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Media

Journal: KioskCom

Journal by blanks
I'm at the KioskCom convention for the 4th time in the last 4 years and I have to say that I am very let down.

KioskCom (held in Vegas once a year) is supposed to be the largest convention relating to the field of kiosks, which to give you a general idea is a machine that is used for pay to use internet, or a point of service device for despencing things like phone cards, gift cards, movie passes or informational services like searching though books.

Over the last 2 years they have added digital signage which is simply displaying digital convent on a video screen. Why digital signage has become so popular in the last 3 years is beyond me. The available markets is minimal and all ready saturated with companies coming out with unreliable products that handle digital content in awful ways. On top of this the market is so small with the biggest possible deployments (airports, hotels) all ready having been taken over by a few large companies.

The only interesting digital signage system I have seen so far this year has been a video over ip system which is still lacking but is by far the most interesting product yet. It is a really great idea but it is still limited to the number of servers you have pushing content which makes little since to me. The idea is you have 1 server displaying the same piece of content over a network. This network connects to video boxes that display video/audio to a display. Its a great idea but you can only display the same content from the same server. You can't for example have 50 screens displaying 5 different videos at the same time (10 displays each displaying 1 video); they all have to be displaying the same video. Which means you now have to manage 10 different servers each displaying different content. Why they would do it this way is beyond me but hopefully this will be changed.

As for kiosk related software and new ideas I have seen very little. It seems like there has been very little innovation in the last year with the previous year being every kiosk company copying my companies ideas and building off them. Last year the only interesting new products where the products our company had released the previous year with a few bells and whistles added.

I guess it should make me feel good that the kiosk industry is waiting for me to come up with the next big thing which I still haven't decided on. Since I'm now being forced to focus on digital signage for the next year they might have to wait a while for this; but at least we will give them something in the digital signage industry to copy in the next few months.
User Journal

Journal: Microsoft, seperation between IE and explorer.

Journal by blanks

I was doing some tests with IE7 beta today. I have been using it over the last few months and it seems pretty stable.

One of the companies I work for writes a kiosk application. From my expierence all kiosk software technologies use the explorer.exe, by replacing this with their own "secure explorer".

Now something I just realized is that with IE7 (beta) explorer and IE7 are totaly seprated. Meaning you can no longer do searches from any explorer window you opened.

  This means that explorer is a totally different "application" then IE7. This is really bad for kiosk software providers. And not a single one of them know this.

Media (Apple)

Journal: My view of itunes

Journal by blanks
I saw a post about itunes DRM and wanted to comment, but it was allready saturated. So i'll just post it here.

To start off is with the issues with the Ipod battery,  I dont know if they have fixed this problem, but if they still have the battery hardwired into the system, so if the battery dies as they allways do, you buy a new ipod, very simular to most of apples equiptment, where if one piece breaks, you throw it away and buy it new.

As for Itunes, I only run PC's and I hate items sitting in my application tray,  I only want specific items there, and I dont want to kill off items I dont want everytime I reboot.  Also the last time I ran itunes using my dual 3p 1000 machine, it ran so slow and so poorly, that I couldnt even stand it.

Now, heres my problem with the DRM.

Lets say my cd collection of about 350 cd's I had instead bought on Itunes,  we will say about 12 songs per cd so its about 4200 songs.  I can play them on my PC ONLY with Itunes, or I can burn them to cd instead (defeates the idea of not buying cd's).

What happens when my ipod breaks,  I dont know anyone whos Ipod has lasted for 18 months, and naturally with mac people, they toss it out and buy a new one.

So lets say I say fuck the Ipod, and I buy a different media player, what happens?  or lets say I want to play the media in my car (carputer) or if I want to listen to my music using anything else other then itunes or an ipod.  Your fucked.    Your restricted to a single DRM that restricts you to one piece of hardware, or one piece of software.  Unless you make it into a playable CD, but why bother then!

And finally itunes TOS says you do not BUY the song, you purchase a license that gives you the right to listen to it.  Can you sell this license to someone else?  General opinion on this is no, you can not.
Wireless Networking

Journal: free wireless internet, with only the cost of personal info.

Journal by blanks
I live in minneapolis, and anyone who lives here will tell you one of the best things about the cafe's is the free internet.  Everywhere.  You can go to some places and have allmost 2 dozen access points to get free internet off, in fact it can be difficult to find "blackout zones" where there are no access points available.

I run / maintain 2 free accee points, and have been noticing many things.  There are so many damn people sniffing packets its not even funny.  One location where I work from about 25 hours a week has had many people packet sniffing. One of the easiest ways I have found is to do a walkthough and see if anyone is running linux.  Just about every user I have seen using linux was sniffing the wifi network.

So now I am starting a project, it should be interesting, it will function as a honeypot but will also be logging data over the network.  Sure you are now going to say that Im not any better then these people, but the problem with people like this is they will keep doing shit like this, unless its done to them.  I plan on finding who these people are and scaring the hell out of them.

I found out that this cafe is the location for the 2600 meetings in minneapolis, so I need to have this ready by the first firday of the month,  im thinking it will be quite a shock to them all.
User Journal

Journal: KioskCom

Journal by blanks
KioskCom is coming up, april 15th.  Good source for kiosk related issues (software, security etc) as well as pay-per-use wireless applications.

I will be there with KioskLogix and Kiosk Controls, check us out if you stop by.
Links

Journal: FindaFreek.com

Journal by blanks

http://www.findafreek.com

This is a new community website I have been working on for the past year or so. It has become kinda popular, with alot of members, and lots of visits.

I think the best part is that over 30% of our user base stays on the site for longer then 1 hour! This is amazing because most sites have only a few seconds or minutes per user.

Software

Journal: Kiosk Kontrol software

Journal by blanks

My new software is coming along well.

www.public-internet.net has access to it.

The software website www.kioskkontrol.com

This software, once finished will give kiosk vendors access to many tools for monitoring and maintaining their internet kiosks.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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