Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Update on GVOMS

So, as many people quickly found out - wasn't working. At first, the
mirrors shut down, and then Google got stricter regarding logging in through an external server. With some
tweaks, however, I've managed to bring the service up just fine - including support for dual factor
authenticated accounts via application specific passwords.

However, there is
more bad news. It seems that the latest version of Outlook (2013) is removing
"Office Mobile Service". What that means is that GVOMS will only be available for use in Office 2000 and
Office 2007. I will end support for GVOMS no later than the version of Outlook after 2013 - unless
significant interest/donation is put towards it.

The good news is, however,
that GVOMS doesn't have to just be for Outlook. GVOMS provides a protocol that Office understands, but is
open for the entire web. GVOMS provides a SOAP interface for sending Text messages over Google Voice.

if you're an interested developer, let that sink in - and then try to build something on top of it ;) You
can read up on [MS-OMS]:
Office Mobile Service Protocol Specification
over on MSDN.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And you complain about Android fragmentation?

Something very special and unique exists about Android - it operates on many different
types of screens, devices, and even operating system versions.  Android is a uniquely fascinating ecosystem
that I can never get enough of.  That said, I program Android applications as a student developer for my
University.  Nothing infuriates me more, however, than the constant accusation that programming for android
is hard due to fragmentation.

You couldn't be more wrong.

While I
have yet to suffer the "a new version of android just came out, better test!" scenario, I've successfully
programmed on a two person team for two apps that work on 2.1 and up using 4.0-like features.  Is that
surprising?  It shouldn't be.  The fact of the matter is, Android is built so that differences between
hardware, OS, & al shouldn't matter in the slightest.

That said, I couldn't
help but chuckle a little when we installed iOS6 on one of the test devices in the lab.  (My coworker does
the iOS side of things, so we have native apps for both Android and iOS).  For our little news application,
a drawing thing with the way we were doing the titlebar broke.  Not a big issue (broke for maps too).  For
our maps app... everything broke.  No map.  No pulling up the native application for directions (launched in
safari instead).  Nothing.  With iOS6, Apple went ahead and BROKE apps relying on the maps application.

this is probably because they've moved to their own framework, and this is in the early stages of the OS -
but still - entire app. broken.  One iOS update.

And you complain about Android

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rant: Chrome for Android

I have yet to understand why Google Chrome for Android never bothers to synchronize
your profile and passwords. It is kind of frustrating to be using the same web browser that I use on my
desktop. One I know synchronizes my usernames and passwords and yet I still have to enter in and resave all
my usernames and passwords for any website that I decide to visit on my Android tablet. It is kind of

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why buying a tablet will improve your phones battery life

I discovered something interesting already in the use of my brand new android tablet. 
It would appear that my phone has started to live for longer periods of time.  When I stopped to think of
this interesting trend it occurred to me that many of the more tablet optimized tasks I partake in on a
daily basis, such as email checking and web browsing I had moved to my tablet, instead opting in to use my
phone only while on the move or for smaller tasks such as texting (which, thanks to my use of google voice I
could do with equal ease on my new Xoom)

This has greatly improved the battery life of
my phone.  My phone is now relegated to more phone-like tasks while my Xoom acts as a extremely portable
device, similar in function to that if a PC.

This brings to mind the conclusion that
the reason our phones battery lives are so horrible these days is because we tend to use them for
everything.  If you're sitting on a train and you don't have a tablet you're probably going to pull out your
mobile phone for instant entertainment.  Purchasing and using a tablet however will surmount in a
significant gain of battery life for your phone, so long as you have uses for your new tablet.

Xoom and ICS

So, today I managed to snag myself a Xoom.  By which h of course I mean that I received
a Xoom in the mail from my good friend  I have been playing with it since I opened hue packaging
and so far I have to say that I absolutely love it.  Touch typing on a screen is definitely awkward but I
have a feeling that I'll get more used to it as time goes on. 

This is my first
tablet, and hopeful I'll be able to writ some neat maps for it.  I've already had a great idea that nobody
seems to be implementing in the android store atm.

So maybe I will at a future date?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Feeling like I'm PWNing REST

I'm working hard to make the private API I'm implementing at my current job a RESTful
uri scheme, and I feel like I hit a point of transcendence recently when I decided how to record a user
staring a story.

  • PUT /article/:articleID/favorite/:userID

  • DELETE /article/:articleID/favorite/:userID

I decided
that POST didn't make sense, as you couldn't really favorite a story more than once at
a time, and of course DELETE makes sense here.  Adding them as a relation between the article and the user
seems to make sense in this URI scheme as well.

So, all in all, I'm proud of myself.
 Despite it being such a tiny, simplistic thing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Future of Facebook?

href="" rel="attachment wp-att-564"> class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-564" title="Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook"
src="" alt="" width="264" height="178" />

style="text-align: left;">So, Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo today of his desk.. and I couldn't help but
notice that his Facebook is different from mine.  Some key things to note:

  • Instead of a tiny search bar at the top, there is now a very very large white bar.  This bar
    contains text in it, so I'm presuming it might be the new way to post data to Facebook, replacing
    the comparatively clunky share box we use today.

  • Instead of three icons
    (Adds, Notifications, Inbox) on the top bar, there is a single icon.  Perhaps these have been combined into

  • The icon appears squarer than the others.  Maybe its a Facebook icon,
    since the logo is clearly removed in this version?

  • To the right of this
    large search box seems to be something else, but I can't make it out - and unfortunately I can't just do a
    CSI-esque "enhance" on the image.

So maybe this is a sneak peak
at what is to come in the future?  Despite that, however, it should be noted that the changes seen here on
Mark's computer may never hit production servers.  This is simply some speculation on some noticeable

Source: Photograph
Uploaded by Mark Zuckerberg

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Idea: Code Reading App

Just jotting down an idea I had for a code reading app.

The idea
is that the application would read through the code and find all the structures, classes, etc and would
combine them in such a way that it could be read as a single line-by-line piece of code, with a UI that
shows the separation between elements.  Possibly using indentation to show the differences between scopes,
possibly with a collapsable block that specifies what the variables in that scope are set to.

good version would, of course, automatically change the values of these variables based on the code.