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When Cellphones Become Webservers

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the is-that-an-apache-in-your-pocket? dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Nokia is experimenting with turning mobile phones into webservers, according to an interesting article on Linux Devices. Nokia has ported the Apache webserver and a few other software modules to the Symbian OS that runs its phones, but there shouldn't be any barrier to adapting the technique to Linux mobile phones, since it all appears to be released under Linux-friendly open source licenses. Just think of the possibilities of having a webserver in your pocket!"

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not good enough (4, Funny)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461469)

I won't be satisfied until Adobe ports Photoshop to cell phones. Now we're talking.

Re:not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461553)

...and while we're at it, I need Macromedia FreeHand MX

Re:not good enough (2, Interesting)

Marty200 (170963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461923)

The only usefull application for this would be to have the website tell you it's physical location. I'd love to be able to log in in the morning and have an easy way to find my phone.


Popular amoung women; (5, Funny)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461475)

Vibrating cell-phones that vibrate based on hits to the server!

Re:Popular amoung women; (1)

ZZfoxELITE (897076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461490)

They'd love it even more when someone tries to DDoS them :P

Re:Popular amoung women; (1)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461988)

I reckon, that if something is vibrating with high enough frequency, it doesn't seem to vibrate at all anymore. So, maybe not DDos, but some slow but even traffic.

Re:Popular amoung women; (1)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461507)

Popular amoung women; Vibrating cell-phones that vibrate based on hits to the server!
I think this would cause all cell phones to be banned in countries like Iran.

Is that a webserver in your pocket, (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15462005)

or are you just glad to see me?

Re:Popular amoung women; (0)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15462033)

Vibrating cell-phones that vibrate based on hits to the server!

hit me baby one more time !

Webserver's Everywhere (1)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461477)

Hell, there is webserver software for the Commodore 64 [] . Why not a Cell Phone?

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (1)

JuergPeter (206591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461505)

I feel it's nuts. A webserver by nature must be waiting until contacted by a client. Unless we don't have always on cellphones it's pretty useless, unless for the phone company, of course.

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461929)

I think I understood what you were trying to say...

Actually, we do have always-on cellphones when it comes to TCP/IP. Both of the major international standards, GSM and IS95 (well, ok, the latter isn't that major, but it's #2 so it gets a mention) have always-on TCP/IP packet data. GSM has GPRS and EDGE, and the 3G variant, UMTS, also has packet switching as a basic service.

For the people rubbishing this, I have one thing to say: WTF is wrong with you people? Why do you short-sighted twits appear the moment anyone mentions a technology combination you've not thought of?

This is just the implementation of a protocol. No, hosting your blog, let alone a major ecommerse site, on a cellphone is probably silly, but if you're looking at implementing some base services, especially for something like telemetry, HTTP is an obvious choice if you have the hardware on the remote end that supports it.

HTTP is well supported in Java, .NET, Python, Perl, and a host of other languages, so the software that runs "back at the base" becomes far simpler to implement if you're going to be accessing information via HTTP, rather than convoluted customized protocols based upon UDP or SMS. What do you think's easier? A call to the HTTP library to fetch http://mobilstation7.intranet/cgi-bin/getcurrentte mperature.exe [mobilstation7.intranet] or custom formatting some UDP packet with a custom designed library and sending that?

Is the objection that HTTP has too much overhead? A bare-bones, stripped down, Apache isn't that large, and look at what you're talking about running it on. A modern mobile phone typically has several megabytes of RAM and 8-16Mb of flash, plus bluetooth or USB interfaces. If it didn't, the camera on it wouldn't work.

A mobile phone isn't a dumb handset, it's a moderately powerful computer that acts as a mobile terminal in a cellular network. You may use yours purely for voice applications. That doesn't mean the only application for this remarkable technology is voice driven. Telecommunications is a versatile instrument, and anything that makes certain types of application easier to implement is to be welcomed, not laughed at.

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461552)

Who is this Webserver, and why is (s)he everywhere?

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (2, Funny)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461641)

So you're saying the simple solution is to implement a Commodore 64 emulator that runs on phones? ;)

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (1)

jplauril (67893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461752)

You mean something like this [] ?

