Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Celebrity Big Brother

For those that haven't watch "Celebrity" Big Brother (like me) the last two contestants were Michael Barrymore and Chantelle(?). Chantelle won, but anyways on with the post - I found this posting [linkfilter.net] quite funny!!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

iSkin evo3

The linked poster seemed to give the iSkin a really bad review and I totally disagree with him. I got my iPod whilst in the states and I have to admit, Apple did a poor job finishing the iPod - it looks great, but is unbelievably easy to scratch - I hardly used it while on holiday and before I got back, had two small scratches on the screen!! So I had a good look around and decided to go for the iSkin evo3 (from iSkins.co.uk). Whilst it is a little chunky adding around 4mm to the front of the iPod, it does protect the entire unit (including the screen) and the cover feels quite nice - as one poster put it, not too much friction when putting it in your pocket.

I have taken the iPod out of the case once to show off the iPod to a few people that hadn't seen the new iPod and unfortunately I did get a buttload of dust in it... But it's cleanable anyway so what's the problem? Just make sure the iPod is clean before you put it in!

The posters main gripe seems to be the hold button - Whilst it is tricky, it isn't impossible - my finger nail (just) fits in to flick it off and on. But, I've rarely used the hold button - the front cover is 4mm away from the click wheel so unless you store the iPod poorly nothing should really touch the dial to switch it on! Even then, if you unplug your earphones (a good idea so you don't break the plug or socket) the unit won't ever unpause and will go back to sleep after a few seconds...

I totally recommend this cover to safeguard your iPod. I've got the white iPod and a clear iSkin and I think the whole thing still looks really good!

Link to TUAW article
Direct Link to Posters article

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Alternative Whale News

Click the image below to read an alternative version of the whale story...

Originally sourced from (http://uk.geocities.com/mkpdavies/whale_99841.gif)

Track Your Mobile Phone

I found a site which enables you to track your mobile phone anywhere in the UK with many other countries in the world joining. The site seems quite secure in that you can't just type any phone number to find out where they are.

To register you are sent an SMS with a password and also an email with a password, you must enter them both to active your signup. Then to find out where anyone is you add their number to your profile (and a name of the person), they get a text message and must respond with "LOCATE". After that you can locate the phone anytime you want! It costs about 20p per location.


Disney Pixar Purchase Complete

I've just received an email from Pixar's Product Director Chris Ford informing me that Disney has acquired the Pixar business as suggested by the Daily Telegraph over the weekend and announced officially yesterday. Chris Ford assures that Renderman will not change and will remain a seperate group:

Let me take this opportunity to reassure you there is absolutely no change in the RenderMan business and that we remain a separate group within Pixar/Disney totally committed to the commercial CG market and the Renderman product family.

In other news the iTunes music store now has a Disney section with short films, a Disney TV channel, music and audiobooks. So far only the music and audiobooks are available in the UK. But the "Pixar" link has changed to "Short Films" on the UK homepage.

Link to Pixar's Press Release

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More Tax Please, We're British.

Broadcasters are obviously feeling the pinch because people are recording telly and watching it later and not the repeats. They want a special tax on digital recorders to recoup some of the costs. I don't know why they don't bring their TV shows in line with American release schedules to stop TV "Piracy" and perhaps offer their shows over the internet in a fashion the BBC is doing with it's on demand service or alternatively a pay-per-episode system like iTunes.

From the original Article:

Broadcasters, studios and content makers already make plenty of money from the sale of broadcast rights, repeat broadcast rights and syndication -- not to mention DVD sales (and now pay-per-view downloads) -- but it seems nothing short of greed to demand another slice of the pie, and the person who will ultimately suffer is the end user, who will end up footing the bill when the providers pass on the fees.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Honeymoon Photos

I've put some of our favourite photographs taken during our honeymoon on flickr! We took lot's of photos, but we've put together a much smaller set of 111 favourites - I've also added comments to the photos too.

The entire set can be found at this link.

I quite like the flash slideshow flickr! provides and that is also linked to here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Converting TV for your iPod

Thought I'd group together some information I've obtained for converting TV shows and adding them to iTunes for display on your iPod with video.

There are loads of free iPod conversion programs out there, the one I've used here is called 3GP Converter. All you need to do is select "AVC QVGA/192kbps" from the drop down "Model:" menu and simply drag and drop AVI files into the space above. The software will then start automatically converting the files and saves them to the desktop. A 30 minute episode will compress to about 40MB.

The next step is a bit more complicated and annoying, iTunes will allow you to add the new "M4V" file into iTunes, but will call it a Movie rather than anything else. You cannot change this to TV Show, nor add Season or Episode numbers through the info dialog. You need to use a program called AtomicParsley. This is a command line program which will change the meta data within an M4V file to whatever you choose. AtomicParsley accepts all the normal info exposed through iTunes such as Artist, Genre, etc. But it also exposes "TVShowName", "TVEpisodeNum" and "TVSeasonNum". There are a couple of other useful TV specific tags, but for me, these three are the most important.

For each of your converted M4V files, run:

AtomicParsley the.simpsons.1710.m4v --stik "TV Show" --TVShowName "The Simpsons" --TVEpisodeNum 10 --TVSeasonNum 17

Where the.simpsons.1710.m4v is the video to change meta data for, substitute "The Simpsons", 10 and 17 accordingly and you're done!

This creates a new video file which contains the new meta data - add this file to iTunes. Now if you view videos, select list mode and "TV Shows" in the search bar, you can see the Season and Episode data. When synced to the iPod, it has a "TV Shows" menu will lists all the Shows, then Seasons, then Episodes!! There is a description field in the meta data, so it would be possible to fill out a plot summary for each episode too!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mason Inman's Blog

Linked Image

This is an amazing photoshop image - which really confuses the eye! Check it out.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Updated Visited Countries Chart

After our trip through the Caribbean I can now update my visited countries map. You can get your own map by visiting World 66's Visited Countries

Monday, January 09, 2006

Cool eBay Auction

I think this guy has mistyped his auction for a Black Tie with Shite (White?) Diagonal Lines...


Back from Honeymoon

Louise and I are now back from our 2 week honeymoon. The first week was spent aboard Carnival Cruise Line's "Carnival Miracle" which is their number 1 ship and cruises around the Western Caribbean. We visited Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel (Mexico) and Costa Maya (Mexico). After the cruise we spend a further few days in the St. Petersburg area in a hotel overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Louise and I both thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and we both highly recommend cruising on the "Miracle" - a fantastic ship and very memorable week spent on it!