Posts Tagged ‘data’

Uber Data Extractor

This is pretty cool: Uber Trip History Bookmarklet.

It allows you to get your complete Uber trip history, download it as a CSV file, and then run the Uber Data Visualiser. You get to learn quite a bit about your trips. I’ve attached a snapshot of mine, there’s more data and you should run it too!

Would be interesting to see this kind of history for Grab rides (and all the other various ride services out there).

Uber Data Visualizer

Backing up or taking out your data from Flickr with flickrdownloadr

I’ve been a Flickr Pro subscriber since 2005. I consume 75.36GB of storage, spread across 25,765 photos. I spent a lot of time on it since 2005, creating albums, joining groups, etc. I love the product and I’m paid up till 2018 and do not intend to stop subscribing to Flickr Pro. But I’m worried about Yahoo! and their future.

I read the Wired piece on how to get your photos off Flickr and thought it might be nice to have a backup of photos using their new Camera Roll feature. Simply put, I can get my data out but it involves me clicking “Select all” quite a lot. This is not a good solution naturally.

I found flickrdownloadr, a Mono app. It installed quickly on the Mac, it pulled in a whole bunch of Mono libraries, but after an initial login with Flickr, I would get an unhandled exception (you can’t tell from the GUI, it just crashes silently; I manually ran the app from /Applications/flickrdownloadr).

Unhandled Exception:
System.Net.WebException: Error: SendFailure (Error writing headers) ---> System.Net.WebException: Error writing headers ---> System.IO.IOException: The authentication or decryption has failed. ---> Mono.Security.Protocol.Tls.TlsException: The authentication or decryption has failed.
at Mono.Security.Protocol.Tls.RecordProtocol.ProcessAlert (AlertLevel alertLevel, AlertDescription alertDesc) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at Mono.Security.Protocol.Tls.RecordProtocol.InternalReceiveRecordCallback (IAsyncResult asyncResult) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at Mono.Security.Protocol.Tls.SslClientStream.EndNegotiateHandshake (IAsyncResult result) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at Mono.Security.Protocol.Tls.SslStreamBase.AsyncHandshakeCallback (IAsyncResult asyncResult) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.EndGetResponse (IAsyncResult asyncResult) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at FloydPink.Flickr.Downloadr.Logic.UpdateCheckLogic.UpdateAvailable (FloydPink.Flickr.Downloadr.Model.Preferences preferences) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at FloydPink.Flickr.Downloadr.Presentation.LoginPresenter.ApplyUser (FloydPink.Flickr.Downloadr.Model.User user) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at FloydPink.Flickr.Downloadr.Logic.LoginLogic+<CallApplyUser>c__async0.MoveNext () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0

It looked like the fix might have been related to this github issue and the best way to fix it was: mozroots --import --ask-remove. I did that. I tried mozroots --import --sync, especially after reading the Mono Security FAQ, but to no avail.

Turns out, the fix was cleaning out Flickr’s Sharing & Extending — there were accounts that had access for companies that had closed down (remember Qoop anyone?). But weirdly, there were two varying “flickr downloadr” authorisations (one had a version string attached to it).

Glad that was fixed but it seems like an app that would take a long time to actually get going. My next plan is to install this on a Linux box and sync it to an always on box. Presumably all this will “just work”, since Mono/GTK looks the same everywhere.

Its a shame that Flickr doesn’t provide an easy exit path. I mean I cancelled my Basecamp account not long ago, and it was not the refund bit that impressed me the most — it was the fact that I could take all my data out, and it would be a generated ZIP file that I could unzip and consume in my browser. Things just worked.

Here’s to Flickr’s long future. And I guess, Yahoo!’s…

Mobiles & crowdsourced weather measurement

pressureNETI shared this from The Economist quite some time back: Counting raindrops. Here is an example of folk using mobile phone networks themselves for weather forecasting. 

Today I stumbled upon Cumulonimbus. They have an Android application called pressureNET, which makes use of the barometer in some Android phones. This is user-contributed atmospheric pressure readings, embedded on a Google map. It is available to view at

It seems many devices have a barometer as well. Samsung leads the pack with the Galaxy S3, S4, Note, Note II, Galaxy Nexus. It also comes with the Nexus 4 & Nexus 10.

Roaming data

My last few weeks have been spent in China, Korea and Japan. I’ve been roaming with my cellphone, with my data connection turned off. The question is for how long?

