I’m finally back home. I went to Japan a few weeks ago for vacation, and I also spoke at Ruby Kaigi 2008. Ruby Kaigi was so much fun! I’ve been studying Japanese for a little over a year, but I’ve never been to Japan. It was exciting and fun to talk to people, and I made a bunch of new Japanese friends. I’d really like to thank Leonard Chin for helping out at the Kaigi. My language skills aren’t good enough, and he was kind enough to fill in the gaps. Thank you!
While I was in Japan, I noticed QR Codes everywhere. QR Codes are basically really awesome bar codes. They can hold much more information in a smaller amount of space. They can be easily decoded from images taken with digital cameras. They have these codes everywhere in Japan, and the idea is that people can take a photo with the camera on their cell phone, then the phone decodes the QR Code. I believe most of the QR codes contain information about the company, or possibly a URL to the company’s website.
The company that created the format says that the format is open, but unfortunately I have to pay for the spec. I can download the spec in Japanese for free, but my Japanese isn’t that good! So unfortunately I’m stuck with either the ISO spec (which is over $200) or the AIM spec ($85). I don’t understand why they are so expensive….. I think I’ll buy the AIM one, and hope that it is the same as the ISO one.