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General technology.

Evolution Controllers Drone Input Modes

I've bought an Evolution Controllers "Drone" bluetooth controller. It's a very nice, small little controller designed to work with tablets and phones for gaming on the go. To aid with this, it supports a variety of "input modes" that define how it works.

Unfortunately, these are not documented anywhere, beyond the key combinations required to activate them.

So here you go, a table of the modes and what they do, based on the source itself.

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Google Maps is available for iOS

Google Maps is finally available for iOS. Which is nice, because Apple Maps is kind of horrible. Not as bad as some people would say, but definitely deficient in several key areas.

The New PC Gaming Section at Best Buy

I found this at the new PC gaming section at the local Best Buy:

I found it amusing.

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Fixing my Windows 8 Start Screen

When I open my Windows 8 Start screen, right click, and select All Apps, the shell crashes. (I get a few entries in the Application Event Log, including "[t]he shell stopped unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted.") Note that the "shell" includes the Start screen, all open File Explorer windows, and the desktop itself. Kind of annoying, especially because it meant I couldn't access everything installed on my computer.

My brother clued me in that the problem was probably caused by existing entries in the Start Menu.

He was right.

Oh, right, the CherryPy remote control thing

Oh, right, I did say I was going to try and create a CherryPy-based webapp front end. So here is a very quick and dirty implementation that provides some very basic control over the TV. Specifically, basic volume control (up and down), and the various input controls. Which is what I wanted out of it.

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Playing Around With Python and My TV

I recently noticed that my Sharp AQUOS TV had a section in the owner's manual describing "IP Control." Now you might think that this would be something about DRM, but it actually describes commands you can send the TV via TCP/IP in order to remote control it. Nifty!

The manual seems to suggest using telnet to do this, but I've found that it doesn't work. But sending the commands via Python does work.

So let's get to some basic code!

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iOS 5 Mini Review

I've only been playing around with iOS 5 for a few hours, since the update took forever thanks to the infamous "Error 3200," so this is just some first impressions.

What I Like

Android's Notification Center

Notifications now appear at the top of the phone, and you can swipe down to view them (and various widgets) at any time. So that's nice. And exactly the same way it works in Android.

Heh

I know I'm not the only one this is happening to, but it's still amusing:

Apple's website returning a HTTP 403 Forbidden error

Update: Just to be clear, this happened immediately after the iPhone 4S was announced (October 4th, 2011), but before Steve Jobs's death (October 5th, 2011). Note the time stamp.

The Nook gains a web browser

The Barnes & Noble nook has had a web browser added to it in the 1.3 update (along with sudoku and chess and a bunch of other things).

And the web browser actually works pretty freaking well. The nook’s design of a small touch screen along with an e-ink display means that you get a full-color small view into the website on the bottom and a very nice black-and-white view on the top. You can scroll through the website using both the touch screen and the page back/forward keys, meaning that all-in-all, it works very well for simple surfing.

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iDon't care...

So apparently Verizon has decided it needs to take the iPhone head on, and is running a campaign that makes various points all starting with "iDon't." (Some of them are pretty damned weak, like "iDon't run widgets.")

Then it jumps from clean and Apple-like to noisy and - well, honestly, it reminds me of a traditional horror movie promo. "Coming November, it's DROID. DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and it's related companies."

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