Top 5 links of the past week:

Every so often I run out of original content to write or show this is one of those times so I’d like to direct you to some projects or people who I think are doing really amazing work.

For the techie:

DuoLingo:

First I’d like to show off DuoLingo the brain child of Luis Von Ahn from Carnegie Mellon University. DuoLingo is a free services that seeks to help you learn a new language from scratch instead of buying software such as Rosetta Stone. The way they do this is they give you sentences to translate to and from one language to another. The really amazing part is that you’re doing actual work: the material that you translating while learning is actual content from somewhere on the web that is getting translated by you and several other users. Check out his presentation at TedX CMU.

You can sign up for the beta at DuoLingo

Rooting of the Playbook:

Looks like BlackBerry has finally met it’s match hackers xpvqus, neuralgic, and cmwdotme have gained root access to the RIM’s Playbook. This is particularly interesting to me, RIM’s hardware is pretty nice but their operating system seems clunky and unwieldy. Maybe just maybe someone will take it upon themselves to port a newer Android OS to this device.

TheVerge article on the rooting of RIM’s Playbook

Siri and X10:

I’m not sure why I’m recommending this link. On one hand it’s really interesting to see what people are doing with the Siri proxy, but on the other hand it’s terribly entertaining. This gentleman appears to have linked Siri with his X10 home automation system. This allows him to give Siri voice commands to control the things that he has linked to his X10; in this case his fireplace and his lights.

For the artist:

The 45 most powerful photos of 2011:

Enough said. The two that are the most moving to me are #25 and #30 they will always be stuck in my mind.

Most Powerful Images of 2011

Society6

I recently discovered this website. It’s basically an online storefront for graphic designers but there’s some really inspired work on there it’s definitely worth a look and maybe even purchasing.

Society 6

Installing the BlackBerry Tablet SDK

Remember how a few days back I said I was going to write a game for the Android platform? Well there’s been a slight change in plans. I’ve decided to switch platforms over to the newest one: BlackBerry Playbook. I’m doing this for several reasons first because it’s a new platform and it’ll be a more interesting challenge and secondly I’m doing it because if my app makes it to the store before the launch I get a BlackBerry Playbook (yeah I know I don’t need one but I couldn’t pass it up).

So today we’ll be installing the BlackBerry Tab SDK on a Mac and setting up the development environment. This tutorials assumes you do not already have the Adobe AIR SDK already installed it does assume however that you have Flash Professional installed.

1. Download the Adobe AIR SDK
2. Unzip the file and put it somewhere memorable as you’ll need to remember the path for later.
3. Download the BlackBerry SDK run the wizard it will prompt you for the location of the installed AIR SDK hope you remembered it.
4. Finally download the Extensional for Flash Pro Air 2.5 from here, and install via extension manager.

That wasn’t so bad was it? I didn’t think so. You can now start to build applications for the BlackBerry Tablet. After you start to build an application I’m sure you’ll want to test it and that’s only natural. Unfortunately Blackberry didn’t do so well with an emulator setup so they just want you to run a virtual machine through VMware again I’m assuming you’ve got VMware installed.

Incoming Rant:

I want to take a minute and state how expensive it will be for developers to start creating for the Blackberry Tablet Platform. Let me give you a run down of the cost so far:

$49.99 VMware Fusion
$699.99 Flash Professional ($249.99 if you just use Flash Builder Standard)
$200.00 For Admission to the App World Store.
$949.98 Total

On to the Installation:
1. Download the PlayBook Simulator Installer from http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/
2. Run the installer which basically just places a .iso file where ever you tell it to.
3. Open VMware Fusion and go to File > New.
4. Click continue without disc. On installation choose from a disc image and navigate to the disc image.
5. Just select other on the OS select.
6. Make sure you give it 1024MB of ram and accelerate the 3d graphics.
7. Run the installation of the OS.

There you’re all done. You have the SDK installed and the simulator installed. Next post will be about writing your first “hello world” program and trying it out. Stay tuned.