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  • Gotta visit Amsterdam at least for this!

    Posted on February 28th, 2005 Sandeep 1 comment

    (via Russell)

    Check out location-based tourism made live in Amsterdam by Timespots.

    Damn, gives me all the more reason to dive full-time into mobile application development. I had blogged earlier about this kind of stuff for people travelling to Bangalore. I know I won’t get anywhere with area/cell IDs (unless I tie up with one of the operators); a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver is the only way to go. Sigh. *One* of these days…

    Anyway, more cool stuff to look forward to in the coming months.

  • Gmail Bug

    Posted on February 25th, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    Heh. Happens when you delete older mails.

  • m-Wallet: Right idea, wrong implementation

    Posted on February 24th, 2005 Sandeep 3 comments

    Standard Chartered Bank and Visa launched m-Wallet in Bangalore and Mumbai. It’s a pilot project aimed at SCB customers holding their Manhattan credit card (I don’t know why it’s called so, BTW). So what exactly is it?

    First things first: your credit card information is downloaded to your Infrared-capable mobile phone. When you are done purchasing, all you need to do is stand near the payment terminal – a standard POS terminal, with added IR capability of course – and beam your credit card information across. A Java midlet (which users have to download to their phones) does the work of handling security and communication with the terminal.

    Umm, right.

    That’s what I’ve been doing with my credit card all these days. So what’s the deal here? They’ve just added an additional layer of complexity for the users – that of installing a Java midlet on their phone. Also, you can’t completely get rid of your credit card either, until more and more merchants sport IR-capable terminals. And last time I checked, my credit card was a lot more portable too. Of course, there is one advantage with this approach of payment: if your phone gets stolen, it cannot be used for payments unless your pin number (or something) is keyed in. With a credit card, the thief can make merry until you report to your bank. Another advantage is that the receipt gets stored on your mobile, so you don’t have to worry about lost bills, etc.

    So what’s the alternate approach they could’ve taken? (They may already be working on it, for all I know).

    Making payments and/or bank transactions over the Internet, of course. Already there is mobileATM, which I had blogged about. Or how about you’re froogling (is it not a verb yet?) on your mobile – fat chance, I know – and you want to purchase goods online, but don’t want to enter all your details like credit card number, shipping address, etc. onto a tiny form. Think of it as AutoFill for your mobile.

    Resources:
    More information on m-Wallet
    C-SAM, one of the companies behind m-Wallet

  • Advertising on the mobile

    Posted on February 23rd, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    Ok, this has been spoken about in quite a few places, and this is my late entry. Hell, better late than never.

    Whether you like it or not, advertising is here to stay. Look what Google did with AdWords (I’m, of course, referring to the many millions of dollars). However, year 2005 and beyond is about mobility, not the desktop. For actual numbers, I refer you to Russ’ post. And now comes the question of making money with mobile advertising. Is that going to work in any way at all? Obviously you wouldn’t want to browse sites plastered with ads (contextual or otherwise). I mean, come on — there’s hardly any screen real-estate to see the actual site content.

    Then there’s the (bad) idea of sending SMS/MMS/Flash advertisements direct to the user’s Inbox. Another PITA. Unless users opt-in, you’ll end up spamming them and that’s asking for trouble. One quick Google search yielded Add2Phone’s solution for mobile advertising.

    Another idea that my ex-manager suggested was that of location-based advertising. Suppose you are in a specific area, you get an SMS ad from the nearest restaurant offering a discounted dinner if you walk-in with the SMS. Is such a system already in place? I have no idea.

    How about the service provider offering discounted call/data rates for users who opt-in to receive ads? You don’t need to do *anything*, just receive the ads. Doesn’t matter if you even open it or not; you benefit by lower rates. Once in a while, you might even get a useful ad. Neat, eh?

    I’d love to know more on where we’re heading to in terms of mobile advertising.

    Resources:
    Yahoo!
    Russ on Mobile Advertising
    The Feature

  • AAS Webring

    Posted on February 23rd, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    Ewan added Techbook to the All About Symbian Webring. Thanks, Ewan!

  • feedparser update

    Posted on February 22nd, 2005 Sandeep 1 comment

    If you tried to get feedparser to work following my blog post on it, you would’ve encountered errors. Anyway, you need just one more change. The default urlparse module doesn’t include the following functions: urljoin, urlunparse and urlunsplit. Simply copy these from the Python 2.2.2 distro and that should get feedparser to work. I have it working on my 3650.

    Since Russ is house-hunting, I thought a little Python script was in order, to grok the craigslist listing (like this one), get the RSS feed and… you get the idea.

    But I have a bad cold and a headache to boot and I want to go home and sleep. Maybe by the time I wake up, somebody would’ve finished it… :-)

  • More mobile phone virus FUD

    Posted on February 22nd, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    (came across this link via Mobitopia)

    Read this BetaNews article.

    My favourite quote from the article:

    The virus originally appeared in a technology gadget store within two cell phones in the store’s window, leading researchers to believe that a passer-by infected the two phones by using Bluetooth. The virus then spread to the store owner’s phone, and Hypponen said it was likely other phones in the area were infected, although no reports have been received.

    Allow me to say: WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT!

    Please read Steve Litchfield’s Viruses for Symbian OS – the truth.

  • Kiss your stylus goodbye

    Posted on February 18th, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    (via Mobitopia)

    Check out Engadget’s article, Time to write off pen computing; somewhere in the middle of it, the article says “Contrast that with styli that disappear faster than the CEO at an emergency HP board meeting”. Hmm. Jokes apart, I have used a stylus quite sparingly and never really liked it too much. Sure, it’s good for the odd cartoon or two (which reminds me, I haven’t uploaded a comic strip to Techbook in months). But when it comes to speed, I’ve favoured the keyboard to the constrained input area of the stylus.

    In other news, I’ve been getting a lot of hits from search engine queries for “HP iPAQ h6365″ thanks to my post about it. Google even lists my page on top (and not HP’s site!). Heh. I still wish I could have completed a more thorough review of it… at least the visitors wouldn’t have to go back disappointed with a less-than-a-quarter review.

  • Bluetooth GPS receiver

    Posted on February 17th, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    I found this Holux GR 231 Bluetooth GPS receiver. I have no idea if it works with my phone.

    If anyone can confirm that it works, I’m going to start bidding!

  • PayPal Sandbox

    Posted on February 14th, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    I am playing around with https://developer.paypal.com/ in Python. At least I’m trying to. The developers’ forum has info on various other languagues but no Python.

    Ah well, it’ll be a good exercise.