October 2005 Wayback

Open source del.icio.us

I’ve been using del.icio.us for some time now and I love it and all the tools that have been made for it. I was quite surprised that no one here at work has heard of it or Flickr. After spending all this time the past few weeks installing NetOffice on one of our boxes for project management, I decided to tackle my next project and install an open source version of del.icio.us for internal use. I found several, my favorite being de.lirio.us. Unfortunately it is built on top of a Perl app called Rubric which has a bazillion dependencies. After struggling around with it for a day or so I was able to get a PHP/SQL app called Scuttle installed on my box which is working quite nicely so far. I sent an email out to 30 people or so to let them know that it was available. I’ll give it a couple days and see how it goes.

Future of wireless tech

The following is from a whitepaper I was helping to write at work today in response to the question: Where do we see the technology going for handhelds?

It is likely that mobile devices will go thru the same accelerating rate of change that we have seen with computers as handsets becomes smaller, cheaper and more powerful.

As wifi enabled access points become more and more prevalent throughout the United States and the world, expect to see more and more carrier independent devices that will use wireless access and VOIP to make calls. Already eBay has purchased Skype, a free VOIP client that will run on Pocket PC, and wifi enabled handsets that make VOIP calls are already being sold. One such phone is the Zyxel Prestige 2000W which will allow you to make calls as long as you are connected to a 802.11 b or g access point. Right now there are problems with battery life and range on these phones, but expect that to become less of an issue as 802.16/WiMax hits the market in the next 12 months. Wimax increases the bandwidth to 78mps over 802.11g’s 54mps and the standard range of an access point from 300 ft to over 10 miles, making it feasible to blanket large metro areas with a network of wireless access point. While within these networks users will have high speed access to their data and will be able to make voice calls off of the cellular network.

As the cost of technology becomes cheaper and cheaper, expect to see more and more features crammed into smaller and smaller devices. Already you can get Pocket PC that combines a video camera, MP3 playback, web surfing and phone calls for around three or four hundred dollars. In the future screens will get larger, memory and storage capacity will increase, the processors will become faster and bandwidth will become faster, all the while staying in the current price range.

One of the most important and paradigm changing developments in mobile technology right now is speech recognition. Data entry on handhelds are cumbersome at best, although the inclusion of QWERTY style keyboards and handwriting recognition have made it somewhat easier to input information. Already many phones have built in voice recognition to facilitate hands free dialing and there is now software available that will allow user to take dictation, compose emails and translate words from one language to another just by speaking to thier phones.

Update

Ahh… so much has changed recently I don’t know where to start. I’ve gone from being a self-employed business owner with one partner to an employee in a very large IT department with over 13,000 people in the company. It’s amazing.

I’ve been there about 6 weeks and just got a new boss last week. He’s a great guy and we’ve been working on a content management system called NetOffice. It’s and open source project and I’m learning SQL and PHP to tweak it to suit our needs. I like it, it’s fun learning something complicated, tearing it apart and understanding how it works.

And did I mention how fast time is flying? It’s amazing. I suppose that is what happens when you get older.

Other than that I’ve started a new sub-blog called GoogleWatch. I stole the name from this wacko anti-Google website but as they haven’t updated thier site in over a year and a half (a century as far as the internet is concerned) I figure it’s OK. I love Google and I’m thinking of pumping a bunch of money into it and so I’m putting up the blog as a way to track everything that’s going on with them before I pump my retirement into them. I think they will be to Microsoft what Microsoft did to IBM. Of course the most important thing about playing the stock market is not what to buy, but deciding what to sell.

Other than that I’ve put a new theme on the site which I think looks nice. Maybe one day I’ll make one of my own.

Plantrics

Thermoformed Trays

This has the capability of transforming our world in so many ways. Biodegradable plastic made from biomatter; dissolvable in water.

Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist

The Physics of Extra-Terrestrial Civilizations

More total nerdness today. Anytime someone is discussing life on other planets and what civilization might be able to accomplish across millenia I get all warm and tingly inside. And he even ties in 2001!

This guys is a genious and has some great articles on his website for the nerd in you.

Googlewatch

Where does Google want to go today?

I swear as soon as I get enough money to open an eTrade account I’m dumping as much cash as I can in Google. I’ve been telling people for months to put there money in it and I have been watching it for a long time. This article is a really good round up about what’s been going on over at Google and thier upcoming fight with Microsoft.

Tim O’Reilly profile

The Trend Spotter

No, not Bill O’Reilly, but Tim O’Reilly, the tech manual publisher whose books are graced with those nice ink drawings of animals.

I know I’ve got a couple of his books on my shelf, and you can’t miss seeing them when you walk in a Barnes and Noble bookstore. Wired profiles one of the giants of the tech world, giving some great insight into the spiritual side of O’Reilly as well as his plans and goal for the future. This is probably the first thing I’ve ever read about the man himself, and I must say he is my hero now.

RIAA Countersuit

Oregon RIAA Victim Fights Back; Sues RIAA for Electronic Trespass, Violations of Computer Fraud & Abuse, Invasion of Privacy, RICO, Fraud

A woman is countersuing the RIAA for unlawful coercion, extortion, fraud, and other criminal conduct regarding thier practice suing people they’ve found to be file sharing.

The lawsuit alleges that once the RIAA has determined that a computer is responsible for file sharing, they file a ‘John Doe’ lawsuit that they use to subpoena the ISP for the subscriber’s information. After obtaining that information they use a 3rd party organization named Settlement Support Center, LLC, which was created by the RIAA and it’s member companies to “[coerce] payments from people who had been identified as targets in the anonymous information farming suits.”

I think the funniest thing in the brief is the statement that:

Settlement Support Center also falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had “been viewed” by MediaSentry downloading “gangster rap” music at 4:24 a.m. Settlement Support Center also falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had used the login name “gotenkito@kazaa.com.” Ms. Andersen does not like “gangster rap,” does not recognize the name “gotenkito,” is not awake at 4:24 a.m. and has never downloaded music.

Most people are settling out of court rather than fight it and take the chance that they might be found guilty, however some people are finding luck at fighting the cases. One of the other interesting thing in this page is that although a SSC rep claimed that he believed Ms. Andersen never downloaded music she was told that they would not drop the suit against her becuase it would encourage others to fight the lawsuits that the RIAA was bringing about.

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