Monday, November 28, 2011

Win a Sony Ericsson Xperia arc phone by just submitting an idea for a mobile app that can help solve global challenges

The countdown is running for the expiration of the deadline for the second stage of the "Technology for Good Apps Competition" organized by Sony Ericsson. All you have to do is to present a problem and a use case (scenario) where your idea for an app will help to solve global challenges in two key areas:
a) social and economic development
b) energy and climate change

The submission date is Monday, December 5th, 2011, by midnight Pacific Time and the prizes to be won are a Sony Ericsson Xperia arc phone and a Connect-to-Learn scholarship for a secondary school education will be given to a girl living in Sub-Saharan Africa in the winning team’s name.

Winners will be announced on the EAA website on December 16th.

You can read more at their website here.

Implementing and Publishing Series 40 Web Apps (Session 1 & 2)

The webinar will provide a walk-through of a simple Series 40 web application and will point out the various Mobile Web Library (MWL) methods available for tackling various use cases. The session will also cover on-device deployment and testing and how to publish to Nokia Store. In addition, the new Nokia Web Tools 1.5 will be utilized and the new features in the release will be covered.

Date: 1 December

Session 1: 8 a.m. Helsinki, 10 a.m. Moscow, 2 p.m. Beijing
Session 2: 9 a.m. San Francisco, noon New York, 5 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Helsinki

Sign up now! Attend the session and discover how to receive a free Nokia C3 touch and type phone.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Creating a superb User Experience with Series 40 Web Apps (Session 1 & 2)

Nokia is offering a webinar on "Creating a superb User Experience with Series 40 Web Apps" on the 30th of November, 2011. This webinar will introduce the concepts behind the Nokia Browser for Series 40 that developers and designers need to know to effectively create a good user experience. In the session, the new Nokia Web Tools 1.5 will be utilized and the new features in the release will be covered. Programming topics in this webinar will be confined to HTML/Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and an introduction to Mobile Web Library (MWL); the 1 December webinars will address more-technical programming aspects.

Date: 30 November
Time: 8 a.m. Helsinki, 10 a.m. Moscow, 2 p.m. Beijing (Session 1)
           9 a.m. San Francisco, noon New York, 5 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Helsinki (Session 2)

Sign up now! Attend the session and discover how to receive a free Nokia C3 touch and type phone.

More free online courses from Stanford University

In addition to the previously posted free online courses from Stanford, the under-listed courses are also available:
Do yourself some good and register to learn some new things in 2012. It's free, so you've really got nothing to lose, right?

Free Online course from Stanford University on Design and Analysis of Algorithms I

Tim Roughgarden, Associate Professor of Computer Science and (by courtesy) Management Science and Enginering at Stanford University will be taking a course in Design and Analysis of Algorithms in January 2012.

In the course you will learn several fundamental principles of algorithm design. You'll learn the divide-and-conquer design paradigm, with applications to fast sorting, searching, and multiplication. You'll learn several blazingly fast primitives for computing on graphs, such as how to compute connectivity information and shortest paths. Finally, we'll study how allowing the computer to "flip coins" can lead to elegant and practical algorithms and data structures. Learn the answers to questions such as: How do data structures like heaps, hash tables, bloom filters, and balanced search trees actually work, anyway? How come QuickSort runs so fast? What can graph algorithms tell us about the structure of the Web and social networks? Did my 3rd-grade teacher explain only a suboptimal algorithm for multiplying two numbers?

Prerequisites: How to program in at least one programming language (like C, Java, or Python); familiarity with proofs, including proofs by induction and by contradiction; and some discrete probability, like how to compute the probability that a poker hand is a full house. At Stanford, a version of this course is taken by sophomore, junior, and senior-level computer science majors.

You can learn more or register for the course here.

Free Online Course on Software As A Service (Saas) from Stanford University

Armando Fox, Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and David Patterson, Pardee Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley and  current Director of the Parallel Computing Lab will be taking a course on Software Engineering for Software as a Service in February 2012.

The course will teach the engineering fundamentals for long-lived software using the highly-productive Agile development method for Software as a Service (SaaS) using Ruby on Rails. Agile developers continuously refine and refactor a working but incomplete prototype until the customer is happy with result, with the customer offering continuous feedback. Agile emphasizes user stories to validate customer requirements; test-driven development to reduce mistakes; biweekly iterations of new software releases; and velocity to measure progress. We will introduce all these elements of the Agile development cycle, and go through one iteration by adding features to a simple app and deploying it on the cloud using tools like Github, Cucumber, RSpec, RCov, Pivotal Tracker, and Heroku.

Prerequisites for the course are: Programming proficiency in an object-oriented programming language such as Java, C#, C++, Python, or Ruby. Basic Unix command-line skills are helpful; we will provide a cheat sheet. You must also have a computer running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, or Solaris operating systems and running x86 or AMD64/Intel64 hardware on which you can install and run VirtualBox virtual machine. It should have at least 512 MB of memory, or at least 1 GB if running Windows. See

Recommended Textbook: "Engineering Long-Lasting Software: An Agile Approach Using SaaS and Cloud Computing," Beta Edition, by Armando Fox and David Patterson, to be available January 17, 2012.

You can register for the course here.

