utility

Ad Rotator Control for Windows Phone 7

I’ve finished creating an ad rotator control for Windows Phone 7 and have published it along with the source code here: Windows Phone 7 Ad Rotator on CodePlex.

I originally created the control so that I could dynamically configure ads appearing on Flashlight 7 based on ad culture. In the US I normally prefer using PubCenter as it usually has the highest eCPM, outside of the US I would switch between other providers (AdMob, InnerActive and AdDuplex for promoting of the app). The main reason for changing the ratios of ad providers was that I wanted to experiment how showing more AdDuplex ads impacts downloads of the app – with this little tool I can do so when eCPM has gone somewhat down (Note: I’ve actually found AdDuplex have a positive effect on app downloads and use it despite higher eCPMs as well).

The control allows setting up of ad probabilites based on culture, so its possible to configure (and update) such a configuration as this:

  • US: 80% PubCenter, 10% InnerActive, 5% AdMob, 5% AdDuplex ads
  • Germany: 80% AdMob, 10% PubCenter, 10% AdDuplex
  • France: 100% AdMob
  • Other: 25% PubCenter, 25% InnerActive, 25% AdMob, 25% AdDuplex

Read the project description and the WP7 ad rotator documentation on more details on how to integrate the control into projects.

Hope you find this tool useful!

Using Google App Engine as Proxy for Silverlight and Flash Cross-Domain Requests

When using Silverlight or Flash to fetch data from other domains one often runs into cross-domain access restrictions. For security reasons in order to access data from different domains, the remote server explicitly has to allow this by defining a crossdomain.xml (or, for Silverlight, clientaccesspolicy.xml is good as well). If this file cannot be found on the remote domain, the request is not executed.

This can be fustrating when querying against RSS feeds or JSON/XML web APIs that don’t define any of these files. The workaround for this issue is to use some sort of proxying service. In this article I’ll be showing how to use Google App Engine to create a simple proxy that will forward these requests for free – within a reasonable daily load.

Google App Engine Overview

The reason I’ve chose to implement the proxy using Google App Engine is because it has a free daily quota and getting started using it is really simple: all you need is a Google account and to download and install the Google App Engine SDK.

Google App Engine supports developing in both Java and Python. In my example I’ll be using Python. In order to use and deploy the code yourself as well, follow these steps:
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A great disk storage usage monitoring tool

It’s quite a common problem that disk space shrinks dramatically and something has to be deleted. But what are those big files taking up the free space? With Windows you simply need some kind of tool to get a picture of disk usage. And the best tool I’ve found to do the job so far is Scanner2. It!s freeware, it’s simple and – beleive it or not – it was written 10 years ago.

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