Monday, July 31, 2006

New Facial (Motion) Capture Technique

The NY Times has an article on a new technique for capturing human facial expresions; "[the] system requires actors to cover their faces and clothes with makeup containing phosphorescent powder [which glows in the dark]... lit by rapidly flashing fluorescent lights, and the cameras capture light from the glowing powder during intervals of darkness that are too short for humans to perceive."

Here's an image describing the process and a link to a Quicktime movie showing how it works.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How To Start Your Own Podcast

If you are saying, "well blogs are-a-plenty, I want to do something more." If you love "voicing" your opinions, like the sound of your own voice, or have heard others say to you that you have something that should be heard by more people, then Podcasting may be your cup-of-tea.

Here's another good article (Producing Podcasts) on CreativePro that will show you how to start your own podcast service.

Update: Here's a link to some free Podcasting tools and resources.

How To Start Your Own Blog

Have you been thinking about starting your own blog and becoming a part of this emerging phenomenon instead of just being a spectator on the sidelines, saying to yourself, I've got a lot to say and one of these days I'm going to start writing.

Well, that day has come and gone. If you want to make your voice heard and your opinions known, you should start now!

CreativePro has a good article (Putting Your Best Blog Forward) that will walk you step-by-step in the process of creating your own blog. Go express yourself!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Future of TV

The NYTimes has an article "NBC’s Web-Only Episodes Offer ‘The Office,’ a Little at a Time" which looks at the phenomenon of putting TV shows on the internet and issues such as advertising and other distractions when viewing TV online.

I think this is definitely an Emerging Media issue that is at a very early stage. Networks are trying to compete with the likes of YouTube and Google Video to attract the eye-balls of the youunger generation, who spend most of their time online. How succesfull they are will largely depend on how well they execute the migration of TV to the Internet.

Their early attempts seem to be lacking the very things that Internet users crave for, namely control over what they are viewing. If viewers are forced to watch advertisments and not allowed to skip them, it will discourage many viewers from coming back for more.

Is there a HAL in your future?

The NYTimes has an article on "Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life", it's worth a read.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trading Up - From a Paperclip to a Home

Kyle MacDonald finally accomplished what he set out to do a year ago; trading his way up from a red paperclip (posting on Craigs List) to a house. He has chronicled his story on his blog and given many interviews on this subject.

"I started with one red paperclip on July 12 2005 and 14 trades later, on July 12, 2006 I will trade with the Town of Kipling Saskatchewan for a house..."

Was this a result of social networking on the Internet? Yes. Could this have been done without the use of the Internet? Yes, I'm sure some smart trader in the past has done something similar without using the Internet.

In any case it's a good illustration of what is possible if one sets their mind on something and pursues it without any hesitation or fear.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Social Networks on the Web

NPR's Diane Rehm Show had a good discussion on "Social Networks on the Web" where they talked about the good and the bad aspects of social networking, and discussed sites such as MySpace, blogging, online chat and many other related issuues.

"Many millions of Americans have joined online social networks. We'll talk about their appeal and what corporate and government researchers could learn from them." The podcast can be found here.

Music for your video

Pump Audio, a company that licenses the music of independent artists for use in television shows and commercials, is planning to introduce a new soundtrack service for videographers who post videos online on YouTube etc. fulfilling another need in this emerging media space. The plan is to allow video producers to license legitimate music for about 99 cents to synchronize with their video clip.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Accidental Entrepreneurs

Information Week has a wonderful article highlighting the successes of some new entrepreneurs. It is a must read for all aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be part of the Web 2.0 wave.

It covers varied stories from a stay-at-home mom who made a career out of blogging (Dooce); a husband-wife team born six-days-apart who started Six Apart (the company that distributes Movable Type blogging software, LiveJournal, TypePad, and new Vox blogging services); a hobbyist who's hobby became a business called; opportunistic entrepreneurs who started; to a loner looking for an alternative career who launched Zoot.

There is a good summary at the end about what these people had in common and what made them take the entrepreneurial step. "Not everyone can be an accidental entrepreneur. It requires skill, dedication, vision, courage--and a little luck. But for a fortunate few, accidental entrepreneurship has changed their lives."

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wisdom of crowds, may not be all it's cut-out to be

Technovia has an interesting article "Why Digg is doomed, and why the wisdom of crowds is mob rule"

"... the fundamental problem with the whole 'wisdom of crowds' approach. It makes the assumption that online debate is largely rational, when - in fact - an awful lot of it is simply emotional. There is very little quality debate on the open internet on any topic that attracts a large level of attention. Yes, there are small communities that remain coherant and reasoned - but these are rare."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More Power To The People

The NYTimes is reporting another instance of an irate customer posting a recording of his interaction with a customer "retention consultant" at AOL who wouldn't allow him to close his account.

As recent events show, blogs, podcast and vlogs are providing customers a venue to air their grievances against the arm-twisting tactics of large corporations who only care about the bottom-line, not individual customers.

We don't have to keep quiet anymore. The power of the web allows each one of us to be heard and when millions take notice, it can cause change.