Comcast has recently added a new feature to their digital voice service: caller ID anywhere. Simply download a program on your computer, enter your comcast.net username and password, and you’ll get a small alert any time you get a call. The same system allows comcast to show caller ID alerts on your TV.
So, how does this work? Did comcast come up with some super-secret way to encode this data so no one but them can use it? Nope; they’re simply using XMPP.
For those unaware, XMPP is a very nice concept: an open messaging protocol. This means that companies don’t need to invent their own protocol, or shell out big bucks to use another protocol. Just grab a server and client, and you have an instant messaging system. XMPP is also designed to be expandible. Is there a feature you need that it’s missing? Just code it in, following the current specifications. The problem with this is that different clients can conform to different specifications for things that aren’t part of the official protocol, but that’s another discussion.
Comcast decided to not reinvent the wheel, and just use XMPP, with a little twist. If you already know a bit about XMPP, I’ll give you the stanza as a client receives it: (continue reading…)
Every now and then when working on a program, I like to have a brainstorming session. Usually I’m just lying comfortably in my bed, thinking of how I can expand a program more, remove bugs, or make it quicker or more stable. Last night, I had a brainstorming session for tear bookmarks, and I thought I’d share my notes with everyone who reads this.
My brainstorming session basically consists of my tablet running xournal. I get nice lined notebook paper, where I can write down any ideas that pop into my head. I can then look at that later and go “No… that won’t work” or “Hmm… I might be on to something,” and try to implement it.
So, if you’d like to see what I’ve been thinking about for tear bookmarks, look at the following PDF: 2009-04-22-tearbookmarksbrainstorm. Enjoy!