Russell posts about Mobile Web Page Thoughts, in particular bringing up the need to both create and consume from mobile devices. I think there are some great points in there, such as devices coming with bound server space. Personally, I woudn’t like my mobile devices to work this way, but that’s cause I’m a hacker. I would rather have everything work the way I want than have it work automatically. But I can certainly see the value of the device having default associated space for content. Services like this are very much what I would like to make as part of the Open Palm Environment. Like I mentioned a long time ago on a completely different website, the existing network sync for the Palm is pathetic. I would love to see a real network sync tool, something using open standards and a decent protocol framework. This is something that the pilot-link and Plucker developers seem to groove on quite a bit as well. Then either users could setup the server on their own space, or someone could make a business out of hosting it as a service. Either way, I really don’t care. This then becomes the framework for uploading web content from your Palm device. Maybe the content is meant to be accessed by you only, such as your address book or calendar by default. Or you could chose to present a front end so people could browse your content online, or even allow others to directly sync your calender to their palm as well. And there’s no reason to restrict this to palm apps either. If the servers were defined using web services this framework could provide sync between all your applications. Your laptop and home PC and work PC could all use a contacts app that syncs through the same service that your PDA uses. New applications could exchange backup data with flags telling what data the user wants public and what data should remain private. This is how I think Palm devices should start talking to the world, directly over the network to servers which can:
I’m not much into the ringtone market at all, but I got an email from TJ at ToneThis talking about the way that they’re approaching setting up a mobile service. The way ToneThis works a user can encode music from the MP3 library on their home PC and turn it into a ringtone. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but that’s because it’s really the way that the system should work. What should be surprizing is that it’s hard to get a ringtone on a phone unless your service provider sells it to you. But for some reason this is mostly just unquestingly taken as “the way things work”. I’m sure that one of the reasons that it’s hard to get a quality ringtone onto your phone is because service providers want to charge for them. ToneThis is a way to break away from service providers wanting to wring every cent out of their customers. Instead of having to choose from a library of ringtones you get exactly the music you want. This is from the news section of the ToneThis site
I had to do some of that running around that I was talking about in the last post, so I figured I would write up a blog entry. When I finished it and tried to upload, I had issues getting a network connection using my Palm to connect to my t68. It’s happened before, and usually a reset of one device or the other solves it (which sucks by the way). Yet this time, no dice. I’m waiting for a train, so what the hell, I might as well fix it.
I’ve been quite busy lately, with things that unfortunately have me running around out in The Big Room rather than working in front of my computer. My hope is that this part of the work will only last until next week some time. And there’s a specific event in there which should keep things from bogging down. Fortunately I have my trusty PDA and a copy of Vagablog, so I can at least provide some updates.
There’s an article at The Feature describing a style of handset that allows for interchangable faceplates that modify not just the look of the phone, but include memory as well. I’m interested in the announcement not really for the handset itself, or the youth audience targeting, but because it’s a multiple component architecture. What they plan to store in the skins are ringtones, images, and video clips; I would be more interested in faceplaces that provided additional functions (bluetooth, more ram, 802.11, applications, etc). In general the market doesn’t seem to like devices like this, highly configurable devices where the base system is just a framework that features can be added to. But I think that’s because many devices meant to allow flexable configuration have fallen far short of that goal. I would like to see personal information devices with a higher degree of hardware configurability. Even devices like the Zodiac, with it’s two expansion slots instead of one, I think are a major step in the right direction.
There’s a press release at OSDL announcing the Linux Legal Defense Fund. It’s a fund meant to help those who SCO is threatening to sue. If you haven’t heard about the issue it almost definitely doesn’t affect you. In a nutshell, SCO owns the copyright to the original Unix codebase, and has decided to sue people using Linux cause SCO says there’s Unix code in Linux. This simply isn’t true. The few examples that SCO has given have proven to be written by Linus or to have derived from another source which existed before the Unix code SCO has rights to. The whole case is all just a big dramatic flailing which is sure to mark the final phase of the welcome death throes of a poorly managed and executed company. It’s like that last scene of a horror movie where the bad guy/monster is already mortally wounded, but out of spite it attempts to drag the hero/heroine down into death with them. But the good guy/gal grabs a kitchen knife and hacks off the arm of the disfigured villain. Well, you can think of the defense fund as the metaphorical equivalent of the kitchen knife. And hopefully that cheezy end-score will start soon and SCO will be nothing more than a bad memory.
Starting off a new week almost always makes me depressed. I spend the weekend being able to at least fit in interesting bits of hacking here and there. Although this weekend was mostly work, and my site was down for a decent sized chunk of it, I did manage to fit in some palm-xmlrpc hackery. Not much, but at least I have something to point to. I managed to read some interesting stuff, including the “A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy” article by Clay Shirky, which really got me thinking in some new directions again. I’ve been thinking about community quite a bit, as I’ve mentioned here before. In open source the code itself serves as the merit system. You don’t have to trust someone to be telling the truth, you just look at their code and find out. And I was trying to figure out where else there might be a mechanism that works that like, but wasn’t able to come up with an interesting one. Especially not within the context of forming a user community. But that isn’t what this post is really about…
I got a question the other day about using Vagablog to post to TypePad.com hosted blogs. I hadn’t tried it before, and it seems to work just fine. I put instructions up on the webpage, and I’ll probably be adding typepad.com as an option in the types list, cause I don t think most people would know what to set it to. At least a few of the MetaWeblogAPI methods might get support soon. If for no other reason than to be able to turn on title and category for MovableType sites.
There’s an article at osViews about trying to get together a project to develop a full fledged user desktop package. By this they mean everything that a local computer retailer would need in order to sell full fledged Linux based systems, including artwork and sales and marketing materials. I think this is a great idea. Both in terms of getting together a standard system for use by mere mortals wanting to use Linux, and in pooling together resources by many individual retailers in order to get the project completed.
An entry over at Techdirt makes an interesting point about PDAs and SmartPhones:
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