Hard Six

My good friends over at Ask Me Tomorrow Productions have just uploaded their very first film, Hard Six, which you can watch (for free!) by clicking this link, or it should actually just appear down below!

I was lucky enough to be at the premiere last year, which took place in an actual real-life cinema (!), and was packed with friends, the actors and crew, supporters of the AMT team, and which was a fab experience.

So if you’re into film noir (or even if you aren’t), spare a few minutes of your time to marvel at what can be achieved with practically no budget, no spare time, but a big ol’ pocket full of dreams….

I’m a developer now…. honest….

It’s been quite the week for my own personal geekery. Alongside pushing on with my MSc dissertation, I’ve also been granted access to Google’s new App Inventor for Android site.

Using my humble yet trusty HTC Tattoo (which, by the way, is absolutely flying now that I’ve flashed an Eclair (Android OS 2.1) ROM, no thanks to HTC’s lack of love for Tattoo now the fancy-dan Wildfire has been released), I’ve already created the nice little tutorial app as shown in this video:

I’ll be looking to make a few slightly more interesting apps as soon as I have the time, but I have to say that it is a very simple to use interface, a bit like a techie-lego!

Could this be the first shot fired in the mobile consumer as co-creator/developer wars? There already seems to be hints of retaliation….

re: unforgivable lack of blogging

So, we’re in the final week of probably the most important electoral campaign of my lifetime, and I’ve yet to write a post about it. I could use the usual excuses of uni work or personal life stuff, but the fact is that it’s all gone rather too quickly for my plodding style of writing. By the time I’ve drafted a post on the latest polls they’ve changed, I can’t seem to come up with any original commentary on the TV debates because it has basically all been said by people much wiser and more articulate than me, and I don’t have much to say on the so called ‘bigotgate‘ which hasn’t been said before (other than the first thing that came to my mind was: “What Would Malcolm Tucker Do?”).

And so, I’m going to keep it simple and let you in on a little personal victory of my own: I reinstalled a slipstreamed version of Windows XP with Service Pack3 (check out this really easy to follow guide on slipstreaming) on my eBay bargain Thinkpad T42, and have thrown the beta version of Office 2010 on it too. As any nerd will tell you, there’s something uniquely lovely about a newly installed operating system: everything is pretty speedy, the desktop is uncluttered, and there’s a feeling of “this is a machine on which to get things done”.

That’s the plan anyway, and the reason I went for the clean install. I’m going to give Office 2010 a spin on what is a fairly low-spec machine these days (particularly in terms of the old-school 4:3 1024×768 resolution display), and I’ll report any interesting novelties I come across as I tap out my essays and dissertation in the coming weeks.

Hidden messages in Brown’s Budget podcast

I’m feeling a bit poorly today, but this has cheered me up hugely….

For those of you who haven’t seen the new feature, YouTube recently introduced the option of creating automatic subtitles for many of their videos (thanks, in part no doubt, to the masses of data Google have acquired from their applications such as Google Voice). At this early stage it isn’t perfect, much like when live subtitles for BBC News would sometimes have hilarious typos, and those imperfections can lead to some brilliant moments.

I won’t spoil it, just make sure you that the Auto-Transcribe feature is on (press play, then click the small ‘CC’ button at the bottom right, then click ‘Transcribe Audio’).

I can’t believe this used to be shown at Sunday lunchtimes….

Mmmm…. Cress….

We may not have the hardware, but the Zune software is ace!

Link: We may not have the hardware, but the Zune software is ace!

I’ve been looking for a good program to manage my podcasts (now that I’ve put in a much bigger microSD into my phone), and I’ve come across Microsoft’s Zune software.

It is obviously tailor made for users of the Microsoft’s Zune and Zune HD media devices, which despite receiving some very positive reviews, have not made their way over to Blighty. However, it’s an extremely pretty looking media player and podcast manager, and will work perfectly fine on any PC, although you’ll lack the ability to sync to a non-Zune device (easily bypassed by simply copying the files you want to your device’s filesystem).

One major reason I would recommend getting on the Zune train, is that the Zune stylings and functionality will be coming to the EU in the form of Microsoft’s new Windows Phone Series 7 devices, possibly even by the end of this year.

I would love to have access to a Windows Phone Series 7 device to do a review, but in the meantime I can do no better than to recommend you read engadget’s substantial report, following from its coverage of Mobile World Congress.

Firaxis are developing Civilization V as we speak. Now with hex-grids!

Link: Firaxis are developing Civilization V as we speak. Now with hex-grids!

Thankfully, it won’t be released until waaay after graduation.

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