Free Online Course on Technology Entrepreneurship from Stanford University

Chuck Eesley (Professor in Stanford University's Management Science & Engineering group) will be taking a course on Technology Entrepreneurship in January 2012.

The class will mix in-depth case studies and research on the entrepreneurial process. How do you create a successful start-up? What is entrepreneurial leadership in a large firm? What are the differences between an idea and true opportunity? How does an entrepreneur form a team and gather the resources necessary to create a great enterprise? This and many more are areas that will be covered by Professor Chuck Eesley.

Register for the course here.

Free Online Course on Lean Startup by Steve Blank

I guess you know who Steve Blank is? In case you don't, Steve Blank is a serial entrepreneur and has been a founder or early employee at 8 startups, including 4 resulting in successful IPOs. The San Jose mercury news called him one of the 10 influencers in Silicon Valley.

In this course, you'll learn how to turn a great idea into a great company.

We now know that startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Large companies execute known business models. They use big company tools - business plans, income statements, revenue models, etc. to help organized their execution. In contrast startups search for a business model. And all the big company tools are irrelevant in the early days of a startup. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It's not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom, or how well you use the research library. The end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation. Instead you will be getting your hands dirty as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works.

You'll learn how to use a business model canvas to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, you'll see how agile development can help you rapidly iterate your product to build something customers will use and buy. Each week will be a new adventure as you test each part of your business model.

The course starts in February 2012.

Register for the Lean Startup Online course by Steve Blank here

Free Online Course on Probabilistic Graphical Models from Stanford University

Professor Daphne Koller of Stanford University (Rajeev Motwani Professor in the School of Engineering), will be instructing a free online course in Probabilistic Graphical Models.

In this class, you will learn the basics of the PGM representation and how to construct them, using both human knowledge and machine learning techniques; you will also learn algorithms for using a PGM to reach conclusions about the world from limited and noisy evidence, and for making good decisions under uncertainty. The class covers both the theoretical underpinnings of the PGM framework and practical skills needed to apply these techniques to new problems.

Topics include:
(i) The Bayesian network and Markov network representation, including extensions for reasoning over domains that change over time and over domains with a variable number of entities;
(ii) reasoning and inference methods, including exact inference (variable elimination, clique trees) and approximate inference (belief propagation message passing, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods);
(iii) learning methods for both parameters and structure in a PGM;
(iv) using a PGM for decision making under uncertainty. The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you'll also learn how to apply PGM methods to computer vision, text understanding, medical decision making, speech recognition, and many other areas.

You can register for the course here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Showcase your Nokia N9 Apps on this Facebook page

Alessandro, popularly referred to as biskero, recently created a Facebook page for developers to showcase their apps, games etc and to get news about N9 related stuffs. Become a fan of the page to become a part of this.

Video: Kevin Lynch interviews Stephen Elop

Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO interviews Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO in the video below:

Google kills off 7 more products including Wave

Google has announced that it is dropping seven more products in an effort to simplify its range of services. This is the third time that Google has announced a cull of several of its products at the same time after they had failed to take off. This move was announced in their official blog.

"We're in the process of shutting a number of products which haven't had the impact we'd hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward... Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience" - Urs Holzle (Google's vice president of operations).
The seven latest products earmarked for the chop are as follows:

  1. Google Wave - an attempt to combine email and instant messaging for real-time collaboration
  2. Google Bookmarks List - a service which allowed users to share bookmarks with friends
  3. Google Friends Connect - allowed webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a snippet of code
  4. Google Gears - much-hyped effort to maintain web browser functionality when working offline
  5. Google Search Timeline - a graph of historical query results
  6. Knol - a Wikipedia-style project, which aimed to improve web content
  7. Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal - a project which aimed to find ways to improve solar power 
It has now given details about when the switch-offs will occur. For example Wave will be retired in April, and Knol content will be taken offline in October.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nokia Lumia 800 - In-depth Video Documentary

We had one simple goal “to build a better phone. Something that seamlessly fuses the best industrial design with the best software and user experience.”
Nokia Conversations goes behind the scenes with some of the key designers responsible for the creation of the Nokia Lumia 800, in order to bring you this exclusive in-depth video documentary. It’s as much a story about collaboration and taking risks as it is about design. At 8-minutes long, it’s not your ordinary bite-size online video, but it is packed with heaps of fascinating insights and exclusive access to never-before-seen materials. So it’s worth setting aside a little time if you’re interested in discovering how the Nokia Lumia 800 was born.

What if EVERY part of your next phone was a touchscreen?

Nokia GEM

Nokia GEM perspective

The picture above shows the new Nokia GEM concept device. What if every part of your next phone was a touchscreen? Nokia GEM revolutionizes mobile design by turning the entire handset into a touchscreen, as the video below shows:

The concept device was launched on the 25th anniversary of the Nokia Research Center, the GEM device changes appearance from camera to phone or map according to the function selected by the user. It could even display advertising messages on the back of the phone.

The back and front are also interactive, making it possible to pinch and zoom the rear of the phone while getting a constant clear view of the image on the front or you could have the same image at differing zoom factors on either side of the phone, allowing you to flip between a detailed map view and large-scale area, for example.

