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Preview: Technology 4 Passion

Technology 4 Passion

The technology is the product of the human creativity and passion on how to give a better life to all.

Last Build Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2018 10:25:33 +0000



Wed, 13 Mar 2013 21:42:00 +0000

Hi to all. Its a bit time I'm not writing something new into this blog, but I was really busy, I swear.From about 4 months I've started developing Mac OS X applications and today I want to talk about my first creation: FontStudio.I think that FontStudio is the easiest way to choose the right font for your text.Do you have to choose the right font for the text you are writing? FontStudio allows you to quickly see your text formatted with all the fonts you have into your Mac. Instead of selecting a text and apply a font repeatedly until you find the right one, use FontStudio to see how the text typed into the text preview or dropped in it from another app appear in all the different fonts you have installed. Customize instantly the font format to see your text as appear.You can easily apply formatting options to all the fonts and see how your text looks like, then when you have done and selected the right font, simply drag away the formatted text into the destination word processor application like Pages or Text Edit. Downloading and installing on your Mac the FontStudio Service at this link ( Open selected text in FontStudio ) you have the possibility to launch FontStudio on the selected text so to have always the application available where ever there is a selected text.FontStudio lets you:Visualize the text formatted with all the font installed in your MacApply quickly the formatting options directly to all the fontsAssign tags and notes to the selected fontRate the fontsHide unused fontsDrag into the word processing application the formatted text maintaining the formatFontStudio ( 4,99$ ) is available for sale now on the Mac App Store ( AppStore link ) and you can read more about it at my website ( ).  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">You can find more screenshots here ( ).Thanks for reading.[...]

Airport Express & LAN

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 19:46:00 +0000

Today I wanna share with you a tip on how to configure the Airport Express to create a NATted network and share the same public IP through all the computers connected to the LAN.
In this way you can have a bit of more security toward the outside computers on the internet.

The creation of a local area network is really easy using the Airport Express, and if you want to use it to connect just a computer to internet through a modem it is straight forward:
  • connect the modem to the rear WAN port of the Airport
  • connect your RJ45 cable to the Airport switch or go wireless
  • turn on the Airport and it will perform all the adjustment to find the internet connection and configure it as a bridge for connecting the computer to the internet.

In this way each computer (configured in DHCP) will have an IP assigned by the router.

To create the NATted network with the Airport Extreme and hide your computers from the outside internet network open the Utility Airport on your Mac or Windows Machine and go to the Internet tab and select “Share a public IP address” from the “Connection sharing” combo like in figure below.

In this way the Airport Express will assign the IPs to the connected computers and outside the network will be seen as a single connected computer, hiding the others.


A new baby is born

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 17:49:00 +0000

Today I want to announce that a new blog is born: iPhone 4 Passion (yes I know, I had not to much fantasy ;) ). This is a specialized blog I decided to create only for iPhone/iPod Touch and Objective-C programming.

For now I migrated the two presentations that you can find also in this blog, but soon I intend to enrich the blog with code examples, better tips and tricks and other useful information on this awesome device.
So stay tuned and hope to hear soon your comments, impressions, suggestions and so on.

iPhone/iPod Tips & Tricks (...continue...)

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 00:05:00 +0000

Today I want to give you another Tips & Tricks for iPhone/iPod; this time regarding screen snapshots and a fast way to go at the top of a list.

Capture the screen
You can take a screenshot of any application you are using, simply pressing the Home button together to the Sleep/Wake button.(image)
This snapshot will be saved into the 'Camera roll' of the iPhone or in 'Saved Images' for iPod.

Go to the Top
When you are reading a web page, an e-mail or a SMS, you can go to the beginning of the page simply tapping onto the status bar.

(image) This is useful specially if you are navigating a web page and want to reach the head of the page in one tap or you are in the SMS application and want to call the sender of the message where the button to call is at the top of the page.

See the previous post on iPhone/iPod Tips & Tricks.

Thanks for reading :)

Password, safety and Social Engineering for beginners

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 12:16:00 +0000

One of the many ways to protect our information is that of blind with the passwords. These can be of varying complexity and managed by our memory (safest ever, but limited :) in time and in the number of different passwords to remember) or software that allow you to manage, store and / or generate new keys.
Examples of applications are 1Password, KeePass for Mac and Windows or Roboform.

When you surf the web or you are prompted for a password should always pay attention to who is asking us our credentials: it is a trusted site or are about to bite a phishing scam?

Nothing can be safe also using the best cryptex to encrypt our information if we leave our passwords written on post-it or we fall in a phishing site. Social Engineering is well known act aimed to manipulate people and get their information, passwords and so on.

