12/29/2011

A PlayBook wallpaper for the winter weary

I love cold, bright January days when the sun shines on new-fallen snow, creating a blaze of winter light. I'm not so happy, however, when the sun decides to hole up for days on end, and all I see is dreary gray skies that fade to black by 5:00 pm. Blech!

So, for anyone who hates those dull gray days as much as me, here's a little wallpaper to perk you up, and to remind you that Spring will indeed come again. I shot this years ago with a 35mm SLR. You know, one of those cameras you see on eBay that use — wait for it — film.



To download the wallpaper to your PlayBook:
  1. Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulleroux
  2. Tap the wallpaper.
  3. A larger image will appear. Tap Actions, then tap View all sizes.
  4. An even larger image will appear! Tap Download the Large size of this photo.
  5. Your PlayBook will ask you to enter a file name. Type something meaningful, such as daisies.jpg, and tap Save.
  6. From the PlayBook home screen, tap Pictures, then tap Downloads.
  7. Tap the wallpaper you want, swipe from the top of the screen and tap Set as Wallpaper. You're done!

12/21/2011

HTML5 in the car: Just for the high end?

Not so, claims Matthew Staikos, who's been doing HTML and Webkit development for a decade. In this video interview with Andy Gryc — the second in a series produced by QNX — Matthew discusses how HTML5 can work in both higher- and lower-end infotainment systems. He also makes some interesting comments on how HTML5 apps can augment the app store experience.

And did I mention? Like the previous HTML5 video, this one's got bloopers!


 

12/15/2011

CNN airs video of Solar Impulse solar-powered plane

It has the wingspan of a Boeing 777, but weighs only as much as a family car. It has four propellers, but doesn’t consume an ounce of fuel. It's called the Solar Impulse, and it's the first plane designed to fly round the clock using only solar power.

I've already posted several articles on the Solar Impulse, which uses the QNX OS for a variety of control and data management functions. But this CNN video has some particularly nice shots of the plane. Enjoy!


 

12/12/2011

Meet a true "Hiro" of robotic research

If developing next-gen robotics is your thing, Hiro's your man.

A couple of years ago, I introduced you to Hiro, a QNX-based robot designed for research and teaching programs in university labs. Even if you didn't read about Hiro here, he may still seem familiar, what with his appearances on Engadget, ├╝bergizmo, and other ├╝ber-popular sites.

Kawada Industries, the company that created Hiro, describes him as a starter set for research into humanoid robots. To that end, Hiro comes equipped with a stereo vision camera, speech recognition, hands with 15 degrees of freedom, hand-mounted cameras, and a repeat positioning accuracy of less than 20 micrometers — that's 20 one-thousandths of a millimeter.

Since my last post, Kawada has uploaded some videos to demonstrate Hiro's chops. For instance, here's a clip showing how he has all the right moves:



And here's a clip showing how he can listen to voice commands:



If Hiro's role is to serve as a platform for next-gen robotics, he is succeeding. Recently, Osamu Hasegawa, a professor at the Tokyo Insitute of Technology, used Hiro as the basis for a new "thinking" robot. The robot, also dubbed Hiro (confusing, I know), employs a Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network algorithm to adapt to its environment and learn new tasks.

For instance, in this video, a researcher asks Hiro to pour a cup of water. Hiro has never done this before, but figures out how to do it. That's some algorithm!



For more information on Hiro and his manufacturer, Kawada industries, click here.
 

12/08/2011

What has the QNX auto team been up to?

Well, let's see:

  • Paul discovers a navigation system with an Aussie accent. Fair dinkum!
     
  • Andrew gives us a further taste of augmented reality
     
  • Paul thinks that an electric fan is the coolest part of a new QNX video
     
  • Linda discovers a QNX logo inches away from a pair of go-go boots
     
  • Paul is impressed by how many people are impressed by OnStar FMV
     
  • Nancy isn't impressed by having to go off the grid whenever she gets behind the wheel
     
 

12/06/2011

THE LOUDEST QNX VIDEO EVER!!!

Sorry for shouting, but I wanted you to hear me above the racket. Mind you, if I were using a handsfree system based on QNX's acoustic processing suite, I wouldn't have to shout for you to hear me.

Confused yet? Just check out this video, which pits sonic mayhem against QNX technology, and all will be revealed:



In case you're wondering, the suite doesn't prevent you from hearing sirens and other important sounds. Rather, it helps ensure that the person on the other end of the call hears you clearly, and vice versa. This clarity can help lighten your cognitive load, so, if anything, you are more, not less, aware of what's happening around you. How cool is that?
 

12/05/2011

New BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpaper — QNX Concept Car

I can't believe I haven't uploaded this one already. It's a shot of the QNX concept car, taken outside QNX headquarters.

At first, I thought the image might be too busy to serve as wallpaper, but I've grown to like it — I hope you do, too.



BTW, the car wasn't moving at the time, so I used some PhotoShop magic to evoke a feeling of movement.

To download the wallpaper to your PlayBook:
  1. Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulleroux
  2. Tap the wallpaper.
  3. A larger image will appear. Tap Actions, then tap View all sizes.
  4. An even larger image will appear! Tap Download the Large size of this photo.
  5. Your PlayBook will ask you to enter a file name. Type something meaningful, such as qnx_concept_car_wallpaper.jpg, and tap Save.
  6. From the PlayBook home screen, tap Pictures, then tap Downloads.
  7. Tap the wallpaper you want, swipe from the top of the screen and tap Set as Wallpaper. You're done!

LDRA, QNX help medical device developers gear up on IEC 62304 standard

Image courtesy LDRA
Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of LDRA.

My bad. LDRA has been in business for more than 35 years, developing tools that automate code analysis and software testing for safety-, mission-, security- and business- critical systems. (A lot of hyphens, I know, but did you really want me to say "critical" four times? :-)  In other words, LDRA has been helping systems work reliably for even longer than QNX.

Fortunately, my colleague Bob Monkman isn't as clued out as I am. In fact, he recently got together with LDRA to develop a new webinar, "Optimizing the Development of Certified Medical Devices".

The webinar, which happens this Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EST, covers several topics, including:
  • Using IEC 62304 development templates
  • Specifying requirements to ensure requirements traceability through all phases of development
  • Leveraging safe design training courses and pre-audit consulting
  • Securing code — 70% of security vulnerabilities rise from programming errors
  • Scheduling code inspections — early inspections eliminate errors
  • Gaining IEC 62304 compliance using qualifiable and certified products from LDRA and QNX
     
Unified tooling
Don't go just yet. I also want to mention that LDRA recently ported their tool suite — which includes tools for lifecycle software testing for all phases of development — to the QNX Momentics Tool Suite and QNX Neutrino RTOS.

This makes for nice integration between LDRA tools and QNX tools. For instance, if the LDRA tool suite identifies a code violation, you can view the error interactively from within the QNX Momentics IDE — no need to switch tooling environment. Good, that.


Using the QNX Momentics IDE to inspect a violation caught by the LDRA tool suite.

To view two full-size screen captures showing LDRA-QNX integration, visit the Hughes Communications website.

And for more details on the LDRA suite for QNX, check out the press release.