Re:Webserver's Everywhere but not on my Commodore (1)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461712)

I did what you said, I put in my 5 1/4 floppy labled tcp/ip stack and pressed load"*",8,1, I think it would have worked, but I suspect my Norton AntiVirus is eating up all my ram.

Re:Webserver's Everywhere (2, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461784)

Drive into a tunnel.. "hey, where'd the server go?"

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

deltagreen (522610) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461478)

Just imagine the battery life of your cellphone after a slashdotting! :-p

Re:Yes, but... (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461681)

Just imagine the sight of someone's cell phone bursting in flame in his pocket during a slashdotting!

hmmmmmmmm (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461482)

Just think of the possibilities of having a webserver in your pocket!

Imagine the small fires which would result after a slashdotting.

Actually, more to the point I'm not sure I would like to even browse to a website whos physical location could be mere inches away from a pair of betty swallocks!

Re:hmmmmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461823)

Well maybe you can have the server in your pocket, but you will have to be pulling a wagon with the batteries to have any up time.....

Re:hmmmmmmmm (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461936)

Is that a server in your pocket or are you just happy to serve...?

Has to be said (5, Funny)

dtldl (644451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461484)

Is that a web server in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Re:Has to be said (4, Funny)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461611)

Or even better:
Is that a bittorrent tracker in my pocket, or are you just happy to sue me?

Re:Has to be said (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461647)

Why hey, cutie. Bet you've never seen a beowulf cluster of these before! Want to I/O?

Re:Has to be said (2, Insightful)

gotgenes (785704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461695)

Is that a web server in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

That's not exactly the most flattering question, considering the diminutive size of today's cell phones...

Re:Has to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15462012)

I generally don't get erections when I'm happy, just when I'm excited.

Also has to be said (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461705)

"Is that Apache in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Re:Has to be said (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461820)

Why ask? Just check the webcam on the pocket server...

Re:Has to be said (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461851)

Neither, I was just looking at one though.

But can I make calls, too? (3, Insightful)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461488)

If these new web-server mobile phones work like my current phone, then whenever I'm "online" I can't also make phone calls. That would make a mobile web server about as useful as a web server on my old dialup connection.

But then with opensource, I can figure anything out... like using Skype to make my calls while my faithful website viewers are still able to browse my ever-so-important website in my pocket.

Re:But can I make calls, too? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461697)

Depends on the way the phone works. I know that the recently released can use it's WLAN (Wifi), Bluetooth, IR and USB connections at the same time, but I don't know if you can connect to GSM at the same time.

Re:But can I make calls, too? (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461713)

Well, perhaps in the future you'll be able to run skype on your mobile and use it for phone calls.

Two acronyms. (2, Informative)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461734)

3G, Wifi.

Re:But can I make calls, too? (2, Informative)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461843)

My phone is online 24x7. It has a constant GPRS-connection to the network, so it can receive email sent to me. And I can make phone-calls just fine. I can even make and receive phone-calls when I'm surfing the net with the phone.

Symbian is a multitasking OS, so having a webserver there is not an issue. And GPRS and the like do not prevent you from making phone-calls.

this is a bad thing.... (2, Funny)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461491)

Imagine what happens when your unsuspecting cell phone gets slashdotted. If you are a guy, you can kiss your chances of fathering children good buy.
a phone melted to you thigh does not sound like fun.....

Luckily (5, Funny)

LandownEyes (838725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461495)

At least now when the police raid your torrent server, everyone can call and tell them they're pissed.

Just think of the possibilities (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461499)

"Just think of the possibilities of having a webserver in your pocket!"


Re:Just think of the possibilities (1)

fasaxc (655173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461760)

Their suggested use is to allow you to webmin your phone from, say, your laptop via WiFi/Bluetooth/whatever. -Shaun

What is the purpose? (1)

KimmoA (975372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461510)

Other than the geek/hack value (well... it is Nokia that is doing it, so that point is kind of lost too!), what is the purpose? Seriously. I don't get it.

Re:What is the purpose? (3, Insightful)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461586)

It reminds me of 3 years ago when I first got a Linux-based Sharp Zaurus. I could purchase a GSM/GPRS card to get it acting as a cell phone. And I loaded it with wifi and packages so it acted as a Samba server, an Apache server, a MySQL server, a VNC server, etc. Nice geek attraction but for practicality's sake the usability was pretty poor. Small devices aren't geared to be resource hogging servers. They are optimized to be thin clients.

