Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mobile ID card for Facebook

Our mashup Mobile Facebook ID card has been updated. It lets you create mobile identification card with your Facebook ID.

Mashup lets you create mobile web page with QR code that presents your name and photo from Facebook. This mobile web page could be simply bookmarked (saved) right on your mobile phone. You can present (show) this QR code (opened mobile page) on the some check-in point (gate etc). QR code could be scanned right from your phone and your ID could be checked. You can see screenshots for the process here: how to confirm your identity with Facebook.

ID Card (mobile web page) contains a link to your Facebook profile. So this mashup could be used also as a quick way for telling about your Facebook page to other people.

Other use cases are:

- loyalty cards
- mobile tickets
- events registration

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Read JSON in Java

An interesting trick. You can easily transform a JSON expression to a simple Java object tree (map, arrays, primitive wrappers and string) with Java 6 and no additional framework. Actually, Java code uses JavaScript for getting objects from JSON. From here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Emergency communications for drivers

Geo Messages concept proposes adding location data as signatures to messages. And this model could be actually embedded into some vertical applications (services). Here is an example - InCar emergency.

This mashup provides a generator for in-car emergency communications. Service provider (renting agency) prepares a communication script for cars owners. This script contains some predefined-data (car model, year) and uses GeoMessages for adding location info during the deployment. Such script could be preloaded to driver’s phone or placed via QR-code right in the car. It is a fast way for emergency communications.

P.S. in the more generic form the similar approach provided in Geo Post mashup that lets add geo-located messages to blogs.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cache for JSP

It is yet another solution for data caching in heavy loaded JSP sites. Custom JSP tag, helps you provide session level cache. Tag Once Per Session lets you calculate code chunks just once per user’s session and reuse cached data in the subsequent calls.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Software Deployment: Challenges and Successes

Guest post by David Malmborg. David works with Dell Kace and enjoys writing about technology, computers and saving money.

In the early days of business software, deployment was relatively simple. When a software upgrade was needed, companies bought software CDs through retail vendors and installed it onto their machines. Today, things are a little more complicated. The internet revolutionized the way software is sold, but it also opened the door to rampant software piracy. Software vendors, then, of necessity, became stricter in terms of both licensing and auditing.

Modern enterprise software deployment is more than just getting the right applications to the right people at the right time. In fact, software “deployment” can really be called software “management”— that is, an IT professional’s job does not end with the successful rollout of a software update. It’s more about managing software and software licensing year round.

Software Deployment Challenges

Poor software deployment can lead to a number of issues. One such has already been mentioned, but those companies that do not handle it properly can find themselves charged with hefty fines: illegal software usage. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not as easy to control as would be hoped. Employees may not understand all the implications of software licensing when downloading or otherwise installing software on their machines.

Another issue that many IT professionals run into is support. When attempting software upgrades, it is often not a simple matter of installing, but of making sure that users’ existing hardware, software, data, and preferences are compliant with the new application. This is especially important when making moving from one OS to another. Though there are tools that attempt to make the process easier, it is
often one that requires time to complete. A typical operating system update can take most companies anywhere from a year and a half to two years.

Other challenges include overbuying, fitting the upgrade into the workload of already-busy employees, and supporting newer technologies. It is for these reasons that successful software distribution is a full time job.

Deployment Methodology

There are resources and things that IT professionals can do to make software deployment a little more manageable, however.

Plan in advance – It’s almost a guarantee that there will be problems with software
deployment, but professionals that plan in advance for these eventualities are often the most successful. In order to do this, it is a good idea to involve both the end users and any support staff in the planning processes.

Repackage software – Software distribution is often best handled through a centralized software library. This provides ease of access and control of updates. This system also allows the right software versions to be transferred to the right employees.

Schedule software distribution – When software deployment takes place is just as important as how it happens. A good time to schedule distribution is during times of low bandwidth usage and during times that users are not actively working on their machines.

Train employees – Sometimes management makes the decision to forego training in order to cut back on costs, but this is often an essential step. Users need to understand the new software features as well as how their work routines could change.

Software deployment can be complex and time-consuming, but it is a vital part of most businesses. With the right strategies in place, software deployment can go smoothly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hyper-local communications

Our mobile web application WiFi chat has been updated. What kind of object (real or virtual) can we use for joining together mobile users? We are not talking here about social networks members. We are looking a way for creating group chat. Here, for example, is a short list for several our applications:

City forum - discussions (forums) linked to places (POI - point of interest)
Geo forum - the similar to above (also mobile forums) but linked to location
Mobile forum - lets you add discussions to any physical object.
City chat - web chat linked to any POI (point of interest)
Geo chat - web chat linked to some location

And here is a new idea - WiFiChat. Forum and chat linked to some WiFi network. It is a mobile application that lets you see available (visible) Wi-Fi networks and link (attach) discussions and chats to them. We are not talking about connecting to WiFi networks. We are using WiFi network just as a sensor. If you can see it from your mobile, you are somewhere near. We can call it WiFi proximity. That is an idea. All people seeing the same network are in the some proximity. So, they could have some common points for the discussions.

Just one interesting remark – WiFi access point could be opened right on the mobile phone. And with WiFiChat application this phone will play a role of presence sensor uniting (combining together) local people for the communications.

Technically this application uses cloud forums from Disqus and web chat from Coldbeans.

You can load .apk right from Android Market:


Also you can download .apk file right from our server: Here is an appropriate QR-code:

QR code for WiFiChat

WiFiChat, actually, is a side project for our new development - SpotEx. This application lets you attach (link) your own data to WiFi access points. We will describe it separately.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Directory of mashups

Our mashups directory has been updated. A huge collection of applications: Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, LBS, QR-codes, mobile HTML5 etc.

