Thanks for the ad credits Facebook! Due to your generous contribution of $25 worth of free advertising, 800,000 people saw an add that links to a blog, that WASN’T PUBLISHING FRESH CONTENT for the entire run of the add… Smart move Nick, real smart…
Anyway, I hate writing these “sorry I haven’t been writing” blogs, but this time, I actually have some REALLY good reasons why I’ve been slacking… First and foremost, I bought my DREAM DJ controller, the Numark NS7FX. Expect a rather lengthy article about it in a few weeks, but in a nutshell it’s a fancy MP3 Player… A $1300 fancy MP3 player. I’ve been spending a lot of time practicing and learning the turntable side of the DJ craft, and have been ignoring much of what gets in my way.
Also, I’ve been playing a TON of weddings the last few weeks. Since the last time I wrote, I’ve played in Florence, Iron Mountain, Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and Appleton, more than once each. It’s been a fantastic wedding season and I feel that I’ve really caught on to this year’s big trend (another blog that I have already started writing).
Monty and I are preparing for the September 25th premiere of Secrets of the Portal at Mielke Theater in Shawano. We’ve added some new material and have been training some additional helpers, not all of which will be seen on stage. This will be a larger production than I’m used to, and it’s certainly a show I’ve been looking forward to for a LONG time. He was on the radio promoting the show this morning, so we should have a decent crowd in attendance.
My EVE Online friends at Cha0sTheory have escorted me to my first PVP kill ever! Sure, the victim was on autopilot in low-sec, and yes, I stupidly allowed gate guns to take my ship, BUT I’M ON THE BOARDS BABY! The Simplistic Syndicate and the Cha0sTheory alliance are rapidly expanding and need to make some money quick so we can build our outpost, so I crunched some numbers and will be starting a PowerBall-esque lottery in game. As simple as this sounds, I’m expecting tens of thousands of players every week and I won’t be able to handle all of the transactions without a fairly decent system to manage the process. I’m in the process of writing a program that will handle all of the busywork associated with the lotto. Full details will be available when I launch, probably sometime in November.
And finally, I’ve been trying to find contacts that would be willing to speak at, and attend a TEDx event in the Green Bay / Appleton / Neenah area. I’ve been a fan of the TED Talks YouTube page for years, but only recently found out about the TEDx program that allows smaller scale events to be managed independently. I’d love to find or built a community of thinkers that share their ideas, and give them a forum to do so. Right now, I’ve got an event nearly ready to put on the calendar, but I’m waiting for TEDx to reopen the application process, sometime around October 11.
OH, I almost forgot about the Greg Jennings benefit at Oneida Country Club, Touchdowns for Hope! Greg has pledged to donate $1000 to House Of Hope for every touchdown he scores this season. I was invited to assist my good friend Steve Richer on the photography front. If you’d like to see the pictures our team took, you can do so at http://www.imagequix.com. You’ll need the following login info as well. Feel free to order a few prints, all proceeds to back to House of Hope.
- photographer ID: D9NK69K
- Event ID: Greg Jennings Foundation
- Pass: gopackgo
This weekend I have weddings tonight, (in an hour to be exact) and tomorrow, and I will also be working at Camera Corner. I plan on bringing the Playstation 3 to try out on the new 60″ 3D TV, a Sony XBR. Come on in and check it out.
When I’m out on the DJ circuit, the majority of the music I play is still on the traditional, audio CD. It’s not that I don’t trust a laptop, or that I don’t have my music stored on a hard drive, I just refuse to move to a media that doesn’t yet have an adequate control system. I currently use the Numark CDN-88 to play my CDs. It’s virtually skip-free, rack-mounted, and allows on the spot censoring, looping, same-disc advanced programming, and even some minor vinyl emulation features. Each function has it’s own button, clearly labeled and conveniently located. Besides, who can deny the utility of a real, solid mixer with EQ, volume, cross-fader, and monitor controls? Sure there are products out there like Traktor Scratch and Serrato, but they seem to focus a bit too much on the turntablism aspect of DJ life, an area that I rarely get involved in.