Always check whether you are accessing via HTTPS or via simple HTTP.
In one case the password is transferred from client to server in encrypted manner, so do not be deciphered by any sniffer in the second case (HTTP), the password is transferred in "clear", then a sniffer to read quietly in the information and we are potentially an unsafe condition.

Another IMPORTANT rule is to NOT store anywhere you access codes for your online bank account. Remember that each system is potentially unsafe and can be "hacked" :)

Thanks for reading :-)

Social Sensor Network

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 01:04:00 +0000

Today I was attracted by two news:
  1. Hardware add-on for iPhone-iPod: iCarte NFC/RFID Reader. This device allows iPhone/iPod users to be enabled for Near Field Communication (NFC) for contact-less payments and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
  2. HP Labs with a project called CeNSE (Central Nervous System for the Earth) which use billions of tiny, cheap tough and exquisitely sensitive detectors.
    "... The technology behind this is based on nano-sensing research done by HP Labs. The sensors are similar to RFID chips, but in this case they are tiny accelerometers which detect motion and vibrations. The first CeNSE sensor to be put into the field by HP Labs is, according to the company, "about 1,000 times more sensitive than accelerometers used in a Wii, an iPhone or an automobile's airbag system." Other sensors planned in future include ones for light, temperature, barometric pressure, airflow and humidity."
I'm always fascinated by electronic devices and specially if they are used for solving people problems, making life better and/or safer for all.

A possible scenario as combination of both devices could be to built a map globally accessible with the results of signals detected by those sensors (for example the temperatures measured or motion detection for detecting earthquakes or other possible dangers). The role of iPhone could be to activate the read of the measure when it is near the sensor (by RFID activation) and send a tweet on a dedicated channel automatically or making a dedicated application that updates the global map via twitter.

Another possibility is to generate the sensing map as a Google Earth layer. The iPohne can then contribute to this map by uploading measure coming from its sensors, like magnetic field measurements (for 3Gs device) and level of noise with geo-referencing those measures before upload them to the Social Sensor Network on Google Earth.

Thanks for reading ;)

First Month of life

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 20:42:00 +0000

I don't want to bother you, but two days ago was the first month of life for my blog :-)
I want to say thanks to all my readers and twitter followers.
Soon the next post....

Objective-C for beginners

Tue, 17 Nov 2009 21:24:00 +0000

Today I want to present to you the second lesson I prepared for the University of Bologna with a friend of mine: Omar Cafini about the bases of Objective-C programming.

The presentation wants to give an overview of Objective-C code writing and bases on how to deal with applications present on the iPhone/iPod Touch such Addressbook and ImagePicker.

One note more is about the storage and data handling, touch and multi-touch events handling and SQLite interface.
For more, watch the slideshow and post your feedback:

Parte II Objective C(object) (embed)

The slideshow of the first lesson is available here.
Thanks for reading :-)

iPhone/iPod Tips & Tricks

Sat, 14 Nov 2009 21:49:00 +0000

Today I wanna start the first episode of a long series of Tips & Tricks for iPhone/iPod so to make better your iPhone/iPod life :)

In this first episode we will see how to make accented characters with the iPhone keyboard:
  1. Open whatever app that show the keyboard like the Note app and start writing your text.
  2. Now for writing the accented character (for example à) tap the 'a' character on the keyboard and take for one second your finger over the character. Will appear all the combination of accents available for that character.
  3. Without releasing your finger from the screen simply go over the accented character you want to insert, then release the finger from the screen; the accented character will be inserted.
Thanks for reading and see you on next episode :-)

iPhone Development Tools

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 20:59:00 +0000

Today I want to share with you a slide show presenting the basics on iPhone development tools which a friend of mine made for the University of Bologna (Italy).

iPhone Development Tools(object) (embed)
View more presentations from Omar Cafini.

On the next days I'll public the second episode.
Enjoy the show :-)

Wearable gesture interface

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 20:29:00 +0000

Today I want to talk about a movie I saw on You Tube from WUW - sixthsense about a wearable computer and a gestural interface. I have to say that it's a very good job.
I think that gesture recognition will be the future interface for devices; Nintendo given us a success example with its Wii and now also Microsoft with Project Natal. I have to admit that those two examples are indoor examples, for outdoor the interaction could be different.

These gays on YouTube video made a great job, but another time we are going to replicate a Desktop or Laptop usage and behavior into those wearable devices.
Do you imagine that someone of you will go walking around the city dressing a projector and moving its hands like a "Robocop"? I won't do :-).
I think that: Interaction do the difference.

We have to keep in mind that people in general (the so called street man) has not technical background and takes time to accept and use a different technology specially if this technology has a high level of complexity. People are frightened by the complexity.
The hardware stuff should be away from the human body, should be placed in the surrounding environment and recognize normal and standard gesture that people do normally.

