Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Free Idea: How to build a Universal Content Delivery Platform

In my quest to become completely portable, I've oft fantasized about what my ideal computing, communications, and entertainment platforms would be like. They must encompass both my business and personal needs, be free of any dependencies on proprietary platforms or services, and be as portable as I am. Hopefully, some day the rest of the world will share my dream and we'll see these fantasies brought to reality. Today, lets talk about my vision for a "Universal Content Delivery Platform".

First, define content and content delivery:

* Content may be audio, video, images, or text.
* Content may be static or dynamic.
* Content may be interactive.
* Content may be a conversation between two or more people.
* Content may be as big as a movie, or small as a text chat.
* Content can be delivered live or delayed.
* Content may be broadcast to a wide audience, or sent directly to an individual.

The "Universal Content Delivery Platform" takes this into account and makes it possible to deliver content to and from any compatible device:

* My device will be wirelessly connected, and will work anywhere in the world.
* My device will be able to play back high resolution video and multi-channel audio.
* My device will be able to record audio and video, and take pictures.
* My device will be secure.
* My device will cache content for rapid retrieval.
* My device will have a familiar interface, and be in my language.
* My device can be as big as a wall, or fit in the palm of my hand.

The "Universal Content Delivery Platform" requires a portal for centralized content management.

* My portal is a two-way gateway for sending and receiving content.
* My portal is always on.
* My portal is always watching for new content that I am interested in
* My portal is always serving the content I have produced.
* My portal speaks a standard protocol to communicate with my device and other portals.
* My portal will give me a globally unique address.
* My portal provide my presense information to people I trust.
* My portal authenticates me to 3rd party applications.
* My portal will give me an Inbox and archive everything I've ever sent or received.
* My portal will process and filter all received content before delivering it to me.
* My portal will take a message if I'm not available and put it in my Inbox.
* My portal will manage my content subscriptions.
* My portal will deliver content in a format my device supports and a language I can read.
* My portal will manage my address book.

I've gone into a lot more detail about this Platform on my Portable Family blog, so hop on over there to keep reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Free Idea: Mobile Devices Participate in Global Event Tracking

I had an idea this morning for a new concept in automotive/portable computers. I haven't spent much time developing this idea, but I want to put it out there for the world to pick over. It's possible others have already thought of it, and equally possible that others have already implemented it. If so, I'd like to know where to find it. If not, maybe somebody might like to.

The idea is to make the "Auto PC" (or any mobile computer) a participating member of a global mesh of similar devices reporting on weather, traffic, construction, accidents, and breaking news events. This would involve establishing a Web 2.0 application (we'll refer to this application as "SuperFeed" for lack of a better name) offering feeds on any of the above events tagged with geographic coordinates. Devices would be equipped with an always-on internet connection from one of the major cell providers (at least until there is "universal wireless internet access") and a GPS receiver, as well as optional components such as weather sensors, cameras, etc. The device would regularly poll SuperFeed and pull any new events tagged for it's location. It could then take advantage of that information to inform the user, update routes, etc.

SuperFeed of course is worthless without being constantly updated on everything happening everywhere in the world. So SuperFeed should have two inputs. First, it should accept submissions from member devices whenever that device has something important to report. Simple information may include current GPS coordinates, speed, and direction of motion. More advanced devices could report weather conditions. A user could press a button on the display to take a picture of an accident or other news event and automatically report it.

Another important input should involve aggregating blogs with geographical tags. Blogs containing localized information would be automatically picked up by SuperFeed and important information would be published to those most in need of knowing about it. This could be a great mechanism for targeted advertising, publishing event information, road work announcements, and breaking news.

"Free Idea" is a column published by me, Jim Phillips. All of these ideas are original, conceived by me. These ideas are not patented, and are published openly in the hopes that someone will make them a reality. If any of these ideas have already been implemented, I would very much like to know more about the product, project, or company which has done the work, so that I can write about it on this blog. I'm also willing to work with venture capitalists to bring these ideas to life, but if you think you can develop my idea without me, please do, and let me know so that I can give you my support and blessing -- free of charge!

What is Web 2.0?

I stumbled across this video on the Atlanta 575 Real Estate blog. For those of you out there who just aren't quite sure what Web 2.0 means, this is for you...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Unions are twisting the words of the Vice President, and mindless minions are listening!

In a blatant attempt at furthering the cause of the almighty Union, and further limiting the rights of the individual to think for himself, Union leaders have instructed their bought and paid for politicians to draft HR800. This bill will eliminate the ability of the individual to take a stand against the Union and say "No, I do not want to Unionize". Currently, Union leaders are able to start the process of Unionization using intimidation and peer pressure. Workers are bullied into signing petitions, thinking that if they don't agree with their co-workers, there will be disharmony in the work place. When it comes to a secret vote, many who have already signed the petition in favor of the Union will vote against it. The Unions don't like this and are doing everything they can to eliminate this critical step in the process.

The "Think Progress" blog, a left-wing, socialist, anti-individualist, left-wing propaganda machine has posted an article including a video of Dick Cheney explaining exactly what is wrong with HR800 and why the White House will veto it should it come to that. The article twists these words and, rather than answering the accusations made by the Vice President, it provides a slew of biased, fear-terminology infused, Union propoganda.

