July 21st, 2005


Upcoming Austin Events

I keep forgetting to add items to upcoming.org, even though it's still one of the coolest web systems for finding out about interesting events. I just added two new items to the Austin event list:

Best of Austin 48 Hour Film Project 2005 (July 24th)
Suzanne Vega (August 5th)

I really like the SMS notification system they have, where you can schedule a text message to be sent to your phone a certain amount of time before an event. It's also a nice way to find other people that might be interested in an event that's not gotten a lot of publicity. Originally, I was just in the Austin metro, but I've added Atlanta and the California bay to my listings so I can easily check for neat things when I'm traveling.

Things to Do with a Smartphone Camera

Back at the PalmSource DevCon in May, I made a joke to several people that I'd love to see a PalmHack entry that used a Treo as a wireless mouse, connecting over Bluetooth to a PC and using the digital camera to detect movement of the phone across a surface. The idea was silly; it might technically work, but who would want to scratch up their phone rubbing it across a table.

Today, I see this article about a new Symbian smartphone application called "Mobile Mouse". It does exactly what I suggested someone do for a hack. However, their camera mode is smarter than my idea -- the movement is done by rotating your view around, so you can hold your phone in your hand and tilt or rotate it to move the cursor.

I'm amazed. While I doubt that my suggestion was the root cause for this program, it makes me wonder what would happen if I suggested that someone write a program to bring about world peace. Unfortunately, I don't have an actual technical suggestion on that one.