The place where Geeks Blog.

Monthly archives for March, 2011 Competition

Canvas was created by “m00t” and it’s basically an image board, but with a difference.

First of all you can “remix” posts. So you can take someone’s picture and edit it right in the website. This makes for some great user generated content which is often hilarious or insanely cute. Also STICKERS! Yes that’s right folks you can attach stickers to posts to vote for something or to say how that made made you react.

Now while some of you may know “m00t” for his other work this is a SFW image board and it has always stayed that way while I’ve used it.

At the moment is only accessible if you get a invite and this is where we come in. I have 4 invites to give away with more coming soon, so for your chance to win leave a comment below with why you should get an invite and we will pick the winners on Saturday 2nd April 2011.

Good luck everyone.

Coolest new apps


Image courtesy of Expansys

With the release of tablet computers for Android, along with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet operating system, the market for apps made with tablet PCs in mind is growing rapidly. Though a tablet PC will run standard apps built for mobiles, most of these are designed with phone interfaces and screens in mind so do not use the screen space effectively, often running in a low resolution covering only part of the screen. The greater screen size of a tablet computer means many dedicated tablet PC apps can shine; offering new and better user experiences. These are some of the latest tablet PC apps:

Pulse News is an RSS reader which arranges news stories for mailing list companies and social network updates in a novel manner by stacking them with relevant images to cover the screen in a grid and lets you scroll through them with a flick of a finger. This is a great use of the screen space on a tablet PC and makes the news easy to browse. It runs beautifully using some of Honeycomb’s new tricks for supporting animations which allow the smooth scrolling of text and images. Selecting any of the images by tapping on it instantly opens the news story, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and even email creating a single, integrated experience. What’s more Pulse News is free. Surprisingly given the age of the desktop PC compared to tablet PCs interfaces like Pulse News are taking them far ahead of what came before for the desktop PC. It will be interesting to see how new ideas like this continue to develop.

CNN are one of the first major news organisations to create their own tablet computer app for news from their sites. It allows you to view news stories in a similar manner to Pulse with rows of images and headlines arranged in a grid and updated in real time. An interesting addition to the app is that it makes news a two way process by adding the iReport feature which lets users upload their own news stories to the iReport user submissions area. As this app is power-hungry it is only available for Honeycomb tablet PCs, older versions of Android will not be able to download it from the Android Market. CNN News is also a free app.

Fuze Meeting is aimed at businesses and anyone who needs to coordinate projects online, offering support for up to three people to video conference in high definition with a host of features to support the meeting. Files can be uploaded and shared easily via the Cloud while desktop contents can be streamed and highlighted with iPoint, the online equivalent of a laser pointer. It also supports chat through all of the major online chat clients. The basic version of the app is free and can be upgraded by registering and paying to allow meetings with more participants, beating even a desktop PC for meetings online.

One of Google’s own apps that benefits the most from tablets is Google Body, the 3D viewer that lets you examine every external and internal part of the human body from any angle. You can zoom in on individual features which are all fully labelled as well as select layers such as bones, muscles, organs or the skin to display. This app will be of educational and general interest to children all the way up to adults and those studying medical subjects. It is also free, making it ideal for teachers to use as an educational tool.

The advance of tablet PCs to the point where they are competing for market share with laptops and even desktop PC is very exciting for the future of apps as the tablet computer gains more processing and graphics power. Recently the investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated that tablet computer sales would increase at least six-fold in the near term, making tablets the place where new ideas will be tried out from many up and coming software companies.

This is a sponsored post.

Review: PlayStation Move Sharpshooter

It’s hard to review a peripheral, well for me, because it’s really down to the person if they want to spend the money to use it with only some of the games. Things like PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect are different in my head because you can use them with the console, navigating the menus while also using them for games, whereas would someone by an attachment for an attachment to a console, for example a Lightsaber for Kinect and the Star Wars game (but you good just use your FX Lightsaber, wait a second that would be awesome!!!!) but here it is my review for the PlayStation Move Sharpshooter.

I have followed this since its announcement, being a huge time crisis fan and wanting the replacement for the Gcon and then waiting for a good holster for the Move controllers, and the Sharpshooter was well worth it. I’m going the review down to 3 main areas, the controller itself, working with First person shooters (for example Killzone 3) and working with on rail shooters (Time Crisis)

The Controller
The controller itself is extremely well built, with a nice weight behind it when holding it empty. The colour scheme in the US is a lot better, in my opinion, than the one the UK got. Unfortunately the main body of the gun is solid red and the holster area for the move controller is a whit, whereas the controller in the US has a full white body with an orange line on the area under the Move controller.

