*Non technical* weblog about the IT world and its trends...

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Syndication, RSS, RDF and Atom in a Nutshell

  20:31:00, by fplanque   , Categories: Syndication (RSS, RDF, Atom), Media Blog

Once upon a time, there was a company called Netscape who was investigating a new market: portal sites and content syndication. The idea was simple: a variety of websites produce relevant content in a (nearly) continuous flow. Portals would be designed to aggregate news and content from those sites and present it to the user all in one page…

Thus, Netscape invented a format called RSS, which stood for “Remote Site Syndication". This spec allows content producers to publish their news/content in an “RSS feed” (an XML based document) and content consumers to periodically check those feeds for updates.

When Netscape lost interest in developing portals, they abandonned their original (and complex) RSS 0.9 spec as well as their efforts in creating a more appropriate and simpler version. At that time, UserLand picked up the simpler 0.91 spec and applied it to its blog tools. RSS had become “Really Simple Syndication".

Today, the blogging community still uses RSS extensively: every (serious) blogger publishes an RSS feed of his posts and readers aggregate all their favorites blogs’ feeds in an aggregator. This, of course, makes it more convenient to check for new posts daily on all your favorite blogs…

b2evolution is an example of a blog tool used to publish RSS feeds. SharpReader is an example of a program used to aggregate RSS feeds.

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2004: year of the mobile apps

  16:29:07, by fplanque   , Categories: Mobile & wireless

As Russel puts it: 2004 is the year of the mobile [applications]. (Okay, here in France, it might shift to 2005, but whatever...)

Of course, the two main markets here are:

  • mobile games (play while commuting...)
  • and mobile enterprise applications (sales forces enpowerment/reporting...)

Well, it wouldn't make sense to develop mobile games on any other technology than J2ME since no other technology is as widely available on a variety of trendy phones... the ones the targetted audience will buy, or already has bought.

However, regarding enterprise applications, the equation is quite different. The targetted users often do not have a recent (smart)phone (they just don't care that much, as long as they can use their phone to call! :P) and even if they have: it doesn't matter! Actually, the cost of new phones with a specific technology will just be a fraction of the cost for the global distributed application. Therefore, Microsoft smartphones and Palm based smartphones are just as well positionned to be used for mobile enterprise applications! Actually, the advantage may go to the platform that provides the most efficient middleware/framework to speed up development!

Another question remains: while a color phone screen and a keypad are enough for playing games, we yet have to check what screen size and input method are appropriate to fill out forms. Maybe connected PDAs will prove more relevant... (just add a bluetooth headset for phone capabilities). Personnaly, I tend to think that smartphones with large screens (P900, Sendo X, 6600, SPV E200) will do the trick, but we really need a reality check here! :!:


A journey into WiFi

  22:37:42, by fplanque   , Categories: Mobile & wireless, Technologie

I'm on a train right now (typing this into TextPad) and I'm sort of realizing that the WiFi ubiquity I have been experiencing for the past few weeks was actually an illusion! :-/

It all started last month when I bought a new laptop with built in WiFi. It's the kind of gadget you just can't leave unused, even if it's hidden deep inside the machine. You know it's there and you just gotta check it out.

I thought the cheapest way to give it a try was to buy an USB WiFi adapter and plug it into my desktop. So I went for a Netgear USB key and quickly set up an 'ad-hoc' network between my laptop and my desktop. (For the record, the laptop uses an Intel "centrino family" WiFi chip.)

The other way to go would have been to buy a standalone WiFi access point, maybe even one that's merged into an ADSL modem. This would be called 'infrastructure' mode. I thought ad-hoc and infrastructure were basically the same, except I would not have had to turn on the desktop to act as an internet router everytime I wanted to access the Internet from my laptop. So I decided I'd simply go the cheap way.

Well... I was wrong.

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Du Microsoft dans les téléphones Nokia et HandSpring :!:

  18:55:02, par fplanque   , Catégories: IT business, Mobile & wireless, Convergence

Incroyable mais vrai, Microsoft va désormais facturer $0.25 pour chaque appareil utilisant le système de fichier FAT, c'est à dire tous les appareils stockant des fichiers sur des cartes mémoire: appareils photo numériques bien sûr, mais aussi smartphones... y compris, ceux fonctionnant sous Symbian ou PalmOS, c'est à dire se positionnant comme des alternatives à l'OS de Microsoft... :|

Si vous trouviez que UNISYS ne manquait pas d'air de demander des licences sur un format d'image aussi basique que le GIF, que pensez vous de Microsoft qui facture sans aucune honte un système de fichiers qui n'est pas seulement basique mais carrément obsolète, peu performant et défaillant en termes de sécurité?

On devrait toujours se méfier des standards de fait...


Finance for Geeks

  02:12:31, by fplanque   , Categories: Placements/Finance, Gestion

"Money and cash are completely different."

Another Must Read by Eric Sink.

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