Dienstag, 14. Dezember 2010

Long time no see

We are proud to announce, that ScientificPlotter is facing a huge and continuous download statistics in the Android Market. And we are pushing ScientificPlotter even further:

There are several things going on right now. First we are currently working on a new website for ScientificPlotter, to give you an even better startup with our app. Second, there is a big update rolling out shortly with some new improvements, making ScientificPlotter even more functional and indispensable. 
I can give you a short sneak peak about the new highlights: 
  • Arbitrary derivation
  • Roots & extrema
  • User defined functions and constance
  • First steps in writing little scripts by using the unique id of a history item in your input
  • ... 
And we are still not finished. There have been big reply and feedback and we are still implementing some of the best suggestions from the community.

 ScientificPlotter will be facing after the final release a revamp in the UI, give us your thoughts about it, what do you wish the UI should look and feel!

Endian Ogino

Freitag, 12. November 2010

Common tasks and how to do them with ScientificPlotter

As a user of ScientificPlotter you are getting the full experience of having a multifunctional application in your hand. ScientificPlotter distinguish between a numerical input and a formula in Cartesian-/Polar or Parametric-space.

So let's see what you can do, you can..:

  • type in an arbitrary calculation, e.g. 1/ln(5)  and see what you get
each entry in the history consist of its unique id, 
the expression you entered and the appropriate result 

  •  type in a function with the variable 'x', e.g. e^sin(x) 

 in this case  ScientificPlotter will assume you want to plot a function in Cartesian-space and
 will plot the function above in respect to the variable x
  • type in a function with the variable 'u', e.g sin(5*u)^2
 in this case  ScientificPlotter will assume you want to plot a function in polar-space 
and will plot the function above in respect to the angle 'theta' in the given bounds

  •  type in a function with the variable 'u' and in the form [f_1(u);f_2(u)], e.g. [sin(u)*u;cos(u)*u]
in this case  ScientificPlotter will assume you want to plot a function in 
parametric-space this time 'u' plays the role of a parameter not a angle!

In all cases above you are given the possibility to use a free scalable parameter 'k', so this can become very useful. Let us give you a brief introduction:

  • What if you want to plot sin(x) but with different frequencies? With our new parameter just type in sin(k*x) and hit the go button and a new pop-up window will show up asking you for three values: the start-value, the stop-value and the step size 
so for instance if start is 1 stop is 3 and step is also 1, 
'k' will go from 1,2 & 3 and you will plot sin(1*x); sin(2*x); sin(3*x)

And of course it is possible to draw several functions together; all you need to do is separate them with a semicolon, like 'function1; function2', e.g. x*sin(x);x;-x

Endian Ogino 

Donnerstag, 11. November 2010

ScientificPlotter - an security overview

Security has become more crucial nowadays and specially on a mobile phone. Because of that, we want justify the permissions ScientificPlotter claims.

As you can see on figure the figure below, that we tried to keep the permissions as few as possible, basically there are only two permissions we need


This permission came up with a somewhat antiquated idea. Nowadays everything is shared over common ways: email, bluetooth, sms/mms, Picasa and so forth but if you just want to save the plot to your SD Card than this permission allow us to do it. In principle this is only for saving screenshots on your SD Card in a specific folder called ‘ScientificPlotter’.

Network communication

This permission is very important and we use it very dutiful. Well I don’t have to tell you that this permission gives us full Internet access, but what for? We have built in an open-source error reporting framework called ACRA (Application Crash Report for Android). This rather powerful framework is for the case which hopefully never should occur, a bug. When an unexpected error occurred forcing the application to stop, ACRA send a notification to your notification bar, asking you for allowance to send the error report. And because the system is open-source you can convince yourself that it does nothing evil. 

A common error report 
The information we send consists of hardware and software information, as there are the manufacturer, the model, the firmware, the Android version, how many memory was available as the error occurred, when does it occurred and the significant stack trace which give us access to the root of the error. 


As you probably noticed ScientificPlotter is ad-supported by the Mobclix ad-exchange service. To ensure that the advertisement banners are provided properly, the Mobclix SDK needs additional three permissions. These three permissions and their description are extracted from the manual:

Used to retrieve ads

android.permission.GET_ TASKS
Used to determine if the application is the top app, to prevent ads from loading while the app is in the background.

