Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Microsoft sends a congratulation cake to Mozilla

I've just installed Firefox 2 (on my boot camp install - not yet on my mac) and I have to say it looks pretty cool. I like the improved tab support and the RSS integration - it now automatically subscribes RSS feeds to my bloglines account (similar to how IE 7 will). And on the IE note.... Microsoft apparently sent a cake to the Mozilla team in Mountain View, CA congratulating them on their release of Firefox 2!

This was originally found on a post from Boing Boing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Something Going Cheap at the DVLA

This morning I had to visit the DVLA to obtain a temporary registration document for my vehicle; something I expected to be reasonably expensive to obtain. I called into the branch in Glasgow and quite unexpectedly walked straight to a desk(!) and then after explaining the situation to the person behind the counter proceeded to write out a temporary certificate, stamp it and charged me a mere £3.00!!! I'm amazed that the DVLA have an actual charge so low - I really was expecting £20 at the very least for this facility!!!

I think the person behind the counter found it quite funny! They joked I should take out a loan to cover the expense.

They even gave me a receipt, which I've posted here!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

640x480 Video on your iPod

When the new iPods were released (the 5.5G ones that is), I wasn't really too fussed about the increased brightness, the new 80gig version or the games - in fact I was more interested in the new software which allowed 640x480 videos to be played on the iPod. Turns out, the software update Apple provided does allow the earlier 5G iPods to play these higher resolution videos. Turns out if you put any 640x480 quicktime file in iTunes and then select 'convert for iPod', then the new video will be 640x480 - and playable on any 5G iPod... Whilst the screen is still only 320x240 - the video out to a TV is much better quality!!

On a mac, this is easy - just load any DivX movie in Quicktime, save as a .mov (doesn't transcode the video), import to iTunes and convert to iPod (does transcode video). Hopefully ffmpegx will support this soon - I believe VisualHub (iSquint's sister product) will export using the 'low complexity profile' required for the latest iPod software.

Friday, October 06, 2006

New Features in Leopard

Found this posting whilst browsing the web and found it quite interesting - he talks about the advertised features of Leopard which were unveiled a few weeks back, but he adds a couple of predictions one of which is spot on. He thinks one of the secret features was unveiled in the Keynote - Core Animation. He thinks it'll be at the core of most applications in Leopard to offer a 3D desktop - reminds me of the Java Desktop Sun wrote on Linux (Looking glass??). One of the items he talked about was flipping through your albums in itunes in a 3D interface - just like CoverFlow is now. Quicktime has some 3D elements in it as you can flick through the movies on the iTunes store in this way. Chris predicts it will be the backbone of the Finder being able to flick through your files and folders in a 3D way would be cool! Maybe Apple will recreate the Looking Glass feel by giving Expose a 3D element - flip through the open windows on your desktop...

An interesting read! I look forward to seeing what Mr J reveals in January! If Apple do release a 3D Finder and 3D Expose, then Vista will be just left behind; compared to Tiger, Vista is already looking quite dated!!!