not perfect but they try it anyway: Logitech’s Harmony 880


That’s a remote control. A huge big-ass one of a remote control. But it’s the right way anyhow: It’s unsustainable that you have 3-4 maybe even 5 remote controls in the high-tech-palace some call their living room.


Look, it even has a full customisable color display:



“The Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote puts you in control of your entire audio-video system with just one button. It´s home entertainment the way it should be—simple.


Optimized for complicated HDTV and PVR systems, the Harmony 880 helps you tame tough configurations like switching your television between video aspect ratios depending on the program source. The interactive color display lets you quickly choose a 16:9 ratio for movies and HDTV, or a standard 4:3 ratio for basic television programming.”


Source: Logitech

I want my own Plasma Saber


“When activated it creates a low rumbling hum out of the rear of the handle. A special g-force sensor similar to those used in automobiles to deploy the airbags is used inside our Plasma Saber handle. The sensor measures the amount of force on the handle as its swung and the microprocesser creates a wooshing sound as the saber is being swung! The result is that every time the saber is swung a different wooshing sound is heard which changes depending on how hard you swing it. When its swung agressively the sound it produces is amazingly cool!”



click to view the movie


Source 1: http://www.futurehorizons.net/saber.mpg
Source 2: http://www.futurehorizons.net/saber.htm

Scrapland


Today I had some 20 minutes to take a quick look at “American McGee’s Scrapland” – a game that I got for PC (thanks Marc) and Xbox.



Generally it’s a 3D Adventure that incorporates running and talking and flying around in spaceships’n’stuff B-) The graphic is quite impressive…just like the “WOW”-Effect when you first see Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay on the Xbox. I cannot say really much to the gameplay until I played it more… but the first impression was, that it’s slightly different than any other 3rd Person Jump-n-Run-Adventure-Racing Game (like GTA…)… It seems that the directions on the controller are depending on the angle of the camera… if that’s cool or if that sucks, I don’t know at the moment… it was just different.



One cool feature that I saw: You can build your own Custom-Ship. There’s some sort of editor in the game where you can select the parts your ship will be built of.



Source: http://scrapland.gamesweb.com/

Emma’s Mini: Beat Generation Mad Trick

On my proceeding mission to evangelise the world with great music I have something for you. It’s even more than just music: it’s a seminal way of buying music. But from the beginning: First the music.



Emma’s Mini: Beat Generation Mad Trick


It’s actually the first album of Emma’s Mini. And it’s not brand new because it came out in 2003. But it’s exactly what I had in mind that very moment I found it. I only heard one song and I bought the ablum straigt away. And I did not regret it. It’s cool. It’s innovative. Fits perfectly in my collection and will fit even more perfect in yours.


Because maybe the fewest will know Emma’s Mini already, here’s a short info on them:


“emma’s mini is a duo based in Seattle, WA. They first started making music together in March of 2002 and in April of 2003 they self-released their first album, beat generation mad trick.


Taking their cue from bands such as lamb, Massive Attack and Moloko, emma’s mini is creating a new and exciting sound, seamlessly blending Suzanne McClean’s rich, lush vocals with Demian Shoemaker’s innovative beats and soundscapes.”


And indeed: Suzannes voice is great… and “soundscapes” is the word I also would have chosen when I should describe the music itself… Infact: Go and hear the complete album. And more important: If you like it, buy it! It’s really worth the money. (what a great transition…)


Emma’s Mini is not under contract at a major label. Infact they are – as far as i know – not under any contract. But they sell their music through Magnatune.


And Magnatune describes itself that way:


“We call it “try before you buy.” It’s the shareware model applied to music. Listen to 356 complete MP3 albums we’ve picked (not 30 second snippets). We let the music sell itself, because we think that’s the best way to get you excited by it. Our selection is intentionally small: we never waste your time with mediocre music. If you like what you hear, download an album for as little as $5 (you pick the price), or buy a real CD, or license our music for commercial use. Artists keep half of every purchase. And unlike most record labels, our artists keep all the rights to their music. No major label connections and no venture capital. We are not evil.”


And they mean it. You can choose how much you would like to pay for the music…from 5 bucks upward…that’s great because you get the music without DRM or any other limitation… You even buy the exploitation right on the tunes… How cool is that!?



Magnatunes recommends a price…but you can change it easily, preferably upward.. ;-)


Source: http://magnatune.com/artists/emmas_mini

enhancing the Orbs

I brought these nifty glowing orbs from CeBIT – and now i’ve found a minute to disassemble one of them:



you have to unscrew only three little screws to open the battery
compartment



the bottom side of the battery compartment
can be pulled out of the white plastic orb easily


Okay that was easy. Now the next step would be to solder an external power supply to the battery compartment so I get rid of the batteries.


Source: The Orbs

dasBlog Autotrackback Patch

Namenlos notified me that my dasBlog Autotrackback Feature does not work as is is expected to work. The problem was, that everytime you link to the front page of a weblog, dasBlog trackbacks the first article of the weblog.


The Specification says:


“Scan the page contents for embedded RDF. Pages can contain multiple instances of embedded RDF–clients should pick the block whose dc:identifier matches my_url.”


Namenlos made a patch that fixes the problem. You can download it here: BlogDataService.zip (,77 KB)


Source: http://blog.slash-me.net

first Indigo CTP and new Avalon CTP available

What a great day. – It’s like easter and christmas at the same time… well sort of: Today a new Community Tech-Preview of Avalon – the upcoming Longhorn GUI API became available and more important: the first Community Tech-Preview of Indigo is available for Download.


“Choosing the best abstractions for building software is an ongoing process. Objects are the dominant approach today for building an application’s business logic, but modeling application-to-application communication using objects hasn’t been as successful. A better approach is to explicitly model interactions between discrete chunks of software as services. Plenty of support already exists for building object-oriented applications, but thinking of services as a fundamental software building block is a more recent idea. Because of this, technologies explicitly designed to create service-oriented applications haven’t been widely available.



Microsoft’s framework for building service-oriented applications, code-named Indigo, changes this. Indigo allows developers who today create object-oriented applications using the .NET Framework to also build service-oriented applications in a familiar way. And to let those applications interact effectively with software running on Windows and on other platforms, Indigo implements SOAP and other Web services technologies, allowing developers to create reliable, secure, and transactional services that can interoperate with software running on any system.”


Source 1: MSDN Indigo
Source 2: Longhorn Dev Center