Archive for November, 2007

Facebook release Corba 2.0?

I came across this via Oisín Hurley’s Blog.

Facebook have released a new framework to allow languages to talk with each other. This is how Facebook describe Thrift:

Thrift is a software framework for scalable cross-language services development. It combines a powerful software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby. Thrift was developed at Facebook, and we are now releasing it as open source.

As Oisín points out, this sounds very like CORBA. I worked with CORBA a few years back when we needed to provide a interface between C++ applications and a Java based configuration server. I am very interested to see what Thrift is providing that CORBA is not? It may be a case of reinventing the wheel with a nice Web 2.0 spin on it.

If I am way off the mark here and Thrift is bringing something new to the table, let me know.

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See the accelerometer in action on the N95

Just found out something cool about the N95; it turns out that it has a Accelerometer (Level Sensor). It is used by the camera in the phone to rotate pictures taken in portrait mode. It makes you wonder why Nokia did not use this to give an auto rotate to the phones screen, similar to the feature available on the IPhone? It looks like there is someone developing this for the phone at the moment. It is called rotateme and should be out later this month. Check out the developers site for more information.

Nokia have released a demo application to show the accelerometer in action. Its a pretty simple application but it shows the power of what can be done. At first I didn’t believe it was possible but check out this video below to see it in action.

They have also released the source code for the game so you can see how it is done. The game uses the N95 RD Accelerometer Plug-in package to hook into the accelerometer on the N95. According to the research group that developed the this:

In a later N95 firmware release you should be able to access the raw accelerometer data by using the official sensor plug-in downloadable from Forum Nokia (Sensor Plug-in for 60 3rd Edition).

I can think of lots of game applications that could use this that I would love to write. Unfortunately my C++ skills are very limited. I wonder if I could hook into it from a JAVA app using JNI?

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Caution when updating Firmware on N95

Nokia N95As I got my phone in Asia, I was able to update my firmware to V12.0.0.14 without having to jump through all the hoops that european users had to. As the upgrade started I saw the warning to backup all of my data before the upgrade. This can be done using the Backup program in the Nokia PC Suite. I was lucky that I did as the phone is totally formatted during the upgrade.

One thing that still worried me was that my upgrade to Nokia Maps Navigation was gone. It looked like I had to pay for the upgrade again. After searching the web I came across a solution.

1. Start Maps application.
2. Go to Options > Extra services
3. Select Add navigation > Accept > Purchase > Select the correct region (i.e. the region you have earlier purchased the navigation for).
4. You see a list of licenses with different lengths of time. You don’t need to select the correct length, just go directly to Options > Update
5. Allow connection to license server to check purchase & license options by selecting “Yes” and by selecting Internet access point (if asked).
6. A note “xxx-day license activated” is shown where xxx is the amount of days left of your license.

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