17 June 2010

Using 2D Bar Codes to store important data

For my personal business cards I have decided to include a 2D bar code (QR Code). Lucky owners of my personal business card can use this QR Code to electronically add my personal details into their smart phone.

Real world usage of QR Codes remained in the area of encoding telephone numbers, names or web links / URLs referring to pages of interesting information.

Until now. A Dutch company called Safeberg provides online backup with professional security features. Safeberg encrypts files and their meta data information using 192 bit AES keys (the AES key used is changed at random intervals). The AES keys are encrypted with the RSA algorithm using a 4096 bit private key. Using such a large key should protect your data against brute force attacks for a long time (at least 30 years).

But when you want to decode your encrypted data, how do you enter the private key? Safeberg gives you the possibility to store your private key in a Trusted Paper Key (TPK). This paper contains a giant 2D Datamatrix bar code in which your private key is encoded. The decryption software uses a scan of the TPK to decode your backup. You can see a sample here. This is the largest Datamatrix code I have ever seen for real world usage!

Look at this video where Safeberg explains in more detail why and how they are doing this.


This video explains what you have to do when you want to restore your data

15 June 2010

MOO Mini Business Cards

Moo Mini Business Cards

MOO MiniCards are the signature cards of www.moo.com. These mini cards are 70 mm wide and 28 mm high. They can be ordered in packs of 100 cards. They stand out because they have a different size than regular business cards (regular Moo business card size is 84 x 55 mm).

Just as my pack of regular business cards, the mini cards come in a nice little box. The paper is 350 g/m2 with a matte laminate finish. The colours are excellent. The cards are cut straight with nice edges. If you want something special which stands out from the crowd, please try these MOO Mini Business Cards.

13 June 2010

My MOO Business Cards Review


Recently I received my MOO business cards. Several persons asked me what they looked like, so I decided to write a small review here.

MOO (www.moo.com) is an Internet printing company where you can order various printed products like business cards. The cards are printed in full colour on high-quality paper on both sides, from as little as 50 cards at a time. The interesting part is that each card can have a different image on the front of the card. MOO calls this ‘Printfinity’. You can upload the different images to www.moo.com, or select them from Flickr.

I decided to print some personal business cards and selected 10 images from my own Flickr images. I designed the back of the business card using the Photoshop template which can be downloaded on the MOO web site and ordered a 50 card pack on  MOO Classic paper (350 gsm, sustainably sourced, matte laminated) from their European Store. About 12 days later I received my order. The business cards are sent in a nice little black box as you can see on the first image of this post.


The inside of the box looks like this:


Besides the business cards (about 10 business cards are already removed in this photo) you get two tab pages called ‘MINE’ and ‘THEIRS’. On another card a ‘Buzzword Challenge’ game is explained, and a discount code is displayed which you can give to friends.

moo buzz 1 moo buzz 2

When you order your first pack of 50 Business Cards, enter the code G2MSCG at the checkout of MOO to receive a 15% discount (tell MOO you got the discount from this web page :-) !

I selected 10 images so in my 50 Business Cards pack there are 5 cards of each image.


Print quality of the cards is very good. The colours are exactly as if they are printed on photo paper. The cards are nicely cut with straight edges. I can recommend MOO without hesitation to print your own business cards.

If you want to know how the back of my business card looks like (eg what is that big black and white square doing on my card), please contact me. You might even get to choose one of my personal business cards!

09 June 2010

Leave Me

A beautiful short video made by Daros Films. A man has lost his wife and finds a way to still live together with her. Don’t format that memory card!

Leave Me from Daros Films on Vimeo.

08 June 2010

Microsoft Tag in Amsterdam

Amsterdaminc TV made a short video about the usage of Microsoft tags in Amsterdam (audio is in Dutch):

07 June 2010

Must Have Windows Mobile Applications

PDAs have always been a part of my digital lifestyle. It started with a Sharp PDA with an ABC keyboard (can’t remember the name) and continued with the Psion 3mx, Psion Series 5, iPaq 2210, Nokia N73 and now an HTC Touch HD.
Customizing the user interface, and finding the right applications (or apps as they are now called) is important for me because I use my smartphone all the time during the day. To make it easier for you, here is my list of must have Windows Mobile applications.

PIM Backup
PIM Backup backups all appointments, contacts, call logs, messages, speed dials and other custom files for you to a file on your PDA/phone, or better on your internal storage card. I use this app to save all my important stuff just before an operating system upgrade or any other major change on the phone. PIM Backup does not need an Activesync connection because everything is saved on the device.

Total Commander Mobile
On a Windows Mobile PDA/phone you must have easy access to the file system when installing applications. Total Commander Mobile gives you an easy interface to do this.

Pocket Informant
One of the tasks of a PDA/smartphone is to give fast and easy access to your agenda and contacts. The standard Windows Mobile apps are nice, but Pocket Informant gives a much better interface.

Flexmail 4
Flexmail 4 gives me IMAP access to my e-mail (the standard Windows Mobile app does not support this).

SPB Mobile Shell
With SPB Mobile Shell you can customize your home screen (along with other screens) with various widgets, shortcuts to apps and contacts.

SPB Backup
Installing all the Windows Mobile apps and customizing them, takes a lot of time. You do not want to do that again, when your PDA crashes. Use SPB Backup to make an image of your setup. And when you have to start from scratch, use the backup to restore your configuration.

TomTom Navigator
Don’t leave home with this app if you do not want to get lost.

TouchLockPro keeps my HTC Touch HD locked when it wakes up in my pocket.

Opera Mini 5 / Opera Mobile 10
Web browsing is much easier and faster with the Windows Mobile versions of Opera.

Highly sensitive data and userid/passwords which must remain secret forever are stored with KeePassPPC. The data file can also be used with the Windows versions of KeePass.

I use Remember The Milk to manage all my to do lists. MilkSync synchronizes these tasks with the Windows Mobile task list.

To keep in touch with Twitter, use Pocketwit

This cleanup tool helps you to remove temporary files, duplicate and stale notifications.

i-nigma mobile barcode reader
I use this mobile barcode reader to read QR Codes.

Microsoft tagReader
This reader decodes the Microsoft tags.

Using an Internet connection outside your home country (roaming) can be very expensive. NoData makes sure your smartphone does not use an Internet connection.

03 June 2010

Moai Statue NDSM-werf Amsterdam

NDSM Terrein / Terrain Moai Statue

I found these two Moai statues on the NDSM Werf Amsterdam – a long way from home.

02 June 2010

Worldwide Photo Walk 2010

24 July 2010 the 3rd Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk will be held all around the world. This event is the largest photographic event in the world. Volunteers will lead a group of photographers and take photos of their area / city. Last year about 32000 photographers joined the walk.

Joining the walk is free, but you must register in advance. Each photo walk group is limited to about 50 people.

Go to http://worldwidephotowalk.com/ , take a look at the video and find out if there is a photo walk near you!