September 2010 - Posts

Learn to make puppets from Jim Henson - Youtube Video
Friday, September 17, 2010 3:22 PM

i thought this was interesting a little 15 minute video from Iowa Public Television featuring jim Henson, the famous puppeteer as well as the creature of the muppets. The video spot aired in 1969 on the "Volume See" kids' show just prior to Sesame Street.

You don't jet to see very many videos with Jim Henson in them so it's sort of a treat. Jim shows kids how they make puppets and how to go about making your own. For all you Muppet fans out there it's worth a watch. :)
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Play Internet Flash Games on your iPad with iSwifter
Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:01 PM

Ever wish you could tap into all those great free flash based game on the web on your iPad? Apple's hatred for Adobe Flash has, for the most part, prevented that from happening. A new iPad application called iSwifter allows you to play flash games from popular networks like Yahoo Games, AOl Games.com, Facebook, and Kongregate right over the internet.

You don't download the game to your device so it's not actually playing on it. The application relays your touch based movements to the server where the game is actually playing. So there can be a issue with latency depending on what game you play. According to the developer the latency isn't that big of a deal and the service works for it's intended market. It's intended for casual gamers and games where the latency isn't a big factor. The Application only works on Wi-Fi, but 3G support is coming soon. 

The application is free and is only out for the iPad right now, but in the next couple weeks the application will be available for iPhones and the iPod Touch. Took bad you can't actually load flash games into the application from your computer, because that would be awesome.


 iSwifter for iPad
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Take HDR Images on iPhone 3GS - HDR Pro $2 App
Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:07 PM

I have a iPhone 3GS, which I recently updated to the new iOS 4.1, little did I know that the HDR photo feature was for the iPhone 4 only. LAME, right? Yeah that's what I said! So how do you get HDR photos on you iPhone 3GS without jailbreaking it?

For those who don't know what a HDR, High Dynamic Range, Photo is, it's created by taking three images, one over exposed, one at a normal exposure, and one under exposed. The three images are then merged into one image giving you an image that is perfectly exposed.

For HDR images on the iPhone 3GS we turn to Pro HDR app for the answer. A little $2 application that allows you to take HRD images right on your iPhone 3GS. You can take the image in a manual or auto setting, and you can even get more control over the resulting image once created. The application works pretty well, with some reviewers saying it works better than the built in one for the iPhone 4. HDR Pro does not work on the iPod Touch however, but a different HDR photo app, TrueHDR, does!

Pro HDR App Store
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Take Wireless photos with your DSLR to your iDevice
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:57 AM

I've been really interested in those wireless SD cards that allow you to upload images to a computer or internet service, like Flickr, for some time now. I was under the impression they were super expensive, but you can buy a Eye Fi 4GB version up at Amazon for $35 bucks. Eye Fi was one of the first wireless SD cards and now is pretty affordable.

The idea is pretty cool but of you need a computer to transfer the photos to and upload them to the social media sites so you might as well use a cable to connected your camera. I also like to view and edit images before uploading them to lets say Facebook. So I wouldn't even use the image auto uploader.

Then a post on Lifehacker made it all make sense to me. I have always wanted to take pictures on my DSLR and then be able to upload them to my iPhone. You would have to be in range of your Wi-Fi network where your idevice and Eye Fi card could both be connected, which is lame, but maybe Apple will enable the use of ad-hoc connection in the future so you could make a wireless connection between your idevice and your camera.

For now you will have to be within range of your wireless network in order for the photos to make it to your idevice. Still though a pretty nifty trick and could come in handy especially if you have a photo studio. That in my opinion is a much better use then just doing away with the connection cord.

 More over at Lifehacker
by willburns1 | with no comments
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OnStar gets a Taste of Facebook
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:21 PM

The news broke sometime last week that OnStar was working with Facebook to implement the popular social network into their OnStar system. Officially, however, General Motors and OnStar announced that other than a new logo the re-launch of the brand will include the ability to record audio Facebook updates through the OnStar system. You can also have OnStar read back your latest news from your news feed. The system will also feature the ability to read your text messages right off your phone for you. You can even reply with 4 predefined responces, all without taking your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes off the road.

Seem like a pretty awesome feature, but i'm not sure people who have OnStar in their cars are the kind of people who update their Facebook profiles from their cars. I think there might be a generation gap, where people with the service don't care to have it, and people how would want it won't pay for it or don't have it in their cars. That's just my opinion however, who knows it could be a big hit.


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Twitter Gets a Face Lift - Inline images and video, split-screen, and more!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:06 AM

Twitter has made a huge update to their website adding a bunch of new features and changing the layout. Not everyone will get access to the new Twitter tonight, but it will roll out to everyone eventually.

