Friday, February 29, 2008

Cell Phones and the JSR 179 Location API

I noticed something called JSR-179 (Java Specification Request) is being included in the new Java Phones.

What is JSR 179?

Location-based services (LBS) provide users of mobile devices personalized services tailored to their current location. They open a new market for developers, cellular network operators, and service providers to develop and deploy value-added services: advising users of current traffic conditions, supplying routing information, helping them find nearby restaurants, and many more.

How do they do it?

3 Different ways... actually.

* Using the mobile phone network
* Using GPS satellites
* Using short-range positioning beacons

So, with this information in mind. I was interested in finding out which cellphones have this JSR enabled.

More information about JSR 179 is available here.

Now here is the interesting tidbit, most of the mobile phone providers don't mention this information on the same page as their phones. You have to dig deep to find this information on the specification or features pages.

According to Sony Ericsson Code Wiki, the location API can be used to access built in GPS or an external GPS Receiver. So far, Sony Ericsson has only released phones that do the latter, they access an external GPS receiver, but there is talk that they will shortly
announce a mobile with JSR 179 support.

NEW UPDATE - Device search database integrated in SDK
Find technical specifications of thousands of mobile devices using the built-in WURFL database search engine. The database search tool is versatile and easy to use, allowing you to search a large number of mobile device properties. More than 8000 device specifications are accessible from the Java ME Platform SDK.

OLD - No Longer Exists
So, for all those who want to know if your cell phone or a cell phone you want to buy has GPS integration check this list out here.


For Example, the BlackBerry Pearl from RIM, is on the list, has built in GPS, and that GPS is accessible from the JSR 179 Location API.

Charles Web Debugging Proxy

Charles is an HTTP proxy / HTTP monitor / Reverse Proxy that enables a developer to view all of the HTTP traffic between their machine and the Internet. This includes requests, responses and the HTTP headers (which contain the cookies and caching information).

Charles can act as a man-in-the-middle for HTTP/SSL communication, enabling you to debug the content of your HTTPS sessions.

There is a huge list of features here.

More information about Charles is available here.

Cellphone J2ME Applications

So, I found a couple of sweet J2ME applications for my cellphone.

Please note, some of these applications may result in data charges, and I can't be held responsible for that. ;) Now onto the fun stuff!

MidpSSH

MidpSSH is an SSH and Telnet client for MIDP 1.0 / 2.0 (J2ME) devices such as Java(tm)-capable cellphones and other mobile devices. MidpSSH is available here.

Floyd SSH

MidpSSH is based upon Floyd SSH. FloydSSH is available here.

vlkgps

vlkgps is a GPS aplication for geocaching. It can hook up to GPS devices over bluetooth for tracking or leaving points. vlkgps source code is also available!
You can export and import the points or the tracking into these formats.
  • .csv file works in MS Excel
  • .kml file is possible to open in googleearth
  • .gpx file (with saved track) use some photoalbum programs
  • .loc file for geocaching.com
More information on vlkgps is available here.

amAze

amAze is a first of its kind free navigation and local search service. It is free to download and use and it contains wide coverage of maps including aerial photo in Europe, North America,Australia and parts of Asia and Africa. More information about amAze is available here. This one does uses data, beware.

TrekBuddy

TrekBuddy is a application for GPS navigation and tracking.
Lots of cool features. More information is available here.


Well, I think that this a good list to start with. I will add more when I find them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

EnerJar - DIY Power Meter

The EnerJar is an easy-to-build device that accurately measures the power draw of electrical appliances. The EnerJar was the winner of the Greener Gadgets design competition.

More information about EnerJar is available here.

More Greener Gadget notable entries are available here. I personally like the Torch Light.

VLC media player

I can't believe I didn't have this posted a long time ago....

VLC - the cross-platform media player and streaming server

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

More information, on this great little media player, is available here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HD-DVD is dead .... How to convert your HD-DVDs to Blu-Ray

We knew it was one of the formats was going to die, well it happened. HD-DVD is dead, and Toshiba announced the funeral.

A nice little how-to on wired popped up for the followers of HD-DVD, myself included.

How to convert your HD-DVD movies to Blu-Ray!

From the site....

By converting your movies to a Blu-Ray, you can ensure your movie collection survives the death of the machine that plays them.

The process is simple in principle but excruciating in practice, thanks to the complexity of the technology, the myriad of applications needed and the predations of an industry that doesn't want you format-shifting at all.

What you need:
  • A Windows machine with a fast processor
  • An HD-DVD drive
  • A Blu-Ray burner
  • 30GB of free disk space, at least, though 40GB or more is recommended
  • An internet connection to download all the software you need.

More information about this process is available here. Thanks Wired!

Lamp lit by gravity

Concept illustrations of Gravia depict an acrylic column a little over four feet high. The entire column glows when activated. The electricity is generated by the slow fall of a mass that spins a rotor. The resulting energy powers 10 high-output LEDs that fire into the acrylic lens, creating a diffuse light. The operation is silent and the housing is elegant and cord free -- completely independent of electrical infrastructure.

The light output will be 600-800 lumens - roughly equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb over a period of four hours.

To "turn on" the lamp, the user moves weights from the bottom to the top of the lamp. An hour glass-like mechanism is turned over and the weights are placed in the mass sled near the top of the lamp. The sled begins its gentle glide back down and, within a few seconds, the LEDs come on and light the lamp.

More information is available here and here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

World of Warcraft Auction House Price Database

wowecon.com keeps a massive database of in-game prices from the Auction House and vendors, and provide data, charts, and graphs online.

Additionally, wowecon.com provides a World of Warcraft Addon enabling players to display data in-game.

This site keeps prices fairly up-to-date, and is great for pricing items before selling them!

More information is available here.

Wink - Freeware Tutorial and Presentation creation software

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). This software is pretty easy to use, and presents itself cleanly on the web.

Features:
  • Freeware: Distributed as freeware for business or personal use. However if you want to redistribute Wink, you need to get permission from the author.
  • Cross-Platform: Available for all flavours of Windows and various versions of Linux.
  • Audio: Record voice as you create the tutorial for explaining better.
  • Input formats: Capture screenshots from your PC, or use images in BMP , JPG, PNG, TIF, and GIF formats.
  • Output formats: Macromedia Flash, EXE, PDF, PostScript, HTML or any of the above image formats.
  • Multilingual support
  • Smart Capture Tools: Capture screenshots automatically as you use your PC, based on mouse and keyboard input (great time saver and generates professional captures).
  • Performance/Quality: Creates highly compressed Flash presentations (few kbs to few hundreds of kbs, much smaller than competing commercial products).
More information is available here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pocket 56k IR Modem

This is a pretty cool device for the techy on the go. It works with, according to the manufacturer, any handheld or notebook with an IR port.



The Pocket IR Modem is compatible with every IrDA compliant handheld, notebook and other device.

Utilizing one of the best IrDA software stacks in the world, the IrDA software on the Pocket IR Modem can assure efficient and secure data transfer between your device and our modem.

The software is powered by an ARM7 TDMI microcontroller to ensure optimal performance and throughput.

More information is available here.