Thursday, June 30, 2005

Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty. Since you started reading this, 4 have died.

On 6th - 9th July, 8 world leaders will gather in Scotland at the G8 summit, where they will be presented with a workable plan to double aid, drop the debt and made the trade laws fair. But they'll only do it if enough people tell them to.

Visit G8Reboot for more information.

Also take a second to add your voice.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Feedburner is not yet supporting the itunes tags

From the feedburner blog ...

"With today's release of Apple iTunes 4.9 and its podcasting directory coupled with the recent beta launch of Odeo, podcasting is set to build on its already tremendous growth. Both iTunes and Odeo provide additional information about podcasts above and beyond what's included in a basic podcasting feed. For the more than 7,000 podcasts currently running through FeedBurner, we will very soon (really soon) provide the ability to enter additional podcast description data via our SmartCast service, which we will ensure gets delivered with the appropriate RSS extensions to iTunes, Odeo, and others. What does this mean? It means that your podcasts will have complete descriptive data in all the various directories and subscriber services without having to manage that data in each location. It means that all podcasters are on equal footing, regardless of whether or not you have the ability to edit your podcast's RSS feed to add the various different RSS extension tags. As we already provide integrated Yahoo Media RSS support, and we anticipate other podcasting services with additional descriptive extensions will emerge, FeedBurner will continue to provide a one-stop shop for podcasters who just want to record, publicize, and go. Simply run your podcast through us, and we'll get your categories, photo links, and other descriptive information distributed and publicized to the right services. This will be a free enhancement to the free SmartCast service."



You see apple ... thats why you just can't make "on the fly" decisions. Talk to people!

Tags: iTunes
, feedburner

Have Apple dropped the Podcast ball?

Ok, firstly I believe there really is no denying the fact that this new iTunes is changing the face of podcasts. Reports of huge bandwith bills are already flooding in from podcasters the world over. Dawn & Drew's server was down etc, etc.

Now my gripes:

1) Why did Apple not consult with the rest of the world before going ahead and appending to RSS 2.0. According to Dave Winer, they have gone and added a lot of duplication. Why? Also why would they use a trademark in the tags? like for example. I mean now guys like Microsoft need to add support for a proprietary tag in there own implementation of RSS.

2) Whats up with the havoc in the music store? I find it frustratingly difficult to navigate through all the muck on that homepage. Also , they barely feature the "Traditional" shows and it seems like they want them to play second fiddle to commercial ventures? Why?

3) The searches in the store are pathetic it only searches on show description and title. A search for Madge Weinstein returns "0" results.

4) The synching is terrible, apparently it makes some very dumb assumptions wrt to what stays on your iPod and the playlisting is non existent.

5) You can't import/export an OMPL list?

One cool thing is that people have been managing to get videos playing. link

C'mon apple, lets try harder.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Apple iTunes 4.9 hits the street.

Its available right now!

Will update on how good the podcatcher implementation actually is.

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Adam Curry waxes lyrical at Gnomedex. (In a good way)

If you are into podcasting, or maybe even not I suggest you give a listen to "The Daily Source Code" episode 198 and 200 recorded at Gnomedex 5.0

#198 goes into great detail about the journey Adam took to reach the point where he is today. Great stuff.

#200 was a live podcast that he did in conjunction with delivering the final keynote of the conference, and it is inspiring and funny at the same time. If this doen't get you all fired up to start contributing , nothing will!

Out of #200 I have gained these 3 things:

1) iTunes 4.9 is damn close.
2) CastBlaster is available for public beta. I got it.
3) I gotta move my arse, and come up with some great content for my own show.

Anyway give it a listen. Here is the RSS feed. Pop it in your PodCatcher.

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Curry quote on Dave Winers first attepts: "It's so fucked up that it's great!".

USB adapter for Atari joysticks

Following yesterday's weak post on reuse for old atari hardware , I found this effort via Make:Blog.

Overall a much more usefull idea to convert your old atari controller to USB to provide game support in newer machines and notebooks that ommit the old school style game port.

This hack involves ripping apart an elcheapo USB gamepad for the controller chip. nice. Although I would have been more impressed if it was all concealed inside the Atari Joy.



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Monday, June 27, 2005

Atari joystick USB hub mod



STOP IT! What are you doing man?

This in via Boing Boing: Brendan Dawes took a Dremel to his Atari Joystick and some over the counter USB hub and made this prime example of total utterly useless geekery..

Yawn. A waste of a perfectly good Joystick.

Whats next, someone gonna build his iPod into a Donkey Kong dualscreen?

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Friday, June 24, 2005

First Look at the "Mactel"

Think Secret is reporting that the first shipment of Intel Based Macs , now widely codenamed as the "Mactel" has been dropped off into developers hands.

The ADP or "Apple Development Platform" is rumoured to be housed in a case similar to a PowerMac G5. Hardware goodies include a 3.6Ghz P4 (2MB L2) processer on an 800 Mhz bus with 1GB of ram.

