Busy making things: tinycast, github, links, photos, @mc.

Where 2.0: Madmen or Pure Genius?

Posted: May 29th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | 36 Comments »

While drooling over the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference schedule a week or so ago I noticed that except for a few keynotes, panels, and lightning talks, every talk at the conference is exactly 15 minutes long. At first I thought that O’Reilly was off their rocker, but if I had to play the odds, I’d have to bet that they’re on to something.

So almost all presentations are 15 minutes long. That means that there’s a good chance that I can figure out what each person is going to talk about by reading their blurb and possibly googling their name or (more often than not) heading over to their blog.

That’s the motivation for me to attend if I can pretty accurately guess what each person is going to talk about? Actually, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go (and I’d give my left kidney to attend the Google Geo developer day), but I just can’t justify $1500 plus travel and lodging. To be fair it would have been $400 less if I had hopped on the early bird special but it still would have cost more than I can afford to blow on a conference.

Per usual, this conference will have an insanely high concentration of really smart geo geeks, so there’s lots of hanging out to be done between conference sessions. I also really like the idea of having lots of 15 minute presentations in a single place rather than “tracking” sessions in several locations. Invariably I miss something really cool at a conference because there’s something else I want to catch at the same time.

I’m not sure how proven this conference format is, but I hope that it works. Except for the price tag, Where 2.0 almost has an “unconference” feel to it.

GCALSYNC: Operator Lockdown Strikes Again?

Posted: May 28th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile, Web Services | 14 Comments »

I was catching up on reddit this morning and stumbled upon a link to GCALSYNC, a j2me app still in its early stages that allows you to sync your mobile phone’s calendar with your google calendar. I immediately got excited and went to try it out as a replacement for my current iCal/iSync setup.
I navigated over to wap.gcalsync.com using Opera on my Nokia 6682.

While I’m on the subject of Opera, if you’re using Opera for S60, run don’t walk to the 8.60 upgrade, it’s really amazing!

I downloaded the GCALSYNC jad, the installer launched, and I went through the usual “this is untrusted, install anyway?” dialog. This is something I’m used to, but I wasn’t ready for the “Authorization Failed” popup to end my install process.

I’m not sure if the install is failing because of a problem with the JAD/JAR or if the phone is refusing to install it because it uses the calendar API (or possibly another security API). My gut is telling me that it’s the latter because of an entry under known bugs on the GCALSYNC web page:

SecurityException: On Cingular (US mobile operator), the phone calendar is not available due to Cingular security restrictions. “Test” fails with a SecurityException whne testing phone calendar if you have this problem.

The workaround (if you ever manage to install it) is to bypass login information and link to your private calendar address, only allowing GCALSYNC to download information from your calendar, not upload information to it.

So what gives? Is the phone that I paid a decent chunk of change for (on contract) so locked down that I can’t use this compelling J2ME app on it? Is there any way that I (as an end user) or the developers of GCALSYNC can get around it?

I sure hope so, because this app looks totally awesome.


After catching up with me in the comments section of the GCALSYNC reddit post, Thomas has released an updated version which asks “pretty please” for permission to do something.  With that modification GCALSYNC now installs on my phone.  Thanks to Cingular’s lockdown though, I can only get at my calendars via the private feed which still means read-only data.

XTech Papers and Slides

Posted: May 20th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | 13 Comments »

I’ve been watching Planet XTech from Kansas just dying to read slides and papers. I spotted Simon’s slides and notes the other day but didn’t notice the full papers on the XTech site until last night. More for my sanity than anything else I’ve compiled a list of papers and slides from XTech. Let me know if I’ve missed something.

Slides and notes (off-site):

Full papers (from the XTech site):