Category: Tools

StarCraft II announced by Blizzard

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OMG! Yesterday, at the Blizzard Invitational in Seoul, South Korea, Blizzard announced that they’re working on StarCraft II. If that doesn’t send shivers of unearthly delight through your spine, then you really need to go and read a bit more about the original Starcraft. In fact, why don’t you go out and buy it and spend the next few weeks losing yourself in the tightly balanced gameplay, the superb characters and one of the best control interfaces for real time strategy games ever (hint, use the keyboard shortcuts – they help). I can almost guarantee that the type of excitement the original generated in Korea will sweep the rest of the world with this next iteration. It’s definitely swept my apartment already!

Sun & Laszlo to bring OpenLaszlo (AKA Open Flash) to Java ME devices.

I found some interesting stats in the Sun / Laszlo Project “Orbit” announcement that there would be a version of OpenLaszlo for Java ME devices.  Here’s the quote:

Java™ Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) is the most ubiquitous application platform for embedded devices in the world, with more than 3.8 billion Java devices including 1.2 billion Java technology-powered phones. It provides a robust, flexible environment for applications running on a broad range of devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs, TV set-top boxes, and printers.

Wow. They must be including a few of the Java-capable machines in that bunch as well, but anyway you look at it, 1.2 billion is an enormous number of potential devices to run interactive applications.

Using Mpowerplayer to demo Java ME (J2ME) apps online

Do you write Java ME applications? Want to display the results of your work to visitors like that fancy emulator that comes with Mobile.Processing. Well, Michael Powers (developer of the great MPowerplayer MIDP 2.0 SDK for OS X) has developed a free web emulator you can use in your site. Here’s how in three easy steps:

1. Upload your application’s .JAD and .JAR files to a directory on your website. Make sure you set the MIDlet-Jar-URL property in the JAD file to the full URL of where your JAR file will live. I put mine in https://uberthings.com/mobile/code/1/, so mine looks like this: MIDlet-Jar-URL: https://uberthings.com/mobile/code/1/AwesomeMIDlet.jar.

2. Create a page or a hyperlink which links to your JAD file like the one above.

3. Change your hyperlink to point to the MPowerplayer Demo player by removing the http://, adding http://webstart.mpowerplayer.com/, and appending .jnlp to the end. So my link above now looks something like this:

http://webstart.mpowerplayer.com/uberthings.com/mobile/code/1/AwesomeMIDlet.jad.jnlp

Click here to see it in action.

Bam! You’re done.

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Chumby Devices Handed Out at Foo

Michael Arrington from Techcrunch writes about an interesting new hackfriendly mobile device called the Chumby.
Chumby Devices were handed out at Foo Camp to about 100 lucky Foos (I’m looking at you, Raffel) to prod, poke, develop world changing applications and generally hack to pieces. I’m not going reprint the technical specs verbatim, but the most interesting thing for me is the input methods – touchscreen or squeeze sensors on the casing let you interact directly with this guy, no buttons, keys or mice to get in the way.

Practically nipping at the heels of Synaptics touch screen cell phone prototype announcement, it definitely feels like there will be a fair amount of mobile/portable devices with gestural control interfaces in the near future. Now if only Synaptics would hand out some of those cell phones for student projects…