Monday, 31 March 2008

Better Late Than Never? Personal Development Magazine Reviews

I wrote this up quite a long time ago but forgot to post it

This is the magazine reviews for my personal development project

Weired Wiki world .net issue 173 March 2008 page 20

The article looks at how google is to build its own web application called "Knol" that aims to rival wikipedia

The article explains that Google plan to share revenue with authors, and that wikipedia could face problems if google list "knol" search results above wikipedias

Wikipedia currently has a wealth of articles such as

the line of succession of the british throne, toilet related injures, and how to play chubby bunny

Wikipedia currently has 9.1 million articles in 253 languages and there are 6 million registered wikipedians

Due to these facts i believe that "knol" has a long way to go before they can even think about rivaling wikipedia. People seem happy and comfortable using wikipedia.

The only way I can see "knol" rivaling wikiapedia would to provide a simpler yet more media rich experience for the user

Disgracedbook .net issue 173 March 2008 page 21

It turns out all is not well with facebook. users are not happy with its Beacon advertising system, facebook users are filing complaints to Information Commissioner, and the first mal-ware spreading Facebook app was relased in January

Users are also not happy that that facebook does not delete your details when you deactivate your account.

Reading this article has made me raise the question, if facebook is spying on us with its Beacon advertising, breaking our computers with its mal-ware and holding on for our personal details, how does it remain such a popular social networking site?

I really used to enjoy facebook before all the apps came along its simplicity was its beauty and i feel many people agree with me. I think it is only a matter of time before there is a new social network site is where people can join groups, share events, pictures and video without the hinderance of "fun" and pointless third party apps. But will people be willing to leave Facebook and join a new network when the already have all there friends and content uploaded to facebook ..... only time will tell.

When Free Work Pays Off computer arts - january 2008

This article is about how designers are often asked to do free work (usually by friends and family) such as little jobs like creating an invitation and even getting asked to create a full website, and how this can be a hazard as often these jobs will drag out and you can end up being that persons technical support for life!

They are the negatives

But positives include; as a fledgling designer you may need work to add to a portfolio, alternatively giving back to the art community (creating custom photoshop brushes, textures, vector shapes and stock photography can be very rewarding, especially when sharing them through such sites as deviantart as there is also a chance to build up a relationship with other designers when using these web sites

The article recommends that the best situation is to turn free-loading pals in to proper paying clients, if your friends think you are are good designer they will be willing to pay for what you create them and also they are more likely to appreciate you professional approach.

This article caught my attention due to the fact i am still at university studying to be a digital designer, but i often visit forums and website where people are looking for a student to create various bits and pieces for them, usually on the premiss that you are a student therefore you need the experience and will therefore be willing to do it for free.

Altho i have done free bits and pieces in the past reading this article as made me decide that if i want to have a professional approach then maybe it is time that at start charging people for my work

Why I Sometimes Don't Blog As Many Post As I Would Like To

This post is in reply to rockbigdave's post blogs... why?

Looking at my blog i appear to be a stoppy/starty blogger

over four months September to December in 2007 i made 27 posts

▼ 2007 (27)

* ► December (1)

* ► November (9)

* ► October (11)

* ► September (6)

In the 1st 3 months of 2008 i have already made 26 post

▼ 2008 (26)

* ► March (5)

* ► February (9)

* ► January (12)

As for my varying frequency of posts on my blog, this is down to a few varying factors,

1) How busy i am

If i have lots to do out side of college, or i am not able to get on the internet to read tech news (a lot of my post are made up of tech news) then it means that i don't have the chance to write a blog

2) Whats going on in digital culture and the world of tech?

I often blog about tech news as i have a really fascination with technology and have done for a very long time. I buy stuff magazine (when i have the cash spare) and love reading websites such as digg, ars technica,the register, reg hardware, infosyncworld and probably many more (i'm also partial to the odd tech pod or video cast as i have mentioned in other posts) If not much is happening in the world of tech then i will have less to post about

3) Motivation / Organisation

I often write up my posts first in TextEdit to save me from losing what i am typing as in the past i have been writing up post directly in the browser which has it crashed an i have lost my work. Often i will write things up in TextEdit and save so i can post it. I often want to add pictures and sometimes video, which i can not put in to text edit. So after writing my post up i often go on to the internet to find suitable pictures or start to edit and upload the video i want to include in the post.

while editing the video or looking for pictures i sometimes find i go off task and get distracted from looking for pictures and leave the video to upload but when i come back forget to make the post and embed the video

(Even while writing this post i got distracted by an e-mail that i thought was to important not to respond to)

By the time i discover the blog post on my desktop, i sometimes feel it is no longer relevant or old news so i don't post it.

