Thursday, April 29, 2010

gPodder 2.5 "easter egg": Diablo UI on Fremantle

As you probably already know, all gPodder versions (Linux Desktop, Maemo 4 and Maemo 5) use the same codebase, and as Python is an interpreted language, the choice of which UI to run can be made at run time (you could do this for compiled languages, too, but it's easier for interpreted ones). In current versions of gPodder, this happens by using command-line arguments. gpodder alone will start the Desktop version (which does not work on Maemo for obvious reasons - an "auto-detect" feature might be implemented in the future). On Maemo 5, you will usually want to use gpodder --fremantle, which will start the Maemo 5 UI as you know it (that's also the command that gets executed when gPodder is started from its application icon). On Maemo 4, the command is gpodder --maemo.

If you are a gPodder/Maemo old-timer, you might still remember the "good old days" of two-panel, stylus-based podcast goodness with multiple selections, the funky context menu and the thick toolbar on your N8x0. Ever wondered how that would feel on the N900? Try it out! Simply run gpodder --maemo in X Terminal and give your podcasts a little retro interaction (the database and downloads are the same in both versions and are therefore shared).

Try it out - it might come in handy if you are a stylus cowboy or have really small fingers (or a big N900 and normal-sized fingers...). Also, give the multiple-selection feature in the episode list a try. All you need is gPodder version 2.5, as it contains some compatibility fixes to make the Diablo version not be totally unusable on Fremantle.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Iron Man 2 Premiere in Hollywood


Last night was the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 2. Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson were among the stars out and about on the red carpet supporting their soon-to-be blockbuster sequel. If you haven't yet seen the original, rent it tonight! Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7.

Photo: Alex J. Berliner, Berliner Studio/BEI Images

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Back-Up Plan Is In Theaters Today

Jennifer Lopez + Alex O'Loughlin = Fun, chick-flick! Can't wait to see it... Have a great weekend! xo

The Back-Up Plan Is In Theaters Today

Jennifer Lopez + Alex O'Loughlin = Fun, chick-flick! Can't wait to see it... Have a great weekend! xo

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New versions of gPodder and Brain Party out

The news are a bit slow these days, because the summer term really took off after the easter holidays, and the free time for coding has decreased accordingly. Nevertheless: Some updates have hit Maemo Extras-Testing yesterday.

gPodder 2.5 "Knock knock knock Penny" was released and with it another Maemo 5 package rolls into the Extras repository (the Diablo package for Maemo 4 has also been uploaded and promoted to Extras already). Apart from some string changes ("Settings" instead of "Preferences", for example) that we found during the first UX-Week, this version fixes YouTube video downloads - the downloaded files now get a suitable extension (a bug that was introduced by YouTube changing their website a few weeks ago). Another nice feature for those of you with a fast Internet connection: YouTube video streaming. You can now chose to stream subscribed YouTube videos instead of downloading them if you prefer that. Review it and vote for gPodder 2.5-1 here

In gaming news, Paul Hudson (aka Hudzilla) has fixed some bugs in the code of his Brain Party game, and I've now uploaded a new version of the Maemo port for this game. The development repository of Brain Party has now also been opened over at Launchpad: Brain Party on Launchpad, and Paul promised to merge the Maemo patches upstream as soon as I send them to him, which I'll do today :) Review it and vote for Brain Party 0.5.91-1 here

One and a half week ago, we started the "UX Week" sprints in the Forums, focusing on one aspect of third-party applications for Maemo per week. This week, we're focusing on icons, so if you are an artist of want to help out as user or if you are a developer in need for some well-balanced icons, please get in touch in the forums and on the Wiki. And if you don't want to be productive at all, just stop by and look at the great artwork the artists have come up with so far already.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Box-Office Beat

How to Train Your Dragon is back in the top spot... Want to know what other movies made the big bucks this weekend? Check out the box-office beat.


1 - How to Train Your Dragon: $20 M

2 - Kiss-Ass: $19.8 M

3 - Date Night: $17.3 M

4 - Death at a Funeral: $17 M

5 - Clash of the Titans: $15.8 M

6 - The Last Song: $5.8 M

7 - Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?: $4.2 M

8 - Hot Tub Time Machine: $3.5 M

9 - Alice in Wonderland: $3.5 M

10 - The Bounty Hunter: $3.2 M

Monday, April 12, 2010

Conan Is Going to TBS


Comedy icon Conan O’Brien is joining TBS to host a late-night talk show that is expected to debut in November.  The Emmy-winning comedian’s new program will be followed by Lopez Tonight, which will shift to a midnight time slot.

