Busy making things: github, links, photos, @mc.

Mobile Interface Myths

Posted: January 31st, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Via BoingBoing, 12 Myths of Mobile Device User-Interface Design will be presented by Aaron Marcus on March 10 in Chicago.

Road trip, anyone?


print self.links

Posted: January 30th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Please bear with me, as it looks like I’m going to be in linked list mode for the next couple of days.

  • NewLC has heard that the Symbian Exposium 2004 will be held in October.  This has not yet been confirmed.  I’m sure that several Mobitopians will attend.
  • The Chipotle web site sucks ass.  There’s just no other way of putting it.
  • The ladies from Atomic Kitten are taking some time off.  I hope that the break is temporary.
  • Wi-Fi Networking News: Wardriving is not worth a caning.
  • CNet reports (in the most vague terms possible) that Lindows is distributing LindowsLive over P2P networks.  Which networks?  Why not set up a tracker and torrent your heart out?  The article doesn’t really say much.
  • Leo Laporte links to news of Gateway’s $235 Million offer for eMachines.  That sounds a bit low considering how well eMachines is doing.  They’re on a roll, that’s for sure.  I’m drooling over the M6807 right now.  Is that 64 bits in your lap or, uhh…?

Send in the Links

Posted: January 29th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I’ve spent most of the day walking slowly past the computer trying to catch up.  I have not looked at the aggregator since before the sun came up.  The following are a bunch of links that I need to read and catch up on when I get home:


Major Xbox Price Cuts by Labor Day?

Posted: January 29th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

If the Xbox really falls to $99, I’m so picking one up.


Canon EOS-1D Mark II: One Monster Camera

Posted: January 29th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II is a monster of a camera.  It sports a 8.2 megapixel sensor that can capture up to 8.5 frames per second, and up to 40 frames per burst in RAW mode.  The CMOS sensor is a bit bigger, which reults in a 1.3 multiplier instead of the usual 1.5 or 1.6.

It’s not going to be cheap, but man it’s gonna rock!

Expect many more announcements from Canon throughout the next couple of weeks.  It’s PMA time!


Kill Bill Vol 2 Delayed for DVD Sales?

Posted: January 29th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Ugh!

I saw Kill Bill Vol 1 shortly after it was released last year.  It was awesome.  I was foaming at the mouth for Vol 2 as soon as the credits started rolling.  It was okay though, because Vol 2 was coming out in February.  I could deal with that.

A few weeks ago I checked up on it.  It was still coming out in February (I’ve been foaming at the mouth for some months now), and my friend Tony and I had been speculating about DVD release strategy.  Would it be best for them to knock out a quick and dirty barebones DVD to have ready for the release of Vol 2?  Would they then release Vol 2 on DVD six months after it hit the theatre?  How long would they wait for the box set with all of the commentary and special features that Tarantino junkies require?  We had no solid theories.

Last week, I read somewhere that Vol 1 was going to be out on DVD in April.  That was a bit dissapointing, since I had wanted to rewatch Vol 1 and then see Vol 2.  But no matter, Vol 2 was going to hit in Feb, and I would just deal with it.

Except, now it’s not.

According to Yahoo! Movies, it is now slated to be released on April 16, which just happens to be right around when the DVD comes out.  The absurd part about it is that the movie has been in the can for quite some time before Vol 1 even hit the theatres.

I’m sure that this has something to do with the okay but not spectacular numbers that Vol 1 posted at the theatres.  It has managed to pull in about $70 million since it was released, which is not a bomb, but not very good either.  It quickly reached cult status among a subset of moviegoers, but it failed to hit critical mass and go mainstream like Pulp Fiction did.

I can only assume that Miramax decided to push back the opening of Vol 2 in hopes that significant buzz would be generated by the release of Vol 1 on DVD.  To whomever decided to do this: Eff you!  You’ve managed to piss off the people that saw Vol 1 and told all of their friends to see it.  We’re not happy.  We’re still going to fork over $9 to see the movie, but we’re going to come in angry.  We’re probably going to buy Vol 1 on DVD the week it comes out, Vol 2 as soon as it comes out, and eventually the boxed set, because we’ve got to have those deleted scenes, that commentary, those interviews, and that extra content.

But Miramax, you have pissed us off.


JSpeex

Posted: January 28th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Java | Comments Off

JSpeex is a Java implementation fo the Speex protocol that Kenneth turned me on to for compressing speech audio files.  The current release (0.9.2) is a bugfix release.


Nikon 8700: 8 Megapixels, 8x Zoom

Posted: January 28th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Now we’re talking.  DPReview is also covering the 8700, an update to the 5 megapixel 5700.  It looks like the basic design is pretty much the same as the 5700, though the command dial on top makes me hopeful that this camera will actually aproach easy to use.  The 5700 is a great camera but a PITA to operate.

The 8700 looks good, but is bulky.  I have a feeling that the 8400 (or whatever replaces the 5400) will be more my style.


Nikon D70: Too Expensive, Coming Soon?

Posted: January 28th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

DPReview has some details about Nikon’s D70, which I have already ranted about.  It will indeed be $999 for the body only, and a whopping $1299 for a body/lens combo.  It looks absurd when you compare it to the Canon $899/$999 price points.

Now that Nikon has released some specs, we can at least start estimating when they’ll start showing up on the street.  Canon went from announcement to on the shelf in a matter of a month or two, but Nikon is famous for announcing stuff that is still six months out.  I hope that Nikon has ramped up production and is ready to pull a Canon and start shipping Real Soon.