One such example of this would be this video

while in Newcastle last week i came across a band called The Flytes promoting themselves for a competition. I found them to be pretty good so i took a few pictures and a video on my phone with the intention of making a blog post as soon as i got back to where i was staying. When i got back i wrote up a blog post to accompany the video and the set to editing the video and uploading it. By the time i had finished fiddling around with it in iMovie and got it uploaded, my concentration started to wonder and i thought OK this will still be a good post even if i copy and paste the text tomorrow and embed the video too. I never got round to posting that blog so that was one (good) post lost

Another problem i have with using TextEdit is that i can not automatically insert hyperlinks like i can with the blogger interface (which all in all is no big deal as i can hand code them but it is quicker to auto format them) now i like my blog looking neat and tidy and i think if you hyper link to stuff it can make a post more interesting and more enjoyable to read, so often i will write up a post save it and have all good intentions of coming back and hand coding the links in after a short break. So i gets saved to the desktop and usually i will forget about it. Again when i discover the post at a later date i feel it is no longer relevant to post.

I think the solution to this problem would be to download and app the is specific to offline blog editing (if any one knows of any good ones please let me know about them in the comments)

4)I don't wanna be too geeky

I often have thoughts or ideas for posts for instance;

I speak to a lot of my other friends who are at other universities in various cities thorough out the UK, (some in other countries) on Skype, now thats all well and good but it means i have to sit in front of my Mac in order to be able to speak to them. (which isn't terrible but sometimes a little inconvenient) So i thought to myself ...... my Mac has bluetooth built in, i wonder if buying a bluetooth headset (just the standard ordinary one for a mobile phone) will it pair with my Mac and work with Skype? (I have been meaning to try this out for a while) This week while in the Carphonewarehouse i saw a cheap (£9.99 ECLIPZ Bluetooth headset.) Now not wanting to buy a useless peice of junk, when i got home i looked for reviews on the headset, it turned out that it was a Jabra 125 headset repackaged for the Carphonewarehouse and had fairly decent reviews on the internet. For the price i thought i had very little to lose and bought it. The headset works fine with my mobile phone and to my surprise it also pairs with the Mac and works with Skype. I can use the Jabra 125 to listen to music on iTunes, the only problem i have come up against is that when watching videos on youtube (and other flash video content) there is no audio and the video pauses it self. If i switch to the internal speaks the video resumes it self with full audio (if any one knows why this happens or how to over come it i would be interested to know)

i was going to post that to this blog, but i just thought to myself do people really care that you can pair a bluetooth headset up with a Mac and how many people who use Skype would use the feature anyway if they did know about it? Most people who skype do so because they are using their computer but need to talk to someone at the same time so they probably wouldn't care!

I just thought it was slighlty too geeky and sad to post about the fact i got a bit excited about being able to use a bluetooth headset so i can walk around my house and chat to people as if on a phone for free.

In reflection i think i should have made that post to my tumble blog, a place where i put all my random thoughts, pictures, videos, and links to internet sites that i find useful or interesting

So they are a few of the reasons behind why my blog post are sometime a bit sporadic

(I started this blog post at 1am Sunday night wrote it up in TextEdit. Had the post finished in rough by 10.30am (i slept in between) only by 11.20am had i added all the hyperlinks and tweaked it to a point where i considered it to be ok for posting. You will be able to look at what time it actually made it to being posted by looking at the time and date stamp by looking at the bottom of this post.

When i copy and pasted this into blogger i decided there were final extra edits i needed to make, such as adding target="_blank" to my hyperlinks as i dont want people to navigate away from my blog i want them to spend as much time as possible on there. I also had to edit the size of the embedded video to fit on the width of the blog and had final grammar tweaks to make.