I want the hot cues, memorized loops, and 1-to-1 control mapping of Serrato, the precision and latency (or lack there of) of Traktor. Where both packages fall short is in library management. Luckily, I have found Mixxx, an open source DJ platform. Mixxx has a strong developers community, and a surprisingly large user base. While it doesn’t even come close to fixing my library problem with the commercial applications out there, it is open for me to write my own additions and modifications, which I plan on doing.
I see major potential to grow the capabilities of digital media management programs, especially in the realm of music. A library should do more than just display what is available, and it should be more than just searchable. If my software is tracking my setlist, why can’t I make comments on the setlist? As a wedding DJ, I frequently play the same or similar songs back-to-back, and rarely have the need to listen to a playback of the entire event. A library program should be able to look at the song I’m playing, then back at previous sets to help me find the next track to play… And it should prevent me from playing songs that frequently bomb. The system could look at my ID3 tags, and help me with harmonic mixing, providing features similar to Mixed In Key…
The bottom line is, i have a few dreams… Big dreams… But, I may need some help along the way. Mixxx, for the most part, is written in C / C++, a language I have not yet studied. Also, the Mixxx project is about 8 years old, so I’ve got a lot of (poorly commented) code to catch up on. Now, my first step is to introduce myself to the other devs on the mailing list, and see where they think I should start.
I had previously written, I’m getting a little annoyed with the strength of the push for 3D within the last year or so. My proposed “$100 device” is exactly what Sony is selling, which makes the true cost of 3D much more transparent than I had previously stated. And, they’re doing it for HALF THE PRICE I estimated! In my previous article, I made SEVERAL errors in estimating prices, including the fact that I compared two TVs that weren’t exactly comparable… In fact, the 3D Samsung, is the THINEST TV I have ever seen. I know, because we had one at Camera Corner, which is why I’m writing this rebuttal to begin with. If I had really done my homework, the price difference between 3D and non-3D (assuming that it’s time to upgrade your current system) is closer to $400 vs the $1500 I had estimated previously.
Normally, I’d be the guy to save the $400 if I didn’t really need or want the feature, but after USING 3DTV with a PS3, I am hooked! It actually made a few games EASIER to play! This is because, unlike movies, cameras in video games don’t need to be focused. I, as a viewer, am free to look at whatever I want, and will see it clearly and precisely, exactly in the location I expect it to be in. And I forgot to mention, you can ALWAYS turn the 3D features OFF, so you won’t be wasting money on extra glasses for your friends.
I was taking at some software packages on Amazon today, and came across the Leica m9, a $23,000 SLR that is apparently capable of selling out… I mean…selling through all of Amazon’s inventory… Why so expensive? My guess is the 37.5 mp sensor, fantastic if you plan on printing everything as a 16″ x 24″ poster or coping away 3/4 of the image before printing. I thought that the megapixel war was over LAST YEAR already, but apparently I am wrong. I suppose, with prices already dropping to the level that has turned point and shoot cameras into a commodity market, the cameras companies need to find a new way to keep their prices up. I personally, would like to see more development in low-noise high-iso censors. What would you like to see?
EDIT: I’ve changed my mind on a few things since writing this… Check out my new point-of-view HERE!
According to this article, Motorola is working on a 3D cell phone. Pardon me, but isn’t this a bit excessive? How about making me a phone that lasts more than 14 months, one that doesn’t drop calls, or one that is affordable without a company subsidizing the costs and locking down the features of the phone?
The whole 3D push is obscenely annoying to me. The core of the 3D TV technology relies on shutter-glasses, and a synchronizing signal sent from the TV. The TV displays a frame that is intended for the left eye, and a signal is sent to the glasses to block out the right eye. Then the TV and Glasses swap. In the end, you have a movie file that was rendered with each frame alternating eyes, and a TV capable of communicating which eye should be active to the glasses. What pisses me off, is that the manufactures think they need to sell you more equipment to do this.
