Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Google sued by nude photo website

BBC NEWS | Business | Google sued by nude photo website: "Perfect 10, which Mr Nada said are posted without permission.
He said his company had sent nearly 30 formal requests to Google, asking it to remove the photos and password lists from its search results, but was dissatisfied with the company's response. "

My Response :


Among other news ....

Enterprise Security Today (Online Security): NewsFactor Network - Mobile Security - Skulls Trojan Prompts Security Firms To Protect Smartphones

Barcodes and Cellphones - A Commentary

So what are barcodes ?

Found this definition of a linear barcode in the glossary section of Barcodesinc .

"Information encoded into a pattern of varying-width parallel bars and spaces. The most common symbologies used in the retail environment are UPC-A for merchandise marking and Code 128 for shipping containers. Other symbologies include Plessey Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5 and EAN/JAN. "

This is the best definition I could find on the web that wasnt biased to a particular type of barcode. To most people barcodes are a series of black lines on a white background that are present on the packaging of almost everything worthwhile that they buy from a retail store.

Although, these barcodes ( referred to as linear barcodes) are the most commonly seen there is another breed or class of barcodes - the 2-dimensional barcodes. You can get the complete lowdown on 2D barcodes by doing a simple search on
google. If you want just a basic understanding then this page at barcodeman should be of interest.

Barcodes and Cellphones ... ?
There are 2 main models that I can think of where barcodes can and in some sense are playing a important role.
- Handset to World
- World to Handset

1) Handset to World model.
This model includes applications that exchange information between the handset and a remote server. The aim here is to use the value encoded in a barcode to avoid the user having to enter data on the constrained keypad of the handset. Linear barcodes usually contain a small string of data and need to be patched up to a datastore on the back end. This can be a limiting factor in some applications that cannot afford synchronization with a data store all the time. 2 dimensional barcodes come into the picture here. These barcodes can encode relatively large amounts of data and thus eliminating the need of a data store in some cases.

Enterprise applications like inventory management apps or time tracking applications on the handsets fall into this category. There are 2 ways you can scan a barcode on the handset.
- Use a laser scanner connected to the cell phone/PDA.
- Use the camera on the new cell phones to capture and decode the barcode.

There are quite a few firms providing solutions that enable you to incorporate barcode scanning capability - Symbol, AirClic , Scanbuy, Gavitec, Semacode, Mediaseek, etc ... Personally, I do believe that the best way to go about incorpoting barcode scanning is to go with the camera cell phone approach. Yes, the decoding is not as easy as laser scanners but when you consider the flexibility in the number of devices available and also the cost, laser scanner based solutions kinda fall behind. But, this just my opnion.

2) World to Handset.
This model includes applications that require remote servers to initiate the trasactions by sending information to user's mobile handsets. Marketing, info on deals and coupons are just some applications that fall in this category. There has been a lot of literature published on the web regarding sending coupons etc to cell phones. The basic functionality of the system is very simple. The server(world) sends a barcode and some text describing the deal or the coupon to the users handset. To redeem the coupon the user walks in to the store and the attendent scans the coupon barcode directly from the handsets screen. There are some variations to this basic model available in the market today, a quick search on google will reveal a lot of firms offering this solution.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Monday Night Mayhem

Watching the Monday night game as i write this .. KC Cheifs are playing really good tonight... its a pity they are out of playoff contention.

Still havent been able to find the programming zone at home. I started working on a RSS reader for cell phones in J2ME. There are several versions available already but I thought of building one myself just to get me fingers dirty with RSS formats. The plan is to build a MIDlet that can read both 0.91 and 1.0 formats and if my preliminary research is correct then version 2.0 should be no problem once I can read these formats. Plan to use kxml library to do the XML parsing stuff. Will post the source code on my programming blog once its done, should be sometime this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Issues with installing Hello World Applet on the phone

Well .. I am nearly at the end of the development cycle in my project. Have all the GUI and logic figured out. Now, all that’s left is the Camera module. Unfortunately the ICamera interface cannot be instantiated on the emulator. I have tried with the V625 ( the device I am developing for) emulator and it doesn’t work.

So the next step will be to port my app on the device and test and debug from there. I found this excellent thread at the BREW forums with all the info required to create the mod file. Hats off to Tyndal.

You can access the thread

The only thing stopping me from actually deploying a Applet on the phone now is the drivers for the data cable for the Moto v26x series. The OS detects that it’s a device from the V26x series but just doesn’t find the drivers anywhere. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere on the web either.

Just cant wait to have a complete BREW applet run on the device. They say it gets easier after the first one. Its been three weeks since i started coding in BREW and though the programming part is something that i have gotten used to (its really just C) the other part about the device and stuff is a royal pain in the A**.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Saturday ...sleepy Satuday

Well as usual another Saturday gone and no work done. I am getting good at being unproductive. Maybe next time I will not make ambitious plans for a saturday. I got up at 1:30 pm in the afternoon (whole morning gone) thanks to a call from a freind. Then I decided to clean up my place .. its been neglected for some time now and it took me the whole afternoon to early evening to do that .. I finally got my desktop out of the box and set it up. All I have to get now is a longer ethernet cable and that baby is gonna rock and roll.

As for the other stuff I had planned for .. just cant find the zone these days .. Had plan to research on a RSS reader that i wanted to make for my cell phone.. but I just cant find the programming zone state of mind .. been sitting in front of the PC for clost to an hour now .. but havent coded anything .. hope i find my programming ways tomm morning .. have a lot of stuff to do .. as for now .. will return to watching Godfather on cable ...


