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Sun 6/29/08 11:10pm #
Startled myself a little leaving my apartment this evening. Watch/listen to the video for why.
Meet the.... wait not yet.
So the first sortof Meet the Press without Tim Russert today. I say sortof because A. they weren't in the studio, and B. Half the show was an interview with two Western Govenors of the same party that really have no presence on the national stage right now.
It's understandable that Brokaw didn't play Russert style gotcha with those Governors because basically, you've got to know who someone is before gotcha is any fun.
There was a slightly more assertive interview of Governor Arnold "I'll Be Back" (I'm not going to try to spell his last name.) But I'm still pretty sure that Brokaw is going to come across as a lightweight in this format compared to Russert. Of course it just may require a little time for Brokaw to get up to speed on this style show. Time will tell. (But next week won't, because next week, if it's Sunday it's Wimbelton? *sigh*)
Good Stuff. Click below, Watch the video.
Living life dangerously in the Fast Lane
I would totally buy one of these micro electric cars. Although they should probably make it just hair bit longer so you could stuff a second person in it, still if it was cheap enough, I'd still be game.
My only worry with something like this would be having it get stolen. They would have to have have some sort of lo-jack bluetooth gps alert thing that would call your cellphone if this thing was moving and you weren't in it, because I could totally see a couple guys in a Ford Ranger being able to steal something like this out of a person's apartment parking lot.
American Batman Psycho
I watched American Psycho earlier today. It's the first time I've actually seen the whole movie. I had seen bits and pieces of it before, but never the whole thing in one sitting.
In the movie Christian Bale plays a Wall Street Hot Shot who also happens to be a serial killer. You can't help but wonder what a Batman Begins/American Psycho mash-up would be like, and lo and behold a quick Google/Youtube search revealed that a fan trailer of such a thing does exists. It's two years old according to Youtube but it's new to me, and maybe to you too.
Hmm... looking like it's going to be another light blogging weekend afterall. Flipped through the last couple weeks of starred RSS feeds. Didn't see much that excited be toward comment.
No great topics to think about this week either, well actually I have some things on my mind, 5 or 6 individuals actually that I've been analyzing my mental models of, and then sort of bumping those models together to see if there's any overlaps or collisions. But being that they are real people, it's probably best not to mentally deconstruct them in a public blog forum-- that would lack a certain decorum.
Other than that... how about we talk about the weather? Right now at this moment in West Michigan we're on that awkward edge where the air conditioning feels too cold, but when it's off, it's just a little too warm.
It's a quiet weekend once again, seems most people are out and about here and there. I would imagine that next weekend will be much the same.
Speaking of the upcoming week. I have almost all of it off, and I'm very much looking forward to that. No monumental plans but there are several movies I want to see, and I look forward to putting my alarm clock in a drawer for a good while. I always enjoy that.
Listening to Coldplay's new cd right now, I have no idea what that says about me or means. I'm about the furthest thing you can get from a musical aficionado. My interests lie firmly in the cerebral and the visual realms, the world of the auditory rarely entrances me, but I saw Coldplay on The Daily Show, and I saw earlier this week that they were a hot topic on Summizes' Twitter chart. So I'm listening to the cd-- fairly indifferently frankly. It's ok. Not a bad background CD for doing other things I suppose.
I replaced my little self made staus message at the top right corner of my blog with a Twitter feed instead. I found I hadn't been using the blog specific one much at all the last couple months and I thought putting the latest twitter up there would be a better use of that space. (yeah it's going to be duplicated on the current page, but it adds a little freshness to the archives for those people hitting the blog via the googles)
I made a slight change to my posting software for my blog today to. It'll probably encourage more frequent short posts, but time will tell.
There's way to much talk about blogging in this section isn't there? But if not talking about blogging on a blog then where should one talk about blogging?
Let's Go Surfing
» Picjuice is a nice basic picture resizer, cropper, flipper, contrast adjuster etc.
