26/03/2008

Blackberry 8820 now supporting T-Mobile @Home HotSpot (= all you can eat phone calls for $20 per month)

This is another quick follow-up on yet another member of the T-Mobile Blackberry Hotspot team. The Blackberry 8820 has been released with T-Mobile Hotspot support.

ZD Net is reporting that this device is now available through T-Mobile. Effectively this means there is yet another sweet blackberry that will work through their $20 a month plan.

Specs for the 8820 include:
"quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (still no 3G love from T-Mobile), 802.11 a/b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 320×240 display and microSD card for expansion."
The Blackberry Curve already supports T-Mobile Hotspots [this is a follow-up article to my previous post last year on unlimited phone calls for $20 with the Blackberry Curve and T-Mobile].

Guide: More Syndicate Internet Video Sites / Apps

Online Video Content Aggregator:

www.ovguide.com -> this is basically a traffic stat app which tracks a bunch of submitted sites and presents them as aggregates to the masses. I use this when the sites I like get shut down – in order to find new sites. Lots of specialty sites like Simpsons Video, South Park etc. with ALL episodes. Good to dig around in the verticals listed in the left side tab.

Streaming Media Sites (some with download options):

www.joox.net -> this is a divx site and is worth keeping an eye on, stage6 shut down so this site basically has no content.

www.quicksilverscreen.com -> this is an any media site, I don’t have much luck streaming Megavideo or YouKu videos in Canada. Try the QSS forum as people post links to DivX movies that are dependable in there (usually the host of the video doesn’t have bandwidth for the masses so it’s a bit hit and miss - oops the secret is out).

www.redcurtainmovies.com -> not too sure what is going on with this one, use to be divx but used stage6 as the backbone … haven’t used it in a long while but the interface is clean (when adblocker is used).

www.surfthechannel.com -> this is a TV & Movie Social Network for links. I’ve had a great deal of luck with this site and even though the majority of the video is flash format the quality is surprisingly good (videos usually come in parts which makes it a tiny bit annoying).

www.watch-movies.net -> this site specializes in movies and usually has every new release in varying quality, best bet is to go the veoh download route on this site or just use it like I do and hit mininova.org.

www.atomicmovies.net -> good site that actually has a summary of each movie. The major plus is they give you a link to download movies where applicable. Nice clean inter

http://www.nabolister.com -> this site seems to take the card for traffic. I hate it, but people flock to the site.


IPTV / Internet TV Applications:

http://www.joost.com/ -> there are an abundance of channels to search through, lots of music videoish stuff. Bikini search for those long poker nights. They are planning on streaming sports events in the near future (and already support HD Video). This app is too choppy for me to use even with a nice broadband connection. I usually do a search mute the audio and play music over top of it. Lots of specialty channels.

http://www.getmiro.com -> this is a pretty cool open source download based Internet TV application that uses the VLC media engine to play video (can play anything). You can make youtube, google and etc. Channels VIA Search Terms (it will automatically download to your preference). You can hook in any video RSS feed (where RSS items are actually video files) into this application (EX// use a mininova.com search to make a channel).

http://www.veoh.com -> this is probably one of the better TV Apps for syndicate video. Keep in mind it’s built in America for Americans so in order to stream some shows you need to go through an American proxy. A bit annoying but you can usually also download the video right from the site. Downloads ARE higher quality than streaming. There is a type of DRM built into this application so IF you download an obviously copyrighted video you need to move it out of your Veoh library or Veoh will delete it when it realizes the infringement. I have also heard people complain this is spy-ware, I don't really care, if it is it's not obvious and Canada doesn't enforce downloading rules so whateva. To be frank, I think someone could beat this company in court to remove the DRM feature as it does directly mess with your hard disk.

Those are basically the sites / apps I have experience with. I really stopped using the streaming sites once stage6 shut down because the quality is terrible. If I was downloading video, I might use BitComet for torrents.

Another note here: all of these sites require some sort of mouse interaction, it would be very nice to be able to swich / pick videos using a remote control. Site owners, get your JavaScript handy for those arrow key events.

Over And Out

21/03/2008

20/03/2008

Zune Software No Worky on Remote Desktop Connection

I wonder how many people are like me, remoting into their home PC's from the office so they may "organize things" or "view things" or "do things" that they can't do at the office - Like try to find where that mix tape resides on their Zune because the Zune interface has no ability to search.

Well, I remoted in today and tried to do a search of my device from the Zune Software (yes you can see what has been sync'd with your Zune even if it's not plugged in). So I remoted into my home PC and opened the Zune software.

