You don't have to have lived in Haight-Ashbury in the Sixties to achieve self-awareness in San Francisco. BlackBerry developers are gathered in the city this week for the annual BlackBerry Developer Conference, taking place now through Thursday. Among the top stories is a new service platform from Research in Motion that will enable developers to build location-aware applications that can include advertising, collect payments or generate other location-based activities or services. Maybe a text message will inform you as you walk past the Red Victorian Hotel that its Peace Cafe just received a shipment of tie-dye shirts, for example.

Making it possible will be BlackBerry Advertising Service, which will allow ads to be integrated with applications, to generate revenue and to make mobile advertising easier, the company said. Set for availability next year, the service will include access to advertising networks such as those managed by Jumptap and 1020 Placecast and to geographic information systems such as those managed by Navteq. It also will be possible, the company said, for ads to tie directly with BlackBerry features such as making a call, adding to the calendar or contact database or accessing BlackBerry's App World. Of course, reporting will include impressions, clicks, conversions and integration with the Omniture Web analytics system (acquired last month by Adobe).

One service available now only to top-tier developers is the BlackBerry Push Service, which next year will be opened up to all registered developers. It allows time-sensitive content and payload to be pushed to applications.

All the services and relevant SDKs are slated for availability by mid-2010.

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I am Technical Editor of the [url=http://www.crn.com]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=http://crn.com]www.crn.com[/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

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