Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #78
October 2nd, 2005

Here is my weekly selection of articles that were not mentioned here — except if I missed them.

Bringing Network Effects to Pervasive Spaces
The Obje Interoperability Framework, developed at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). is a middleware technology that lets networked applications and services coordinate with each another — even when they know almost nothing about one other..
Source: W. Keith Edwards, Mark W. Newman, Trevor F. Smith, and Jana Z. Sedivy, IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 4, no. 3, September 2005, pp. 15-17

Professor Wants to Put Your Toaster on the Internet
As we enter the Age of the Internet, it’s time to rethink how we control our homes and appliances, says Fei-Yue Wang, a professor Systems and Industrial Engineering at The University of Arizona.
Wang’s idea is to connect inexpensive, reconfigurable, “dumb” appliances to a central operation center that provides ‘smart control agents’ (autonomous software algorithms). Each appliance has just enough memory space and processing power to host one or two control agents for specific functions.
Source: Ed Stiles, University of Arizona News, September 19, 2005

Search engines for the forgetful
Technology has made finding information easier than ever, thanks to Google and other search programs. Yet as we carry more and more high-dollar gadgets, losing those gadgets has become a problem.
[And] the companies that promise to find and return lost objects use pretty basic technology and rely in large part on human kindness. But more high-tech solutions could be on the way. Researchers are looking at using RFID and GPS technology that would make real-world objects as easy to locate as a casserole recipe on Google — though such services will appear in the distant future, if ever, experts say.
Source: Carrie Kirby, San Francisco Chronicle, September 26, 2005

A new mobility
For most mainstream consumers, using a wireless Internet, or WiFi, connection to make mobile phone calls is at least a couple of years away, but industry watchers say the technology is moving fast. Already, Internet phone service is available on a few high-priced smart-phones that have WiFi access.
Source: Jessie Seyfer, Mercury News, September 26, 2005

Talking trash cans keep Berlin clean
Solar-powered rubbish bins in the heart of Berlin have the city’s residents talking. In fact, it is not only the people doing the talking — the rubbish bins themselves are speaking. Whenever an item is placed inside the trash cans, the bin says, “vielen danke” (many thanks).
Source:, September 28, 2005

Disaster/terror response killer device: hand-cranked laptop for kids
W. David Stephenson looks at the $100 laptop unveiled last week by Nick Negroponte and which is supposed to be used by kids all around the world. And he thinks that these devices could be used for terrorism/disaster response.
Source: W. David Stephenson blog, September 28, 2005

Clothing gives sportsmen a kick up the pants
As if being bawled at by the coach during training were not bad enough, sports stars may also end up being pushed around by their own clothing. Haptic sports garments, which use tactile signals to prompt the wearer to optimise their technique or to use specific muscle groups, are now being tested on rowers.
Source: Max Glaskin, New Scientist, September 29, 2005

Bill Joy: Future of the Web is mobile devices
Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and a driving force behind the creation of Berkeley Unix and Java, among other technologies, said the explosion in devices like cell phones, PDAs and other wireless gadgets connected to the Web is radically changing the technology industry. He calls that phenomenon the “here” Web, because the Internet is always “here, because you access it through a device you always carry.”
Source: Mike Ricciuti, CNET, September 29, 2005

Esquire wikis article on Wikipedia
When Esquire magazine writer A.J. Jacobs decided to do an article about the freely distributable and freely editable online encyclopedia Wikipedia, he took an innovative approach: He posted a crummy, error-laden draft of the story to the site.
Source: Daniel Terdiman, CNET, September 29, 2005

See you next week…

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