Posts tagged awesome

Watch classic movies for free

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I thought this was pretty awesome when I stumbled upon it a few days ago. What the site has done is provide a smart interface to a library of classic movies that no longer have any copyright issues and are available on Google Video. You can search for specific titles or browse through a genre. The old school movie posters are a laugh and they feature a different set of movies based on the time of year or season.

Classic Cinema Online

Classic Cinema Online


So whether you’re in the mood for some classic animation or some really bad horror films, Classic Cinema Online has hundreds of films in dozens of categories and it’s all FREE !

The first thing that will put a grin on your face is the quality of the video – yes we really did used to watch stuff like that. Some of the acting is almost enough to put every movie in the comedy category.

Check it out.

Silicon Cape overview video

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An overview of what happened at the Silicon Cape event in a short Zoopy video.

You can also see Helen Zille’s and Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s presentation on the Zoopy site.

iWarrior: an African iPhone Game

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I love seeing stuff like this !

East and West Africa collaborating on game and then distributing it via the App Store. More of the same guys. Keep it up.

Maybe for their next project we can temporarily relocate them to the Silicon Cape ?

iWarrior: an African iPhone Game: “

There aren’t a lot of African gamers, as would be expected due to the general lack of access to gaming technology and platforms in Africa, relative to other parts of the world. There are even fewer game developers on the continent. Due to being a gamer myself, I like to keep track of this as much as possible, and it’s always fun to announce a new one.

iWarrior - an African iPhone gameiWarrior is an iPhone game (iTunes link), created by the cross-Afrian team of Kenyan Wesley Kirinya and Ghanaian Eyram Tawia of Leti Games. It’s a unique top-down shooter game that utilizes the iPhone’s inbuilt accelerometer to both move and shoot. Your goal: protect your village, livestock and garden from the incoming marauding animals.

It’s a great first-effort from the team, and I believe it’s the first game created by a team in Africa. This itself is a much more difficult task than what many might expect. Just to get an iTunes account and a way to be be paid for your application is a challenge due to Apple’s inbuilt prejudice against Africa (they’re not alone in this, as many other platforms, like PayPal’s or Google Checkout’s are the same). That seems like a dramatic statement to make, but I ask you to stay your judgment until you’ve walked in the shoes of an African programmer.

Gameplay
I’m not an exceptionally talented twitch gamer, so I found the unique movement plus shooting actions hard to come to terms with. However, as I played it longer, I found myself slowly figuring it out and getting better at it. Thankfully, the team has built in a completely different way to play using your finger to slide and tap, you can move and shoot. So, for the accelerometer-challenged (like me) there’s another option. :)

iWarrior also allows you to play your own music while playing the game. This might seem small, but it’s something a lot of game maker’s overlook, and it’s a lot more fun than listening to the same repetitious in-game music.

The game costs $2.99, which is a little steep for new games on the iPhone. For many reasons the costs of most applications (games or otherwise) on the App Store have been driven to about 99cents. So, it takes either a really big name or an app that has hard to replicate features in order to break past $1.99 and sell a lot. In the team’s defense, it’s difficult for them to download paid games to test and see if they compare to their own prior to putting it on the market (again, due to them being in Africa).

Graphics
The graphics are okay. I’m a stickler on this type of thing though, and I go for either over-the-top quality or simplicity. Examples of this is comparing Fieldrunners to Doodle Jump, both excellent graphically, yet with completely different aesthetics.

iPhone game design - fieldrunners vs doodle jump

So, I’m going to ding the team on this part of the game. This, after a lengthy discussion in Ghana with Eyram over the difficulties of finding quality digital artists. It’s not an easy thing to do, the best designers aren’t digitally literate, with a few exceptions. So, you get great sketching and painting, but few can put that into vector graphics, 3d or even Photoshop.

Though the challenge is high, we live in a digitally connected world where top quality digital artists from Asia and Eastern Europe can be found to do the work at acceptable rates. There are other options, and a game can be made or broken on looks alone.

Summary

iWarrior is an excellent first game on the iPhone platform from two highly talented and creative African game developers. I expect that there will be a lot of good games, and other applications, coming from this team over time – both on the iPhone and other platforms. It’s a game to be proud of and one that I hope a lot of others will buy.

(Via White African.)

ZA News turns to technology to work around SABC bull$h!+

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Although this is not directly technology related, I thought it was a great example of how technology and the Internet were able to bypass a quagmire of political bull and get a “controversial” TV show “on the air”.

zanews.png

ZA News was created by local cartoonist and satirist Zapiro (Jonathon Shapiro) and is a satirical view on South African politics. It was supposed to air on the SABC earlier this year (link to the front page article on the Star) but due to all kinds of political bumbling at the SABC it never saw the light of day.

