The One Ring - Google Voice properly integrated into Maemo 5
Ed Page has officially announced "The One Ring", a plugin (Telepathy Connection Manager) that integrates Google Voice into Empathy, Maemo 4.1 RTComm, and Maemo 5 RTComm. It currently supports GV contacts with names, sending and receiving from people not in your contact list, presence, send and receive text, receive voicemail in text form, initiate Google Voice callback, and improved debugging. The application is still in beta so use with caution, and provide feedback where possible.
Ovi store still selling DRM content the N900 can't play
In a selfless act, bought some of the paid-for content available on the Ovi Store, assuming it would have similar flaws to the paid-for applications which caused them to be removed temporarily. However, This time, it's the other way round: You pay, but can't play. What you get is a file with the file extension '*.dm", so I assume it's digitally restricted. Of course, my N900 doesn't know what to do with it and can't play it.
Mac OS X iSync plugin for N900
You may think that Apple users would be more interested in an iPhone or iPad than an N900. However, a passionate group of Mac OS X users (kicked off by David Smith, Graham Dawe and Jörgen Scheibengruber) have started work on an iSync plugin to better integrate Maemo 5 into their Macs. With no official Nokia plug-in supplied, to sync the Nokia N900 with OS X (iSync), a few of the members of talk.maemo.org have decided make one. Currently most features that you would expect work, work well, but there are some things that either have part-functionality or do not work at all (yet!).
Finger friendly last.fm Vagalume in beta test
Vagalume, the last.fm and libre.fm client for Maemo, is available for the N900 in Extras-testing; but the UI was still its stylus-targetted Maemo 4 one. However, Andrea Grandi is testing a Hildonized version of Vagalume: still some bugs but the author has done a very nice work! Hopefully it won't be long before it sees the light of day.
pyPianobar Pandora client
pyPianobar is a lightweight native client for the Pandora streaming radio service developed by FatalSaint Alucard. Currently, the Pandora website works fine in the N900 browser and thus, many people have decided a GUI application for it is not necessary. I disagreed, as did a couple others. The Pandora website is entirely flash, and while the N900 brings flash to our browser (which is excellent) - flash is also very CPU intensive and sluggish. The client has been developed in Qt and is currently in Extras-devel, which means that users should only enable the repo temporarily.
Community-built levels for Rovio's Angry Birds
Angry Birds must be the most popular application in the embryonic Ovi Store. The game, where you catapult birds at fragile structures to destroy the creatures inside has captured users' imaginations and is being downloaded six times faster than its iPhone version. Now, a number of users on talk.maemo.org have - with the publisher's permission - reverse engineered the level format and have been producing their own levels: We're currently hanging out on freenode in #angrybirds-leveleditor and ##angrybirds-leveleditor if you'd like to come by and help or ask questions about level editing. We might not answer immediately as we're going to be busy with the editor, but I'm sure we'll get to your questions eventually. Official and unofficial graphical level editors are in the works to make it more accessible to those who don't know Lua, a simple programming language.
Mac OS X running on an N900
In an attempt to have the slowest Mac in existence, Toni Nikkanen has compiled PearPC for Maemo and used it to boot Mac OS X on his N900: As you can see from the heavily edited video, it took almost 2 hours to reach the "About my Mac..." window. Keep your eye on the time display as that will give you an impression of just how uselessly slow it is. The emulator I used was the latest CVS snapshot of PearPC, which to my eye appears to be pretty good quality code, built without problems in Scratchbox. It's difficult to imagine any practical benefits of this, but it is cool and perhaps allows on-device debugging of the iSync plugin above!
A short video showing off the development of "Paris3D", an application which appears like a hybrid of Google Maps and Google Earth, allowing you to pan around a 3D map of Paris. A preview for Paris 3D, soon to come for all N900 users!
Augmented reality with camera & OpenGL
Pavel Rojtberg has released a video of a cool "augmented reality" proof-of-concept using an N900. The camera and OpenGL are used to insert an artificial house into a real-world scene, in realtime. One commenter says, Wow! I never knew the N900 could do such things. You’re my hero of the month. Seriously impressed!