Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Content overload

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

I don’t know if you’re like me but I’m totally overloaded with content.  There’s no one else to blame but myself but I love it. Long gone are the days when I turned on my TV and all 800 channels of Satellite had nothing interesting to watch. Long gone are the days when I’d get into my car and say, “Man I hate everything on the radio (except when I drive my wife’s car)”. I’ve got to say I’m loving the internet a LOT.

Even though it’s been a while that I’ve been doing this I just stopped to smell the roses about content today.  I have a computer connected to my TV so whenever I get tired of whatever I’m watching and the wife is bored I change to the computer’s channel and watch internet/podcast videos and movies.  In my office I have the same setup plus a Tivo so I can catch up on a basketball, football, documentaries, and podcasts whenever the mood strikes. If for any reason I want to work and not watch TV I have all my CD’s converted to our server plus podcasts to listen to. In the car I have a radio with a USB jack for playing from USB stick which I just dump podcasts and music on before I drive.

Look how far we’ve come as a society. I never watch a re-run unless I just want to sit with the wife and kids and watch something again. I’ve got too much content and I love it that way. Who really cares about the writer’s strike when there’s so much good content to watch and listen to.

Who needs the TV and radio networks. I like the internet.

Sorry, I’m back

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Oh, I missed you too!  Sorry for the hiatus but when you take a little bit of time off during the holiday season getting back into the rhythm of things is kinda hard.

I’m back though.

Nokia vs. Ogg? Why?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

In a recent article on Ars Technica I read that Nokia was fighting the W3C inclusion of the media codec OGG in the new HTML standard. Now this may sound like gobbly-goop to some but let me break it down.

MP3 files are the common media type for music that most people know off (AAC is the one for iTunes). What people don’t really know is that MP3 is a filetype that has a copyright on it and is not free. I have to admit I was enlightened on this subject a couple years back when I met this guy name Christopher Montgomery. He wrote audio codec OGG Vorbis and the video codec OGG Theora. I was shocked to know that video game producers have to license MP3’s for use. I was working a a media company at the time and was totally shocked because I instantly realized that since my company helped make a large amount of the commercials on TV that any audio that we used in these commercial products was liable for MP3 fees. Now more than likely this would never be enforced but the reality does exist for game programmers who license the most.

Now back to Nokia. They were just getting my vote as one of my new favorite companies because of the Nokia N810. It’s a beautiful handheld computer that does everything under the sun AND runs Linux. So, why would they try to fight HTML 5 including OGG? It’s free AND it’s opensource. Reading through their points you’ll be even more confused. They are as follows:

The position paper that Nokia submitted to the W3C touches on a variety of topics and mentions Ogg only briefly. The paper’s arguments can be summarized as follows:

  1. W3C shouldn’t make any standards relating to codecs. Leave that to other standards bodies like ITU-T and ISO/IEC.
  2. There are over a billion PCs in the world today, many connected to the web, but these numbers are tiny compared to traditional video playback devices like DVD players.
  3. This industry is used to paying license fees and royalties for video codecs like MPEG-2.
  4. This industry is used to making money, and it doesn’t care about keeping things free.
  5. Web codec standards should be either free or low-cost to implement.
  6. Web codec standards should support DRM to placate Hollywood, but DRM implementations should be optional.
  7. H.264 for video and AAC for audio would be Nokia’s recommendations for codecs.

Can I start with a resounding WHAT!!!??? This has to be the most convoluted piece of crap I’ve ever read. I think they must have first watch the famous Youtube video of Ms. South Carolina answering a question in a beauty contest before typing this up (watch the video and you’ll understand).

W3C consortium: I hope you see the stupidity in this and run with OGG. It will hopefully pick up adoption of the format so I can listen to my OGG audio in my car.

Xiph and Chris “Monty” Montgomery: Keep up the good work and as I’ve told you before if there’s anything I can do let me know. I think this format is due to take over.

I liken OGG to a concept ahead of it’s time. It’s like Jimmy Carter standing in front of a bioenergy powered car in the 1970’s. Once gas prices went down everybody forgot about it but now it’s all the rage to use Ethanol because we’re conscious of the environment. This is the same situation with OGG. Maybe when media producers start to realize that MP3 is costing them unnecessary money for a lesser codec OGG will rise in usage.

Learn a little more about the format at Xiph.org.

Why doesn’t Revision3 love me?

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Living in Los Angeles and working for media companies in the past I’ve found myself meeting many famous people but forJessica Corbin the most part I tend to meet most of the tech people of some renown at conventions in San Francisco or Las Vegas. Let’s set the stage. I’m at the huge CES convention in Las Vegas (by the way, if you’re going in January drop me a line and we might meet up). I’m looking at a product demo and the presenter is giving the usual “Blah blah blah” presentation of generic presenter talk. Then I realize it’s a character from the former TechTV channel and used to help on shows like the Screen Savers. I soon remember that her name is Jessica Corbin.