Senior Design Manager, Jarkko Saunamäki, who led the team which invented GEM, told Nokia Conversations awhile ago that “Now, when you launch an application like the camera, your mobile phone still looks like a mobile phone, but with GEM, when you launch the camera application, the whole phone looks like a camera. You can have one image wrapped around the whole device or one on each side, as demonstrated in the stylish video animation when the woman user photographs some wallpaper and adopts it as the design for her phone casing. There is no default appearance. If you play a lot of games it will usually resemble a games pad.

“It’s called GEM because polished precious stones have several sides. Also it’s a concept which is like a raw gem, but it needs to be polished to become a real product.”

Footage also shows that users could have the option of carrying advertising on the back of the phone while making calls, in return for a discount on bills. Another scene shows the user altering the mood of her avatar. You also see interaction between phones when one user pours contact details and photos into the woman’s  phone.

The phone could also display 3D images allowing viewing from all angles, allowing the woman user to take a cheeky peek up a man’s towel by tilting the phone.

Nokia HumanForm - Incredible footage of the mobile concept that’s more like a fish than a phone

Nokia HumanForm
Nokia HumanForm was created in a joint effort to translate the most promising new nanotechnologies into meaningful user experience, prototype those for decision making; and transfer and set aspiration for future portfolio. The project is a key to bring significant user experience benefits to the market thereby creating mindshare and value share through nanotechnology enabled experiences.

Nokia HumanForm is a visionary solution for a dynamically flexible device beyond touch screen and voice communication where technology is invisible and intuition takes over.

Natural interactions are enabled with a kinetic user interface. The concept and a follow-up Nokia Kinetic Device prototype were launched in Nokia World 2011.

James Cameron debuts "Titanic" in 3D

Hollywood director James Cameron debuted the trailer for the upcoming 3D version of the huge movie hit, “Titanic,” on Facebook earlier this week, where he also delivered an intro. Below is the trailer for the re-release, coming out next April. The movie currently has 10 million+ fans on Facebook, which is probably a reason for the re-release in 3D.

Apple Says There’s $2.7 Billion at Stake in German Motorola Mobility Suit

If a German court should rule that Apple violates Motorola Mobility’s patent on synchronizing email accounts, the company says its stands to lose a lot of money — money that Motorola would then be on the hook for, should the injunction later be overturned.

Nintendo Builds a Real-Life Mario Kart

Nintendo recently built two of the vehicles in the game Mario Kart 7, which will launch on the 4th of December on the 3DS, the portable game system from Nintendo that displays games in 3D. The real-life replicas of the classic Mario kart and Luigi Bumble V Kart were built with the help of West Coast Customs, the auto body shop known for the MTV series "Pimp My Ride". The karts will be on display at the LA Auto Show, Nov. 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and there is a contest for a chance to bring one home, via GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards program. To win, PowerUp members must make a purchase or trade in a game at GameStop in December.

Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, posing in Luigi’s Kart

Mario’s Kart

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Report: Macs now have 5% of global market share

According to AllThingsD
Apple has finally made it past the PC market’s “magic 5 percent mark.”

Augmented Reality Nokia N9 site

Here is a cool interactive website explaining how Nokia N9 works.

Harvard University Free Courses

Harvard Extension School is offering free course audios and videos in Computer Science. The course, Intensive Introduction to Computer Science, is an introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science. Topics include algorithms (their design, implementation, and analysis); software development (abstraction, encapsulation, data structures, debugging, and testing); architecture of computers (low-level data representation and instruction processing); computer systems (programming languages, compilers, operating systems, and databases); and computers in the real world (networks, websites, security, forensics, and cryptography). The course teaches students how to think more carefully and how to solve problems more effectively. Problem sets involve extensive programming in C as well as PHP and JavaScript. The Quicktime and MP3 formats are available for download, or you can play the Flash version directly.

jQuery Mobile 1.0 is finally out!

jQuery Mobile 1.0 Final

jQuery Mobile v1.0 is finally out. In this version, all the target platforms are supported: Apple iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 - 7.5, Blackberry 4.x, 5, 6 & 7, Blackberry Playbook, Palm WebOS, Firebox Mobile (Beta), Opera Mobile 11.0, Meego 1.2, Kindle 3 and Fire, Chrome Desktop 11-15, Firefox Desktop 4-8, Internet Explorer 7-9, Opera Desktop 10-11, Opera Mini (5.0-6.0), Nokia Symbian^3, and all older smartphone platforms and feature phones. That's quite a handful of platform support. By using a progressive enhancement approach, even less capable devices can still access the content and functionality of a jQuery Mobile site. This broad compatibility gives you the ability to reach many billions of people.

The performance of this version has also been improved, there's an increase of 30 - 50% page enhancement time across all platforms at a minimum compared to RC2. Also with this release, they've just created ThemeRoller for Mobile tool, which is a web-based tool that makes it super simple to create custom themes without writing a single line of CSS. Drag and drop colors to create your masterpiece, then share it via URL or download a ZIP file with your custom theme stylesheet, ready for production (or additional tweaking).

The resource section has been organized to provide you with tons of plugins, extensions, frameworks, tools, articles, tutorials and lots more. You can download the 1.0 ZIP here, or fork it on Github.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Facebook User-Tracking Secrets

Facebook Tracking
USA Today‘s Byron Acohido was able to compile the most complete picture to date of how the social network keeps tabs on its 800 million+ users.

