I was at the Northern Star Council’s annual meeting today. The PR firm that produced the annual report constructed a Scout’s photo entirely of merit badges. They also produced a Facebook app that converts one’s own photo into a merit badge mosaic:
Biscuit gave me a 64G iPad for Christmas – that was three months ago. Since then I’ve been on a mission to use up at least HALF of the iPad’s storage space. There’s no obvious way to fill the iPad up using Apple software: iTunes assumes that people select files and dump them into a tablet one at a time. If your average file is 1/4 MB long, you’ll have to drag and drop over 250,000 files onto iTunes to use up 32GB.
I poked around on the Internet for ideas, and came up empty. Then I contacted the folks at Tekzilla, a web video magazine on tech that streams onto our Tivo. They made some suggestions that helped a little – but not enough – and asked listeners for other ideas.
Last week, the listeners came through. The winning suggestion was to use the incredible capabilities of GoodReader to upload hierarchies of files. I’ve been using GoodReader for several weeks, but hadn’t dug deeply enough into it to appreciate these features. Thanks to GoodReader, I’ve finally filled up at least half of my iPad!
This was so cool I had to repost it!
Now, if only Randall Munroe would respond to my emails and let me use a few comics in my textbook…
[UPDATE!] He said YES, so I’m reprinting his Map of the Internet in Elementary Information Security, assuming things progress as expected.
Several months ago we bought a Sony BDP-BX2 Blu-ray player. I duly upgraded my Netflix account to send us Blu-ray disks. A couple of months later I switched it back to DVD-only rentals.
I had two reasons to move back to DVDs:
- Blu-ray just isn’t that much better than DVDs. Maybe I’ve ruined by eyes with decades of watching NTSC television and computer CRTs, but I just don’t see enough improvement to justify a change.
- The Sony player is awful. It’s slow. It requires an Internet connection (!!). It doesn’t play all DVDs correctly.
In a way I’m relieved. I have a huge collection of DVDs already and I didn’t want to have to replace them.
Cousin Jon sent me a link to David Pogue’s recent column on “Why We Make Home Videos.”
Pogue starts by complaining about how consumer video has gone through several recent media transitions, making it very hard to view older videos. He’s developed an almost industrial process for copying his Mini DV tapes to a hard drive “in the background” while doing other work. The Mini DV format is disappearing since modern recorders just use built in flash memory.
I remember moving a lot of Hi-8 and VHS video to Mini DV when it first came out. I transferred several Mini-DV tapes to DVD, but the task remains unfinished.
Personally I’m ambivalent about having a huge family video archive. It’s nice at times, but lots of it is arguably nonsense. Pogue addresses this question, coming down in favor of family video.
There was a documentary produced back in 2002 about free software, open source, Linux, Gnu, Stallman, and Torvalds. A topic ripe with irony.
The ultimate moment was when Richard Stallman was given the “Linus Torvalds Award” at the second Linux trade show. So we have this scene of Stallman earnestly explaining the irony of the award to the audience of 5,000 people while two blond, Scandanavian toddlers (Torvalds’ daughters) are cavorting around the stage in the background.
According to the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Internet has been really bad for film making. CEO Michael Lynton was, of course, talking about copyright. This was at a breakfast panel discussion on the future of film making sponsored by Syracuse U. and the New Yorker.
Co-panelist Nora Ephron zeroed in on what really worries folks like Lynton: the potential death of copyright and what this does to their corporate empires. She equated the Hollywood film business to a giant Ponzi scheme that enriches a few at the top.
If anything, the Internet is pushing the content-production business back to its roots: creating “shows” that draw a quick crowd and pay for themselves immediately. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of great productions were made on a shoestring.