The specs do look pretty decent: 6.1 effective megapixels, which means that it probably does not use the exact same chip that is in the D100, just a similar one.  I am saddened to see that the camera only supports USB1.1, though a real photographer will take the CF card out and put it in a USB2.0 High Speed/Firewire card reader.  I am quite suprised that the camera industry hasn’t embraced the higher speed interfaces yet.

I also like the ability to simultaneously snap a RAW file and a JPEG.  That can make management/thumbnailing/making a contact sheet quite easy.  It looks like the D70 will also support i-TTL, which should make flash exposures with digital cameras easier.

Hopefully Nikon is announcing the D70 now so that in a few weeks at PMA they can say “we’re shipping next month” and make everyone happy.

At least from the pictures, it does look like the D70 looks/feels a little beefier than the Canon Digital Rebel.  The Digital Rebel is a solid camera, but includes a lot of curved lines and is silver to differentiate it from the higher end digital cameras.  Luckily the D70 is black, and looks more like a beefed up N80 platform than an N75 platform (which is A Good Thing).

I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for Nikon.  I really want them to do well with this, they just have a tendancy to shoot themselves in the foot.


TiVoberry

Posted: January 28th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Java | Comments Off

Via Russ on #mobitopia, CNet is reporting that TiVo has picked up Strangeberry.  JRendezvous, Strangeberry’s GPL’d Rendezvous code, lives on at SourceForge as JmDNS.

I didn’t even realize that there was anything left of Strangeberry beyond a splash screen at a dot com address.  Needless to say, expect Rendezvous support and other fun stuff in TiVos down the road.  TiVo announced that they were working on rendezvous support last year at CES, though not owning a TiVo, I’m not sure if the tech has wandered in to production yet.


Oscar Nods

Posted: January 27th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

The Oscar nominations were announced today.  I was excited to hear that Lost in Translation racked up a nod for best picture, best director, best actor in a leading role, and best original screenplay.

Entertainment pundits think that LotR is going to take best picture, but I think that LiT is going to walk away with at least one Oscar, probably best director, with best actor or best original screenplay being an added bonus.


Doing the Numbers

Posted: January 26th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

My Symbian points to an EMEA Canalys report stating that over 2 million Symbian devices sold in Q42003.

DPReview cites a PMA press release that pegs the total number of digital cameras sold in 2003 at 50 million.

Expect these numbers, along with camera phone numbers to go up significantly in the coming months.


Opportunity

Posted: January 25th, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I’m hunkered down in front of the NASA TV stream waiting for Opportunity to bounce down.

Update: We’re rollin’ around on the surface of Mars!

Jack Hodgson in #joiito made a good observation: both Gore and Arnold made an appearance at JPL, but only after the successful landing had been confirmed.


Thumbnails From 3GP Video

Posted: January 23rd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: PHP | Comments Off

Chris Davies has scripted some PHP that grabs a thumbnail image from a 3GP video.  The cup of tea lives on!  I agree with Chris, it would rock if TextAmerica were to incorporate something like this instead of the canned ‘this is a video’ graphic.

Excellent work, Chris!


On the Ever Increasing Pentium 4 Pipeline

Posted: January 23rd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Slashdot points to two stories by El Reg and ZDNet, which both report that the new Pentium 4 core (dubbed Prescott) will have an even longer pipeline than the previous P4 core, which had a longer pipeline than the previous core…

Intel isn’t helping the Megahertz myth any.  Now granted, the Prescott core is currently set to ramp up to 4GHz (and may go beyond it), but I suspect that AMD will be able to push through similar benchmarks at a clock speed of 2-3GHz.

Anandtech has more information about the Intel roadmap and the AMD roadmap.

I run both Intel and AMD hardware, but have considered myself an AMD boy since the early Slot A Athlon days.  (I did a writeup for the Athlon 800 and also my Tornado 1000 case at Next Dimension Hardware a few years ago)


The System is Broken

Posted: January 23rd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Via Amy’s Robot Link Factory, The Mercury News:

Bill Janklow, who dominated South Dakota politics for three decades as governor and then congressman, was sentenced to 100 days in jail Thursday for a car crash that killed a Minnesota motorcyclist and ended Janklow’s career in disgrace.

I actually thought that the system was working when a senator who runs a stop sign at 71 mph, killing a motorcyclist, is actually convicted of the crime.  After 30 days, he will be leaving jail for up to 10 hours a day to do community service.

I remember NPR coverage of the trial.  A woman testified that she had been virtually run off the road when the Senator came flying down that stretch of road a few days prior to the deadly accident.  I remember thinking at the time, “he’s going to find some way to get out of this.”  Well, he did.

I wonder what the average jail term for second degree manslaughter is?


Rover Down

Posted: January 22nd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

BBC:

Nasa’s Mars Rover Spirit has stopped sending useful data and mission scientists are unable to send it commands.

That bites.  I’m sure that NASA is working around the clock trying to reestablish contact.  Still, it’s dissapointing news.


The Baltimore Sun Offers RSS Feeds

Posted: January 22nd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

Thanks to James Robertson for the pointer: The Baltimore Sun is offering a ton of new feeds.  He has added several to his aggregator, and I’ve added several to my rawdog instance.  I did the same when Yahoo and the AP started producing feeds, and unsubscribed from many of them after suffering from information overload.  When the BBC unleashed a bunch of feeds, I only subscribed to a few: mostly business, tech, and a little local UK news.  They’ve proven quite useful.

I think that I’ll audition these feeds from the Baltimore Sun and probably end up voting some off the island.


Unofficial SUSE FAQ

Posted: January 22nd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Linux | Comments Off

The Unnoficial SUSE Faq is quite useful.


More Trouble at Kodak

Posted: January 22nd, 2004 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

BBC News:

Photography giant Eastman Kodak is to slash up to 15,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years.

Things are not looking good for big yellow.