• OUYA Developer Console Unboxing

    posted by Keito
    2012-12-29 11:12:13
  • How to root & install CyanogenMod on a Samsung Galaxy S2

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-25 20:05:13
    Here's a quick breakdown of the process. (For a more in-depth guide, please check out this page.)

    1/ Find correct insecure kernel for our current ROM firmware version
    2/ Use ODIN and insecure kernel to root phone
    3/ Download CyanogenMod (and optional extra google apps) and place on SD Card
    4/ Backup current ROM
    5/ Install CyanogenMod

    Right, so let's get down to it!...

    1/ Find correct insecure kernel for our current ROM firmware version

    Finding the correct insecure kernel version is easy, simply go to Settings -> About phone -> Kernel Version. Note the string present there

    Example (yours will almost certainly be different):

    What matters most (KG1) in this case, is in bold. Then find the matching file under the download section of this thread.

    Example (yours will almost certainly be different):

    The XX and OXA identifiers are not that important. Usually a "KG1" kernel is a "KG1" kernel, and that is that. Sometimes (pretty rare) it happens there will be multiple different kernels with the same name in different firmwares, that are actually different. If this happens, they are usually only very minor changes and you should expect them to still be fully compatible. The "XX" and "OXA" identifiers are there so the very advanced users can deduce which full firmware the insecure kernel file was taken from.

    Don't worry too much, just find the matching download and use it.

    2/ Use ODIN and insecure kernel to root phone

    - Download ODIN then install it.

    - (USB) Disconnect your phone from your computer if it is connected.
    - Start ODIN.
    - Click the PDA button, and select CF-Root-xxx-vX.X.tar
    - Put your phone in download mode by powering down the handset, then press power+volume-down+home buttons all at once. Hold down until download mode screen shows.
    - (USB) Connect the phone to your computer.
    - Make sure repartition is NOT checked.
    - Click the START button.
    - Wait for the phone to reboot.
    - Done (shouldn't take more than ~30 secs).

    3/ Download CyanogenMod (and optional extra google apps) and place on SD Card

    - Download your preferred version of CyanogenMod.
    - Optional: Download the Google Apps for the device. (select the one that matches your CM version!).
    - Place the CyanogenMod file on the root of the SD card.
    - Optional: Place the Google Apps .zip on the root of the SD card also.

    4/ Backup current ROM

    Now you're rooted, it's a good idea to backup the current ROM (with apps, settings, etc) before installing any custom ROM. If you want to retain your apps and settings when installing a new ROM, use Titanium Backup (not covered in this guide).

    - Boot into recovery mode by powering down the handset, then press power+volume-up+home buttons all at once. Hold down until recovery mode screen shows.
    - Once the device boots into recovery mode, use the side volume buttons to move around and the power button to select.
    - Select backup and restore.
    - Select backup (this may take some time).
    - Once the backup has finished, select +++++Go Back+++++

    Now, you can always boot into recovery and restore the current ROM, should anything go awry with our CyanogenMod install.

    5/ Install CyanogenMod

    - Select the option to Wipe data/factory reset.
    - Select the option to Wipe cache partition.
    - Select Install zip from sdcard.
    - Select Choose zip from sdcard.
    - Select the CyanogenMod
    - Optional: Install the Google Apps by performing steps 7 - 9 again and choosing the Google Apps
    - Once the installation has finished, select +++++Go Back+++++ to get back to the main menu, and select the Reboot system now option.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! The Samsung Galaxy S II should now boot into CyanogenMod.

    PS: Massive thanks to the Steve Kondik and the CyanogenMod team for a great ROM, and humongous thanks to Chainfire for his guides/downloads/work.
  • What developers can learn from Anonymous

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-29 20:59:29
    'The reason Anonymous has a permanent place in our collective imagination: For a time, its organizational model worked very well.

    I've been credited with coining the term "do-ocracy." When I've had the opportunity to lead an open source project, I've preferred to "run" it as a do-ocracy, which in essence means I might give my opinion, but you're free to ignore it. In other words, actual developers should be empowered to make all the low-level decisions themselves.

    When you think about it, the hacker group Anonymous is probably one of the world's most do-ocratic organizations. Regardless of where you stand on Anonymous' tactics, politics, or whatever, I think the group has something to teach developers and development organizations.

    As leader of an open source project, I can revoke committer access for anyone who misbehaves, but membership in Anonymous is a free-for-all. Sure, doing something in Anonymous' name that even a minority of "members" dislike would probably be a tactical mistake, but Anonymous has no trademark protection under the law; the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success -- in part due to the lack of central control.

    Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements.

    Is it possible to apply do-ocracy outside of open source and hacktivism? Not to the same degree Anonymous does, but in moderate amounts, it could improve the overall quality of our software and our jobs.

    Vision and culture rule

    Anonymous members pick targets and carry out actions based on the general vision and culture of the group. Whether in a do-ocracy or not, vision goes a long way.

    Some years back I worked for a network equipment company. It was probably one of the worst jobs I've ever had, complete with rows of beige cubicles highlighted with sickly green trim. Not only was I told to write my Java classes mostly in caps, with few files and minimal whitespace, but each day we had hours of conference calls with a team in New Jersey. Our computers were vintage and our shell connection was slow. The "vision" was to try and catch up with whatever Cisco was doing.

