A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views



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Entries with tag mobile .

Smartphone Solar Charging

Am thinking of running a workshop on small scale solar power.

Here is an example of a cheap set-up that will run your large smart phone (and charge a tablet)

This a Samsung Note phone to give you an idea of the size.

The panel is rate at 1amp were the 6000mAh pass through USB battery is rated at 2.1amp's

Thus the set-up will charge your phone as fast as if it was plugged into the wall, using the battery as a reserve of power to achieve this.

This is a light weight and cheap solution costing less than £40 a realy usefull travel and adventure tool.

Advice on new laptop and phone

If you use a Mac, buy a Mac, if you use a PC buy a PC, if you are undecided buy a PC as Macs are for the slave mentality – its a locked down, but functional, world in Mac land. For PC laptops I recommend thinkpads duel booting into Ubuntu. The use the Ubuntu side with liber office, Firefox, chrome etc. to do all your normal work, including all work on the web. Then only boot into the windows side for video editing and legacy programs, don’t surf the web on the windows side.

For phones, buy a relatively modern android smart phone, the are lots of them. The currently isn’t a good choice for data networks at the moment, Giffgaff used to be very good as you got unlimited data and could tether your phone, they have implemented tethering detection which makes them less useful. I still use giffgaff as its still a good deal as it runs on the reliable 02 network, up for suggestions for alternatives.


Solar vagabond - Smart Phone

This is a setup which will easily charge and run small electrical devices up to tablets in size. The panel Weighs only 0.8 lbs (0.36 kg) and fold to the size of a book.

List of equipment: http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Guide-10-Adventure-Kit/1:1/

UPDATE: this kit worked very well, now off to a desert island for a month to test it out with some new battery’s and bigger phone.

UPDATE2: it failed the test see this post for more info

Good sound recording with a mobile phone.

Comparing a mobile interview with an external mic and with mic built into the HTC phone

With mic, and with out mic (camera woman forgot to pug it in first time)

This is in a relatively low noise back ground, in a normal social space...

Using a good mobile phone with an external mic to shoot live video reports

Here are two short video pieces I did at the recent Occupylsx. Feel they work quite well, two crew, one on camera, one on mic and interview, then basic camera moves and VO/interview.

Shot and uploaded in an hour or so, I did a few more interviews but they were problematic for content and camerawork, it was a on the job training with the person I was working with.

The Pressblock take Oxford Street #Oct20

The Pressblock take Oxford Street, blocked McDonald's, Starbucks and occupy Trafalgar sq during  #Oct20 Radical Journalist's putting there body’s on the line to bring wrong doers to account.

A satire - at many demo’s the are more people with cameras than demonstrates. Shot, edited and distributed from a mobile phone. Part of visionOntv's use the tool's in your pocket project. 

Using an Apple Phone for citizen journalism

iPhones have excellent cameras and pretty good internal mics so work well as basic CJ tool. But when you go beyond using it at a basic level you start to have problems. I highlight one of them here. It is much more complex to get an external mic into an iphone than other makes of phones, for Android, Blackberry and Nokia you can use a simple $5 adapter then plug any mic in to achieve professorial sound for interviews.

This is not so for iPhones, firstly each is different, thus a solution for one generation will not likely work for a different generation of iPhone. You might be able to use a normal cable to work on your iPhone, by matching the impedance of the mic and phone, try every mic you have, there is a chance one might work. Here is a current cable which should work with all iphones and most mics http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-2trs.htm as you can see it is considerably more expensive than the normal standard cables. 

So to sum up, iPhones are problematic for citizen journalism as they are very restricted in some obvious, and less obvious ways that have a tendencies to trip you up as you develop your skills. With this in mind If you are buying a new phone for CJ I would not recommend a Apple product. If you already have one and you won't to grow beyond basic CJ work then its time to get geeky and/or shell out some money.

Solar - recharging a smart phone

If you are buying a solar kit to charge a smart phone and small electronic devices, cameras, AA battery’s etc. I would recommend this one http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/132/Guide-10-Plus-Mobile-Kit/6:1/

A would not recommend any of the small hand held devices except for VERY light use.

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