internet


Filmon: Free IPTV service

filmonIPTV is in a great momentum. In Spain we saw the rise of a lot of platforms: Yomvi, MovistarTV, OrangeTV, Nubeox… mainly paid platforms, but I am only interested in channels in English and Filmon is a great (and legal) option to watch some of them for free.

Filmon offers more than 600 live channels. There are lots of crap, but others are quite interesting:

  • UK TV channels: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC News, ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4…
  • News channels: Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Euronews, France24, Russia Today…

Filmon is free for SD resolution, if you want to watch it in HD and access to program recording you must pay a 15€/month fee.

You can can watch Filmon directly from their web page http://filmon.tv, or from their Android and iOS apps.

There is also an unofficial Kodi plugin (previously called XBMC) at SuperRepo.


JavaScript as a Runtime

The future is here, and JavaScript (JS) is everywhere, but JS development is so hard that many people prefer to develop in other languages and then compile their code to JS, using JS as a universal runtime. Here are the most interesting options:

GWT

GWT stand for Google Web Toolkit, but now it’s in hands of the community and extensively used in many corporations. GWT compiles Java into JS and it’s strongly optimized. I use it a lot, and I feel very productive using an advanced IDE like Eclipse with tools like code assist, refactor, etc.

https://developers.google.com/web-toolkit/

CoffeeScript

A very compact language, inspired by Ruby and Python and that has become extremely popular in the last years. I’m not very familiar with the “Syntactic sugar” and I’m more productive with traditional languages (yes, I love curly backets! {}).

http://coffeescript.org/

Haxe

If you are an ActionScript developer (Adobe Flash), this is your language. It not only compiles to JS and ActionScript, also to PHP, C++, C#, etc. It’s becoming popular for the development of multi-platform mobile games with NME.

http://www.haxe.org/

Dart

This is a new language for the web pushed by Google. It tries to be a “modern and structured” language for the web that can be run directly into the browser, but to retain compatibility (and to run in other browsers that publicly rejected Dart), it can also be compiled to JS.

http://www.dartlang.org/

List of languages that compile to Js: http://altjs.org/


Google DevFest 2011 BCN 1

This week I assisted to the Google DevFest 2011 Barcelona. This year it was celebrated on a great “garage” located on an industrial area of Barcelona. I will tell the more interesting things that I found on the different sessions:

NEW IN HTML

As usual, this session presented by Paul Kinlan showed us the future of HTML5. I love the x-webkit-speech Chrome feature to make voice inputs that we already could see on the Madrid DevFest 2010. Paul made also some demos of WebIntents  a great idea to make something similar to Android intents on the web. Finally we could see that HTML5 is advancing very fast trying to implement many APIS that will make Flash obsolete, like window.navigator.getUserMedia() ot the Web Audio API.

GLSL

This session was presented by Mr. doob aka. Ricardo Cabello, a guy from the demoscene. He made a introduction of how 3D works in the browser and showed us how to use the GLSL language to make great effects on web pages. He has those GLSL demos on his blog.

GOOGLE+ SESSIONS

There were two Google+ sessions driven by Ade Oshineye, one presenting the new social network (also announcing the Google+ Pages) and other with more technical details for developers. One thing that you can do easily is adding the +1 button to your site. Other very interesting tools that we could see were the Google APIs Console and the Google APIs Explorer.

ANDROID SESSIONS

Bruno Oliveira is replacing Reto Meier as our “Android Developer Relations”.  On the first session he made a great review of the Android platform evolution since 2.1 to 4.0. On the second session he gave us great tips to improve UX experience on Android. This guy is a showman!

MAKING A BUSSINESS OUT OF APPS

This session was presented by Paul Kinlan and Bruno Oliveira, showing us that monetization tips are valid for both web and Android apps: Lazy registration, try before you buy, easy payment, in-app payments… Bruno also presented the new multilingual “Guide to the App Galaxy” http://www.guidetotheappgalaxy.com/.

GOOGLE SHOPPING API

Daniel Hermes showed us the Google Shopping API and many integration samples.

CHROME DEV TOOLS

Finally Sam Dutton made a review of the Google Chrome development tools. This tools replaced my FireBug many years ago! He also made his slides available.

APP COMPETITION

This year Google also organized and Appcircus-style app competition. Those were the apps and sites presented:

I won the app competition, but all were great apps. Our presentation and some photos of the app competition are available at our Mobialia Blog.