Re:What is the purpose? (2, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461965)

Embedded webservers can have uses however. Many routers have web UIs that many readers will be familiar with, but the main difference is that they are not running Apache! There are better (more lightweight) embedded webservers out there.

You could do a couple of useful things to this. It could provide a means to upload files or change configuration settings. A messaging interface could be useful, letting you use the phones inbox on a PC. With things like WiFi and bluetooth, there are possiblities.

And as the parent poster says, running a webserver (etc) on a mobile/pda isn't all that new.

Re:What is the purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461678)

What do you mean the geek/hack value is lost? Isn't a neat hack a neat hack no matter who does it?

The point here is about making the phone a first class citizen of the web - to make it seamlessly accessible to anything that speaks HTTP. To speak to your pocket, all you now need is a bit of Python in there, and any HTTP client, anywhere in the world.

Blogging (0, Offtopic)

Clinton (798067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461514)

This could be a whole new realm of blogging, if only there were a better way to type in text.

I can see the headlines (5, Funny)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461519)

Swedish Police seize Pirate Bay server decoys, Real Server Escapes In Man's Pocket.

What has it got in its pocketses, my love? Tricksy little serverses, sneaking awayses from us!

Re:I can see the headlines (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461686)

Then this development will quickly give law enforcement an extra reason to frisk you...

In that case, one can only hope to be wearing the correct HTTPanty [] ;-D

Security (2, Insightful)

babanada (977344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461528)

If these are deployed and left, they will become vulnerable eventually. Right from the beginning, a means to update any service that is listening needs to be built in, particularly with something as widespread as Apache. The user should have a choice: either update without asking, or receive a message when new updates are available, and a recurring message if the updates are not applied. The last thing we need are a million webservers that are deployed and then sit unpatched until the phones aren't used anymore.

Nerds Dead Everywhere! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461540)

Imagine one of those phones being slashdotted, the sheer amount of radiation and electricity involved would cause the said nerd to spontainiously combust in an excellent display of nerdyness...somewhat like a moth to fire.

Use it as a local proxy (2, Interesting)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461542)

From TFA, the web server does have i.e. mod_python, so there should be some programmability there. I could see using the web server as a proxy - maybe for security reasons, but even more for automatic downloading & caching of web pages as the user moves in and out of connectivity.

Re:Use it as a local proxy (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461703)

It probably has mod_python because Series60 Nokia phones officially feature Python programming support.

Hmm (5, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461545)

Just think of the possibilities of having a webserver in your pocket!

The possibility of paying massive bandwidth fees to Cingular, for example.

"Raccoon" (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461555)

When I hear "raccoon" I think about the little buggers that raid my trashcans looking for food when I'm not around, they always seem to find a way into the cans & make a mess.

Why would I want to put somthing that reminds me of such a mess on my phone ?

Rather unfortunate choice of project names if you ask me.

If I had my 'dRuther's I have... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461560)

a with a 2-way radio function,
that links to another one, when out of all
coverage areas... not a web-server... FWIW.

Re:If I had my 'dRuther's I have... (1)

yummyporkproducts (577076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461594)

Nextel has been selling those for years.

Re:If I had my 'dRuther's I have... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461617)

The Nextel phones with the "walkie-talkie" system will switch to peer-to-peer when out of range from a tower. This is why they are extremly popular with companies as a group can be out on the field and maintain communication. Apparently the some of their phones will work for several miles this way.

Re:If I had my 'dRuther's I have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461794)

And L2R is a communications protocol that will let you roam even without any cell towers.

Something I'd Like To See... (3, Interesting)

LEX LETHAL (859141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461568)

To be able to run distributed computing applications like BOINC on your cellphone when it's not in use. It would suspend the activity when the battery charge reaches a user-defined limit.

You could crunch units at night while your phone is charging.

Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness... (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461576)

I just don't get it.

A web browser, I can see the use of (though currently most non-text-only pages look like crap on tiny cellphone screens, and even text-only doesn't look great). An email client, sure. A terminal emulator (aka "telnet/ssh client" for you whippersnappers) so I can connect to and manage a remote web server (if absolutely necessary - see point 3 below), yuppers.

But an actual web server?

