Summer of Code 2007

Posted by Jerry Sun, Apr 15 '07

It’s finalized: My Google Summer of Code 2007 proposals for Tomboy weren’t accepted. :( After results were out apparently there was one free GNOME slot that got unallocated and Sanford Armstrong offered to help, but it still turned out to be far too late. Pretty disappointed that I won’t get the possibly-awesome T-shirt or valid excuses to replace my laptop, but oh well. Going to pluck out original ideas from the proposals and start cracking on Gtk#. Expect some more Tomboy love soon, folks! ;)

Anyway, a review on this year’s SoC: Enthusiasts should definitely check out proposals listed on their favourite organizations. I have a good feeling about GNOME, Firefox/Thunderbird and Gaim Pidgin. Am I looking forward to the next few months of the Linux feature-fest. :)

And finally, going to release my Tomboy proposals into the wild under the Creative Commons Attribution license and move TomboyPIM into blog-post form so comments will be enabled (and search engines can index it, and maybe I’ll get more Tomboy/Google hits :)). Should be getting on it as soon as I finish my thesis report, due tomorrow (Ack!). Meanwhile you can check them out here: Networked Tomboy, and Using Tomboy as a Personal Information Manager: Integration with Evolution.

# Posted in 14 years ago comments

Maemo + GPS

Posted by Jerry Sat, Apr 14 '07

Was thinking about possible uses for the Nokia N800 Linux tablet recently, and had a short discussion with my cousin on utilizing Google Maps on it to compensate for lack of built-in GPS. We exchanged ideas on how it would work as a vehicle GPS system purely via WiFi… maybe overlaying a speech synthesis system (screen scraping + Festival would work) onto the Google Maps direction, and use the stylus to update the vehicle’s position on the map? (Could be done every few traffic stops or by a second passenger… but I imagine it would be a pain to use) And not to mention the lack of Wifi coverage in non-urban areas… Looks like it would still be better off if packaged with a GPS module.

And then what about software support? Neither the N800 nor the OpenMoko Neo1973, which does have GPS, are sold here, so they probably don’t have map software for this region. There are GPS software for Symbian, but it’s… well, Symbian. ;) I’ve been wondering if there’d be popular GPS devices on the Australian market use Linux… looks like TomTom does! Now I’m left wondering when we’ll see some Maemo/TomTom love anytime soon… :)

# Posted in 14 years ago comments

Random fortune cookie: Toad

Posted by Jerry Wed, Apr 11 '07
“You will be reincarnated as a toad; and you will be much happier.”

Wow, really? Um, hello, whichever great Deity on-shift listening in on reincarnation requests from mortals today? Yes, hi. Whatever You do, could You please not make me a Australian Cane Toad; and in case toad queues are full and we’d have to settle for frogs, please please please don’t drop me on Earth within 100 kilometres of a Chinese restaurant or any of the countries in that link, okay? This is of the utmost froggy life-and-death importance. Oh, and if you can somehow fit in a distraught princess from an exotic country into my fates, I promise I will spend the rest of my amphibian life croaking your religion to my future fellow pond-mates. Kthnx.

# Posted in 14 years ago comments

Manna, the fall of America and the Australia Project

Posted by Jerry Sun, Apr 08 '07
Read: Manna – The Book

One Slashdot poster linked to a multiple-part science fiction essay by Marshall Brain, entitled “Manna”, short for Manager. The story starts off eerily similar to what we (or at least, the Web Two Point Oh evangelists) have been envisioning all this while; distributed web operating systems with intelligent agents, machine automation… the topics you see scientists writing in Springer-published books and miscellaneous white papers. Interesting view on what a developed robotics future will bring us. But perhaps more intriguing is the end, where the open source world’s bazaar model is used to design the ultimate utopia to defeat capitalism… Viable? Perhaps?

This sounds chillingly similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, doesn’t it? Just yesterday, the web went abuzz as Amazon was revealed to have filed a patent for “a hybrid machine/human computing arrangement which advantageously involves humans to assist a computer to solve particular tasks, allowing the computer to solve the tasks more efficiently”. How long until we hit the AI breakthrough to make Manna 1.0 possible?

Remind self to buy at least 2 shares of 4GC in 2015.

# Posted in 14 years ago comments

Rediscovering laptop touchpads

Posted by Jerry Fri, Apr 06 '07

Ever since my old Creative mouse turned faulty (possibly by damaged copper causing intermittent shorts…) and started causing my Ubuntu to freakout and launching itself into a crazed stuttering fit every time I type, I’ve switched to touchpad-ing. Took some time getting used to, but eventually grew into it. Perhaps it’s just more natural for southpaws?

Anyway tickering around with Feisty’s settings lately I’ve noticed web pages seemed to jumped around randomly sometimes when I’m just moving my mouse. Then I realized I’ve accidentally enabled 'vertical scrolling’ in Synaptics… something I never knew exist after 5 years in possession of this machine! Dude – Human interface devices rock.

Please excuse the gunk.

As you can see, I’m also rediscovering how to draw on touchpads. It’s no Kit (the SXSW baby firefox mascot is drawn on a touchpad. Now that deserves the term 1337 h4×0r skillz), and I sucked playing Chick Chick Boom, but hey, I’m learnin’!

As a side note, this completely refreshed my perspective on touch-screen UIs. OpenMoko, the Qtopia Greenphone and the Nokia N-series (not the plain-Jane 2 digiters, I mean 770 and the especially geekalicious n800) are going to rock the industry hard.

# Posted in 14 years ago comments