» It seems like every week there is a new music finder/search app of some sort, WorryAboutYou is this weeks apparently. It's probably the cleanest and simplest I've seen yet. Search, Play or Download. Not sure why the service is named after the 4400 theme song, but give it a try anyway.
» Played around with the iGoogle hompage a little. One useful application widget thaey have for it is "Sticky Notes". There are several Sticky Notes, but I added the one actually made by Google. This sticky note application is useful because you can quickly paste text or links to it, and you don't even have to hit save. Then you can jump over to another computer (like a work computer or a laptop and retrieve the text off your iGoogle page) Sure you could just email yourself, but that will take what 3 or 4 clicks? this just requires clicking in the box and hitting paste.
Haven't blogged much in the last couple weeks. I have however been unleashing the twitters so there's been plenty of those on here.
As I twittered and Flickr Video posted earlier, I saw WANTED today. It was a good summer popcorn movie and I liked it alot. I'd call it a combination of Office Space and Matrix and Jumper. The Office Space portions were unexpected and delightful. I'm thinking it would be a fun project just to edit out all the action and put together a film of just those sections. My recommendation: If you were on the fence on this one, hop off, go see, at least a matinee.
I've seen mention and heard here and there that the movie is nothing like the comic. Not something I really mind, but having seen the film, I'll probably try to check the comic out now too.
Haven't seen a whole lot much interesting on the net the last couple weeks, still there's bound to be quite abit of stuff in my RSS feeds, so I may try another video blog this weekend. No promises though to the 6 or 7 of you out there that might watch that if I do. ;)
Wow... I was going to blog a little more, but I think bringing the baby laptop into my bedroom and starting this post on the end of the bed was not a good idea, suddenly I'm very sleepy. So I shall Bid adieu for now. Night Internets.
Click the Picture to Play the Video
You have new Video Mail!
Saw Wanted It was really good, Go See.
Click the Picture to Play the Video
You have new Video Mail!
If it's Sunday, It's Meet the Press
I watched Meet the Press today.
It was “moderated” by Brian Williams.
Given that Biden and Gramm were the guests it was pretty straight forward. Very little need for a “moderator” since you can just wind those two up and just watch them go.
Brian Williams is not, however, a good host for Meet the Press in my opinion. There are two things that Brian Williams likes to do. One: Brian Williams wants you to like him. Two: Brian Williams likes to find a way to inject himself into the story-- as he did with the “personal” story about having just came from Afghanistan. Those are fine qualities for a News Anchor, but they work poorly in the more contentious political setting of Meet the Press.
At the end of the broadcast, Williams mentioned that Tom Brokaw would be serving as Moderator of Meet the Press, starting next week, through the Presidential Campaign. Not a bad choice. It delays the “replacement” backlash situation that NBC would have found themselves in. You also can’t question the news legitimacy of a program hosted by Tom Brokaw.
Tom Brokaw might run into some of the same desire for likeability and self-involvement that plagued Williams outing today, probably to a lesser extent, but it’s hard to think of another choice within the NBC umbrella that could step up. It’s possible that 6 or 7 months ago they could have went with David Gregory but after spending the last few months turning him into Anderson Cooper, well that option seems gone.
John King from CNN might not be a bad choice. He’s used to writing on screens, has Washington street cred, and can’t possibly be enjoying being turned into a Vanna White character drawing on touch screen monitors all day.
It will be interesting to see where they go with the show.
PS: That "commercial" at the end with General Electric siphoning off good will toward Russert directly onto their GE logo, seemed tacky to me. NBC tributes are fine. Reminding us that NBC is owned by a huge part of the Military/Industrial complex that also sells toasters and that we should love GE because "they" loved Russert-- tacky.
I bought a cheapo Digital Camcorder by manufacturer Sakar. It’s tiny and $30. It runs on two AAA batteries and unfortunately requires those batteries to retain it’s stored images and videos (why is it all cheapo Digital Cams are like that?)
