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The Duke lives on, a history of Duke Nukem Forever

September 13th, 2010 No comments

Duke come get some!An interesting article tracking The Death and Rebirth of Duke Nukem Forever was posted on ArsTechnica recently, well worth a read – or at least a watch of the trailer from 1998!

Here’s to hoping 2011 is the year of the Duke. Hail to the king baby!

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Think this is funny? Think this is some kind of mother flipping joke? Mother flippers think everything’s a mother flipping joke.

July 28th, 2010 No comments

Google Nexus update Froyo officially available!

June 30th, 2010 1 comment

Quick note that the official release of Froyo (Android 2.2) is finally trickling down to Google Nexus One users. You’ll get it by the end of the week if not already. You can also download the officially signed release and update via your SD card alternatively.

UPDATE (01/07): The link above is for updating from the Google-IO Froyo release to the final.

The full OTA release is here:
http://android.clients.google.com/packages/passion/signed-passion-ota-42745.dc39ca1f.zip

The update from Froyo Google-IO to Froyo-OTA:
http://android.clients.google.com/packages/passion/signed-passion-FRF83-from-FRF50.38d66b26.zip

  1. Rename the signed ZIP file to “update.zip” and upload it to your SD Card.
  2. Power off your Nexus device.
  3. Turn it on with the “Volume Down” button pressed.
  4. When the boot loader appears, select “Recovery” using the Volume Up/Down keys to navigate and the Power button to select.
  5. Once the Nexus has rebooted, the screen will display an exclamation mark with Android. Press and hold down Power and Volume Up, it’ll take a bit of time to register.
  6. Navigate to “Apply SDCard:update.zip” and wait for the verification to complete and flash your phone.
  7. After a bit of time the phone will reboot and launch your cultured Froyo release.
  8. Verify by going to Settings > About Phone. The build number should be FRF83.
  9. Bon Appetit!

As mentioned in my previous post from a couple of months back, this release packs a bit of punch! Yum!

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Google opens up VP8 with WebM Project

May 20th, 2010 2 comments

You kind of knew it was going to happen but the mighty Google has open-sourced On2′s VP8 codec and set it free (in the form of a BSD-style license). Don’t forget to read an intro to the WebM VP8 SDK and get the code (the files). Some of the companies backing it and the ideas behind WebM are posted on the first blog entry.

So what is WebM?

WebM includes:

  • VP8, a high-quality video codec we are releasing today under a BSD-style, royalty-free license
  • Vorbis, an already open source and broadly implemented audio codec
  • a container format based on a subset of the Matroska media container

Wonder what MSFT and Apple are going to do? In either case, interesting times ahead for video.

Oh hai, I almost forgot, from their FAQ, some interesting points – besides the Licensing bits.

If I have a video card that accelerates video playback, will it accelerate VP8?

The performance of VP8 is very good in software, and we’re working closely with many video card and silicon vendors to add VP8 hardware acceleration to their chips.

Will WebM files play on my TV, set-top box, PVR, etc.?

Stay tuned! The WebM community is working with hardware manufacturers to bring WebM support to a wide range of devices.

When will other Google products support WebM and VP8?

WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release (currently planned for Q4, 2010). We expect many other Google products to adopt WebM and VP8 as they prioritize it with their other product requirements. Keep an eye on the WebM blog for announcements.

Man, Google rocks!

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The Gospel according to Jobs: Thoughts on Flash

May 3rd, 2010 2 comments

Got to give it up for Steve Jobs, he responds to his followers when things are a muck in his church. But putting aside my dislike for Apple antics, I do agree with most of his comments.

Flash was great in the early days, we had the birth of the XaoXao videos and interactivity on the web, but in the past 5-6 years, the hip cool designers of the world have transformed the browsing experience to be  fully Flash driven – which drives me nuts. Do they not realise that content would not be indexable by search engines nor useful for anyone who doesn’t have Flash? Whats more, I’m not after their fancy dancy effects, I’m after content – the exception of Flash being used for animation in addition to content (like slideshows, video presentations or marketing bits) or navigation around a site.

