Developer42

2009-11-04

Ideas for Wave Robots

Filed under: Google, Ideas, Technology, Wave — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Developer42 @ 21:32

One of the hardest things about developing a wave robot is coming up with an original idea. My smiley bot [smiley_wave@appspot.com] was just for me to play with wave & get used to uploading apps to App Engine / get back into java coding and using eclipse. Now that that’s done, it’s time to think of something useful; an application that people will actually want to use. The point of this post is partly a brainstorming session for myself, and partly to put these ideas out there to anyone stuck for ideas, who think they can code one of these, and finally, to encourage others to submit ideas.

Webby – The Web Service Robot
A robot which when added, detects any URLs pointing to web services, generates a form based on the parameters, then submits this data via SOAP, and puts the return value into a new blip.

Squely – A Database Query Bot
A robot which can run SQL statements against given connection strings. At present, this will only be possible if the database is publicly accessible, or if you have a wave server installed on the same network as your database.

QIFry – Interesting
This robot would monitor waves for key words, then on detection, pop in an interesting fact about that word (e.g. if it spots the word Banana, it says “did you know that bananas are herbs, and these shrubs can walk?”). It also monitors for boring words, and replaces them with more eloquent ones.

Pretty – Pretty Print
Detects common languages / markup & changes the layout to make it more readable.

Recipe
Finds recipes based on ingredients or dish names in the wave.

FindMe
Uses the GEO features of HTML 5 to locate where each wave user is and lets wavers know where their nearest wavers are. This could also take info about their interests to help match people up to folks whose hobbies they share.

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2009-10-27

BizTalk ConnectionString

Filed under: BizTalk, Ideas, Microsoft, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — Developer42 @ 19:24

When using BizTalk, there’s often one or two databases you’ll need to access regularly. Rather than hard coding these in parameters of the database methods, a potential solution is to create a functoid which returns the required connection string. This gives you the advantage that should you need to change your connection string, changing it in your functoid will simultaneously update everywhere using that connection string. Of course, once you’ve got one connection string to your configuration database, you can use simple names to access your other databases, since these names can be stored in your configuration database along with the relevant connection strings, making them even easier to maintain.

2009-10-26

Genius Ideas

Filed under: Comedy, Ideas — Tags: , , , , , — Developer42 @ 23:07

For anyone who hasn’t seen or heard it, Genius is a BBC Radio 4 show, which recently also aired on TV (BBC 2). The premise of the program is to get members of the public to submit their ideas, after which host Dave Gorman and a guest celebrity “genius” will analyse the idea to determine the intelligence of the submitter. However, these ideas aren’t always the most standard of thoughts or inventions. Ideas such as the Democrabus; a bus where all passengers have their own steering wheel and the bus goes the way of the majority, the Torture Box; a box into which inanimate objects which have in some way wronged you are placed in order to punish them, and Cat Bars; clubs where women sit at a table having a few drinks whilst enjoying the delights of having a cat wander over to their table to be stroked for their pleasure, are just a few examples of the sorts of thing which can be expected. To see some of the televised episodes, look here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bbc+genius+gorman&search_type=&aq=f.

So, introductions over, what’s this post about. Well, I’ve been busy submitting my own ideas for Genius; though so far have heard no word of a new series. So, in absence of further knowledge, I’ve decided to pop up a post of these ideas for all to enjoy. I hope you do.

The Hover Lawnmower
A device with spinning rotors on the bottom; two things spring immediately to mind. So why not combine these to reuse the rotation, and lose the wheels. This would allow an all-terrain lawnmower, able to cut grass on land or water. Adjusting the shape of the blades to a simple propeller design, and putting a skirt around the edge to focus the flow and reduce grass-throw would make this the perfect pitch preserving device.

Left Hand Man
Like a right hand man, but more creative. Your right hand man is someone who helps take care of all of the tasks you need to do and issues you need to resolve. Your left hand man helps you resolve some of the more design oriented problems, such as choosing the right shade of almost-white to paint the walls, choosing which songs to put on your iPod before jogging, and selecting spices to liven up your chicken pie.
Also available in this range are the right and left hand women (useful if you need to work on several things at once), and the foot range, popular with the upper classes.

The Jigsaw Shredder

Worried about identity theft? Then you need the Jigsaw shredder. This cunning device takes your sensitive documents and turns them into 1000 pieces of criminal entertainment. By moving from strips of paper to puzzle pieces, the task of reassembling the document becomes far more enjoyable. This, you think, may be counter-productive; however it’s actually counter-intuitive. By making the task more enjoyable, you’re encouraging the criminal to take up a new interest, helping to replace their bad habits with wholesome hobbies. Now, I know what you’re thinking. . . what about the edge pieces. If they can get the edge of the document together, they can reassemble my document in no time, making it far too easy to reassemble, thus completed too quickly for the seed of a hobby to be planted. Well, that’s the genius bit. Once a jigsaw shredding has been made, the edge pieces are removed and burnt. This burning of pieces produces enough energy to power the machine (whereas burning all the pieces wouldn’t be environmentally friendly).

2009-10-18

Proximity Alert (iPhone / Android App)

Filed under: Ideas, Technology — Tags: , , , , — Developer42 @ 15:21

Summary
This is an idea for an application for portable devices, such as The iPhone or devices running on the Android OS.
By taking advantage of features such as GPS and other technologies allowing you to find a user’s location, it should be possible to write an application which can sound an alarm when you come within a certain distance of a point.

Example Uses
When on a bus journey in unfamiliar territory, you often don’t know when you’re close to your stop. This alert would tell you to get ready to get off in time for you to make it.
When heading home on the train, late at night, you may fall asleep. Having an alert to wake you up in time to reorientate yourself, collect your belongings, and exit at your station could save countless taxi fares and embarrassing anecdotes.

Ideas

  • Auto Default(s):
    • In certain conditions, the alert activates itself. An example may be after 11pm, when you’ve been in London, and you’re now following your normal route home (e.g. your location suggests you’re on the train, heading home).
    • Default location(s): The points at which your alerts should sound by default.
    • Default distance/time(s): The distance / time from the above points at which the alert should sound.
    • Default alert: Sound, Vibrate, or something else?
  • Time Sensor: Speed can be estimated by looking at the recent change in distance / time. This can be used along with the remaining distance to work out the ETA.
  • Periodic Check: To save on battery life, check the current position at intervals. Use the maximum possible speed to work out a suitable interval (e.g assume a top speed of 30mph if there’s only paths, or 120mph if there’s rail/roads between you and your destination).

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