  • Facebook doesn’t track everybody the same way. It uses different methods for members who have signed in and are using their accounts, members who are logged-off and non-members.
  • The first time you arrive at any page, the company inserts cookies in your browser. If you sign up for an account, it inserts two types of cookies. If you don’t set up an account, it only inserts one of the two types.
  • These cookies record every time you visit another website that uses a Facebook Like button or other Facebook plugin — which work together with the cookies to note the time, date and website being visited. Unique characteristics that identify your computer are also recorded.
  • Facebook keeps logs that record your past 90 days of activity. It deletes entries older than 90 days.
  • If you are logged into a Facebook account, your name, email address, friends and all of the other data in your Facebook profile is also recorded.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Android Is Totally Blowing Away The Competition

Android now has an amazing 52.5% of the global smartphone market. It's stealing share from every other smartphone operating system other than iOS, which is basically flat.

Source: BusinessInsider

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review

Here's the review of the first smartphone to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

Google Unveils Android-based Online Music Store

Google has just launched an online music store in the US, which will allow devices running its Android software to buy, store and stream MP3 files.

EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and 23 independent labels with the exception of Warner Music Group are providing content to create a library of 13 million songs.

This new service is being integrated with the Google+ social network. Users will be able to share songs with their Circles contacts who can listen to the full length of the tracks one time without making a purchase.

Songs range in price from 69 cents (44p) to $1.29 and come without DRM copy-protection. The search giant is also offering a different track free for download every day.

The rapper Busta Rhymes - who was at the launch event - is debuting his new studio album on the Android store. The Rolling Stones and Coldplay are offering previously unreleased live performances.

Google is also hoping to link with smaller artists through its new Artist Hub. Musicians can add their own page for a $25 fee and set their own prices. Google will take a 30% share of each sale.

Google is adding music to its app, video and book sales on the Android Market. They are yet to discuss any plans to offer Google Music outside the US.

They sure would with time.

It's Dangerous to think of Kindle Fire as an alternative to the iPad

David Pogue of New York Times had this to say about Kindle Fire’s a cross between a Kindle and an iPad, a more compact Internet and video viewer at a great price. But at the moment, it needs a lot more polish; if you’re used to an iPad or “real” Android tablet, its software gremlins will drive you nuts.
Then again, Amazon tends to keep chipping away at the clunkiness of its 1.0 creations until it sculptures a hit. Or, as they say in the technology business: “If you don’t like the current crop of e-readers, just wait a minute.”
He also went on to speak about the different available models of the Kindle, with the catch being their prices:
This new Kindle is now so small, it fits in a pants pocket. But again, the news here is the price: $80.
The second new model, the Kindle Touch, is almost identical — but instead of navigating by clicking a four-way controller, you can just touch the screen. It’s beautifully done. This model, too, is available with ads ($100) or without ($140).
The 3G Kindle Touch is the only e-book reader on the market that can go online over the cellular airwaves, wherever you happen to be. It’s $150 with ads, $190 without. 
You might be thinking that the Kindle Fire is incredible for the price tag of $199; yes it is, but before you go thinking it's like an iPad for $200, that would a very dangerous comparison. Before you go ahead to purchase one, think of what you actually want from the device. The bottom-line according to David is this:
For one thing, the Fire is not nearly as versatile as a real tablet. It is designed almost exclusively for consuming stuff, particularly material you buy from Amazon, like books, newspapers and video. It has no camera, microphone, GPS function, Bluetooth or memory-card slot.
Now, choosing an e-reader is a big decision. Each company’s books are in its own proprietary format, and you can never sell or donate them. So if you choose, for example, a Kindle over a Nook from Barnes & Noble, the price for changing your mind will be very high. 
Walt Mossberg, of AllThingsD had this to say:
The Fire’s hardware is plain and clunky. It’s a thick black box with zero style. There isn’t even a volume control or a physical home button, and the on/off button is a small thing hidden inconveniently on the bottom edge.
In the quest to meet the $199 price point, Amazon omitted many features common on other tablets. There are no cameras or microphone, no GPS for determining your location, no Bluetooth for headsets or wireless speakers and no included earbuds. The Fire is Wi-Fi only—it has no built-in cellular connectivity. There isn’t even an included cable for connecting to a computer, something you may want to do to get photos into the Fire, since Amazon lacks an online photo service.
There is just 8 gigabytes of memory, half the total of the base iPad or the Nook Tablet, and only about 6 gigabytes of that is available to store content. If you want to download movies, you won’t be able to fit many into the Fire.
A big selling point for the Fire is a supposedly speedy Web browser called Silk, which splits the task of fetching Web pages between the tablet and Amazon’s super-fast cloud computers. The latter can cache common, static page elements and learn which sites and pages people most often use, so they are pre-fetched and ready to go when needed.
However, in my tests, the Fire’s Silk browser was noticeably slower than the iPad 2′s browser.
This pattern was consistent over scores of Web pages, and on four Wi-Fi networks and two different Fire devices.
I found it easy to buy, stream, download and use content on the Fire. Reading books was a pleasure, as on any Kindle. Movies and TV shows looked good, and music played quickly and well, despite weak speakers. In general, I found magazines and newspapers looked better on the iPad, mostly due to the larger screen. 
In my standard tablet battery test, playing back to back videos with the wireless turned on and the screen at 75% brightness, the Fire lasted 5 hours, 47 minutes, or less than 60% of the iPad 2′s performance on the same test, and about an hour less than the Nook Tablet’s performance. In more general use, I didn’t find myself worrying about the battery. But the Fire requires charging much more often than the traditional Kindle.
So if you are considering buying a Kindle Fire as an alternative to the iPad, that wouldn't cut it at all. Once it's not an iPad, it's not the same thing as an iPad. That might change in the nearest future, but as at now, that is simply it! The price point of $199 for Kindle Fire might justify your getting one to consume content with, from Amazon, but anything asides that will only leave you miserable.

