Monday, December 04, 2006

Str8 Slack'n ...

I know, I know, I haven't posted much the last few months -- it's partly due to slacking, but also because I've been extremly busy with other projects and just having some fun :-) But, I promise starting in 2007 I'll begin blogging again on a regular basis. I've been sucking up a lot of cool blogs lately -- so, I've just been reading, and not writing. I'll post some of those blogs later. In the meantime, I'm off -- If I don't get back before the new year -- hope everybody has an excellent Christman/Holiday season with their family and friends (and be safe!) ... and I'll be back soon enough!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google, sometimes evil, this time just too cool ...

A lot of people both ride Google's bandwagon, and knock it for its ocassional censorship, confusing "rankings" system, its bullying practices, etc... I generally don't comment much about Google (except to say its search engine is still the best), but this time I have to give credit to Google for the cool things they do. This time, I am referring to this new Google feature:

You can type in a plethora of topics, and it will list news articles/abstracts by date ... all the way back to the 1700s! It seems, unfortuately, you will have to pay for access to much of the older material, but it most certainly helps if you're doing research on the evolution of certain devices/technologies. Way to go Google! I was scanning a bunch of topics, and reading abstracts is pretty surreal .... man, how things have changed!

[ Technorati Tags: Google search news
research history ]

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back from Holidays!

I've been pretty quiet lately, but that's because I've been on holidays .... was in Greece (Crete) for two weeks, and then doing day-trips around Germany (Dresden), and just relaxing and working on some other things. I'll have more to say soon, so stay tuned!

Best to everybody else on their summer holidays -- and to my fellow Americans ... don't work so hard, take some days off, and enjoy the heat! :P

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Macs in Black

I've never been a big fan of Mac for many reasons -- The first being, I was always tired of hearing "how much better Macs are" from people who did nothing more than check email, surf the net, and do some simple graphics in photoshop (all which you can do, I should remind, on any cheap chinese PC).

After the FreeBSD based MAC O/S 10 Macs hit the market, it was "because you never have to restart the computers and they're more stable than Windows." This coming from people who didn't have a clue what a console (or command, you pick) window was, and didn't really know any Unix stuff at all. In short, they checked email, surfed the net, and did some minor graphic work on family photos. They never needed to leave their PC on 24/7, so why this would be an advantage to them always remained a mystery. Granted, Windows is buggy and unstable, but I didn't see why somebody, especially these people, should be spending 30% more on a computer for what they did.

Lastly, the "main" reason was that Bill Gates was evil and was a "monopolist" -- which I find silly, as Macs are 1. more expensive, 2. proprietary hardware, and 3. Apple is always trying to force you to use all of their stuff (buy an iPod, and you MUST use iTunes to put music on it, for example).

Aside from these "minor" points -- Macs have come down in price, have improved their performance (thanks to Intel chips -- usually found in PCs for the last 10 years), have become less proprietary (you can use external mice, monitors, keyboards), and basically, have become almost tolerable to me to where, when looking for a cheaper, smaller notebook, Macbooks are almost being considered -- that is, until I saw the price difference for the BLACK one. (Note: I just noticed it has a larger 80GB harddrive, hence the price difference -- but $200 more is a lot of money for 20 GBs more ... it's an obvious sales tactic, which is still cheap.)

Now, having reluctantly purchased a black iPod Nano for Xmas (nice), maybe a black MacBook would be a good match? Sure, but for 200 dollars MORE than the white one (as far as I can see, this is the only difference -- 200 dollars!), you've got to be out of your mind. What kind of crap is that? They didn't double-price on the Nanos, so why do it with the MacBooks? Obviously, they should have learned that black is probably a bit more popular than white in terms of the Nanos and Video iPods, so they could have segued into MacBook production with this in mind and kept the prices the same? Nah, that'd be too hard ... so, knowing that their "loyal" users would want a black one, what do they do to repay this loyalty? They charge 200 bucks more for a 10 dollar piece of plastic! Woot, woot! Bill Gates, eat your heart out! (Note: See correction above, but the addition of the 80GB into this same Mac IS still a low-blow sales team, though)

Knowing all this, I'll have to keep my sites on the cheaper and lighter Averatec 2200 series notebook (4lb 12" Averatec vs. 5.2lbs 13" MacBook). Being 400 dollars cheaper, I think this will be the best bet (sure, I won't be as "cool" as the soccer mom on the airplane with the MacBook, but I'll be able to do anything on the Averatec that she'll EVER use her MacBook for). :-)