MythTV vs XBMC vs Blusens WebTV

I used for many years MythTV and XBMC, and as now I own a Blusens WebTV, I will do a feature comparation between this three media centers. I will rate some features from one star (*) to five stars (*****) based on my personal opinion.

MythTV XMBC Blusens WebTV
Movie library w/covers and info no yes no (but there is an app to build an HTML interface to your movie library)
Music library w/ covers, artists, genres… no yes no
TV tuner yes no yes (there is a cheaper LITE version without tuner)
PVR & time-shift yes no yes (no on LITE version)
TV and radio streaming  to other computers yes no yes (but TS streams, needs a low of BW, probably will not work over your WiFi)
Transcoding (converting between audio/video formats) yes (on records and streams!) no no
Web interface **** **** ****
Interface design **** (skinnable) ***** (skinnable and has great themes like Aeon, MediaStream…) *** (not skinnable)
Installable apps QT plugins (no app store, needs manual install) Python HTML & Javascript, Webkit powered
Killer apps Emulators (MythGame) Netflix (not on Spain), Emulators (with some work on the Launcher plugin), IMDB queries… Online Films and Serials from cinetube.es, peliculasyonkis.com…
Web browsing ** no **** (Webkit , no Adobe Flash, identified like an iPad)
Ease of setup * *** (if installing on a PC, if you buy a Boxee will be *****) *****
Ease of use **** **** ****
Android remote app *** ***** (shows movie & music library on the mobile) ***
Price of packaged solution No packaged solution 200€ (Boxee) 150€
Web http://mythtv.org http://xbmc.org, http://boxee.tv http://blusens.com

Now I’m using the Blusens WebTV because it’s a silent and small device (much more than my old PC running MythTV/XBMC). I solved the emulators part (that I had working on XBMC) with some Wii homebrew…


Upcoming Android Gadgets at Blusens 9

LED TV Assembly Line

Last week I was invited by Miguel Silva Constenla to the Blusens HQ at Santiago de Compostela. Blusens is a Galician consumer electronics manufacturer with worldwide presence.

I had a great expectation because Miguel said that was going to show us their upcoming Android devices. He received us at their administrative office, but soon we went to their I+D facilities.

There I was impressed with a production line where their LED TVs are assembled, he also show us their logistic office (with their famous “Orgy of the Senses” poster), call center, repair center, and engineering offices. Finally we went to their showroom where their upcoming android devices were waiting.

First one is an 7″ Android tablet. This is a cheap low-end Android device with something different: a cover with an integrated keyboard. This keyboard is plugged by USB to the tablet. It will be available in about two months by about 160€.

CONS:

  • Resistive Touchscreen: Miguel said us that a capacitive touchscreen will increase the price about 50€, but the experience with the touchscreen was quite bad.
  • Android 2.x: (in the release date is going to be Android 2.3). This low-end devices do not support Honeycomb.

7" Blusens Android Tablet

  • Lack of Android Market: This device is not certified by Google so it cannot include the Android Market app. The ROM installed on  the prototype had the SlideMe market, but I don’t consider it an alternative. The solution is to install manually the Android Market (copying GoogleServicesFramework.apk and Vending.apk from other device to the /system/apps dir), but needs some Android knowledge…

PROS:

  • 160€ is a very low price, I think that this kind of devices are very appropriate for children or for people in countries where people cannot pay 400€ for a computer.
  • Elegant cover with embedded keyboard: great for fast text input, answering emails on the go, etc… Transforms the tablet in a kind-of-netbook and compensates the bad experience with the touchscreen.
  • Local repair center and customer support: you can buy a chinese tablet by this price, but you will not have the customer support and repair center in europe.

Blusens Android STB Prototype

The other device is an Android Set-top-box. Blusens has a great experience with their web:tv device and they are investigating to release a similar Android based device. They showed us a prototype running Android 2.2.

This device will include a remote with a complete keyboard and the pointer will work like the WiiMote, pointing with it to the TV. Some optional accessories will be a TV tuner and a webcam.

It seems an aggressive proposal when GoogleTV is not yet on the market, but I think that it’s great to have Android apps on the TV.They also have plans to integrate something similar to this device on their upcoming TV models.

