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Submission + - UK Developers quit US app store over patent fears (

iamflimflam1 writes: The Guardian is running a story on how app developers in the UK are withdrawing from the US app store over patent fears. After this blog post from the iconfactory about the death of independent developers. Have the big corporations really won — is this end for the small team and one man band developers?

Submission + - iPhone dev earns $1200 in two weeks from iAds (

An anonymous reader writes: iPhone app developer CMG Research has just posted some information on the amount of money they've earned from iAds in just 2 weeks. From the numbers they have averaged about $60-$70 a day peaking at around $160 during their peak of popularity. The average eCPM is working out at around $30 compared to the normal eCPM of around $1-$2 that are normally achieved (eCPM = effective cost per thousand impressions).

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."

Printing Replacement Body Parts 101

Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."

Comment Re:The real deal... (Score 2, Interesting) 305

I had to port a mobile app to both iPhone and Android. The Objective-C wasn't much of a barrier as I already knew C and C++ so it was mostly just syntactic sugar.

Of the two platforms the iPhone was by far the easiest to get my head around - in terms of architecture an iPhone app is very close to writing a desktop app.

Android on the other hand has a completely different approach, it took a lot longer to understand and get productive with. You can do a lot more with it, but it's definitely a bit odd.

I've also written a couple of my own iPhone apps, one of them quite cool (Sudoku Grab) which was featured by Apple for a couple of weeks and one of them just a silly game to learn open gl. They make enough to justify the amount of time I put into developing them and the amount of money I've spent on marketing (approx 0). I chose the iPhone platform to develop against simply because it was the one I felt most at home programming against.

However, my money would be on the Android platform becoming dominant - it's going to have a few issue, device fragmentation being the biggest one.

What amuses me is how no one seems to have learned any lessons from the past. I remember working during the dot com boom and a typical conversation was "There's billions of people in the world on the internet - we just need 1% of them to use our website, that's just 1 person in every 100! We're going to be rich!".

I actually had someone telling me exactly the same thing about the app store the other day "there's millions of iPhones....."

Comment Re:How about negative reviews? (Score 5, Interesting) 217

Yes they do. My own app Sudoku Grab got a review from someone saying that a competing app was much better. Out of interest I checked to see what other apps this reviewer had reviewed.

He'd reviewed 6 other competing apps, all of the reviews suggested that customers should buy this other app instead.

There's not much you can do about it, just have to hope that customers are savvy enough to see through these marketing tricks.

Comment Re:Show some evidence (Score 1) 745

Objective-C is very easy to pick up - any half competent C/C++ developer with basic OO knowledge should be able to pick it up straight away.

The people who struggle are the ones coming from a java background who have never seen a pointer before, don't understand that there isn't a garbage collector etc..

The really nice thing for getting started when you compare iPhone and Android development is that an iPhone application follows a fairly traditional architecture. You are basically writing a desktop application with a slightly different style of UI.

The Android architecture is frankly completely insane. Longer term I'm sure what they've done makes it easier to extend the underlying system, but in terms of getting started it puts a huge barrier in the way. To even write a simple hello world application you need to learn a whole new way of writing applications.

Submission + - Sudoku Grab iPhone app explained (

iamflimflam1 writes: About six months ago I wrote an app for the iPhone that lets you take a picture of a Sudoku puzzle and applies some image processing and OCR techniques to capture it. I've been getting a few emails from people every week asking how it works, so I thought I'd do a post and explain it all. So if you're interested in image processing, follow the link and take a look.

Comment Re:Lemme make sure I understand (Score 1) 146

There's also an ad-hoc distribution method where you can share 5 copies of your app with others, but they too have to be registered and there's a key exchange process. so you can't just hand out the app or install just any app.

Ad-hoc distribution: you can install on 100 devices. All you need is the device id. You send out the application and mobile provision file.

Comment Missing the point? (Score 3, Insightful) 255

Surely the whole point of how WA works is to use natural language for the queries.

Typing in "Cancer New York" could mean anything.

If you gave that question to a human they'd have no idea what your were looking for.

Why didn't he try asking the question he was trying to ask which was "What are the rates of cancer in new york?" or even just "Cancer rate in new york"

All his other searches are equally stupid.

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