Or, maybe I'll just give in to peer pressure :-)

[ Technorati Tags: Macs iPod MacBooks
Apple Averatec ]

Monday, June 12, 2006

Save the Internet: Fighting for Internet Freedom

The "Internet Freedom" debate is on our steps again, so it's time to drop some emails and phone calls to your local representatives to get them on the whole "Internet Freedom" deal ... if you haven't been keeping up with what has been going on, check out:

Save the Internet:

I have sent my emails to my sentors (Cantwell and Murray) ... I suggest you guys in the States do the same!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Awsome Build Tool: ProductiveMe's BuildDesk

Well, some old colleagues of mine (who formed ProductiveMe) have just launched their baby, their first commercial release of their totally awsome build tool, BuildDesk. If you're currently coding on the Java platform, this is a MUST tool (if you're responsible for building applications that is).

It helps bunches with the actual build process -- package, obfuscate, create installer, all in one nice GUI. Helps a lot with organizing your builds -- and particuarlly for mobile Java developers, it'll help you code your apps for various platforms (J2ME, PersonalJava, J2SE) and phone resolutions. No more going into your little ant scripts and Java code to tweak the app for various resolutions or the need to include differing splash screen sizes ... you can do it all in BuildDesk. Point, click, compile, done. Plus, it does a bunch more for serious programmers (not shappy hobbyist like myself), so seriously check it out.

They're currently offering their product for 99 USD (but the intro price won't last forever) ... but, you don't have to buy it to try it, so I highly recommend you take it for a test spin, first. It currently ONLY works with the industry's most bad-ass Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, but that'll be changing in the near future for all of you Eclipse and NetBeans junkies out there. You can download it here.

[ Technorati Tags: Java ANT IntelliJ IDEA
Eclipse NetBeans ]

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Seiko CPC Watch

For a variety of reasons, I hadn't opened up my RSS client for a few weeks (been pretty busy or gone) ... but the first thing that popped-up when I did was an Engadget story about the Seiko CPC "Bluetooth" watch, which you can find here:

Engadget Story about Seiko watch!

The watch looked cool, but when you dig a bit further, man, it looks pretty big too (as shown here: Big'ol Watch).

So, in honor of this big monster, I decided to make my own "knock-off" version utilizing my Sony-Ericsson P900 ... I will help you make your own version for 100 USD pre-paid (includes sticky tape to hold your giant phone to your wrist). Check it out: My Seiko Knock-off!

Happy Monday Everybody! :P

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ajax Bandwagon, everybody hop on!

For at least the last 6 months, I haven't been able to read anything without reading about Ajax: Ajax this and Ajax that. Well, you know, I don't mind technologies that change the way certain industries work, but all of the arguments for Ajax so far have been based on the same arguments other frameworks have been pushing for the last few years, namely, those driven by Echo. In fact, Jellingspot has used Echo since its inception in 2002 (that's why its admin is webconsole based, if you wanted to know). So, to me, all this talk about Ajax isn't all that interesting. The real question is, who has been pushing Ajax? Something is fishy ...

Of course, if something that makes certain applications easier to make and deploy to the web (especially as it relates to mobiles!), so be it -- you won't get any complaints from me! (this is just part of a broader plan to push RAD tools and frameworks...gotta make some new markets!)

[ Technorati Tags: Java Ajax Jellingspot
echo Rapid Application Development ]

Monday, March 27, 2006

Jellingspot Version Comparison Guide

"Not quite sure what the difference is between the free version of Jellingspot and the commercial version? This simple guide should help you understand those differences, and if it doesn't, then please email us and we'll be happy to clear things up."

Read more here:

[ Technorati Tags: Jellingspot Marketing Advertising
Bluetooth Symbian ]

Spring Forward

Aah, Spring is finally here (although Spring weather hasn't made it yet), so now it's time to loose an hour of sleep so I can gain an hour of daylight! Yippie! (North America springs forward next week ... so for one week, mainland Europe is +1 hour ahead all around [7-10 hours] to mainland US).

