dimanche 28 novembre 2010

Monitor your presence on internet!

Nowadays,  it's getting almost impossible to control our identities on the internet. I thought about a simple way, that helps us monitoring what is being known about us. The idea is simple: create a Google Alerts on you name as a keyword. For those who doesn't know, this service of Google sends you a mail each time a new website on the internet mentions your desired keyword. Bad luck for you if you have a popular name, because it wont be efficient. We can go beyond with this kind of intelligence, by setting up keywords on a special professional subject of interest, or even a company to follow its news...

dimanche 21 novembre 2010

Mobil-Inn a new innovative SME(PME) in Lannion

Mobil-Inn is a new small business in Lannion, France, presented by its founder Frederic Jeanne, as a mobile development enterprise.
Frederic is a former Alten employee, he has more than 15 years of experience in software architecture in the telecom industry.
Frederic's concept is is based on the fact that smartphone market is growing very fast, and its share is increasing among mobile devices, so why don't we use smartphones to replace old fashioned boxes with dedicated functionality? a simple app on a smartphone can make use of the several capacities of the device (geolocalization, communication, orientation, sound...) to provide a similar functionality to a traditional box.
The first ready product of Mobil-Inn is Avenguard. Avenguard is a solution to protect isolated workers. In fact in France, the law defines isolated workers and requires that they can be able to ask for help at any moment when something bad happens to them. The current solutions for this are expensive dedicated boxes, which are hardly customizable to the needs of a specific company:

Avengard is a solution on smartphone, on Android in its first version, which allows an isolated worker to use his mobile to inform about his problem. In the basic free version, Avenguard sends an SMS to a prefigured contact upon a fast movement (worker falling), long time immobility (worker lost conscious) or an intentional click of a big button on the screen in case the worker feels threatened. The SMS includes the name of the worker, a preconfigured message and his GPS coordinates. In its Pro paid version, avenguard back end system initiates a call to the preconfigured contact, interacts with the callee using the latest IVR technologies to inform him about the worker and then puts him in contact with him. You can test the demo version in the android market here.

Mobil-Inn is in its very first steps of creation, searching for its form, its economical model, its financing, market studies, partners..
Frederic still has a lot of innovative ideas in this field, and he has the necessary experience and dedication for succeeding in his project.
Fore more information, you can check Mobil-Inn's website: http://www.mobil-inn.com/, or contact Frederic directly on this email: frederic.jeanne@mobil-inn.com


dimanche 14 novembre 2010

Social Networks & Next Generations

I am a young person that belongs to the first generations that created an account on Facebook or so. Recently I was looking at the pictures of an old friend from university; so she got married, and got a wonderful kiddo.Then, I had flash questions about the impact of social networks on the identity of next generations, and on their social behavior. I will illustrate my thoughts by imagining my self the recently born son of my friend, but in the Future.

So I get 14 years old, and my parents allow me to use the internet. Since all of my school buddies have a Facebook profile, it will be the first think to do. Then I add my parents since luckily Facebook suggests this :). The surprise is here: I just discover the whole history of my parents and myself.

What will be my reactions when i discover all of the history of my parents? will we still have the need for those intimate moments of father and son where he tells him special stories from his past to teach him a life lesson? what if in this history there was some bad pictures? and don't tell me that you can control everything on Facebook, because you can't. So how will my father will teach me the wrong from bad, if I saw on his profile a picture of him doing the opposite?

Now consider me finding pictures of me since they gave me the first bath, till the day i had my first music concert in the school... At the first site I'll like that, but afterwards I am pretty sure that it will annoy me.

We can imagine a lot and really a lot of awkward maybe funny situations for the next coming generations. I am eager to see how will social relations will be affected in our new future by social networks. The next video is a nice video depicting the whole life of a man through Facebook. Gladly,  I am not the only one asking himself such questions.

lundi 8 novembre 2010

Divergent Thinking

Convergent Thinking is the traditional way of reasoning, taught at early stages in schools. In front of a problem, we consider the first common solutions that cross our mind, then after eliminating by logic one by one, we stop when find the first solution that answers the problem.
At the opposite side to Convergent Thinking, Divergent Thinking focuses on the early stages of considering a problem. First, the problem by itself is thought of in different ways. Then we take all of our time brainstorming all ideas and possible solutions, even if they don't seem feasible or rational at the first site. The more your ideas are numerous, different, unconventional, the more you are thinking in a divergent way. After this phase, we use Convergent thinking and common logical sense to solve the problem.
Divergent thinking is the engine of creativity. As Einstein used to say : "Imagination is more important than knowledge". His divergent thinking led him to the discovery of the general relativity theory. In his approach to light, he imagined himself riding a beam of light, and asked himself what would happen in this case? studies show that divergent thinking is very important within the young people, and disappears progressively with age in the current educational system. The greatest men in our history were those who had developed this ability to think divergently. This can't but remind me of the famous story of the danish physicist Niels Bohr, in which the teacher had asked him in the exam to find a way to measure the height of a building using a barometer. In one of his answers, Niels suggested to give the barometer to the guarder of the building if he tells him the height of it. In another answer, he proposes to throw the barometer from the top of the building and by measuring the time it took it to fall, one can calculate the height of the building. At the end he gave more than 7 amazing answers for a stupid known problem. The full story can be read here.
Divergent thinking can be exercised by different way: Brainstorming deeply and noting all ideas, Keeping a journal that becomes a creative source of ideas, Freewriting in an unconscious stream way, and finally Mind Mapping, a technique I exposed previously in one of my post.

An interesting article on the subject can be found here, and for deeper readings, you can check the books of the American psychologist Joy Paul Guilford.

dimanche 7 novembre 2010

The world according to Google - comic

Inspired by XKCD comics, I realized this one. The idea is to search for a sentence in Google with different words. For example, we take the sentence "Thank you " and then search for "Thank you god", "Thank you Mom"... and in each time we note the number of results in the search. This normally indicates how many times it occurred on the internet. Finally we plot the results on a graph. Amazing results no? notice the position of God in the world of Google!!!

lundi 1 novembre 2010

Social answering machine

A few days ago I was in a music class and I was messing with my smartphone. Then suddenly I had this idea: What about an application that updates the message on my answering machine just like a status on a social network? for example in my case in the music class i would have started this application on my phone, then written “I am in the music class” in the status field, then updated the status. If someone calls me and he gets my answering machine, he will hear “I am in the music class”.
As a geek, I thought about the technical aspects of the idea, and i figured out a way to do it. First, you must redirect your incoming calls when you do not respond, to a fixed number. For example, with Orange in France all you have to do is dial: **61* redirection number #. You should own the redirection number, on which you install an interactive voice server (IVR), Asterisk for instance. The VXML script of the IVR must do the following: read for the redirected caller the message text file (e.g.: msg.txt containing the string “I am in the music class”), then save his voice message if he leaves one in an audio file. We will suppose that this is a simple answering machine, so afterwards it sends the voice message to me as a mail, and notify me by SMS for example using the Orange SMS API or other APIs. On the same machine, we install a web server with a simple servlet that changes the msg.txt file upon an authenticated web request. Lets suppose that the request is according to the following form:
The server side is done, all we need now is a simple client application on the smartphone. On the application UI, I write my new status, and click on update. the application sends an HTTP request to our webserver with the new status in parameter to update the answering machine message.
We can add complexity the idea by integrating the traditional answering machine services, like calling back to hear the message, or we can have several customized statuses according to the calling number (SFR offers a similar service: SFR Repondeur+). Social extensions maybe thought of, like synchronisation with Facebook or others.

Would you appreciate such an option in you answering machine if it existed in you offer?