JavaOne is over, and it's time to sit back and reflect...and to sift through the hundreds of press releases and announcements that ricochet around the Internet like balls around a pinball machine. While I couldn't be there myself, when I checked my e-mails each day, I felt as if I was there in spirit at least.
For me, the most significant news to come out of JavaOne was talk of Monty - Sun's next-generation virtual machine for mobile devices. Monty is touted as being up to 10 times as fast as the current KVM, so it has great potential for multimedia applications and the like when it finally appears on a shipping device.
Among a number of announcements from Motorola: they unveiled the i95cl, a clam-shaped, Java-enabled mobile phone with a 120x160 pixel, 256-color screen; and their Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) announced support for Bluetooth and for ARM's Jazelle acceleration technology in their Embedded Reference Implementation for J2ME.
Metrowerks and AGEA announced the CodeWarrior Wireless Enterprise Studio - in their words, "the first wireless application development solution"; while Kada Systems and Metrowerks (again) partnered with an integration plan for their respective technologies.
Kada Systems also wins my award for the largest text-based press release to arrive in my inbox: 127K...well, mime-encoded HTML probably accounted for most it, but they still win the award. Kada introduced frameworks to optimize deployment of J2ME apps, announced that they had completed the certification process for both CLDC and MIDP, talked about yet another partnership - this time with Softwired (iBus/Mobile JMS) - and were demonstrating the combined technology at JavaOne. Kada also entered into a strategic alliance with Espial, which I believe means that Espial's browser and applications will be running on Kada's platform. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a "Market Speak"-to-English translator at Babelfish, so my apologies if I've translated incorrectly.
From Wedgetail Communications came news of a licensing deal with Sony for Wedgetail's JCSI Micro Edition SSL security software (designed for J2ME) to be implemented in Sony's new interactive digital TVs. Wedgetail is a Brisbane-based company, which is a bit of problem for me, since I was formulating a theory that most software development is done by people in northern European countries where they have winter for most of the year, and so have nothing better to do with their time. I'm waiting for confirmation from Wedgetail that they've outsourced most of their programming effort to a development studio in Antarctica. I mean, they're Australians! Shouldn't they be standing in front of the barbecue with a couple of bottles of Victoria Bitter or something?
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One of the joys of returning to the country of your birth after a long hiatus is the job hunt. Never really an enjoyable experience, as expected, after the dot bomb it's worse than ever. I'm not talking about cooling my heels in office receptions while waiting to be interviewed, nor am I whinging about the fact that it's difficult (but not impossible) to find an agent who actually knows what J2EE means (and in this country, nigh impossible to find one who has heard of J2ME).
No, I'm talking about car parking. I don't begrudge someone wanting to make a respectable profit, but here in Auckland one particular car park conglomerate charges such high fees you need to take out a small mortgage to park your car in their buildings. So it's necessary to hunt out those precious council car parks - where a few dollars rents the space.
Which brings me to my killer app for the stressed car park hunter. A peer-to-peer (perhaps) application linking all car park meters in the city (Java-enabled parking meters, of course) with a GPS/MIDP application on my mobile phone that can tell me exactly where the nearest empty space is. Rather than carrying an annoying pocketful of coins, the mobile phone can credit the meter with the parking fee, and the meter can message the phone when the time limit is due to expire.
This would be expensive to implement, but just imagine the convenience. No longer would I drive for 15 minutes just to find a cheaper space. I'd go directly to the nearest available space (I could even be messaged when a space is about to become available). Better yet, the meters would not need to be emptied every few days (a savings in labor costs), and there are a number of ways car park "overstayers" can be handled that result in major cost savings - so the system could eventually pay for itself.
Better yet, those high-priced car park companies might have to rethink their prices...
Jason R. Briggs is a Java analyst programmer and - sometimes - architect. He's been officially developing in Java for almost four years, "unofficially for five."