Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Live MobVideo Streaming... Mobile Web2.0 Here?

Yep it's all coming together, with more and more «relatively» in expensive multimedia mobile phones that do video, photo and much more (hint hint Apple) such as the Nokia N95 as well as a myriad of smartphones like the HTC P3600. We are starting to see some serious attempts to bring web 2.0 and make ubiquitous in the sense available anywhere and at anytime.

My mate monkeyleader is trying one of the latests solutions called Qik. Check out his blog post on the subject here. Unfortunately I can't join the party as the site currently only supports Nokia type phones... Can't wait till they open up to the HTCs!

This brings to mind that Nokia recently launched itself into the content arena as well with Nokia is announcing it as the «mobile social networking experience that encourages collaboration, creativity and communication»! Definitely something to keep a watchful eye on...

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Localization Beyond GPS

GPS is quite common now and is found more and more in mobile applications via the integration of a unit inside smartphones (such as the HTC P3600). GPS for the moment is seen as the better technology for localization for mobile phones versus its alternative which is to use signal noise ratios combined with the cell the phone is registered on (BTW this is how the My Location option works in Google Maps on mobile when no GPS is available).

A Utah based company, S5 Wireless aim to change this dependence on GPS by introducing what they call a new disruptive technology in the localization domain. Their technology is based on a set of proprietary wireless emitters and receivers that can be deployed anywhere (both indoors and outdoors). They claim that they will be able to achieve a 10m to 15m accuracy! Nice!

To be honest, there is nothing really new technology wise in what they are doing. It is still a type of triangulation (using multiple radios sources, time to receive and signal noise ratios) to determine the device location. However what seems to be innovative is that they will be distributing/releasing the radio components for very little or zero cost. Their business model is that they will provide and resale acess to the back-end database that controls and ensures data integrity for the location data! A sort of federate or trusted data model, or as the company says the equivalent of Lojack or Onstar.

More information in this CIO Today article.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Game Publishers Need to Treat Europe More Seriously

The X-Mas Season is upon us and over the past few weeks, I have been looking at which games to purchase as gifts for my son and myself. Now outside a few good titles like Guitar Hero 3, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and others, it would seem that most of the games that are of any real interest won't be coming out until mid January. In fact there doesn't seem to be any new good releases for December in Europe while in January we will see Rock Band, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, ...

So I just don't get the marketing principal on that one! It's not like the games are not ready (most of these have been released in the USA already). As a consumer why would I want to spend any money now on crap or games that I am not interested in when I can wait two or three weeks and get what I really want!

So come one you game publishers... Wake UP! Europe is a serious market... give us the games!!!!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Why So Little Tech News...

So postings have been sparse on my blog unfortunately. There are a number of reasons for this sparsity which includes just a complete lack of time. I have had too many things to do and issues to resolve both at home and work. Plus my son has been racking up the hours on World of Warcraft barring my access to the computer.

To be fair though, I am not convinced that me rewrite technology articles is really useful or relevant. I use Google Reader as an RSS aggregator and reader. It allows me to share articles that I am interested in or find relevant. I decided a few months ago to use that as my platform for sharing articles I feel merit highlighting in technology (and other) news. [OK I' m sorry forgot to mention this before...]

So If you want my hot items on technology either look at my Google Reader Share page or subscribe to the feed.

Are Facebook Apps the New Chain-Mail Syndrome?

I have had a profile on Facebook now for quite a few months (lost track to be honest). At the beginning my activity was simple enough, it consisted of just friends and posting from wall to wall.

After a few weeks, I started getting Facebook App invitations from all over the place. Some even multiple times as different friends invited me to use the same applications. The natural thing to do is to accept those invitations and add the new App to your profile. Now here is the interesting part, and the rant.

