gPodder 2.11 in fixes YouTube downloads
Thomas Perl has announced that a new version of gPodder is out. If you are having problems with YouTube downloads recently, this release is for you. There are also some other minor changes and fixes (detailed changelog for gPodder 2.11). No translation updates or major new features, though. The version has made it through the Extras-testing QA process and is now available for download by end-users in maemo.org Extras.
That Rabbit Game for Symbian and Maemo
We previously covered Thomas Perl's exploits in Qt's "write once, run everywhere" utopia. Now he is releasing the fruit of those exploits, That Rabbit Game, to Ovi for Maemo 5 and Symbian: I've blogged about it already, and even showed some code during an Interview at Nokia World, but there have not been any releases of That Rabbit Game so far, mostly due to Ovi Store QA not understanding what Optification means and requesting that the version number of the application appears somewhere in the app UI (after 15 days in QA). I've made the requested changes, added scoring and pushed new releases (of version 1.2) for both Symbian and Maemo 5 to Ovi QA. Until the game gets published on Ovi, I decided to release packages on the website so you can download and enjoy the game right away - and maybe even provide some feedback. Please don't mirror/redistribute the packages, but link directly to the website. Download That Rabbit Game for Maemo 5! Users should, of course, always be wary of random debs from websites on the internet. However, given that this is thp we're talking about, likely it wont attempt anything nefarious.
SPB TV - 150+ streaming channels
Symbian Tweet covers SPB Software's streaming TV channel application, which is now available for free in Ovi Store. SPB say, The application is remarkable due to its TV-like usability that allows users to watch TV on their mobile devices as if it was their TV at home. Alongside with quick and easy access to more than 150 channels from over 20 countries it also provides users with such features as channel preview, picture-in-picture mode, watching TV with low speed mobile network connections, TV-guide with the option to set the reminder in the calendar and more. Your editor gave it a quick go, and there are some high profile channels in there such as the French NRJ 12 (which was showing a Stargate SG1 marathon). However, many of the channels were stuttery even on a good broadband connection, suggesting that either very high bandwidth streams were being used (the quality does not confirm this) or the playback is not optimised for the content.
qw game now available for Maemo 5
Thomas Perl released his second new game at the end of December, qw, in the form of a tech demo. The gameplay seems fairly similar to Jezzball on Windows and Barrack on Mac from the 1990s: My second new game this year - qw - has been released for Maemo 5 today. Version 0.1 (a tech demo, not a proper final release) gives you a sneak peek on the gameplay with 9 different levels and four-player support (if you hook up an external USB keyboard or get together really close for some N900 keyboard multiplayer action). The gameplay is simple: You need to control your player cursor (either via touchscreen gestures or keyboard) and enclose areas of the game with lines in order to fill them with a colored image. Beware of the enemies, as they will destroy your lines and split your points in half. If you enclose one or more small enemies, your points are multiplied. Thomas has made a .deb available from his website.
wl1251 wifi driver
In what would appear to be the final episode of a very long-running GNU-drama, David Gnedt has finally decided to release the source code that was powering NeoPwn's injection-capable wifi drivers for the N900. It is based on the upstream bleeding-edge wireless-testing tree and incorporates nearly all features found in the stock wl12xx driver used in Maemo Fremantle, adds some bugfixes and also provides some unique features like packet injection. In fact it should be a "super" driver for the wl1251 chip on Maemo and if accepted upstream (the Linux kernel) it should bring this large featureset also to other distributions, which run on the Nokia N900. David is asking for donations before giving people the source and binaries. Of course, under the terms of the GPL, anyone who receives the binary is entitled to receive the source; and pass it on to whomever they wish. The files appear to have been uploaded to RapidShare, however your editor has not verified the contents of that download. The thread itself is not uninteresting and provides an entertaining GPL discussion.
SMS & IM-chat notification blocker
Message blocking has long been a community-provided feature on Nokia platforms. Unfortunately, until now, Maemo has lacked software to fill that gap. Nicolai Hess has finally delivered an answer with Message Blocker, which provides per-account configurable block lists for both SMS and IM. Nicolai's application prevents the notifications from disturbing you, say if you are asleep: After many users asked for an SMS blocker application, I thought it can not be that hard to make one. But it was hard! Lack of documentation, few tutorials and examples scattered over different versions, it took me two dozens of test sms-message just to find out how incoming messages are handled by Maemo 5. But finally: Message Blocker is currently available from Extras-devel, so the faint of heart should stay tuned and those of you who like testing should hop to it.
Omnom (Pacman-like game) for N900
A new PyGame-based Pacman-like game called Omnom is under development for Maemo by Talk user "FRuMMaGe": The aim of the game is to collect all the pellets in the level. The larger pellets put the enemies in to a state where they can be attacked, however attacking may not always be the best idea. When the enemy is attacked it returns to it's original location and can not be attacked again. Omnom is available from Extras-devel, but the usual disclaimers apply. Ed Page helped FRuMMaGe to package the application.