Wanted: Useful geopositioning app

When I take a close look at all these geo apps like Foursquare or it’s competitors, none are really useful.So this is what I want:
I want an app that makes it easy for me to know where my friends are, but not necessarily 24/7 (unless they want to) or only when the app is open.
I want something that runs silently in the background on my Android, with advanced but easy privacy controls and support for plugins (many of the requested features below can be implemented as plugins).

I don’t want the world to always know where I am, but if a family member or friend wanna know, the app could tell them when they ask.

It should also make it easy to organize a group of people that is going to the same place.
Want to meet with your friends in the city? Mark a few places to go to and invite some people.
Going to see a movie (maybe rent one)? The app should make that easy too, including choosing which movie(s) to watch.
Barbeque? It should even make it easy to decide and track who brings what.
And of course, you’ll be alerted when somebody is late and see on the map where they are + their average speed (no more asking “where are you and when are you coming?”).

Are you suddenly close to a friend? You are probably not likely to care very much if it’s someone you meet daily, but if it’s a friend you rarely see you’d probably like to know.

A big bonus if it is open source (including the server side software), since I do not want a geopositioning app whose code I’m not allowed to see. It really should be free software.

Short Tron Legacy review

I’m not going to try to make a full review of it, but I can sum it up as being a nice movie with awesome music (IMHO, some people might disagree on the music).
I liked the plot, and there were no big plot holes that I noticed while watching it. I can tell you that I didn’t really notice the 3D effects (I’ve watched other 3D movies where the effect is notable), so I’m not sure if paying extra for watching the 3D version is worth it. I might notice how big the differences are if I watch the “2D version” later. 

To sum it up: The guy who made “The Grid”, Kevin Flynn, this computer generated world, got trapped by the program, Clu, that he had created to be like a copy of himself. This was because he had given it instructions to create a perfect world in there, but when he discovered these programs called “isomorphic algorithms” (or “isomors”), everything else became unimportant – including the program that was made to be a copy of himself. This was around 20 years ago in the movie’s timeline. 

The son of Kevin Flynn, Sam Flynn (who now has grown up without his father), are told by his father’s old friend that he was paged from his dad’s old office in a gaming arcade hall. Sam goes over there and then also ends up inside this virtual world himself. 

He gets thrown into these light cycle and disc war games, and after a little while Quorra (who is an isomor) gets him out of there and to his (real) father (Sam first thought that Clu, who was made to be a copy of his father, was his father). At first his father, Kevin Flynn, wants to do nothing in order to prevent Clu from getting out to the real world (he really dislikes imperfection) since Clu don’t know where Kevin Flynn is and needs his “identity disc” to get to the real world. Sam disagree, and then leaves to try to get out and to delete Clu from the outside. After this, Kevin Flynn and Quorra also decides to try to get out, and they try to find Sam. 

If you want to know more, read a longer review or watch the movie. 

I noted a couple of geek references, such as that the computer that was running this virtual world was running “SolarOS”, very likely a reference to Sun’s Solaris operating system. There were several other references like these. 

Most of the other people who also watched the movie seemed to not have been as geeky as me but still seemed to like it, so I dare to say that you are going to like it if you find my short review interesting.

Tron Legacy 3D

I'm going to watch this movie in less then 2 hours! I hope it's as good as I think it will be! I'll tell you what I thought of it later.

Oh noez!

The snow is melting away!

Animal footprints

What kind of animal could have made these tracks and that hole? [Insert curious smiley]

My ideas for DNS-P2P

First of all, see my previous post on dynamic DNS using DHT and asymmetric crypto keys. I am going to reuse ideas from there.

Basic idea: We want a way to have static and globally unique names for web sites and servers. We want to avoid centralization, so no single organization like ICANN will exist for it.
This Domain Naming System will ask peers instead of a single server for IP addresses, thus P2P in the name.

So here it goes:
Every site has a master key pair. This is important. This key should be large, maybe a 16 kb RSA key.
Every host (individual computer that acts as server on a domain) has a key pair of it’s own. The host’s public keys are signed by the master key for the domain.

All these public keys are stored in the peer network using DHT. The IP adressess and all the DNS data is also stored using DHT, and it’s signed.
To access a site, you ask for the public key by it’s checksum. Then you verifiy the DNS data that comes back by checking the signatures and time stamps.

The checksum based domain names would be in hexadecimal format, like this (but random instead): 0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef.pkh.p2p
Pkh stands for “Public key hash”, and “hash” is another name for checksums. I would prefer something else, but I don’t know what would be better.

The readable domain names, like website.p2p, would be “mapped” to the hash based ones. That means that when you ask for website.p2p, you get the hash based domain name.
When you ask for the hash, you get the public master key, host keys, and the DNS data such as IP addresses.

The real issue that still has to be solved is how we can make the readable domain names globally unique and secure…
I guess we have to go for “majority-unique”, such that website-a.p2p will point to the same site for most users. We probably have to accept “subscriptions” or “moderation services” that will manage situations where several people want the same domain name, and they would be optional to use as well as decentralized.

I will write more about this in the future.

Gadget: Red Button

Do you ever get so mad that you feel like nuking your workspace out of orbit? Now you can at least make your destructive day dreams slightly more realistic*!

*Not really. Unless there really exists red buttons somewhere for blowing workspaces out of orbit.

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