The system is conceived in such a way that when you add a new App, it automatically asks you to share it with your friends. You can of course skip this but the natural tendency is to send the new found App to your friends on your list. Now it dawned on me, yesterday, while chatting with some colleagues in Cambridge that this is almost like viral marketing or messaging (or whatever you want to call it). I would even go as far as to say this is almost like the old chain-mail, and chain-email stuff from the 80's and 90's! Remember those things, where you would receive them and in the message it would say, please forward this to your friends and colleagues etc etc etc! I am sure that this was not the original intent of the Facebook creators when they created an API and there are some good things about the extensions that Facebook supports. But...

Think about it! Facebook Apps are doing exactly the same thing right now... Some are even monetary chain-mails (yes some Apps allow you to opt into giving the creator money)! So what, well:

  • My question is will this explode into the new viral marketing of the decade...
  • Are we as humans still not evolved enough to be gullible like that (I am guilty of this)...
  • Or do we just need to have this affirmation of our power to share new things and new information with our firends

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

One Lap or Two?

This is one heck of a long swimming pool! I wonder how long it would take to swim one or two laps. Definitely a good work out!
Photo credit: Spluch

Also seen on Crave.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Thoughts on How to Improve Google Reader

For those who track me on Twitter and know me a little bit, you may have heard me going on about how I would like to see some form of tool that aggregates the articles coming from different feeds. My problem is that there is too much information out there and the fact is that more and more sites are covering the same news or information in general.

So I have been doing some more thinking on my ideas regarding how to improve Google Reader.

My main wish is that it be more intelligent with the feed content. As I previously have pointed out here and on my twitter, many of my feeds carry the same or similar information. My idea is that there should be some form of aggregation of this information. What is required is something similar to this diagram:

That was a simple example where the articles present the same information. The idea is that this should be extrapolatable to information that presents itself differently but is still concerning the same information. Essentially something like this:

Now this not far fetched as Google already does this in News:

Notice how this article presents one story and multiple references to similar or linked stories. This is the kind of thing that needs to be done to the multitude of articles in RSS feeds. It would considerably reduce the amount of entries to read and also cut out the noise!

So Google are you up to the challenge.
Note: The graphics are presented in this attached signed PDF: Thoughts on Improvements to Google Reader Graphics

Friday, 5 October 2007

iPhone Not so Happy for Apple in France = unlocked

It's started! The iPhone is not even officially released yet in Europe and more specifically France than Apple is already facing trouble with its selling methodology.

In fact Les Echos recently reported that Apple has forgotten one fundamental principal that stands in Europe and specifically France today: You can't screw the customer! Consumer law prohibits the sale of any good and service that are dependent on each other in France and some other EU countries. For mobile operators this translates into the fact that they can no longer tie a phone and mobile plan together.

Because of this law, Orange in France the official iPhone carrier, may in fact be forced to sell it without a data plan and carrier lock! Of course this is a big problem for Apple as the current price of the iPhone with «subsidies» is still very expensive and gives no real motivation to buy a locked version... Besides why would you want to buy such an expensive multimedia phone with no 3G+ and no video, when you can buy cheaper and better multimedia phones like the Nokias, Samsungs and others!

France may be the first place where Apple is in fact forced to sell the iPhone unlocked!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Cool New Feature in Google Spreadsheets

This morning I was perusing and updating one of my Google Spreadsheets when I discovered two new functions that make Google Spreadsheets Internet smart!
The description on Google reads:
Two new functions bring the power of Google directly into your spreadsheet. The GoogleFinance function retrieves current price and volume for stocks, indices and ETF's. For example, GoogleFinance("GOOG") returns the latest Google stock price.

The GoogleLookup function attempts to answer your question using the web, with information about people, places and things, like the population of Japan, the mass of Jupiter, or the place of birth of Abraham Lincoln. It doesn't know everything, but it knows quite a bit. For example, GoogleLookup("T Rex","length") returns "40 feet".
And this was actually quite helpful as I have a spreadsheet tracking some of my stock options and I was able to use the GoogleFinance function to have it automatically insert the current stock price!
The only thing missing now is an extension to the function to allow it to read Currency exchange rate then it will be perfect (or almost)