First, my phone has an okay battery just sitting idle, but in actual use it dies within a few hours. Running a web server implies basically continuous use, so the thing would end up always on a leash to either a car or AC outlet.

Second, although I have pretty good cell coverage in my area, I do still drop the occasional call. Do we really want to add a http error code, "604: server drove into a tunnel"? (And yes, I do realize that would probably come back as a 503... Just a weak joke).

Third - I would not want to use a phone's crude keypad to try to maintain a web site. Even if I bought into the rest of the idea, I could see myself realistically connecting to my phone remotely from a real PC to do any updates or maintenance.

I just don't see the point. This smells like a solution in need of a problem, IMO.

Re:Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461639)

Q: when can i grab that excel spreadsheet off you ?
A: its on my phone at the moment, you can grab it off that anytime tomorrow if you like

Q: can i see what you are talking about
A: sure let me turn on my cam and ill show you

pull instead of push

Re:Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness (5, Insightful)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461646)

You know how much it sucks to have to configure your phone's settings--not just time and date, but network preferences, calendaring options, notifications, and all the rest--on the phone itself? Now imagine firing up Safari and simply browsing to your phone's configuration page, where everything's explained in full sentences in a format human beings can read, not crammed into 1 square inch at 288 dpi, and where you don't have to press twenty nubby little buttons every time you want to change one setting.

This could be one potential use for a webserver on your phone. Given the complexity of your typical cellphone, I'd be glad to configure it through an interface that sucks a little less.

Web applications. (4, Insightful)

Shazow (263582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461689)

With all the hype of rapid development frameworks (Ruby on Rails, TurboGears, etc) it's easier than ever to make web applications, for yourself or someone else. It's also damn easy to install them. Only problem? They require a web server.

Having a webserver on your cellphone, even if it's only accessible to you, is extremely useful. You can build your own truly cross-platform applications without having to worry about crazy microjava doodie.

In terms of power consumption, why would it have to be continuously active? It can have a "sleep" mode just like anything else on a cellphone does. It's not like your phone has a continuous open line to someone. When you finish talking to someone, it goes into a sleep mode and waits for the next call. A webserver could work the same way -- when you use it, it fires up. When you stop using it, it takes a nap. Both, you and your battery, are happy.

I, for one, welcome our Cellphone-hosted website overlords.

- shazow

Re:Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness (2, Interesting)

glasn0st (564873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461692)

Well, what about doing a HTTP POST to send you a free text message instead of an expensive SMS message (provided you have flat rate GPRS or something like that). Or perhaps people at work could upload some files to you that you'll need.

For a geek, it should be no problem to think of some cool applications. But I agree that it won't become mainstream fast. I don't even know if most cellphone operators provide real public IP addresses to cellphones. My operator, T-mobile, seems to, but I've never actually tried listening it on a TCP port and connecting to it from the net.

Re:Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness (1)

KimiDalamori (579444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461696)


A Web Server on your cell phone? What would you serve off it? The only application I can possibly think of is to serve as a way to get those stupid lo-res pictures off your camera phone. Other than that, is there any reason to introduce such a critical security flaw into your phone?

Are you going to include voice-recognition software so you can blog-on-the-go?

How about posting those sappy text messages from your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend?

Not to mention how the hell you're going to get any other content you want to host onto the cellphone in the first place...

Not worth the risk, IMHO.


Now, I just got this kick-ass idea ...
Let's port ftpd over to a cell phone, so you can upload mp3s to it, and listen to them on your phone, and maybe even use the cell transmitter to broadcast the tunes to your car's radio and you could even use them as your own personal cell phone hold music ...

... dumbasses.

A better interface for managing your phone? (1)

siveys (813418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461800)

What about a way to access and manage your phone from your computer without installing any additional software, since every computer already has a web browser?

Re:Okay, seriously, someone explain the usefulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461911)

Obviously, web hosting for those who need to be discrete and relatively difficult to locate.


Engineering monitoring applications (4, Interesting)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461983)

But an actual web server?

It could be great for engineers like me that deploy a lot of short-term and long-term measurement systems (noise/vibration/temperature/wind speed/etc) and want to make the data available in real-time to interested parties (e.g. a local community).

Currently, the only way to disseminate this info is:

  • manually download the info every X days and stick it on a "real" webserver (time consuming, possibly impractical depending on location, weather, etc)
  • hook up a laptop with a cellmodem to the unit (expensive, power hungry), and
  • hook up a land line (very expensive).