One of the most obvious features is the new split-screen view, which is much like the official Twitter app for the iPad. It shows your stream on the left, with tweets appearing on the right. The navigation has been moved from the right to the top. Twitter has also added keyboard shortcuts as well as unlimited scrolling for your tweet reading convenience.

One of the most exciting features however is the inline images and video. You no longer have to go to a website to view an image or video it pops up right in the Twitter window. All the major image and video tweeting service are supported, including video service like YouTube and Ustream.

Lifehacker video showing the keyboard shortcuts


VIA Download Squad
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Halo Reach Out Now!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:34 AM

Halo Reach is finally here and according to the reviews it doesn't disappoint. Halo Reach is the last of the Halo games and is a prequel to the original Halo trilogy. You take control of Noble 6 the rookie member of the Sparton Noble Team stationed on Reach, the Military strong hold for earth. Not a lot is known about Noble 6 not even the gender. The idea is you can customize the character after yourself and project yourself onto your character. As you play as Noble 6 you learn more about your 6 member team, each having a different skill sets and weapon specialties.

The whole campaign should take you about 9 - 10 hours to play through. There are a lot of familiar situations and Halo staples like big battlefields, awesome vehicles, lots of aliens to fight, and tons of weapons to fight off the covenant with.

One of the coolest changes to the familiar game play are the armor abilities. These equipment additions like sprinting, jet packs, and invincible armor, bring a whole new perspective and make the way to approach a battle totally different.

Multilayer is much of the same, but include new maps and updated game types. Firefight is back and better than ever with matchmaking allowing you to play with people you don't know over Xbox Live. You can also play in a new Firefight mode called versus where you compete for points as one side plays the opposing Covenant team.This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much in this game it's unbelievable. They have really jammed all kinds of awesome features and game types into this game it's everything we could have hoped it would be for the last Halo game ever.
by willburns1 | with no comments
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FaceTime might be coming to your desktop soon!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:51 AM

FaceTime, Apple's new video chat protocol, might make the leap from your idevices to your computer sooner than expected. Rumors have popped up say that the new version of the iLife suite will feature a version of ichat that will have FaceTime capability built in. Apperantly Windows users won't be left out either they will get their own version of iChat with FaceTime for Windows. All of these rumors come from a French Mac website called Mac4Ever.

If the Mac4Ever is right and iChat for Mac and Windows will feature FaceTime capability, it will mean big things for FaceTime. Unchaining FaceTime from all the idevices will bring huge functionality and capability for the new devices. You wouldn't need another friend to have an iPhone in order to use the FaceTime function which is huge.

I don't know how Mac4Ever got there information, but it's pretty safe to assume that Apple is going to integrate FaceTime at some point. It's just a matter of time.

VIA Download Squad  

by willburns1 | with no comments
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Boxee Box is available for Pre-Order!
Monday, September 13, 2010 1:38 PM

Well the Boxee Box that has been in the makings for a long time now is finally available for pre-order. Boxee, for those of you who don't know, is a media center application that runs one Mac, Windows, Linux, and Apple TV. It not only steams your media from your computer, but it also has channels that provide a wide range of content.

The Boxee Box is a stand alone device that will run the Boxee Media center application. The Box includes 802.11 N wireless connectivity, 1880P Hd video, Digital audio, and Qwerty keyboard remote among other things. The box is pre-selling on Amazon for $229.99, which is over twice the amount of the new Apple TV.

The big question is, is the Boxee Box going to be worth the money, or are they a minute late and a buck short to make this a big device. I would admit that Boxee has a better interface than Apple TV and better functionality. It has all those video channels that have some great content, and assuming they have Netflix support it will have everything that Apple TV has minus the TV and Movie renting.

The question is, is paying over twice the price worth it? Are you going to take advantage of all those channels or are you just going to stream your media to your TV. Are you going to want to rent Movies and TV shows or are you never going to do that? Do you already have iTunes content that you have purchased that you wouldn't be able to stream using the Boxee Box? Just some things to consider, but it's exciting to see it finally here.

Boxee Amazon Pre-Order

Update: It seems Amazon has now removed the price and the ability to pre-order the device, but you can sign up to be notified when it becomes available again.
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Youtube Gives Live Streaming a Try!
Monday, September 13, 2010 11:58 AM
It seems YouTube is pulling out all the stops, first free and rent-able movies and now YouTube is testing live streaming with some of it's Partners, Howcast, Next New Networks (Barely Political), Rocketboom and Young Hollywood. Live streaming web shows are not anything new. In fact they are pretty popular over at Ustream, web streaming service for pretty much anyone with a computer and webcam.