Monday, 1 October 2007

Halo 3 Finally at my House

Ok so I am probably jumping on the bandwagon as well! But...
I finally received my copy of Halo 3 today! w00t I didn't get it on the release date (despite my vendor putting it in the mail before) as I order from a store in the UK so I am sure I get an English version of the contents (ed. Long story and not relevant).
Yesterday after work, I fired up the game! My honest opinion its fantastic even though I have not even finished chapter one yet as I ran out of time. But the game play so far is fast paced and full of action! And its damn hard, even on Normal game play mode (ed: I always play the game at normal first and then proceed)...
More post late when I get further through the game ;-)

Full Web Browsing on Mobiles

According to this interview with some HTC folks, we could be seeing better browser support coming up on mobile devices.
The new mobile browser would support a complete set of functionalities from AJAX to XML via touched based zoom-in and zoom-out.
For example, Peter Chou from HTC indicates that:
HTC will have very good browser for full web browsing next year.
Mobile Internet is getting better and better...

Monday, 24 September 2007

Yet Another Text Input Method

During Demo Fall 2007, Kannuu presented what they claim is a new and more intelligent way of entering text on a mobile device (or other small footprint system).
The web site description as well as a review on Crave, presents the system as an input method that is unlike others as all it uses is the «joystick» or navigation pad of the device.
The idea is to that the solution will present initial letters and then word completions (like other such systems based on predictive text) that you select through the navigation pad (up,down,left,right). Their claim is that this will work better as they have built contextual predictive text based on the application or desired input goal. So for example in a GPS activated application (such as Google Maps), the input would be based on place or location names.
This may indeed be a better way to input text but it will have to rival with the existing knowledge and habits of people who are now quite use to using the traditional text input on a mobile device.
Definitely a technology to watch!

New gMail in the Works

According to this CNet Article, there might be a new gMail in the works. Well at least a new (and improved?) interface that might support Gears.
Personally, I basically always liked the interface as is. It provides a simple and convenient way to access view and access the e-mail. Gears might be useful but if I usually want offline support, I'll use a standard e-mail client like Thunderbird.
Knowing Google though I am sure that it will be a considerably better version! I hope that they spend sometime putting in some improved mobility aspects. Some of things I would like to see include:
  • SMS push notifications
  • and or direct push of e-mail to mobile
  • Better mobile client

Friday, 21 September 2007

GuildCafé: Social Networking for Gamers

Feel like the typical social networks (Facebook, mySpace, ...) do not meet your gaming addictions? Well thjs new site might actually be of interest to you.

GuildCafé is a dedicated gaming site to bring together players and/or guild members outside of their typical playgrounds. Jon Radoff created the social network to give MMORPG gamers a space outside the game so that they could continue socializing with one another while continuing to use their gaming handles (their alter-ego) instead of their names as profiles.

Look me up FVTer player member.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

People Are Biggest Threat to IT Security

It is a common body of knowledge in IT Security that the biggest threat are People. There is really nothing new here! However the interesting twist in this post on The Register is that a Deloitte report/survey has shown that in fact it is not only the employees of financial institutions that are at cause but also the customers. Interestingly enough this cause beyond the individual company-customer relationship but also the company-to-company relationship. The ability, or in fact lack of it, to set-up business partnerships that are not prone to People error on one side or the other.

This just demonstrates the importance of having a Security Policy that is in fact in-depth and cause to the core of what a company needs to protect: The Information! Protecting the perimeter is no longer enough more in-depth solutions must be sought out and applied!

Firefox Memory Problems Fixed?

News on the MozillaBlog would seem to suggest that Firefox may finally fix some of its memory issues:
Many Mozilla community members, including both volunteers and Mozilla Corporation employees, have been helping to reduce Firefox's memory usage and fix memory leak bugs lately. Hopefully, the result of this effort will be that Firefox 3 uses less memory than Firefox 2 did, especially after it has been used for several hours.

This would be good news. I have been fighting with Firefox memory issues since I adopted it as a browser. For example, right now What's Running tells me it is using up to 46560K when it starts and hits close to 265000K when it is no longer usable and drives me nuts!
I just hope they do succeed in finally fixing this bug (cause it is a bug)!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Hacker-Proof System? Will Ectocryp Be It?

