Kinect – the next step in HCI

With Microsofts launch of the highly anticipated Kinect interface comes much excitement from the development world occupied by us….well let’s be honest, geeks. But hey, Geeks are the new jocks in todays tech driven world. We make shit happen. Don’t believe me? Within 3 hours of the Kinect being sold it had been hacked and here’s just a few of the initial results. Already I can see LOTS of possibilities.

As soon as I’m back from LA I’m going to be opening up one of these babies and experimenting with it myself.

By the way, this is my first trip to California and for the life of me I cannot figure out why everyone doesn’t live here. The streets are palm tree lined. It’s clean, friendly (at least compared to London), it’s 26 degrees C in November, sunny, beautiful and the beaches and the mountains are less than an hour away. Time to relocate I think.


Adobe sponsored Poker Tournament – PokerCoder 8

PokerCoder 8 is running on the evening of Tuesday 13th July. If you’re a developer or designer who uses Adobe products professionally and you’d like a go at poker for free, then get along to the PokerCoder site and read up on the event and then register but do it quick as places go really fast for this event.

Adobe lay on the drink and the prizes. There’s no entry fee and the only thing you’ll pay for all night is your food if you want some. The games are not played for money and the dealers are used to beginners and give tutorial help during the evening. It’s a great opportunity to learn poker with no risk and surrounded by friends and colleagues. It’s also a great opportunity to meet you peers, potential employers or potential employees (and you’ll get the chance to see how they operate under pressure).


London Flash Developers and Designers official Adobe user group

I  have mentioned the LFDD user group before but the London Flash Developer and Designer user group is now officially an Adobe recognised and supported user group. It is also recognised and supported by Friends of Ed so as well as speakers, question time and personal presentation opportunities, it a;so benefits from all the things the official Adobe and FoE recognition brings, including book and software prizes to be won.

The group is dedicated to beginners and intermediates, as there are already 2 advanced user groups in London for Flash and Flex. But what does that mean? Who should go to the group? Well, broadly speaking, if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following then this is the group for you:

  • You want to learn Flash development or design.
  • You want to progress from actionscript 2 to actionscript 3.
  • You want to move from procedural coding to Object Oriented coding.
  • You want to learn about UML and pattern based coding.
  • You want to learn more of the sexy concept and design techniques made possible by products like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  • You want to learn about video encoding and delivery techniques.
  • You want to learn about games programming and design in Flash.
  • You want to learn how to deliver your projects using best practices and good process.
  • You want an introduction to doing 3D in Flash.
  • You want to know about audio in Flash and Soundbooth.
  • You want to speak to industry experts about your work, career choices and the latest technology.
  • You want to share your latest work and ideas with a group of fellow enthusiasts.
  • You want to get into mobile development.
  • You want to get real live industry feedback on what technologies and work are being used and done out there.
  • You want more…:)

The group meets once a month (the penultimate Thursday of every month) at the South Bank University’s Keyworth Center on the 1st floor. There is just now an Adobe user group official site for it (http://groups.adobe.com/group/815). Everyone is welcome no matter what your background of expertise. It’s a very open and friendly group and if you have knowledge to share then it always welcomed.

If there are topics you’d like to see covered then please let us know as we have the expertise and the connections with Adobe to make it happen. we’ll also be giving away Adobe software from time to time and Friends of Ed have generously donated any amount of excellent books to give out as prizes (or if you’re willing to read them and write a review of the book for the user group site)


New London Flash User Group…sort of

I’m a reasonably regular attendee of many of the community events and user groups. I believe firmly that the uniquely strong community spirit that exists in the Flash world is one of it’s great strengths. I know I would never have been as successful a Flash Platform developer as I am without the selfless help and advise I received over the years from countless friends and colleagues.
And that spirit is contagious. I now give back to the community myself through things like going on to forums and answering as many questions as I have time for, attending user groups and running community events like PokerCoder.com. This all helps raise the general level of expertise within the industry and is good for all of us.
I recently discovered a London Flash user group based in South Bank University run by a very nice guy called David Wright: The London Flash Developers and Designers user group. It’s a stone’s throw from Elephant and Castle tube station. It has around 350 signed up members – though obviously not all of them turn up 😉 and it’s actually been around for quite a long time. Continue reading


Inagural Flex London User Group meeting

We were at the Flex London User Group relaunch on Wednesday night, organised by Mike Jones and Andrew Martin. It was held in the LBi building in Brick Lane. A great venue, fully equipped for this kind of meeting. It was hard to tell exactly how many people were there (I’d guess between 40 and 50) as the room was big and people were spread out, but it was more about the calibre of people than the numbers. There were many industry expert faces I recognised there as well as many I see at PokerCoder. Continue reading