Archive for ‘Technology’ Category

And the battle continue….

datePosted on 19:34, April 23rd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Remember CDDB, the old database of CD’s that people built for people’s use. Well that dream got shot and killed when Gracenote, the company behind it, decided to close the platform and sell the data. It looks like private sector strikes again, big time. Sony has just announced that they bought Gracenote and their Database — remember the one that me, you and millions of others helped build — for $260m. Nice work S, now I wonder if there is a international law against buying/selling something that does not belong to you. Well ponder on that and start using freedb at freedb.org where things are protected by GPL and will always remain FREE.

Opps I did it again…..

datePosted on 18:52, April 23rd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I think I will declare today (April 23rd, 2008) as the day of SUCKERS….hehehe. This is fantastic and continues to show how damaging proprietory technologies are to your life. If the Sony ATRAC debacle didn’t serve as a warning there’s always this: Microsoft just announced that it will no longer supply authorization keys for songs purchased from the defunct MSN Music service. According to the News Desk over at Ars Technica:

Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft’s now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it’s done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.

MSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to make any and all authorizations or deauthorizations before August 31. “As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers,” reads the e-mail seen by Ars. “You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play.”

Proprietary Sucks big

datePosted on 18:18, April 23rd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Proprietary technologies suck, no matter how good/neat they sound at the time. Case in point is the Microsoft SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) technology. At a sneak preview of the watches given by Microsoft at COMDEX 2003, Microsoft began referring to the SPOT watches as “Smart Watches with MSN Direct.” The purpose of MSN Direct, a new Microsoft service to be offered through a monthly or annual subscription, was to use FM radio subcarriers to feed data to the watches, such as weather, traffic, and other information. Watch owners could choose between two subscription plans: $9.95 a month with the first month at no charge; or $59 for a full year.

I still remember sitting in my chair at the 2003 comdex keynote and asking myself why? I mean Bill kept saying that this was the future…..yeah right!!! Well I hope you don’t have one of these watches, or if you got suckered in, lets hope you didn’t pay for a full year of service. Remember kids, Proprietory SUCKS BIG. I wonder what Bill is wearing on his wrist these days :-)

Reptiles and other such beasts….

datePosted on 21:29, March 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Brad over at bradfortner.com has a great article where he delves into the logic (or lack of) behind companies arguing IP with their own costumers. All I have to say is this, if the said company could write a decent driver, I would have had a little sympathy for them. But lets face it, Creative Labs is probably in a tie with ATI for writing the industries worst drivers for as long as I can remember.

The difference I guess is that when one of Creative’s own users started fixing the drivers, and asked other users for donations to support the effort, Creative went after him. When will these guys learn. If the guy was doing such a good job that Creative felt threatened, they should have hired the dude, not sent him a cease and desist letter. That’s pretty sad Creative.

Anyways, I think Brad is way to generous with the reptilian comparison. Reptiles have brains the last time I checked….right???

RevoLabs makes Microphones cool again….

datePosted on 21:53, March 28th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

A friend passed this on today (thanks Jeremy). If you use a mic in your day to day businness (or even if you’re an occasional ichat/skype user, you should check this out. RevoLabs have introduced a new line of Wireless microphones that come with RF-Armor. What does that mean, well the next time your GSM phone rings/sync/receives email, your microphone won’t be going all crazy. Plus their Solo mics come in three different types:

  • Wearable
  • Tabletop Boundry
  • XLR adapter for handheld mics


All their mics use a base station that hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB (no driver needed) and show up as a sound device. As a bonus the wearable one also has a audio out so you can wear it around your neck (on in your pocket) and hook up a headset to it as well.
They also have larger 4 channel and 8 channel wireless systems that you can mix and match using different solo mics. The preconfigured systems even come with a 4 or 8 channel Gentner echo cancellation device by polycom. Very nice…..

RED One does Super 8

datePosted on 21:38, March 28th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Yeah baby, If you’re gonna telecine your Super 8 summer trip reels, why not do it using the RED Digital Cinema Camera at glorious (or is it gruesome) 4K. All those scratches and nicks blown up to 4K….Yummm. Well I guess film restorers will be back in business. The rig is a prototype made by Movie Stuff Workprinter XP specifically for the RED camera. The Workprinter’s “trigger out” interfaces directly to the Red’s GPI input to trigger capture in stop motion mode up to 30 frames per second in the Red’s 4K mode). I wonder if they’re gonna do a 16mm version of this rig as well. Now that would be a cheap 16mm telecine :-).

Evernote….Your personal Pet Elephant to help you remember

datePosted on 21:19, March 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


And that’s exactly what it does. A fantastic new product from evernote that offers you the opportunity to offload your brain of all those ideas/clippings/musings. Basically this thing is the kitchen sink of organizers….and it does OCR to boot.

So head over to evernote.com and sign up for an invite, download whatever method of interface you want/need (webbased/OSX/Windows) and start clipping and organizing your life/brain. One of coolest thing about evernote is that you can feed the elephant anything (sound/image/text) and it will make it searchable. In the case of an image for example, you can shoot your buddies business card using your cellphone, send it to your evernote account and it will automagically OCR the card content and make it searchable. Same with handwritten notes, memos, doodles, stickies. All this works in Windows/OSX and on the Web……very nice.

Now if they could add a bit of RSS import/export goodness to it, I think it would make the perfect central hub application for all your social interfaces (blog/twit/flick/wiki/etc….).

And now a bit of Engineering brought to you by the letter E

datePosted on 20:23, March 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


As some of you might know I’ve been setting up my OTA (Over The Air) HDTV gear for the past couple of months and learning all about Antenna design, gain, amplification, directionality and such…..Lots of fun/confusing stuff. Well today I came across this article on digitalhome.ca that describes how a bunch of guys got together and using digital modeling improved the original Gray-Hoverman Antenna design. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve released their design completely under GPL……Bravo. They’ve truly built the Super Antenna and in true spirit of engineering have shared their results/designs. So go grab some coat hangers, set aside 30 minutes of your life and get off the bandwagon and save some money by grabing your HD over the air for FREE….Like it’s supposed to be.

Storage in a flash…..

datePosted on 11:09, March 6th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


Well if you frequently need storage in a flash or don’t want to spend the money on multiple HD enclosures, the HD Rack Super Combo might be the solution. HD Rack Super Combo provides you with just about every external connection you can think of (USB 2.0 mini, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and E-Sata). On the disk side it accepts 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD’s. This is perfect for people who just want to have a docking station and plugin bare drives in and out all the time.

iCinema does 360 Degree cinema……

datePosted on 15:46, February 27th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


iCinema has teamed up with Projectiondesign to create the first AVIE (Advanced Visualization and Interaction Environment). AVIE is the first horizontal panoramic streoscopic projection environment. The system uses a cylindrical screen measuring 35 feet in diameter and 13 feet in height. Seven PC’s and twleve F1+ projectors complete the system. Infrared camera’s allow the audience to interact with the projection environment. More info here.

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