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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Free stuff.. and you're helping!

Right, back on track for useful stuff. This weekend during our 'crunch' to get abYss working on phones other than the Nokia 40 series, we ran into the major hurdle of testing on emulators vs testing on physical handsets. Well today I found a great solution to that problem, and it will appeal not only to developers, but to those that want free games and apps for their phones as well!
It's called, and it's a site that allows developers to upload demo copies of their J2ME applications, to be downloaded and/or beta tested by the community. It has a list of devices owned by registered beta testers and the number of testers that own each of these devices. It also has some simple management tools to manage your uploaded applications.
On the consumer side, it's a fantastic way to get free demos for your phone- you might just download something so great you'll want to play the full version :) And you're actually helping by downloading the games and testing them for bugs, so you can do your good deed for the day and have fun doing it ;-)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Give me wings to fly!

Ok this does not quite fall into the 'useful stuff' category, but it is interesting. National Geographic is running an article on medical experimentation that makes cloning look like a high-school science experiment. Apparently there are a number of laboratories around the world working on the creation and medicinal use of 'chimeras'. Named for the mythical Greek creature with body parts borrowed from a number of different animals, a chimera in lab terms is a hybrid creation that is part animal, part animal.
One of the biggest anticipated uses for such creatures is the ability to grow 'spare' body parts that could be used for transplantation, but some of the experiments really do cross the line into the world of crazy science. For example, Dr. Irv Weissman (director of Stanford University's Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine in California) is working on creating mice with human brains. The reason for this is apparently to help understand how the human brain develops and works, but it certainly raises some scary moral, ethical and spiritual questions (as do many of the ongoing studies in this field)!
It's a really good, thought provoking read, so pop on over to NG on your lunch break for a real-life freak show.


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