The camera mounts as a USB drive and the video files are stored on the unit as .ATX. I wasn’t able to get anything to play the .ATX directly. Now of course the camera comes with a proprietary converter program that converts the ATX to AVI, but seriously where’s the fun in using that? Plus that Windows program, when converting, seems only to read the files directly from the camera and not from the harddrive, and what if I want to copy the files to my Linux Eee PC? Anyway like I said, this is a perfect screw around project.
I did some basic hunting around Google and didn’t find anything about ATX. Then I ended up opening the ATX in a Hex Editor and saw that it is actually an mjpg. I have no idea what an mjpeg is but it certainly sounds like it would be a motion jpeg of some sort and a little more google hunting confirmed that.
While it’s cool to be able to play back the video, ideally I’m going to want to get it into a format I can edit. I tried Virtual Dub and a half dozen others and nothing worked.
Then I stumbled upon a neat feature of VLC during some googling. If VLC can play it, it will transcode a file to another file format. Hot Dog, back in business. I went through the Wizard option in VLC’s file menu and was able to convert the mjpg into a mpeg proper.
Now I haven’t mentioned that the mjpg when I played it in VLC went really really fast have I? It seems that there is no frame rate saved with this particular file. Now that it is an Mpeg though, I opened the file in Virtual Dub where I was able to set the frame rate at 10 frames per second, which is what the manual for the camera stated was the capture rate.
Lo and behold, the file played back at a normal rate! Hooray screw around project a success (well mostly a success, I wasn’t able to get the audio track to play during this particular process, but hey you can’t have everything. Maybe I’ll mess around with it further in the future and be able to discover a way to get the audio out too.)
Course, I don’t know that I’ll actually Use this cheapo camera either. I have a Flip and my cellphone shoots video, so it wasn’t exactly needed in the first place. But I do so love tinkering, so it was a fun device to play with and it gave me a chance to learn about a half dozen different things about working with video so all and all… good tinkering project.
Thoughts rolling around in my head today, some of this is growing out of my ruminations on beliefs earlier this week.
Ideas may only have as much weight as the person who hears them, gives them. The idea has to play off of existing beliefs, or before presenting the idea, you need to remove the blocking belief that prevents the new idea's adoption, or find another belief that supports the idea that supercedes the blocking belief. Then the idea will be seen as good. (whether it actually is good of course is immaterial to this discussion)
Some beliefs are difficult to change and the merit of the idea will not rise to their abandonment.
To weigh an idea's merit, you need to either have training or experience to understand the idea's reasoning (ie: be predisposed to it's belief based on beliefs rising from past experience or understanding.), or you need to trust the person presenting the idea (In that instance, even if you do not believe the idea, you believe in person presenting it).
You can trust the person presenting the idea, if that person is seen as an authority, or if that person has a positive present position in relationship to the idea in question.
One can be an authority if an authority grants one authority, or if you achieve authority based on others past experiences with ones interactions on a given topic.
One can be seen to have a “positive present position” if people envy or covet things, situations, abilities or outcomes one has.
Playing to the test
I was speaking with some people at work today about why a process wasn't working. It was my position that the process wasn't working because the offending participants were “playing to the test” and that if we wanted the results to change, we needed in this instance to change “the test”.
In the situation at hand, the conflict was arising because people were playing toward a numbers (sales) test as opposed to an “aesthetic and makes sense” test. In theory the latter aesthetic/sense test has everyone's agreement, but in practice it is only the former that has metrics and accountability in any predictable way attached to it.
It is therefore the numbers/sales test that everyone focuses on, as it has well established/accepted numeric metric-- even if all would individually agree that those metrics are not based on a true reality. The Numbers/Sales metric are an “agreed” upon metric by which people can be “fairly” judged), the latter, Aesthetic/Sense has no process of accountability, no fairness standard and thereby no test for people to “play to”.
If you want to change the results, you have to change the questions asked that people are judged by. You have to change the test.
Click the Picture to Play the Video
No Sprint Instinct for me.
