June 2010 - Posts

Hulu Plus finally launches – Mostly what we have heard some surprises
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:40 AM


There has been a lot of talk about Hulu plus, the premium paid service offered by Hulu, and a lot of speculation to what would be included. The service has finally launched and this is what you get for your $10 bucks a month.

You get to watch every episode of the current season of several popular shows, not just the last 3 like Hulu free members. You also get access to all the seasons and episodes of over a hundered other  shows both newer and classic shows not on the air anymore. below is the list of shows you get to watch all episodes of the current season.

You can watch these episodes on your computer of course, but you can now watch them on your TV using your samsung TV/Blu-ray player. To my surprise Hulu has added support for your iphone, iPad, iPod touch. They are also planning on bring Hulu to PS3, Xbox, Sony TVs/Blu-ray players, and Vizio TVs/Blu-ray players.

It's interesting that they are coming to Apple's idevices and not android. Perhaps thats in the works was well, but Hulu being a flash based website went straight for the idevice market and not the easier android market. It's also interesting, and this isn't discussed in any of the Hulu documentation, that they will continue to show commercials even for the paid customers. I assume Hulu feels that the extra content and versatility is enough to warrant the $10 a month price tag. I am not so sure that is the case for me at least, I think Hulu underestimates how much people hate commercials.

It's great to see Hulu coming to several devices, including the Xbox, which in my mind is what they needed to do to make the service a success. I am not sure people are going to be happy about the commercials still being there, but we will have to see how people respond to it. I think the $10 a month price tag is worth it if you watch many of the shows offered on Hulu. It's definitely cheaper than buying a season pass on iTunes, the difference being you get to keep it forever and there are not commercials.

Hulu Plus Website

by willburns1 | with no comments
Filed under: ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
iPhone iOS 4 Ready for Download - My Favorite New Features
Monday, June 21, 2010 1:33 PM

Yeah the new iPhone OS 4 is finally out and ready to download. The Download released a little after 1 PM EST and is ready for download. It has been a long awaited update and has some great features. I thought I would talk about some of my favorite features and maybe some you didn't hear much about.

Multitasking

Multitasking is one of the most anticipated features of the iPhone since it came out and didn't have it. The way the new iOS 4 hands multitasking in such a way to prevent people from freezing their phones and killing their battery life. It will allow you to switch between application but will freeze the app when you leave. There will be special API's that will allow apps to do certain things when not in use. This is the best of both worlds, you get multitasking and battery life.

Folders 
I am a big fan of the new folders feature. It will allow you to put your apps in folders to cut down on the space they take up. This will allow you to categorize your apps so they don't take up as many pages and allow you to find them faster.

New Mail Features

There have been several updates to the Mail program one of the best will allow you to view all your emails in one unified inbox, something I have been waiting for a long time. Another feature not talked a lot about is the ability to view emails organized in threads. Rather than having emails, in the same conversation, appearing separately on the page you will have the option to view them in thread form like so many email clients, like Gmail, do.

Home Screen Wallpaper
You can now put wallpaper on your home screen. The screen behind the buttons on iPhone has always been black, but now you can put your own wallpaper there to bring a custom look to your phone.

Camera Zoom
The new camera app on the iPhone will feature a digital zoom finally. There have been tons of apps that can provide this function but now it will be built into the main camera application.

Spell Checking
The new OS will have spell check something I will use a lot. If you read my blog you already know that. No more miss spelled words in my Facebook status updates for me. :)

Bluetooth Keyboard Support
Lets say you have a long email to write and you only have a bluetooth keyboard and an iPhone. Well now you can connect that keyboard to the iPhone and type up the email right there on your phone. A pretty handy way of getting work done on the go.

Oh, there are so many more great feature to the new iPhone OS 4, but there are too many to mention. There are over a 100 new features and the OS feels great, smooth, and fast. Go update your phone or ipod touch today.
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Filed under: , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Apple Releases a New Mac Mini - Gets HDMI Output
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:09 PM

The New Mac Mini is out and has more than was expected. There had been rumors all over the Internet that the next Mac Mini would have a HDMI output, and long and behold it does. That’s not all it has though. It got a new all aluminum body as well as a RAM and CPU speed increase. It’s crazy now how much RAM you can put in this little thing! The Mac Mini comes with 2GB standard but a small panel on the bottom allows easy access to the RAM allowing up to 8GB total.

I am most excited about the HDMI connection on the back, allowing you to send 1080P video and digital audio directly to your TV and stereo. The previous version of the Mac Mini had only a Mini DVI port, which could be used with an adapter to provide HDMI to your TV but still did not have support for digital audio.

The new Mac Mini is the perfect computer to connect to your TV for the ultimate media center. I have been waiting for a while to get a Mac Mini, I have been waiting for them to make it the best and most practical machine for the media center job. I think the Mac Mini is there and it’s time to think about getting one. Other than a media center the Mac mini has plenty of power to be a desktop for any user.

The Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $699 (US), includes:

2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
Gigabit Ethernet;
four USB 2.0 ports;
SD card slot;
one FireWire® 800 port;
one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
HDMI to DVI video adapter;
combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).


by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Filed under: , , , , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
The Pirata Boat Race - Flash Game that Uses the iPhone as a Controller!
Monday, June 14, 2010 11:46 AM

It's about time someone used the iphone as a controller for a computer game. I think this is long over due. I don't know why there aren't more out there, but I think it's a cool concept and works pretty well.

The game is called pirate boat race, a game that looks similar to something you would see on the Wii. You have to download the free Boat Remote app from the app store before you can get started. You can then go to the pirata boat race website and play the flash game online, no download needed.

Once on the game's website, you take a picture of one of the two barcodes to assign an iphone to one of the two teams. I assume when connected to the same Wi-Fi as the computer the iphone will sync with the computer and you will be ready to race. You can have up to 10 people playing, 5 for each team, split between the two teams. Once everyone who is playing is assigned to a team you start the race. You move your iphone in a rowing motion as fast as you can to try and beat the other team to the finish line.

A pretty unique idea for a flash game. Wouldn't it be cool to have all kinds of other flash  based games online that could be played using your iPhone as a controller? Well give it a try in your office, and don't let your boss see you wasting time with silly games.


by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Googly Eyes Clock - Not the most accurate but Interesting
Friday, June 11, 2010 1:42 PM


So this is not the most accurate clock but a bet you people won't even know it's a clock when they see it. Instead of the clock hands moving around the clock face this clock has eyes. The left one is the hour and the right one the minutes.  If you are the kind of person that doesn't really need to know exactly what time it is and lives life at your own pace well this clock is perfect. It will tell you about what time it is and that's all you need really. I think the time in the photo above is, what do you think, 10:25 maybe. When anyways who doesn't want a goggly eye clock, am I right?

$22 Googly Eyes Clock
by willburns1 | with no comments
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Bottsand Oil Recovery Ship - What those Exist!
Friday, June 11, 2010 1:12 PM


So I saw this on Gizmodo and thought to myself, what an oil recovery ship, why haven't I heard of this before? The ship looks just like any other when it's on the move, but when it's ready to clean up some oil it splits in the middle and opens into a V shape. It can clean up to 140 cubic meters of water per hour in it's 790 cubic meter tank.

Just one of these ships is not enough to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but every little bit helps. Why is there no a whole fleet of these ships to roll out whenever there is a oil spill? According to a Gizmodo commenter there are only two of them in the world.

Someone needs to make a bunch of these ships and have them on reserve for when something horrible happens like the oil spill in the gulf. I suppose it's not very cost effective and disasters like this only happen every once in a while. Still it would be super cool to see a bunch of these ships rolling in to cleaning up all the oil.

   
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Filed under: , , , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
SparkleShare – Dropbox Alternative that's not Cloud Based
Friday, June 11, 2010 12:13 PM


Dropbox is a great cloud based file syncing application. The only problem is you have to pay for more storage over the 3GB you get for free. It's great to be able to access your files from any web browser or  smartphone. What ends up happening, in my case at least, is 90% of the time you are just adding the files to send to someone else.
SparkleShare is similar to Dropbox except it isn't a cloud based syncing system. Instead you share local folders to your friends and family one SparkleShare. So the files are transferred directly to their computer without the middle man.

The advantage of this method is you host the server locally, so you don't have to worry about storage space or monthly fees. The downloads and uploads should be faster because they are going directly to the other persons computer, rather than to the cloud and then to recipient.

SparkleShare is also open source and will be cross platform. None of the versions are out yet because  they are still in development, but a version for Linux, Mac and Windows is in the works. It's sure to be an interesting alternative to Dropbox and might be more useful in the long run.

SparkleShare VIA Download Squad
 
by willburns1 | with no comments
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Team Fortress 2 to come out for Mac Today
Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:55 PM


The ever so popular first person shooter Team Fortress 2 is supposed to arrive for Mac today June 10, 2010. The official Team Fortress 2 Blog had this to say

“Big things are happening RIGHT NOW at Valve. Things involving cultivated tree-fruit. BIG things. Things that rhyme with "grapple." Things that rhyme with "Speem Gortress zmavailable on the Babac.”

I think that is pretty clear indication that Team Fortress 2 is coming out for Mac Today! For those of you who sport a Mac and have a NVIDIA GeForce 8 series graphics card or higher can rejoice. As for me, I'm one of the unfortunate ones to have an iMac with an older graphics card not supported by many of the better games on Steam.

Team Fortress is a pretty awesome game and this is who the writer over at Macworld describes it.

”Team Fortress 2 has one of the most unique art-styles of any game out there and one of the most balanced class systems of any multiplayer game ever made. Imagine a Norman Rockwell painting that’s trying to kill you. That’s Valve’s unique team-based multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2 in a nutshell.”

It's pretty funny to think about a Norman Rockwell painting trying to kill you. I guess I'll just have to run to the store and pickup the Orange Box for the Xbox 360. It's worth having anyway for Portal, Half  Life 2 and of course Team Fortress 2. So those of you fortunate enough to have an updated graphics card, get onto Steam and try not to get shot by Norman Rockwell, he can be pretty ruthless.   
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Facebook gets a Contact Importer
Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:41 PM


The great thing about Facebook is being able to send out invites to people for events and parties. It's always been a pain to invite people without Facebook to events because you have to enter their email address in manually. Well Facebook has just made it a little bit easier to invite your non-Facebook friends with their new contact importing system.

You can import contacts from email services like Gmail and Yahoo, as well as from apps like Outlook and Apple Mail. You can even export you contacts from your address book to a CSV file and import them that way. Once imported you can select them for the event invite just like other Facebook friends.  

They receive an email with a link to the event page, which even allows the non-Facebook person to RSVP without the need for a Facebook account. They show up on the list of people attending with a default profile picture and the first part of their email address, the portion before the @, so you can identify who it is that's coming. Facebook blocks the email address from the @ to the .com so not to expose the persons email address to everyone else.

Some people might see this as a way to spam your friends who are not on Facebook, but I see it as a way to inform, and get all your friends together, no matter your friends Facebook account status. I can't tell you how many times people have missed out on events just because they were not on Facebook to get the invite. This way no one get's left out and everyone have be invited and know what's going on.  


by willburns1 | with no comments
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Rock Band 3 Adds New Gameplay and Keyboards
Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:47 PM


The new Rock Band 3 has some great new gameplay features and now offers a new instrument, the keyboard. It's an interesting concept and I have always wondered how would you make a keyboard a part of a game like Rock Band. Would it look like a Little Tikes keyboard with big colored buttons, or would it look more like a regular keyboard that would be just as hard to play as a piano?

Well it seems they figured out how to make it work with a keyboard that looks like a regular keyboard just shortened. The keyboard has two full octaves on it with the five different color strips at the top. The difficulty determines how close you have to be to the right keys and the range you will be playing in. Seems like a pretty clever system and the harder the difficulty the closer you are to actually playing the song correctly on the keyboard.

I have always wondered if a game would ever come out that would actually teach you an instrument. Ever since Guitar Hero and Rock Band became popular I thought that perhaps it would someday happen. The new Rock Band is starting to approach that, which is pretty exciting, but it's hardly a teaching tool. It's cool and fun, I'm sure, all the same.

Rock Band 3 also features a pro difficulty for the main instruments allowing you to do new and more difficult techniques that add and multiply your score. I think the new Rock Band looks like a lot of fun and Rock Band 3 will work with all your old instruments, so you don't have to buy ones. If you want the keyboard, however, you will of course have to purchase that one before you can jam out.

 

by willburns1 | with no comments
Filed under: ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Lomography Spinner 360° - Lomo that takes 360 Degree shots for only $182
Wednesday, June 09, 2010 1:16 PM


 With this new lomo product you can take 360 degree photos! It features a spinning mount built right  into the camera. You get your tripod out, attach the Spinner 360, make it level with the built in bubble level on the top of the camera, and then pull the chord. When you let go the camera spins around quickly and in one split second captures everything around you.

The photos are pretty cool nothing like I have ever seen. You can pick this camera up for $182 USD, which is pretty cheap considering what it does. Its probably the most affordable camera that has a costume setup for taking 360 degree images. Sure you can take a bunch of images in a row and stitch them together, but to do it well you still need a custom mount to keep everything level and consistent.

I love toy cameras they are great. I have a fisheye lomo and I love it. Takes really cool fisheye shots which are always interesting. I bought it for about $40 which is a lot cheaper then trying to buy a fisheye lens for a camera.

Lomography Spinner 360°


by willburns1 | with no comments
Filed under: , , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Steve Jobs wants FaceTime to become an Open Standard
Wednesday, June 09, 2010 12:46 PM


Steve Jobs has a lot of work to do if he wants to make FaceTime, the video conferencing function on the new iphone, an open standard for mobile video conferencing. Apple is sure to ship millions of the new iphone all over the world and all of them featuring the new video conferencing feature. That's a good start to making the software behind it the standard, but it's going to take some convincing other to adopt it.

Apple needs to convince companies like Cisco, who have all kinds of video conferencing hardware and software, that their open standard is the best, at least for mobile phones. Apple has their work cut out for them when it comes to their newly made rival, Google, who will probably try their own hand at mobile video conferencing. Microsoft is another big company that might be resistant to the standard.

Perhaps the simple fact that there will be so many handsets out already using the standard companies will not fight it. If they made their own then it would only work with their phones making the feature a lot less useful. Apple on the other had has the advantage of having a huge mobile market share and their phones are often times a staple for family members and business people.

It would be pretty awesome, however, if FaceTime became a standard because then you could not only video conferencing with other mobile users but with other devices and software like Skype. If it were a standard then a meeting using Cisco's Telepresence hardware could include as associate on the road from his or her phone.

The possibilities are blowing my mind! It's strange to think that in less than a month you could have someone video calling you rather than just using voice. I though it was interesting that in the promo video, shown at WWDC 10, they showed a deaf person using FaceTime with sign language. I wonder if deaf people will start using FaceTime as a better form of communication. The thought had never crossed my mind that mobile video conferencing could be a hugh help to deaf people.

Well Jobs has promised to make it a standard, but we will have to see if he succeeds. I think it could mean great things if he does and would be great for mobile communication and could change the way we talk and interact with each other and our mobile devices.

 

by willburns1 | with no comments
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
NinjaCam for iPhone – Take picture without people knowing!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 2:38 PM


I am not sure if this app is going to be used to do much good, but it allows you to take photos without anyone being the wiser. Let's say for example you want to take a picture of funny looking person on the bus. You don't want the people behind you thinking you are some kind of weirdo who takes random pictures of people. So, what do you do? Launch NinjaCam which presents you with a screen of innocent looking text that looks like some generic app. When you touch anywhere on the screen it snaps a photo without changing anything on the screen. The phone will vibrate to let you know the picture has been saved.

It's also handy for taking pictures in museums and other place where photos are not allowed. If anyone gives you are hard time just flip your phone over and explain to them that you were just reading something on your phone. It's a pretty sweet app and will only cost you $1.99, and it could spare you from a good deal of uncomfortable public situations.

$1.99 NinjaCam @ App Store
by willburns1 | with no comments
Filed under: , , , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Change Firefox Spellcheck Notation
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 1:55 PM

Firefox has a great spellchecker built in, but it only puts a little squiggly line that notates a misspelled word. If that's what you like you can leave it that way, but if you are like me and want something a little more significant and noticeable than you can change it pretty easily.

I got these instructions from Download Squad so thanks to them for posting it.

1.Enter About:config in the Firefox address bar. If it pops up an alert, tell it that you know what you're doing and proceed.
2.Search for ui.SpellCheckerUnderlineStyle. If you find anything, skip to step 5.
3.If your system is like mine, you found nothing. That means you have to add this configuration value. Right-click the main portion of the window and select New > Integer.
4.Now, enter ui.SpellCheckerUnderlineStyle to create a setting by this name.
5.Now you can set the value of this setting to one of several options: 0 for no highlighting, 1 for a dotted line, 2 for long dots, 3 for a single straight line, 4 for a double underline (like you see above – that's my pick), and 5 for a squiggly line, which is the default.

I like the single red line, the number 3 option, the best because I feel the double red line is a little too much. It tends to crowed the other words in the line underneath it. It does, however, cause me to fix the misspelling faster but it's also a little bit annoying. I think that single red line shows up better, but also stays out of your way.  



by willburns1 | with no comments
Filed under: ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
Microsoft Office Web Apps out in the Wild
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 11:34 AM


It seems that Microsoft has opened its doors to its online office apps. So this means that all you need is a LIVE account and you can go to office.live.com and start using the online versions of Microsoft Office for free. This is great news for anyone that can't bring themselves to purchasing the Microsoft Office suite and need to open and edit Office documents.

With the use of Skydrive, which is built into the online office tools, you can map local folders to your online space up to 25GB. They put a limit of 50MB per file so files large can not be uploaded, but how often are office files larger than 50MB? You can sync documents from computer to computer, and from Mac to Windows, I wish however, you could view the synced documents online. They don't allow you to open and edit documents synced from a computer online, but you can sync them to your computer and open them locally.   

You can upload, edit, and create Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote documents all online and free.  With the combination of Skydrive and Office live your documents have never been so portable. It's like having Dropbox integrated with your office suite and an online space to create and share. If you don't have Skydrive and have not used office live yet I would suggest you check it our it's pretty sweet.

 

 
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
Filed under: , , , ,
Add to Bloglines Add to Del.icio.us Add to digg Add to Facebook Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Newsvine Add to reddit Add to Stumble Upon Add to Shoutwire Add to Squidoo Add to Technorati Add to Yahoo My Web
More Posts Next page »