Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Third place in VRT mashup competition
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Over the past few months the VRT have opened up their APIs for developers to play with. They hosted a competition challenging webdevelopers to come up with interesting uses for their data and implement those ideas in the form of a mashup. And they do have a lot of interesting data: electronic programming guide for all their radio and television stations, a music database, traffic information, ...

My idea was to build a website that shows the current song and playlist for a radio station and add extra information and link it to social media. I had a lot of possibilities in mind (iTunes, Spotify, deep Facebook integration, Twitter integration, searching songs on YouTube, ...), but little time. I integrated it with Spotify and iTunes and added a player for the live stream. For the social aspect I was aiming for, I added AddThis (because that is only 5 minutes of work and I was running out of time) and chat (again, because I could do that really quick). The result is available on http://nowplaying.be

I used a few technologies and services I had never tried before and learned a lot: SignalR, HTML 5 audio, KnockoutJS, ...


The winners were announced during VRT Barcamp last Saturday, I couldn't be there but @greyscarlet on Twitter was kind enough to share a video of the announcement:


And this is the video:



I got a third place and won an iPad, vrtwebradio.be is second and the winner is @hoeishetverkeer. I especially liked hoeishetverkeer, a deserved winner!

Honorable mentions (the few I have seen on Twitter): Radiofy and Stubrify. If there are any others that deserve a mention: let me know.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 launched in Brussels
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Friday night I was invited to an exclusive event in Brussels: the Belgian launch of the Lumia 800, Nokia's new flagship smartphone.

About a hundred bloggers and other "influential" people from the community were invited to come take a look at this new device. I already knew most of what they had to say, because of course the Lumia 800 has launched in several countries over the past few months and because I have been using Windows Phone 7 devices since before they were released in Belgium (over a year ago). Nevertheless, it was a fun and interesting evening. Nokia has given me a Lumia 800 device to review, so stay tuned! I am still in the middle of the exam period, so I will post my full review in about two weeks, but I promise that it will be a very thorough one. By then the device will be available in Belgium for 499 euros (release date: February 1st).

Earlier that day the press was invited, this is the television news report (VRT - Het Journaal 19u 20/01/2012):