Which leads me to my next minor point: How come my Symbian devices didn't change time automatically? Neither my UIQ 2.1 (P900) or my plethora of Symbian Series 60 devices (N-Gage, 7650, 6630) changed. While my PC (Windows XP) and my crusty Loox PDA (Pocket PC 2002) did? If it weren't for them, I'd have my time all screwed up. Certainly, it can't be that hard for Symbian to implement such a simple (but life saving :-) function? Can it?

Anyway ... Happy Spring everybody!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Symbian Series 60: Starting to get messy ...

Well, it seems the Symbian platform is starting to get a bit messy. For the last few years, all Symbian Series 60 devices had a screen resolution of 176(w) x 208(h). This made coding pretty simple and was one of the reasons why Series 60 devices maintain a near monopoly on the Jellingspot client application front. You could write the application once, and it pretty much worked on all Series 60 devices (the claim to fame for Java, which has never really materialized for mobile device platforms, yet).

However, if you notice, there are now a few new Series 60 devices that have a screen resolution of 352(w) x 416(h) [where do they come up with these numbers?] ... such as the Nokia N80, N90, E70 and E60. Also coming are some more traditional PDA like resolutions of 240(w) x 320(h) on such Series 60 phones as the Nokia N71, N92, and E61. This is starting to get messy.

While we have Jellingspot client applications for some of these phones already, we haven't tested them, and we know for sure the UI is gonna look funny. I guess we'll have to go purchase (I would really hate to go drop 600 Euro on a device I'm gonna use for about 5 mintues or less) a few of these devices now. Ufff...

The question is, why such strange resolutions when the physical screen size seems to look the same size? (at least on the N80 vs N70?) If the actual screen sizes are larger, than it makes sense I guess, but *if* they're the same, what reason is there for having a higher resolution (in the case of the N92, I undertand it's gonna be a media device, but still ... it's not like you're getting HDTV on that sucker)?

Whatever the reason, seems Symbian Series 60 is gonna become less and less developer friendly in the near future ... hope it doesn't get as bad as Windows Mobile! ;-)

[ Technorati Tags: Java UIQ Jellingspot
Symbian Series 60 ]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jellingspot now in Wiki ...

Well, I decided to add Jellingspot to Wiki today -- not sure if it'll last there, but check it out:

I tried not to be too "self-promoting" -- I even included links to my competitors ... in addition, I added a "Location-marketing" page ...

This is to help push the idea of "location-marketing" a bit ... I will even email the other companies to try to get them to put their product info up. This industry is pretty fragmented, maybe I can help motivate the other companies to use the same terms and words to help move the industry forward a bit faster. Maybe I'm just day dreaming. If you see any mistakes (spelling, grammar, etc...) fix them! I wrote it quickly -- I'll go back and make edits to make it "smoother" when I get more time (I'll just wait for the WikiNazis to fix any spelling/grammar -- since they're like 'bots on that page).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Motorized Snowboard

Well, it's winter still, so you know you're bound to get continued crazy posts about winter technologies from me (after all, the Winter Olympics are currently on the tube, too!). Anyway ...

My kinsmen in the Pacific Northwest keep amazing me -- this time, with their motorized snowboard. Dudes, you gotta check out the Power Plank! And then there is the video that makes it look super fun! While it doesn't look like you're gonna get the total body workout / exercise you wanted from doing traditional winter sports, it does look like a much cheaper alternative to a snowmobile. The guy in the video makes a good point -- people who live in countries that get snow but don't really have good mountains for downhill skiing or snowbaording could greatly benefit from this ... I have to agree. I'd love to zoom around one in Prague when it snows here :-)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Having some Wi-Fi FON ...

Well, if you're into nabbing free Wi-Fi from off of the street (and offering your own Wi-Fi connection in return as payment), the rapidly emerging FON Community may be what you're looking for. With big names like Esther Dyson on board, you may want to keep your eye on it.

Basically, you buy their FON Wi-Fi router for 25 bucks/euro, hook it up to your broadband, and go. The router comes with special firmware (that allows client applications to log into the router?); however, there is still no naming convention, at least according FON forum posters (which means, there is no way to know it's a FON connection unless somebody broadcasts "FON Wi-Fi" or something), so this is kinda strange (they really should just standardize it in the router .. "FON Spot" or something...).

