Thursday, March 31, 2005

John Carmack and mobile gaming

John Carmack has recently added an entry on his cell phone adventures. His use of J2ME seemed fairly frustrating, but he points out that Qualcomm's BREW looks promising. It would be interesting to find out if he's tried the .NET Compact Framework which I believe has support for the 3D graphics accelerator found in HTC's Feeler (marketed as O2 Xphone II - similar to HTC's Typhoon, aka Orange SPV C500, but targetted for gaming). From what I understand, unlike J2ME, the .NET Compact Framework does act as a WORA platform.

Amongst other things, he discusses a problem for multi-player games - long thought to be a "killer app" for 3G phones. Firstly he points out one problem: 2" screens limit the immersive experience. Secondly he describes the problems that will arise due to the high latency of packet communication technologies including current 3G infrastructure. Basically, unless you want to play some turn-based game, low latency circuit-switched communications is necessary even though the throughput can be very low. This could be very expensive if the game lasts several hours. This will remain true for some time. However, there is some hope. Many US operators (including this recent Verizon timetable) plan VoIP across EV-DO Revision A: 2008 or 2009 for Verizon, early 2007 for Sprint. Using some of the protocols including QoS specification in Rev. A, these network upgrades should be capable of providing the desired low latency.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Skype 1.2 update includes SkypeIn

Skype have just released Skype 1.2. This release features SkypeIn support in addition to many other features (see a list of changes: Skype for Windows Change Log).

Download here (for Windows).

Updated "Longhorn" screenshots

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows has some updated "Longhorn" information in The Road to Windows "Longhorn" 2005.

Note the program hang! Doh!

Windows Mobile 2005 screenshots

Engadget have some new screenshots of Windows Mobile 2005.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The scoop on the Super Shuffle

See here.

Microsoft delays Visual Studio 2005 to end of year

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 is now delayed to some time in April (see here) with the full release due in September 2005. With only three months to go to 2006 it would seem prudent for Microsoft to rename it to Visual Studio 2006 if they want to avoid looking very silly.

Monday, March 21, 2005

So what's the point of 3G?

Interesting BBC News article: So what's the point of 3G?.

Makes you think!

Quote for the Day from Terry Wogan (via Gavin Esler's Newsnight e-mail):

"Amid all the tumult and the shouting over the soaring price of oil, has it not gone unnoticed that, even at a pound a pint, petrol is still cheaper than a bottle of water in most London restaurants?"

It's not just London, of course. There are similar high prices in Cardiff and most other cities in the UK.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Here's an interesting post: Ajax: a new approach to web applications. It's not a new technique but is interesting since it gives a formal "definition" (a pattern) to an approach that reduces latency and improves the user experience.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Grand Slam

Wales beat Ireland to claim Six Nations Grand Slam. (Wales Under-21s also completed the Under-21s Grand Slam yesterday.)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

WiMAX and 3G technology comparison

Here's an interesting paper from Intel. It makes a technical comparison between WiMAX/OFDMA and 3G technologies. It concludes that WiMAX has a distinct advantage for data-centric applications. It would be interesting to understand the impact of the greater use of VoIP over the wireless network. I wonder if VoIP skews the results in favour of WCDMA/EV-DO since it would require higher QoS guarantees.

Qualcomm abandons cdma2000 EV-DV

There are several reports (RCR Wireless News, TheFeature) suggesting that Qualcomm have abandoned their EV-DV chipset development in favour of VoIP across the EV-DO Revision A standard.

Update: Sprint also commit to EV-DO with a future VoIP network and officially discarding EV-DV (see here for more information). Sprint are accelerating their plans with network trials early 2006 with the possibility of rollout late 2006. Sprint Vice President of Technology Development Oliver Valente said "voice capabilities of Rev. A make it applicable to Sprint's entire footprint".

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

World Wind updates

World Wind 1.3 is available here, World Wind Central is here and there is a blog here.

Also take a look at the Geocoder here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

iRiver H10 Junior

iRiver seem to be planning a smaller version of the H10 (see above next to the new Apple iPod Mini). It has a colour screen, FM radio and up to 4GB of one of these Toshiba 2cm mobile phone drives:

Doesn't say if it plays video, but then you probably wouldn't want to watch anything on such a small screen.

Update: this will only contain a 1GB drive.