Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Skyhook (the one that feeds location into the iPhone and iPod Touch)

Steve Jobs told that the Maps application on the iPhone (and iPod Touch) works with Google Maps. The third element in the solution is SkyHook Wireless. They have a databse of WiFi Access points and their location. So when the iPhone's WiFi is turned on and it receives signals from an access point, it will be able to find out where you are.

Skyhook has a piece of laptop software of it's own that works as a browser plug-in.
It'll show me where I am, based on the same access point database.

The mash-up below is a logical next step:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

first mobile Google Maps Mashup?

My Google Alert notified me about Myrimis today.
( Myrimis )
It really looks very promising if you 'take the tour' on their website.
Social networking-like capabilities, Geotagging photos, Geofences, a mobile client.
So I registered and downloaded the client (Symbian only, Windows Mobile 'coming soon'. It's the other way around most of the time)
To my great surprise I noticed that Google maps and satellite images are being used.
I thought Google did not allow mobile usage of those yet.
The downside is that the client is so cluttered with functionality and the maps work so different from Google Maps, that the Wow-effect soon diminished.
But it's yet another example of the direction in which we're heading.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: location based services are on the verge of a major breakthrough.

recording four tv channels at once, while watching two others

I finally got it working properly:
my two home theatre PC's (HTPC). One upstairs, one downstairs.
Until yesterday, the 'real' TV's image got blurred as soon as I turned one of the HTPC's on. And the one upstairs had never shown a clear image.
My guess that I needed to really split the cable signal and boost it with a Hirschmann amplifier turned out to be correct.
So 150 Euro and some tinkering with high quality Coax cable later it all works.
Downstairs I built two digital TV decoders (from FireDTV) into a Windows machine, so I can watch and record digital TV. Windows Media Center still doesn't understand high definition TV (streaming h.264 to be precise) so I'm using software called DVB-Viewer together with CoreAVC to watch and record the three High Definition channels on my cable.
Upstairs is a more traditional setup with a dual analog tuner built into a Windows Media Center PC.
Ironically I hardly ever watch TV, but hey, I'm an innovator so I did it just for fun.
Next up: streaming live TV wirelessly from my HTPC to my MacBook.