I would love to just be able to hook up a cellphone to the data logging unit, and just point people to Yeah I know, niche application.

The only issues I see:

  1. can I interface my unit to the phone using serial or bluetooth? and
  2. will the cell phone companies have a reasonable data-rate plan?

I for one will be watching out for this.

OK (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461582)

Just think of the possibilities of having a webserver in your pocket!

Ok, hmmm, let me think ... uh, no. Aaand not that. Hmmmm....

*chirp* *chirp* *chirp*

OK, you got me - what are those possiblities?

Re:OK (1)

philci52 (673066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461665)

How about security problems and lots of money for the cell phone providers as they charge you for bandwidth. That's all I'm really seeing.

Re:OK (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461824)

you can store personal info and files on your phone, then when you go somewhere and want access to them on a random PC, all the PC needs is a net connection. you just connect your phone to the net, start your webserver, and surf to your phone's IP on the PC and presto, you can look at or copy off your stuff.

also with a little CGI interface util, you could make it so you can configure your phone via a web interface.

obviously you wouldnt leave your phone on 24/7 hosting a public website, that would be stupidly impratical on EVERY level.

Are any of these suggestions worth bothering with? who knows, but now someone has the choice if they want to.

Re:OK (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461994)

If your using straight IP, then it wont be a one hop connection. In which case, you might as well have your files on a server in Outer Mongolia. If you want a single-hop solution, thats bluetooth and all the various standarish higher level things that go with that. Configuration, BT, ditto.

Re:OK (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461766)

Ok, hmmm, let me think ... uh, no. Aaand not that. Hmmmm.... *chirp* *chirp* *chirp*

You know, if you could round up those crickets in your head and get them back into the running wheel you might be able to think of something. Like easy configuration of your phone. Easy access to your photos and files and contacts, accessible from whatever computer happens to be nearby.

A standard interface. It's obviously not meant for hosting a website, like the 187 other clowns-with-escaped-crickets posting above me seem to think.

Re:OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461825)

Parent somehow got a score of 4, Insightful?

Uh... what?

Re:OK (1)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461878)

Parent somehow got a score of 4, Insightful?

Uh... what?

"insightful" on Slashdot = "you said it in a clever way." Around here, cleverly-phrased argument = insight.

He could have just said, "I don't think there are any interesting uses for this." But that would have gotten him modded down, if anything.

Not much use.... (3, Interesting)

tsvk (624784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461583)

I don't see much use in this... Ususally (at least in GSM GPRS and UMTS 3G networks) the phones are behind one or two NATs. That is, all packet data users of an mobile operator are seen to the internet as coming from the host, or the like. You cannot directly connect from the internet to a specific mobile phhone's IP address, regardless of the existence of a mobile web server there.

NATting is partly done to protect the mobile users from excess traffic. Imagine someone pingflooding your mobile's IP address, and you paid for data packet traffic by the kilobyte! :)

I see this webserver porting more as an technology demo from Nokia's part: "Hey look how cool our phone operating system and programming platform is!", instead of being a real, useful application.

Re:Not much use.... (1)

tsvk (624784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461605)

Oh, wow... should have read TFA... :) There was a mention of gateways, enabling connections to be made from the internet to the mobiles.

Re:Not much use.... (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461729)

NATting is partly done to protect the mobile users from excess traffic. Imagine someone pingflooding your mobile's IP address, and you paid for data packet traffic by the kilobyte! :)

We're talking about telcos here, they want that sort of thing.

Well, actually... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461868)

Imagine someone pingflooding your mobile's IP address, and you paid for data packet traffic by the kilobyte!

Well, I don't know about pingflooding, but I've been bitten by text messages. As far as I know, you pay for incoming text messages, not outgoing. And AOL did send me a text message advertising AIM on my cell phone. Well, I don't use text messages at all, but that in particular pissed me off. I don't care how cheap it was, paying for incoming spam is a broken business model, especially considering AOL probably has a deal with them.

so.... (1, Redundant)

unfunk (804468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461598)

is that a beowulf cluster in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

A mesh network server would mean instant user owne (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461642)

A mesh network server would mean an instant user owner internet that is already deployed!
No matter what lobbists tried to get congress to throttle the internet into tiers!
That mean free internet anywhere that you can daisy chain cellphone links unless the send and recieve frequencites cell phone suse are not the same as cell tower send frequencies.

