Sunday, October 26, 2008

I hate Device Diversity in gaming arena... but there are reasons to eat the bait

Being a fan of Guitar Hero since its first release on PS2, I thought that everything would be wonderful in PS3 in what regards to music band simulation. Then came Guitar Hero III and the wonderful Rock Band. But Rock Band did not come with the same flavour to Europe: no pack with the BD and the instruments, which had to be bought separately and individually. That means much over twice the price in the USA even accepting a 1€=$1 conversion.

And hell has been raised even hotter and wilder taking into account the lack of compatibility between the peripherals of both GH and RB worlds. A patch has been announced for Rock Band support of the GH3 guitar but I do not know if it is true. There is no news about Activision trying the same (well, no news further than Activision meaning to sue Harmonix for the patch).

Taking into account how much I hate that Sony does not standardize music peripherals and that I would like to pay once for a guitar or a drum set and be able to play both games, what is the reason that tempts me to acquire another music band simulator?

For example, an expansion like this :-)

[ADDED ON 2008-11-01] Gosh! You can also buy Motley Crue's classic album "Dr. Feelgood"... Aaargh!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Geolocation in urban areas using WiFi

Although there have been previous and successful experiences using WiFi signals from the different access points detected by a mobile device, as Fraunhofer showed in the last IADIS Wireless Applications and Computing in Amsterdam (to which I attended and presented some work that I will talk about someday), Google includes this in its My Location service in its Google Maps mobile app, as they announced in their blog.

The greatest thing is that they provide support for this technology in their Google Gears Geolocation API. Awesome!

I am wondering if Fraunhofer holds some IP and how it might affect the deployment of services based on this technology O:-)

By the one, the news is that someone offers WiFi geo-location, Google is not the only one exploiting this technology.

Physical keyboard in a touchscreen

Also seen in Xataka Movil. An interesting design for a touchscreen that raises parts of ths surface as the buttons of a keyboard. It this is technically possible, I buy it.

Interesting form factor for a MID

As seen in Xataka Móvil, Intel presented their new Moorestown platform incarnated in a prototype of a Mobile Internet Device.

A video is better than a million words, so take a look below:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flash content in mobile devices (II)

Just a brief post to remark (in what regards to my previous post) that the add-on to block Flash content is also a must in Firefox if you use it in a netbook like the Acer Aspire One. Those sites filled with lots of tiny Flash boxes make an Intel Atom @ 1.6 Ghz sweat a lot (so netbooks with older processors like the Via in the first EeePC must feel like in hell when having to render that content).

Bye for now! :-)

Flash content in mobile devices or how to soothe the pain in maemo

Everybody is very happy with the support of the full web in mobile devices, but any regular user knows/suffers the fact of trying to enjoy rich web sites from a mobile device. Even with a powerful mobile device like the Nokia N810, making use of WiFi connectivity powered by a good ADSL/Cable network connection behind, certain web sites are a hell to enjoy.

The user, although having a full-web browser, ends up using a simpler mobile version for the browser not to drain battery power (for instance, due to the Javascript engine making intensive use of the CPU in Facebook or in Google Reader). The Google Reader site is a good example of how the mobile version is good enough for us to do what we want with almost no cost in computational terms.

I have always loved visiting Spanish sports online-newspapers like As or Marca from the N810, but always making an exercise of injecting patience to my state of mind before accessing: they are filled with Flash content (mainly with advertising purposes) that makes loading the main page as painful as a kick on your butt.

Some days ago, I specifically searched for some sort of Flash blocker, taking into account that such an add-on exists in Firefox and that maemo's microb is based on the Firefox engine. I discovered the Browser Extras repository and then found a Flashblocker port for MicroB.

If you want to know how good it was installing this add-on, you need to read the full post in the OMAG blog.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nokia NSeries as multimedia servers

I guess I already talked about this. It is something I have used several times: viewing multimedia contents in my phone in more powerful media renderers, like the display of a PC or a TV set. I have been lazy recording a video illustrating about this usage for UPnP technology, but luckily Martin Sauter has just posted one in his blog. You can find the video that he included in his post below:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The mobile phone previously known as Nokia Tube is finally here. It is the first attempt of Nokia in the touchscreen environment (after the long gone Series 90). Running the new S60 5th Edition (still looking for the 4th! :-) ), I guess that this Symbian flavour is no threat for the iPhone... yet. Those waiting for the Messiah iPhone-killer that no one invented so far will have to wait for new iterations of the platform. Here you have a video of this popular phone:

I have been waiting for the last announcements from several platforms trying to erase the Nokia N85 from the top of my wishlist, and this phone will not be the one who makes it. The only thing that might make it would be an Android cheap but good phone like the G1 (you can see it in a previous post of this blog in action), but they are not expected by now in Spain.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Open Symbian Signed working!

After months trying, the page of Open Symbian Signed worked in a try to sign an unsigned application. Symbian Signed is the worst idea I've ever seen on a mobile platform (and on any software platform, in general). At least I managed to sign at least an app to work on my own phone (for the validity period it will last).

With Symbian Signed and the iPhone App Store, what other choice do open developers have but only work on Mobile Linux platforms?

Bonus points for Android in the mobile wars. Only waiting for an actual working phone in Spain... Sigh!