Where the software was supposed to show me a window, I saw a white hole in the screen. Is this a sign of the times? Should I be upgrading to Vista? Anyway readers, if you know why this happens, or how the heck I can fix it I'd love an answer. I'm from Canada and had to import my Zune (not for sale here) so I don't have any friends in the same situation.

Here is a screen shot (sorry, I cropped out my IP and the Remote Desktop Title Bar):



Over And Out.

14/03/2008

Blogger / Blogspot Now Supporting OpenID



I don't know how behind the curve I really am with this one - BUT - Blogger is now supporting OpenID authentication.

I really wish I'd known about this - next question - does that mean Google is now supporting OpenID too? Bloggers? Can I use my Google Account anywhere OpenID is supported.


I am LOVING THIS.

Over and Out

12/03/2008

iPod / Zune feature request: Listen to Video

Just a little feature request. I'd like to be able to play a video file as an audio file on my Zune.

For certain shows, EX// Russell Peters comedy acts - I'd like to be able to turn off my LCD screen so I can just listen to the audio.

My primary reason for wanting this is to save some juice.

Over and Out

06/03/2008

Holy Hadoop!!

I'm still trying to decide if I mean holy as in holy grail or holy crap cause they are both pretty applicable.

Yahoo launched Haadop in production today and I have to say the statistics are bloody unbelievable. Whomever questioned Microsoft's reasons for wanting to buy this company may either be a financial analyst or partially crazy.

Statistics:
  • Number of links between pages in the index: roughly 1 trillion links
  • Size of output: over 300 TB, compressed!
  • Number of cores used to run a single Map-Reduce job: over 10,000
  • Raw disk used in the production cluster: over 5 Petabytes


Open Office Sucks and So Does Your Face (UnoRuntime + C#)

If you are stubborn, or an idiot, or you just like using junky apps Open Office is for you. This is probably one of the only situations I'd suggest paying for and installing Office 2007 / 2003. It's just worth it.

I've been doing some automation in C# / Open Office [which I would love to rename Open Orface] and have been having issues porting Java code into C# - especially with this god darn UnoRuntime B.S.

So, what the fark is UnoRuntime and how the hell do I use it in Open Office. Well, I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty about it here - rather I'm going to explain how you don't use this somewhat core seeming object when building automation in C#.

As I'm sure you are aware - UnoRuntime is not available from C# - BUT - Most of the Java examples use this object heavily to query the UI layer and for object creation (or brokering I'm no expert under the Open Orface hood).

At first I took a look into Marshal.QueryInterface method just to see if I couldn't find the UnoRuntime somewhere in the COM layer - I turned around and decided to use an elaborate try catch + reflection algorithm to gain some concrete understanding of what was in the uno objects.

As you work more with Open Office you will realize the C# library uno, and unoidl namespaces merely contain gigantic unorganized transparent object proxy's that point into completely nonintuitive open office objects. Moreover, these open office objects are heavily based on the use of Interfaces - well I looked a bit deeper into the types I was calling and low and behold - they are pretty much huge junky objects that expose a countless number of interfaces - so we don't really even need the UnoRuntime (which makes me wonder why Java uses it).

The bottom line in this article is that UnoRuntime doesn't exist in C#. If you are porting Open Orface Java code into C# then forget about UnoRuntime. Do everything through casting and shut the hell up.

Here is an example of the Java to C# difference in creating a text property replacer:

xRepDesc is of interface type: XReplaceDescriptor AND XPropertyReplace so you can just cast the xRepDesc into XPropertyReplace and boom you're running.

Java:
XPropertyReplace xPropRepl = (XPropertyReplace) UnoRuntime.queryInterface(XPropertyReplace.class, xRepDesc);

C#:
XPropertyReplace xPropRepl = ((XPropertyReplace)xRepDesc);

Just in case you don't know, you create the xRepDesc object by, guess what - casting xComponent (of type - you guessed it XComponet - seriously wtf is an XComponent):

XReplaceDescriptor xRepDesc = ((unoidl.com.sun.star.util.XReplaceable)xComponent).createReplaceDescriptor();

I'm going to go ahead and call this automarshalling and be done with it. It sucks and if I had a server app I'd be tempted to write all my Open Orface automation in Java and write a high level COM abstraction to port a simple oAssWrapper.RunJunk(params) method and not have to deal with the hassle - OR - just go the Open Document route and use MS Word automation and then merely use open office to convert the document.

Over And Out