Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (General)
Dear Readers, I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year. Enjoy the holidays and hopefully the year 2008 will be at least as cool as 2007 has been! ;-)

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 21:31 2007-12-25 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Safe goes MobileKnox and SafeDesktop goes DesktopKnox (MobileKnox / Safe)
Safe is around for more than 6 years now. Back in 2001 I started working on Safe during my summer semester break. My intention was to play around with Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) and to solve the problem of remembering so many different passwords and logins. It started pretty basic but over the years Safe improved much and a few month ago a desktop application called SafeDesktop joined Safe. These two applications are a mature solution to organize and store sensitive data (such as passwords and logins) in an encrypted way. To keep the data between the desktop and the mobile device up-to-date a easy to use synchronization mechanism is provided.

In 2007, Safe is downloaded from the project website more than 17900 times. Since its appearance in May 2007, the download counter for SafeDesktop shows currently a value around 2500. On average, I get at least one email every week regarding Safe or SafeDesktop. The forum is also used quite frequently by users to discuss different topics around Safe and SafeDesktop. Additionally, there is a small community of people which write about Safe and SafeDesktop in their blogs and forums. As far as I know at least four comprehensive user reviews have been published and an unknown number of posts mentioned Safe or SafeDesktop.

Although, the source code is freely available under GPL, I only received a patch once. And by that time the problem has already been solved by myself. Frankly, I am a bit disappointed that it is so hard to find developers that are willing to contribute to the project. This means, all the development work has been carried out by myself. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to fork Safe and SafeDesktop into pay software.

During the last weeks two friends of mine and I worked pretty hard to get Safe and SafeDesktop ready for sale. First, we renamed Safe to MobileKnox and SafeDesktop to DesktopKnox. Second, I added a bunch of new features. The security algorithms used by MobileKnox and DesktopKnox were overhauled. Now, both applications use the well-known AES encryption standard with a key length of 256 Bit for encryption. SHA256 and SHA512 are used for one-way hashes. Furthermore, the import and export functionality of both applications are improved. An IP address finder tool is added to DesktopKnox. For this, I used JSTUN, another project I am working on. MobileKnox contains now a version checker to make it easy for users to stick with the latest version. Third, we set up a fancy website to promote the applications and to support users.

For the near future, we plan features like categories and synchronization over Bluetooth. However, the appearance of new features depends on the number of buyers we will have in the next few weeks.

We provide a trail version of MobileKnox that is able to store three entries. To store unlimited numbers of entries a personalized serial key must be purchased. The price tag for such a key is 9.50Eur. It can be obtained from the website:

So, I really want to thank everybody who contributed to Safe and SafeDesktop. Thanks for all the nice emails and the delighting discussions! I hope all Safe and SafeDesktop users will switch to MobileKnox and DesktopKnox. ;-)

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 14:54 2007-12-19 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

It is done: MobiSys 2008 Paper submitted (Ph.D. studies)
After many weeks of hard work and an incredible workload during the past few days we finally submitted our paper to MobiSys. Actually, 1.5 hours before the submission deadline was reached we were ready to submit it. By "we" I mean Mikkel Baun Kjægaard and myself. The research work we present in our paper entitled "ComPoScan: Adaptive Scanning for Efficient Communications and Positioning with 802.11" is about a system that allows a 802.11 network card to be used for communications and positioning at the same time. Until now, if you want to use a 802.11-based positioning system your network card is busy measuring signal strength of access points. This means the card cannot be used for communications anymore. Our ComPoScan system alleviates the impact of these measurements by utilizing a movement detection system and monitor sniffing. How it exactly works will be undisclosed until the paper is hopefully accepted. The notification is schedules for March, 4th, 2008.

Thanks again to Mikkel for his fabulous job! Without him this paper would have never been written! I really enjoyed working with this super-cool and clever guy!


P.S.: I know, this posting is a little bit late but I am currently recovering from a cold I caught right after we have submitted the paper! ;-)
Posted by Thomas King at 10:26 2007-12-06 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)