Used to obtain a unique device identifier.

Endian Ogino 

Samstag, 6. November 2010

ScientificPlotter on the Samsung Galaxy Tab

Hello everyone, I recently got the chance to run my app on a Samsung Galaxy Tab, because this is by far the only tab which got Market access. This was a great chance for me because I had tested ScientificPlotter on a variate of devices but a tablet was still unreachable. To make a long story short, ScientificPlotter managed to cope with the tab. Everything just runs smoothly and nice looking like on a normal mobile device. Here are some pictures I made with my Droid

Endian Ogino

Mittwoch, 3. November 2010

Interview with Robert K.

As mentioned earlier, we have started a new survey about ScientificPlotter. Today we're interviewing Robert K., maker of the Android app Sticky Note Cork&Orc. They have a cool concept that allows you to save your notes easy and well-arranged. A demo of his app can be found on Youtube.

In an interesting conversation with Robert, he was so kind to give us a short interview, let's get into it:

-How do you heard about ScientificPlotter?
*Through the AndroidPIT-Forum

-How often do you use ScientificPlotter?
*As often as I require it, mostly several times per day

-Which kind of input you prefer?
*The calculator buttons.

-How do you like the interaction model in the plot window?
*I had no problems with it so far.

-What feature are you missing?
*At moment I'm pleased with the current set of features. I'm looking forward to any new update though.

Dienstag, 2. November 2010

Survey about ScientificPlotter

We posted an survey to improve ScientificPlotter. We would be pleased if you spend 2 minutes to help us.

Montag, 1. November 2010

ScientificPlotter - a user guide

It's release day! Earlier this day we release ScientificPlotter on the Android market and we gathered our first downloads. Since ScientificPlotter is release in the beta state, there are still a lot of work to be done, and hopefully with your support.

Now we would like to start with a series of posts about how to work with ScientificPlotter and how to get the most and best for you interest. But at first let us cover how to interact with the plot window:

The plot window overall consists of three axis (one x axis and two y axis), a label and a legend which are independent configurable. We implemented several touch gestures you can use to interact either with the window or with a single axis (except the long press gesture). The gestures and their functions are listed below: 
  • Touche Move
  • When a finger is placed on the screen and then moved, you drag the plot resp the axis in this particular direction
  •   Long Press
Holding your finger for several seconds on the area around the legend you can hide resp. show the legend

  •  Single Tab
By single tabbing on the plot or an axis you zoom out all axis or only the desired one

  •  Double Tab
By single tabbing on the plot or an axis you zoom in all axis or only the desired one
  •  Pinch Zoom
Pinch zooming gives you a more comfortable way of zooming in or out the plot or a single axis
  • DPad resp Trackball 
Last but not least, we make use of the dpad resp. trackball if available.  Those you can use to move the plot very precisely, by moving in the relative direction

 As you can see we tried to give you the full accessibility to our plot, so you can decide what you see and how you want to see it.
 We gratefully acknowledge the acceptance of gestureworks for using their gesture images.

Samstag, 30. Oktober 2010

Video tutorial #1 for ScientificPlotter

We manage to tape a video tutorial, which describes handling of the app. We worked hard to make the interaction as simple as possible you can convince yourself by watching the video

Donnerstag, 28. Oktober 2010

ScientificPlotter - A new experience of science in your pocket

You are an enthusiastic natural scientist, have fun in the world of mathematics or just need a good and enhanced calculator? Then we have the right app for you.
We are proud to present you and the world “ScientficPlotter – A new experience of science in your pocket”.

But what is ScientficPlotter and what can you do with it?
ScientficPlotter is a mobile application which was developed by a small group of physicist and a biotechnologist and tries to fulfill its purpose in the daily life of natural scientists. It was born from the need to have a handy possibility of displaying a mathematic formula. As the project advanced it soon became clear that ScientficPlotter turned into more than a simple plotter. 

We are proudly looking forward to the 01.11.2010, the release date of ScientificPlotter.
For those who are impatient we would like to release the present feature list, ScientificPlotter will be release in a beta state so if you are missing something don't hesitate and post it, it has great chance to be in the final version.

