Archive for May, 2009

How I Almost Got an iPhone

Friday, May 29th, 2009

It all started back in early April, when Nate was back on leave, and his phone died and he picked up a blackberry!  We hung out a lot, and I had ample opportunity to play with his phone, and I was out on the road a lot with him too.  Even though the device wasn’t customized or optimized for me, I still found it to be a great tool.  As a business owner, I needed to be in touch with what was going on, and for the first time I experienced how instead of much of a nuisance and burden a phone can be, it could be an immense time saver and organizer.  I’ve gone over 22 years of my life without a phone, and six years now running my own business.  But as my business grows, the concept of a cellphone that can do all the things that they can do today finally becomes a reasonable idea.

300_blackberry_boldI struggled with this sudden turn of feelings towards a phone for a few weeks, but quietly researched further.  It would have to be a smart phone with a few key capabilities:

  1. Email (obviously)
  2. Real internet browsing
    (not the blackberry HTML only browser)
  3. Capable of VNC
    (so I can control my computer at home)

The newer blackberries, such as my personal favorite the Bold, seemed like the better choices.  However, it looked like I’d have to pay for a VNC client, and the browser still wasn’t all that amazing.  Also, blackberries seem… just older in the technology world?  An odd statement, but I mean that there are technologies out there like the touch screen, and better GUI’s that I saw in the newest blackberry – but it was slower and seemed an early attempt and fixing that issue.  I’m sure they will get better as time goes on.

I went a few weeks with the thought of getting a blackberry in the back of my head until I talked with several people about blackberry versus iPhone.  If I was to get a phone, I wanted to make sure I get the best choice for what I need it for.  I’ve seen a lot of what the iPhone can do, especially through Mark, but it also popped up on my radar that Craig had switched from iphone_homeblackberry to an iPhone!  Both people of which I highly respect in the tech world.  After talking with them, and several others, I leaned stronger and stronger towards the iPhone!  It had everything I need – the only problem…. it’s an Apple device.  Apple and I don’t get along – it’s good for some people, but frankly you can achieve the same means in the same time and effort on PC or Mac, it’s just a question of how your mindset works.  Some people’s minds work more towards mac, and some more towards PC.  I’m definately in the PC mindset, and have always been – but for a phone, it might be nice to have a flashy GUI that I don’t have to do much with and it will work mostly good.  I say mostly good because mac and PC both crash just as often – mac people just won’t admit it – it’s the same with the phone.

Now, along comes the new iPhone 3.0 – with amazing upgraded features such as multimedia messaging, and an amazing feature to use bluetooth to tether it to your laptop to get internet access via your phone!  Yada yada… I was almost sold on it up until yesterday.

I heard about Android probably over a year ago on slashdot sometime, but over the last year I didn’t hear too much news about it except that it sucked and was disappoing.  Android is an open source operating system for mobile phones, built by Google – so this was a little sad news that it wasn’t any good.  Pelley tipped me off to the fact that Rogers is finally debuting the first phones in Canada with Android in a few days, and so I decided to actually take a look for myself.

htc-dream-2After spending hours watching YouTube videos showcasing the phone, and reading countless articles comparing it against the new iPhone 3.0 which will be out this summer, I found that this phone didn’t disappoint in any way!  This was amazing news… as I’m a massive Google fan too!  Specifically, I’m looking at the HTC Dream G1 phone – which I might pick up on Tuesday, when the finally debut in Canada.  Basically it’s the blackberry meets iPhone, with Google as the glue!  It’s got almost everything the other two phones have, and more.

This phone has a touch screen, and a firm fold out to reveal a full keyboard which is far larger than the blackberry one.  It can already be tethered to your computer to provide internet access like the new iPhone will do.  The whole thing is open source with some great app developers with some wicked apps for things like telling you what some is playing, telling you the constelations in the stars – or where a planet is in the sky, scanning a barcode and quickly telling you the best prices online, lots and lots of games, and much more!

It seems like remarkable timing on Google’s part to release their phone in three days from today – literally as I’m breaking down and finally seriously contemplating getting a phone.  Maybe – it was meant to be?

Google Wave

Friday, May 29th, 2009

google_wave_logo

Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today.”

And that is exactly what Google Wave is – revolutionary!  I just finished watching the hour and a bit video from the unveiling presentation made at Google I/O.  This product won’t be launched for several months now, but it seriously looks amazing.  It’s late and I should sleep, but some quick key points can be found in either of these two links:

It brings together chatting, emailing, social networking – and you can even drag and drop photos from your computer onto the website and it will share them instantly with whoever you have your wave open with.  They will be able to see the thumbnails right away, and the high-res versions will come shortly after – at which point they can click to put them into a full-screen slide show mode.

The most amazing part that I saw in the video, is how it can perfectly live translate chat between languages – literally to the millisecond as you type your message.  Seriously, check out the 1:12:44 mark in the video and your jaw will drop!

This amazing platform will revolutionize online social networking – just walking by my brother surfing Facebook after watching the video… Facebook looked extremely dull.  When Wave comes out to the public in several months, I can see this platform easily rivaling Facebook, and bringing my friends away from that monster.

google_wave_snapshots_inbox

On a side note – if you got a sec, check out Sky Map for Google Android phones!

Google Street View Car

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I was on my way to film an interview this morning, on an on-ramp for the freeway, and I happened to look over to the car beside me and see this:

Google Street View Car

I instantly knew what it was and whipped out my camera to take a shot – but for those of you who have no idea, it’s one of the cars that are taking pictures from that rig to make Google Street View! And for those of you who have no idea what it is –

Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides for many streets in the world 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic views from a row of positions along the street (one in every 10 or 20 meters, or so), from a height of about two meters.

Don’t worry, only geeks are really jealous of my sighting of the Google Car!

New Vegas Pro 9

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

vegaspro9

My video editing software, Sony Vegas, is coming out with version 9.0 shortly and I just read an article on it’s improved functionality.  Here are my notes as to the top new features:

  • New default skin is made of a darker base-color. Don’t worry, you can always change it back
  • 32-bit & 64-bit are available, and the 64-bit is “tremendously” more stable than 8.1.
  • Built-in defaults to work with 2K and 4K, combined with new support for using .r3d files!
  • This used to be available under the Scripts menu, but now you can “Render as Image Sequence” directly from the render dialogue.
  • Vegas now has a built in feature which looks at the project properties and determines the best render output settings by putting an “=” sign to the left of it in the render dialogue.
  • Many new effects are included, such as Glint, Rays, Defocus, Starburst, Soft Contrast, and Fill Light.  Also a new transisition called Gradient Wipe.
  • To create audio keyframes, simply select an area and drag the envelope up or down and the four nessecary keyframes are automatically created.
  • Video events will show only the first, middle, and last frames as previews on the event on the timeline.  This is a default and can be changed to “None”, “Head”, Head,Tail”, or “All”.
  • When you hold down CTRL+ALT+Shift and click on an event, it will split the event. If you then drag right, it will trim the front of the event on the right. If you instead drag left, it will trim then end of the event to the left.
  • When slipping an event that has multiple takes, you can now slip all takes instead of only the active take. To activate this new feature, turn on OptionsSlip All Takes.
  • Audio adjustments are no longer quantized to frames by default.
  • Vegas now uses 16-bit peak files

// http://www.jetdv.com/tts/TTS07-01.pdf

Does this chin make me look fat?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Does this chin make me look fat?

Synergy Highlight Video

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I put together a highlight video of the Synergy Dance Competition that we just finished filming about a couple weeks ago.  It’s only 2 minutes long, so why not head over to Techno Monkey Media’s portfolio and check it out!