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).