Wednesday, March 23, 2011

HP's WebOS "Think Beyond" and "HP Summit" Video

Here is HP's WebOS big technology reveal event (from Feb 9th, 2011):

Any opinions??
I really want to be excited.  I really do.  It seems like HP is trying to simultaneously get me excited about their products whilst ignoring all other similar products on the market.  Time will tell if these products have the staying power that they need to survive and thrive in the current tech environment.  I hope they do, since there are some really cool features here.

Here is the March 14th keynote video from the HP Summit:

This seems a little better. An HP public cloud, eh? That might be interesting.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The official Google Code blog: Google I/O extends virtually around the world

The official Google Code blog: Google I/O extends virtually around the world: "In celebration of Google I/O 2011, many Google offices around the world, as well as GTUG partners and Student Ambassadors, are hosting free viewing parties of Google I/O sessions. If you can't attend Google I/O in person, these events are a way to connect with other talented developers and watch live feeds of the conference. "

Here are just a few of the locations hosting an I/O Extended event:
AfricaAsiaEuropeNorth AmericaSouth America and Central America

Combined with the Last Call for Google I/O, this announcement has really helped Google extend its reach beyond those that have the resources to travel to San Francisco on a whim.  Check out the Google I/O Extended page for more details.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

LCD Monitors - Explained

Here is an incredibly detailed, straightforward explanation of how an LCD monitor works, courtesy of Bill, the Engineer Guy:

Comparing Pandora's LCD Screen to other devices

It's always nice to have some perspective. Here is a little comparitive video by Kloplop321 showing the Pandora as well as some other digital devices:
Apple iPad
Apple iPhone 3GS
Palm Zire 72s
Dell Axim x30
Motion Computing Tablet M1200
Nintendo DS

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Computer Hardware Chart

Behold, Sonic84's excellent computer hardware poster.
Link to the full sized image here.

Apparently, a version 2.0 is in progress. Keep up the good work. This is great for people who work with a variety of different computer hardware.

Saab Announces new Android-based in-car OS - IQon

The open nature of Android has left the door wide open for car manufacturers to embrace it as a car-based platform, and a major car company has recently taken the plunge. Earlier this month, Saab announced IQon (press release here), the car-based "infotainment" system.

Saab will release an API for third party developers, and these apps will be sold on Saab's own app marketplace. Interesting stuff. I will continue to follow this as time goes on.

So, as an app developer, what does this mean for you? The Saab Blog has some more information:

I feel proud that Saab is leading the way in developing the most advanced car infotainment system that’s out there. It will deliver the multi-media experience we’re all used to in the office, at home, or on the move with our smartphones. But what’s even smarter with IQon, is that we’re opening up what the car is doing, as well. We will be giving the global developer community access to more than 500 data inputs – everything from vehicle speed to steering angle or the sun’s position – and challenging them to come up with some useful and imaginative IQon apps, which can be downloaded from our Saab IQon app store.

Then there is all the remote diagnostics possibilities with communication to and from the car. As I see it, the possibilities are almost endless and we’re just starting to scratch the surface.

Everyone is asking me when we are going to start fitting IQon to our cars. Well, we’re doing it already with beta versions in some of our company test cars, and I can confirm that customers will get to experience the system in the next generation of Saabs. In a couple of months’ time, we’re going to put up an IQon Developer Zone on the web, which will give app developers the opportunity to get started. These are exciting times at Saab: a new company, new cars and new technologies like IQon. Watch this space for more news as we push the program forward.

It's probably too much to ask for a development unit... but it does bring up an interesting question: How do you design apps for a car if you don't have access to the data that the car would provide? This is an interesting challenge, and I look forward to the solutions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NEWLUG March 2011 Meeting: Plone

Hello, folks! Here is the March NEWLUG meeting video.

Subject: Plone CMS : Open Source Content Management
Plone is among the top 2% of all open source projects worldwide, with 340 core developers and more than 300 solution providers in 57 countries. The project has been actively developed since 2001, is available in more than 40 languages, and has the best security track record of any major CMS. It is owned by the Plone Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is available for all major operating systems.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last Call for Google I/O : A coding contest!

Earlier, I had called out Google for not necessarily caring for the little guy at Google I/O and being more concerned about giving away free stuff.

Well, I'm not concerned about that any more.
Recently, the Official Google Code Blog had this announcement:

For those of you who were quick to register, we thank you for continuing to support our developer initiatives -- this year's I/O is slated to be one of our best yet. For the rest of our developers, we weren’t kidding when we told you we love our developers.
Starting Wednesday, March 16, we will be launching Last Call for Google I/O: A contest that spans 10 days, 10 developer challenges and 100 chances to win tickets to attend the now-sold-out Google I/O 2011.
Here’s how it works. We will announce a new challenge on the contest site on select dates at either 9am or 4pm PDT, that will last for 24 hours each. There will be 10 days of challenges with 10 winners on each day, spanning the following developer products:
March 16 - Android, 9:00 am
March 17 - Chrome, 9:00 am
March 18 - App Engine, 9:00 am
March 21 - YouTube APIs, 9:00 am
March 22 - Game Developers, 9:00 am
March 23 - Google Maps / Geo, 4:00 pm
March 24 - Commerce, 9:00 am
March 25 - Developer Tools / GWT, 9:00 am
March 28 - Accessibility, 4:00 pm
March 29 - Google Apps / Enterprise, 4:00 pm
Each of the challenges will focus on one of our developer products and has two rounds. Plan to be in front of your computers for the first half-hour that the challenge starts to complete a series of questions for Round I, which will qualify you for the main coding challenge in Round II. You will have a little over 20hrs to complete Round II.
We want to make sure that we provide the opportunity to attend Google I/O to as many developers as possible and hope you’re feeling up to the task. The contest is valid in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia with winners being announced on April 4. And don’t forget that we will be livestreaming the keynotes and taping sessions during Google I/O. Stay tuned!
For more information and contest rules, visit the contest site.

By Vic Gundotra, VP Engineering

Well played, Google. I am all about giving 100 winners of coding contents free tickets to Google I/O. That is AWESOME.

The contest page is here. Give it a try!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Building Communities : From BarCampMadison

Check out this Bob Waldron presentation on building strong communities for hacker/maker spaces. This presentation took place on Aug. 28, 2010 at BarCampMadison.

Field trip: Sector 67

This weekend, I had the pleasure of taking a field trip to Sector 67, a hackerspace in Madison, WI. On the day I was there, three MakerBot owners were there and decided to swap notes and stories about their 3D printers. Luckily, I was able to take some pictures of the action.

Some of the parts that have been printed from these MakerBots:

Some video of the three MakerBots together:

A heart-shaped gear setup, made by the MakerBot 3D printer:

XStylus review

For those of you out there using the Pandora Console and Nintendo DS, here is a review of the XStylus, a convertible pen/stylus. The review comes courtesy of FoxBlock.

More information about it here:
Kickstarter page:
Official product page: