Results tagged “video” from kwc blog

Cool stop motion Lego

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This video by Paul Romein and Greg Radzimowsky is a lot cooler than I thought it would be. It's hard enough building the Millenium Falcon in Lego, let alone do it in stop-motion, and do it will flair.

Pirate, almost as good as that other cat

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After Josh sent me that video of the 'Ninja' cat, I had to let Pirate have her go. She did really well -- until I got the camera out. This is the best I got. As you can tell she was eager to charge the camera.

And, for comparison:

Shoulda named her Ninja

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We named our dog Ninja and our cat Pirate. If only we had switched the names, our cat could be like the one above...

thanks Josh!

Pirate/Ninja Play

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Some of you have requested video evidence that Pirates and Ninjas can in fact co-exist, so I submit the above. If you'll notice, it's the smaller, scrappy Pirate that initiates the whole affair by grooming then attacking Ninja. Ninja obliges as gently as a 50-lb dog can, occasionally sticking Pirate's entire head in her mouth, at other times offering her legs like drumsticks to the cat. I edited out as much cuteness as I could to keep it under two minutes, but it was tough.

Robogames 2007 Videos Part II

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RoboGames.jpgSome more video from Robogames in San Francisco. This time around there's robot hockey, Crab-Fu's awesome steam robots, and an instance of Uncanny Valley

RoboGames.jpgSparks, shrapnel, robots sent flying, and smoke: keep reading if these interest you. I went to Robogames in San Francisco for the closing day and watched robots all the way from 1 pound up to 340 pounds compete. Robots were knocked out of the ring. One robot had all four of its wheel systematically sliced off. Others just battered each other repeatedly. Great fun.

Devolution

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ah, parodies (via)

Take Away Shows

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shins.takeaway.jpg

I've just recently stumbled upon blogotheque's Take Away Shows -- I was pulled in by their Shins performance (the 44th Take Away performance). The premise of the Take Away Shows is extreme simplicity: the band stops in some location in Paris, performs a song, and then moves to a new location, while a single camera and microphone follow them around. The result is something to watch streamed to the comfort of your Web browser or downloadable to your iPod.

The Take Away Shows ever-so-vaguely remind me of the Washington Post's virtuoso-violinist-meets-Metro experiment, except it leverage Pop instead of skill, is targeted at people who are in a position to enjoy (Parisian tourists), and comes without the social commentary. In other words, it was more enjoyable for me because you are watching a simple performance of The Shins strolling around from street corner to street corner, truly unplugged. What a treat it would be if the Washington Post could release the Joshua Bell performance in similar packaging.

Fun videos

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Kodak shows that it has a sense of humor about its dinosaur status -- originally produced for a conference via Scoble

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The Strata 3D plugin will make you oooh and aaaah over Photoshop CS3's new 3D features (Extended Edition only) via John Nack

This American Life on TV

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parakkum told me about This American Life migrating from radio to a Showtime series. I was dubious -- the personalities of TAL were more book and radio sorts of stars. My opinion is being swayed by the Chris Ware clip above. If the rest of their storytelling has similar sorts of production, I could really start to go for it.

Photoshop multitouch

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Admittedly, not all of this made intuitive sense to me at the first get-go and some of the interactions seemed like they required too much slow, deliberate movement (that may have just been a director's choice -- update: or its possible that this is just a conceptual mockup, i.e. fake), but an interesting take on how to port a Photoshop interface into a multitouch world. But I would be happy just to have a screen that big in the first place.

Update: eric dolecki on John Nack's blog points out that this may be a fake (i.e. concept mockup) as the UI sometimes leads the gesture.

via John Nack

Two items of lust from PMA 2007

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The ELPH-en Canon Powershot TX-1 may be replacing my master plan to acquire a Sony HDR-SR1. My YouTube and Google Video efforts are clear: my ELPH digital camera is a terrible video camera. But my ELPH doesn't shoot 720p HD. The TX-1 isn't an 'ELPH' but it sure looks like an ELPH replacement: it shoots 7.1MP and it's got the same boxy, deck-of-cards size of the old CompactFlash-era ELPHs.

The Sony HDR-SR1 is one of the hottest HD video cameras on the market, but it's not the type of camera that I carry around in my pocket; nor is it a camera that escapes notice if you're trying to sneak it into an event. One other big advantage: the TX-1 will be $500; the SR1 is over $1100. I know its not the only small HD video camera on the market, but I have a bit of brand loyalty for all things ELPH and ELPH-en. I say this without actually having seen any photo or video samples yet, but the Gizmodo TX-1 hands-on promises samples soon.

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The Jobo PhotoGPS unit is intriguing. I already have a GPS unit, but having a unit that snaps to the top of your SLR hotshoe is attractive even if a bit frivolous. Hopefully the included software that geotags your photos will help justify the $149 pricetag.

Things I Like: Democracy

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Democracy: Internet TVI was going to include the Democracy video player on the list of things I really liked about moving to OS X, and then I found out that it's actually been available for Windows as well. It looks and acts like an OS X application, so I guess I can continue to lump it into that category.

I've complained about video podcast playback in iTunes before, but I haven't been able to be that constructive about it. I know that it wasn't working for me, but I couldn't describe what would be better. Democracy is what is better.

Everything about the application made sense to me. It was really easy to subscribe to vodcasts, and it was really easy to download videos I had uploaded to Youtube and Google -- double bonus. Simple to discover, find, download, and watch -- that's pretty darn good.

New Sony Bravia Ad

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The new Sony Bravia ad delivers, after much anticipation from this clip, but now I want them to do it with Diet Coke and Mentos

Your Friday Cute

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I'm headed down to SoCal to hopefully see USC run over Arizona State and also hopefully not get rained on. I point you to pandas, which are not experts on hobo matters, but can comedically entertain nevertheless:

I'm still chuckling over the John Hodgman Areas of My Expertise talk at Codys SF. Some of you may already be aware that musician Jonathan Coulton accompanies Hodgman for his talks. I've never seen a book talk with an opening theme song and musical accompaniment, but I am now convinced it is a practice that should be adopted by every author. He is also the only author I have seen talk a brandy break (necessary due to the performance nature of his talk) as well as use walkie-talkies to do the Q&A (which works, for a bit).

Hodgman riffed on Benjamin Franklin, hoboes, Big Rock Candy Mountain, and more. If I didn't know better, I would think that Hodgman had been hanging out with metamanda, though I don't think she is nearly as knowledgeable about the Mall of America.

With the help m, who offered his tripod, I managed to shoot much more watchable video this time around.

Update: here's the video for the first half of the talk. After this, Hodgman and Coulton took a brandy break and then did Q&A. I only have a bit of the Q&A, which was hilarious in itself.

This is as much of the Q&A as I could record:

Talk: Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

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Fragile Thingsupdate: all videos from the talk are online now

The Villa crew went out to Keplers tonight to watch Neil Gaiman speak. It was very nice to actually see Gaiman at Keplers: last year Keplers went out of business just before he was going to speak. I would hate to think that Gaiman is somehow cursed. It was charming to see Gaiman reading Anansi Boys from a church pulpit instead, a but one-minute drive to my local bookstore has its benefits. It was also special because Gaiman helped promote the Save Keplers cause.

The Fragile Things talk was charming as Gaiman talks are. I like to argue that it is important to hear Gaiman speak if you are to read his works: much of what he writes, especially his children's books and short stories, make much more sense if you can imagine a Neil Gaiman voice in your head speaking with the appropriate rhythm and inflections. It is also fun to hear Gaiman speak because he can make a story about buying a pair of pants at Armani yesterday amusing. littlestar was entertained enough that she went and bought a copy of Fragile Things immediately afterwards, going against her inclination to wait for a smaller paperback edition. I, of course, am a whore for Gaiman product: excluding individual comic book issues, my current count is 24 plus an autographed backpack. My count is only impeded by my desire to acquire my Sandman within the same printing vintage.

In the past, I've generally taken lengthy notes at book talks at spent hours upon hours transcribing them into blog form. Now that I'm slowly coming to the realization that my camera takes video and therefore is also an audio recorder, I've decided to make life easier by just including video with short summaries.

NOTE: all of the videos are of crappy quality shot with my ELPH. I was more concerned with just getting audio -- think of the video as bonus ;).

Intro

See the extended for more videos

(Half-) White and Nerdy

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re-doing this post because the original video got taken down. Apparently they were going to do a 'World Premeire' on AOL, but then the video got leaked so AOL canceled it. Since then, the RIAA asked that the original post to YouTube be taken down, Weird Al uploaded his own official version to YouTube, and now all is back to normal, I guess.

BSG preseason 3 crack

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TiVo reminded me that Lost season 3 is approaching by recording a crummy 'survival guide', but that's not the season 3 I'm looking forward to because Lost season 2 just wasn't that good and I'd be happy to see it end with a bang this year. Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, is a season 3 I'm eagerly anticipating. It's going to be dark, dark, dark. At Comic-Con, they mentioned that the darker moments of season 2 will become the lighter moments of season 3. I can't wait, and thankfully scifi.com has started a ten-part 'webisode' series that leads into the Oct 6th premiere. There isn't too much material, but it's enough to remind me that I've been waiting to watch some good TV and the wait is almost over. 

If you're looking for more spoilers, there's always these notes from the Comic-Con BSG panel for mild spoilers and this Aint's It Cool News writeup for even more (thanks meta for the second link and the webisodes headsup).

Arian sent me this link to the fainting goats of Tennessee:

TiVo Desktop 2.3

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TiVo Desktop 2.3 is out with the long promised features of being able to transfer video to your PSP and iPod. This is a cool upgrade to have, but for me, the coolest thing has been the ability to auto-transfer and auto-convert videos in general. It's nice that I can then stick the converted videos on an iPod, but one of the major features of TiVo Desktop that has been missing for me is the ability to reasonably archive footage that I am interested in. I would like to keep around videos of cycling races that I know will never be put on DVD or available via BitTorrent, but with previous versions of TiVo Desktop the size of the .tivo files are often over 2GB. With TiVo Desktop 2.3, I've been able to autotransfer all my favorite cycling races and have them compressed down to about 400MB/hour. Even better: the conversion removes the .tivo DRM, so you can actually play the video in something other than Windows Media Player, like QuickTime on a Mac. Before anyone cries, "Piracy!" let me note that pirates already offer much higher quality video at the same file size than TiVo Desktop produces. TiVo Desktop 2.3 is a tool that lets you watch your video on your devices much more than ever before.

The iPod integration is a bit better than the PSP integration, which is more the fault of Sony than the fault of TiVo. I've converted many videos, but transfer very few of them to my PSP because I don't want to spend the time plugging in my PSP, navigating to the MP_ROOT directory, and then copying in videos manually -- which includes having to manually rename the files to MPxxxxx.mp4 (unless something has changed). iTunes made me realize that I've become far too lazy for that. The PSP has no iTunes equivalent to make it easy for third-parties to deliver content, unless you count the software that Sony expects you to shell out an extra $20 for, and why would any company ever spend money to support that? The fact is, no one can save the PSP from Sony.

TiVo Desktop still lacks the polish of TV TiVo, but TiVo is relinquishing a bit of control over your video and that's a very good thing. Is it worth $24.95? I would say a qualified yes: $24.95 is cheap for video, but I expect more polish out of something I pay for.

TiVo Desktop 2.3

Must share this video

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All year long my AP Psychology teacher in high school would entice us with the "narcoleptic dog video." Behave, and we would get to see the video at the end of the year. We behaved, we got to see the video, we laughed, we cheered. She was a good AP Psychology teacher.

Now, thanks to davextreme, I can relive that high school moment once more, and I'll share the video with you all without making you behave:

They call it, 'MagnaView'

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I'm starting to get addicted to United Nuclear. First it was aerogel, now it's magnets. Two of them items that caught my eye were the MagnaView fluid and the small neodymium magnets. The 'supermagnets' that can crush fingers also caught my eye, but that's about the last thing I want in my electronics-laden household.

I've wanted MagnaView fluid ever since I saw videos of it from SIGGRAPH. The small magnets were interesting because I want to make a traffic light trigger for my bike shoes. As it turns out, the small magnets are a little too weak: too weak to make a traffic light trigger and too weak to make the super spikes you see in on the United Nuclear page and in the SIGGRAPH ferrofluid sculpture.

The MagnaView fluid and small neodymium magnets are still fun to play with, but I'm definitely going to have to upgrade to a bigger magnet. My own manipulation of the fluid pales in comparison to the ferrofluid sculpture, but I've uploaded it to YouTube anyway in case you're interested.

I've posted a lot of transcripts and video from the MythBusters Encinal High Benefit. The video is shaky but has descent audio.

NOTE: The video of the six-pack cooling demonstration is still being verified by Google Video. From prior experience, that's gonna take awhile to be ready (YouTube couldn't handle a file that large).

Daily Show/Colbert Report on iTunes

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While MacRumors focuses on the fact that Apple is rolling out a new subscription pricing model for iTunes TV shows, all I care about is The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will be available for download for the first time -- sure to be much better than the streaming video on the Comedy Central Motherload that adds its own frame-dropping punchlines. I'm still crossing my fingers for the 50-disc yearly DVDs, but downloading does seem a bit more convenient. Each month of episodes (16 episodes) will cost $9.99.

lenticular_stamp1.gifThe Netherlands is releasing plastic 'video stamps.' The is the same technology that you've probably seen in the past with pieces of plastic you tilt back and forth, but it appears that it is done much better. More info at Gizmodo. I can't wait for the day that this becomes a consumer-available product and I can print off videos of my nephew for my parents to stick on their fridge.

Flying dogs

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I can't stop watching Vitalic's "Birds" video featuring flying dogs (download link). If Flying Dogs were real, they'd be even cooler than warty comb jellies. They even have a better soundtrack.

thanks bluemonday and glynnenstein

Warty comb jelly movies

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Photos won't do the warty comb jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium justice. Neither will these low-res movies I took because warty comb jellies are one of the simply coolest creatures that nature has created. If I had a lot of time and money, I would make a feature film where giant warty comb jellies take over Earth and force us to dance at all night raves to their bioluminescent glory.

warty comb jelly warty comb jelly warty comb jelly

'Lost' MythBusters Experiments

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Discovery has posted some videos of 'lost' experiments: MythBusters: Lost Experiments

These aren't really 'lost' because, as far as I can tell, they've all been shown on the show before. They're more like MythBusters shorts.

Ninja is hereditary

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My 11-month-old nephew, can't even really speak yet, but he's already practicing his ninja stance :

dg

(click for movie - 1.6MB)

Ninjas learn silence at a later age.

Old links to clear out 2005

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TiVo Download Trial experience

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I watched my free TiVo download of Red Trousers last night. TiVo is experimenting with letting users download video over the Internet and this free offering was either a beta test, publicity, or both. Red Trousers wasn't exactly the best video to judge the new technology. It's been awhile since I've last saw it so I don't know if some of the poor video quality was because it is a cheaply shot documentary about Hong Kong stuntmen or because TiVo compressed the heck of it.

The video quality is akin to VCDs -- it doesn't really look like the Best/High/Medium/Basic settings that you might be used to. It doesn't have the big blocky jumbles that you really notice on Medium and Basic, but it is clearly lower resolution than Best. Text is bit harder to read and there were a lot of edge artifacts. There were also spots in the video that seemed jerky and the color levels seemed off (blacks weren't right), but I don't know if that was the compression or the way Red Trousers was shot.

There is a blue recording icon when you are downloading the video. Unlike streaming video from other TiVos, you have to wait until the entire video downloads before you can start watching it, which probably means they don't think they can transfer it enough to show it in real time. I have no idea how long it took, but it doesn't matter too much as you can still record other shows at the same time. It would probably be more annoying if you were trying to have people over to watch the video and you were all sitting around waiting for the blue icon to go away.

It's hard to rate the overall the TiVo download technology as this wasn't the full experience. How much will it cost? Will you get to keep the video? Is this targeted at movies or TV shows? How will I choose what video I am downloading? I'm a bit annoyed at the lower video quality, which is probably enough to make me pass this up for movies, but for the right price the sit-on-your-butt convenience might be worth it.

Epic battles, with hornets and bees

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parakkum has noted that historic battles with swords and such never really occurred like they did in films. IIRC, they usually just had some mild skirmishing, followed by one side getting scared, retreating, and getting slaughtered as they ran away.

Bees and hornets, on the other hand, do full, thrash-'em-out, give-no-quarter, gore-fest battles. This video of hornets attacking a beehive would certainly get an R rating and use up plenty of the special effects budget. WARNING: do not watch the film if you find bees gore disturbing.

Hands on iPod with video, mixed impressions

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I got my first hands-on experience with the iPod with video yesterday. My immediate impression was, "It's bigger," even though it's smaller. They aided this illusion by shrinking the scrollwheel (comparison pic). The more interesting comparisons came once I picked it up and started playing with it. Perhaps it was a matter of expectations. If someone had said, "Checkout the new iPod photo with new screen," I probably would be more favorable to it. Two disappointments came to mind:

  1. I felt strained watching video on it's tiny screen, though this may have been because the first video I watched was the Fantastic Four trailer. Although the screen had beautiful colors, I felt that I had to concentrate to watch, something I don't have to do when I watch video on the larger screen of my PSP. I was biased against it going in and nothing I experienced changed that.
  2. The ergonomics are much worse. I appreciate that they made the iPod thinner, but they also decided to change the plastic face of the iPod. Instead of the smooth, rounded edges of the third- and fourth-generation iPods, it's back to the old sharp edge of the first-generation iPod. It didn't feel as comfortable sitting in my hand as I tried to manipulate the smaller scrollwheel.

I hope that this is not Apple's final statement on handheld video playback. Apple usually tries to one-up it's competition when it enters a new space, but now I feel like they have to catch up. The only advantages they have are in video content and software, especially now that I see that Sony wants to charge $20 for software to put content on your PSP. These are not advantages that I underrate, but the handheld experience currently does not measure up to them.

Short bits

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More Japan recollections coming, but I'm a bit sick from my adventures which is slowing me down. In the meantime:

Question: What do you call two typographers in one room?
Answer: An argument?
(retold on the new MS Font Blog)

Speaking of fonts, here's Vitaly Friedman's list of 20 best license-free fonts

In case you're tired of "As Long as You Love Me" on repeat from the Chinese Backstreet Boys, they have plenty of more adventures: collected videos and Chinese blog.

Frappr is a nice, simple tool for groups. It lets you map out who's where which can be useful for groups that you normally interact with online. My fraternity alumni have just started using it.

Final links before I go

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First gripes

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With euphoria of new announcements comes a bit of a hangover. Time to do a reality check (read on if you want my gripes and predictions):

Apple gets video

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ipods.video.JPGI've long wished for an iPod with video out that I could sync with my TiVo to transport my TV shows around. Now it looks like I will get something close as there is now an iPod that can playback video with video out as well as an a new 'FrontRow' media-center-like app, a new iMac with remote, TV shows for $1.99 via iTunes, and music videos. Today's laundry list of announcements show that Apple has thought about the full video experience that they wanted and waiting until they could have all the pieces in place: iPod, iMac, and store.

$1.99 is a really good price for TV shows IMHO, even if the video resolution is a bit low (324x240). It matches well againt the per episode cost of DVDs and comes with the additional benefit that you are only getting the episodes you want and sooner. It should also give Apple some leverage with the music industry, which is already losing sales due to the pricing of DVDs versus CDs. It's hard to argue for more than $0.99/song when an hour long TV show is only $1.99.

The iPod is ultimately a generic storage device, not a music player, and with the addition of photo and now video capabilities it is a more complete portable device for media. Video was the last pillar of standard media and they now have them all.

Quick thoughts

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No time, no time, some rapid fire rants and praise:

The good

Zimbra: I just check out their demo of their Web-based e-mail/calendar suite and it has some great stuff that makes me think, "why haven't more companies done that?" If there's an address in an e-mail you can mouse over and it pulls up a Google Map and if you mouse over a date reference ('tomorrow', 'Aug 20') it shows your schedule for that day. It's all about saving that extra step. The rest of the UI is pretty fancy and desktop-like, but I'm no longer sure why desktop-like is a plus.

Microsoft Max: A Microsoft product that I actually had fun with, though I have no idea why I would use it on a regular basis and the UI is confusing in all its modalities. I can't think of any other Microsoft product that I thought of as fun -- most just cause me to break DVDs (others agree). The feature I most enjoyed was the mantle, which arranges your photos in 3D space. (Examples: my nephew, Pinnacles, Red Bull). It looks great and it also lets you view more photos in less space. You can rearrange the clusters that it creates, but the ones it chose seemed intereresting. Side note: are the clusters in the mantle view randomly assigned? Some of their clusters are great, some make little sense, but overall it's a nice new spin on things.

iPod nano: strap one of those to the back of my cellphone and another to the back of my PSP. Slide another into my Elph case and ... oh, now I'm getting greedy.

Lost: is there anyone in the 18-35 demographic not watching this show? Everyone at the wedding was either watching the new episodes or catching up with the DVDs.

The maybe good

PSP + TV: The head of Sony says that soon you'll be able to watch video using the wireless capabilities of the PSP and sync with your DVR. Sounds pretty cool but I won't jump for joy unless I hear "TiVo."

The almost good

Google Desktop ate my CPU: I had to uninstall because the new Google Desktop decided that 99% of my CPU was quite nice to utilize, even when instructed to pause indexing. Rather unfortunate as there were some aspects of the sidebar I liked, even if it was ugly. You can tell that it's paying attention to what you're doing and trying to help and with a couple iterations I could imagine it becoming a great product, but not quite yet.

The probably ugly

Google Reader: davextreme pulled me aside during the wedding reception to let me know that Google had released a feed reader, news that I have been waiting to hear for a long time. Less than 24 hours is not enough to evaluate a feed reader properly -- for now I'll say that it's slick, but who wants to read through your feeds one entry at a time. BoingBoing alone has 20-40 entries a day -- even with keyboard shortcuts that means I have to hit 'j' 20-40 times to read just one site, at which point I want to rent a helper monkey to break up the monotony.

The ugly

iTunes 5.0 (Windows): can't seem to play a song without skipping and the 'streamlined' UI makes me wish for ole' big and bulky.

Flickr + Yahoo: the extra year of service plus two free giveaway accounts were nice presents, but Flickr still goes out for massages all the time and I don't want my Flickr ID linked to my Yahoo! ID.

TiVo: what the hell are they up to? I love my three TiVos, but their current directions have been entirely pro-broadcasters and anti-consumer. It's a very capable platform that they try to do less and less with every day. Why can't I play shows on my PSP? Why can't I share episodes with friends? Why is TiVo Desktop so buggy? Why why why?

Animation festival

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Went to Shrunken Head Man's presentation of films from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The first segment was best student films from 2003. The second segment was best professional films from 2004. Much fun, too tired to write much about it other than what's already here. I wish I had several of these on DVD, but for now I'll have to be satisified with the few clips I found online. I'm not going to write much about the ones I didn't like, except to mention that I think "Mr J. Russel" scarred both parakkum and honeyfields -- during another short, honeyfields muttured, "No, no more dogs," a bit louder than she intended, and a several rows laughed (probably because they shared the same fear).

Favorites that have clips online:

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How to Cope with Death, Ignacio Ferreras: one of my favorites, featuring a confrontation between an old woman and Death. short excerpt is online (have to navigate to films->How to Cope with Death).

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La Revolution des Crabes, Arthur de Pins: a funny film about crabs that can only move from side-to-side, unable to turn (I saw political undertones, others did not). Update: just realized clip online doesn't have subtitles. Oh well.

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Ryan (Chris Landreth): not quite a favorite, but visually interesting with an good human interest story (with an animation crossover). I personally was not a fan of the aesthetic.

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Proper Urinal Etiquette, Kurt Nellis: funny parody of classic education films dealing with the all important choice of urinal stall.

Robopolice

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Jed sent me this cool-looking video of a robotic policeforce of the future:
The Embassy Visual Effects Inc.

Oldie but goodie

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Here's an old clip that made it's rounds on the Internet awhile ago that I was reminded of. Still funny as the day I first saw it.
The Infamous Exploding Whale

Rescue Bots

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KoKoRo posted links to some videos of some interesting rescue robots with the typical snake- and spider-style. It immediately made me think of PARC's PolyBots. The suprising/cool robot of the bunch was a two-wheelin' jumpin' robot (check out the video): robot