Finnish court rules CSS protection used in DVDs “ineffective”

Today, after a long court battle, breaking CSS protection in DVDs is finally made legal in Finland. Leading Finnish technology law firm “Turre Legal” was representing Mikko Rauhala, who intentionally set up website to discuss the technology of circumventing CSS protection, thus breaking new Finnish copyright law.

More on this subject in Turre Legal’s blog. Don’t miss an excellent article by Mikko Välimäki: “Keep on hacking: a Finnish court says technological measures are no longer “effective” when circumventing applications are widely available on the Internet”.

Thanks to ButtUgly for the link to Turre’s blog.

Share

Do we really have a mobile development platform?

Two major questions are:
– is there a platform that is interesting enough for the developers to invest their time and learn how to develop for it, so that they can sell their skills and
– is there a platform that is interesting enough for the companies to monetize on the software developed for this platform.

When you come up with an idea for a new killer application, there’s always a question – which technology to use to maximize your user base and at the same time implement all desired functionality. Looking at the data here  (ok, data is a bit old, Symbian has since announced 100mln devices shipped) a reasonable approach would be to start with high-end S60 smartphones, targeting early adopters and technology leaders, and then start supporting mid- and low-end devices.

Continue reading “Do we really have a mobile development platform?”

Share

Jaiku – your key to social networking

Recently Jaiku has released a mobile client for S60 3rd edition, and I finally was able to try it out.

What is Jaiku? In short – it is a social networking service developed by a startup comany co-founded by Jyri Engeström. As Jaiku’s website states: "Jaiku’s main goal is to bring people closer together by enabling them to share their presence."

Downloading and installing a mobile application was really simple. It all started with an SMS with a download link I recieved on my N95. Installation and configuration process were combined, so I just had to answer a few simple questions instead of having to navigate through the numerous settings to figure out if I am sharing something that I haven’t intended to. Implementation is absolutely brilliant, this is the example of how mobile applications installation should work.

Mobile application is really nice, it follows S60 UI guidelines and neatly extends them when necessary, so you don’t have to learn new tricks when using it. Jaiku mobile not only allows you to enter your presence state manually, but also collects and shares some information automatically.
It takes into account and shares your phone’s profile (silent, meeting, general), when you last used your phone, calendar information, location (which is tracked by cellid and you can name locations yourself, however countries are detected automatically) and number of bluetooth devices around. Privacy concerns have been taken into account as well – you can choose how much information you share, so that you will not be breaching corporate security rules by broadcasting names of all your meetings.

The service is indeed really good for casual communication and creating and expanding social networks, as long as you are active enough to use it regularily. I got few colleagues to install JAiku on their phones and multimedia computers, and I think everybody agreed that this is a fun way to keep in touch.

Since Jaiku enables you to browse friends’ contacts – it also taps into domain of  LinkedIn-like services and potentially enables building professional networks, provided that enough people in your profession are technically savvy enough to use it while it is still in beta.

I can see a great future in social networking services and merged with capabilities of mobile devices. Way to go, Jaiku!

P.S. A good read on mobile presence "Presence Red Herring" by Stephen Johnston.

Share

Is the future of web services in mobile java?

During this year a very interesting trend has emerged. New and existing web services started creating  mobile java applications to optimise and enhance user experience on the mobile devices.

While mobile browsers are becoming more and more powerful, it seems not enough to have "minimap" or Small Screen Rendering or even OperaMini in order to get the same experience on the mobile as on the large screen of your home computer.

So a number of specialised applications appeared in 2006. A few examples of these applications that I use myself.

Gmail from Google

Widsets from Nokia

Google Maps from Google

RSS Agregator from NewsGator

The basic idea in all these apps is very simple yet brilliant – you have the same content, same settings, same functionality on your mobile or MC as on your PC,  but mobile UI is optimised so that it provides for faster access, less traffic and better user experience overall.

With the mobile phones and multimedia computers outselling regular PCs already now, and flat data plans becoming more popular, does the future of the web services lie in mobile Java?