Want to become an internet billionaire? Move to Africa.

 David Rowan of Wired Magazine recently wrote a piece on where to move to if you want to be extremely wealthy in the next five years. If you don't believe this, read this:
David Cameron is so keen to give British entrepreneurs a foothold that he recently took a high-level delegation of corporate CEOs to Nigeria and South Africa to highlight "one of the greatest economic opportunities on the planet". The trip -- featuring the bosses of firms such as Barclays and Bombardier, Vodafone and Virgin Atlantic -- was hailed by Downing Street as "a historic visit to a continent with a trillion dollar economy and the potential, according to the IMF, to grow faster than Brazil over the next five years". Much of that growth will come from startups that bring the mobile internet to businesses and consumers who have until now been offline. That's why Cameron's team invited along the British founders of red-hot mobile-money business Monitise, a clever text-messaging system called FrontlineSMS -- and your own Digital Life columnist with his trusty notebook.

It was, admittedly, a surreal four-day schedule -- taking in South Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa -- that, at the last moment, was squeezed to just two days and two countries (well, there was the small matter of a domestic phone-hacking crisis to distract the PM's attention). But that was long enough to get a sense of the extraordinary opportunities -- at a time when McKinsey and Ernst & Young are forecasting that $150 billion will flow into Africa by 2015, and that consumer spending will reach $1.4 trillion by 2020. No wonder Helios Investment Partners could recently raise a $900 million fund specifically targeting the continent.

So where could you make your own tech-based millions? A few obvious markets primed for explosive growth:
  1. Mobile money
  2. E-commerce
  3. Business directories
  4. Health
  5. Leapfrog tech
 As Cameron said in Lagos, "Which continent has six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world? Africa is transforming in a way no-one thought possible 20 years ago…and suddenly a whole new future seems within reach."

Why shouldn't you have a profitable role in that future?

Chelsea pays £2m for 14-year-old Oluwaseyi Ojo

 Chelsea have agreed to pay a staggering £2million to make an MK Dons youth-team player the most expensive 14-year-old in football.

Teenage sensation Oluwaseyi Ojo is viewed as one of the hottest prospects in English football, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City all having tracked the youngster.

But Chelsea have won the race to sign the midfielder after making three offers for Ojo while he was playing for England Under 16s against Northern Ireland at Chesterfield on Wednesday.

The teenager was introduced as a half-time substitute and made an impact after two minutes, setting up Mason Bennett's second as England secured a 3-1 win.

The impressive cameo sparked an incredible series of bids from Chelsea during the game.

Knowing that scouts from the country's other top clubs were also at the game, they made three bids in 45 minutes.

MK Dons rejected the opening two offers before agreeing a package understood to be worth an initial £1.5million, plus another £500,000 in add-ons.

You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kindle Fire has been rooted and source code released

Is the Kindle Fire just a BlackBerry PlayBook with a big Kindle logo imprinted on its back? iFixit recently did a teardown of Kindle Fire to see what's crammed inside. If you want to experiment with the Kindle Fire, the source code for the tablet is now available for download.

iPod inventor Tony Fadell explains his high-tech, smartphone-inspired thermostat

Tony Fadell, the iPod Inventor explains his high-tech, smartphone-inspired thermostat in the video by the Verge below:

Matias Duarte on Why Android doesn't use Helvetica

Matias Duarte, Android design chief, speaks on why Android doesn't use Helvetica.

Android design chief addresses the face-unlock controversy

Android design chief, Matias Duarte, recently addressed the face-unlock issue while speaking with the Verge.

Learn iPhone/iPad Application Development for free courtesy of Stanford University

If you are interested in learning iOS app development, the instructors at Stanford University are offering a course in iOS 5 focused on iPhone Application Development. The course is offered for free and you can take the course without actually being a student of Stanford. The course is available on iTunes U.

Throughout the course, students will develop several iPhone and iPad apps that help automate tasks in their day-to-day life including games and social networking apps.

Before taking the iPhone Application Development class there are two prerequisites you must complete, Programming Methodology and Programming Abstractions, which are also available on iTunes.

It's worth checking out if you are interested in developing iOS apps.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Java Magazine November/December 2011 Issue now available

The November/December 2011 issue of Java Magazine is now available for download. You can as well read it in your browser if you so desire.

Appcelerator/IDC Q4 2011 Mobile Developer Report now available.