Perhaps the qualcomm walkie talking phones would work? or FRM family radios with 5 mile range?
been waiting for someone to build hand held laser send and receives witha usb connector for computers running mesh netwroks. That would make some bandwidth fast!


FTP (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461645)

I've ran an FTP server on my PDA for a while, but decided to shut it down when everyone just kept leeching and not uploading any warez or pr0n.

Is mod_perl available for Nokia's Apache?

Re:FTP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461737)

No, but mod_python is.

Why port Apache? (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461654)

I mean, why not just port Lighttpd? It's smaller!

Cellphone webserver (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461670)

I think this could be quite useful, especially in conjunction with encryption as email starts to get less and less useful.

Here's an example, I worked on a bunch of documents flying home on Continental yesterday. I could have copied those up to my cell phone web-site from my mac as soon as we landed, which could have then auto-synched onto the company web-server for example, as I was driving home.

Obviously a cell phone web-site would mainly be useful for local content such as recently snapped pictures, notes, directions, and act as a locally accessible online presence for a real person. In this case, it doesn't replace a full web-site, but possibly acts as a locally discoverable 'business-card' for people in nearby physical proximity, similar to what we could do with beaming between palms.

Actually, I've used a webserver on a phone before (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461672)

I've used a webserver on a phone before... it was actually more of a phone/PDA (Seimens SX66). It was for demonstration purposes- we had some stuff there running on the NetFront multimodal browser, and the pages were being served up using an IBM Java-based setup, WCTME (Websphere Client Technology Micro Edition).

I don't believe it was running there on the final product, though. Which is good, since you'd have to invoke the Java service management framework manually and give it some time to start up before using it...

Popular among perverts and other undesireables (1)

ignatz72 (891623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461716)

Ooooh, the possibilities of thousands of new subway-skulking, escalator-camping, shopping-aisle-creeping upskirt websites featuring up-to-the-minute access to tiny low-light, pixelated, camera-phone quality picts and movies...

And how about a new, inexpensive streamlined method for someone (big brother/nefarious ned) to find out where you are, what direction you're heading, and who you're talking to all in real time by typing in a web-server address?

Possibilities, indeed. (3, Interesting)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461720)

The first thing I would do is have the phone update to a page, I would have this constantly updated with rough GPS coordinates. I'm not sure what phones can tell you their rough GPS coords, though. But it could give you all sorts of useful information in case the phone is lost or stolen -- what it last saw, where it was last used, etc.

I mention this because I recently picked up this laptop [] , and one of my first plans is to get a GPS card installed in it. I'll have it running something netstumbler-like, and if it's lost or stolen, it will do its best to log in and upload the GPS coords to So, if my laptop is lost or stolen, and the thief leaves it turned on while passing through any open wifi or going online in any way, presto. I could have the site have a Google Maps thingy that shows me where it was most recently spotted and when.

This doesn't even require the GPS card -- any information you can have the device update you with is useful. It could tell me what the person was last looking at, what pages they're frequenting, etc. Get their name from their MySpace page and have the police show up at their door. Letting mobile devices act as servers opens up a lot of these possibilities, including making them easy to use as James-Bond-type spy/bug gadgets and taking a big step in the direction of useful remote presence.

Of course, would require a very secure login if you want any privacy, ever.

cell phone servers (1)

popsicle67 (929681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461732)

I don't know, I see real ugliness coming from this. What if Paris drops off the front page again? The last time she had to wait for some dweeb(who I think she paid) to hack her phone. Now she will set up a spam server to sell pictures of herself in compromising positions, or worse yet copies of her latest single. This is one technology whose time is never.