    Internally, the project was considered a success, but to me it was clearly a failure. I'd be shocked if the company kept a single customer from leaving, and I'm virtually positive it didn't land new ones. The website was horribly confusing and unattractive. It was intended to be a B2B site. The dilapidated culture of the company and its hollow objective coupled with a bizarre need for control yielded predictable outcomes.

    Consider how Anonymous works. It started with a general vision of anarchistic attacks against centers of power. Over time, this has become specific to punishing "bad behavior" and grabbing attention. There is no five-year plan (that we know of). Something happens, folks come together -- in an IRC chat or other medium -- and collaborate on their work. Despite the lack of an overall plan, tactical successes occur.

    On the other hand, lack of a plan causes Anonymous to be a slave to the news cycle. While I'm not saying its activities at the height of the Arab Spring didn't contribute, key strategic objectives were not accomplished -- for instance, the repeated calls by freedom fighters to bring down Gadhafi's satellite TV channel. This is where a plan would be helpful. I've seen a lot of organizations function with neither shared vision or a plan. I've yet to see a successful software project without both.

    Control has its limits

    Many managers believe that if they aren't getting the results they want, they can just put pressure on the team. But as a developer who's transitioned to a management role, I can tell you that the more I push that button, the less effective it is.

    Consider the misadventures of our hacker anti-heroes. Where Anonymous has had a central nerve, it has been attacked, which has led to arrests. The effects have trickled down and negatively affected the group.

    We can also see this in server architecture. There are still clustering platforms managed through a central server -- the weak point in everything from Hadoop to WebSphere. Yet we're watching the evolution of these architectures away from central control. This results in less predictability in some circumstances, but makes them more robust in the long term.

    That metaphor is transferrable to the management of software projects. Yes, setting expectations, establishing norms, and spurring motivation can have great positive effect and avert crises. I am not advocating for anarchy. But the loose affiliation model of Anonymous, an organization notorious for wreaking chaos, has more to teach than many of us would like to admit.'
  • Sony shuts Wipeout video game studio in Liverpool

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-23 22:04:47
    'Sony has closed one of the UK's oldest video game studios following a review of its operations.

    Sony Liverpool employed about 100 workers. It dated back to 1984 when it was known as Psygnosis. The Japanese company bought the developer in 1993.

    Its early titles included Barbarian and Shadow of the Beast for the Amiga and Atari ST. It also published Lemmings.

    It was perhaps best known for later PlayStation releases including the Wipeout racing game series.

    A statement released by the company to the games site Kotaku said: "We do regular reviews to ensure that the resources we have can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects in an increasingly competitive market place.

    "It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and has contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.

    "However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers."

    The firm said other divisions at its Liverpool campus would not be affected. But it did not mention whether the staff at the shuttered studio would be offered posts elsewhere.

    The unit's last title was Wipeout 2048 for the PlayStation Vita handheld console. A message on the game's Facebook page from the team said: "Thank you for everything, Pilots. It's been an amazing journey and we'll miss you."

    'Times are changing'

    The founder of the independent games studio Rebellion, which also employs staff in Liverpool, said the decision reflected a wider shift within the games industry.

    "It's a tragedy when an old institution like this disappears, but the times are changing and games are moving from a retail-dominated landscape to a digital download-dominated one," said Jason Kingsley.

    "Arguably the power that the big publishers had, employing lots of talent, was relevant to the old model - now the advantage of being big isn't so important and smaller teams can be just as effective.

    "You can liken it to a jungle environment - when a big tree falls over it creates lots of opportunities for others to grow in its space. There is still a lot of life and excitement in the UK gaming industry, and hopefully opportunities for some of Sony Liverpool's staff too."

    Evan Narcisse, a writer at Kotaku, added that the Wipeout series had seen a decline in popularity, but said the studio left behind a strong legacy.

    "Psygnosis was one of the first games studios to deliver titles that felt like they were delivering a unified, artistic vision.

    "Early titles like Shadow of the Beast expanded the polish, scope and ambition of the video game medium and didn't feel quite as disposable as other contemporary titles.

    "It was also notable for making the transition from home computers to consoles, riding out a shift that many companies didn't survive. I remember playing Wipeout on the first PlayStation years ago... the art direction, music and feel was like nothing I had ever experienced."

    'Popcap cuts'

    The announcement of the stuido's closure came amidst news of turmoil elsewhere in the industry.

    Popcap, the company behind Plants vs Zombies, has cut 50 posts at its Seattle headquarters following its takeover by Electronic Arts. It has also signalled it might close its Dublin studio with the loss of about 100 positions.

    Norwegian developer Funcom has also announced what it described as "temporary layoffs" blaming "mixed or average reviews" for its recent release The Secret World.

    However, Call of Duty publisher Activision has recently opened a studio in Leeds called The Blast Furnace which is dedicated to making games for mobile devices.

    Transformers Universe creator Jagex has also opened a new studio near Cambridge, while in the US Gears of War developer Epic Games is creating Impossible Studios in Hunt Valley near Baltimore, Maryland.'