Finally Miguel had a present for us: a Web:TV device! What I like of this device are the continuous firmware updates and HTML apps powered by a Webkit-based browser (ok! media player and PVR are also great features).


My Firefox 4 setup 2

After two weeks since the  Firefox 4 (FF4)  release, I decided to switch back again to Firefox from Google’s Chrome. But I miss Chrome a lot, so I configured FF4 almost like a Chrome… ¿how? using those themes and plugins:

  • FXChrome Theme: this theme claims to work only on Windows, but I’m using it on Linux without any problem
  • Movable Firefox Button: Converts the FF4 menu to a button that you can place on your navigation tab (to the right, like on Chrome)
  • Omnibar: Joins the address box and the search box in only one box
  • Titlebar Tweaker Plus: Hides title bar on Linux, on Windows you can use better options like “Hide Caption Titlebar Plus”, but on FF4 this last doesn’t work on Linux
  • Close Button: Without the title bar, I need a button to close FF4, I put it to the right of the tabs, (If using the  “Hide Caption Titlebar Plus” you don’t need this)
  • Barlesque: the new FF4 addon bar occupies all the window bottom, this extension collapses this bar on the bottom right (configurable), having much more space for browsing

And I also recommend this plugins:

  • AdBlock Plus: Removes ads from web pages
  • Speed Dial: Shows your favourite site on dials like Opera
  • FaviconizeTab: Adds a contextual menu on tabs to show only the favicon instead of the title on the tabs
  • Download Statusbar: Shows the downloads on the status bar
  • Echofon: a small twitter client, I miss the TweetDeck Chome app, but it seems that soon will be avaiable for FF4
  • Cutyfox URL Shortener: I use it to fast-shorten URLs with bit.ly
  • DownloadHelper: to download videos from Youtube and a lot of video sites
  • User Agent Switcher: some apps (Ok, JDEdwards) need to change the User-Agent header to work properly, also a good tool to test mobile web browsing

That’s the result:


Google DevFest 2010

As many of you know, this year I’m involved on Android with my project Mobialia. On February I was on the Android Developer Lab at Madrid and today I returned for the Google DevFest.

The event started with Dave Burke presenting Google Technologies in general. Many jokes about the iPhone (to show the Chrome2Phone extension he send a page about iPhone unlocking from Chrome to a Nexus One). He made the typical Sunspider Javascript Test comparation between a Nexus One with Froyo and an iPad. It also was quite impressive so see GWT Quake2 Port running on Chrome at 50 FPS and the new voice/camera input fields on HTML5.

Then the sessions where split on two lines, I assisted to the Android, Chrome&HTML5 and Maps related.

Our beloved Reto Meier was speaking at the Android Sessions, much more technical than on February’s Android Developer Lab (good!). On his first session he made a great presentation about good and bad practices developing Android Apps (I suggest every android developer to see it!), on the second he speaked in detail about Cloud to Device Messaging and vice-versa. He gave me lots of app ideas using this feature. Finally he swowed us proudly his new Samsung Galaxy Tab and encouraged us to adapt our applications to the new tablet devices.

There were also very short presentations of spanish app developers (eAdventure, LibreGeoSocial, Inmobilia, Sicad and great the one of AnderWeb!).

Next, Paul Kinlan speaked about Chrome Apps and Extensions, the App Store and HTML5 on detail. I’m also very happy to see the progression of HTML5 and how Chrome is leaveraging the innovation towards a better web. Quite funny to see a modified Pacman Doodle controlled with the acceleromers of the iBook. There was also a presentation of Fiabee showing their HTML5 app and Chrome extension.

On the last sessions with Josh Livni talking about maps and presenting the Google Maps API v3, I was very impressed with maps customization, Fusion Tables and the new Google Street view API possibiliting the creation of 360º photos and adding them on specific locations (as inside a bar!).

All the sessions where recorded on video and will be avaiable at the Google DevFest Madrid web site.


