Chromecast – a household hit

Ok; I was skeptical about the Google Chromecast. When it was released in the states I didn’t immediately bite (despite it being cheap enough to import). I’m mainly an iOS user (and fan) and so I wasn’t sure I’d get enough use out of a wifi HDMI dongle that presumably might see most support on Android.

But I was kinda wrong.

The device doesn’t really do anything I couldn’t already achieve through other means, be it wired connections or whatever. But there’s a certain cool factor to being able to control what’s on your television with your smart device and my kids have seemingly bought into it big time. I found it hard to wrestle my iPhone away from my youngest today once she got used to loading up various childrens content from BBC iPlayer and when she did give me my phone back it was to swap for the Google Nexus 7 that offered the same functionality of controlling her content from the sofa.

My eldest also found it very cool and it prompted her to download a few apps to her Moto G to take proper advantage of the device.

As for me? I tried casting some sports from Google Chrome via the BT Sport website last night (after installing the Google Cast extension) but found the sound cut out from the transmission. Maybe it’s a Microsoft Silverlight issue as I found various Adobe Flash content streamed just fine (BBC News, YouTube, etc). I read that when casting from the Chrome browser to use the lower bitrate 720p setting but I found the highest 720p setting worked just fine; there was no difference between the slightly jerky frame rate I was viewing on the television (but obviously the picture quality looked a little better).

Overall, I think the device is worth buying and I really hope developers adopt it wholeheartedly. I’m very tempted to go do some tinkering with it myself… 🙂

Flash detect scripting

As Flash seemingly continues to suffer in terms of… well, everything I guess, a recent trip highlighted once again the widespread problems that remain on a number of sites when it comes to Flash detection.

I was asked Flash-detect questions on a few occasions by family and friends relating to either Flash being downloadable on tablets (which is now largely impossible) or whether the quick flash of “you don’t have Flash” text that sometimes appears on computers before a detection script kicks-in and displays Adobe Flash content was something they needed to be worried about. The latter case was a particularly bad example of where Flash was used to display seating arrangements in the middle of an online booking process and therefore the person making the booking wasn’t sure what the “you don’t have Flash” text was initially, or if it was something they needed to be concerned about before entering their credit card details.

I’d like to see more sites audit their detection scripts to take into account where the Flash plug-in is in mid-2013. Offering a download option where there is none is a horrible dead-end for those without experience of Flash and its history across devices.

Tab links dump

Flash Builder 4 Compiler arguments
TDD in Flash Builder 4
Creating a Flex Mojos Project from an Archetype
ASDoc documentation
How to build a simple Flex project using Maven
ApplicationDomain class
Communicating between SWFs and across domains
List of Flex Compiler Arguments across versions
How -omit-trace-statements Works… Or Does NOT…
Dispatching Custom Events
Passing Arguments with Events
The Event Meta Tag in Actionscript 3 and Flex Builder
Singleton classes in AS3