July 19, 2005
testthis is a test
January 10, 2005
Sun Unveils Sizzle, World's Smallest Secure Web ServerSun has just announced the debut of Sizzle (from SSSL, or Slim SSL), the world's smallest secure web server. Sizzle runs on the Berkeley/Crossbow "motes" -- battery-powered, wireless devices equipped with an 8-bit microprocessor, 128KB of FLASH and a mere 4KB of RAM. Sizzle implements SSL, and uses Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), which has been chosen by the National Security Agency as the next generation public-key cryptographic technology for protecting sensitive U.S. Government information. [Press Release]
July 08, 2004
May 25, 2004
"MapHub is a web-based, multi-user, group managed information storage system and map. Collecting information about people, places, events, and notes, can help to document unseen narratives and histories in public or private theme-based Hubs. The project is in development.
"MapHub researches the introduction of a geographic and historical data sharing application in an urban landscape. MapHub is a peoples’ map - a map of an urban geography determined not by traditional methodology but instead by the members who participate and contribute everyday in the experience of urban life. MapHub is both a tool and a platform that gives users pen and paper to record their unique and situated perspectives and then deliver that documentation to others.
"The web-based software facilitates individual spatial and temporal narratives managed and distributed through a simple social network. Based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) backend built on open source packages, MapHub manages data as visual symbolic objects specific to Hubs organized thematically. Aside from having a personal Hub based on immediate to distant social or participant networks, alternative Hubs based on themes such as health code violations, past job experiences, safe biking routes, or corporate violations of local regulations are possible. These thematic Hubs will help to promote alternative and peripheral knowledge of the cultural, historical, and current urban geographical landscape of localized spaces."
MapHub grew out of conversations between the Carbon Defense League (CDL), a self-described media arts and engineering practice and writing collective, and the Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA). IAA appears to be dormant, but their mission was/is "to study the forces and structures which effect self-determination; to create cultural artifacts which address these forces; and to develop technologies which serve social and human needs." IAA's last documented project was a van which could print messages on the pavement that would then be visible from tall buildings and low-flying airplanes; sort of like skywriting in reverse.
May 06, 2004
Internet Access a Human Right?
Apparently, the Estonian government thinks it is:
"In 2000, the parliament, perhaps inspired by their new gizmos, passed a law declaring Internet access a fundamental human right of its citizenry. A massive program is under way to expand access to the countryside, where economic development is hampered by lack of decent roads and other transportation links. The Internet, the government argues, is essential for life in the 21st century."In many ways, I almost agree with them. More and more governments are offering e-services, and I fear that those without connectivity may soon receive unequal access to those services. The time may be approaching when agencies require an email address instead of a phone number.
May 05, 2004
Streaming via Mesh Networks
This article describes a test in which a video image was streamed from a wireless IP camera mounted on a police patrol boat to 30 people stationed on and around the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of relying on physical access points, which would be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming to install, the Golden Gate users had devices with off-the-shelf 802.11b WLAN cards and an early version of wireless mesh software from PacketHop. The PacketHop software creates a peer-to-peer mesh network, where each wireless client becomes a routing node that's aware of all its neighbors and can pass data and images among them. The range depends on what kind of 802.11 radio the client has, radio power levels and antenna design. In the Golden Gate test, the WLAN radios in the NICs ran at the highest power level allowed, 200 milliwatts. According to PacketHop, the 11b client radios meshed with each other at ranges of 1,500-2,500 feet.
It's the Appropriate Technology, Stupid!
David Kirkpatrick's recent Fortune Magazine article on Bridges.org has been hitting the blogs the last few days (e.g., Smart Mobs and ICTlogy). Bridges.org is an international non-profit organisation that promotes the effective use of Information and communications technology (ICT) in the developing world to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. Teresa Peters is Bridges' Executive Director. Three quotes jump out immediately:
"Many IT-related projects in Africa are failing. That's because, Peters says, too many ignore the basic criteria for success: 'Small, cheap, local, and relevant are the key things for IT here, with a suite of applications around the device.' Often, for instance, what's appropriate is not a PC but a handheld, or even just a cellphone."
"Peters says the most effective use of technology she's ever seen was in a pilot project that gave doctors and medical students in Kenya Palm handhelds that contained a regularly updated set of medical reference materials. Drugs change frequently, as do treatment regimens. But, she explains, 'Doctors are out all day seeing patients two to a bed and on the floor—so many it's unbelievable. They make notes on each patient but without a handheld they have to wait until the end of the day to check reference books for drug interactions and other information.' The program resulted in clear improvements in patient care."
"Bridges is now conducting a study comparing open-source software like Linux with proprietary software for community-access computer labs and Internet cafes. It is assessing the total cost of ownership—doing what Peters calls a 'reality check.' While the report is not complete and she says they aim not to take sides in a commercial competition, 'today's realities indicate that proprietary software is more suitable for most of these labs. Technical support is the absolute deal killer. The tech support is just not there for open source.' While she says most African governments are feeling pressure to move to the 'free' open source, most projects will fail because, for now, there is simply no technical support in Africa for desktop Linux. (People aren't having as much trouble with Linux for server installations, she says.) Microsoft, on the other hand, which is the de facto supplier of proprietary alternatives, has a well-developed support infrastructure in many places."
April 16, 2004
NTT DoCoMo Establishes Mobile Society Research Institute
April 12, 2004
Pervasive Computing Initiative
The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) has launched its Pervasive Computing Community. "For too long, computers have purported to serve us while in fact, requiring us to serve them. We have pampered them with air-conditioned rooms; learnt their language, in order to talk to them; and been required to manipulate them with awkward tools like keyboard or mouse.....This Community is aiming to bring together an unusually wide range of participants, including academic researchers, students, industrial partners and other organisations to explore some of the major challenges that stand between us, and a networked wireless world where hundreds of miniaturised computers are at our beck and call all around us."
April 06, 2004
Sensor Web, GeoICTI recently stumbled on an article by the research staff at the GeoICT Lab entitled GeoSWIFT: an Open Geospatial Sensing Services for Sensor Web, which was published in November 2003. The GeoICT Lab, part of York University (Canada), was "established to advance the development of innovative geospatial information and communication technology, and integrate geomatics and ICT technologies for innovative spatial applications." Their areas of research include Open and Distributed Internet and Wireless GIS, Ubiquitous Mobile Geocomputing and Location-based Services, Web-based 3D/4D High Performance Geospatial Visualization, and Web-based Spatial Data Mining.
Sensor Web @ GeoICT: "With the presence of cheaper, miniature and smart sensors; abundant fast and ubiquitous computing devices; wireless and mobile communication networks; and autonomous and intelligent software agents, the Sensor Web has become a clear technological trend in geospatial data collection, fusion and distribution. The Sensor Web is a Web-centric, open, interconnected, intelligent and dynamic network of sensors that presents a new vision for how we deploy sensors, collect data, and fuse and distribute information."