circle.ch weblog by Urs Gehrig
17. November 2005
a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. This rugged laptop will be WiFi-enabled and have USB ports galore. Its current specifications are: 500MHz, 1GB, 1 Megapixel.So far quite impressive, if you keep $100 in mind. Nevertheless I would like to add the following;
15. November 2005MetaMachine, Inc., explains his companies "capitulation" to the RIAA and the conversion of eDonkey to a "closed" P2P system [1,2]. Regarding the creation of software, that can be used for legal and illegal purposes Sam Yagan says:
Because the Grokster standard requires divining a company's "intent," the decision was essentially a call to litigate. This is critical because most startup companies just don't have very much money. Whereas I could have managed to pay for a summary judgment hearing under Betamax, I simply couldn't afford the protracted litigation needed to prove my case in court under Grokster. Without that financial ability, exiting the business was our only option despite my confidence that we never induced infringement and that we would have prevailed under the Grokster standard.Later in the testimonial he states:
Imagine if for the last ten years we had been able to convert just 1% of the estimated tens of billions of shared files into paid downloads. There is a market solution to be found - it may well be one that fits in to the business model of the incumbent entertainment industry, but it also may not.If all those P2P software companies die, there will be not less file-shareing but less control by the record industry. As experianced earlier, users will simply turn to other services with similar offerings. What might help is to turn this P2P software to be used for something "good". Therefore some random thoughts:
06. October 2005
But anyway. QR codes are kind of twodimensional barcodes .
While conventional bar codes are capable of storing a maximum of approximately 20 digits, QR Code is capable of handling several dozen to several hundred times more information.20 digits are not enough to encode a typical blog title, a link, a date string and some copyright information. As an example, the QR coded string for this blog post is: "QR coded blog entries, 06.10.2005 00:23:26, http://circle.ch/blog/p1773.html, CC-by-sa_2.5". The QR code library behind my implementation is written by Y. Swetake .
If it makes sense, to link from a QR code to a blog post, is not yet plain clear. But I could imagine a simpler, maybe automated navigation for mobile phones:
Update: The ETH Zürich has a project running called "Visual Code Recognition for Camera-Equipped Mobile Phones" . They also provide so called Recognizer software for Symbian OS based mobile phones.
07. September 2005
As the current petrol prices are rising, I would like to see an SMS service, where you can send something like "Lorraine, Bern" to a certain number and in return you would get an MMS with a map with a red outlined track to the next petrol station with the lowest prices on petrol. ;)
01. September 2005
You haven't used the Launcher to log on, therefore you are "plazeless". You cannot search for people or Plazes by radius.Apart from binaries there is also a Python launcher . That is ok, if Python works on your system. So I was looking around for a signed Java Applet which gets access to the machines MAC address . I am not sure, if at all, a launcher is programmable as signed Java Applet , but it would be fun to have a platform independent Launcher anyway. Maybe there will even be a non-Java Plazes Launcher Firefox extension one day, but that is just a guess.
30. August 2005
Freetag  is a module that implements a simple, fairly robust beginning of a tagging and folksonomy system. It works with PHP4 and MySQL 3.23 so far, and i imagine that if it gets popular, it should be easy to port to additional databases and/or languages.Maybe a way to build up its own tagging repository. Acutally I haven't tried, but according to the docs it is promising. As to feed the database, one could use his own tags or category names first.
There are probably at least two ways to tag a blog post. Either tags selected by hand at the time of writing or as a self-tagging system (algorithm), that takes e.g. the content of a blog post, analyzes it and applys the tags to the post.
Some more thoughts on tagging and retagging at overstated.net .
29. August 2005
18. February 2005XMLHttpRequest . Chregu  called it LiveSearch and that is what drives this blog's search engine too ;)
31. December 2004
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30. December 2004
Imagemagick handles such problems in some - to me unknown - way and resizes the image properly, regardless of the problem pointed out. But there is currently only GD available and with that few lines of code I get a black resized thumbnail.
The message pointed out above gets printed out when calling imagecreatefromjpeg(). A random thought was to rewrite a function from scratch in PHP that creates a valid image resource  in spite of the corrupt JPEG format. But as we have 23p.m. now, I am just too tired now ;) So I am stuck. A corrupt image can be found here .