YouTube is testing out the platform for the next two days and depending on how well the testing goes will be rolling out the features to it's partners worldwide. No telling just yet if the feature will make it to every YouTube user or if it's just going to be available to YouTube partners. They have a live schedule setup for the next two days which you can view below.

It should be interesting to see if YouTube is able to get real broadcasters on board like actual TV shows, news, music, etc. If they were able to do that it could mean big things for YouTube!


by willburns1 | with no comments
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T-Pain AutoTune Sends Autotune Voicemails
Friday, September 10, 2010 1:56 PM
So the T-Pain app has seen a lot of really great updates in it's time in the App Store, but this one has got to be one of the coolest. The new update to the iPhone app lets you record a 45 second autotune message with or without music and send it to a friend. The service actually calls the person and plays back your autotune message with a short T-Pain message at the beginning.

You can send one for free to try it out but after that you have to make an in app purchase to send them. You get 3 credits for $.99, but this weekend to get things going you can buy 5 for $.99. It would be awesome if the feature was free, but really how many time are you going to send someone an autotune message?


by willburns1 | with no comments
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Is Facebook Places and Foursquare a Security Risks?
Friday, September 10, 2010 12:02 PM

Ever since websites like FourSquare started to pop-up people have been worried about "over sharing" turning sites like Facebook Places and Foursquare into an information source for robbers telling them "please come and rob me because I'm not at home!" In fact since Facebook Places made it's debut a burglary ring in Nashua, New Hampshire began targeted people who checked into places on Facebook. The police caught them after they broke into 50 homes and stole $100,000 worth of goods.

So the question is, are websites like Facebook Places and Foursquare a security risk? Obviously they are because people are using it to time burglaries! Does this  mean you can't use and enjoy them? No, I think there are ways to enjoy these services without over sharing your location and making them a security risk.

First of all I would never check-in at home. That's probably the biggest mistake. If you check in at home then people know where you live and that can be a bad thing. Even if someone knows your not at home if they don't know where you live they can't really rob you know can they. If they have the resources to find out where you live they can probably time a burglary without Facebook.

Only share you location with people you trust. If you trust your friends then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Even if someone uses one of your friends profiles to find where you are they still don't know where you live. If your on Facebook and are worries about security make a group of people you trust and only let them see your location. 

My perspective is if they are close enough to know where you live then they can plan a robbery without the use of Facebook. Would Facebook make it easier? Sure, but you can't live your life like the movie "Conspiracy Theory." If someone you trusted asked what you were doing this weekend you wouldn't wonder why they were asking.

I would say enjoy Facebook Places and Foursquare, don't check-in at home, be careful who can see your check-ins, and take the bottle off the door knob and don't rig your filing cabinets to explode.
by willburns1 | with no comments
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Google Instant - Results as you type
Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:19 PM

Google released an interesting feature this morning called Google Instant. It's an enhancement to the Google search engine. It allows you to see search results as you type saving you time. According to Google people take on average 300 milliseconds between key strokes and only 30 milliseconds to glance at another part of a page. Giving you the ability to type and scan the search results at the same time.

Google instant saves you on average 2-5 seconds per search. Google instant also has a smarter prediction algorithm that provides the top 10 best predictions of what you are searching for also saving you time. With Google instant you you can scan the results as you type allowing you to change your search terms all without hitting return.

If you want to give Google Instant a try just enable it in your preferences, or go here
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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TrackDropper - Geocaching for Music
Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:41 AM

TrackDropper is a little open source Android app that allows you to drop music from your music collection at specific locations. When someone is close to where you dropped it they can pick it up and add it to their music collection, leaving a track in it's place. Think Geocaching but or music. It's more of a proof of concept than anything else and was just one of the many hacks that was put out by the Music Hack Day London.

I think TrackDropper is a great idea and I'm sure one of the big hitters will jump in and implement something like this. In it's current for however Apple would never approve such an app. We shall see if something like this takes off, and why limit the content to songs why not pictures and video?


 
by willburns1 | 1 comment(s)
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CBS tweets video of woman getting hit in the face with a watermelon to promote their show?
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:10 PM


I like watching videos of people get hurt just as much as the next guy, but I have to say CBS using this video of a woman getting hit in the face by a watermelon shot from a giant sling shot to promote "The Amazing Race" is kind of low. Don't get me wrong it's funny, but published by anyone else would have been funnier. It's just seems wrong to promote your show with such a HAHA Face vs. watermelon = BRUTAL type video. If you were trying to make something go viral to promote your show I guess you succeeded, but I hope that lady is okay and doesn't have a concussion. These little watermelons are not that soft and seems to hit her really hard. I feel bad is all I'm saying.

The CBS Tweet
by willburns1 | with no comments
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