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) recently announced a new encryption protocol called Ectocryp.
The system apparently, according to this Crave post, owes its success to lightning fast key changes that keeps the cryptographic base continuously changing and thus, in theory, not discoverable by a hacker. EADS claims that the system can do real-time encryption of voice, video and data (at least according to their commercial). Their pamphlet claims 1Gbps throughput for the encryption which is pretty good and would be able to sustain their claims.
Definitely a Security technology to follow...

Friday, 14 September 2007

Search Directions

Om Malik's blog entry on the evolution of Search Engines presents an interesting idea or notion on how searching might be improved as we move on. He covers what I think are two important notions: the first being assisted searching like Mahalo and the second being aggregation or hyper-aggregation of results into a consistent information view.
I started trying Mahalo a few weeks ago. The premise is that searching is facilitate by real people who build compilations of results tagged to specific keywords. This in theory provides the user with a more interesting and relevant view of what they are looking for. The problem is that this is in theory! In most cases this will work as long as you are searching for common information that is relevant to a majority of people.
But how successful can this be? Isn't this search aggregation just limiting the results and potentially excluding what one person might think is relevant versus some other persons...

Interactive Bar in London

Just saw this Crave post regarding a new bar in London called the TwentyFour. The bar looks cool with wall-to-wall high-techiness! The description points out that the place is filled with the latest technology for lighting and drink making. The pictures from both the Crave article and the Bar web site are definitely intriguing.
I think that this will be a place to visit on my next trip to London.

New Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

I've been thinking of getting the Logitech G15 for a number of years now. However, I have been hesitant due to the large size and potentially not sure what to do with all the Macro keys they put on the thing.
Apparently the new version addresses some of these issues according to this ExtremeTech article. The article discuss some of the applications that use the LCD screen and I have to admit I was drawn to the WoW interface as well as others...
Definitely worth some further investigation and potential addition to the home hardware.

Friday, 24 August 2007

A Memorium to Glouton

Over the past week, one of our cats named Glouton has fallen deathly ill. He has renal failure. The last of couple of days it has been getting worse.
The cat is not doing very well... Its having trouble moving & keeping its head up. I suppose that's what happens with renal failure, well from experience (note: we have lost two other cats that way as well so we kind of were expecting this).
So we took the decision to take him to the Vets this evening and end his suffering. He had not eaten for two or thee days now and was crying out in pain.
The cat has had a good life been with us for close to 17 years. He turned 16 last year. Kept us company over 2 continents and has been an overall pleasant cat apart from the times we need to bath him as he soiled himself with diarrhea. To see more of this cute Persian pedigree take a look at these photos.

R.I.P Glouton, 2007-08-24 19:40 we will miss you flat pirate face...

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Ok, so I have just spent total of about 3 hours last night trying to get to the support from Free. Of which I got through like 5 times except that 4 of times I was hung up on. I decided to write a letter to them about this (they replied almost a month afterwards saying they had no idea what I was talking about).

Anyway when I finally got through.. There only answer is they cant do anything until I take my box and try it on a neighbors installation. Use their power supply and line! Who the fuck! are they kidding... That's insane!

First off, none of my direct neighbors have Free and besides that is like a by definition unrealistic argument because it doesn't prove anything! It also is just a complete and total disrespect for the customers. There is also a moral objection or social argument that by definition would not allow me to actually visit people I don't necessarily know and on top of that I must ask them to let me play with their ADSL connection. I say NO! This is just not RIGHT!

