No internet connection? Fix the TV antenna!

A consortium of companies like Microsoft, BBC, Sky Broadcasting and BT has started trials of transmitting data in empty spaces of the radio spectrum used by terrestrial TV. If they are successful, they will create “super WiFi” networks in cities and rural areas. The Financial Times have the rest of the story: Microsoft trial to use UK TV signals for WiFi

The needs for bandwidth and coverage have exceeded the available infrastructure (and way of thinking till now) due to the explosion of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets. That’s why in Japan, for example, KDDI, their principal telco provider, is setting up the largest nationwide WiFi network with 100,000 hotspots in less than 12 months. The most important thing is that the user’s device will switch between 3G (or 4G) to WiFi seamlessly without extra charges for the best experience. More on this here: KDDI and Ruckus Wireless Debut the World’s Largest Mobile Data Offload Network -PRNewswire.



Elephants love mangoes

I only had two missing apps to be completely satisfied with my Windows Phone 7, Skype and EverNote (there are still a lot of missing features that Mango, the upcoming update, will mostly provide). Skype has already been announced and will be available (probably with the Mango update) in Autumn and now EverNote released their first version for WP7. A simple but very useful EverNote client that can handle my basic needs. Not bad at all.

Detailed functionality here: Evernote for Windows Phone 7 Is Here! « Evernote Blogcast.

Read a detailed technical post about Evernote (and development) on WP7: Elephants love mangoes – a look behind our Windows Phone 7 client | Evernote Tech Blog. Damian Mehers, the developer of the WP7 version of EverNote writes:

Superb Tooling

As WP7 developers, we are spoiled.  Not only do we have a powerful, mature and rich IDE in Visual Studio, with great plugins such as Resharper, but we also get a fast emulator, and also a complete, standalone design tool in Expression Blend.

The emulator actually runs as a proper Virtual Machine, using the hardware virtualization features of your computer.  The upside to this is that you get snappy performance, but the downside is that you cannot develop inside a virtual machine, since the emulator will not run inside a virtual machine.

Blend lets you design, animate and tweak your app’s UI.  Although it was primarily created as a “high-end” tool for designers, there was such an outcry from developers, that Microsoft have made it available for free for WP7 developers.  It is a joy to work with, letting you focus on the look and feel of your UI, building storyboards and animations, without worrying about code.

Great Community

The existence of a strong community around WP7 development is far from unique to WP7, however perhaps because Windows Phone is something of an underdog right now, the community feels particularly tight.

Beyond the usual suspects such as Stack Overflow, and Microsoft’s own forum, there are sites such as Windows Phone Geek that provide a constant stream of high quality tips and tricks and articles.

Do you want Android on your PC? Or Mac?

If you are a developer on a tight budget and need access to various Android environments, there is now a solution. Thanks to the Android-x86 Project team you can have your own Android PC or even better a virtualized environment (or two, or more) to test your apps.    You can install Android-x86 next to a Windows installation on an NTFS filesystem but I prefer and recommend to run it alone on a PC or under VirtualBox. I also liked the fact that my multitool Thinkpad X61t is supported (it also runs MacOSX!).

The current version is based on Android 2.2.2 (Froyo branch). Kernel is updated to 2.6.38. For more information, have a look here: Android-x86 – Porting Android to x86.

Bring the power of Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive to your site

Almost everybody wants to integrate popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to their own site. Microsoft has made this task very easy for Live Messenger, Hotmail and Skydrive through some Javascript and the appropriate API. If you can handle some code, it’s fairly easy. If not, then just ask your nerdy dev friend to make the “adjustments”.

I liked this part:

Websites typically don’t just offer integration with one service provider. It is common for a website to want to enable sharing to multiple sites like Facebook and Twitter, or allow users to upload their photos from Flickr, Facebook, and SkyDrive.

One of the challenges with supporting services that identity multiple providers on a website is what many have dubbed “the NASCAR effect,” which is when a site has so many logos from so many different providers that it looks a little like a race car with too many corporate sponsors. This practice often ends up confusing users due to the paradox of choice.

To help with this, we make it easy for your app or site to check if a customer uses one of our services before even offering the option to connect.

More details and how to do the actual integration here: Developers: just a few lines of JavaScript connects your site to Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive.

Real-Status builds a bird’s eye view of a cloud

I always liked to get information in a graphically visualized way. So, if I could have an overview of the whole IT infrastructure of my company as a 3D graph it would be nice. Real-Status has developed such a solution that also covers virtualized servers (the solution to most of our problems) using expertise from game development.

Read more here: Real-Status builds a bird’s eye view of a cloud — Cloud Computing News.