I have just purchased a Siemens Gigaset 685 DECT telephone system with Bluetooth and answer machine from John Lewis (best price I could find) Gigaset 685 Duo
I have longed to be able to synchronise my fixed line telephone with my Outlook contacts. We have long been able to do to do this with our mobiles. Indeed our household mobiles are all windows mobile 6.0.
Now at last there is a phone out there that will do it. It achieves this by using Bluetooth. Siemens provide some software to run on my laptop that allows me to send selected contacts to the handset. The handsets can also receive contacts beamed from our mobiles.
I thought that the only way we were going to achieve this was to use a dual fixed line/ VOIP phone (that didn’t need a PC). With these you can access your online VOIP contact from your fixed line phone. However these do not allow you to use your VOIP contacts list whilst dialling out on the PSTN. The only way to use the VOIP contacts for those not on VOIP is to use services like Skype Out and that will cost. My current fixed line telephone service tariff from Tiscali gives me free calls to 01 and 02 numbers.
Siemens does offer an IP phone in the Gigaset range with Bluetooth so I could have had the best of the both worlds. But I settled just for Bluetooth as all our mobiles have wi-fi and use Skype.
My ideal would be for the handset to access my Outlook contacts direct over wi-fi but Bluetooth is a good comprise.
My next project is to tie all this up with my online contacts – IM, email, social network contacts. I am currently experimenting with Digsby.com and using my Yahoo contacts to synchronise with my Outlook Contacts. But that will be the subject of a later blog when I have sorted it out.
By way of an aside this blog entry was created using Windows Live Writer (WLW) a very neat blog writer. WLW is part of the Live suite of applications that also includes Live Photo Gallery which allows me to upload my photos direct to Flickr
In the Web 2.0 world tags are everywhere. Everything can be tagged which is very useful for finding stuff especially non textual stuff like pictures, music and videos. The disadvantage is that a tag which means something to you may be associated with something different to another person. If we could all use the same tags then would that help or would that be too constraining. Would we be venturing into the world of taxonomies and strayig away from folksonomies? Perhaps if we could have a tool which suggested tags that others have used thenthere might be more consistency in meaning try Favikiwhich uses semantic tags using WikiPedia terms.
Use an application to provide meaning
There are applications out there that can work over a number of sites along the same theme to semantically tag them to provide a richer answer to your search. Such a site is BooRahwhich adds semantic meaning to restaurant sites to provide you with a richer material from which to make your choice. BoohRah uses semantic analysis and natural language processing to aggregate reviews from food blogs and so is able to recognis praise and criticism in these reviews and then rates restaurants accordingly.
Semantify your site
Instead of relying on another website to derive meaning from your website you could add the semantics using a tool such as Dapper’s SemantifySemantify converts your site to internationally recognised semantic standards (RDF and RDFa) so that other applications, which understand those standards, can derive the correct meaning directly from your site and make your site readable by semantic search engines.
Use a Semantic Search Engine
If we all semantified our sites then we could use semanticall aware search engines to find what we want in the right context and we could all benefit from the data web. See this example from Yahoo! Search Open Ecosystem of how LinkedIn has marked up its profile pages using international standards (microformats) to present users with a more compelling and useful search results for their site.
Where does this all lead ?
Semanitfied web pages become more than just text they become data and not just data but data in an internationally defined and recognised format. This means that web applications will be able to communicate with each other over the internet and know precisely what they are looking for and be sure that what they get is what they wanted without human intervention. Scary!