READING FOR PLEASURE was largely extinguished by four generations of not-very-good teaching philosophies. By treating a book as homework and a punishment, we’ve raised people to not look forward to reading. More than once, friends have said, “you should be really pleased, I even finished your new book.” My guess is that no one says that to Laurence Fishburne about his new movie. There’s no real ebook piracy problem because most people don’t think books are worth stealing.
A few years ago I worked on a project to make a video-on-demand service for a big UK supermarket chain. All of the supermarket execs kept saying things like 'our customer' or 'the Sainsco customer'. After a while, I worked out what bothered me about this. I do indeed go to one of their shops - or at least I think I do. I'm actually not 100% sure if it's a Tesco or a Sainsbury. I buy food there every week, but I don't consider myself their customer - at least not in the sense they meant it. Rather, it's one of 10 shops I go to in a week, and one of 20 errands I might run.
In other words, your customers' relationships with you are the only relationships you have as a business and you think a lot about them. But you're one of a thousand things your customer thinks about in a week, and one of dozens of businesses. And they probably have their own ideas about how they want to engage with you (though they wouldn't put it in those words) - assuming they think about you at all.
We got our Chromecast in the mail today from Amazon.
It comes in a nice box. Every new gadget comes in too nice of a box now, doesn't it? I always feel bad about throwing away these nice boxes. They don't really serve any purpose when you buy the devices from an online retailer either. It's not like when I picked out the item on Amazon that the quality of the box put me over the edge and made me want to purchase it.
But I digress.
The device is small. It looks like the picture. It's a little slightly fat USB sized stick. It has a charger, a usb cord and a short HDMI extension cord.
I used my own larger 3ft HDMI extension cord and plugged it in to the tv.
It was already on when I flipped on the TV.
The sceeen tells you to go to a "setup url"
I went to that url on my Android phone. The set-up page, knew I was on an Android phone and presented me a link to the Chromecast app on Google Play. I installed the Chromecast app on my phone and completed the setup. I have two networks in my house, I chose the one I wanted the Chromecast to be on and entered my wi-fi password.
I already had the most recent Youtube and Netflix apps on my phone. I went to each, I chose a movie, I hit the Chromecast button in the apps on the phone and the videos streamed directly to the TV. Unlike AppleTV, once the videos started, I was free to do other things on my phone. Switching back to the Netflix or Youtube apps let me pause or move the scrubber bar forward or back. Easy Breezy.
I had the same experience from my iPad Youtube app to the Chromecast as well.
I went to my computer. I went to the same set-up up page and clicked a link at the bottom to install a Chromecast Chrome browser extension. The little "Airplay" like Chromecast button popped up in the browser header bar.
Toggling the Chromecast button on the Chrome web browser throws the contents of the browser tab up on the screen. I surfed to a few webpages, and I also dragged an mp4 video file to my browser tab. The web pages looked great and the mp4 video file streamed well to the TV as well.
Nearly fullscreen, there were two tiny almost unnoticible slivers of black on either side of the TV while streaming the Chrome browser content. The phone stuff all ran full screen. No idea if those tiny side letterboxes show up for all browser streams or just mine though. (Update: turns out the Chromecast mirrors blows up/shrinks down whatever your browser tab proportion is and tries to make it fit, quite nice actually.)
The Chrome browser tab streaming to the Chromecast is larger and full screen compared to the smaller square presentation of my iPad2 airplay mirroring to the AppleTV.
Do I like the Chromecast? Yes. It's very simple plug and play easy technology. Almost no setting screens, no complicated set-up machinations, in the best Arthur C Clarke sense it is technology indestinquishable from magic. It also works so well that the device itself feels a little unremarkable. You don't notice the device, you just watch your content on your TV.
Do I like the Chromecast better than the AppleTV or Roku? That's more complicated.
The Chromecast is similar but different than those two.
AppleTV and Roku follow a Cable TV box model. There is this box plugged in to your tv, you navigate menus and channels and you play things. The things come from the internet instead of a copper cable line but other than that, AppleTV/Roku are much like a 21st century cabletv model.
The Chromecast doesn't have any of that. The Chromecast is much more a bridge from your other devices, be it your phone, tablet or laptop to the TV. You really feel more like you are projecting content to the TV, more like if you've ever been in an office job where you plug your laptop into a VGA projector. You don't give much thought to the projector unless it's not working. Yes the projector (in this metaphor: the Chromecast) has it's own smarts and is doing things, but the center of your attention, for the controls at least, is the laptop (as well as the phone or tablet in this case.)
That said, I don't want to diminish the Chromecast. it's very interesting, and I do like how, unlike Airplay between the iPad and AppleTV, once you are grooving your content on the Chromecast, you are completely free to do other things with your phone/tablet/laptop device. Even from the desktop, it's only streaming the contents of your one chrome browser tab, so the rest of your computer's programs aren't being projected at all. That's very very cool.
Will I use it? Yeah. Honestly I'm probably going to use my AppleTV a little more, only because the full Airplay mirroring from iPad to AppleTV works better than the iPade to the Chromecast app by app approach. The primary device I use in the living room is the iPad, so the AppleTV is just tighter integrated with the iPad so that's all there really is behind that decision.
However, I do have a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android Phone and the Chromecast is going to work great with that. The Youtube experience (both from Android and iOS) with the Chromecast is also miles better than the pure AppleTV Youtube experience, so if there are a lot of Youtube videos I want to watch from my subscriptions, I'll likely be switching the HDMI input over to the Chromecast for sure.
