Check me out, being a Nerd on CBC

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I went down to Seattle for the launch of the Apple iPad, and while waiting in line I did a short interview with Nancy Wilson, on CBC, over Skype, from my MacBook.

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iContolPad, for iPhone, Coming Soon!

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This is product that has been in developement for quite some time, and as far as I know, the only gaming peripheral for jailbroken iPhones only. The folks at iContolPad finally have a working design and have gone in mass production. The iControlPad is made to compliment video game emulators, on jailbroken iDevices, for a full screen gaming experience. No more glitchy touch controls with you fingers and thumbs covering half of the screen.

Here’s some details on the product and for ordering, from their blog:

Got Jailbreak running on your iPhone? Emulators and games just not really working well enough with the touch screen? We didn’t think so either – so we built this little add on. Yeah. Realize the full potential of the iPhone by adding real controls. Your iPhone just slides in and locks in to place via the serial port, there are no modifications needed and you can remove it at any time.

The iControlPad is already supported by some of the biggest iPhone devs (including ZodTTD – PSX, GBA emu etc.) and we are sending out units to several others. We will also be providing full source code and SDK support!

Ordering – Stock will be limited on the first batch, the best way to know when you can place an order is to be subscribed to the newsletter (the top right of the page). We will also post details on here and no doubt I will tweet details too via my twitter page (twitter.com/craigix).

The iControlPad will come in two different versions, one with an internal battery which doubles the iPhone battery life (ideal for long gaming sessions) and a budget version which has no battery. They both have the same controls.

I have been in contact with iControlPad, regarding getting a review unit. They have said “I’ll be in touch as soon as the review units are available.”. If I do get my hands on one, you can expect to read about it over at iPhoneinCanada.

Here’s some images and video:

A computer rendering of what they hope the iContolPad to look like.

Photo of an actual prototype.

This is the version with external battery. Includes analog control sticks.

chpwn Developing Vertical Page Scrolling for iPhone

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chpwn, developer of “Infinidock” and “ProSwitcher“, is working on a new tweak for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It will enable vertical scrolling, giving you what will seem like an infinite amount of rows on your page.

A demo of the new tweak on YouTube:

chpwn is currently looking for ideas for the name of this new tweak. You can post your idea on Twitter, with a public reply to @chpwn. If chpwn picks yours, you get a free copy!

Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 7 Series. Can it Compete with Apple’s iPhone OS?

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Today, Microsoft unveiled their newst Windows Mobile OS, called “Windows Phone 7 Series”, and launched a website to show it off. From demo’s I’ve seen, the OS looks very Zune-ish. They have taken a huge departure from Windows Mobile 6, and they are obviously going after the iPhone and Android market with this.

The navigation and layout of this OS seems confusing and cluttered, to me. The transitions look nice, but finding your way around looks like a chore. Not like the typical “grid” view of the iPhone and Android OS’s. Windows posted a walkthrough video, to give potential customers an idea of what to expect:

Windows Phone 7 Serires will be released sometime near the end of 2010.

Shaw Communications Slashes Jobs in Victoria System

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Yesterday, Feb 11, 2010, Shaw Communications cut positions from a few departments in their Victoria, BC system. Arguably, one of the most successful systems, in Shaw’s repertoire, cut back on at least 5 positions, that I am aware of. This comes as a surprise, as the company just reported great earings in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The positions were varied, from office staff to field staff, so it would seem the company is trying to save money, all around.

I am not sure if this has happened in other Shaw systems, accross Canada. I tried to contact Shaw’s Human Resources Coordinator, Rachel Paisley, for a comment, but she is conveniently, “out of the office” this week.

Cutting jobs means more cash on the bottom line, so this will most likely make stock prices rise. Could this be the reason for the layoffs? This is unknown.

I am sad to report that I was one of the unlucky few who lost their position at Shaw yesterday. This definitely comes as a shock to me and my family. It will take some time to figure out what I want to do next, in life, but I’m sure I will land on my feet.

As of the time of this post, it is still unknown why these posotions were cut, as Shaw has yet to officially comment on the situation.

UPDATE (Feb 13, 2010): I ran into a former co-worker today. He told me another 5 people were let go, the following day. I wonder how many more across the country have lost their jobs?

UPDATE (Feb 16, 2010): Rumour is 10 more people were let go today. I have not been able to confirm this, but I got the info from a good source. Why is there nothing in the news about this?

The iPhone Dev Team Warns About Unlock Scams

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Today, the iPhone Dev Team gave warning against scam websites saying they have an unlock for baseband 5.12. There is no such unlock at the moment, and when there is, it will be completely free. Don’t fall victim to these sites. They are just trying to capitalize on your misfortune.

There has been some reports of some progress on unlocking this newest baseband, but there is no ETA for it’s release.

Here’s what the Dev Team had to say:

While Apple’s 3.1.3 firmware was minor in terms of new features, it’s had the side effect of opening up a huge market for scam sites.  These sites will promise you a 3.1.3 jailbreak for newer devices like the iPod touch 3G, or a baseband 05.12 software unlock.  Those desperate enough to “just give it a shot” will find, 100% of the time, that they were misled.  After money has changed hands they’ll be told “well the 05.12 unlock is coming, in the meantime here’s the 05.11 unlock” (of course the 05.11 unlock was intended to be free, as you all know).  They’ll hold your money until one day the 05.12 unlock does come out, even if that’s months later (and of course it’ll be released for free).  In the meantime they’ll be able to claim they gave you part of what they advertised, and keep at least part of your money (in actuality they’ll usually keep all of it).

Don’t fall for these scam sites!  None of them have a 05.12 unlock, none have the 05.11 unlock working on 3.1.3, none have a 3.1.3 jailbreak for newer devices like the ipt3G.  They’re trying to capitalize on your upgrade mistake, and they only need a very small percentage of people to fall for them to make their money and run.

Those following twitter may have seen some recent very early developments in the 05.12 unlock situation.  One of our more helpful commenters sherif_hashim (at a rating of 84p you know he’s helped others much already!) found what looks like a very promising crash in the new baseband.  He’s put in a lot of work looking for crashes over this past year, and he’s still looking for more!  We’ve started to look at his crash but it’s a long road between any given crash and a fully working unlock, and we couldn’t put an ETA on it even if we wanted to.  It’s not even guaranteed that an working unlock will come from this particular crash — it’s just too early to tell.

In the meantime, please stay vigilant against these scam sites.  Don’t be part of the small percentage of people that fall for them because that small percentage is all they need.

You have been warned!!

Zoomit: SD Card Reader, for iPhone

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Zoom Media Plus, have announced a SD card reader for iPhone, called “Zoomit“. It connects to the dock connector of your iPhone or iPod Touch, and comes with a free app, to manage your files. Here’s the official description from their website:

Zoomit is a revolution in managing content with the iPhone and iPod Touch. Combining application software with an intelligent accessory, zoomIt allows you to view, listen to, and share all of your photos, music, video and files on the go without the need to connect to your camera, Mac or PC.

One of the things that iPhone and iPod Touch owners have complained about, for some time, is no expandable memory. This card reader is SDHC compatible so you could potentilly more than double your iPhone’s capacity with this device. Although, ZoomMediaPLUS hasn’t mentioned it, the Zoomit should also work on the iPad.

The Zoomit is available for pre-order now. It is $59.95 USD, but if you pre-order you get $10 off. Additionally, the first 250 customers will get a free 4GB SD card! The accompanying app, will be a free download, from the App Store.

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