The buttons are well positioned for all types of games and are easily placed for quick access. One thing I didn’t see in the picture but was first to notice when I got the controller, there is a move button underneath the trigger. Now this is used in on rail shooters for cover and having it there frees your other hand to steady the gun rather than having it on top of the gun to press the move button to cover. This was a criticism of the first Move gun holster they brought out, which was just a plastic shell. The adjustable stock is a great addition as well to allow you to use it as a submachine gun firing from the hip or an assault rifle allowing for more accurate shots, and with the little touch of having a reload button under the magazine section, that’s just the icing on the cake

Even while in a fire fight and throwing the controller around to stab enemies and to get into the fight both the controller holds up well and both the move and navigation controller hold well in there compartments and are secure, and with feeling the vibrations from the controller really helps you get into the game, but how does it handle in a game?

First Person Shooters
Killzone 3 was sold as the new way to play with Move, being the first major leap for motion gaming for the PlayStation 3, and I gotta say that they pulled it off and that the sharp shooter is a great addition to it. I played the demo when it was released and tried with the Move and the dual shock controller and I preferred the controller over the Move due to it feeling to loose and not being able to really aim due to my arms becoming tired. However when I got the Sharpshooter and the Killzone release I thought they really bought their A game, this is the motion shooter to define motion shooters and with the sharp shooter it finished off the package it was astonishing. It was clear that the controller and game were designed and built together and if you have the full Move controller set, just push that little bit more for the sharp shooter, you won’t be disappointed.

Rail Shooters
Time crisis is a great game and with the addition of Razing Storm to the series, people who didn’t have the Gcon from Time Crisis 4 they were looking for a new attachment for their Move controllers. Well it is here now, with the move button (used as cover) directly under the trigger allows for quick access as well as being extremely responsive gives the time crisis fan exactly what they need, that and the digital trigger, it’s the gun the Time Crisis fan has been looking for.

This review may have sound extremely fan boyish but I will say the first time I opened it up I was smiling like a kid at Christmas and I believe that anyone who picks it up will feel the same. As Kevin Butler says “As I like to call it daddy’s little helper”.

WebMatrix Tutorial: How to Publish your Website

This video shows you how to set up a publishing destination within WebMatrix and takes you through the steps to allow you to publish your website to your host.

Download Microsoft WebMatrix here

The End Is Nigh

The day every web developer has dreamed of is coming soon. Microsoft has launched a website showing the countdown of people who use Internet Explorer 6. The website talks about the history of Internet Explorer and the fact it is 10 years old now and the usage around the world at the moment. It also integrates social media sites and tells you to educate others about the new versions of Internet Explorer, with a handy link on the site to allow the visitor to download the new version.

Many websites are already warning about using older browsers on the web, due to security and attacks that can occur against you and recommend you upgrade, sites such as Facebook and CNET are among the main, though most web developers will try and add a upgrade snippet to their websites.

For more information on IE6 Countdown click here and to download the new Internet Explorer click here.

Light Peak is here. Thunderbolt is the future.

thunderbolt-logoToday along with the Macbook refresh Intel have announced and release Thunderbolt (formally developed and know under the name of Light Peak). Thunderbolt  is a new I/O technology which gives insanely high speeds, currently at 10 Gbps (Thats a full HD movie, somewhere between 10-20GB in under 30 seconds), and a theoretical speed of 100Gbps in the future.

One of the purposes of Thunderbolt is to replace almost all of the all the ports on your computer into one, including FireWire, USB consumer devices, HDMI, DVI and VGA. This is so easily achievable with the 10Gbps Dual-channel speeds and with a extremely low latency it looks like this technology could easily live up to its potential  especially will Apple jumping on the bandwagon so quickly it’s almost certain that all other manufactures will start to follow suit, it’s just a case of waiting until Thunderbolt devices hit the market in mass.

So what do you think about Thunderbolt? Will it be a big the huge success it could be, or will it be pushed out by another technology such as USB 3.0? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

WP7 Marketplace Free App Submission Increased

Microsoft has increased the amount of free applications that a developer can submit to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace from 5 to 100, a newsletter from Microsoft said:

During the past months we have been working hard to improve our overall Windows Phone Marketplace experience based on the feedback we received from you and our partners. We heard from many of you that you wanted a higher limit on the maximum number of free apps you could submit for free.

We’ve heard you and are pleased to announce that we’ve increased that limit from 5 to 100.

If you’re having trouble submitting you free apps, please contact support

Interestingly the recent meetings with the team behind the ChevronWP7 application and a List Broker agent may of influenced the decision. “We can’t take total credit, but we did push that free application limit during Chevron/Microsoft talks” was tweeted by Rafael Rivera, one of the developers behind the infamous tool.