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.