About Me

My name is Wolf Paulus, a photographer, hiker, hacker, technologist based in Ramona, California. I am focusing on embedded, mobile, and open source technologies and help accelerating the discovery and adoption of emerging mobile technologies. Inspire and innovate, emphasizing mobile and wearables, voice user interfaces, speech recognition and synthesis, and natural language understanding.


I created the Java-based open source XUL Engine SwixML, which Sun’s CTO called “The strongest straightforward design of declarative UI implementations”.

SwixML represents ideas that today are heavily re-used in Google’s Android SDK. (Graphical User Interfaces are described declaratively in XML documents that are parsed and rendered into UI widgets hierarchies at runtime.)

But I have create so much more that I’m extremely proud of.



A lot of my work evolves around early technology prototyping. Still, I’m trying to put some ideas into real world mobile applications.

Take a look at Artist on Android, the Horsemen of Speech Recognition, or other apps that I have published under the Techcasita Productions label in Google’s play store.

Cloud Services

Most mobile applications consume some sort of cloud service. Speed is extreme important for Voice User Interfaces to work well, which means you want to do as much as possible on-device. However, speech recognition accuracy and speech synthesis quality often requires to implement these services in the cloud. Cloud services that I have recently implemented include speech synthesisaggregation, AIML based natural language understanding, and text summarization, including simple sentiment analysis.


I’m appointed to the advisory committee for the Mobile App Development Certificate at the University of California, Irvine, and occasionally speaks at conferences and user groups on topics ranging from Embedded Technology to Declarative Programming, emphasizing UI Generation at Runtime, and everything Voice User Interface related of course.

Have a look at some slide from my most recent talks.


Many new concepts that I implement in mobile applications, are communicated best through video clips or short films.

Take a look at some high quality short HD films that I have created over the last few months and years.


“Amateur Professionalism”, a concept used since 2004, describes an emerging sociological and economic trend of people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards. That pretty much describes how I look at my photography work today.

If you like, take a look at some of my photos and the stories behind them, at http://ramonaphoto.com


JSON Schema

JSON, the JavaScript Object Notation, has a somewhat misleading name, since it is used for data exchange in a lot of places that have nothing to do with JavaScript. It has become very common that web-services encode all sorts of payloads using JSON, which is then decoded on the receiving end, using libraries like Google’s gson, which can automatically convert JSON documents into Java objects.

In many applications, JSON has replaced XML, which used to be the premier encoding format, used by web-services. JSON is more compact and arguably more readable; with XML however, XML-Schema was used to document or explain and also validate XML encoded data structures.

Fortunately, JSON is catching up in this respect as well. While still under development, the current 4th draft is quite good and already supported by many tools. read more…

Too Close for Comfort?

The DJI Phantom Quadcopter is a real screamer. It’s loud, uncomfortably loud, sometimes even confused for a massive bee swarm. Don’t blame the motors, with the propellers removed, the phantom sounds just like any other quadcopter with inexpensive motors. So for a long time now, I have been looking for the ultimate propeller for the DJI Phantom.

Blade pitch or simply pitch refers to turning the angle of attack of the blades of a propeller or helicopter rotor into or out of the wind to control the production or absorption of power.

The size of a propeller is usually defined by its diameter and pitch. Originally, the DJI Phantom shipped with 8 inch propeller, with a 4.5 pitch, which would be called a 8.0×4.5 or 8045 propeller. While both, diameter and pitch influence the produced thrust, the diameter is mostly responsible for the thrust and the pitch controls the speed of the air leaving the back of the propeller.

read more…

HTC One M7 gets Lollypop – and here is how

About one year ago, I got an HTC One (M7) Android phone. Arguably, at that time and maybe still today, the prettiest Android phone yet. It’s heavier than its peers, the camera is inferior to some Android phone, but much worse than what’s available on the iPhone, and still its beautifully built, with much attention to detail, an almost perfect blend of metal and plastics.

I got the phone with an AT&T contract, meaning it had the HTC skin, aka HTC Sense, and lots of AT&T bloat-wear pre-installed, un-removable of course. My threshold for this kind of annoyance is admittedly rather low and I had the phone rooted, replaced the recovery image with TWRP and installed the pure Android experience of the Google-Play-Edition version of this phone, after about one week of usage.

This is all good, until the next Android update becomes available, which won’t easily install with a custom recovery (TWRP) installed. Having done this many times, it’s still a little nerve-wrecking, considering the many stories about boot-loops and bricked devices.
read more…


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