Features of ScientificPlotter
• calculator both standard and scientific mode
• all in real and imaginary space
• plot functions either Cartesian, polar or parametric
• free parameter with arbitrary usage
• two input modes regular/calculator
• native keyboard & automatic suggestions in regular input mode
• linear or logarithmic scale
• two y-axis
• calculate the Taylor-series of a function
• draw derivatives
• estimate the value of the function at a spot by just moving your finger over it
• change nearly every attribute of a plot
• and many more…

Dienstag, 19. Oktober 2010

Paper about Android 2

Hello everyone, I would like to give an update on the paper which are published about Android. I've seen that I'm not able to access all of them but here is a list of the recently published:

  • Android anti-forensics through a local paradigm
    • Alessandro Distefanoa, Gianluigi Mea and Francesco Pace 
    • Digital Investigation Volume 7, Supplement 1, August 2010, Pages S83-S94, 
    • Doi:10.1016/j.diin.2010.05.011 

  • Ubiquitous interactive visualization of large-scale simulations in geosciences over a Java-based web-portal
    • Jonathan C. McLane,W. Walter Czech, David A. Yuen, Mike R. Knox, Shuo Wang, Jim B. S. Greensky and Erik O. D. Sevre
    • Published online 26 October 2009 inWiley InterScience
    • DOI: 10.1002/cpe.1532

So that's all for now this time, not so many but definitely readable

Donnerstag, 14. Oktober 2010

Books about Android Part 2

The series about my Android books is not yet finished, here comes the second part.

So let’s get started with ‘Professional AndroidApplication Development’ by Reto Meier over Wrox first published Nov 2008

This book is really handy, like mentioned by 'Android Application Development' by Rick Rogers it starts at the beginning and guides to through the fundamentals of Android. Mentionable are the chapters are ‘Peer-to-Peer Communication’ and ‘Accessing Android Hardware‘. Anyhow in my opinion this book isn’t that professional as the cover tells, it sure gives you a good start from where you can begin program yourself but really in deep stuff is missing.
I see a fundamental problem in buying books, compared to software, you can get an update if the author enhanced his product but with books you can’t so the author publishes a new book call it ‘My old Book 2’ and start selling it while you are sitting on your old one.  As mentioned in my first post on several Android books, this one isn’t an exception. The new book ‘Professional AndroidApplication Development 2’ by Reto Meier published March 2010, is about the same as its successor, so when buying a book, always buy the newest (and of course with a higher price). The only difference I see is that it seems, Reto Meier makes a metamorphosis from human (first cover) to a robot (second), that’s something I call excessive Android consumption.

So let’s move on, the next book is called ‘TheBusy Coder's Guide to Android Development‘ by Mark L. Murphy over Commonsware published first Aug 2008
The author of this book is the same as the author of ‘Beginning Android’ and ‘‘Beginning Android 2’. I have to admit that I like this book as I also like ‘Beginning Android’, it is well written and has a good formatting especially the code-blocks are worth seeing, but also worthy with regards to its content, although it is basic stuff (but in compared to other books it has no ‘Professional’ in its title). What I also like is that the last chapter it is shown how to build a sample application called TourIt.

Now I want to present one of my favorite books ‘UnlockingAndroid’ by W. Frank Ableson, Charlie Collins, and Robi Sen published by Manning, April 2009

First the cover is impressive, rather extraordinary I like that, but I surely don’t judge the book by its cover. This book is a really basic one so if you read another beginners book you probably won’t learn very much, but what makes it inimitable is the type it presents code-blocks, they are made very dynamic, crisp and clear, so you get the meaning and functionality of the code very fast, and it is fun to read.

The last book I want to present is called ‘Hello.Android’  by Ed Burnette published on The Pragmatic Bookshelf, Jul 2010 in its third edition
As I starting reading this book I thought that it won’t differ from the rest I read but it really does. First it starts very elementary, but reading on the book reveals his full potential it is useful for a reference book but also for learning something from start for example SQLite, and also the chapter on ‘Multitouch’ first give me the grasp to understanding it. So this book is very recommendable and also for further reading I advise EdBurnetts blog

So that was all for now, I you find hope my aggregation a bit useful.  