What frightens me more than anything are the comments. Out of 64 comments at the time of this post, I saw 4 which were well thought out arguments against Unions. The remaining 60 comments were either simple hatred of Bush or from people who didn't bother to watch the video and were simply echoing the sentiment of the article. Only the 4 anti-Union posts made any mention of the fact that the secret vote is an important part of the process.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An Open Invitation to join an Open Source Enterprise Monitoring project

I've started an Enterprise Monitoring blog in the hopes of attracting subject matter experts and developers to the common goal of developing an enterprise scale comprehensive monitoring solution. I also want to build a company around supporting the product and offering it as a hosted service.

read more | digg story

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Remapping the Universe using this "Minority Report" GUI

I was having lunch and saw a CNN story on this on the big screen. I was just scanning digg.com and came across this story with a video demonstration of a new multiple hand, touch, and gesture based GUI technology straight out of science fiction movies like Minority Report. I don't know how much of this demonstration is just that, or if this is a functional technology. I don't care. It's way cool. I gotta get me one of these!

read more | digg story

Linspire, Canonical, Freespire, Ubuntu join forces

Canonical Ltd., the sponsor of Ubuntu, and Linspire Inc. the developer of Linspire and Freespire, on February 8 announced a technology partnership to integrate with each other's Linux distributions. Linspire/Freespire will be based on Ubuntu, rather than Debian, and Ubuntu will integrate with Linspire's CNR package installer/updater.

Personally, I think this is an excellent fit. Ubuntu's motto is "Linux for Human Beings". I interpret this to mean that Ubuntu is for those of us who want a useable desktop, and aren't necessarily worried about running "Pure Linux", or 100% GPL'ed software. Linspire, for a long time now, has been about combining the power of Linux with proprietary software, and making it simple for the end user to get what they need. The tools that Linspire has developed for distributing software, combined with the solid platform base that is Ubuntu, will go a long way towards making Linux truly a platform for human beings.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Five ways to use Windows apps in Linux

Still on the topic of preaching the Word of Linux to those poor souls trapped in the Microsoft Hell, here's a terrific article listing multiple ways to run your "Can't Live Without" Windows apps in Linux.

The Open Source Advocate: Five ways to use Windows apps in Linux

Great Resource: Easily Find The Free Open Source Software You Want / Need

My father stubbornly refuses to make the leap from Windows to Linux despite my constant pleading and despite being highly annoyed at Microsoft's fascist licensing. He is convinced that there are no applications for Linux that can compare to those found in Windows. OSalt.com is my answer to his argument. It pairs open-source projects with their traditional expensive equivalents, making it easy to find exactly what you need: "Our mission is to provide easy access to high quality open source alternatives to well-known commercial products. And remember that open source software is also a freeware alternative."

Of course, there's always the programs you're just not willing to give up. He's a big fan of EVE Online, so i need to point out to him that he can run EVE natively in Linux through the magic of WINE.

OSalt.com | winehq.org | digg story

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Amazing Magic Trick with... only 3 cards?!

How is it even possible? See if you can figure it out... short clip, 1 minute.

read more | digg story

Hillary Clinton wants to take your daughter's college fund

Boortz doesn't much care for people ripping off his content without giving him props, so here's your props Neal! Thanks for pointing out again how much of a screaming socialist shrew Hillary Clinton is.

Apparently Hillary thinks that Exxon owes something to the entire world, not just it's shareholders. She wants to take Exxon's recent windfall profits and use it to fund her socialist agenda. When Exxon makes huge profits, it turns those profits over to its shareholders in the form of dividends. Many shareholders are going to put those dividends into savings, retirements, college tuition, and other worthy investments. Hillary wants to take those profits out of the pockets of Exxon shareholders and spend it on government programs. Government programs serve one purpose -- they make the politicians more powerful.

Follow the link for the full story on Nealz Nuze.

Windows Vista upgrade power tips

I tend to switch back and forth between Linux and Windows. Since I'm currently enjoying Linux again, and my next planned computer purchase will be a Mac Book Pro, I won't be upgrading to Windows Vista any time soon. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, but probably not until at least the first Service Pack comes out. Maybe I'll run a copy of it in Parallels.

But for those of you who are making the leap to Vista, our friends at LifeHacker have posted an article full of tips for getting the most out of your system -- assuming your system can make the most of Vista.

Link: Geek to Live: Windows Vista upgrade power tips

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Folding Sofa

It might not be the most stylish piece of furniture in your house, but if you've got a bunch of people coming over and need a place for them to sit, this folding sofa might just be the answer to your prayers.

Finally! Google Maps for Windows Mobile

My morning commute consists of sitting on a bus for an hour, followed by sitting on a train for 45 minutes. Needless to say I've got a lot of time to keep on top of my blog subscriptions using my favorite mobile app: Google Reader. Google has just made my Motorola Q a little more useful by announcing the availability of Google Maps for Windows Mobile. This app has been available for awhile for Java, Palm, and Blackberry phones, but now there's an official release for Windows Mobile devices. All I can say is, it's about time! You can get this handy tool by browsing to http://google.com/gmm from your phone and installing the CAB file. It's as simple as that. You'll then have access to all the same great features that make the full Google Maps a terrific application (and a few that the main app doesn't even have), such as Real Time Traffic, Turn by Turn directions, local business searches, and integration with GPS devices.

To give credit where credit is due, Google isn't the first to come out with Google Maps for Windows Mobile. A few weeks ago, I found a free tool called Map4PDA that has much of the same functionality, but can use not only Google Maps, but Yahoo! Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Ask.com Maps as a data provider, and has some special functionality built in for Realtors and users who are house hunting.