This just goes to show how this company just does not care about its customers nor do the respect them!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Today's my B'Day.. and F'up Very Much

So today turned out to be my birthday and like the rest of this year has turned to some what crap... Anyway this is the extent of my exciting day:

First off, car bill to fix it in order to be able to pass inspection = 2700€
Then to top it off while I was doing something in the kitchen, an loud bang and flash of light hit one of the telephone connection points up the street. I saw it from my window! This was about 19:00! So apparently the surge jumped wires, etc ( I am on a different connection box) and hit my house anyway which basically did the following:

1. Blew out the ADSL box. now I am fighting to get it fixed :- the little green lights on the left side of the led display are blinking... IMHO the box got fried.. Free, the adsl supplier, thinks its the power supply;
2. Blew out my Network gear;
3. Blew out one of my phone, which I purchased only 2 months previously;
4. Nuked my home PC (how you ask read below).

Interestingly enough, you'd be amazed at how easy a surge can jump across telephone wires and spread. The surge came through the line until it hit something that was either a termination point or grounded. In this case the grounded equipment happened to be my PC. So the surge went through the phone line, into the DSL box (fried it), jumped into the Ethernet network (fried the switch) and finally landed on the computer...

Friday, 29 June 2007

Doing that Kyte.TV Thing

So today, I joined the Kyte.TV craze. I decided that it might be in fact useful to be able to publish my rants and raves in glorious color webcam video!

So come check out my rants and raves on the fvter.Rant channel...

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Need an applet to update all my web presence sites...

There are more and more what some (and myself include) call web presence services. These include nano-blogs (like twitter, pownce, jaiku, ...) as well as social networking sites (facebook, virb, ...). With all of these having some form of social and presence attribute that works through the individual posting what is going on in their life.
It dawned on me this morning that some-one really needs to come up with an integrated tool that allows you to essentially replicate or post what you are doing to all these web presence sites. The application should in fact have these types of characteristics:
  • Allow the person to specify the current location
  • Allow the person to specify the current activity
  • Allow the person to nanoblog something
  • Allow the person to associate the activity, location and nanoblog entry together
  • Post the information to the different web presence services with more or less information based on the target environment
  • It should happen ALL at ONCE - one entry many updates
Over time I think that I could probably think of some other things for the app to do but for the moment this would be just fine!

Oh! And it should be mobile enabled as well!!!! ;)

PS: Greatly appreciate a nice person could invite me to Pownce...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Google Docs Upgrade... Are They a Collaboration Leader?

Loading my regular tabs in Firefox today, I noticed that Google Docs had received a new update. I am not sure when they released the update but it caught my attention.

The main change that is noticeable is the new user interface. This new UI actually makes it IMHO more user friendly and presents the user's doc collection in a more familiar layout.

It provides a user with a view of his documents and has converted the document tags into folders. This is definitely an update that is useful for the overall functionality.

I am actually still impressed by the ease of use of Google Docs and the ability to collaborate in it with other people. It impress me because they have basically succeeded in creating a easy to use collaboration environment. Something that corporations, including the one I work for, are having an enormous trouble implementing... Makes you wonder why a company who has no vested interest in providing these types of services achieves it better than a corporate IT department whose users are crying out for it!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Why no news...

I have to admit my Blogging has been kind of slow of late. To be truthful I am spending way too much of my free time on WoW. What to do... You spend so much time on medical leave you loose track of the real world and immerse yourself.

But there are some more concrete reasons as well. To be truthful, I have not come across anything really worth writing about in great detail (a ping on Twitter is enough). I also don't want to add to the blah-blah about the good and bads of some of the important tech news lately like why the iPhone needs to be better for Europe, etc...

No worries... I'll blog when the time is good and right and when the Rhum flows.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Steve Jobs Calls AppleTV a Hobby

This video of Steve Jobs was taken during at the All Things Digital 2007 conference. The extracts from the complete discussion are quite interesting. What amused me the most is how he describes the Apple business being 3 things; one of them being a hobby :- the AppleTV ;-)

But the best part is Steve Jobs talking about iTunes on Windows and describing it as «giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell»! LOL...

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Microsoft Surface Announced

Microsoft yesterday evening announced its new human interface environment named Surface. The solution is quite impressive and provides a coffee table type screen with multi-touch input, something like what has been included in the Apple iPhone but in a bigger format. Check out the Popular Mechanics Video on Surface.

