18 August, 2010

Strings Lab – First iPhone & iPad Game

My first iPhone & iPad game has just been released in the App store and I’m really excited. It is a special feeling to see an idea transformed into an actual product.

The game itself is a blend of two things I have always enjoyed open ended games and physics. In the game you are in charge of a Strings Labs and your objective is create as much energy as possible. You can create Quantum Strings, Photons and Gravitons and watch them interact and create more complex elements. You are also given a few tools to facilitate specific interactions.

Since it is a sandbox type game, I will keep the how-to to a minimum a let the gamer figure out stuff as they play, but I will be posting hints and tips here (amiri.hub.ae) from time to time.

The game comes in two falavors:

  • Free Ad Supported Version (iPhone Only) – Link Here

  • Full version (iPad and iPhone) – Link Here

Here are a few screen shots, and let me know what you think. If you like the game, a positive rating and/or review on iTunes is highly appreciated.

And since this is a shameless plug for my app, here are a few promo codes for the full version of the game:

  • PTFXER63A4N6
  • YX4R96FTN67E
  • F7XAA3HA7T7K
  • KFJFE733FW9P

07 August, 2010

Saudi BB ban lifted?

The UK Daily Telegraph is reporting that "Saudi Arabia and the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone have reached a deal to prevent a ban on the phone's messenger service."

The report says:

The agreement, which involves placing a BlackBerry server inside Saudi Arabia, would allow the government to monitor users' messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes.

A Saudi regulatory official said tests were now under way to determine how to install a BlackBerry server inside the country.

The story's here.

04 August, 2010

Dubai Police Virtual Training?!

The Dubai Police Force is looking for a game developer to help them create a virtual training program for their department, according to a Gamasutra job posting.

There aren't a lot of details about what exactly the police department wants the "serious game" to do, but they job opening is for a CryEngine Game Developer and that the developer will report to Dr. Ahmed Bin Subaih, the department's head of the virtual training section.

Requirements include experience with artificial intelligence and multiplayer games and the job pays $70,000 and include health and transportation for the employee and family.

Looking at what appears to be a screenshot from the initiative, I'm intrigued by what the virtual training program could be. It looks like it will include pretty detailed environments and, perhaps, a third-person point of view.

More here: The Dubai Police want you to make a game for them (Kotaku)

02 August, 2010

Blackberry dumbphones

Assuming the BlackBerry ban isn't mere saber rattling, is it not disgusting that consumers will have to bear the costs of the TRA's decision to ban BlackBerry services?

Not only the cost of devices, but for companies and individuals to swap over to different devices?

It is absolutely not enough that the TRA require du and Etisalat to provide services in place of devices we've all already paid for;
"Both telecommunications operators – Etisalat and du – were informed of the decision earlier today. The notification was delivered with an instruction to ensure minimal consumer disruption in the provision of alternative services." (from www.tra.ae)
So where are the calls from Etisalat and du arranging delivery of our new phones that haven't had their feature-list suddenly cut in half overnight?

If this all turns out to be a failed attempt by the TRA to try and force RIM to co-operate with ridiculous laws who will refund consumers that went and bought new devices in the belief that BlackBerry services would be banned?

Given the absolutely atrociously ridiculous cost of on-the-fly 3G data in the UAE we're all going to end up "forking over yet another ton of money to Etisalat and du once again" (so common that we can henceforth abbreviate it to FOY-ATOM-TEA-DOA)

Also, at a time like this, let us not lose sight of the General Policy for the Telecommunications Sector in the State of the United Arab Emirates:
"3.3 Become the Regional ICT Hub
The Government will support the development of the UAE as a regional ICT and telecommunications hub by:
3. Ensuring a secure environment in telecommunication applications and usage, including information security and network security, authentication, privacy and consumer protection by developing Policies and Regulatory Framework for this subject."

So to ensure that the UAE becomes a regional ICT Hub by "ensuring a secure environment", the TRA's grandmaster plan is to ban anything that is a secure environment?

With front page CNN, BBC, Slashdot, New York Times the UAE is sure set to become the regional ICT hub in about minus 8000 years. What will the TRA find reason to block tomorrow in its continuous quest to 'protect consumers'? Skype?

Is it little wonder companies like Skype have set up shop in Bahrain and not the UAE?

Will the TRA use this extremely sound reasoning:
Blackberry data is immediately exported off-shore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organization. Blackberry data services are currently the only data services operating in the UAE where this is the case. (from www.tra.ae
to start blocking services which are managed overseas and are encrypted like Gmail? Will the TRA start outlawing all encrypted communications including https websites so we can no longer use banking facilities in a secure manner?

01 August, 2010

Blackberry services in UAE to be suspended

The TRA confirmed today that Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services in the UAE will be suspended as of October 11th 2010.

Today’s decision is based on the fact that, in their current form, certain Blackberry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE.

Commenting on the announcement TRA Director General Mohamed Al Ghanim said: “With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied.”

“We informed both Etisalat and du that providing the option of alternative services to ensure the continuity of service from October 11 to its subscribers – both individuals and organisations - is the most important priority.” Al Ghanim added.

Said Al Ghanim, “The TRA notes that Blackberry appears to be compliant in similar regulatory environments of other countries, which makes non-compliance in the UAE both disappointing and of great concern.”
From TRA's website.

The build-up to this can be seen two posts down.