Off The Record

Pidgin, Trillian and Adium are great IM softwares. Off The Record is a plugin for those programmes which enables encrypted communications with Perfect Forward Secrecy using standard clients such as Google Talk, ICQ, AIM etc.

Trillian now has an iPhone version. It is very important that an OTR application, or similar technology, is developed for mobile platforms like iPhone and Android so that people might have secure mobile communication.

*UPDATE: It recently came to our attention that Pidgin Saved Passwords are saved in plain text in an obvious location. Thus, anyone gaining access to the user's filesystem can obtain all their IM passwords, including their Google Account if they use it for Google Talk. This is a major security vulnerability. Be aware!


Please Don't Tell

If you would like to have a nice evening in New York, we highly recommend you visit the speak easy 'Please Don't Tell.' The service and retro 1920s ambiance is top notch and one of a kind. It creates a brilliant use of what would have been a rather mediocre piece of basement real estate next to a Hot Dog joint. In fact one must enter through the hot dog stand and ring the phone in the booth to gain access. If you visit, you had better have a reservation made by phone, 212-614-0386. Call at 1500 or shortly after that day if you are going to successfully make a reservation. We failed two nights in a row before successfully making it in, but they were the best $14 drinks we have had.


Droid - Acquired

We have acquired a Verizon Motorola Droid. Verizon is known to have the best network as far as coverage and Voice service in the United States. Compared to what we have witnessed for Sprint and ATT, this is quite believable.

Droid runs on Android 2.0, the soon the be Open Sourced OS sponsored by Google. Google Voice is integrated seemlessly, and the Gizmo5 Guava ap allows VoIP through a WiFi connextion (although it is currently a bit buggy). For us as Java programmers, it is an ideal match. The OS is very slick and functional and quite competitive with the iPhone. Furthermore the Droid has a built in Keyboard in addition to an on-screen keyboard, thus giving it a bit more utility than the iPhone.

Droid is capable of USB Tethering through the PDANet software. At first we had trouble establishing a normal PPTP VPN through this tether, but OpenVPN seems to work with no problems, thus solving our practical problem.

Up until the Droid, the iPhone was clearly the best phone available, but finally a competitive product has arrived that does not need to be jail-broken by default.

Once we get the Spotify Mobile Ap working, then all your base are belong to us.

We are at last upgrading to the Droid from a seven year old Samsung N400. Good Riddance.


Media Centres

Tonight we were introduced to LinuxMCE, a slick Computer Media Interface. We will update this post with further details, but what was really novel was to see a WiiMote configured to control LinuxMCE. WiiMotes cost about $30 USD versus $100 USD for an equivalent Bluetooth Remote Product.

Another good programme to consider is XBMC.

Lastly, the very impressive PS3 seems to do everything under the sun in Media Centre Entertainment, including the most powerful gaming console around, for $300 USD.


Motorolla has finally released Droid. The company tries to rape its customers with the Data Plan Tethering $30/month option, but luckily a $30 One time programme delivers the same functionality to the user. PDANet. Overall, Droid looks like solid hardware and quite hackable. We plan to start a demo this week. PDANet also works for jailbroken iPhones.