One recent (2006) example is the Eclipse home page, back when I got the AVN6000 installed, I wrote a little blurb on the (then) DeveloperFusion blogs and sure enough took the bulk of the traffic for the keyword AVN6000. The entire site was flash driven up until 2008 and no-one had indexed the content of the site.  As the unit was installed a week after release, it got quite a bit of traffic – nice for me.

I have FlashBlock installed to avoid uninvited flash content (especially annoying opening up a bunch of news articles and one of them is playing a video!) and have no _real_ need for Flash on my mobile devices – youtube works. Android 2.2 (Froyo) will ship with some flash support but it doesn’t excite me as much as the JIT functionality. Gotta JIT that, Gotta JIT that

There are a few points you can criticise Jobs on (HTML5, CSS+JS is no where near the functionality of Flex nor Silverlight – gasp! but it has time and momentum to grow) and everything about Apple is proprietary (sure they have a few good open-source projects – DTrace & WebKit) but their business nature to lock you into fruity loops. I still haven’t got a decent way of avoiding installing iTunes if I want to use an iPod which is the only device my (ironically) AVN6000 supports. As for the latter, overall a job well done I say and well justified move for not having Flash on their devices.

Just like to point out one thing having come from working with the On2 VP6/VP7 bits whilst at Vividas.

Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software.

What he’s talking about here is that Adobe utilises the On2 VP6 for their video rendering in Flash (as of Flash Player 8) and as such there’s no standard accelerator for the On2 codec (yet!) – its all CPU bound (and prior to 2008 quite intensive to decode!). The VP6 and VP7 codecs (though quite differently utilised) powered (or still powers) the Vividas format (could be different now, I left in 2008). Compared to Flash Player 7, the enhancements that On2 VP6 brought to Flash Player 8 effectively meant that a lot of media was encoded optimised for VP6. Newer versions of Flash Player 9 Update 3+ support h264 however.

Don’t forget that JavaFX also utilises VP6. While you’re there, checkout Gosling rant on Android and his thoughts on the Apple OS X Secret API hooks for the JVM.

With Google having purchased On2 Technologies earlier this year, there’s a bit of excitement and worry about the future of VP8 and whether it will become open-source and what will happen to h264 or Theora (a derivative of On2 VP3 which On2 open-sourced).

Having said all that, I can’t leave you without leaving something to ponder about when it comes to Apple and its many evangelists enthusiasts – maybe you’re one of them?

It’s funny because its true (!), don’t Think Different. Be different :)

I guess its time for Adobe to chime in and see their take on things, it better be something flashy!

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VirtualBox 3.2.0 Beta 1 Released!

May 3rd, 2010 No comments

Finally downloaded the latest 3.2.0 release of VirtualBox today and gave it ago!

From the forum post for this pre-release.

VirtualBox Version 3.2.0 is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, the product is now called Oracle VM VirtualBox and all references were changed without impacting compatibility.
  • Experimental support for Mac OS X guests
  • Memory ballooning to dynamically in- or decrease the amount of RAM used by a VM (64-bit hosts only) (see the manual for more information)
  • CPU hot-plugging for Linux (hot-add and hot-remove) and certain Windows guests (hot-add only) (see the manual for more information)
  • New Hypervisor features: with both VT-x/AMD-V on 64-bit hosts, using large pages can improve performance (see the manual for more information); also, on VT-x, unrestricted guest execution is now supported (if nested paging is enabled with VT-x, real mode and protected mode without paging code runs faster, which mainly speeds up guest OS booting)
  • Support for deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for multi-monitor guest setups in the GUI (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation
  • RDP video acceleration
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Guest Additions: added support for executing guest applications from the host system
  • OVF: enhanced OVF support with custom namespace to preserve settings that are not part of the base OVF standard

