Archive for October, 2005

everyone loves bunnies

October 18th, 2005


They have very clean feet.

~jeff

röyksopp video

October 17th, 2005

royksopp5

Great video for the song “What Else Is There” (in crappy RealMedia format) by Röyksopp, directed by Martin De Thurah

Via videos.antville.org

UPDATE: you should also check out the video for Feist’s “Mushaboom” on videos.antville.org,

the many faces of amy sedaris

October 15th, 2005


You have to love Amy Sedaris. You just do.

~jeff

around the table

October 15th, 2005


Here’s a random clip from the wedding I went to last week; I’m not 100% crazy about how the clip turned out — the light was bad, and I look particularly terrible, even for me — but it’s essentially served as a a test clip for some updated “caption” code that allows the user to easily tag arbitrary moments in video with little fadey captions/annotations.

Around the table.

~jeff

loose screws

October 15th, 2005


…it’s rained for eight straight days here in New England, and if I don’t see some sunlight soon, I’m going to shoot myself in the fucking face. Yeah, that’ll learn you, Mother Nature. Yeah.

I have never in my life taken apart anything electronimalogical and then had the correct number of screws go back in. I don’t know where they go, but they go. Here’s a tip I heard that when I heard it, I thought, “say, that’s a good tip”: use a muffin pan to keep track of your loose screws. Put the screws in little round muffin tins, farther away from you as you go. That way you have all your screws and whatnot in one place, and they are organized by the order in which you pulled them out. Having relayed this tip, I can also relay that I have never actually done this — I have eaten muffins, though, so it’s still very relevant.

Here’s something I *have* done; if you’re yanking wires out of something and you’re worried that you might not remember which color wire goes to what part of the gizmo, take a couple digital camera pictures for yourself as you go. Trust me, they do come in handy when you can’t remember if it was the orange wire or the orange and white striped wire that hooked up to jumper J40. Also, make sure to keep the bus at a speed faster or equal to 60 MPH as you go.

I took apart my Yamaha electric piano tonight and it was extraordinarily satisfying to do so; there’s been an acoustic speaker buzz ever since I bought it. I had to pry apart the whole damn thing to remove one-sixteenth of an inch of useless speaker grill foam. But: it sounds great now. I sound great playing it. It’s win-win for both of us.

Which brings me to my point, and I didn’t have one when I started but I do now; $0.0001 worth of defective foam was ruining an otherwise wonderful $1,000+ instrument. And I knew exactly what it was that was wrong with it from day one, I’ve just been lazy for three years and I didn’t want to dissassemble the whole damn thing just to pull that $0.0001 worth of foam out. I’m almost supernaturally good at figuring out — just by looking and touching an object — what is *wrong* with it and then, inversely, how it could be made *better*.

So here’s the deal, defective manufacturers of the world; fly me out (business class is fine!), put me up in a hotel (Doubletree is fine!), and lead me blindfolded into your clean rooms stocked high with the Future Defective Products of America. In return, I will let you in on what $0.0001 change you can make that will make your product twice as good. That’s my defective pledge to you.

~jeff

drmmolator

October 14th, 2005

anyone need a copy of iTunes 5?

vingle

October 14th, 2005

Apple has trademarked the word “Vingle”.


In America they first coined the godawful term “blog”,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a blogger.
Then they coined the even worse term “blogosphere”
and I didn’t speak up because, again, I didn’t have a blog.
Then they coined the even worse term “podcasts”,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a podcaster.
Then they coined the even worse term “vodcaster”,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a vodcaster.

Then they coined the holy-god-worst-of-all term “Vingle”
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
–Some Dude, 1945

~jeff

gDisk

October 14th, 2005

say hello to gDisk

gDisk is an Mac OS X application that lets you use your Gmail account as 2 GB of network storage. The Windows equivalent is here. The two apps use slightly different methods to store files; the Mac version saves your files as tagged ‘drafts’, but the Windows version saves your files as emails beginning with GMAILFS. Both are very fast and elegant.

I have 100 Gmail accounts to give away — that’s 200 GB — so if you need a couple GB of online storage space for anything, *anything at all*, let me know. I use a special Gmail account as a scripted automatic backup of this site, for example.

