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On The Net - Issue 06

On The Net is a regular Internet column for handheld computing magazine Palmtop User. The column is put together by the FileSaveAs team, and we'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to include back issues on our site.

Been BluejackQ'ed yet?

Well, if you've got an up-to-date PDA or a smartphone, chances are, you will soon... So, what's it all about? Much of the latest handheld technology out there comes with Bluetooth (short-range wireless data communication). If you own a handheld machine or a mobile phone, it may well have Bluetooth built-in for connection to other mobile phones, to back up to your PC, or for a cable-less headset. The cunning bit, is that if you've turned Bluetooth on, your device is transmitting a signal that other Bluetooth gadgets can detect, which is where the fun starts. Stand in a busy area, such as a train station, exhibition or in a high-tech office, and scan for other Bluetooth devices. If there are any in range, you can beam an anonymous "hello" over to them, and watch for a reaction as the recipient tries to work out where and who the message has come from.

Although this is something that the technically-minded have been aware of for some time, it's been brought to the public attention via the Bluejackq site. This was launched at the beginning of October, and one month later, the site's achieving over 115,000 page views a day. Not bad, especially considering the name Bluejackq, and the site itself, was created by a thirteen year old girl, known as jellyellie.
It's bad enough having your letterbox violated with credit card applications, telemarketing calls and an inbox full of offers to enhance your anatomy - but now we'll find ourselves being spammed by the chap next to us on the train. Still, good fun!

Check out

N-Gage attack

The N-Gage finally hit the high streets on the 7th of October, combining a phone, radio and a games console into one device. Several sites have already sprung up to cover this new Symbian OS device. If you own Nokia's new machine, take a look at the following two sites:

  • Ngageworld contains news, useful FAQs and details of regular get-togethers for gamers, such as the International Nokia N-gage Meetup Day.
  • Allack is a new online games shop specialising just in N-Gage games. Wherever you decide to buy your games, you'll find the news section at a useful place to see when you can expect to see the title you're waiting for.

Tag and Scan

One to watch is a service called Tag and Scan. This is a location-based service that can be run from just about any mobile phone that supports Java, and lets you store or search nearby attractions based on where you are. After downloading the small application via your WAP browser, you can ‘Tag' your present location and add text about nearby sights, eateries or places of interest, and make them private or public. Other users arriving in the area looking for something to do can perform a ‘Scan' for local tags and view the contributed text. Users of cameraphones such as the Nokia 3650 and 6600, or the SonyEricsson P800/P900 can upload snaps of their tags too, or you can view and add to tags via the service's web interface. It's of particular use in built-up areas, where the increased number of cellbases help to provide a more accurate location than you'll find if using the service in more rural areas. Once the number of online tags grows, this has potential to be very useful, and quite addictive.

We've been trialling Tag and Scan as part of a public beta programme, and initial impressions are that this has potential to be big when it's launched commercially in December. Take a look around at


Showing your age

Proving that nostalgia's not a thing of the past, check out the Obsolete Computers Museum, an online repository for knowledge and photos of early desktop and handset devices. This collection of information and comment, has been running since 1995, and Psion owners will be more than a little sad to note that the Series 5 has recently earned itself a place in the archives...

And finally...

When you see a news story with the title "Palm OS Robotic Tattoo Machine Invented", you've just got to have a look! An Austrian inventor has created a Palm-powered strap-on device that  takes scribbles on a Palm screen, and makes them permanent.
Provided you're not squeamish, take a look at the contraption in question over at . No word yet on a more powerful version for OS5, or support for 16 million colours


Article from Palmtop User Issue 06. Click here for Issue 7's article


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