Saturday, December 16, 2006


Remote 60 for Symbian Series 60 devices

Remote S60 is a great tool if you, like me, write applications for Symbian devices or show demos of mobile portals. There are special stands that uses a video camera to record and show what happens on the device but they cost more, and it is yet another gadget to drag around. Remote S60 on the other hand, costs $25 and does not require any additional hardware. It uses Bluetooth, IrDA, TCP/IP or the data cable to remote control the phone and display what is on the phone screen on the PC.

The following screen shot was taken from my phone with the demo version:

You can even control the phone using the keyboard on the PC which makes demos faster and easier. It also lets you you take screen shots and record the action to an AVI movie.

Thanks for the tip Alessandro.

Friday, December 15, 2006


An honest politician in the Italian parliament???

What, is it possible???
Honest politicians don't exist by definition, especially Italian ones, but Di Pietro seems to be an exception. There has been a lot of discussions this year regarding the new budget plan and it has caught the attention of everybody. Nobody noticed that the communist majority government managed to sneak in a new law where they eliminate financial crimes committed by the Court of Auditors. Apart from Di Pietro that is, which made it pretty clear that the law must be removed or he leaves the majority government (which practically makes it a vote of confidence):

(AGI) - Rome, Dec. 15 - “... we are not here to have our leg pulled by those who use legal means for immoral ends“. Di Pietro's anger is against "the sly action of something within the majority, and maybe also of the government, which inserted a measure within the amendments that is disastrous for the credibility of the Unione coalition, regarding the elimination of financial crimes committed by the Court of Auditors." 

I rarely post about Italian current affairs or politics as I don't have the right to vote (even though I have lived here for more than a decade) but this really caught my attention. Finally a politician who is not interested in rubbing the backs of other politicians (or keeping his position in government if he continues like this :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Create MSDN like documentation with Microsoft Sandcastle

Documentation is usually the weak point of most software development projects. Maintaining separate documentation from the code just does not work. Microsoft has released a Community Technology Preview of Sandcastle which is used internally in Microsoft to build the .NET framework documentation. Sandcastle produces accurate, MSDN style, comprehensive documentation by reflecting over the source assemblies and optionally integrating XML Documentation Comments.

Other Sandcastle resources:


An Open future for iTunes and the iPod

Thanks to DVD Jon we can look forward to iTunes compatible music players from other companies than Apple, and using other music stores like Napster with the iPod. From the article on Yahoo:

"He imitated Apple's system; he didn't remove any copyright protections," said Monique Farantzos, whose DoubleTwist Ventures plans to license the code to businesses. "He made a system that behaves in a similar way."

Jon Lech Johansen has essentially created software that in a way tricks iTunes into thinking a competing device with the DoubleTwist code is an iPod, said Farantzos who predicted it could be available to consumers as soon as the beginning of 2007.

"What this means in practice is that competing (download) stores would be able to make their encrypted content compatible with the iPod, she said. "Hardware devices that have this code embedded could play iTunes content."


She also declined to go into specifics about how the hacker known as DVD Jon -- who now works at DoubleTwist -- cracked Apple's code. But Farantzos sees no legal complication arising from the technology she said does not remove any copyright protection.

More importantly, Apple would also find it difficult to update its software to block DoubleTwist as the company did when RealNetworks Inc. (Nasdaq:RNWK - news) offered songs for download that worked with iPods, she added.

"We followed a different strategy than RealNetworks. We don't believe it is practical for Apple to block this."

Way to go Jon!


A richer Internet Archive

The Internet Archive contains more than two petabytes (growing at a rate of 20 terabytes a month) of contents ranging from, movies, texts, audio and now also software.

After winning the latest lawsuits there are several exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is great news for all of us, not only the internet archive:

  • you can copy old computer games (if the original machine, format or technology is obsolete)

  • users of mobile phones can circumvent the technology which makes the phone only work with one network.

  • you can copy "dongle protected" software when the dongle has been damaged and a replacement is no longer available.

  • educational establishments can "break" digital rights management (DRM) technology for audiovisual works to be used by media studies or film classes

  • you can bypass DRM on CDs in order to test and fix DRM technology which might damage your computer

The Register has the details of the lawsuits.