Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

…Only To Be Dragged Out And Placed In Internet Quarantine

That’s not a perfect metaphor from my previous Twitter post, but bear with me. It’s been a long past twelve hours, involving a nine-hour bus ride and three police checkpoints. That’s China for you, or rather, this is:

They recently made the unnecessary and completely idiotic decision to block Twitter, because forget all the spammy crap on Myspace or the hours wasted on Facebook – it’s the 140-character tweets that’ll really bring this nation to its knees. My usage of the service is temporarily suspended for a period not to exceed two months (when I get back to the US), though hopefully sooner than that. Also: it seems as though China has two levels of internet censorship they employ. The regular one just prohibits the average person’s access and can be easily circumvented by using a proxy server. The second, more nefarious level just flat-out keeps the service from being accessed from any computer ever under any circumstances, and is responsible for the lack of access to things like YouTube and Twitter.

I loathe the CCP. One week after I got on Twitter, they kicked me off of it.

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June 7, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Micro-Branding: How To Do It

Let’s say that like me, you’re an aspiring writer (or blogger/painter/webcomic artist/web page designer/photographer). You know, something creative. Anyway, whatever your skill set right now, it’s probably a hobby or side pursuit; you’ve yet to make some serious cash from it. The web looks good, right? It’s friendly, and inviting, and tons of people out there make their money by doing online… things. With people and stuff.

It’s a great place to do what you do, right? It would be, except for one problem: everyone else has the exact same idea that you and I do. We all have this vague goal of becoming well-known online and either selling a product or generating enough ad revenue off of a really popular site that we don’t have to get a real 9-to-5 job in some generic corporate hellhole. You don’t want to become a nameless suit, right? You want to be successful online so some other poor schmuck has to be the suit. How do you set yourself apart from everyone else? It’s actually not all that hard: use micro-branding. Continue reading

May 5, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s The Future Of Blogging?

Zach (from Akinotsuki) and I were discussing various blogging concepts earlier tonight. You’d be surprised how much of our interaction concerns blogs, in one form or another (I promise we actually know each other outside of the internet). Anyway, we were talking about different sorts of blogging formats, the benefits multiple-writer blogs versus those of single-writer sites, and it got me thinking about the future of blogging. Admittedly, it’s still a relatively new phenomenon, and really didn’t get going until perhaps ten years ago – technically, I’m sure someone out there was blogging prior to that, but it probably wasn’t known as such. Besides, ten years ago would the average member of the public have any clue what a blog was? I doubt it, but I digress.

There’s been great growth already, going from simple text to adding photos, video, audio, etc. You’ve got open-ended posts that ask a simple question and rely on readers to create responses (and hence, meaningful content), angry rants about everything under the sun, commentary on any form of news imaginable, traditional “dear diary” type posts, and base attempts at gossip and/or journalism. Beyond that, there are media-only posts, from video blogs, to podcasts, to photographer and artist-oriented formats that feature a single photograph as a post. Continue reading

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Youtube vs. Dailymotion: Video Comparison

Let’s say you received a new camcorder for Christmas. Maybe you got a Flip Mino, maybe you got an Aiptek Action HD like me, or maybe you even received a high end consumer model like a Canon Vixia HF-100. Regardless, you’ve been shooting footage with your new toy and you’re itching to post some of your work. It’s a simple choice to upload video, but once you’ve made that decision, what service do you use? Should you go with YouTube, the everyman’s video site? Or do you use a Dailymotion, which obviously has a smaller audience, as compared to the crowd favorite YouTube? Do you go with any number of other sites and services, which each promise quality, but also can cost widely varying sums of money? Your options can be overwhelming at times. To help you solve your dilemma, I’ve uploaded a 32MB test video to two different sites for purposes of quality comparison. I’ve chosen the following services:

YouTube:

This guy is arguably the 800 lb gorilla of the bunch. With YouTube, you’ve likely maximized your chances for large viewership (assuming you’ve got any talent with a camcorder). On the other hand, the massive amount of video YouTube handles means they’ve got to limit the size of anything uploaded to 1GB, and processing seems to reduce the quality of anything uploaded that’s above SD quality (640×480 resolution). Honestly though, it’ll be hard for you to hit that limit, and you really don’t want to anyway. That would takes ages and ages to upload.

Dailymotion:

Dailymotion is pretty cool. The interface is slick, and while uploading gives you an estimate of the status, which you don’t get with most video services. On the other hand the upload is slow – it averaged around 50kbps while I was uploading the test video, which works out to 10 12 minutes to upload, plus processing time. Maximum allowable duration is twenty minutes, and max upload size is 150MB.

Overall, Dailymotion seems to do a better job of maintaining video quality, though it’s still not perfect. It is a compelling reason to use the service, though, especially if you’re doing it to share with people and not simply to try for a ton of views.

This one is a toss-up. The quality crown clearly goes to Dailymotion, but YouTube is more popular, more accessible, etc, etc, etc. It really comes down to your personal preference.

(Unrelated to video quality, but for some reason I had to physically adjust the dailymotion link so that it would show up centered. Thought it was worth mentioning if anyone decides to start using it).

January 9, 2009 Posted by | Tech, Video Review | , , , | 4 Comments

New Computer Interface?

Check it out. This company called Mgestyk (say it out loud, you’ll get it) has posted videos of their product being demoed on Youtube.

Essentially, they’ve taken a high-end 3d webcam and paired some software with it that allows gestures to be recognized as input, similar to a mouse or keyboard. Continue reading

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Listen to Yourself

Because deep down, we all know it’s true:

Listen to Yourself

Listen to Yourself

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Webcomic | , , | Leave a comment