Location aware, voice recognition search? That’s Googlewang!

I was impressed with Locly when shown it by a friend, but Google has really blown that out the water with this.

[via Buzzmachine]

I always nodded when people said to me that mobile was the next step for the web. I understood what they meant in theory, but I have now shifted up a gear after seeing this. It is, in many ways, a completely different dimension for data to exist in.

It has got me thinking about how news might fit into this new environment. My instant thought – although perhaps not useful as a product to make money – is that stories can now exist not just in a moment of time, but also in a defined space.

One way (or indeed my madcap way) to get to grips with the concept is to visualise stories as hanging from threads that touch you as you walk by them. Why that might be useful – apart for getting some background research on the local area you’re walking through – I’m not sure. It’s an interesting thought though that stories could now be ranked on “proximity to current location”, as well as by most recent.

Mobile phone woe

I ran out of time to post anything more from my time in Preston, but I doubt it will be the last time I refer to it as it has had quite an impact. At the moment I think I’m suffering from brain burn. I can’t remember the last time I used the old grey matter so intensely for so long.

One thing that came out is that I am in serious need of upgrading my mobile package. Playing with the Nokia N95 made me realise I need to find out how mobile Internet is working and how that might effect people who use The Post website (and how I might do my job as a journalist).

I don’t get a work mobile and my current personal mobile is talk and text only. I will have to change it but the thing is, I’m on a really good tariff. I signed up to it with BT Genie back in the day when I was a student and BT was experimenting with selling online. Because I never moved O2 keeps me on it to stop me going elsewhere.

It includes:

  • £10 a month contract
  • 50 free off-peak minutes every day (1400 a month).
  • unlimited free texts a month

Good, huh? If I try not to use it for work calls during the day too much then it’s a very good package. So, relunctant to lose the contract I phoned O2 today to see what they could offer me. I have two options.

Option 1: Internet bolt-on

  • 2MB a month for £3
  • 4MB a month for £5
  • Unlimited access for £25

Option 2: Change of package to Online 35:

  • £35 a month contract
  • 600 free mins a month
  • 1000 free texts a month
  • Unlimited internet access for £7.50 a month extra

I think it’s probably going to end up with me taking the bolt on, but boosting my outgoing on a mobile from at least £10 to at least £30 is still a pain in the arse. The other thing is that it would not allow we the handset upgrade. If I wanted an 8GB N95, for example, I would have the pleasure of paying £249.

So, is there a better contract out there?