~jeff

hitting the nail on the head

October 13th, 2005

via Goopymart

new iPod records at CD quality

October 13th, 2005

Buried amongst the tech specs for the new iPods is one new feature that makes me all giddy: true high-quality 44.1 KHz, stereo recording capability. Previous iPods were limited to really 8 KHz terrible quality, so this is nice. This will make the new iPod pretty much the best bootlegging/field sound acquisition device out there (as far as price per minute of recording).

UPDATE: Due to *overwhelming* request, I’ve set up a fund so you can donate money in order to get me a new video playing/audio recording iPod. Just watch the counter as it shows you accurately and in real time how much money I’ve received for a new iPod! Everybody wins.

~jeff

squirrels and dogs, lying together

October 13th, 2005


An incredibly heartwarming story (thanks Kelsey), but what is **up** with Picture 10?

~jeff

new bumper sticker

October 13th, 2005


Get ’em while they’re hot.

~jeff

kelsey and jamie

October 12th, 2005


Here’s a little 7 second animation I made a couple months ago on the lovely “Bridge of Flowers” in Shelburne Falls. It’s compressed to be iPod video friendly (320×240@700 kbps).

MAYBE A HANDY TIP: when compressing and creating video for use in a browser, in iTunes, in QuickTime, in VLC, and on an iPod, rename the file to end with .mp4; Web servers and browsers (even Safari!) don’t seem to always like the .m4v file extension…. honestly, I don’t understand why Apple needed yet another MPEG-4 file extension.

MAYBE NOT: While I’m off on an incredibly nerdly tangent, you know what’s a bummer? Both the Sony PSP and the Apple iPod use H.264 format MPEG-4 video, **but** one of those machines I just mentioned apparently uses a non-standard file header format (I’m looking in your direction, Sorny) so video files will have to be prepared separately for each device. How lame is that, especially because it’s one of those so-close-but-so-far situations; all the video data is correct, it’s just the *header* that’s different and the PSP chokes on it. Maybe Sony could “fix” this in one of their upcoming firmware releases, so people who’d like to prepare downloadable video for handheld devices don’t have to make two ever-so-slightly different versions of the exact same MPEG-4 file.

~jeff

sad news

October 12th, 2005

sad news

iPod video

October 12th, 2005

So the iPod plays video now (on screen and via video-out), and you can buy TV shows via iTunes 6, and there’s now an iMac with a remote and “media center” style software. Um, and that’s all totally neat, but surprisingly enough, I have gripes:

  • There’s no mention of TV-input at all, not even via some kind of external breakout box. I know Jobs in the past has said something like “The TV is what you watch when you turn your brain off. The internet is what you read when you want to turn your brain on” (clearly he and I are not going to the same sites) but TV is important to people. Omitting all mention of being able to record your own shows is just odd, but hey! TiVo lives to die another day.
  • iPods now apparently use USB 2 to charge and sync, with no option for Firewire. No big deal if you’ve bought a computer in the past three years or so, but still, a weird and mingy little subtraction.
  • iPod video is limited to 320×240 (QVGA) resolution, and outputted to a TV, that will look really really bad. Remember full-motion video on, like, the Sega Saturn and the first Playstation? It’ll look a little like that. If you’re used to seeing *cough* other downloaded video, 320×240 full-screen is not going to impress you, no matter how nice H.264 video is.
  • That iPod Shuffle-style remote is totally cute. I like how pressing the button on it activates the software, then it goes full screen, which eliminates the problem of “mousing around” the UI from your couch.
  • iTunes 6 looks identical in all ways to iTunes 5, which has been out for about 8 days. I can’t wait for iTunes 11, which at this rate should be out around Halloween.
  • Speaking of iTunes 6, no burning of downloaded video? Lame. I don’t conceptually see the difference between burning music to CD and video to DVD, but I assume this is one of those DRM-concessions I read about. Doesn’t matter to me, because you’ll have to pry my Piratastic™ MPEG-4 friendly Phillips 642 out of my cold, dead hands.

~jeff