Comic Picks for 6/18/08
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #8 $2.99
BIRDS OF PREY #119 $2.99
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #14 $2.99
CATWOMAN #80 $2.99
FLASH #241 $2.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #22 $2.99
SUPERMAN BATMAN #49 $2.99
TANGENT SUPERMANS REIGN #4 (OF 12) $2.99
TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE #5 (OF 6) $2.99
TRINITY #3 $2.99
SHOWCASE PRESENTS SER 1 HAWKMAN ACTION FIGURE
SHOWCASE PRESENTS SER 1 Jonah Hex ACTION FIGURE
According to Diamond Comics shipping List
I'm thinking alot about beliefs this week. Not religious beliefs per se, but instead, beliefs of all kinds. Beliefs that say puppies are good, the sky is blue, the future will be better than the present.
I listened to a Google Talk this past week, the speaker's name escapes me at the moment. The quote that stuck in my mind from this talk centered on negotiation and persuasion was: "I'll believe your facts when your facts reflect my beliefs"
That line has really resonated with me this week. And I'm spending alot of time thinking through that concept at present.
It's especially worth contemplating in an age where people can choose to live in a world that only reflects back their beliefs.
Poor Computer to Text Translation
I ramble on about the "cutting edge" of web applications and social networking tools etc. quite abit. To some extent I believe it becomes white noise to my friends and acquaintances when I turn on that particular topical spigot. I haven't really broken down concisely my facination with information distribution and participation on the web. Maybe that's something I should spend a little time getting succinct on.
In anycase this article on TechCrunch manages to have some of the same emotional resonance for me in this realm.
Further reflection-- maybe it's the promise of the unmediated decimation of information of all types instantly available at anytime, anywhere on any topic that is so exciting to me.
I have a vacation from work coming up. Some people have asked me where I'm going, others have asked me what projects I'm going to work on. I'm really not interested in any of those questions. At present the vacation time will most likely be a suspension of obligation and an opprtunity to tinker with and reflect on the posibillities of connected and fuly documented world.
... but basically, I'm going to think and play.
An answer most likely to be met with stares I imagine.
Let's Go Surfing
» Summize Pretty cool way to get your finger on the pulse of real time topic discussion happening over twitter. You can also do an RSS feed of the searches, which opens up exciting possibillites too.
» Snapcasa.com Easy to use Website JPEG Snapshotting service. Looks like you have to register firt to use it, which doesn't seem worth it to me for web snapshots. But if you need to do alot of these, it looks like a good site.
» Siteshooter is a freeware windows app that also does website screencaptures.
» Sortmylist.com Perform various list sortting and text replace activities on an uploaded or cut and paste file.
» 2D Driving Simulator on Google maps. Pretty entertaining for about 5 minutes. Needs joystick support though.
» Hotpads.com fun way to look at home and rental prices. Input your city and sate and they give you a fun, easy to use flash interface.
» Freesound.org has lots of free sounds you can use. Neat.
» TwitterLocal.net is a great way to find local Twitter people in your area.
» MakeUseOf has a nice round up of Free File hosts
» Gears of War Action Figures - I haven't played Gears of War, but these toys still look cool.
» Why it hurts to seel your stuff. It's all about the insula.
» Asus seems to have abandoned the entry level pricepoint position of their Eee PC but Dell seems to be taking up the torch. This September they are rolling out the Dell E a $299 8.9" Screen Mininotebook available with Linux or WinXP. Article reports that the device also has an instant on Linux on top of the installed OS as well. Nice.
» Just noticed that Google has a Windows Desktop Client for Google Talk too it's still a Google Labs product.
» Bill Maher's Religulous
» Camspace, control any PC game with a Webcam and any object.
» Zoom, Pan, Throw, Firefox Mobile Interface Vimeo Video at the link too.
» WWDC 2008 Apple Steve Jobs Keynote edited down to 60 seconds.
Click the Picture to Play the Video
HULK was really good!