In a survey recently carried out by Appcelerator, findings reveal that Amazon’s new Kindle Fire edged Samsung Galaxy Tab as the leading Android Tablet in North America, on par with interest for the iPad prior to its launch in April 2010, and second only to the Galaxy Tab globally with developers. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 also decisively moved ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry OS to become the clear number three mobile OS behind iOS and Android. Appcelerator and IDC also continued their research into how companies are making the move from the web to mobile.

Here are the top-line findings of the report:

  • Amazon’s new Kindle Fire ignites developer interest.
  • Price is the leading reason for interest in the Kindle Fire.
  • When considering Kindle Fire’s potential drawbacks, fragmentation and lack of features like camera and geo-location were the two top concerns cited by developers.
  • Windows Phone 7 separated from the pack to become the clear number three mobile platform this quarter.
  • Microsoft is enjoying symbiotic success with Nokia. 
  • There’s now more interest in Nokia’s new Lumia Windows Phone lineup than RIM’s smartphones.
  • HTML5 continues to keep developer interest.
  • Connected TV app development interest continues to slide.
  • iOS continues to reign at number one in developer interest levels.
  • Android phones fell nearly 4 points to 83% while tablets fell nearly 6 points to 68%.

Ice Cream Sandwich Face Unlock feature compromised.

Android 4.0's new facial recognition to unlock phone feature can be fooled with the photo of the phone's owner.

Besides Flash on the mobile, Adobe is also abandoning Flex.

Just a few days after improper communication of the demise of Flash on the mobile, Adobe has just shown that they wouldn't directly be responsible for the development of Flex, going forward. They've decided to abandon Flex for HTML5, a little too early.

Deepa Subramaniam, the former Product Manager on the Flex team primarily focusing on the Flex SDK and current Senior Product Manager & Engineering Manager for Adobe Monocle, recently answered some questions regarding Adobe's plans around the Flex SDK, and from her responses, it became clear that Adobe will be abandoning active development of the Flex product line not very long from now.
Is Adobe still committed to Flex?
Yes. We know Flex provides a unique set of benefits for enterprise application developers.  We also know that the technology landscape for application development is rapidly changing and our customers want more direct control over the underlying technologies they use. Given this, we are planning to contribute the Flex SDK to an open source foundation in the same way we contributed PhoneGap to the Apache Foundation when we acquired Nitobi. 
Flex SDK has always been open-source, so I wonder why you're just about contributing it again to open-source. It seems to be an indirect way of saying the community will determine it's future, going forward.
Does Adobe recommend we use Flex or HTML5 for our enterprise application development?
In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. 
Will previously discussed Flex roadmap features be released?
The Flex roadmap will be determined by the governing board once it’s been established. We plan to contribute framework features previously highlighted as part of Adobe’s Flex roadmap, into this new project. 
So, what’s next? 
We are close to wrapping up development on Flex 4.6 SDK and it will be released on November 29th 2011. Following this, we will begin the process of moving to the open development model described above.
We believe these changes to the Flex SDK development model will ensure that the broader community can continue to use and directly enhance Flex for many years to come. 
 An abandoned technology is good as dead. You can read the Q&A here, as well as the interesting comments.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sixth-grade iOS developer starts school app club, wows in TEDx video

Some elementary school kids play video games or ride bikes with their friends. Sixth-grader Thomas Suarez builds iOS apps — and has started a club at his school to encourage others to do the same.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

10 incredible facts of the most popular social network.

800 million users, 11.7% of global penetration: 10 incredible facts of the most popular social network.

Facebook Facts 2011
Source WoorkUp

Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Meego to Tizen

From Meego to Tizen 
Eight months after Nokia embarrassed Intel by withdrawing support for the MeeGo project, Intel has followed suit. On 27th September, Intel and Samsung announced the birth of a new mobile platform called Tizen. After only 19 months, MeeGo has been left parentless, and appears to be on life support. Tizen is, in fact, a successor of the Samsung Linux Platform, a reference platform of the LiMo operator consortium, with some components taken from the MeeGo stack.

The scenario is clear.  Quite unfortunate.

Mobile Developer's Guide to the Galaxy, 9th Edition, now available

The 9th Edition of the Mobile Developer's Guide to the Galaxy by Enough Software, the creators of the popular JavaME framework, J2MEPolish is out for download. The guide provides an overview on the different mobile technologies and an in-depth view of programming across different platforms, from Android to iOS, to JavaME and Bada. Almost 20 writers contributed their know-how and outline their views on the pros and cons of different operating systems and development approaches. You can download your copy here.

Abandoning Flash on the mobile? Not really, but we're done with browser plug-in on mobile browsers - Adobe.

First, we are making bold moves like stopping the development of the browser plug-in on mobile browsers in favor of investing further in Flash-based apps packaged with AIR. Playing existing content sounds like a great idea on paper, but we know it doesn't always work that way -- you need to author for mobile and think for mobile, but from talking to customers and looking at content today, we realize that very few people are targeting the plug-in on mobile browsers.
We are not stepping out of the mobile space with Flash, we are just focusing on what makes sense and where Flash looks great, standalone apps with AIR.
Why not just call a spade a spade? Flash is dead on the mobile, period!

Adobe finally abandons Flash on mobile devices in favour of HTML5

“HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively,” Adobe VP Danny Winokur said in a clear reference to Apple’s rejection of Flash support on its dominant iOS devices: the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. “This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.
Steve Jobs was right after all.