On the 5th of October 2009, the Mail and Guardian decided to start streaming the show from their website as it was clearly never going to make it onto local TV. Check the inaugural episode below:

Although they won’t have as big a local audience as they would have had airing it on SABC, they now have the whole world as a potential audience.

The show cracks me up. The visuals provided by puppets alone is enough to make anyone that knows anything about South African politics wet themselves.

Make it part of your daily comic relief.

Love your work M&G and Zapiro. High fives all round.

SABC, you still suck.

With top speakers, Silicon Cape generates a ‘real buzz’

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I was going to write something about the Silicon Cape launch event yesterday myself, but I’ve read so many articles already this morning, that writing another one that says the same thing would just be a waste of time and space on my blog.

siliconcape.jpg

Of all the ones I’ve read I think that Ivo Vegter from Tech Central summed it up best. Excerpt below and click the link to read the rest of the article.

With top speakers, Silicon Cape generates a ‘real buzz’: “Many innovation hubs have been proposed around the world, ostensibly modelling themselves on Silicon Valley. There have been successes, but most peter out. Silicon Cape, launched on 8 October 2009 in Cape Town, hit all the right notes.
The key element in any start-up hotspot, explain Silicon Cape Initiative founders Vinny Lingham (himself a successful startup […]

(Via TechCentral.)

Do you Poken ?

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I’ve been looking at getting one of these for a while, but never got around to it.

poken

Now I’ve won one in a competition and I’m keen to see just how useful these are. The primary challenge that “early adopters” will have is that if you don’t have anyone to “Poken” with, you basically just have a small piece of plastic with an LED that never goes on in your pocket.

My poken

My poken

The idea is simple, you store all your online contact information on the Poken and then when you are at social or business gathering and you need to exchange information with someone else you simply touch the two Poken together and they exchange information. There is a flurry of LED’s and all things electronic and then when next you connect your Poken to your computer you have all the persons details.

They’re R199 from the local Poken distributors (Poken Africa).

Get one. The more people that have them, the more people you can “Poken”.

Billion take it to the next level

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You heard it here first, but now Billion have taken it to the next level.

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

With this device you can have the best of both worlds – Wifi and EoP (Ethernet over Power). You are pretty much guaranteed to have every inch of your house covered either with wired or wireless connectivity without the hassle of having to lay (and hide) Ethernet cable all over the place.

Billion is supplied locally by Nology and is apparently ready to be ordered from them. I’ve been scouring the local e-tailers but they are pretty slow and useless when it comes to new products.

Only people that seem to be on the ball are Expansys who have it on offer for R874.99 here.

This price puts it at about the same price as the Netgear units which don’t have the built in Wifi.

Definitely worth taking a look at if you are planning on wire(less)ing your home up anytime soon.

Automate getting your RSS fix

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4/5

4/5

Over time I’ve messed around with a number of OS X applications that automate the finding and downloading of content that I subscribe to with RSS.

Some of the applications that I have been using have not been updated in a long time and they have begun to become more and more unreliable.

Fortunately I recently came across “Automatic”:

The answer to your RSS prayers

The answer to your RSS prayers

Automatic allows you to set up subscriptions for virtually any content linked in RSS feeds: podcasts, videocasts, torrentcasts… Rule of thumb: if it ends in ‘-cast’, you can get it with Automatic.

Once set up, there’s nothing else to do but sit back and wait. Automatic will fetch and deliver the latest content for your subscriptions right to your download folder*, so all that’s left for you is to find some time to enjoy it!

For example, just imagine you wanted to ensure that you were always up to date with your favorite TV show. For this example, we’ll assume that “The Big Bang Theory”is the show in question.

Hit the best TV Show RSS feed, select “The Big Bang Theory” from the drop down list, click the “Get public feed” button and copy the URL that it spits back at you.

Show RSS

Show RSS

Open up Automatic (it lives in your System Preferences).

System Preferences

System Preferences

Click on the “Subscriptions” tab at the top and the on the “+” button to add a new subscription.

Add a feed

Add a feed

Click the “+” button again on the next screen to add a feed. Paste the URL into the top field and Automatic does the rest.

Automatic feed

Automatic feed

In this case I’ve made use of a feed that will only return episodes for this show. You can obviously use a general feed and then use the filter function to view only the items you want.

Play with it for a few minutes and you’ll get the idea. Pretty simple stuff really.

Note: This show used as an example only. Make sure you only use this only to download content that you have rights to. Otherwise you will probably get into trouble.

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