Interestingly enough this is not a «brand new» idea or technology. Microsoft, Apple and Synaptic are just commercializing an innovate solution developed by the Jeff Han at the New York University called Multi-Touch Interaction Research. I had, for my current job, helped identify this solution as a new and more intuitive mechanism for user to data interaction. I still believe it will be an incredible advance in the way we visualize and interact with data! ;-) What is good is that both Microsoft and Apple are really bringing this to the forefront and into the mainstream...

Definitely something to watch!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Whoa! StarCraft II Finally Announced

I was no great fan of the original StarCraft. I was more of a Emperor - Battle for Dune or Dark Reign fan. This weekend Blizzard finally made the long awaited announcement that StarCraft II was in production and slated for release sometime in the near future [does that mean this year or next or ??? :- I wonder ;(]

The new version promises quick a fair bit of upgrades to the previous incarnation, including:
  • More distinctive race attributes meaning that the different playable races will have specific gaming elements;
  • Upgraded abilities for the original units that were present in the original
  • Uses a 3D engine that "realistic physics and the ability to render several large, highly detailed units and massive armies on-screen simultaneously."
  • Map editing to make your own battle grounds
  • Provides multiplayer support but only through if what has been currently written is true.
The hype intrigued me to check out the initial coverage from the usual places, GameSpot, IGN, etc. The game itself looks pretty impressive. IMHO when you see images like these and play footage like this you hard pressed to wonder if you will be able to resist not getting the game. My primary worry is what kind of processing power this is going to require.

I do have one regret though, why is it not MMORPG like? With World of Warcraft, Blizzard is leader of the pack in this domain so why not apply some of these learned techniques to new games... maybe for the 3rd iteration!

For more coverage check-out this 1Up story.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Revisiting Ruby on Rails

While perusing today, I came across this interesting web page on Ruby on Rails tutorials. I had been following the developments of Ruby for awhile now but this page actually provided something useful: a set of tutorial links.

I was certainly intrigued by the flavor and depth of the list of help and tutorial sites. One link was especially useful and it includes an interactive tutorial: TryRuby!. Very nice...

Digging deeper, I found a really interesting video (it almost impressed me and that's no mean feat!): Creating a Weblog in 15 mins.

Conclusion: Going to invest some more time in a deeper understanding of Ruby on Rails.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Job Hunting Madness

So during my convalescence, I realized that it was definitely time to start exploring new job opportunities. There are many reasons for this decisions but primarily because I realized that my current job is not going anywhere and has little or zero growth potential.

I have had contacts with some of the major players in the IT world but with no luck for the moment.

However this is where I have fallen into a catch-22 type situation. Why? As it would seem that the IT/IS industry is much more interested in looking for young cheap staff (and I suppose more dynamic)! But what happened to the need for experienced professionals to be give guidance and strength to those IT projects...

My search continues, I have my CV and search engines posted on most of the major online job sites (monster, stepstone, ...)

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Electro-Luminescent Technology or Printed Segmented Electroluminescence

I was recently reading some tech and sci-fi blogs when I came across this post aboutPixel Watches from O.D.M. The interesting thing with these watches is that they use electro-luminescent technology instead of standard LED displays or other. This technology is actually quite interesting it is more commonly known as Printed Segmented Electroluminescence or pSEL.

pSEL, according to WikiPedia, is a new technology (developed by UK company Pelikon) that builds on the phenomenon of electroluminescence and has uses in creating flexible displays and interface technologies. The technology essentially uses a printing method to encapture phosphorous materials that have different capacitive, insulation and conducting layers to create iconic and segmented lit areas. The company boasts that the displays are cheaper to produce, lightweight, brighter and can provide touch based input. Here is a demo from YouTube:

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Can Playing the Wii Help You Exercise Correctly

While reading my RSS feeds today, I ran across this article: Personal trainer turns to the Wii | Crave : The gadget blog.