A Brief Rant on the Future of interaction Design

So, here's a Vision Of The Future that's popular right now.

You can read the beautiful post in it's entirety here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Damn, 2 Million Polygons in Flash Player? Yes it can.

Flash is really stepping up its game in becoming a serious gaming platform. Muscle Jump pulls of 2 million polygons in Flash Player, right in your browser.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nokia Kinetic Device Demo

Nokia Kinetic Device demo

Nokia's research team is working on flexible displays and UIs. You can bend the screen to select, zoom, move between UI elements, and change the volume of music. It's crazy, wild, and as awesome as it looks to play with. See the video here

Nokia Lumia 800 review

Nokia Lumia 800

The Verge gives a very comprehensive review of this much touted phone.
As usual with AMOLED, some users will find the colors rendered a little too rich, though there's sadly no option to tone down saturation as there is on Samsung's Galaxy S II.
And for the Ecosystem, they've got this to say
The gravitational pull of Microsoft and Nokia's collective determination can reasonably be expected to produce the critical mass of good apps for Windows Phone to truly compete with the best — it's just that at this particular moment in time, it continues to lag. While closing the gap on Android and iOS, Windows Phone doesn't improve on them in any dramatic way. Its multitasking overview is good, the live tiles offer information more quickly and easily, and its calendar is arguably the best of the bunch, but those are small advantages. iOS still wins when I want to browse the web or check out a new app and Android is still the best platform for users of Google services.
All in all, here's the breakdown

I must really commend the Verge for this highly comprehensive review. It's as if they left nothing out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PhoneGap Day Videos now available

Brian Leroux talks about PhoneGap 2.0

Michael Brooks talks about how to architect for many screens

Dave Johnson talks about everything you need to know about PhoneGap Plugins

Kevin Griffin and Don Coleman from Chariot Solutions talk about the NFC PhoneGap Plugin

Pat Mueller from IBM talks about Debugging apps with Weinre

Laurent Hasson from RIM talks about how Blackberry is embracing Web Tech with WebWorks

Miku Jha from Worklight talks about how Worklight uses PhoneGap to create apps for the Enterprise

Lyle Garza demos DateVenture

Kris Zyp from SitePen talks about Dojo Mobile

Tim Caswall from HP talks about NodeJS on webOS

Jason Grigsby & Lyza Gardner from CloudFour talk about Starting with the Mobile Web

Bryce Curtis from IBM talks about IBM, PhoneGap and the Enterprise

Brian Fling from PinchZoom, David Kaneda from Sencha, and Joni Rustulka cover the process of discovery and design in the mobile space

You can checkout the PhoneGap Youtube Channel here

How to bring back the Plus in search recently killed by Google

DuckDuckGo, a one-man project by Gabriel Weinberg is an alternative and is quickly becoming the go-to search engine for discriminating nerds. It was created 4 years ago by Gabriel and has been solely maintained by him until recently when he accepted funding from Union Square Ventures and hired his first full-time employee. It has a vast collection of powerful search modifiers and maintains a good stance against tracking and personalization which google is well known for.

Leaving behind Google search for others is a great challenge to many including me, who would first think Google before Bing or any other search engine, and for people like this, there are other solutions. FindErr is a simple proxy made by a pseudonymous hacker that adds the necessary quotes to every search before shuttling the user off to Google.

The other solutions which seem not to be in your normal way of doing things is to use this userscript, created by electrotype for Hacker News. Chrome users can simply just click the link to install the script while Firefox users who already have the Greasemonkey plugin installed can also just click to install it; but for users who don't have Greasemonkey installed or don't know what it is, 
Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to HTML web page content on the DOMContentLoaded event, which happens immediately after it is loaded in the browser (also known as augmented browsing). As Greasemonkey scripts are persistent, the changes made to the web pages are executed every time the page is opened, making them effectively permanent for the user running the script. Greasemonkey can be used for adding new functions to web pages (for example, embedding price comparisons within shopping sites), fixing rendering bugs, combining data from multiple webpages, and numerous other purposes. [Wikipedia]
You can install Greasemonkey here before installing the script.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Huawei U8180 Android phone goes for only N19,000 on Etisalat network.

You've heard so much hype about iPhone or Android but have never really gotten to use any of these devices, Etisalat Nigeria gives you a good offer to get a pretty decent Android phone for just N18,999 and it's exclusive to their network only. That is not all, you also enjoy special offers including:

  • Free monthly 50MB for 4 months (Free 200MB in total)
  • Cheapest call rates of 20kobo/sec with no access fee for first 4 months and for subsequent months on purchase of consistent data plans.
Here are some of it's features:
  • Android 2.2 Smartphone
  • 2.8 inch full capacity touch screen
  • Accelerometer function
  • HSDPA of up to 7.2 Mbps
  • Etisalat customized device(Hardware & Software)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth function, FM radio and GPS functionality
  • 3.2 MP camera.
  • Document viewer; word, excel, PDF, Adobe Flash.
Shelling out less than N20,000 for a decent Android phone as this, isn't a bad deal when you think of how much it costs to get the amazing ones like Samsung Galaxy S II which was offered to me for N105,000 at Slot recently, though MTN seems to offer the same S II for N90,000 I think.