This idea is good for a few reaons -- 1. Users can be tracked and held responsible for the content they surf/send/download, 2. it is the "give a penny, take a penny" mentality ... you know that anybody on your router is offering their connection like you, and 3. Aside from the 25 dollar "donation" fee for the router, it's FREE.

Downside is 1. Users can be tracked and held responsible for the content they surf/send/download (it's always a 2-way street with this), 2. not sure how useful it's gonna be ... walking around some neighborshood to get Wi-Fi seems cheesy, especially when I can get it at Starbucks or some other corresponding cafe for FREE, and I get a chair and table to boot!, and 3. You gotta share your connection (watch out for bandwidth hogs!).

The concept is good, but not sure how far it's gonna go ... there are already gangs and grips for free Wi-Fi communities out there (like CZFREE in the Czech Republic), or larger, well established pay communities like Boingo Wireless.

Whatever the case, good luck to FON!

[ Technorati Tags: Wi-Fi FON Boingo
Hot Spots Free Internet ]

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lib Tech Snowboards ...

While a tad outside of my normal postings on "technology," I think it's still a legit post, mainly because I'm a snowboarder and Lib Technologies is from (my native) Washington state.

Anyway, I haven't paid too much attention to snowboards and their technologies for a while, but now that I'm about to buy a new one (yeah, and the season will probably be over soon), I've been looking, and it appears our local maker Lib Tech has some pretty cool new designs out, called Magne-Traction boards ... which, in short, makes ice riding feel like powder and lets you climb half-pipes with ease (wink, wink). Their explaination seems legit enough, so I am convinced (I'm a sucker for marketing, aren't I?) I need to buy one. I just have to find some place I can buy one over here in the CZ ... wish me luck!

If anybody out there has a Magne-Traction board, drop me a line! And, if Lib Tech is reading this, you can always send "one of your sons" a test model to review :-))))

[ Technorati Tags: Snowboarding Lib Tech Magne-Traction ]

Monday, January 30, 2006

Tagging yourself with RFID

I have been reading more and more about RFID technologies, and specifically, about those trend setters out there implanting RFID chips into their hands. Tagged, a forum dedicated to all those folks who have (or are interested in) doing such, has some interesting videos -- Logging into a Mac & an actual chip implant -- and comments about their procedures, what they're doing with their implants, etc... some pretty neat stuff.

I have been seriously thinking about implanting a chip too, but then I thought, why implant one -- I can just use the tags and stick them to my phone or add a small tag to my keychain. I have nothing against implants, but as you'll read if you get into the technology, there are very little "standards" out there, so your implant might work only on a few devices or with a few readers, so it's just kinda sketch to put something like that into your hand that's not gonna cover the whole sha-bang.

For those of you interested, you can purchase some pretty inexpensive chips/readers as RFID kits, so you can start to learn about and play with these technologies quickly. I have ordered mine recently, so I'll start to play with the technologies and test it out. I have been eyeballing some RFID locks, but just pipe dreaming for now.

Anyway, lots of cool things you might think about with RFID, but not sure why I'd use that over something else with standards (Zigbee or Bluetooth) or using finger print reader's for locks/logins, etc... (as some notebooks have now).

Whatever the case, check out the forum and read about all of the things these crazy cats are doing.

[ Technorati Tags: RFID implants wireless
telematics biometics ]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Symbian vs. Java MIDP Development

Well, in the next day or two, we will finally be adding our first Java client that can access Jellingspot Data Server, in particular, it's a client app for the Nokia 6230i. Man, it's a real pain sometimes to code in Java. Frank, the main developer of Jellingspot, is a Java programming god ... he REALLY hates when he has to close his IntelliJ IDEA and open a C++ IDE like Visual Studio or C++ builder, etc. Not only are the IDEs straight suck'n for this langauge (I understand, it's just simply very difficult to have cool code-completion features, refactoring, etc... in C++), he just always forgets something since C++ is a lower-level language per say (he loves that trash collector in Java).

However, there is an "upside" to this pain. While he can crank out Java apps like some sweatshop worker, the limits on many Java enabled mobile devices really sucks. The Symbian/C++ Jellingspot client app is about 65kb ... and this includes all service support. Our Java client is now larger, and will only support the Adpusher and Textboradcast services on Jellingspot for the time being. Why? Because unlike Symbian where we can call native components for directories, folders, etc... we can't do that in Java. To make fServer work on the 6230 (which probably will not work on this phone), we'll have to write the entire GUI .. file icons, folder icons, and then store the downloaded files somewhere ... but since Java on this phone doesn't support storing data on the "native" disk ... we are going to have to store everything in memory or something (if we even decide to waste our time on it for this one phone). Should be fun.