Interestingly enough, it discuss how a personal trainer in Glasgow (UK for you non-geography types) has devised a fitness program using the Wii. I am assuming that this is achieved through an extensive physical use of the controller. That means getting off the couch and jumping around with the Wii mote in hand.

Well people, I am trying to do that exactly (althought this week will be hard as my son ran off with the Wii for his vacation). I have been diligently playing Wii Sports doing both the Training and Practice activities and some events like tennis, bowling and boxing.

To be fair my Wii Training Age has varied anywhere between 28 (achieved 2 days ago) versus 50 (that one was done about 4 days ago). The problem is that for some of the sports I have not quite gotten the nack of them.
Going to keep on practicing... Cause this is finally a fitness program I can live with! ;-)

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Is Internet invading all in France...

Ok, so the title is kind of lame for one of my first rants on this blog. Its all about how much the Internet is becoming a daily tool for every tom, dick & harry here in France.

This all started when we went to purchase a new stove top for the kitchen. The unit was purchased from the biggest home appliance chain :- Darty. This is a store that has in the last couple of years complete adopted the Internet as an extension/tool for their physical commercial presence and IMHO are doing it quite successfully. Their site not only provides online purchasing but also can tell you in which store near your location has the item you are interested in. They have even become one of the newest kids on the bloc for providing triple-play DSL services. More recently they have moved to provide a customer interface.

During the purchase, the sales rep gave us an Internet account pamphlet. The card inside the pamphlet provides you with a client account number and a temporary password (which you then need to change). The card basically ties your purchasing and support information to a web profile that you create. Giving you the facility to track your purchasing history, on-going deliveries and customer care issues.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The Future of Twitter, Dave Winer's Thoughts

I have been a long time follower of Dave Winer and an early adopter and scripter on Dave's product UserLand. However that was back in the day when I had time, money and much more...

Recently, I came across his handle on Twitter and have been following him since.

Today he posted on his blog at some interesting thoughts on what the future of Twitter might be! The article itself presents some of Dave's ideas such as:
  • A world-wide command line
  • Twitter OpenSource Clones
  • External connectors
Over the past few years, I have been working on a lot of mobility projects. I think that a stronger direction in the mobility domain maybe a way to go for Twitter:
A more integrated location attachment to the Twitter (beyond TwitterVision), the idea being that when you are Twitting while moving around, a mobility tag automatically gets added somehow. This could be achieved through GPS location tools on PDAs or GSM/Cell Tower location detection.
In that same respect and as a follow through:
Maybe a close integration with Twitter and mobile displays or electronic displays to be able to display twitters based on the location where you are. That is to say and for example, when you walk into a certain area you get notified of other twitters in the area and what they are up-to.

So that's may basic thoughts on what may be some evolutions for Twitter...

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

TGV 150 - Another Speed Record for the French Train System

With the recent inauguration of the new railway tracks for the TGV going from Paris towards the east, the SNCF (French railway company) and Alsthom expect to set a new world speed record for the train travel.
Operation TGV 150, where 150 again refers to a target speed in metres per second, is a series of high speed trials currently underway on the LGV Est, prior to its June 2007 opening. Operation TGV 150 is conducted jointly by SNCF, TGV builder Alstom, and LGV Est owner Réseau Ferré de France. The highest speeds are expected to be reached near kilometer post 190 on the LGV Est, between the Meuse and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations, where the most favorable profile exists. Following a series of increasingly high speed runs, the official speed record attempt will take place on April 5 2007, with a target speed of 570 km/h. (Thanks WikiPedia)
The TGV is just an amazing overall feet of technology. As we say in french :- «incroyable»!

Time to Buy an XBox360? Elite!

So the rumor mill has been going on about a new version (xbox360v2) for awhile now, since December 2006 or there abouts.

More recently, both Engadget and Xbox360Fanboy have been reporting on recent information, «officially» or not, leaked from Microsoft. Engadget actually reports on what could be official specs from Microsoft that include a black profile, HDMi output and 120gb HD but unfortunately still no built-in WiFi or HD-DVD. While Fanboy has gotten its hands on some spy photos from the production line.

