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Microsoft Demos Three Platforms Running the Same Game 196

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft's Eric Rudder, speaking at TechEd Middle East, showed off a game developed in Visual Studio as a singular project (with 90% shared code) that plays on Windows with a keyboard, a Windows Phone 7 Series prototype device with accelerometer and touch controls, and the Xbox 360 with the Xbox gamepad. Interestingly, not only is the development cross-platform friendly, but the game itself (a simple Indiana Jones platformer was demoed) saves its place and lets you resume from that spot on whichever platform you happen to pick up."

New "Hairy" Material Is Almost Perfectly Hydrophobic 133

drewsup writes "Wolfgang Sigmund, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Florida, has created a material modeled after spider hairs that acts as a nearly perfect water-repelling surface. Quoting Science Daily: 'A paper about the surface, which works equally well with hot or cold water, appears in this month's edition of the journal Langmuir. Spiders use their water-repelling hairs to stay dry or avoid drowning, with water spiders capturing air bubbles and toting them underwater to breathe. Potential applications for UF's ultra-water-repellent surfaces are many, Sigmund said. When water scampers off the surface, it picks up and carries dirt with it, in effect making the surface self-cleaning. As such, it is ideal for some food packaging, or windows, or solar cells that must stay clean to gather sunlight, he said. Boat designers might coat hulls with it, making boats faster and more efficient.' Hairy glass, anyone?"

Comment My experiences developing on the BlackBerry. (Score 3, Informative) 207

I actually have a free application on the BlackBerry App World called HP Printer Fun, which lets users mess with the LED screens on the HP Laser Jet printers (plus some inkjet ones too) for fun.

I've written some other apps as well and the experience is not so great. My gripes are as follows:

  • Java is limited to an ancient version (e.g. no generics or other recent goodness)
  • Very weak debugging support (compared to say, Android)
  • When the emulator is running, your app is basically locked. In other words, you have to restart the emulator each time you make a change to the code - which takes 1-3 minutes depending on your config.
  • The looks of the IDE make Windows 3.1 seem modern.
  • No support for modern programming fonts, for instance Consolas

On the other hand, the docs are pretty good. The support group at BlackBerry dev site is simple superb. Examples are plenty and the API just freaking makes a massive amount of sense. And for the adventurous, you could use a beta version (might be released by now) of an Eclipse plugin.

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The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting. -- T.H. White