Posted by: Waern | March 11, 2009

Technology rants

Researchers like myself like to play around – or maybe the right word is to fool around- with new mobile technology. We look at commercially available technology and figure out new was of using it. This sometimes works – indeed some of the most widely used technologies today (like SMS, for example) were intended for an entirely different purpose from start.  So fooling around with tech is not just fun, it is sometimes the best way to understand what it really is good for.

But is is also very problematic. When you use technology in a way that it wasn’t intended for, it often stops working. You find bugs or inefficiencies, costs for data traffic soar, or the tech simply does not do the stuff you need it to do. In this situation you are worse off than if you had developed the technology yourself from scratch. Sure, the stuff you develop in-house is bound to be more buggy initially but at least you have access to the developers and can bash them on their heads until it works.  For the big commercial company, you represent a tiny faction of their customers base.  They aren’t going to change their product for your benefit.

With this in mind, I will post a set of “technology rants” to warn other unsuspecting developers of such technology pitfalls.  These will all be traps that we managed to trigger ourselves, so I guess warning others about them might be of some use.

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