The latest release includes our context-aware applications (WiFi Chat), Google Plus API test (photo puzzle) and new Chrome extensions, for example

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Real time search for Hadoop

Interesting article: search in log files with a clever combination of Hadoop with Lucene and Solr.

Friday, December 16, 2011

iOS5 Bluetooth

An interesting article about Core Bluetooth Framework in iOS:

Billboards would be able to broadcast coupons to nearby patrons - no cell reception needed.
A jukebox might advertise the song that’s currently playing with a link to purchase
Your car could broadcast its stats so that when you pull into a gas station the service mechanics will know whether you need an oil change.
Your company badge might broadcast your email address so that connecting at business events becomes even easier.
Your TV could broadcast the link to the current TV channel’s website.

Note, that everything is a push and so has got all the security problems. In the same time our SpotEx approach propagates the pull. And it is safety and anonymous.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Post-processing in Java web applications

This filter lets you post process incoming requests right in JSP pages. So each incoming request will be forwarded after the standard processing to some JSP page (provided as a parameter for this filter). This JSP will play a role of postprocessor - post-processing filter

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Restore dialogues in Twitter

Our mashup Dialogues in Twitter has been updated. It lets you restore the chain of tweets related to the given status (message). The use cases are obvious. You are reading some tweet with the question and also interested in the answers. Or, vice versa, you are reading some answer and need to restore the dialog from the beginning.

For the beginning just set a full URL for the tweet (or simply set status ID). For statuses published as reply to another tweet, mashup will restore the dialogue. Also mashup will lookup reactions to the given tweet. In other words it will try to restore the dialogue in the both directions.

You can also simplify your life and use an appropriate bookmarklet (Dialogues in Twitter) from our collection. In this case on the opened web page with the status (message from Twitter) just select a previously saved bookmark.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Your own mobile services

Our mashup Mobile pages has been updated. Our idea is to let users pre-load their mobile phones with some useful data pages. For example: mobile web page lets you share contact info, mobile web page lets you share some useful (important) link (e.g. price list, contact, resume etc.) and so on.

Pages will be created on Mobile pages service and transferred right to the phone either from short URL or via QR codes.

Service started just as a desktop web version for Mobile share mashup. It has been grown after that so sharing mobile contacts is just one of the available options. Right now you can:

- create a personal mobile web page for one click contact info sharing
- copy any long URL right to mobile web browser
- create a shareable bookmark on your mobile and share it later by SMS
- send a long text by SMS right from web site
- create a bookmark with some text content and share it by SMS
- create own mobile portal (collection of links)

Stay tuned, new features will follow shortly.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Preprocessing in Java web applications

Generic preprocessor is a Java servlet filter lets you preprocess incoming requests right in JSP pages. So each incoming request will be forwarded to some JSP page (provided as a parameter for this filter). This JSP will play a role of preprocessor.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sensors and locations

"The next big frontier for phone companies, social networks and apps developers is indoor positioning. Yet despite the huge opportunities no truly satisfactory indoor location solution has ever been found. All suffer from one or more of the same fatal problems; they are inaccurate or unavailable; they require occasional manual recalibration to remain accurate; or they are highly expensive and tied to individual buildings." - it is correct. But wait - what they (Sensewhere) are doing after that? Are they simply reinventing the collaborative location? It looks so as per this presentation. As usually there is a big question: hot to get the first element with known location in this cloud? Cross-referenced to whom?

Rather than getting indoor location in order to use it for obtaining location-related data later is not it better to get that location-related data directly? It is what SpotEx project about.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mobile presense

Build an interactive HTML5 mobile presence for yourself, a business, or any brand - by InfoStripe

Hey , it is what we are doing in QR-code maker and Mobile pages

Thursday, December 08, 2011

More about custom check-ins

"Google+ To Take On Foursquare With Upcoming "Check-in Offers" Feature. It looks like Google+ is adding a feature that will allow users to "check-in" via the Google+ mobile application in order to receive a time-sensitive deal or discount." - from TC

It looks like an idea about "do it yourself" check-ins is more than alive. Great! It is exactly what we offered in QRpon and Places for Facebook. You can really can create "own Foursquare" with exiting databases for places. With Facebook Places in our case.

The next logical step is to create check-in for things (not only for places). It is what our QRpon project offers.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Your own Foursquare

Our mashup Places from Facebook has been updated. Lets you create your own "Foursquare" for places in Facebook. Really – you can create customized check-ins for places. Each custom check-in is just a mobile web page where you can define content (offer), badge (e.g. benefits provided after check-in) etc.

Ask you visitors to check-in, mobile page will put custom defined data to user’s wall and show your "badge" after that. Really – your own "Foursquare". What is else? The stat for places provided by the Facebook. And your users are all Facebook users actually.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Drive Customer Loyalty

"Shopping center landloard DDR Corp. announced the launch of ValuText, a location-based, mobile marketing service designed to drive sales at 27 of its open air shopping centers.

Powered by Placecast, ValuText will send immediate offers from retailers within a designated shopping center via text message to opted-in shoppers once they enter a geo-fence around DDR's locations." - from here.

It is a "traditional" way - geo-fence. But you can do that with SpotEx. Wi-Fi network at retailer's location could be used as a trigger that shown new (hot etc.) items for customers nearby. Btw, customers do not need to discover their phones to retailer in this case.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Innovation Convention 2011

We continue to share links for monitoring the interesting events in Twitter. Now it is Innovation Convention, Brussels, 2011

/via Geo Messages

P.S. and the same in Twi-gazeta:   Web 2.0 Summit