Monday, December 22, 2008

Dubai GPS

I posted about being in Moscow, and getting a GPS lock almost instantly upon walking outside.

Well, I was lucky enough to be in Dubai last week, although it rained almost the entire time.

I got a bit lost walking from the office to the airport (I have no sense of direction whatsoever), so I whipped out GMM and tried my luck.

The maps are incredibly detailed, which is great, but in a 20 minute walk, I didn't get a GPS lock at all. Thankfully, the cell tower id is pretty decent, and Nagi (a righteous dude in marketing) had drawn me a map. I scoffed initially, but thanks to him, I got me home ok.

At a couple of points, certainly, the high rise buildings would have prevented the lock, but I was out in the open quite a lot, too.

I don't really know much about GPS, beyond it using satellites to triangulate you, so it's possible there are fewer over Dubai, or they were low in the sky or something, but it was pretty annoying.

I might have to do some Christmas reading.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IE Borked?

Seems like IE is borked, and Microsoft don't care (much).

Although, actually, it looks like they're starting to do something about it.

But it's another great example of how Open Source lets fixes come more quickly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Airports suck

Stuck in another one, having missed my flight this morning. Bah.
Fortunately, it appears that I can transfer my ticket with UAE for no extra cost.
Which is good news.

So, I stole some power from a hole in the wall with a 'not for public use' sticker upon't.
I figured no-one would mind, and despite many official people walking past, none objected.

I board shortly, for a 7 hour flight. Can you guess where I'm going?
I will sleep, mostly, on the flight. I hope.
Although I land at 12.30am, which isn't ideal.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Geotagging blogs

Blogger in Draft is letting you geotag posts, which is pretty sweet, and export a GeoRSS feed.

I'll be tagging a few posts, and then will try and write a GeoRSS -> KML converter, allowing timelines and stuff to be easily created.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friend Connect

There's an interesting post over at Linconluxor talking about things missing from Friend Connect.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friend Connect

I've been mucking around with Friend Connect on and off for a few months.
It finally launched, which is nice. There's a video, and links to sign up if you want to play with it.

It's a great tool, letting any site easily add a social element to it, with sites like Mashable already hooked up, which is pretty cool.

It also supports custom gadgets, built using the OpenSocial spec, where the owner of the page is the site itself. You can do some pretty interesting things, I reckon, with a bit of thought.

For example, a games site could easily add a gadget which let people share their gamercards without only pasting some code, just like a YouTube video (and a bit of programming for the gadget itself).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Net Neutrality

I'm not allowed to comment on this stuff, I guess, since I work at Google, and the article is about us, but I would like you to read the following 3 things.

First, bogus article. This guy is some kind of bozo.

Our response.

Other sane people comment:

Monday, December 1, 2008


Hello there,

Glad you dropped by.

There's a few kickass things I need to talk about today.

1) I got a new handset, finally.
My old G1 was so super-prototype that it stopped working. So I got a new one.
And download THIS chap.
You need to look at it, and, if you have a G1, install it right now.

2) Lots of xbox this weekend.
Left 4 Dead is freakin' sweet.
Gears horde continues to amuse and entertain in equal parts.
Lego Batman is, typically, awesome.

Here is a gamercard, so you may browse.

Anyway, Left 4 Dead.
Bugger me, this game is brilliant.

It's a 4 player co-op. There's a single player mode, but you really don't want to play it. It's shit. Well, actually, it's not shit. It's great. But it's not even close to the multiplayer version, which is insane.

Basically, it's 4 of you against 28 days later-style fast-zombies, plus some special types, which have excellent attacks.
The graphics are top notch. The gameplay is tight. You play it for the first time, and you think 'ok, that was fun'. Then you play it again, and even though it's the same level, it's a completely different game.
Rather than fix the spawn points for creatures, or even the spawn numbers, everything's semi-randomised each time you play.
That is, you'll have different numbers of zombies which are in different places, and waves of the bastards will come at totally different times.
It will also scale based on your performance. The better you do, the more zombies will try and eat your face.
If you leave the team at any point, you're dead. Pure and simple.
This is a game which doesn't just encourage co-op, it enforces it with a very big stick.

Which brings me onto Horde on Gears.
I got the chance, finally, to play with MonkeyMido over the weekend.

We had a bloody good laugh, and made it to wave 18 (a new personal record) thanks almost entirely to the stellar work of TOMMYGUNTOM31 who carried us through most of them single-handedly.