Update: Problem-walk-around, as I got imagemagick support on the server ;)
01. November 2004
Voters in the US will be able to log on to the net tonight and download Michael Moore's controversial documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, for some topical election-time viewing. Net movie provider CinemaNow is making the film available on a pay-per-view basis as of this evening, The BBC reports.I have seen the film today on ORF and would assume, that it is a mistake to let people pay for that film. My arguments are towards providing that piece of master-work under a license like the Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial of Creative Commons to bring as many as possible before the movie players ;) Finally, those having seen that film, would possibly play an important role in the upcoming elections; especially those in the swing states. Just an idea.
Update: I obviously did not have all facts while writing the above as you can read in a post on DRM News .
26. August 2004
24. August 2004
Das Teil wird von den Behörden - oder derem verlängertem Arm - an das Ventil eines Autorads montiert und mit einem Schlüssel abgeschlossen. Dabei wird der Autolenker mittels einer Hinweistafel auf die pneumatische Wegfahrsperre hingewiesen. Denn, sollte das Auto ungeachtet dessen in Bewegung gesetzt werden, so geht besagtem Reifen innert ca. 500m die Luft aus. In der Schweiz wurde das Teil bisher noch nicht gesichtet.
Für Jungunternehmer und solche, die es werden wollen, wäre da ventilwaechter.ch noch zu reservieren ("The domain name is available!"), der Import zu regeln und ein Businessplan zu erstellen ;-)
Nun, eigentlich müsste man diese pneumatische Wegfahrsperre anders konzipieren. Es sollte möglich sein, bspw. eine Parkbusse direkt via Mobile Phone bezahlen zu können. Da der Betrag einigermassen gross sein wird, so ca. im Bereich von CHF 40.-, könnte allenfalls eine Kombination mit EasyPay  eine Lösung bieten. So im Stile von
Bezahlen Sie die Parkbusse mittels SMS bspw.: "123456789 an Nr. 999"123456789 würde dem EasyPay Code entsprechen. Damit wäre zwar die Zahlung gelöst, nicht aber das Lösen der Wegfahrsperre. Da braucht es bekanntlich einen Schlüssel. Da dieser kaum vom Himmel fallen wird, braucht es eine andere Lösung. Entweder die Securitas kommt in den nächsten 15 Minuten dahergeeilt, oder die Wegfahrsperre sei bspw. durch ein elektronisches Schloss zu sichern, das sich vom Zahlenden mittels der durch die Antwort-SMS erhaltene Entsperrinformation öffnen lasse: RFID, Infrarot, etc. etc. Da besteht noch einiges an Innovationsspielraum ;-)
29. May 2004
I am quite interested in how the Swiss Post intends to enhance the services provided by search.ch. You might argue, that a typical Post company should not burn its hands with e-business, then you should keep the following in mind; even if the citizens tend to travel or move around more than they did ten or twenty years ago, they mostly are at residents somewhere. Traditional services as delivering snail-mail can be combined with online services. The Post company has probably the most actual data regarding addresses. To give an example; the first thing one does after having moved to a new location, is letting the snail-mail get forwarded to the new address. This can be done by signing a contract at the Postoffice. So, the Swiss Post does know beforehand of that change; probably earlier than the Bank, the assurance company or the telecom company. Where does a search engine or search technology come in? Well, you better ask Swiss Post ;-)
But search.ch already combined search technologies with the lookup of telephone numbers resp. addresses. One of their latest feature is the "related websites" ("Websites zum Eintrag"):
Since I am not an economist, I can not say exactly, how valuable "early bird" false-free address-information in combination with online services is. But I would guess, the earlier you get them, the better. Froogle "only" does allow smart shopping - in other words - seeking products on demand. But if the Swiss Post creates a site, where one can set up his or her own profile, the Swiss Post should be able to create a "portfolio" of possibly interesting products based on some search magic matching to that profile. Finally, Postfinance offers a comfortable way to pay the bill. Just a random thought...
Oh, and congratulations to Berhard.
16. March 2004
But instantly I had that other random thought; a javascirpt transforms the entered text into the preview. As long as you do not copy-paste any prewritten text, writing comments usually takes quite a while.
Now, the time argument could eventually be used to prevent comment spam in some way. If the spam is posted automatically, the time used, is probably around zero or marginal compared to handwritten text. Maybe this could be just an additional method. What do you think?
08. March 2004
27. February 2004