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Location Based Services

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Now that I've got my satellite uplink working, it's time for some luxuries here in Scotland, the first of which will be central heating. Coal is not the fuel of the future, and going out every morning to fill the scuttle isn't something I'll miss. First to arrive is an oil tank - our fuel still had to be stored on-site - and with it, what appears to be an electricity plug with an aerial on top. Closer inspection reveals this is our oil-level indicator, which picks up a wireless transmission from the tank in the garden and alerts us when we need to get another delivery. It may not be the latest radio technology, or utilize industry standard communications protocols, but it's through devices like this that we'll see wireless coming into our homes, changing every part of our lives. At least this is one application where security isn't an issue. I have no objection to ... (more)

Mashable Sees Double Rainbows as Google Goes Gaga for OAuth

Enterprise developers and architects beware: OAuth is not the double rainbow it is made out to be. It can be a foundational technology for your applications, but only if you’re aware of the risks. OAuth has been silently growing as the favored mechanism for cross-site authentication in the Web 2.0 world. The ability to leverage a single set of credentials across a variety of sites reduces the number of username/password combinations a user must remember. It also inherently provides for a granular authorization scheme. Google’s announcement that it now offers OAuth support for Google Apps APIs was widely mentioned this week including Mashable’s declaration that Google’s adoption implies all applications must follow suit. Now. Stop reading, get to it. It was made out to sound like that much of an imperative. Google’s argument that OAuth is more secure than the Client... (more)

Business Gets the Message

Walk into your local coffee bar and it's easy to see that wireless technology is changing the way people live. You'll notice people getting their daily caffeine fixes while surfing the Internet, organizing their work and personal schedules, or simply communicating with colleagues and friends in a way they never did before. Clearly, wireless technology is changing the way people make decisions and in turn, changing the way business gets done. The funnel through which new IT and communications spending projects must pass for approval has narrowed significantly over the last two years, with only investments that deliver a strong return making it. More than ever before, companies are required to do more with less. New products and services must clearly demonstrate an ability to help the company both save and make money, and as a result, become a business necessity. At t... (more)

Beyond Java: Nextel Launches Wireless GPS Platform

Bringing features such as location-based services to non-Java GPS phones is a significant untapped market. Not any more, though, thanks to the announcement by Nextel that it is introducing the Nextel Wireless GPS Platform, an application development environment that extends location-based services (LBS) to a broader base of users.  "With the launch of the Nextel Wireless GPS Platform, we are able to bring these exciting services to non-Java GPS phones," said Danny Bowman, vice president, Wireless Data Services at Nextel. The Nextel Wireless GPS Platform provides large corporate and government customers and solutions providers with a means to create customized, server-based solutions to "location-enable" their existing internal applications. LBS applications developed on the Nextel Wireless GPS Platform will support all Nextel Assisted-GPS devices, including the Black... (more)

Where's i-Technology Headed in 2007?

At the end of each year, when SYS-CON informally polls its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors, our question is always the same: where's the industry going next year? Every time, the answers are surprisingly different from the year before, and of course throw light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale - all that good stuff. Enjoy! Ruby on Rails . JRuby . AJAX . Rules-Based Programming JASON BELL Enterprise Developer, Editorial Board Member, Java Developer's Journal My predictions for 2006.... 1.  Incremental mainstream adoption of Ruby on Rails It's going to happen, isn't it? Keep an eye out for Sun's offering of JRuby. Whether this is the death of other open source scripting languages like Groovy ... (more)

Google Puts $10m Bounty on Android Development

Google, as promised, put the Android SDK out in early access - along with a $10 million pot for the best apps written for its open Android mobile platform by third-party developers. It said the platform would be open and it's going about proving it. It also needs the buzz - and a killer mobile app - for Android to hit a homerun. The first $5 million will be paid out in $25,000 prizes for the continued development of the 50 most promising entries submitted between January 2 and March 3 2008 to the Android Developer Challenge I. These 50 entries will then be winnowed down by the end of May to 20 finalists - 10 that get awards worth $275,000 each and another 10 that'll each get $100,000. There'll also be another contest - Android Developer Challenge II - that starts after the first so-called Google phones become available in the second half of next year. The judges wil... (more)

Intrinsyc Becomes an Accredited Symbian Competence Center

Intrinsyc was appointed a Symbian Competence Center by Symbian Limited. Symbian recognized Intrinsyc’s expertise in mobile device software development, as well as Intrinsyc’s contribution to the successful development of Symbian OS handsets. As one of only ten Symbian Competence Centers worldwide, and the only center based in North America, Intrinsyc helps handset manufacturers, operators, partners and silicon vendors reduce product development time and cost while improving time-to-market and quality. “Intrinsyc is now among an elite handful of independent companies approved as a Symbian Competence Center,” said Glenda Dorchak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Intrinsyc Software. “Customers can have confidence that Intrinsyc delivers world-class services and innovative solutions to complex wireless technology requirements.” I... (more)

Mobile OS Fragmentation: Better or Worse?

In the midst of iPhone mania, Android frenzy, and Symbian going open source, there's been talk about growing fractures and compatibility chaos in the mobile landscape. This growing storm affects not only software developers, but hardware makers as well. With over 30 operating systems for mobile and embedded devices, developers must carefully choose which devices they want to target and which devices, along with their customer base, they must leave behind. Just listing the leading smartphone software stacks only emphasizes the problem: Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Nokia's Symbian (JME and C++), RIM's BlackBerry, LiMo's Embedded Linux, Open Handset Alliance/Google's Android, QUALCOMM's BREW, Apple's iPhone, Sprint's Titan, Sun's JavaFX, Neo's OpenMoko, and an untold number of legacy proprietary operating systems. It's a growing nightmare to build applications that run o... (more)

Did Yelp Catch The First Anti- Google Wave?

LBS on Ulitzer Location Based Services on Ulitzer - On December 21st, as we all got ready for the 2009 Holiday “unplug”, it was reported that local business rating and review information aggregator Yelp rejected a hefty $500+Million takeover offer from Google. Bold move, but why did they walk away? No one seems to be certain. Yelp’s window stickers tell a tale of building local merchant trust and a lot of grunt work by “boots on the ground”. By this I mean the literal and figurative wearing out of shoe leather for the purpose of winning over single-door business owners one by one. Explaining the power of Location-Based advertising and the impact of having real people maintain a fresh and vibrant listing infused with reviews, offers, specials, and the “inside scoop” is something best done live and in-person. This crucial element of Local Search is hard to scale and... (more)

Nokia Follows Google But Can They Capitalize In The US?

Nokia's newly-announced free navigation is being positioned as a planned part of their Location Based Services (LBS) offerings, delivered via their "Ovi" web services platform. Is "free nav" from Nokia a part of a plan, or a defensive reaction to try to take back lost smartphone market share and try to establish a US beachhead in the face serious pressure from "new" movers and shakers like Google, Apple, RIM, Palm, and others? It certainly seems Nokia had no choice but to go this route, as they are in market share freefall and have had no answer for the beloved iPhone, years after its launch. They lost 10% smartphone market share in Q4 2008, while Apple and RIM took off. In the middle of all this, Ovi's May 2009 app store launch was widely considered a flop. Now Google is in the mix too, bringing some serious mobile advertising chops to-bear. Nokia makes excellent h... (more)

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”   On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do s... (more)