In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: fixed crash with the OpenSUSE 11.3 milestone kernel during early boot (software virtualization only)
  • VMM: fixed OS/2 guest crash with nested paging enabled
  • VMM: fixed Windows 2000 guest crash when configured with a large amount of RAM (bug 5800)
  • VMM: fixed massive display performance loss (AMD-V with nested paging only)
  • Linux/Solaris guests: PAM module for automatic logons added
  • GUI: guess the OS type from the OS name when creating a new VM
  • GUI: added VM setting for passing the time in UTC instead of passing the local host time to the guest (bug 1310)
  • GUI: fixed seamless mode on secondary monitors (bugs 1322 and 1669)
  • GUI: added –seamless and –fullscreen command line switches (bug 4220)
  • Settings: be more robust when saving the XML settings files
  • Mac OS X: rewrite of the CoreAudio driver and added support for audio input (bug 5869)
  • Mac OS X: external VRDP authentication module support (bug 3106)
  • Mac OS X: Moved the realtime dock preview settings to the VM settings (no global option anymore). Use the dock menu to configure it.
  • Mac OS X: added the VM menu to the dock menu
  • 3D support: fixed corrupted surface rendering (bug 5695)
  • 3D support: fixed VM crashes when using ARB_IMAGING (bug 6014)
  • 3D support: fixed assertion when guest applications uses several windows with single OpenGL context (bug 4598)
  • 3D support: added GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object support
  • 3D support: added OpenGL 2.1 support
  • 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (Mac OS X only) (bug 4653)
  • Added support for virtual high precision event timer (HPET)
  • LsiLogic: Fixed detection of hard disks attached to port 0 when using the drivers from LSI
  • NAT: fixed ICMP latency (non-Windows hosts only; bug 6427)
  • Keyboard/Mouse emulation: fixed handling of simultaneous mouse/keyboard events under certain circumstances (bug 5375)
  • Shared folders: fixed issue with copying read-only files (Linux guests only; bug 4890)
  • OVF: fixed mapping between two IDE channels in OVF and the one IDE controller in VirtualBox

Bootilicious! Download links are on the site (updated for BETA2).

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Visual Studio 2010 & Resharper 5 hit the interwebs.

April 13th, 2010 No comments

A little late on this one, but MSFT have released the long awaited Visual Studio 2010 release and JetBrains have also released ReSharper 5.

A full breakdown of Visual Studios are also available, not a huge fan of all these different SKUs to be honest. You can download a copy from your MSDN subscriptions now, or download the trial version (direct download), buy an upgrade from VS2008 or just download the .NET 4.0 runtime (48Mb).

I’ve spent the past 3 hours downloading from MSDN and its been crawling.

MUST.HAVE.PLINQ.FIX.

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Disputing a parking fine, Melbournian style!

April 7th, 2010 2 comments

Back when I was at Uni, a close friend (who drove a Toyota Supra) and I used to attract parking inspectors like magnets (needless to say, our girlfriends were not impressed!). There was very little we could do too, some of the inspectors would “camp out” and await our batch of cars (we had a system!) as we swapped each others cars in the hopes we don’t get fined, then BAM! fined. Anyway, those days are long gone. Most of the areas we parked are now permit zoned but these days, inspectors seem to be far more aggressive with fines with very little leniency.

Here’s a letter sent to the City of Melbourne disputing a fine, thought this was hilarious – and encouraging.

Australian Parking Find Dispute

Source: NextRound.net

Anyway, that was win for you and me kiddo. For the helpless people that need hope and encouragement, we may not win the war, but we’ve won the battle.

Add that to the collection of Aussie funnies! I wonder if there’s a “Parking Inspectors” forum like the OzLiberty forums, they all get together and marvel at each others fines – time to troll!

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Google shows the power of HTML 5, ports Quake II to run in browser!

April 3rd, 2010 No comments

The title says it all. Using the Jake2 port of Quake II (to Java) the bright sparks at Google have used GWT to bring Quake II to HTML 5.

We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. You can see the results in the video above — we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!

At first I thought it was an April fools joke, but as cruel as that may be, it wasn’t. Download the source and give it ago, I nearly fell of my chair.

At the moment you have to build from source and mess about a bit, but fear not, I followed the guide on OSNews by Kroc on our MacBook Pro and it worked quite well, yet to try it on Linux.

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xkcd goes CLI!

April 2nd, 2010 No comments

This is cool, xkcd is now command line based! Try it!

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