Well, a couple of minutes pass and I notice the creator of Digg and also, past employee of TechTV, Kevin Rose and his Diggnation co-host Alex Albrecht. Kevin Rose

Well needless to say. I never got a call. The next week Kevin Rose gets $2.8 million in venture capital and Jessica Corbin gets a show on his Revision3 video podcast network. Two weeks ago a new show is started on his network with another former TechTV guy Patrick Norton called Techzilla.

Where’s my show Kevin?!?! It makes it really hard for me to watch Techzilla. I know you’re here in L. A. with me.

Honestly, they both do seem like very nice people. I do question the choices a little bit though. Alex Albrecht is a cool person (I saw him again last week at the Podcast and Portable Media expo) but not really techy enough. Jessica Corbin is nice too but also not techy enough. I guess she’s just there for techy nerds to have a female to look at.

Interview of me on Beachwalks.tv

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Earlier this week at the Podcast and Portable media expo I had some time to sit and chat with my very insightful friend Roxanne Darling and some other people I met at the expo.  Check out the link from her site below.
Beach Walks with Rox #501 – Meet the Podcasterslt;/a>

New technology and football cheating

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I’m sure many sports lovers have heard by now the controversy about the New England Patriots and video taping their opponents play calling. The only thing I’ve been wondering for a very long time why it hadn’t happened before? I hate cheating in any game but the fact that there are audio telescopes that let the media hear every word said on the field and more than a dozen video cameras why haven’t they done it years ago. In order of fact many players say that they’d been doing it for years. This really sucks for the league and the championships they won.

So, in a huge leap of insane inappropriateness I’m going to help out Major League Baseball teams that want to cheat. I’ll explain why later. First, have cameras in the audience aimed at the catcher’s hands from the back of the stadium. Catalog on a database the video of the catchers hand signals and the pitches thrown. You’ll know what pitch is coming up by having one person in relay the pitch to the batter vocally.

Why would give them this? Stop being so stupid major league sports teams! I’ve been looking at it for years as I’m sure the coach of the Patriots has. I’m hoping this will actually make you stop doing this silly practice.

If you do lose in the future you can only blame yourself. You should have been reading my blog.

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Posting was the last thing on my mind because of my birthday today but if you’re born in August too, here’s a big birthday cake for you too.

cake.jpg

Where are the ideas?

Monday, July 9th, 2007

As you may have noticed. I haven’t posted in about a week. Unfortunately, I have been sick with the flu. This is horrible during a beautiful California summer. On top of the fact that I rarely ever get sick I didn’t remember how to cure myself of what to do while I’m sick. I’ve had tons of ideas and book reviews in the works but found myself totally brain dead, dehydrated, and sleeping all the time.

As you may guest I’m not good at being sick. I was totally restless and kept a couple books next to the bed, laptop at the ready, and magazines to boot. In the last 5 days I’ve used absolutely none of them. My brain has just started to form coherent thoughts so I will be back with more interesting posts on software, operating systems, tips and tricks, and all kinds of fun life lessons.

Not being sick many times, this has been a life lesson for me. When I do honestly get totally sick I’m going to give in and not fight it. Forcing yourself to think during those times is totally counter-prodcutive.

Haiku please stop

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

When I say Haiku I’m not referring to the poems nor is it a misspelling of the social networking site Jaiku.  I’m talking about the open source operating system being built.  It’s still in Alpha release and you can’t download an installable copy yet but you can get a vmware virtual machine of it.  My only conclusion… please… Let Be OS die peacefully.

Here’s the history.  Once upon a time someone made an operating system call Be OS.  I remember checking this out in the mid 90’s and it looked great!  It was made to take full advantage of your PC and originally ran on it’s own hardware (BeBox).  Sad as it may be it was just one of those things that never took off.  Palm Software eventually bought the company and that was it for Be OS.  Out of it’s ashes came Haiku.  People are still working on making it like Be OS but it’s just too late.  All the cool stuff is in Linux, and BSD (which in turn benefits Mac OSX) now.

Why stop?   One reason above all others… Help the team to win.  The resources that people are putting toward this could be used enhance Linux and BSD.  If they enhance BSD then Mac OSX will get these benefits added to it’s Darwin core.  I’m a big believer in breaking off and treading new ground but from what I can see.  You’re not.  I favor you helping Linux but let’s just all be friends and make cool software that enhances everyone’s life.

MP3 player or iPod?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

I have run into the raging debate over what portable player to get and here’s my stand.

I’m an MP3 player guy and not just because I don’t like being locked into iTunes.  MP3 players are usually cheaper for the same audio quality.  Allow you to just drag files over without conversion (less time).  Are operating system neutral so they’ll work on anything as a memory stick, etc.

iPods look cool.

Please rip me to shreds on this one if I’m wrong because I want to understand ANY other logic.

P.S.: Don’t even compare the video iPod’s to MP4 players because the same things apply.