I love Fridays .. i really do ...

In my office we have this ritual - we get pizza for everybody for lunch .. everybody just gathers around and has slices of pizza and coke(not slices but cans ) . Its the time when you drop whatever you are doing and head to the common area to grab a slice of the best pizza ("The Bird" from 2boots) before its finished. Once you are done with that you can sample the other toppings. I have always made it a point never to take a holiday on Friday but occassionaly i had to(what was i thinking ??) and have always missed the pizza round about lunch time. We also have a programmer who is like the Pizza Marshal .. he is incharge of ordering the pizza and making sure we have plenty of coke to go around.

In the evening today i had rented a couple of videos and watched both of them .. the first one "The Whole 10 yards" was extremely funny and the second one "The Day After Tommorrow" was a bore actually. I got time to catch up on my email correspondence while I was watching that movie. Still have a lot of catching up to do ... but .. I have the whole weekend ahead of me. :-)

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Rain and the City

It rained all day here yesterday. I called in sick (dont u just love sick days). Went to Trenton in the morning and back to the city in the evening. Got hit by an umbrella again. Somehow this always happens to me when it rains in NYC ... everybody has their umbrellas open and as usual everybody is in a rush. Someday i will get good at dodging them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Another factor to worry about !!!

As if dismal memory and processing processing power wasnt enough there is another factor to be kept in mind.

Found this interesting article about Battery Life.

Solving The Battery Life Puzzle

While you are at it.... it would make sense to go through this too

Maximizing Battery Life With Wireless Software

Cold weather makes me lazy

It has started to get cold here around these parts. Somehow i just dont feel like waking up early in the morning. Been reaching work late the last 2 days cause i just couldnt get up on time. Hopefully things will be a bot different tommorrow(hopefully ...).I was in Raliegh (North Carolina) on monday. The place had gorgeous weather.

Not been working on anything these days. I have my hands full at work with the new BREW project. But at home i just havent been able to concentrate on doing anything c0nstructive at home after work. Cable TV is also a very bad influence. All i have been doing for the last week or so is coming back home and sitting down in front of the tube till i feel sleepy. Something needs to be done about this and now !!!!!...

Saturday, November 06, 2004

WIT Football

Found this old pic of my Football goalie jersey on my laptop. Had taken this pic when i was in India this year.


Another Impulse buy ( i really need to stop this) .. yesterday i bought the domain http://www.brewdir.com from goDaddy. I intend to put code and other documents on that website but from past experiences i know that i will probably forget completely about this website and eventually it will expire.

I really need to stop buying things on impulse. :-)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

BREW Support

Well .. I just had to mention it. I know the BREW platform is new and all that and there is not much documentation around apart from the stuff handed out by QualComm but .. I gotta hand it to them .. I am really impressed with the way the Qguys are handling the stuff.

For instance, When you want to develop for a particular phone you have to send the phone out to QualComm to get the Test bit enabled. This can be a drag for developers migrating to BREW from Series 60 and other platforms but on their part Qualcomm is pretty quick to return the phones. They received my devices on November 3rd and sent them out the same day using overnight shipping. I got the phones back today :-)... There was a minor snag though the camera stopped working on the devices. Its probably due to some bit on the handset getting the wrong value when they flashed the device. I rang up the tech support at their phone center and they were quick to realise their mistake and are paying for the phones to be shipped back to them.

I am not a big fan of the BREW forums at Qualcomm's website but so far all my questions have been answered within 24 hours. This shows that these guys are putting some effort into this. I am slowly getting used to the BREW way of doing things these days and honestly it doesnt seem as big a pain as it did before. Though i admit I havent done all the steps yet and havent actually deployed an application on the handset. From the programming point of view I am getting in touch with a old friend of mine "C" and offcourse "Pointers". Coming from 5-6 months of Java its a bit tough at times but coding in C is a lot easier to get accustomed to then C++.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Been assigned to a new project these days. Its a application to be built for the BREW(Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) platform. Finished the handset client design yesterday. I am sure there will be a lot of changes in that design once the app nears completion but for now I am pretty happy with the design. The only thing left is building the application.

I have been playing around a bit with BREW now and then but have never sat down and actually coded anything meaningful. The fact that kinda turns me off from BREW is the amount of control that Qualcomm has on the development process.

First you need to have access to the developer extranet to get any meaningful documents. The book that i have hasnt been very helpful at all(yet). The best resource for learning to code for the BREW platform is the SDK documentation. The interface names are inituitive so its pretty easy to figure out which interface you might need to accomplish the task.

Using Visual Studio .NET as the development environment is a big help. I have always loved working in that IDE. The other thing that kinda bothers me about BREW is that there is no documentation on the internal working of the platform. Symbian so good in this regard. I am still finding my feet in BREW but soon once i have written a couple of programs and played around with a couple of interfaces I would like to know how best to optimize my code. Couldnt find any document on Qualcomm's website.

I have no complains about the documentation that is provided. To a novice developer it is very useful. What is missing is documentation by thord parties on these topices. J2ME remains my favourite subset to develop apps for mobile devices.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Moving out blues ..

Moved out of my appartment into a new place this weekend. Exhausted from the whole moving deal... the new appartment seems nice .. i got a pretty nice setup here. Will post a pic on this blog soon.

I guess now i should really put in some effort to get my preparation of SCMAD going.. i guess i mentioned it earlier but the ethusiasm kinda fizzled out. Had some time to read up on the PDA API for J2ME ( JSR 75) earlier. Havent been able to play with code on that yet... hopefully, now that I am kinda settled in my new place i can spend some time on it.