Friday, September 10, 2010

Mystery Hunters Training School

After a too-long period of development, I'm very happy to announce that the final Collideascope project, Mystery Hunters Training School, has gone live online. It's got 13 episodic adventure games that you can play. If you want something shorter, you can try one of the 25 mini-games on the site as well. Enjoy.

Visit the Mystery Hunters Training School site!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time-Lapse Twitter Visualization Shows America’s Moods

Very interesting. The takeaway here is not to expect people to react well to you after lunch.

From Mashable:

A group of researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities have gathered enough data from Twitter to give us all a snapshot of how U.S. residents feel throughout a typical day or week.

Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list, these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time.

Here's the study:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Created a quick Flash demo for Android phones

Basically this is just a quick mod of some animation we did for another project that lets you make a little guy dance on the screen. We messed around with a few frame rates on it, and I've found that 8FPS seems to work best for vector animation at a full screen size. However, I'm experiencing some shearing on my Nexus One as it tries to blit all of the animation to the screen. If anyone happens upon this, I'd be interested in your feedback.

Here are the test files:

30 fps

10 fps

8 fps

6 fps

For SEO - Flash for Android, Nexus One Flash, Flash 10.1, Flash Android Demo

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Palm Pre is a piece of unmitigated garbage

Ten months ago, around the end of August, I bought the shiny new Palm Pre that I had been waiting for since its announcement the previous February. For reasons of the onscreen keyboard and that I didn't like the calendar and email apps, I didn't want an iPhone, so this seemed the thing to get. Palm had put a lot of work into the user interface and I had always found their calendar, contacts, etc very usable. So, when I took the wraps off of it and started using it, I was elated. It just worked, and worked well. The OS was, and still is, a great piece of work.

Fast forward to January of this year: My Pre developed spiderweb like cracks emanating from the button in the front. It rendered my touchscreen useless. I sent it away, grumpily paid my $150 insurance deductible, and chalked it up to me having the bad luck to get a dud. My new one came a few days later and after transferring my info to it, I was back in business. For about 2 weeks.

My second Pre's screen had just stopped working. No clue as to why. Didn't drop it, no spider cracks, nothing. So, I called the warranty place and asked for another. Luckily, no deductible this time. It came, I switched, back up and running.

A week or so later, the power button at the top of the thing just broke. I couldn't turn it on or off. Again, I had to call the warranty guys. They sent me my FOURTH Pre in under 2 months. I transferred my data (I was getting really good at this step), and crossed my fingers...

Fast forward to early June. I started to notice that the Pre would just sporadically shut down for no reason. I would close and open it too fast and boom, the thing would just go off. The battery was full, no clue as to why. I started to get a sinking feeling. After a few weeks of hoping this would go away, it started to happen more frequently.

Defeated, I decided to start looking into other phone platforms. I ordered my Nexus One 3 days before the built-in speaker and mic on the phone stopped working for me. Now, I can only make calls when I have the earbuds plugged in. Luckily, my Nexus arrives Monday.

So long, Palm. You gave it a great try, and you largely got it right on the OS. But let's face it - your hardware build quality was complete and total crap. I did my best as a loyal believer and rooter for the underdog, but when the thing doesn't even work, it's time to head for greener pastures. Here's hoping HP has a better fate in store for you.