Apparenlty it runs the included Tiger 10.4 transparently as well as Windows XP fairly smoothly. However attempt to install the Tiger for Intel distro has failed on other Intel machines due to the OS looking for some or other missing hardware component on the machine that it needs to perform a digital handshake with. (Think software dongle)

Surely this will be easy to bypass? And surely other hardware manufacturers could push for them to release it under licence?

Anyway .. good news allround.

Tags: , , , , Mactel

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Being Batman

This recently Slashdot ted Forbes article contains some valuable info on all us wannabe superheros.

Its apparently very possible with only a couple million to spare, and the right combination of contacts to help you on your way.

Check out the article and go thru the slideshow here

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gCensus - Census Data Over Google Maps

Via Geek News Central .. via Boing Boing I believe .. This interesting tid bit of AJAX engineering leveraging on top of google maps. gCensus - Census Data Over Google Maps.

Give it a look over. Quite Nice.

Tags: gcensus,map

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

YubNub

Recently slashdotted YubNub
is described as "a (social) command line for the web". Its a great concept allowing interaction with so-called commands that react and work on the linux command line principles.

Example: "google cars" would do a google search based on the "cars" keyword.

Basically the site is tapping into other services with basic gets and posts.

You can also create your own commands.

Oh yeah , type "ls" to get a list of the available commands etc. etc.

Very Cool. Kudos!

YubNub, Linux, Search

Friday, June 17, 2005

Samsung SGH-D600

Gizmodo : Samsung SGH-D600: "Samsung manages to release a new phone every three days. The SGH-D600 is Samsung’s newest gem. At first look the two megapixel camera with expandable memory definitely looks nice, but the expandable memory is the unusual Transflash format. This phone does have a large 320x240 LCD display and most of the standard dosh that comes along with with a nice cellie including flash, Bluetooth, and a flip out keypad."

Relevant to us South Africans as the D500 is currently hugely popular here, this just looking like a nice upgrade.

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Michael Dell lusting after OS X for PC's

Ok , ok .. so maybe I'm just overexagerating a teeny bit ..

According to engadget Michael Dell has said that he wouldn't mind offering his PC's with OS X installed.

This is significant , 'cause he is the first major industry player to mention anything about the rumours floating around of a possible OS X for PC version. Of course Jobs is denying everything.

[Link]

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Two conflicting podcasting reports. One common conclusion.

The one says podcasting is going to boom,
the other says it will definately flop given another couple years.

However, what is most disturbing is that both forsee the impending doom of the so called "hobby" podcaster.

Oh dear .. whats your thoughts?

iTunes 4.9 spotted in the wild

According to Podcasting News , podcasters are starting to notice activities in their logs of the new Apple iTunes version 4.9 with the integrated podcast support as demo'ed by Steve Jobs recently. Presumably these hits are from developers and testers.
Look out for its user agent in your log ..

"Agent: iTunes/4.9 (Macintosh; N; PPC)"

Application Automates Podcasting of University Lectures

Via Podcasting news .. Apreso Classroom is a new application by Anystream , this allows lecturers to capture their classes in video or mp3 audio format for later review. I wish I had this option available back when I was studying. Then again .. maybe I would have bunked more classes then. :)

Link

Monday, June 13, 2005

RedNova News - Technology - Podcasting Lures Wary Music Biz

RedNova News - Technology - Podcasting Lures Wary Music Biz: "'It's the Wild West right now, and it's incumbent on anyone involved to look at this now to address the business model and the social implication and come up with some rules,' EMI Music senior VP of digital development and distribution Ted Cohen says" ...

Oooh that gets my blood boiling, I don't know what the general consensus is, but why oh why is the industry stance always one of "look theres a new technology , lets govern and control it".

Surely the spirit of Podcasting is that it is something thats free and open for the "normal" guy on the street to access and have a voice.

If you ask me there is way to much interest in the so called "professional" bracket. After all , if you wanna listen to a mainstream radio show , do so on standard radio. If a so called pro wants to have a podcast , please do but realise that the only reason people will tune in to your show is because they can access it whenever , wherever. Don't try and rip the off by making them buy into some rediculous subscription model.

My advice to the "amateur" podcasters outthere .. stay clear of playing commercial music. Keep it on podsafe tracks , or they will control you!

Friday, June 10, 2005

PS3 Harddrive confirmed as add-on.


6944053316338252
Originally uploaded by conrad_strydom.
Some PS3 news via Engadget

I must say, I kinda like this. The Xbox fans that so vehemently support the whole HD thing are those that are involved with hacking the device to play illegal game rips or ripped movies off the drive.

My PS3 is gonna be for games. If I wanna develop for the thing , I'll get the optional linux kit. I have a PC already, why pay more for the console?