It’s interesting to note that in both China and Korea, you can roam, with unlimited data for about RM36/day (USD$12). This is common in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and several other countries that have roaming agreements.

I landed in Korea and the first thing I heard? The familiar sound of Whatsapp. I’m sitting here now in Haneda, and it’s again the familiar sound of Whatsapp.

The way I see it, roaming data is becoming more affordable. It can only get cheaper.

Why is this big? The way Blackberry Messenger (BBM) has disrupted SMS amongst blackberry users is what I see Whatsapp doing as long as you have data.

Applications like Yes Life which gives you a real 018-number, and does SMS and work entirely over data? Brilliant, especially if you plan to send more than 36 SMS messages per day, or even want to entertain phone calls. Imagine forwarding your regular number not to voicemail, but to your 018 number. You pay a flat rate for data, and you enjoy really cheap call rates. Similar deals with pfingo (Singapore), PennyTel (Australia/Malaysia), and so on.

With data, you can also run Skype. That also does cheap calls and SMS messaging. Incoming calls work too via a real number, though there is no option to grab a Malaysian number.

Apps for mapping and navigation on iOS and Android? They will flourish with on-net connections, meaning there is little reason to cache.

Walking around Japan, we had a mifi, with an amazing battery life. Three connections, on-net, 6 hours! And it was close to 20mbps down, on a mifi!

I see lots of roaming companies (Flexiroam, for example) saying they provide foreign SIMs for cheap. I’d rather just always have a data connection, unlimited, for a flat rate anywhere I go. And a configured mifi. Maybe an extra portable battery pack ;)

On why the iPhone isn’t ready for the Malaysian market

I have lamented before, that Apple should sell the device, in more markets, especially here in Malaysia. I experimented with grabbing one here, and it turned out to be a pleasant experience. I can only sing praises for iWorld’s customer service, and quick delivery, and more.

But I think I’ve come to a realisation as to why the iPhone 3G is not ready for the Malaysian market yet, despite it being a groundbreaking device. So assuming you’re pining for one, you might want to think again, and settle for what is available in the market currently.

  1. The camera is nothing to shout about – who cares for a 2MP camera, with no flash, no video recording by default. The quality is passable, but no different from my old Nokia E61i. I’d have expected a lot more from Apple, clearly.
  2. No Multimedia Messaging (MMS) – don’t you think this is short-sighted? You’ve snapped a nice photo, and now you want to share it, and your only method to do it, is via email? Especially when the cost of MMS is a lot less than the cost of sending one email – unless you have an unlimited data plan, and that comes at around RM99/month via Maxis.
  3. No video calling – the whole idea of a 3G network, is that you have a lot more bandwidth to use, and you would make video calls. In fact, Maxis doesn’t charge you any more to make a video call, than they charge you to make a voice call. Is this forward thinking? I believe so. But with the iPhone 3G, you cannot make a video call, which seems kind of daft. Its useful, when you’re out shopping, or just wanting to see what the other person looks like…

So, unless you’ve got an unlimited data plan (they don’t come cheaply), you’ll find the iPhone 3G lacking. In fact, even with an unlimited data plan, its kind of lacking, in comparison to what you can get from Nokia and other providers. Apparently, not only I think the iPhone 3G is semi-daft – APC magazine came out with ten reasons too (though to be fair, cut&paste works now, I believe).

And until the iTunes Music Store becomes available, I don’t see it being too useful. In fact, I see a lot of iPhone’s being used these days, but I can assure you the use of the AppStore is limited – so, even if I were planning to develop applications for the local market, I would think again.

On local developers
I would however like to highlight that there are local iPhone/iPod Touch application developers. Take a look a ApptivityLab with their mistletoe application, as well as the wabbit studio’s shizi app, that is a Chinese & Hong Kong units translator.

I always remember writing units translators when I first learn a new language. Its one of those exercises that you do, similar to Hello World.

At some stage, it would be great if there were local applications, that provided more integration with the A-GPS, and more. I have plenty of ideas, but its a chicken and egg situation – I’ll have to wait for Apple to bring the device here. But Apple won’t – because the device is lacking. So maybe, we’ll see something new at WWDC 2009? I doubt it, but I have hope. Why? Because Apple designs for the American market largely, and the American cell networks, are just not nearly as advanced as those, outside America.

As an aside… I’m surprised it was ready for the Singaporean market. I’d have assumed that MMS, a phone that records video, video calls, and more, would be required.