O’Brien began talks in earnest with TBS just last week, after George Lopez personally called him to ask that he consider joining the network’s late-night line-up.  “I can’t think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in,” Lopez said.  “It’s the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy.”

Said O’Brien: “In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable.  My plan is working perfectly.”

O’Brien and Lopez will give TBS a dynamic lineup in late-night television.  TBS – which has built a programming slate that appeals to a young, diverse audience – expects O’Brien to be a long-term addition to the network’s late-night landscape.  O’Brien will host his hour-long, yet-to-be-titled show Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).

O’Brien is well-known from his many years in comedy.  He grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in a suburb of Boston.  His love of comedy began at an early age and carried on when he entered Harvard University, where he earned a degree in history.  During his years at Harvard, he also wrote for the legendary Harvard Lampoon publication, eventually serving as its president.

After leaving Harvard, O’Brien went to Los Angeles, where he found several writing jobs for television, including HBO’s Not Necessarily the News.  After returning to the East Coast, O’Brien joined the writing team at Saturday Night Live, earning his first Emmy in 1989.  He was writing for the hit show The Simpsons when Lorne Michaels approached him about a new late-night series for NBC.  In 1993, Late Night with Conan O’Brien launched.  The show ran for 16 years, ending when O’Brien briefly took over The Tonight Show.

O’Brien is currently touring the United States and Canada with his live show, Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.

*Photo: Getty Images

Are You Loving the SATC2 Trailer?!?

I can't even believe that I haven't shared this with you! Just in case you're one of like three breathing females who hasn't yet watched the newly released trailer for SATC2... and even if you have -- here you go! Enjoy, ladies!


Friday, April 9, 2010

The Runaways Is Now Playing Nationwide

And how perfect... Today just happens to be Kristen Stewart's birthday!


Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star in this music-fueled story of the ground-breaking, all girl, teenage rock band of the 1970s: The Runaways. The film follows two friends, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, as they rise from rebellious Southern California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Joan and Cherie fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley, played by Michael Shannon, who turns the group into an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself—and so do its two leads: Joan is the band’s pure rock’ n’ roll heart, while Cherie, with her Bowie-Bardot looks, is the sex kitten. Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film chronicles Joan and Cherie’s tumultuous relationship on and off stage, as the band starts to break out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Box-Office Beat: Clash of the Titans Takes the Top Spot

Clash of the Titans claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend. See what other movies made big money...


1 - Clash of the Titans: $61.4 M

2 - Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too: $30.2 M

3 - How to Train Your Dragon: $29.2

4 - The Last Song: $16.2

5 - Alice in Wonderland: $8.3 M

6 - Hot Tub Time Machine: $8.0 M

7 - The Bounty Hunter: $6.2 M

8 - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: $5.5 M

9 - She's Out of My League: $1.5 M

10 - Shutter Island: $1.5 M

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Brain Party ported to the N900

Brain Party from Hudzilla Games has been released as open source for Linux some days ago. A thread on t.m.o suggested somebody port this over to Maemo. An afternoon of tinkering later (and with the help of Javispedro's SDL-GLES library), I've got the game to run on the N900 (see the patch for details on the changes - as you can see, the original source code is pretty clean, so porting was mostly straightforward after being told about SDL-GLES, fixing a parameter for glTexImage2D and doing some math to scale the game to the N900's screen and scale the input coordinates the same way). The package is currently in Extras-Devel, soon to be promoted to Extras-Testing. In the mean time, you can grab binary and source packages from this page (use apt-get -f install afterwards to satisfy dependencies).

Please test it and vote for it on the package page when it enters Extras-Testing (did you know that you can follow @maemoextras on Twitter to see packages entering Extras-Testing and Extras? Now you do..).

It's good to see developers porting their games to Linux and open sourcing them, which makes learning from their code and porting the games to other platforms very easy. If you like the game, please support the developers by purchasing Brain Party for the iPhone (you probably don't have an iPhone, so show the N900 game off to your freedom-hating friends and tell them that they should purchase the game for their iPhone/iPod touch on the App Store). The game is also available for Windows Mobile and Xbox 360.