I wish Sun would force, AT GUN POINT, phone makers to install EVERYTHING of the MIDP 2.0 spec -- not just the JNI layers they choose. That'd make life much nicer. Uff....

[ Technorati Tags: Java MIDP Jellingspot
Symbian Nokia ]

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bluetooth Headsets with Skype

Well, months ago, I was trying to get my Bluetooth headset to work with Skype, and I had no luck -- that was because I wasn't aware of Vitaero -- a cool project that bridges the Widcomm Bluetooth stack and (seemingly) any Bluetooth USB device that uses it -- to Skype. I will try to test it in the next few days if I'm lucky ... in the meantime, if anybody else has already given it a go let me know, I'll be curious as to its pros & cons. As you can see in my mobile blog, I found a Bluetooth headset that was "Skype Certified" on my trip back in the US (from Motorola). Obviously, the goal is to untangle the mess of wires on my desk, and that was one of the main focuses of Bluetooth in its beginning. So, the sooner the better, I need some more space! ;-)

[ Technorati Tags: Widcomm Bluetooth Skype
Vitaero motorola ]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Intel in Mac: BFD

The whole world is spinning faster again because Apple finally announced they were using Intel chips ... wow, big whoopie, BFD. Maybe I missed soemthing, but I've been using Intel chips for like the last 6-7 years ... sounds like Apple is just catching on, eh? How innovative. What is even funnier is that their entire marketing campaign is focused around the new Mac with Intel being 4x faster .... ha ha ha ha! After hearing the loads of crap sprayed by Mac users who always bent reality to claim Macs were really "faster" than Intel/AMD PCs (their lame ass argument -- Adobe opens faster in it ... ha ha ha! Anybody who does real development, where a processor is really needed, would tell you otherwise), their Emperor Stevie J drops the bomb and spits in their face -- now it's 4x faster. Not 20% faster, not even 50% faster, but 400% faster. With Intel. With the same chip Billy G and his boys have been juiced on for a long-while running.

I can't wait to see how all of the Apple Fan Boys squirm out of this one ... (ooh, wait, now it's faster than PCs ... look, look!)

Only Apple has the marketing power to pull off a big stunt like this ... the rest of us will just be using Intel (or AMD) chips as we have been for the last half decade.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Back in Prague ...

Well, my 3-week trip back to the USA has come to an end -- it was, as always, great to visit family and good friends (especially my best friend's "newly released" baby girl Zoey). It seems those "extra large" portions one gets in the US when eating out has caught up to me -- I gained like 5 lbs in 3 weeks, all around the gut! Ooh, M&M Cookies and Peanut Butter Balls aside, it was cool.

From the tech front, it was also educational. I saw, for the first time in the states (keep in mind I come back once or twice a year for business/pleasure), people constantly looking down at their phones for SMSs (or Texting messages as Americans say). One night, while hanging back in a well-patroned pub, I saw no less than 10 people within a 15 second walk starring at their phones and typing SMSs. It was pretty surreal, considering I've only been seeing such behavior in Europe (since 1999). It may have taken 5 years, but SMS has finally established itself in the US market. Bravo my fellow Amiks!

I also noticed a lot of Bluetooth headsets. That's good news, if for anything in means that phones are Bluetooth wireless technology enabled, and will eventually be working with Jellingspot. I do say eventually, because the choice of phones in the US market (from carriers) is horrid. The phones are still pretty darn primative (Motorola just makes crap IMHO ...). Whatever the case, it seems evolution is "progressing" in the US, even if at a snail's pace.

All in all, it was cool ... I enjoyed the time with my family and friends, and as always, it was fun window shopping to see what the market is bringing to folks on the tech front.

As an aside, my new Ipod Nano is doing well, but the fact that I'm FORCED to use iTunes to add music and pictures still pisses me off. If Apple can pull their head out of their butt, and allow me to drag and drop music into folders, AND play WMA files without the need to convert, and I might say nicer things about Apple (if the old argument that Microsoft was a bully, Apple people can NO LONGER use that lame excuse).