Archive for January, 2005

IBM to release 500 patents

The Washington Post (among others) are reporting that IBM intends to announce today it’s release of 500 patents to the open-source community.

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Your Next Tour Guide?

By way of the USC Interactive Media Division’s weblog, I discovered the Node Explorer v2, a location-aware, embedded-Linux handheld device that provides contextual information (maps, audio annotations, etc.) based on your current location. The twist? As opposed to consumer-based urban references such as restaurants, wifi hotspots, etc.- the waterproof, wireless, touchscreen enabled, card-sized Node Explorer is geared more for assisting site and visitor management at parks/national monuments/etc.- basically wide-open spaces that would normally require guided tours. The entire solution includes the Explorer, the Node Dock (for updating devices with new contextual info and recording back a visitors’ trip data for analysis, as well as the obvious closed-loop monitoring of visitor admission/registration that becomes possible with such microdevices) and the Node Engine- a software platform for both monitoring visitor behavior as well as updating and managing the content that’s provided to the handheld devices.

Considering the crappy (but oh-so-promising) experiences I’ve had with CD and RF-based physical tour guides, I’d like to try wandering around Yosemite with one of these little devices! Has anyone actually tried one of these out in meatspace?


Yesterday the much-anticipated TiVoToGo transfer service was launched by the wildly-popular DVR manufacturer. Alas, it’s only available on PCs (of which I’ve but one), although eventual Macintosh support is hinted at in their press release, which gives me hope as a new
DVR owner and home Mac user myself.

The skinny? If your TiVo DVR is connected to your home network and you have the TiVo Desktop 2.0 software installed on your desktop/laptop machines (which enabled viewing of Mac/Windows-based MP3 and image files on your networked TiVo box in v1), you can transfer shows recorded on your DVR directly to your computer(s) for remote viewing. Once transferred, you can also burn shows to DVD (using Sonic’s MyDVD software- sold separately for Windows)- which to be honest, is the feature I’m after personally. Given TiVo’s excellent support of Apple’s iApps (iPhoto, iTunes) so far, I’d hazard a guess that iDVD/DVD Studio Pro integration is the Mac path they’ll pursue for the same. There appears to be very specific, limited codecs supported by the service, as it reportedly also disables the transferring/burning of Macrovision-encoded streams such as Pay-Per-View or commercial content, for obvious reasons.

I’ll be watching the connected devices space a lot more in the coming year, so if you have any great links/references/suggestions/etc. for new TiVo owners who aren’t afraid to hack (of which I’m now one), please post a comment! In particular, if there’s any way to get a bash prompt across the network (my limited attempts have only worked by using the serial port on the back of the DVR itself, not the network), I’m all ears.

NetNewsWire does podcasting

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a good holiday season and spent some time away from the keys.
A few developments of note this morning- first, NetNewsWire’s new beta adds podcasting support, so users of this Mac-based feedreader can get their podcasting jones on in a common environment with their RSS feeds. Nice update and I’ll check it out for a while, although personally I’ve settled down on Sage again after brief trips thru NetNewsWire, PulpFiction, FeedDemon (which I still do use from time to time) the combination of Sage and Firefox Bookmarks Synchronizer keep all my machines in synch rather nicely. Since I’m an audiobook junkie, I don’t listen to podcasts *that* often anyway. Check it out ASAP if you’re a NetNewsWire junkie, tho- although I had a few little bugs here and there it seems to be shaping up nicely. If you’re not RSS-wired, you may note that recent surveys show the mainstream web world is becoming much more interested in exploring the ‘blogosphere in recent months. Great time to engage!