Wednesday, May 9, 2007

johnfan.com

This will be the last post in this blog, as this blog has been consolidated into my main blog.

Please go to http://johnfan.com.

Thanks!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Joost

I just got my Joost invitation. Very excited. First impressions are that they have recreated the TV experience well, starting off with a blast of previews of different programs -- kind of a "must see TV" line up. The videos are full screen, and significantly higher quality than youtube. It has Comedy Central programs on it, so I suppose this represents the Viacom alternative to youtube. I wonder if Joost really does handle video transfers more efficiently through peer-to-peer?

Anyways, I'm watching "Stella" - the Comedy Central sitcom from 2 years ago with an intensely bizarre deadpan trio of guys in suits. Pretty cool.

But I seem to keep getting messages after a while saying that the program can't be played... Is it my WiFi network, or is it congestion on the internet?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

web 2.0 ideas

Here are three web sites that I would like to see --

1. A virtual trade show in which each store has an instant messaging window (as in meebo.com)
2. An advertising campaign for... nothing. So much of advertising is designed to create dissatisfaction, consumer demand and overconsumption. Instead, let's have an on-line campaign in which people / creative agencies submit commercials and advertisements that are designed to make people happy with what they have.
3. A shoulder surfing website, in which you can go and passively watch OTHER people surf the web.

Please leave a comment if you know of any such sites...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

This is an interesting new-media video reflecting on the meanings and ramifications of the hyperlinked, hypertexted, interactive, participatory web today.



Source: http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Bus tracking in Finland using FLASH-OFDM


This link shows the current position of buses in Helsinki, Finland.

Note that it doesn't seem to work in Firefox (although it works in IE and Safari).

The technology is based on FLASH-OFDM, which has been deployed in Finland by Digita.

http://research.wspgroup.fi/hklajoneuvot/

Friday, February 2, 2007

Volcano High


Link

http://www.mtv.com/onair/volcano_high/

This is the MTV re-dubbing of a Korean martial arts movie that takes place inside a special high school... Volcano High.

"It’s a hip-hop kung-fu flick with mind blowing special effects backed by an impressive cast of celebrity voices including Andre 3000, Lil' Jon, Snoop Dogg, Method Man and Mya. Brace yourself, Grasshopper."

Here is the link to the video on peekvid (while it lasts):


http://adrama.peekvid.com/s3306/


Monday, January 29, 2007

Google TV: is it real?



This is a video of a beta feature from google... or perhaps an elaborate mockup of a feature that google should provide...



Here is commentary:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/01/28/google-tv-an-elaborate-prank/
http://michikono.com/blog/2007/01/28/googletv-examining-the-evidence/

Is it real? Apparently not, but it points to a big potential change from traditional broadcast to internet delivery in the next few years. (Ref. tv.peekvid.com).

Update: I just saw this video from the same source:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY8Wi7XRXCA
It's hilarious. These videos are from an art studio called Fatal Farm, which is in the business of creating mock commercials and in this case semi-plausible technical hoaxes...
http://www.fatalfarm.com/main.html

Update: a related posting - Bill Gates on the internet television revolution:
http://news.com.com/Gates+Internet+to+revolutionize+TV+in+5+years/2100-1041_3-6154009.html

Thursday, January 25, 2007

www.peekvid.com

Not sure how long this site will last, but it links to a wide collection of TV shows and movies.

Issues of legality aside, it is quite enjoyable to stream and watch commercial-free episodes of TV shows one after another. The technology appears ready for making this experience mainstream, but the right legal / business model hasn't been established yet. Perhaps Apple or Netflix (or Google) will make this work...

My favorite shows on this site are The Office and Scrubs. By watching the episodes consecutively, it makes it easier to be more aware of the larger structure and connecting themes of the series... Actually, there are some similarities between these two workplace sitcoms: transition from newbie to seasoned veteran through the crucible of work, the latent love affair between two co-workers who are best friends, the flawed but well-meaning boss/mentor...

Office-Us-2005Scrubs-Noframe

Some comments on peekvid:

http://www.freedomtodiffer.com/freedom_to_differ/2006/12/peekvid.html

http://digg.com/gaming_news/Wii_Browser_Alluc_org_Peekvid_com_Ultimate_Time_Waster

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070117160314AAquyDK

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mac vs. PC ... in Japanese

Here are Japanese versions of the Mac vs. PC ads.

http://www.apple.com/jp/getamac/ads/

It's notable that they capture the content ("Virus" and "iLife") and the spirit of the originals precisely. The salaryman with horn-rimmed glasses captures the awkwardness of John Hodgman's "PC" character, while the other actor embodies laid-back slacker confidence.

UPDATE: Here is the British version:
http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/29/apple-uk-im-a-mac-im-a-pc-smashing-isnt-it/

Monday, January 22, 2007

meebo and aMSN

Here are two instant messenging clients that I have found to be useful.

http://www.meebo.com
This is a purely web-based IM client, which allows for a windowing environment within a browser. It supports AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and MSN. This is great for situations in which there is no local IM client available (or it is acting up).

http://amsn-project.net/index.php
This is an open source MSN client that has been compiled across platforms. It appears to be well organized and have full functionality. Amazing, it supports video webcams on the Mac OS version (whereas the MSN Messenger for Mac OS from Microsoft does not!)

Teclast MP4 Player


http://www.teclasters.com/

I picked up this portable media player in Shanghai. I bought it for 540 RMB ($1 USD = about 8 RMB), which seemed like a bargain since it has 1 GB RAM, plays video (MP4) and music (MP3), and comes in a very attractive compact design. It feels much like an iPod Video, but comes in a much smaller form factor while maintaining the same screen size. Also, another plus is that it can recharge through its USB connection.

But one issue is that I haven't been able to get it to communicate with my Mac yet due to memory format issues...

iPhone

Macworld Keynote

Notable features were: widescreen, OS X, Multitouch, SMS Chat

Waiting for announcements of iPhone mini, iPhone nano, iTablet, widePod (with widescreen and multitouch), etc...

Also, check out David Pogue’s comments.

TED

http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/

The talks from this annual conference are online and also available on iTunes. Definitely worth checking out!

My favorites:
Barry Schwartz - choices make us less happy
Steven Levitt - freakonomics and Chicago gangs
David Deutsch - on being improbable
Jeff Han - awesome touchscreen control -- now part of the iPhone
David Pogue - humorous musical takes (a la Tom Lehrer) on software
Tony Robbins - inspirational speaker surprisingly inspirational
Hans Rosling - making demographic statistics come alive

UPDATE: Here is David Pogue's (unaired!) video on the conference:
http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2404760n

Sunday, January 21, 2007

bblinx

This is a blog of web links, or "bblinx" for short.

This is intended to be an eclectic collection of various links that I find interesting on the web.