Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stuff that didn’t fit anywhere else

Blue lego block of ambiguity

Blue lego block of ambiguity

At the risk of getting sucked into the Apple vs Adobe shitstorm, my own response to Apple chosing to block Flash content from their mobile devices is to at least tell users why – because Apple left it at the rather obscure blue lego block, with no explanation (great experiential design guys). Simply include this code in your page/s to redirect mobile safari users to a page of your chosing …I direct them here.

Local playback security in FlashDevelop and Flash CS3 / CS4

I’ve seen a few people get into a pickle over this one. When you’re developing and testing locally, you need to set the ‘Local Playback Security’ setting (sometimes referred to as the ‘use network services’ option) depending on whether you wish to access local external files (e.g. XML files, or images) or some other server (e.g. your dev backend server). You can’t access both from a locally running SWF anymore, since it’s a security risk. So here’s how to set that option in Flash CS3 / CS4 or from within FlashDevelop.

Synchronising animation across multiple SWFs

I’ve been asked a few times now to create effects that require multiple instances of the Flash Player on a page to interact and remain in sync – even with interaction. Because of this, using timed events is no good and because of harddrive thrashing (which I won’t do for what might just be some banners) you can’t use Flash cookie updates. Also, when you have more than 2 SWFs, deciding which SWF updates who becomes tricky. I came up with this solution, using LocalConnection with a twist, which works pretty well – but if anyone has a better method, drop it in a comment :)

Quick as a Flash 10

Flash Player 10 is here...Flash Player 10 is finally here! But does it live up to the hype? Previous major releases of Flash Player have each brought with them significant improvements in performance or added functionality. This time around, the guys at Adobe have been tinkering with a few exciting (and a few somewhat drier) enhancements, including: native 3-D transform APIs, new custom ‘Pixel Bender’ filters, dynamic sound generation, hardware accelerated graphics and new video capabilities.

Personally, because I’m always looking for new things that enable us to create innovative and engaging user experiences, I’m a little less excited about new features such as support for right-to-left languages or new audio codecs. But at least there are people out there filling in the gaps, pushing Flash beyond its perceived limits and developing things we can actually use to create edifying experiences, such as papervision, box2d, etc.

Any new features though, even if they aren’t quite as ‘cool’ as the previous additions of webcam or socket server access, are ultimately a good thing. Let’s just hope everyone keeps pushing in the right direction and uses Flash to beautify the web, not just make it more clunky – Shockwave people take note.

Prince Bandar bullies Tony Blair

Prince BandarThis dodgy git is Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, head of security, son of the Crown Prince and puppet master to hungry arms manufacturers, such as the UK’s very own BAE Systems. He’s the guy responsible for threatening poor old Tony Blair with ‘another 7/7′ if he didn’t halt the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into his alleged corrupt dealings with BAE – involving a $1bn bribe. Small fry like Blair and Bush listen to Prince Bandar, he is a man not to be messed with. I also heard he said things about Bush’s mum and nicked Tony’s dinner money -  c’mon Brown, get him in a headlock and nick is hat!

FreeYourBuddy.com launched

FreeYourBuddy.comI just finished developing this video-based viral game site thing at GT for Windows Mobile. It’s a bit like Subservient Chicken, but you need to talk to Buddy and direct him to solve puzzles in order to escape the confines of the computer in which he’s trapped.

You can tell him to do silly stuff too – or just swear at him like I do – whatever floats ya boat.