Windows Mobile Marketplace bans VoIP apps


I’m not going to hide my feelings here. I hate Windows Mobile. I’ve got no problem with the desktop OS but it was never meant to be jammed onto a mobile phone and the more they try to crowbar it on, the more I hate it. So, it brings me a strange cocktail of anger and mirth to see that they’re already making their Win Mob Marketplace app store about as open as HMP Parkhurst.

News comes our way today that there will be no 3rd party VoIP apps available. Naturally, that’s a good way of ensuring promotion among the mobile operators but not a good way to curry favour with consumers. The second kind of app forbidden from their phones are any that change the default browser.

But don’t worry, there’s more! In fact, there’s a list of 12 categories of application altogether that Windows has banned. Ah, the freedom of it. Owners of Windows Mobile handsets can look forward to enthralling games of Minesweeper and online Hearts when their app store opens later this year.

(via @liquidindian and Fierce VoIP)

How to clear landmines in 2009


Landmine clearance is a dangerous, time-consuming job. It used to involve tools like flail trucks, plows and the simple metal detector, but none are good enough to hit the 99.6% standard set by the United Nations for humanitarian demining.

A Canadian company, Mine Clearing Corp, is trying to change all that. It’s got a helicopter-mounted detection system that uses a ground-penetrating radar and metal detection system to detect buried objects from as high as 200ft up in the air. The location can then be pinpointed to as close as 20cm.

Once that’s accomplished, minesweepers on the ground can use a tool called the Fig8 to locate the mine. Quite niftily, the swinging back-and-forth motion generates kinetic energy which powers the device, so it doesn’t need batteries – useful in the third world. Considering that the UN estimates that someone dies every 20 minutes from a landmine, this should help step up the de-mining procedure.

(via CNET)

Related posts: Ultimate Minesweeper Cheat | Spider landmine: six legs, not necessarily as deadly as a black widow