or a new house, get photos of the kitchen, the bedrooms—even the view from out of some windows.
  • Doublecheck your shopping selection – Can’t remember whether you were supposed to pick up 5 10-penny nails or 10 5-penny nails? Send a photo to the one who sent you on the errand, and have them approve your purchase by return call or IM. 
  • Document your haircut – Snap a few photos of a haircut that turned out well. Get the front, the sides, and the back, and make sure to note the name of the operator. Ask them to describe how to ask for this haircut again, and type it up wherever you’re storing the photo, online or otherwise.
  • Carry your To-do list – If you’re traveling particularly light one day and just have a couple things to remember while you’re out, jot the tasks, phone numbers, or what have you on a sheet of paper, photograph it, and you’re done.

Okay, that’s enough of my yakkin’. You tell me: what’s a cool use for recording or recalling stuff on the go with your phonecam? Appropriate links to Flickr-like sites are encouraged.

You can find full article: click here.

Grant W. Laird, Jr.

No cable, no luck

24 09 2005

Cable TelevisionLast Tuesday, Misty and I decided to cut off our Comcast extended cable to basic package which would save us about $40 dollars a month. I am not crazy about it but we felt it is necessary till we are in better shape.

Ever since, we are back to basic cable – I realized one of the most important pieces is 24 hours news service channel such as CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc. I tried to flick different channels on basic cable and there’s nothing except those local news channel and they aren’t even showing serious stuff going on with Hurricane Rita. We live in DFW, Texas area.

I realized that being Deaf has its own unique challenge because we cannot listen to radio for latest weather situation. On television, it doesn’t show anything till certain time like morning, noon, evening and late hours. It’s really sucks.

Sure, I do have hi-speed internet at home. It is not the same as 24-hours news on television. I tried to look up latest on and its not telling what’s new till there’s new article or even charts or videos.  What’s more, none of those videos have captioning.

I do subscribe emergency email network and I would get any latest emergency information to my email or my mobile. Again, since I subscribe to my zip code, it wouldn’t tell me what else is happening like Houston area.

Another example, CNN TV was showing all missing people (photo, name, age, location, etc.) which are nice however it doesn’t list anything like that on CNN website. It may be on elsewhere but I would have to look it up.

It is VERY hard to track what’s happening elsewhere like Houston or New Orleans situation especially pre and post activity. Carrying mobile like Sidekick or Blackberry wouldn’t help much at all. Deaf or Hard of Hearing people like us wouldn’t able to advantage of TV at shelter (if any) plus any other announcement thru their speaker.

As you can see, it is VERY hard on those people that hit the hardest from Hurricane Rita and Katrina. They probably have to depend on other hearing people or interpreter during those hard times. It is bad because they wouldn’t able to function independently.  For other people who escaped from disaster and stay at friend or relatives house has extra advantage especially if they have cable at their place.

I really think that all television (whether it is cable or not) should have its own “emergency & announcement” by state or federal level (FEMA) with closed captioning. If you are on road or at shelter, FEMA should able to provide real time announcement (text) to your mobile.

Emergency Email Network is not enough – they need to do a lot more than just weather announcement and few others thing.

Did it ever happen to you before? If so, how did you handle it without depending so much on hearing people or feeling so lost? Tell me about it.

Grant W. Laird, Jr.