My son and I spent most of today at the Smithsonian Air and Space and Natural History Museums, and I was enthused to put my iPhone GS through its paces as a mobile storychasing platform capable of shooting video and uploading it directly to YouTube. The final conclusion I drew from the day’s storychasing was: The battery life on the iPhone GS may be improved, but it is still QUITE inadequate for a day of mobile videography and cell phone network uploading.

In addition to the reflections on the new UAV exhibit at the Smithsonian which I posted earlier in the day directly to YouTube and my blog from the museum over 3G, I shot two short (less than 90 second) videos which I posted to Flickr this evening.

The UAV video required almost 30 minutes to upload to YouTube over the AT&T 3G network here in Washington DC at the Air and Space Museum, and the battery on my iPhone GS was VERY sapped by the experience. After uploading that video, I received the following text message from AT&T. Note how low my battery level was in the screen snap! This was at 2 pm, when I had started the day with a full iPhone charge. :-(

Your data plan is ineligible for iPhone 3G

Apparently when our family visited our local AT&T store last weekend to switch the phone numbers on my old 1st gen iPhone with my wife’s newly upgraded line to an iPhone GS, the AT&T store staffer did not switch the data plans in the system. As a result, I spent 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T today from the Smithsonian FINALLY getting this straightened out. (At least I certainly hope it’s fixed.) I have NOT been at all happy or satisfied with the competence of AT&T phone support in the past several weeks, with either land-line phone support or wireless support. This phone call should have taken 10 minutes, it took 45. I’ve been on the phone two different times for over an hour each trying to get my home landline bill charges fixed, and they are still not resolved. At this point, if I had a choice for an iPhone carrier I would definitely give someone else other than AT&T a try. As it is, I can’t, and I understand the AT&T contact with Apple is for five years. Sigh.

The mobile video highlight of the day was likely the following sequence which Alexander agreed to record, sharing some of his reactions as well as learning points about the Hubble Space Telescope replica at the Smithsonian:

Since it took so long to upload a 5 minute video to YouTube over 3G earlier in the day and my iPhone battery had been sapped so severely by this activity, I chose not to upload Alexander’s video “from the field” but rather upload it this evening over WiFi. I’ve also posted this over on Learning Signs. I’m not going to leave my Sony GC-1 Netsharing Cam behind tomorrow, in fact I may shoot the majority of video footage from EduBloggerCon with it tomorrow.

We need scientists and engineers to devise MUCH more powerful and efficient batteries ASAP! The impact of those inventions and breakthroughs will not only be huge for mobile storychasers, like us today, but also for many other much more practical applications that affect our lives, societies and economies.

I’ll close with some comparative photographs.

March 2008, when Alexander and I were in DC for the COSN conference:

Alexander and Dad by the Apollo Capsule

June 2009, in DC this week for NECC:

Alexander and Dad by the Apollo Capsule

I see some noticeable, comparative height changes here! :-)

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