GoogleIO conference with Arduino

Interesting tio see what the direction that Google is going. Lots of Android with the upcoming Honeycomb tablet version, but not much TV this year. They have been pressured by the networks, who are not too keen to give them any access to their content. Samsung and SMART TV will still have some sort of chance of survival in this case.

Chrome box looks good. If that has a decent graphics hardware base, we could find it cheap enough for connected screen displays.

One thing that I found really interesting, (but not sure how practical) was the android accessory development kit. It’s based on an Arduino, which I’ve been playing around with using node.js. I’ve not had the time to do much more than the usual Hello World of blinking lights, but it should give a real boost to the Arduino guys. Well done to them for all their efforts.

All the usual videos are here,

Hacking the Google App engine with python

Our company had a hack day last week and I thought that I’d have a look at the Google App engine. I was getting used to the management reply of “do you have a budget code?” when asking for a server in the racks, so I thought that I’d experiment with some data in the cloud. I had taken in the story about the Guardian knocking up a quick python web app using Django to notate the MP’s expenses information. I heard tell it took a week so I thought I might get something simple done in a day.
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Google maps and 3D trips

We had a few people from Google to talk about the latest developements and tools, so I thought that I’d just put down a few of the links as a memory aid. I looked at the impressive O3D after the conference and will return to it later, no doubt, but this session was more to do with flights of fancy around Google Earth and the customisation of Google maps.
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Google IO Developer conference

Impressive keynotes at the Google IO conference over the last couple of days. Eric Schimdt opened but most of it was led by Vic Gundotra. He’s ex Microsoft, so not unused to being the lead in technologies and Google certainly seem to be pushing the leading edge as fast as they can. Lots more services; lots more apps, lots more things in the browser that you wouldn’t believe a couple of years ago (or maybe one year ago!). He gave everyone a free Android and a month free on the sim card. That made everyone smile, then surprise them all with Google Wave at the end. Very supportive of HTML5 and pushing Java everywhere. They made you want to start using all the apps now, even Google Wave which is still at an early beta.The big push is towards more openness. Google will open up areas where you can easily run your app; they make it easy to run in the browser but also now run when disconnected. It just shouldn’t be this easy for new programmers to do this. They will surely not be able to appreciate the skills of programming if they haven’t had hours wasted installing servers and more hours setting up a development system. This is just cut and paste programming but it makes me excited.
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Adobe Live

Went to a day at the Adobe Live event yesterday. Very interesting. The new versions of the software look really powerful and the web technology is coming along in leaps and bounds.

Started with a view of the future from Adobe. Mashups are to be the thing to create. They showed a cycling web site, with Ajax interfaces, Google maps, and RSS data being fed in real time. Looked great. Apollo was mentioned as a standalone version of the same thing. The underlying technology is being brought into the Adobe way of doing things and should be one to watch in the future.

Looked at the latest version of Photoshop and AfterEffects. Photoshop has some neat technology to allow cut and paste in 3D. Perspective grids can be lined up with the image and items like windows can be cut and pasted in perspective, growing bigger automatically as they get closer. The repair brushes similarly grow the brush texture as they come closer. Very clever. The latest compression for video is the On VP6 format which gives similar quality to h-264 at a smaller size. It also allows the Flash movie to have an alpha channel. Adobe have brought a few things to Macromedia, but not much integration yet. No comment on GoLive’s survival. They also had an alpha version of Lightbox, a photographer’s tool. Mac only though.

Angie Taylor get a short but interesting demo taking an animation in AfterEffects into a mobile phone, complete with some interaction to scratch the video. Not sure that she understood it in detail, but she does a demo well.

Talked to Ollie and crew about the Open Source Flash technology. haXe is the latest way to develop, apparently and the Red5 server is up to version 5 flash and will continue to improve. Not sure that they are up to the quality of the latest Flash servers, either Data Services or video streaming. We shall still have to pay up if we want remoting or interactive video.

They held the latest Flash User group after the show. It seemed a convenient place. Met Aral Balkin of OSFlash for the first time. Interesting to talk to but didn’t get a chance to ask questions. Lots of people seem to use the Eclipse editor to develop javascript sites. This may be the way to get around the Flash user interface. Just program everything using Sprites and Movie clip objects. Interesting panel discussion with various experts on the panel. More later.