Friday, May 27, 2011

Londroid tablet hackathon

Just had a great chat with friedger of openintent fame

Test blog from iPhone app blogspace

Wonder if this supports georss?  Apparently not, but it seems I can add a location using the draft blogger web interface.  I am guessing that means I probably can't access that from the blogger API?

No mention of it above.  Guess it might work - should definitely try the android blogger app first, but my motorola droid will not play nice with any of the BT wireless hubs I have tried.  It would connect but then kill my BTHomeHub, and now it just repeatedly connects very briefly, disconnects and the re-connects on my BTBusinessHub.  But it works just fine on the public WiFi I have tried at coffee shops in the UK.  Motorola Droid and BT Wifi just don't seem to mix well.  Maybe I will have to buy a new droid phone in the UK ...

Of course, what I really, really, really want, is a mobile app that allows me to voice record a blog post, post it to blogger with a georss tag, and then have that auto-published into MyMaps so that everyone can view a Sam's blog layer on their Google Android Map apps ...

Google MyMaps does more!

So along with some friends I have been tinkering with mobile GeoRSS ideas for a while. George Lee published iGeoRSS to the iPhone app store after some discussions we had. I have been talking about doing an Android version for a while, and the other day I saw someone beat me to it:

Although in principle there would still be room for others. However I just updated Google Maps on my Android phone, partly because I had read in a Distimo report that:
Google Maps is the only application with more than 50 million downloads in the Google Android Market, making it the all-time most popular application in this store
One of the disincentives for creating a map app for either iPhone or Android, is that pretty much everyone is using the Google maps app anyway, and there also have been restrictions about 3rd party developers adding things like direction support to their map apps, which is like the most mega-useful thing; and so it feels like pushing out a map app will mean always lagging behind Google's own app.

Not that that is a reason to give up completely, but I just noticed two (relatively?) new features in Google MyMaps. One is the ability to import GeoRSS feeds into your Google MyMaps, and the other is the ability to open up editing of MyMaps to anyone. So in principle all the things that I was hoping to achieve with a mobile GeoRSS app are in place, as you view all your Google MyMaps as layers in the Google Maps app on android.

So for example I just created a Google MyMap called "Sam's Restaurant Recommendations", which I can see on my android Google Map app. I might actually keep this one just for me to edit :-) but I have made a local news MyMap and opened it for anyone to edit, as well as making it public. Now of course, that's going to scale poorly and probably hit Google MyMap size limits if everyone in the world were to throw in all their local news, and I still haven't found many news sources spitting out geotagged feeds.

I did find this geotagged press release feed, and I tried importing it into my local news MyMap, and it grabbed at least the first item:

and when I viewed it on my android phone, I could see the whole feed. Now in principle anyone could keep adding to this, and everyone could see it on their phones, and we would have a shared geo-overlay system, which is probably Google's intention ...

What I'd really want is an API access to the MyMaps data so that old news could be moved off to an archive etc., and I'm not sure if that's available yet. Also, it's not clear to me how public mymaps can actually be discovered, and whether I would specifically have to invite people to a map for them to access it on their android phone ...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sexbot Turing Test

My friend Robert Brewer sent me a link to this Sexbot Turing test:

which reminded me of a chapter from "Parsing the Turing Test" by Mark Humphrys called "How My Program Passed the Turing Test" in which he describes a chatbot called Jenny18 that apparently brought a user to orgasm; arguably an alternate form or Turing Test.

It certainly seems like the Porn/Sex industry will be quick to adopt any advances in chatbot technology. Makes me start thinking that any breakthrough in natural language could lead to an explosion in sophisticated bots taking advantage of a larger and larger proportion of the population. Once the AIs are smarter than we are there will be no more "send money to Nigeria" scams, but more sophisticated bots that will engage you in conversation and pin down your needs and desires before fleecing you :-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

MySQL Logging

Getting MySQL logging turned on in OSX turned out to be rather time-consuming.

Some key sticking points were working out that the mysql config was in /etc/my.cnf and that my attempts to restart the MySQL server were actually being ignored. It was not until I killed all the mysql processes and then "started" them again that the logging started working.

I found various helpful posts:

Entries in the MySQL documentation:

However part of the problem was that although in principle logging can be turned on and off from within the running MySQL instance, there is a bug in 5.0 that prevents this, and although it has been fixed in 5.1, I was unclear about how to upgrade. My previous attempt at getting ports to start working again after my transition to Snow Leopard had ending up installing a completely new instance of MySQL in a new location and with no access to my old data.