Mittwoch, 13. Oktober 2010

Books about Android, Part 1

I wanted to give you a overview of the books I used to begin my first steps in Android, sure it is at start tough, but with time and ambition you get a clue about how the system is build up and what the programmers at Google thought when making the system this way.

At start I don't claimed that the following list complete, so if you see one book missing don't hesitate and send me a message. So let us get started, first I introduce each book and give my on personal opinion on it, and if available a link to the author:

The first one is called 'Android Application Development' by Rick Rogers and John Lombardo over O'Reilly, May 2009

 What I really like about this book, is that is well structured, this means it takes you from the ground on and introduce you to Android and help you step by step to setup everything correctly for programming, but this also means that if you are familiar with these things you could easily skip about a third of the book.  What is also worth mentioning is that in the middle of the book you come across a chapter showing you how to signing and publishing you application, this is surely somewhat early but it gives you a tremendous motivation boost. What I also like was the chapter about 2D/3D graphics which gave me personally a good start to work on.
Something which is really bad about the book is that it is so monochrome, all pictures and text are represented in just three or four colors.

The next one is called ‘Android Essentials’ by Chris Haseman available over Apress, 2008

I have to be honest, this book on only read browse through shortly, with its 116 pages it is not that large, but it sure gives you a comprehensive overview but nothing more, good for starters  but it should not be the only book you are reading.

So let us move over to next book: ‘Beginning Android’ by Mark L. Murphy also published over Apress, 2009
I have to admit that I have learnt all the layout xml stuff, menus, preferences, orientation et cetera  from this book and it was also a good reference book, also the chapter ‘Getting Fancy with Lists’ takes all kind of fear from me away using ListView (which is indeed very powerful). Some chapters I however skipped, like widgets and content providers not because they were poorly written but because I find that better discussed in another books. Overall this book is now about 2 years old but fully recommendable.

The next book is the successor of ‘Beginning Android’, called: ‘Beginning Android 2’ first dated on Mar 2010

I don’t want to waste too much time on that one, because I’m really disappointed about this one. The reason because I feel so bad when thinking at this one, is because it is basically a copy from the successor, and I don’t like such a copy/past policy. It really doesn’t know why someone increment the number of a book just because there are some chapters different and some pictures now in color. I have to say I don’t really read it after some pages I dropped it, and by way there is again a successor called ‘Beginning Android 3’ which is not yet published at this time but I feel gloomy about the future of this one, maybe it is a good idea to start with this one but I don’t take the responsibility for that. 

There seems to be a kind of system over Apress, because our next books are called ‘Pro Android’ and ‘Pro Android 2’ by Sayed Y. Hashimi, Satya Komatineni and Dave MacLean who is only on the cover of the last book, both books can be found over Apress and are released on Jun 2009 resp. Mar 2010

These books which are clearly title as ‘Pro’ assuming it means professional starts at a point where other books end with, so I think it should be a sequel to the previous ones. Nevertheless I found some helpful information’s in them specially according animation and also are some chapters new in ‘Pro Android 2’ which are worth reading (besides the ones which were just copied); these are ‘Android Search’,  ‘Touchscreens’, ‘Titanium Mobile: A WebKit-Based Approach to Android Development’ and ‘Working with Android Market’.  Also there is a successor planned but still not published called ‘Pro Android 3’ 

So thats all for the first part, I hope you like it, and remember feedback is always welcome


Security & Android

Security is a crucial fact on mobile operation systems. Everybody knows that common pc-operation systems are a great market for antivirus, antimalware, firewalls, antiphishing etc. (antivirus hit count at Google search 63.500.000 @ August 2010!). But what about mobile phones?
Taking myself as an example, I have a lot of private messages, all my contacts, and personal notes on my handset. Some of them for example my contacts, are synchronized with Gmail, a fact that is on one hand great, because all my contacts are save and feel cosy on the cloud, but on the other handy these contact data do not belong to me anymore because there are on a Google server somewhere (maybe offshore in the future) and so propartie of Google. 
But my data is save on an empty handset (at least I think so) but what if I install hundreds of various apps, each from another developer with different kinds of interest and intents. Well here comes Androids security system into play, when a developer for example wants to open a http socket it has to get a internet permission from the system, by adding these to the app Manifest.xml

 <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>

Now the developer has access to the internet, but what is he sending stays behind iron curtains. And here lies the fundamental problem within Androids security model.