And for those that believe the PS3 \ Xbox devices need to act as a media center, wake up! There are some fantastic PVR's out there. Get one of those!

Stuff convergence appliances .. period.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Decade of PHP

Slashdot | A Decade of PHP , jeez I got a fright when I saw this , I didn't even realise.

June the 8th 2005 marked the 10th anniversary of PHP. Well done to everyone involved, and lets hope for another 10 good years. I'm a big supporter and in fact PHP is my primary development platform. Long-Live PHP! Viva Viva!

Keyboards are good ...

This
fantastic article got slash dotted today , and it deals with the increased effenciency of the keyboard versus the mouse. The author goes as far as saying that the keyboard is in itself hugely ineffecient and I tend to agree with that. However , I believe that its still many many years before we radically change our input devices.

I have a colleague who would be hugely pleased by this article though, he always evangelises that applications should first and foremost be keyboard driven. On that topic , I occasionaly run into apps which have horrible shortcut integration , hmmm does the term "shortcut" tell us something?

Anyhow, I'm still guilty of using the mouse too much, I promise I'll try to improve!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

TiVoToGo now available on Windows Mobile devices - Engadget - www.engadget.com

TiVoToGo now available on Windows Mobile devices - Engadget - www.engadget.com

This article on engadget announces that TivoToGo has been made available to Windows Mobile based devices. This is good news for owners of the TV device , and I would think people with mobile devices containing HD's or large aftermarket memory cards.

For those that don't know TivoToGo allows you to "sync" video from your tivo onto another device's harddrive.

Hopefully this will expand and ease the process towards increased availability towards mobile media availble in general distribution.

Of course this also adds an additional kick in the nuts to the whole "fair-use" argument.

As an additional advantage , this should accelerate the trend towards placing hard disks in mobile devices like PDA's and Smart Phones.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Site Meter - Counter and Statistics Tracker

Site Meter - Counter and Statistics Tracker

I added some stats using the Site Meter facility as per the link. Maybe now I can see if people are starting to read this thing. I must say I was impressed by how easy it was. Everything is done from within your signup page. It automatically adds the link to your template. Like magic. :) Did I mention its free?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Skype enables video calling | The Register

Skype enables video calling | The Register

Pretty big news here. You can now download a free plugin from Dialcom that will allow you to Video Conference over the Skype P2P engine. Sounds like a step in the right direction.

iPod Video Player

An interesting project can be found over at this link its a proof-of-concept video player for the iPod and will probably interest users of the device.

via Engadget.

Samsung Pro 815



Via Engadget,this new samsung for power consumers. Seems a bit pricey when compared to the top-of-the-range 5MP prosumer cams out there like the Lumix DMC-FZ5, especially when consider that it lacks the ever more important Image Stabiliser (so handy for non-tripod work) that even my "play-play" canon S1 has.

Tut,tut, Samsung. Close but no cigar. I do like the lines of the thing though.

CNN.com - Study: Shoppers naive about retail prices online - Jun 1, 2005

CNN.com - Study: Shoppers naive about retail prices online - Jun 1, 2005

So. I really don't mind online shops tracking statistics and rewarding loyalty based on a publicised rewards program , but this is rediculous.

I loose my mind when I think that I am possibly being made to pay higher prices than anyone else cause I might not be "regular" enough according to some back-end program, or I'm not clicking in from some price-comparison affiliate! Whats worse is that they are hiding it from us. The least they could do is stick on a "learn how to get this at an even lower price" type link. Tell me what you want from me!!! aarrghhh.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Near Space Blimps Appearing

Link Defense Tech: Support Rising for Near-Space Blimps

"Good news, blimp boys: the Air Force is slowly starting to line up behind a plan to put airships on the edge of the atmosphere.

According to Inside Defense, a 90-day Air Force study has concluded that there would be "military utility" in putting blimps, balloons, and drones in near space -- between 65,000 and 350,000 above sea level. Up there, they could serve as cheap substitutes for satellites, relaying communications and snooping on foes. They might be able to carry equipment, effectively becoming giant U-Hauls in the sky. And this could be done, at least in the balloons' case, without "significantly strain[ing] existing infrastructure or requir[ing] large amounts of equipment or personnel to operate the balloons," Inside Defense says."

Oh Cool! Command and conqueresque blimps!

Threadless T-Shirts - Darth enjoyed gardening, by Glennz

This is classic! :)



Its a Threadless t-shirt , depicting Darth Vader trimming a topiary tree into the shape of the death star.

Link : Threadless T-Shirts - Darth enjoyed gardening, by Glennz

via Boing Boing

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

VideoCasting for the PSP from PSPDrive

These guys over at PSP|>rive (PSPDrive) have come up with an interesting method of popping VidCasts onto your PSP , just plug it in fire it up and click on the link. Its driven by a little Java Applet.

Cool concept. Safe? Dunno. But the premise is certainly exciting, especially for podcasters etc.