Two problem solving strategies.
1. Find a way to understate the problem.
2. Console the person who made the error.
3. Find a way to share blame with the person who made the error.
4. Understand the problem.
5. Determine if the problem can be ignored, thereby making it "not a problem".
6. If problem can not be ignored, fix the problem.
7. Never speak of the problem again. And hope it doesn't happen again.
1. Understand the Problem.
2. Fix the Problem.
3. Determine what went wrong.
4. Remedy the process that created the problem.
5. Reinforce reminders of the corrected process in the next process cycle.
New Comic Picks for 6/11/08
ACTION COMICS #866 $2.99
BOOSTER GOLD #10 $2.99
GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #9 $2.99
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #25 $2.99
SALVATION RUN #7 (OF 7) $3.50
TINY TITANS #5 $2.25
TRINITY #2 $2.99
TITANS #3 $2.99
WONDER WOMAN #21 $2.99
TWELVE #6 (OF 12) $2.99
TOYFARE #132 DARK KNIGHT MOVIE TOYS CVR $4.99
LOCAL #12 (OF 12) (RES) (MR) $2.99
According to Diamond Comics Shipping List
Here are some random concepts I'm contemplating this morning, in no particular order or strata of importance:
What happens after you win? What is your victory plan? After you get everything you want, how will you spend your time? Will you just sit around polishing your trophies and admiring your headlines? Is that the plan? What's the “occupation” going to look like after the “war”?
When do the wars end and the peace begin? (metaphor)
What is it that is not known?
Ambition for ambition's sake? Who does your ambition benefit?
Seeking compliments and confirmation or comments and criticism?
Is there one way the world should be or are there many ways the world is? If there are many, then they are not going to be in agreement and you will have conflict.
If there is only one truth, and conflict can be eliminated through process, organization and understanding throughly that truth by all involved, then the world you are perceiving is far different from the historical record.
Manage, don't eliminate conflict.
Conflict drives change, generates ideas. Conflict is not always man against man but often man against self, and man against nature.
Gravity is gravity. But people are something all together different, they are not predictable on the timescale and numbers we are experiencing them on.
*Note: I learned after I made the video that the new Youtube Annotations only work on the Youtube site right now. They do not work when you embed the videos on another site (like this one) So, um all that clicking I talk about? it ain't going to work from the embeded video above.
Kinkos is now: Fed Ex Office • Acrobat.com • Aiptek Pocket Projector • Green Lantern Movie • iCall Seamless VOIP on iPhone • Everystockphoto • Balmer Predicts Death of Printed Media • Youtube Annotations! • FYE Buy Music in store for your iPod •
Let's go Surfing
• Very nice round up of FREE PC anti malware/spyware apllications on MakeUseof.com
• MakeUseOf.com also has a nice round-up of Opensource/freeware alternatives to the ADobe Creative Suite
• Still another great list from MakeUseOf.com this time a list of Windows Media Center alternatives
I once again talk about a bunch of links to random stuff I find in this week's RSS feeds.
Sound is better this time, but the excitement and production values otherwise are about the same :)
First Sale Doctrine 100 years old • Emily chan on Plurk • Asus Digital Photo Frame also 2nd Monitor • Content Spewing • Gigabyte Budget Convertible Nettop • Asus Eee Box • Time Warner Metered Bandwidth • $70 Eee PC Touchscreen hack • Flip Mino • Pandora on Adobe Air • Goosh - Command Line Google Interface • Life in a Cube • Location Technologies Primer • MyPictr • External USB SATA Drive Dock • Qik on Windows Mobile Platform • Asus Eee Monitor • Polaroid Zink Pogo Wireless Mini Printer
Let's Go Surfing
• Katie Cook (katiecandraw) draws Muppets Animal and a sexy Cheetah too.
• Paper Windows Windows projected onto sheets of paper. (Youtube)
• Copy Handler Freeware program makes copying large files much easier. Good Stuff.