But one thing of note is that the Etisalat Gaga Android phone is locked to their network :), which is pretty sad, but they all do this, so I wouldn't really say much about that.

Free browsing on Glo Network all day long

Recently acquired my 7th or 8th line, which is an MTN line by way and was quite undecided as to which of their packages to sign up for. I had to get a third MTN line as the second had an issue I couldn't contend with. Friends and family suggested I sign up for the MTN Friends and Family package but in the process of my deciding on the package to put on the new SIM, I discovered MTN had a package called Funlink reloaded that had free 4MB of data for use everyday between the hours of 12:30am - 4:30am and I was disappointed in MTN usual, because they've been known to rarely give out things for FREE as such. Anytime they say they're giving out something for free, you had better be watchful and read between the lines. Why would any reasonable person stay up late at night all because of 4MB free browsing? MTN should for once surprise us with their offerings. I'm not really an MTN basher, but I believe they should occasionally try to do things right for their customers. I do use their modem to browse as it's the best I've used so far in this country and I've been on the network for almost a year now and renew almost thrice a month, so I'm not really an hater as such.

Anyway, to go straight to the point of my post, some months ago, I got a notification from Glo when I did a 1000 naira recharge that I was given 200MB free internet to use at any time of the day and I was like wow, that's a good one coming from Glo, but what struck me was that I've been browsing for free since then up till now and I wondered if it was still on the 200MB data plan. I wasn't so sure because I browse more on my Macbook with my MTN modem than I do on my phones, so I thought I was still within the limit of 200MB, only to read a post on Mobility blog a few days ago and discovered that Glo actually doled out GBs of data for people to use on their phones. MTN can you beat that?

I occasionally get charged if I use the wrong access point to browse on my E51, but I know better now which access point to use when I'd rather not be charged for my browsing. The way it works is really simple, load N500 or N1000 recharge cards and you receive free bonus data to browse with either you are aware of it or not. The trick is to ensure that you use Glo’s Glodirect configuration settings while browsing. If you have all sorts of access points on your phone, delete them, remove your SIM and reinsert it to have new configuration sent to you. But if you'd rather not delete them and just add new access points, you can use this setting:

Configuration name: Glodirect
APN:                         glosecure
Username:                 gprs
Password:                  gprs

So you don't have to wait till 12:30am to use 4MB of free internet on MTN, go get a Glo line if you don't have one. And for you Glo, thanks for this wonderful offer. Anyway, so much for the free publicity for Glo, I hope you do more as regards the quality of calls on your network as it can be frustrating at-times and it's seriously pissing me off after 4+ years on being on your network and I'm already thinking of making MTN my primary line, if solely for quality calls.

In case you get stuck in the process of enjoying the free data Glo offers on their network right now, head off to this post and read the comments to see how others overcame their own issue. All the best in your quest.

Google Reader Redesign: A Disaster

A few days ago when I logged into my reader account and saw the new visual changes, I hated Google immediately for it. I spend more time within reader than I do on Facebook these days, and even of Twitter sometimes, but the new redesign of reader repels me more than the engagement it brings. I stand to believe that just as it was discovered than some Google execs don't use G+, the same also applies to whoever did the redesign because reading in reader these days is not soothing at all. It tires the person reading easily and makes me just scan through and close the window immediately. I'm not alone on this anyway; Brian Shih,  a former Project Manager on Google Reader also shares the same thought with me
In the name of visual consistency, Google has updated the visual style to match Gmail, Calendar and Docs. I have nothing against visual consistency (and in fact, this something that Google should be doing), but it's as if whoever made the update did so without ever actually using the product to, you know, read something.
Kevin Fox, a former lead designer for Google Reader also disagrees with the new redesign and is offering his services to Google to help enhance and restore the utility of Google Reader, while keeping it in line with Google’s new visual standards requirements. He's even willing to go an extra mile and put his current projects on hold to ensure that Google Reader keeps its place as the premier news reader.
And so I put my resources where my mouth is. As the former lead designer for Google Reader, I offer my services to Google, rejoining for a three month contract in order to restore and enhance the utility of Google Reader, while keeping it in line with Google’s new visual standards requirements. I will put my current projects on hold to ensure that Google Reader keeps its place as the premier news reader, and raises the bar of what a social newsreader can be.
 I know it's all about Google+ that these is happening; just as Google killed it's other plus, which was immensely useful for search, all because of Google+. I know the baseline matters, but keeping your users or customers happy also does.
Google+ is the fastest-growing social network in history, with 40 million users since its June launch. To help them focus, Google's quietly shuttered a number of products, removing iGoogle and Google Reader's social features and closing Google Labs, Buzz, Jaiku and Code Search in the last two weeks alone.
But in doing so, they also killed off one of its oldest and most useful tools, from its most popular product.
On Wednesday, Google retired a longer-standing "plus": the + operator, a standard bit of syntax used to force words and phrases to appear in search results. The operator was part of Google since its launch in 1997 and built into every search engine since.
I hope Google doesn't kill off everything besides Google+ with this act of killing everything in its path they've embarked upon.

So Google, some of us seriously dig the old reader, even though it could do with some improvements, but I believe you don't have to force G+ down our throats like you're doing with almost everything. There are better ways to engage us than the way you're doing it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011