Manifesto: Na defensa dos dereitos fundamentais en Internet

justiciaAnte a inclusión no anteproxecto de lei sobre a economía sostible das modificacións lexislativas que afectan o libre exercicio das liberdades de expresión, de información e o dereito de acceso á cultura a través de Internet, os xornalistas, blogueiros, usuarios, profesionais e creadores de Internet manifestamos a nosa firme oposición ao proxecto, e declaramos que …

  1. Os dereitos de autor non poden estar por riba dos dereitos fundamentais dos cidadáns, incluíndo o dereito á privacidade, a seguridade, a presunción de inocencia, a tutela xurisdicional efectiva e a liberdade de expresión.
  2. A suspensión dos dereitos fundamentais é e debe seguir sendo unha competencia exclusiva do Poder Xudicial. Nin un peche sen unha sentenza. Este anteproxecto, ao contrario do disposto no artigo 20.5 da Constitución, pon en mans dun corpo non xudicial, un organismo dependente do Ministerio de Cultura, a potestade de poder impedir o acceso dos cidadáns españois a calquera páxina web.
  3. A nova normativa vai xerar inseguridade xurídica en todo o sector tecnolóxico español, perxudicando unha das poucas áreas de desenvolvemento e futuro da nosa economía, dificultando a creación de empresas, introducindo barreiras á libre competencia, e trabando a súa expansión internacional.
  4. A nova lexislación proposta ameaza aos novos creadores e dificulta a creación cultural. Coa Internet e os sucesivos avances tecnolóxicos democratízase drasticamente a creación e emisión de todo tipo de contidos que xa non veñen principalmente das tradicionais industrias culturais, se non de moitas fontes distintas.
  5. Os autores, como todos os traballadores teñen dereito a vivir do seu traballo con novas ideas creativas, modelos de negocio e actividades relacionadas coas súas creacións. Tentar de soster con modificacións lexislativas unha industria anticuada que non sabe adaptarse a ese novo ambiente non é xusto nin realista. Se o seu modelo de negocio baséase no control das copias dos traballos e na Internet non é posible sen violar os dereitos fundamentais, terán que atopar un outro modelo.
  6. Cremos que as industrias culturais precisan para sobrevivir de alternativas modernas, eficaces, credíveles, accesíbeles e que atendan os novos usos sociais, en vez de limitacións tan desproporcionadas coma ineficaces para o fin que afirman perseguir.
  7. Internet debe funcionar libremente e sen interferencias políticas patrocinadas por grupos que buscan perpetuar modelos de negocio obsoletos e impedir que o coñecemento humano siga sendo libre.
  8. Demandamos que o Goberno asegure por lei a neutralidade da rede en España, ante calquera presión que poida ocorrer, como un marco para o desenvolvemento dunha economía realista e sostible para o futuro.
  9. Propoñemos unha reforma real dos dereitos de propiedade intelectual co fin de: retornar á sociedade o coñecemento, impulsar o dominio público e limitar os abusos das entidades xestoras.
  10. Nunha democracia as leis e as súas modificacións deben ser aprobadas despóis do debido debate público e de ter consultadas todas as partes implicadas. É inaceptable que se fagan modificacións lexislativas que afectan os dereitos fundamentais nunha lei non orgánica e que trata de outro tema.

Opera Mini 5

operaI’ve been using Opera Mini 4 for 1 year and I prefer it over the Symbian integrated browser because is faster, simpler and smaller. Now Opera announced the avaiability of an Opera Mini 5 Beta. The main new features are:

– Speed Dial with captures of the pages, like in the desktop version. I don’t use Opera for the desktop but the “Speed Dial” plugin for Firefox is one of my favourites. Also Is not very intuitive to edit a dial (pressing 1).
– Tabbed browsing: not very usable, too many clicks to change the tab till I discovered the shortcut (* ->).

    Well, it also has touchscreen support but I couldn’t test it in my N95. I didn’t noticed improvements in page rendering: some pages continue to fail (especially with flash), and I need to see them in the Symbian browser.

    The only inconvenience over the previous version is that the time to load the application has increased a lot and that is a bit less fluid; let’s see if with the final release this is solved. The beta can be downloaded at:

    http://www.opera.com/mini/next


    Port de Sphider a PostgreSQL

    postgresqlAcabo de publicar una modificación del excelente motor de búsqueda Sphider para que funcione con PostgreSQL. Esta modificación  la hicimos en Ingeniería de Prefabricados S.L. para la nueva web coporativa del Grupo Castelo.

    Curioso ver como miles de proyectos dejan de lado a PostgreSQL cuando es muy superior a MySQL (o al menos en mi modesta opinión), lo cual demuestra una vez más, como en la guerra del VHS contra el Beta, que la calidad técnica no está relacionada proporcionalmente con el éxito.