The real loser is likely to be my poor Roku box. I really like the Roku box, but the poor guy is an island unto itself with only minimal and uneven app support with the phones and tablets. Roku works great as a Cablebox of the future. But Chromecast and AppleTV are Cableboxes of a sort and much much more. I'm not dissing you Roku users. Roku does what Roku does well, but Chromecast and AppleTV have that "plus" thing going for them.
So what do I think you should get?
If you are a mostly Mac based house, get an AppleTV (although at this point you may want to wait for a new model in Sept.).
If you are in an Android or a Mixed OS environment, get the Chromecast (Chromecast does and will work with various iOS apps afterall).
If you really like TV and internet video, get both. The AppleTV can be had for $95. And the Chromecast is $35. Think back 10 years or so on how much this sortof cutting edge tech costed. This stuff is cheap for how much you are going to use it if you are a regular video watcher.
Sat, 25 May 2013 07:57:39 -0700
I?m not a fan of the new Flickr redesign. It?s not even that I don?t like the visual look of it.My primary beef is: without warning they completely changed the service for paying customers. I?ve payed for a Pro account for years under the assumption that paying for a service would provide a little more reliability. Flickr has shown that not to be the case, so I?m planning to use it far less frequently and probably far differently than the personal photo site of record I have been using it as. (I?m also not pleased with their likely upcoming attention/advertising model)
I was able to put all my photos into one Set and download the full size images using a free service called flickandshare.com, so I have everything safely out of the service now. Likely I will eventually set up my own simple photo gallery (and give these photos a new home) on my website at chris-karath.com. Hosting your own services and codes seem to be the most reliable method for content that you want around for years to come.
Photos that are here now, will probably continue to be here, Yahoo willing, into the future.
I?m coming to believe that commercial services are fine for emphemeral content, but archival content seems better suited for self hosted methods.
Since Flickr has shown itself to be of unpredictable stability, and it appears to be transforming into more a social network than a photo service, I?ll probably plan on treating it as such. If you subscribe to my account for the action figures, I?ll probably from time to time still post a picture or two of those here with links back to my own site where I?ll likely start posting more photos.
If you follow for my personal photos, following me on Twitter or my personal blog atchris-karath.com will probably be your best bet. --- Best wishes, Chris.
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:17:53 -0700
Both these guys have contributed a lot to comics. I'm not implying anything with the choice of pose. I figure in classic comic parlance though, these two comic heroes would be obligated to fight before teaming up to defeat some great evil.
Thread: p1825 Post by Jolloway
Hi Cris and other people who view this sight, I just started a blog site jolloway.co.uk and I wonderd if anyone can give me any tips on blogging. I am curently using a site called word press to host me blog. I start around about a month ago and I\'m really struggling with it and if you do reply I\'m only 11 and found this sight by a photo in google Images. -Josh P.S. I love the background XP
Thread: p1706 Post by Chris
Fortunately, I resisted the DC/Master Bundles as they were pretty much only bundled with basic figures I already had. Had they been bundled with more unique DC figures, I might have alot more Masters figures at this point ;)
Thread: p1706 Post by De
I almost bit on Masters of the Universe when they were being bundled with DC Universe figures in the two-packs. I\'ve also liked the blending of sci-fi and fantasy but a lad only has so much room :-)
Thread: p1674 Post by T. Bass
Hi Chris: Like you, I bought and just received an ONDA V701. Mine took 32 days (!) to arrive from China (bought from gadgetdealer.com... avoid like plague), and the box was beat to hell, but it seems to work fine ....with one exception. That said, I like the tablet thus far, but a couple of things aren\'t flying right. One, it was advertised as having Adobe Flash ver. 11.1, but instead, mine came with 10.2. Yours? Not sure this matters, as Flash is going the way of the dodo-bird as far as Android goes. My only real complaint thus far, and that despite trying everything I could find online, I cannot get NetFlix to work. This was/is one of the main reasons I bought it, as they advertised that it \"works with NetFlix\". I don\'t know whether it\'s the tablet, or the app that is the problem, but nonetheless, no love from NetFlix at this point. I don\'t know if you are subscribed to Netflix, but if you are, I sure would like to know if it works for you on your V701, and if so, how did you get it going, and what settings are you\'re using to make it work? Appreciate hearing from you. Best, T. Bass Applegate, Oregon
Thread: p1642 Post by Erin N.
Yum, looks great!
Thread: p1557 Post by davy
i kind of agree with you, and i\'m sure bale had the best intentions but the whole media circus at times is disturbing. but if to had to pick on whether bale should have visited or not i\'d rather he visit for the sole reason that if he made any of the survivors feel good,even if it was only for the briefest moments, then it was worth it. the victims medical and emotonals needs should be put first and if bale\'s visit helped any of them emotionally then i\'m glad
Thread: p1597 Post by Chris
Thread: p1558 Post by Jennifer
e-butlers will solve this problem: http://peterfhamilton.wikia.com/wiki/E-Butler
Thread: p1490 Post by De
I\'ve been keeping up with you and Jenn\'s hijinks through Google Reader. It\'s just easier to have everything in one place. You\'re still loved :-)
Thread: tw1336950039 Post by Air Conditioner
I wonder if more retail outlets will start implementing this type of thing.
Thread: p1453 Post by Chuck
What, you have time to blog???!!?? More painting and box moving and furniture moving, please! LOL It looks like you guys are making real progress...
Thread: p689 Post by Frank
You can also use http://vid2mp3.org to convert youtube videos to mp3. The tool is fast and free:)
+ Jenn's Blog
+ Adam and Comfort
The Adventures and Illustrations of a Husband and Wife Comic Artist Duo.