I just pray they keep the price to a nice number and that it is made quickly available in the EU so that I can finally check one of these out of the store! Huahhh...

MonkeyLeader VidCasts on PS3

My mate MonkeyLeader posted a couple of video-casts on his impressions of the PS3.

However, I am still not convinced about it yet. Maybe I just need to go and play some games on it (do I hear an invite Nige?). All but the great technology it includes (inc. the cell processor) and the cool integration of Folding@Home [ed. I think that using idle CPU time to better the world is a fantastic idea], I find it to be an expensive overkill - or possibly dude - but that is just my impression.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Laptop Coolers!

I have unfortunately for the past 3 months been house and couch ridden. Luckily I have a laptop! I have however been feeling the crunch of the overheated CPU (even though it is supposed to be a Centrino Duo). No burn marks on my lap yet but it makes me wonder...

This led me to an article on the Crave Blog from last week. The article talks about some the different laptop cooling devices that fit underneath the laptop and protect both it and your lap or desk. I was actually surprised to see that the non-powered ones are just as effective or even maybe more effective than those that are powered by a USB port (downside of that being the additional drain on the battery).

Hmmm... May need to invest in one of these, something to look into on my next trip to the U.S.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Yeah and so... My rant on Justin.TV

Justin.TV has had a lot of blogosphere commentary and praises. If you are not aware, it is basically about:

Justin wears the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in the bathroom. Even on a date.

I have to give some kudos to the technological difficulty in achieving this! Let's be real, network connectivity for everywhere you go and are is not easy to achieve (and can become quite expensive).

However, I do have to consider this something of a WTF! I mean what is the ultimate purpose, document the day in a life? How long will it last? What can you real keep and archive and make useful? What kind of future commentary will this portray of today's society!

So once again a big WTF!

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Welcome to FVTer's Blog


This is my first post on but not my first attempt at blogging. I recently decided to go back to blogging.

A first step to this was to decide which service to use? Should I use this one ( or Wordpress ( Anyway, it is very difficult to decide as each service has some good point and some bad points. So to start off, I decided to open on both. And for the first month or so post my messages on both! Well see what happends...

So for Blogger, this new 2.0 interface is quite slick and very easy to use. The interface is considerable simplified. However the template editing is quite powerful and include sidebar widgets with javaScript so that I can have twitter badge, wijit or other.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

My sucky X-Mas 2006!

On the 26th of December, I went out for the traditional Alsacien boxing day hunt. The day was one of the coldest of the week and the landscape presented a nice and frosty/icy appearance. Walking back down from position back to the jeep, I hit a patch of dark ice while trying to avoid a much bigger patch of ice. My left leg slide under me inwards and twisted. My body weight landed on an unstable foot and my bones when CRACK! I fell to the ground - more pissed off than in pain. My left Tibia and Fibula are broken!

For those who follow football (soccer), I did something like what Djibril Cissé did about 8 months ago in a France football match.

The rescue team was called (sapeur-pompiers) and I was transported to the hospital in Mulhouse. I have a moblog of the rescue and the day here: I even made the local news (l'Alsace Newspaper)!

The 27th I was operated and a plate and screws were inserted! Spent the week (until 3rd) in hospital taking lots of pain killers, antibiotics and blood thinners (there is a risk of an embolism with these kinds of breaks because of blood clots). The Doctor actually said that I really did a great job breaking my leg but was lucky not to have torn the ligaments.

So what's next, well here is a list:
- no putting my foot down for 6 weeks
- continued pain and thinners with regular checks/controls for the next months
- House bound until March and maybe then some depending on how I heal.
- A long period of reeducation and all the crap that goes along with loosing muscle mass, etc.

The good side is that this happened to my left leg and I know what it takes and how things work... Have had a lot of experience in bone fractures, etc on my left leg. While in the hospital and after close reflection, I realized in fact that I have had a problem with my left leg on average about every 15 years - this is the 3rd time!!!

Such is life, things happen!

Thanks ahead of time for your support and well wishes..