Monday, March 13, 2006

UIEvolution's UJML 2.0 !! Technology for everybody to play with!

UIEvolution released a beta of UJML Platform 2.0, the new and improved version of the powerful UJML platform. The best thing is that it's free! You can download it and use it as much as you like!! [for non-commerical purposes]

This is an exciting technology milestone that should please anybody that ever tried to develope and deploy truly cross-platform software targeting any device and any network. Cellular phones, PDA, PCs... you name it.

To give you an idea of what you can do with UJML 2.0 I'll mention that this is the new and improved version of the technology used to develope some of the most exciting titles for mobile available today. Some examples of products developed entirely in UJML are: The Chronicles of Narnia for Mobile, Narnia Chess, Trivial Pursuit, ESPN Bottomline, mobile movies.com, Square Enix Excite Fusion, Square Enix Gallery and many others.

Check this out for more screen shots and details.

Also, check my post about the fire simulation algorithm to see an example of UJML written by me in action.

What does Platform 2.0 offers compared to 1.5? There is a long list of features and I reccomend that you download the SDK and try it out. The documentation is pretty good.

My personal favorite 3 additions to this version of the platform:
  1. A completly new IDE with integrated editor and debugger based on the Eclipse platform is the most obvious and noticable change. This makes development alot easier compared to 1.5!! You are also going to love the automatic update feature that will bring to you all the latest and greates additions and fixes.
  2. The major addition in the UJML 2.0 language is the new object model based on the concept of components.
  3. Another important addition to the language is the concept of resizable arrays
Enjoy!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

When (beta) web sites crash...

I see many of the major web 2.0 beta sites down more and more often lately. Here is an example of a screen shot of what you can expect at times. Click on it to see it in full size.

Friday, March 10, 2006

My son is a comedian.

My son Marco is about 3 years old and he can be as funny as a professional comedian. Sometimes he means to be funny; sometimes he just is naturally. I don't know where he got that side, but he just cracks me up at times. Today just before dinner he looked at me all serious and proclaimed:
I WANT CHICKEN LITTLE SOUP!
LOL. I almost died. When I recomposed myself I realized that he meant "chicken noodle soup".

I don't know why but the image of a chicken little soup was just hilarious. I had to share it with you.

Ah... I almost forgot... since I'm in the "chicken" and "funny" topic, check out this crazy link: http://www.subservientchicken.com/

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The invasion of the beta sites

BETA. It used to be just a Greek letter or a code name for programmers and geeks; today is a corporate status-symbol and is recognized by most people.

Every website and web-service seems to be released in beta in the Web 2.0 world; that is not such a bad thing, except that the beta status sometimes lingers for years. I decided to call this "the invasion of the beta-sites".

The little "BETA" icon is popping up everywhere next to brand names and company logos. The combination of the old "TM" (Trademark) and the new "BETA" is now a must-have around catchy and colorful free-service names ending in .COM.

Perhaps this period will be remembered as the era of the .BETACOMs that followed the crash of the .COMs (.ALPHACOMs?).

[Gosh, I love playing with words.]

I decided to start documenting this moment in time and create a little collection of the BETA-LOGOS. I'll add new logos to this collection and republish this post as I go. Please suggest new ones if you know of some that I missed. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get the latest updates.

You'll notice how many of these logos are from Google, which I believe started this beta-site-trend. More and more sites are opening everyday and following the Google example.

NOTE: All the images in this page are owned and trademarked by the respective owners; I publish them here only for historical documentation and as a necessary veichle for commentary and criticism that is the subject of this post.






















Web 2.0 Microsoft style: infiltrate and conquer!

Looks like Microsoft is investing even more into a business model Web 2.0 style with a twist.

See: http://officelive.microsoft.com/

Some of the main Web 2.0 elements are all there:

(1) On-line service free for the subscriber.
(2) Subscribers are the content providers.
(3) Service released early as Beta.
(4) Advertisement supported model.

Sounds familiar?

Obviously they also have to inject their Microsoft twist to it; a perfect trojan horse methodology: infiltrate and conquer...

If you try to subscribe using FireFox they tell you to go get IE.


Again, sounds familiar?

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

March 8th, "Festa della Donna"


March 8th in Italy is "Festa della Donna" or "Women's day". On this day men in Italy traditionally bring some "Mimosa" to all the women they think they will meet during the day. “Mimosa" is a small yellow flower that grows on Mimosa trees and that blooms right around the beginning of March. It is not uncommon on March 8th to see guys with large boxes full of Mimosa going to work or to school in the morning, ready to distribute the yellow flowers in large quantities. Many people even grow Mimosa trees in their back yard to make sure they have enough flowers on March 8th. I thought many times to bring this tradition to the States and on March 8th go around and give Mimosas; I wonder if that would seem weird. I bet it would; I also bet I woudn't be able to find Mimosas very easily around here. Oh well :) I'll just post a photo for all the women that I know. Happy woman's day!!

Friday, March 3, 2006

Automatic Art, drawing without knowing.

When I am listening carefully at something important and I am very absorbed in the subject but, at the same time, the subject or the situation doesn't require for me to look or do anything in particular, I tend to start drawing stuff on whatever piece of paper is in front of me. You probably have done that a million times when you are on the phone and you have paper and pencil handy.

For me these drawings usually start from the center and usually end up being geometric compositions formed by lines and curves disposed in intricate patterns. The longer the concentration period lasts, the bigger the drawing gets.

In lack of a better name I call this "Automatic Art" or "Telephone Art". While I'm doing it I don't really pay any attention to it. It kind of just happen and it's completly driven by my [crazy] subconscious. This is similar to when you drive but you don't realize that you are doing so, and when you look back you can't remember the moment that you drove past certain spots you know were on your path.

Drawing helps concentrating because it removes any visual distraction and foreign stimulation. The result of this drawing "without thinking about it" is sometimes interesting to look at. Here is an example I happen to draw today while I was listening to a TV show that wasn't visually interesting:


What do you think about it? If you are a psychologist perhaps you just concluded that I'm off the deep end... Oh well, if that's the case let me know the bad news :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Things That Do Not Make Sense

I don't know why I am deeply fascinated by observations or experiment results that we can't explain with today's scientific knowledge. I just am. Perhaps it’s because, as somebody that likes to "create", it is nice to know that there is still so much that needs to be done. Perhaps it’s because I think that looking at what we do not understand is the only way to progress and learn. Perhaps it’s because I'm used to solve complex problems everyday, and studying what I don't know is a daily activity for me. Perhaps it’s because I think that keeping an open mind is critical and I am convinced that one necessary exercise to keep an open mind is to look at what we don't understand. Perhaps it's because the realization that there is alot that we do not underastand is a driving force toward discovery. Perhaps it's because I don't understand how it is possible that smart people or recognized groups periodically claim that if something can't be explain than it must be untrue or just a fraud.
It's because of my fascination with the unknown that I found the "13 things that do not make sense" article, published on March 19, 2005 on the NewScientistSpace, very interesting. The subjects in the article are:
1 The placebo effect
2 The horizon problem
3 Ultra-energetic cosmic rays
4 Belfast homeopathy results
5 Dark matter
6 Viking's methane
7 Tetraneutrons
8 The Pioneer anomaly
9 Dark energy
10 The Kuiper cliff
11 The Wow signal
12 Not-so-constant constants
13 Cold fusion
An interesting and not difficult reading.