We need to push the computer in the direction of humans, not vice versa if we want the natural interaction and acceptable gesture recognition.

I've not the solution on my pocket, but I think that this process can be achieved by the collaboration not only between informatics, but involving also experts in sociological disciplines.
Natural interaction is not an informatics story, it is related to human behavior.
This will impact also in other fields and technology applications like the home automation (soon I'll post something on it).
What do you think? which is your preferred interaction modality?

Thanks for reading :-) Feel free to leave your comments (only registered).

Environment ... Variables on Mac OSX

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 00:34:00 +0000

Today I was fighting with Qt Creator and environment variables on Mac OSX.
Macintosh has a clean way to encapsulate software: the .app extension is in reality a folder in which are contained resources, the application's executable and other files needed to the application. In this way if you have to uninstall an application you have just to trash this .app container and you have trashed everything. But.
If you want to make a software dependent on something else present in your machine and you want to be portable and cross platform an elegant way is to use environment variable to tell your software where to find its dependencies without the needs to ask other developers to change something in the source code.
In Windows, which leave with distributed pieces of code, was very easy to allow Qt Creator to see the env variable, just put a new custom variable into "System -> Preferences -> Environment Variables", then start Qt Creator and your variable is there.
With Mac OSX you can assign environment variables in different ways for different purposes. The environment used for application is not the environment you get when starting the Terminal application.
For Terminal application, environment variable can be set in the .profile file situated in your home folder (if it is not present you can create it).
Environment for Mac OSX applications is determined at login from the file: environment.plist placed into the .MacOSX folder situated in your home folder (again, if the .MacOSX folder does not exist you can create it and create inside it the environment.plist file).
Now you can edit the file and add your custom variables (by editing the file with Property List Editor application) that will be read from Mac OS applications at login.

(image) I had just to logout and login, start Qt Creator and now magically my custom env variable was there :-)

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment (only registered users) :-)

Augmented Reality on iPhone Apps

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 21:56:00 +0000

Today I want to talk about something popular in the iPhone golden world and is becoming a "must" for all the new cool applications: Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality is a superimposing of a virtual objects generated from a computer with the real world captured from a camera. Synthetic object are placed into the real world by register them with the real space. A complete definition of Augmented Reality can be found in Wikipedia.
Who see the scene, perceive that the synthetic object is immersed into the real world.
Conventionally this technique is used to augment information given by the real world like for example superimposing a radiography or a tomography image of a patient over the real image of the patient itself.
This imply that your virtual world has to be registered with the real one by using drown patterns (like for example ARToolkit does) or marker placed on real world.
Recently, iPhone application shown this technique a bit altered (from the classical definition of AR) in my opinion. The synthetic elements shown in the device were not directly correlated to the images shown by the camera, but instead they were related with the position or orientation of the device.
I think that we are still far from having the "real" Augmented Reality on mobile devices with real-time rendering and high resolution that will do the user believe that what he is seeing is real.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment :-)

The Magic of the mouse

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 18:37:00 +0000

Today I wanna talk about the Apple "Magic Mouse" that has been presented few days ago.
This is a little pearl of HID. Finally Apple removed that small ball from its mouse.
Personally I find that that little ball is quite unusable and easy to breaks.
(image) This new one mouse is amazingly well designed and it recognize gestures, in fact the surface is touch sensitive and is a unique button like the track pad present in Macbook Pro laptops.
Complete specifications can be found at Apple website.
All its functions can be customized into the Settings panel, but options are a bit limited; for example you can not control functions like Exposè or functionality for rotation. To achieve those functions you need to touch the Mac keyboard again. Another point is that this mouse under Windows is recognized like a 2 button mouse and nothing else.
I think that in future Apple will update these feature through software updates. Should be useful also if its functionality will become accessible to software developers so that gesture can be used into developed applications.

Thanks for reading :-)

Check the obvious

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 22:02:00 +0000

Today each of us use to put in Stand-by almost all the devices commonly used at home.
This mechanism doesn't mean that the corresponding device doesn't consume power; the device will consume anyway lower energy, but will do.

Make an experiment: turn off all the devices that normally should stay turned on (like the fridge) and leave in Stand-by all the others (Hi-Fi, TV, DVD Player...).
Now go to your electricity counter and measure the time interval (in seconds) between two flashes of the red led. The electricity counter measure utilized electricity in Kwh. Divide 3600 per time you measured before; this result is the Kw that your devices use for Stand-by. You will be surprised that this number will not be so small as you believed.

To reduce drastically the electricity consumption you should use sockets with a switch that will interrupt the electric circuit between the device plugged into the socket and the electric network. The consumption of that device will be null.

Thanks for reading :-)