• Sensible Units Convert boring units to real objects as you type.
Geek computer fun
I've just had a nice geeky lunch in the work cafeteria.
I made my first Linux Shell scripts just now. Pretty basic, but still fun if you haven't done one. Eon's ago I've made DOS batch files, and this is more or less the same thing, but it sound much more fun when you have the word Linux in the statement doesn't it?
I made one script that Launches another script that turns a loopback on that allows my Eee PC webcam to work with Flash video.
Then I installed cURL, which is magic I don't yet fully understand. cURL is a command line web interface thingy near as I can tell, the full scope and brilliance of which is not fully comprehended by me at the moment, I'm sure. but what cURL did let me do is make a script that submits a Formated Message to Twitter that will also be interpreted by my Websiite PHP code to put my Stickam LIVE window on the top of my blog.
So essentially I made one script/icon to click on that turns on the camera and a second script/icon to click that puts the stickam viewer widget on top of my blog. I suppose I could make it one script, but I don't always want my camera on my blog when it's on, so i'll leave it two scripts for now.
So what did you do for lunch?
» Picked up the Heroes Wave 1 at Toys R Us today. First impression, lots of messenger bags and sculpted hoods :)
Actually they are all very nice figures and also in very good scale with DCD figures. Articulation for all the figures except Claire is pretty good too.
Good stuff, I'll probably get Wave 2 as well.
Heroes Cheerleader and Dr. Suresh
» By request (a couple weeks back) Pictures of Thanos with the new DCD Darkseid.
Darkseid and Thanos
There was also a request to picture the Mattel Orion with this Darkseid as well... sorry about that not being there but I have that figure boxed away at the moment.
New Comic picks for 6/4/08
ALL NEW ATOM #24 $2.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #845 $2.99
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #16 $2.99
MANHUNTER #31 $2.99
NIGHTWING #145 $2.99
ROBIN SPOILER SPECIAL #1 $3.99
SUPERGIRL #30 $2.99
TOR #2 (OF 6) $2.99
TRINITY #1 $2.99
ASTONISHING X-MEN SKETCHBOOK $2.99
KICK ASS #3 (MR) $2.99
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #3 (OF 7) PI
According to Diamond Comics Shipping List
» I noticed that the Stripmall with the Familly Fare and Value City on 44th and Byron Center has been reduced to rubble.
» Adam and Comfort just stopped by and dropped something off to me...
Check out the video below:
I'm trying my hand at a little video blogging. I think I may have found a fairly quick process to construct a video blog.
1. I'm staring RSS articles Items to comment on in my Google Reader. This let's me compile a list of topics.
2. I'm using Microsoft movie maker to capture the video, it very easily allows me to start and stop recording and creates the clips to put together.
3. As I talk about the clip, I'm copying the link that I'm talking about to notepad. This gives you something to click on but also gives you an overview of topics too.
4. I'm applying a Sepia Filter. One, it covers up the horrendous lighting in my studio, and Two the old time sepia look might make the scratchy bad audio seem to fit more in place and Three the brown matches my site.
Now of course, if my voice bugs the heck out of you, there's not a filter I can apply that fixes that.
If you find the video blogging interesting, leave a comment. If you have some constructive criticism leave a comment too. If you absolutely hate this idea-- dude, life is short find another blog to read/watch :)
Let's Go Surfing
• Dia Diagrammer like Visio.
I pretty much talk about a bunch of links from my RSS feeds.
Links/Topics I talk about:
Roku Netflix • Surf Chair • Freehand Wrist Storage •Wire button • Earth Trek Mini Projector • Astak e-book reader iunder $200 • Terrafugia Airplane Car • Initex T-Shirt • Xorax Contact Sheet Freeware • Crowdspring.com, Nokia video calling a no go because of double chins • Pilot Cam • Digg - Daily Show and Colbert on Internet Legit • Adam and Comfort Cute Cat Pictures • Venture Bros.
Images I comment on: