Ohi thar!

Conference season is bound to bring on rocky weeks. The past week has been one of those. Let’s go.

It all started with JSConf.eu. It was an awesome event with some 350 js developers put together in an old money printing factory. Unfortunately, the money was gone. Luckily it had been replaced by awesome talks and an awesome event. I’m happy to have spoken there myself. I actually talked there about Zeon and even released Zeon and ZeParser into the Open Source world. Bang! :) Uxebu also had a talk there, demonstrating “The Russian”, and announcing a tiny js implementation for Arduino dubbed “Expresso”. Thanks Malte, Jan and Holger for taking the time to organize it.

After JSConf the whole Uxebu team spent some time in Berlin. We talked about our own future and spent some time with various friends lingering in Berlin after the conference. Regarding our future, all I can say right now is that it’ll involve a lot of BikeShedding ;) As for the friends, that just involved a lot of beer. Henceforward we’ll refer to Berlin as Beerlin.

After JSConf and Berlin I left for FronteersConf, where I actually volunteer. Fronteers is the Dutch organization of front-end developers and they yearly organize their own conf. This would be the fourth conf and it has a very good reputation in the community and amongst the speakers. This year was no exception, #fronteers11 was a blast!

For me, the peak of the conf was Seb blowing our minds with a live demonstration. He actually managed to use a camera in his talk he had never seen before up to that point. He managed to use the conf wifi to have some 240 random mobile devices in the audience connect to a website on his local machine. He requested the audience to hold up those devices and point the screen at him while the venue lights were dimmed. He managed to use the cam and wifi to record those mobile screens and tell them to flash their screen in a certain color (even had a ui for that!). After the crazy madness of random flashing, he showed us how he could sync every device and make the timing almost perfect, regardless of the actual device! He went one step further and used the camera and a flashing-encoding for each device to determine the location of many of these devices in the audience (wow…). With those results he actually made the devices flash in a wave in the venue, from left to right. That was hugely impressive. He finalized it all by playing Nyan Catch, where the Nyan cat would jump from device to device and you would have to catch it. The cat would jump in the (recorded) video on screen from location to location, and appear on your mobile device if it was there. Dude. Can’t make that shit up. Well, he can.

FronteersConf was awesome and I had a great time. Thanks for the organizing committee for putting it all together. (I’m “just” a microphone running volunteer, most of the work was done by them!).

Let’s see what else happened in this crazy time. It was only a week but it felt like a month. The amount of stuff that has happened in the same week almost seems to confirm that. In no particular order but the one at which I copied links…

Let’s start with Sony. Sony seems to have its heart set on buying Ericsson out. Which is weird because at this moment, “Sony Ericsson” feels like a single brand of some kind. Besides that doohicky, the Sony CEO (Bert Nordberg) confirmed that they underestimated the iPhone craze and acted too late.

The big sampple fight did not end. Samsung filed papers to ban the iPhone 4S in Europe. Oh right, there was an Apple event where the biggest announcement was that there was no iPhone5. I think pretty much everybody expected the iPhone5 to be released there. Anyways, the 4s is just an upgrade to the 4. Joy. That didn’t stop it from being sold out (200k units!) on the first day though. By the way, Samsung is also fighting with Apple in Australia, tbc.

Apple had bigger things on their mind though. With the passing of an Steve Jobs, so ends an era for Apple. Will they manage to keep his vision up? I’ve read they’ll make his donut office building a memorial (can’t find the link). For now, the Apple stores will have to fill that role. What kind of amazed me was Google’s subtle tribute to his death. Apple’s frontpage had a not so subtle yet similarly impressive message.

Then there’s Yahoo. Still wants to be bought. Still did not happen. It seems there are a few preditors on the lure. Two prominents are Alibaba and Microsoft. Alibaba is an interesting case since it’s actually owned 40% by Yahoo. Weird! And then there’s Microsoft, who bid a few billion dollars only to see the Yahoo execs walk out on them. It seems Microsoft is only offering half of their previous bid now. That shows some great visioneering on Yahoo’s end. Oh snap! Not everybody thinks that’s the right thing to do for Microsoft though.

Moving on the RIM. They changed their minds on having Android on their precious PlayBook. They’re probably still going to support it, but might ward off certain types of apps. I’m sure that’ll be cool with the devs though, no worries!

At HP they might have an interesting buyer for Palm lined up: Amazon (just a rumor though). It’s actually not that far fetched after they released their Kindle Fire last week. Although there’s also speculation it might be just about patents.

On a more community news kind of thing, Mark Pilgrim (owner of diveintohtml5, amongst many others, pulled a _why. He removed most of his social profiles and content and disappeared from the web. By now, most of that content has been recovered, but no sign of Mark. He does ask we stop calling the police on him:)

Also, Nitobi (and TypeKit) were aquired by Adobe. That should spawn some interesting children. Nitobi’s PhoneGap project becomes an Apache project, although the build service will cost you some dough for Closed Source projects. Congratz guys!

Check out js.gd for links of releases and demos. I’m too tired (or just lazy!) to filter those here. See you next week!