Daily Archives: December 6, 2006

Media on the TomTom GO

Here’s something I didn’t know I wanted – a media player for my TomTom GO 910.

I was reviewing my blog stats earlier, and noticed that someone had found my site with the search term “TomTomGO+910+playlist+software”.

Now, it’s true that I’d personally like an app to enable me to create or edit playlists on my TomTom. Right now, as I understand it, you create a .m3u file in Windows Media Player, and then upload it to the device – which drags in all the MP3s behind it. Cool, but doesn’t help me to create custom playlists from the music already on the device. So, I’m still interested in this topic.

Curious, I tried the search on the same string, and found a number of references to media players for TomTom devices.

It appears that there are two apps that enable video to be viewed on the TT: Media Studio from Makayama (which apparently converts DVDs for you, but from what I’ve read on various forums may have issues with ongoing TT firmware upgrades); and Media Center from MobilNova (which will play AVIs and MPEGs, and seems a little “safer” in terms of compatibility with firmware changes).

It seems that both apps by default won’t let you watch video on the move, but that feature can be disabled.

This is funky. I don’t currently have a portable media player (other than my laptop, I suppose). Clearly there’s no point in trying to use this whilst driving, but any passenger could get some use out of it.

I haven’t sprung for either of these apps yet. Can’t find any reviews of them, so I’m slightly nervous. Pretty cool, though, and I’m a total junkie for anything new like this ūüôā

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2D Internet in 3D Internet – or better APIs?

During the Virtual Worlds Think Tank¬†last Thursday, I got to thinking about what the 3D Internet may mean.¬†I was considering some of the limitations of Linden’s current engine, which is one of the technologies that may move us in the right direction.

Linden have stated that they want to put the Mozilla engine (Gecko) inside Second Life. This is potentially a great move. Right now, in order to display a web page on a prim or surface, you have to take a snapshot of the page on some proxy outside of SL, and then grab and render the image inside SL. By putting the browser inside the engine, you potentially have access to all the richness of the browser as an application platform.

But, let’s wait for a minute and think about how useful this is. I’m a 3D person in RL, sitting at a 2D computer interface which enables me to deal with information. Now I start using Second Life or some similar technology, and all of a sudden I’m looking at a 3D representation of myself moving around a 3D environment – a 3D Internet, if you will.

So, if we just put the browser inside that environment… don’t we have a 3D person in RL looking at 2D screen… which contains a 3D person in SL looking at a 2D screen?

You can already perform an HTTP request from within LSL (the scripting language of Second Life). This is great Рstandards-based integration, providing a way of getting data from the rest of the Internet into the environment, to enrich any objects that are built there. Our own epredator Potato and colleagues have been using this to get data from various external systems, to great effect.

The problem with llHttpRequest is that once you’ve got the response, you have no easy way of parsing it. There’s no XML parser in LSL – you are back to good old-fashioned string parsing. This makes SOAP/HTTP calls cumbersome to impractical; it’s a good argument for REST-based services, but even then, if you are getting back anything more than a tokenised string, it can be a pain to deal with.

To me, the point of this exciting new environment is¬†that we can present information in an entirely new way. Once the current stability issues are sorted out, I’d really like to see LL make it easier to deal with the information that we can pull in from the outside world. An Embedded web browser would be cool, but I think it (partially) misses the point.

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Lotus Notes security and access

I’ve been using Notes for nearly 10 years, and I never knew / realised this:

Open any Notes database, and you should see the icon on the Security button display either What’s my access to this database? for Manager, What’s my access to this database? for Editor, What’s my access to this database? for Author, or What’s my access to this database? for reader.

More on Alan Lepofsky’s ever-useful IBM Lotus Notes Hints, Tips and Tricks blog.