Let’s start with the TV. This one here is a 50″ Samsung, and a great one at that. Being an LED with lots of inputs, a sleek design, and 240 hertz, and only $700 more than a non-3D comparable set. Now, let’s get a Blu-Ray player. If you’re lucky, your existing player may get a software update that will allow 3D broadcast. Just in case, let’s plan on buying a new one, for about $350. Oh, and let’s not forget the glasses. They’re only $200, and two pairs come with the TV, but if we have friends over, I’ll need to buy them glasses (since their glasses from another brand will not work with my TV), and if they bring their kids, I’ll need special glasses for them too…
Now, I understand the glasses… There isn’t much of a way to get around them, but what’s with a TV AND a Blu-Ray player? Is this really needed, or is the industry just afraid that HDTV sales are going to drop now that they appear to have just tapped the market? Why can’t the industry just pick a pixel, they’ve got at least 921 thousand to choose from, and make a decision. If the pixel is pure white, it’s a left eye picture, if the pixel is pure black, it’s a right eye picture… Put a listening device between the Blue-Ray and the TV to tell your glasses how to react… I think i can build that for about $100 vs the $1500 your investing in a new 3D system.
EDIT: I’ve changed my mind on a few things since writing this… Check out my new point-of-view HERE!
I seriously want to print this piece and set it next to the price sheets on the computer sales floor at work. I can’t stand when someone comes in and asks for a discount on our $400 laptops, that we’re already selling near cost… Many times, a $40 cable generates more profit than the computer itself.
I have previously commented on the iPad’s battery replacement policy, but I held back on stating that I don’t think the iPad is all that special. I have an iPod touch and a laptop, why would I want to combine the two in a way that makes it extremely uncomfortable to use. In fact, it’s so uncomfortable that it inspired Kevin Pereira and Chris Hardwick to come up with a new way to sit. There is nothing that the iPad has that I can’t already do with my existing hardware better!
But now, the game has changed. Korg has announced the iElectribe (official site), a drum machine app designed specifically for the iPad. I’m a huge fan of Korg and am the proud owner of the Kaossilator and all three nano devices. The $9.99 price tag is amazing considering that similar hardware products cost nearly the same as an iPad and only serve one purpose.
At my full time job, I sell a product (one of many, may I add) called LightSpeed: Total Traffic Control. TTC is an awesome software package that is used by a large number of K-12 schools and businesses in my area to filter and monitor various forms of communication between the internal network, and the internet. Ever try logging into your GMail at work and get a big red no-no on your screen? There’s a good chance that LightSpeed was behind it.
Web Content, E-Mail, and IM filters have become a necessary evil of the business world these days. From employees slacking off, to inappropriate content showing up in schools, there is a whole great world of distractions out on the web these days, myself included… The problem is, many of these distractions could have the potential to enrich your work or learning experience in a MAJOR way. For instance, I do a lot of work with Symantec, who provides amazing product overview videos on their website. These videos are embedded Flash objects, which many filters are configured to block, because this is also how most browser based games work. When I send this demo to a potential customer, do they understand why the link was blocked, or are they going to put the blame on me for sending them a link that goes against their web policy? Or, how about that awesome motivational speaker my manager found on YouTube last night that she forwarded to the team to check out in the morning.
Enter into a modern age, and welcome My Big Campus into your life. Included for free with every LightSpeed TTC license, My Big Campus will provide each customer with their own, personalized social-networking site (based loosely on the look and feel of FaceBook) that is integrated directly into the filtering components of the server. Every student or employee is given an account to MBC, and groups are set up for each class or team. Then, based on the access rights granted in TTC, teachers or managers are able to post links to any web content (blocked or otherwise), and exceptions are automatically made to allow that content through the filter.
THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION WILL CHANGE BECAUSE OF THIS TECHNOLOGY!
Thanks to the accuracy of Moore’s Law, storage is cheap! Why not record every classroom session and upload a video for students that were out, or just for everyone to review? You could allow that student to tag the video with their questions, at the point in the video where they come up. Just one of many ways that technology can expand our educations and hopefully get us to use a little more than just 10% of our brain (capacity).
Apparently, these have been around for more than an year, but I just learned about the Eye-Fi line of SD memory cards. These amazing little devices fit in any old SD slot, and contain built in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities. The full-featured card contains GPS functions , 8GB of storage, and SDHC compliance for only $150. There are, several other options that drop in price, along with features.
While these cards may not be for everyone, there is certainly a market for easy, accurate Geotagging of photos and forget-me-not uploading. In a world where digital cameras have become an affordable commodity, I believe the Eye-Fi technology will become as important to the camera buying process as MegaPixels are today.