Share

Elävä arkisto – The living archive

(Via "The Butt Ugly Weblog")

Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE has opened its archives to public. Thanks to Elävä arkisto (The living archive) web site it is now possible to watch old TV news and news films and listen to the webcasts of old radio programs.

Really facsinating stuff. News coverage of 1976 visit to Finland by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, M/S Estonia disaster, opening of the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Princess Diana death in a car accident, and a lot of other interesting audio and video documents.

Share

Opera Mobile vs. Nokia S60 browser – new browser war?

I guess it all has started from The Register controversial columnist Andrew Orlowski’s review of Nokia E70. The article has been commented on some blogs, including Opera PR Manager Eskil Sivertsen’s blog.

Tero Lehto wrote in his blog in relation to that, that "Pohjoismaiseen kulttuuriin ei ole tavallisesti kuulunut kilpailevan tuotteen avoimella loanheitolla" ("Openly throwing dirt at the competing product does not normally belong to Nordic countries’ culture.")

It is very sad indeed. I know souls behind both browsers, and I know that there are very talented and hardworking people in both teams and they are doing  their best to deliver the perfect mobile browsing experience to the end users.

I’ve decided to compare Opera and Nokia OSS browsers to find out which one is better.

Continue reading “Opera Mobile vs. Nokia S60 browser – new browser war?”

Share

Using Ubuntu on Dell Inspiron 9100 – part 2

I wrote about my first experiences with Ubuntu last year. It was fun to try it, but then I had to do some work and just continued using Windows.

So when I was told by a colleague that there’s new Ubuntu release – 6.06 LTS aka Dapper Drake available I decided to give it another go. And here’s what happened.

Continue reading “Using Ubuntu on Dell Inspiron 9100 – part 2”

Share

Notefish

A few days ago I came across an interesting web application named Notefish. It’s quite amazing what you can do with it – copy-pasting pieces of web into one page and sharing it with others.  I just loved the simplicity of the interace.

It is possible to create collections of the web-clips from their web site or to install Firefox extension (or IE extension) that allows you to add notes to Notefish projects right from the web page.
 

Here’s an example of a complete project they give on their web site.

Share

Going back to Linux

Last weekend I spend installing Linux on my laptop. Original idea was to try to Maemo SDK and try to create an application for Nokia 770. The SDK required Linux to be installed, so I freed up some space on the hard drive and burned a CD for Ubuntu installation.

Installation went surprisingly smoothly, after a few initial questions about hard drive partitioning, keyboard layout, computer name and user name and password a nice Gnome UI booted up with good resolution, sound and nice set of preinstalled applications.

I remember that using Linux as a user desktop just a few years back was a constant nigtmare of fine tuning endless configuration files just to make basic things work.  Five years ago I had to spend a day just to make a new modem work with my Debian installation. Now I got my home internet working with no effort at all.

Ubuntu has Firefox browser and OpenOffice preinstalled, so most of the things I was doing with my home computer were covered. Basic configuration of the system of course took some time. Installing RealPlayer didn’t work via UI, but downloading the latest version for Linux from Real web site solved the problem. Setting up WLAN was also quite simple – I had to install drivers
manually, but entering WEP key and enabling the inteface was easily
done via UI. Configuring Russian keyboard layout in addition to a defalyt Finnish one was also possible from the UI.

However playing a DVD movie proved to be not so easy. Ubuntu support
forums have pretty good explanation of what needs to be done to enable
DVD decoding, but simple installation of libcss didn’t help to achieve
the desired result. Playback of the DVDs was jerky, so after some
googling I’ve discovered that DMA should be enabled for DVD drive, new drivers installed for my video card and new video player installed. Unfortunately I still didn’t manage to get the same level of convenience of DVD playback in Linux as in Windows.

I am really impressed by the progress that Linux made in a past few years as a desktop operating system. Open source community has a great potential in developing such projects and I am really excited by new ventures of Nokia in this area – such as e.g. 770 internet tablet.

Share