Recently I have found a report made by SMobile systems from June 22, 2010. Citation from the report: “To date, metadata collection has netted information from 48,694 applications in the Android market, roughly 68% of all applications that are available for download. […] Further analysis indicates that of the 68% of the Market applications that have been queried, 20,786 of those applications would be considered to be suspicious because they request two or more of the permissions that would grant access to personal information or services that could be used incorrectly.”
Furthermore the report shows the distribution of notable permissions requested against apps relative app counts

In conclusion it is worth mentioning that there are users who are mindful and think twice before the install an app with a handful of permissions, but also there is a not negligible amount of users who install first and hopefully think afterwards what they really installed


Also check out

Dienstag, 12. Oktober 2010

Paper about Android

I would like to share my paper references with you. Some of them are public however most of them are only reachable through licenses.

  • "EpiCollect: Linking Smartphones to Web Applications for Epidemiology, Ecology and Community Data Collection"
    • Aanensen, David M. AND Huntley, et. all Public Library of Science 2009, 09, 4
      doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006968
  • "Markov decision process (MDP) framework for software power optimization using call profiles on mobile phones"
    • Design Automation for Embedded Systems
      Volume 14, Number 2, 131-159, DOI: 10.1007/s10617-010-9054-2

I've tried to put them in a appropriate order, and provide a link if possible.
If anybody has something interesting please let me know,  I'm always happy to expand my JabRef database.

Montag, 11. Oktober 2010

In my humble opinion about Android

It's time to spread out my opinions on Android. 

First a brief history how Android and I met: It was in summer 2009, earlier I was trying to buy me a second hand HTC Kaiser (aka TyTN II), for about 200€, man I was lucky to not getting it. Afterwards some months passed by, the G1 was already out; I started to read a little about Android but with a big awareness from whom it’s made. Anyway thinks starting to get interesting and again I was looking for a new mobile phone this time the G2 (aka MyTouch/Magic). After some issues regarding the seller and a time delay of about 4 weeks it was in my hand. I was impressed but also a little bit worried because I knew from now on there is now return, more dependency will grow. And so it comes, now I become a developer got my new Motorola Droid and a mobile internet contract, which I couldn’t image some time ago.
But what about Android, well my first thought is: it is not for a newbie, seriously (I give my old G2 to my uncle and tried to explain everythink). Why do I think so, because it’s not fun to only use it as the manufacturer or the mobile network operator wants to. First let me tell you that I’m totally disappointed from the maintainer of Android, because behind Android there is a big alliance but it seems every bit of decision only goes through one big company, no one (expect maybe one) wants this kind of oligarchy. Sure and here it comes Android is open; wrong, it is open-source nothing more, it’s like every other software you buy and wait till something you are waiting for will be implement. Seriously, don’t you think that the new media stream capability in the last 2.2 version is predestinated for the new Google TV campaign, surprise and what about the main issues posted from users on Google Code? 

Lately I heard a talk from Justin Mattson ‘Learn howto target all Android devices‘, he is a developer advocate in the Android team, so the talk was basically very good and helpful, but sometimes he dropped some vague statements about the platform he is representing, I had the idea he don’t know some key features everybody is talking of, it was obfuscating. I mean if you are a representative and all you do is talking about on special system, you should know this system, not by heart surely but through repetition. It gives me totally the sign that this man is going to change the system according his own needs and behind him a big bunch of CEO’s making a list what he should need.
Well to wrap things up, the euphoria is over and Android hit the sobering ground. I hope all the other bloggers and fanatic Android groups are lifting their perspective and illuminate thinks from another angle.

Don’t get me wrong, I like system and btw. Cyanogen et. all doing a great job ;)

A new day is about to come

Hello everyone, this is my first post ever on the new blog about ScientificPlotter.
This is sure a reason the be excited because soon the first release will be made.
So charge you batteries, stay tuned and what for more.