Perhaps useful for some things (1)

Very.Zen (831087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461746)

This sort of technology could be perhaps useful for administration of your mobile phone through a web based interface on your PC. The possibilities for that could be rather interesting if not fun, especially if your phone got stolen.
Other more practical uses could include number and text message management, calanders and reminders could all be set from your pc with having to set up a bluetooth connection or plug it in... Ok I admit I am reaching here a little but I have a feeling that claiming uselessness on this is more a lack of imagination than anything.
I suspect it isnt about using your phone as a server as such but offering you the ability to connect into it, perhaps to send text messages from any pc you happen to be sitting at. It does create a rather large possibility for abuse, but what new(ish) technology doesnt? I suggest not writing it off straight away even if it does seem a little bit perverse. I dont know, getting a new message on my phone and being able to check it in a google mail style interface on my pc without even rummaging around in my pocket, reply and then continue reading slashdot seems interesting to me. And i dont even have to use that crappy predicitive text.

Useful? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461757)

That will become useful about the same time it becomes handy to bring a server rack in your pocket as a cell phone.

Think of the possbility... (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461791)

...of having your cell phone hacked and used to distribute porn, warez, and pirated music, right from the web server they installed in your pocket. Am I the only one that sees this not as a good thing? Why does Nokia want to put a web server in your pocket? The whole point of a consumer electronics device, like a cell phone, is to make it bullet proof to security issues (or at least as bullet proof as possible), and have it work every time you turn it on.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for embedded Linux on these things from a business and consumer viewpoint, but come on! The more you open your sensitive personal data up for attack, the greater the risk. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Made a java server a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461828)

I made a J2ME http server a year ago.. just to test if it worked.

It can't do much though, only show one page with some info on the phone. []

Web Server on Phone has been Done (1)

matthewcraig (68187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461846)

The Nokia 6600 [] has had the capability [] to run a web server for years.

Internet Connection + Programable OS = Potential for Web Server

It won't be long before we see watches and refridgerators with web servers, too.

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these. (0, Redundant)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461857)


pricey (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461870)

Given how much data transfer costs through phones a webserver would be too expensive to be worthwhile. Even Wifi isn't cheap though most services here.

First things first (1)

CoolVC (131998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461881)

First I'd like Verizon to let me use my FiOS connection as a web server, then I'll worry about having one on my cellphone.

Personal Webserver only please (1)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461953)

I do not want (nor will I think my telco tolerate for long without squizing me for serious money) to have 100s, 1000s, + of external users sucking up connection bandwidth to my phone.
However if my phone had a web interface for connection to my PC that made configuration and data transfer easier, OR if I could limit my webphone to a few key users OR if my phone server was actually proxied by servers at the telco, this might make sense.

Hmmm (1)

rsperry79 (946221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461962)

I think that it could be very usefull. I could copy some files onto my PPC phone using my SD, then have a download link using my 802.11 that is built in. I could have a Fre busy indicator that i could change its status as I walked around the office. One could even put in postioning using what BT network it detects. Imagine this, I copy an my fav music on my phone, i walk over to my friends house and join his network and he plays my latest music with out ever having to trust his computer with my SD. I then walk to work and it can be accessed teling my coworkers where I am by simply typing rspery in their browsers. then i could copy my program over and steal the partial cents from my companies clients. like any tech, it can be good and it also can be realy bad realy fast Now i just ned to find a spil prof keyboard...

and the opposite too please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15461987)

so can we have it the other way around too please?
a "super dumb" cellphone that does everything over a
server, including storage phone book entries to makeing
and taking calls etc.
i think this "minimal-near-to-the-smarts-of-a-bluetooth-head(or ear)set"
could be made tiny.
in a nutshell export everything to a server (a homecomputer),
with just the basic electronics needed to connect to the celltower
to the "brains" at home (obviously it needs a microphone
and speaker tho).

a mini mobile phone please!!! > think communicator on star trek.

What's the point? (2, Interesting)

sotweed (118223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15461999)

As many have pointed out, there are power and bandwidth issues around this idea. Not everything that CAN be done is worth doing. This seems like one that isn't worth doing. There was a tiny (less than 256 bytes of code, as I recall!) web server done at least 5 years ago on something like a PIC controller at U of Mass (?). So this doesn't seem very impressive.

What's the advantage to having a web server where there's uncertain connectivity, limited resources generally, and high communication costs?

More interesting would be a stationary web server and an interesting way of updating information on it from the mobile unit while conserving bandwidth and minimizing the effects of intermittent connectivity. So, perhaps I could clip the phone to my shirt pocket and have it send back to the server a photo every 5 minutes. (Of course, if noone ever visits the web site, a solution like this will use MORE power than the server on the phone, if noone ever connects to it...)
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