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Archive for January, 2008

Google Bar Codes to be Scannable by Cell Phones

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Yes you have seen this idea before…

Shades of the nearly-forgotten barcode scanning CueCat, and Japanese business cards, add up to a old yet new strategy for Google. This latest AdWords initiative has to be a 20 percent project at Google.

We picture some techie cleaning out a closet at home, finding a card from a hostess bar in Osaka stuck under a CueCat in a box, and being suddenly struck by a bowling ball falling from an unbalanced shelf.

Tra-la-la! Wait, that’s Captain Underpants. Eureka! That’s more appropriate for California.

We’ll give credit to Joel On Software for making the CueCat connection too. Yes, play spot the oldies, kids, it’s easy and fun!

Google intends to drop square barcodes onto print ads.

With a camera phone and the right software, a person can scan the ad, and the phone’s onboard web browser will bring up additional information related to it.

“2D barcodes have been common in Japan for a number of years,” Google said in its barcode help page. “In fact, Japanese business cards often feature barcodes containing contact information.”

The first ads containing these barcodes appeared in newspapers, and connected to jewelry retailer Blue Nile.

Google promoted these, and other barcode ads, as a way to quickly deliver more information about an advertiser to a consumer.

It’s far too soon to guess at how successful barcoding may be, for Google or anyone else opting to use the technology.

We will make one guess: Google’s Android mobile software will include a barcode reader when it launches.

Big Brother Wants to Hear More of Your Calls

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

By now most seasoned Internet surfers realize that wherever they go they leave their electronic footprints. They may feel much more comfortable communicating with a close friend via a cell phone. However as John Whitehead points out Big Brother Is Listening to Your Cell Phone Calls. Indeed it would appear that Big Brother would like to listen much more.

Moreover, the FBI and other government agencies are demanding greater legal authority to be able to force companies–especially cell phone companies–to turn over customer information. “They have pushed for an aggressive interpretation of the statute that would allow it to monitor certain Internet content without a warrant and to collect tracking information about the physical locations of cell phone users,” the ACLU reports, “turning cell phones into what, for all practical purposes, are location tracking bugs.”

Now the Bush Administration is prodding Congress to grant retroactive legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that have allowed government agents access to their customers’ private phone call data. If Congress passes such a law, it would put an end to the dozens of lawsuits that have already been filed against phone companies alleged to have violated federal privacy laws by handing over customer data to the government. It would also put an end to any pretense that our government has our best interests at heart.


Run SideShow Gadgets on Windows Mobile, iPhone

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Ikanos Consulting is developing a framework which is in beta testing which will, when completed, allow you to run Windows SideShow Gadgets on a windows Mobile device, finally bringing SideShow to the masses.