5) As a 5th point you could also say that some times writing a blog post is a long drawn out process, may that is another reason that people don't blog very much?

Or maybe i'm just a blog nerd and like things so look as good as possible ?

Although i don't always get to make as many post as i would like, I enjoy blogging both the reading and writing of blogs, that I would in fact like to be a professional blogger and get paid to review tech items and and what's going on in the digital world.

(After originally posting on blogger there was still a few final tweaks to be made this post was completed at 11.50 almost a full 11 hours after i started writing it)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

How To Cross The Road Instructional Video

Above is my final "How to Cross the Road" Instructional Video

I found the film be be a very enjoyable part of this project. I have under took many small video projects before, but this one was on a much lager scale.

Using the camera was easy once I had learned the basics

The editing process was equally enjoyable as the filming. I have done some simple editing before and found the transition form iMove to Apple Final Cut simple and intuitive.

Over all i feel i have gained a lot from partaking in the video module and feel i have a renewed interest in video. I am now considering taking taking the video route in the second year of the course.

This project has also made me consider taking a career in either post production or as a camera opereator / videographer.

I am very proud of this piece of video it currently has 385 views on I would like to thank all the people who have been helping me promote it and help it get extra views and would ask anyone who reads this blog post to add this to there facebook status

"watch this amazing video"

or add the link to any other social sites you may uses

(I have set my personal goal at 500 views)


How to Cross the Road Animatic

The storyboards and animatics help the final video piece to be very success full.

The animatics were a great source to reference back to when out filming on location. By having a reference for each scene this helped keep me organized and this save time as i could refer back to it to see shot framing and what should be happening for each scene.

Here is the Final Animatic that was Handed in For the 1st part of the video project

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Blu-ray coming to xbox and Apple Mac?

Now that HD-DVD is officially dead Sony has been discussing the possibility of offering a Blu-Ray drive for Apple Macs and for the xbox360

My personal opinion of this is;

Apple Macs will undoubtedly at some point see Blu-Ray drives in their hardware, enabling them to stay ahead ofthe game. I would rather see it as an option sooner rather than later.

As for the xbox360 i think it is unnecessary for this device to have a Blu-Ray drive as the only benefit it would bring would be that it would allow for the addition of being able to watch Blu-Ray films, i do however think that Microsoft will offer it as an option as they will not want people to think that they are falling behind their competitors

CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, 7 March 2008

iPod Touch Just Keeps Getting Better

Today i discovered, that i can use the bbc iplayer on my ipod touch, it works flawlessly too!

So now i have TV in my pocket.

Recently i have noticed that iPhone contracts are becoming a lot more competitive too offering 500 minutes and 600 text and unlimited mobile internet all for £35 i am starting to wish i had not bought an ipod touch and waited to get a iPhone.

With things like the bbc iplayer coming to the iDevices i think it is only a matter of time before people who bought ipod touches, decide to move to the iPhone, i know that when Apple release a 2nd gen iPhone (as long as it has a good camera and ability to record video at a decent resolution) i will definitely consider getting one

CLICK HERE for more info on the bbc iplayer on the ipod touch

Sunday, 2 March 2008


Last week a jailbroke my ipod touch as i felt i could no longer wait for apple to release their SDK ( are reporting that it is coming out on the 6th of march)

My favourite jailbreak app is MobileCast. This app allows me to download podcasts straight to my ipod touch with out hooking it up to my Mac and there is no need for itunes either

Before discovering MobileCast i rarely ever listened to podcasts. Although simple to do, i could never be bothered seeking podcasts out, downloading them to itunes and then transferring them to my ipod. (I would download them but usually forget to transfer them over)

With mobilecast you add the rss feeds to the app then you can browser through the shows and select which ones to download, all just by using the ipod

I will often browse what new podcast there are each morning, any new ones i want to listen to i set to download while eating my breakfast, i then have them ready to listen to for the rest of the day. By removing the step of having hook the ipod up to a computer and then have to wait for the podcast to transfer over some how makes the experience a whole lot more 'tidier'

Podcast i currently listen to include


mac break weekly

the week in tech

Watch the video below to see MobileCast in action

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