Waiting for WLAN and UMTS for OpenMoko

I am currently thinking a lot about the OpenMoko project. Unfortunately OpenMoko at the moment provides hardware which is limited to GPRS, Bluetooth, and/or USB 1.0 for connectivity. In autumn there should be the next generation which should include a WLAN (and maybe even UMTS?) support. It will be called Neo 1973 – GTA02.

Together with Austrian-based one “H.U.I. Starter” rate (250MB @ UMTS, reduction to 56kBit/s above, 10€/month) this would be a nice package. However, if I could have UMTS, well, that would be better. Personally, WLAN is even more important for me, I could use it in the office or in my home, where I have WLAN access available and fall back to GPRS while being “on the road”.

For me this means: standby for autumn, because I can’t afford to invest US-$300 now and another US-$450 in a couple of month. Still, I am really, really interested in OpenMoko (and normally I wouldn’t invest that amount of money into a hobby of mine). Which means, I am standing by and waiting for news from the OpenMoko community…

In the meantime, if you understand German, you could listen to this very interesting Chaosradio Express Podcast.

On YouTube there are some very interesting videos about the Neo 1973.

OpenMoko – the Open Mobile Phone

This is cool! If you want to have a mobile phone based on Linux and pure OpenSource software, OpenMoko might be the right thing for you! I’m not so much in mobile development, but I find this almost more appealing than the iPhone, which at the moment is a very closed platform. If I find some time for a hobby like this, this US-$ 300 would be a nice investment. I hope this becomes a success to reward the company and the idea to explictly invite hackers/developers (both software & hardware) to improve a phone. A nice contrast to the usual anti-reverse-engineering and “hacking” philosophy most companies go along with.

Edit 2007-07-18: I accidentially misspelled OpenMoko as OpenMonko in the inital release, both in the title and in the text. I corrected this and the URL of the article to reflect the real name of the project: OpenMoko.

RSS Reading Online: Google Reader

I have been using JetBrain‘s Omea Reader for quite some time and I was very happy with it. While this worked quite well as long as I was working just on one PC, I soon got trouble when I switched from the notebook to a dedicated desktop PC at home and a dedicated desktop PC at the office, while still keeping the notebook for the time in between. Omea Reader was no option any longer, as I have Linux at home and Windows in its various flavors in the office and on my notebook.

I tried several Java-based applications and tried to keep their databases in-sync between the PCs, but this work soon got boring and it happened to annoy me. So I thought I’d switch to an online alternative.

My choice soon fell for Google Reader, as I already had a Google account. Despite the privacy issues with giving my reading-habits away to big G, I am really happy with this reader. It features everything I need and is intuitive to use. I am most happy that there seem to be very knowledgeable people at Google, as they also provide a keyboard interface for navigating the feeds. This is something I really appreciate as I favor the keyboard over the mouse.

So anyone required to keep their RSS-feeds in sync between various PCs, I just can recommend giving Google Reader a try. I know there are others and I know Google Reader is not particularly new, but I just tried it out now (as I had the need for a service like this).

Google Reader is also one of the first applications to utilize Google Gears for offline functionality. This is particularly interesting for me as notebook user without a wireless broadband connection available all the time. Up to now I had no time to test it, but I will give it a try soon. I will write about my experiences then.

Note: I had this article prepared since a long time, but I forgot to publish it… This article of erik just reminded me to do so.

A Small “Patch” for Scuttle

Yesterday I realized, that our internal office installation of Scuttle (SF project page) suffered a minor bug: it kept on sorting all bookmarks by date, but in ascending order, i.e. the oldest bookmark was displayed first.

After doing some research, I quickly found out that this seems to be a “bug” (well the devs say it isn’t but one can argue…) of MySQL, caused by an optimization of a SELECT DISTINCT queries.

So I patched services/bookmarkservice.php and removed the DISTINCT keyword in the SQL-query of getBookmarks() (line 249, version 0.7.2).

Up to now, I did not experience any duplicate lines caused by this. I think, I’m going to report this minor issue upstream.

Update: hmm, ups, when searching, you will most certainly get duplicate results… I’ll check in the evening.

Update 2: Ok, so I wrote a litte more extensive patch, by wrapping the original SELECT DISTINCT statement as a subselect and ordering the result as such. This now really works. The patch for 0.7.2 can be downloaded here. You have to apply it to services/bookmarkservice.php.

Update 3: Ok, I somehow managed to delete the patch file. I am sorry. I will look if I can find it in any of the old backups, but I am not too convinced about this.

Terminal-Server NX 2.0 “Free-Forever” Released

NoMachine has announced the release of version 2.0 of thei terminal-server product NX, codenamed “Free-Forever”.

They have released more of their products under GPL and provide now a restricted version under the codename “NX Desktop Server free-forever”:

NoMachine provides a free-for-download and free-forever NX Desktop Server which allows 2 user sessions providing access to any desktop or any network type.

The 2-user sessions should be quite sufficient for many purposes.

[Source: Golem.de]

Scuttle: Your Own Server-Side Bookmarks the del.icio.us’ Way

I have been using del.icio.us since I first heard about it (by reading an announcement of its acquirement by Yahoo!) and I have to confess I was taken by the approach. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that I didn’t have my bookmarks and the service under control.

Thanks to a note by Erik I found out about Scuttle, an open source clone of del.icio.us which everyone can host on his/her own server. (Please note: scuttle.org only offers their public bookmarking service, the software can only be located at their SourceForge page.) Scuttle is written in PHP and requires MySQL as database backend.

Scuttle offers most of the features of del.icio.us and can even import your bookmarks from there. Some minor usability-issues still arise, but I can live with them. Their API is compatible to del.icio.us so most external del.icio.us applications will work with Scuttle, as long as the tools allow you to specify the URL of the service. Additionally, Scuttle provides three levels of visibility for your bookmarks: public bookmarks, shared with your watchlist (= your friends/colleagues), and private bookmarks.

I installed Scuttle at my company and everyone is busy using it and is happy to now having a central place to store their bookmarks. Del.icio.us was no option for us because all bookmarks are public there.

I can strongly recommend using this software to everyone who wants to have a centralized way for storing their bookmarks without giving away all controls over their bookmarks.

NewsForge has published a nice review of the software.

Opera for Free

Opera is now available for free, ads and registration have been removed.

Just gave it a quick try, and I have to say, I like it 😉 I think, Firefox is going to have to co-exist with Opera on my HDD.

Update: According to Heise.de (German), Opera has been downloaded over 1 million times within only two days, more than any previous (ad-enabled) version.