Cheesy Pick-up line Friday #5

Chris Brooker
June 28, 2009

Another delayed master piece. Enjoy.

Cheesy Pick-up line Friday #4

Chris Brooker
June 20, 2009

I’m so sorry for the delay. I didn’t get near the computer all weekend only now did I have a chance to edit and post this video. I’m going to take steps to make sure that it’s posted on time in the future. Enjoy!

The IT Industry – Editorial

Chris Brooker
June 19, 2009

3gs-teardown

Saddly, I didn’t write this, it’s a comment post I found on Engadget that so beautifully expresses how I feel I just had to share it. This is in response to the comment:

“This is a useless iPhone release to prevent guys from buying the Palm Pre”

I know what you are saying tweak.

But… the illusion that IT people suffer from is that they are part of some high speed moving wave of amazing.

The truth is that IT is more like molasses, a slow moving glue designed to leach wallets with the occasional jump forward every 10 years or so.

Apple for some strange reason is perceived as both the fastest moving and the biggest let down. It’s neither, Apple comes out with an innovation every year or so and mostly the innovations are not IT related so much as design manufacturing, sales or integration related. The iPhone has some nifty bits, but its main features sit in design, sales and integration, not the invention of a new technology.

Palm? Hardly innovative, over 10 years ago they made a PDA OS, then Palm bought Handspring who had licensed the OS to make a phone, nothing changed for years except maybe giving up on themselves and then with a design guy from Apple they come out with the Pre, which is from all accounts is another whatever piece of plastic from China with client side web apps (now there is a new idea!). I’m not down on Palm, its just business as usual.

Intel, what they added another core, that was being first done in the late 90’s. Blu Ray? the key inventions are circa 1994. Co-processors, talk about the magic roundabout, here it comes again…

The rest of it is simply economies of scale, making things cheaper and smaller over time. Amazing IT? And interestingly the real leaps in IT are usually despised by the IT crowd, because it means change, which means work and IT people prefer to sit on their ass, chat to mates and impress the lesser people by demonstrating that they have done the same thing so many times its basically muscle memory, so it seems quick.

This iPhone 3GS has got F all to do with the Pre and a lot more to do with 2 year contracts coming up. Surprise, surprise a sales strategy, not an IT one. The $99 8Gig, Geez that was obvious the moment the first model was released, even the 2 year timing of it, that’s manufacturing and sales. They would have been sitting around 6 months before Jobs walked on stage and set the $99 timing for the 8gig back then.

We wish these companies were into IT, but they are into business. All the fanboys can cry into their hankies, cause you know what, we don’t even rate on the sales chart. You want to be important to the companies you buy your crap off, move to another industry.

Cy Starkman

Well said Cy.

Researchers Expand Clinical Study of Neural Interface Brain Implant: Scientific American

braingate-neural-interface_1This is actually some exciting news!

The researchers over at Brown University has been given the go-ahead from the FDA to run a pilot clinical trail to expand it’s work on Neural Interfaces. In 2000, Brown University began a program named BrainGate which includes a baby aspirin–size brain sensor containing 100 electrodes, each thinner than a human hair, that connects to the surface of the motor cortex (the part of the brain that enables voluntary movement), registers electrical signals from nearby neurons, and transmits them through gold wires to a set of computers, processors and monitors. The purpose of this trial was give direct control from the brain to artificial limbs.

BrainGate2 hopes improve on the original BrainGate by tapping both motor cortex’s as appose to one in the previous study, and better understand brain signals and improve our methods to decode them.

Let me know when I can expand to mental resources through a direct connection to the internet. 🙂

Full Story via Scientific American
Plug and Play: Researchers Expand Clinical Study of Neural Interface Brain Implant: Scientific American.

Cheesy Pick-up line Friday #3

Chris Brooker
June 12, 2009

Here’s your weekly dose of sexy. enjoy.

Holy crap! I actually got a new(ish) PC!

Chris Brooker
June 12, 2009

It’s true. I know I’m a tech nerd and don’t usually get so far behind on technology. But money has been tight and mortgages payments and such seem to take precedence over PC upgrades. Especially when I use my laptop for almost all my PC needs.

My desktop computer was an aging Intel P4 2.8ghz with 2gb of DDR ram and an AGP ATI Radeon x850. This beast served me well and I’m sure will continue for years to come but in a completely different capacity.

I had given up on playing modern PC games a while ago when I couldn’t play Bioshock and the upgrade path was basically everything had to go. All gfx cards were now PCI-Express so new mobo. PSUs required different and additional connectors, so new PSU. RAM was all DDR 2 now, so very little could be reused to build a modern system.

The main reason I wanted something with a little more power was video editing. I’ve been shooting a lot of h.264 720p video lately and all of the computers I owened could not playback that format in real-time while editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Click play, hear the audio and watch a 1 frame every 10secs slide show. Terribly frustrating.

I setup a Craigslist search feed for PC in my price range and waited. Finally after a few weeks I found this;

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz Processor
ASUS P5LD2 Motherboard
4 Gig Corsair DDR2 XM2 800Mhz RAM
160GB SATA2 7200RPM Western Digital Cavair Hard Drive
EVGA Nvidia 8500 GT PCI-e Video Card
Trendnet Wireless Ethernet Card
450 Watt Power Supply
Hewlett Packard Lightscribe 48X DVD Burner
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz Processor
ASUS P5LD2 Motherboard
4 Gig Corsair DDR2 XM2 800Mhz RAM
160GB SATA2 7200RPM Western Digital Cavair Hard Drive
EVGA Nvidia 8500 GT PCI-e Video Card
Trendnet Wireless Ethernet Card
450 Watt Power Supply
Hewlett Packard Lightscribe 48X DVD Burner

For $325 🙂

I went and got it. Throw on Windows 7 RC1. It totally flies in comparison to my P4.

W00t, it’s not the best. I would prefer an Intel i7 920 with 6gb of DDR3 and SLI nVidia GeForce GTX 295’s. But there is no budget for that. I’m just happy that I’m finally able to edit my video!

photo-1

photo 2-1

Update – June 17, 2009

After some tweaking, BIOS updates and installing Windows 7 RC 64-bit gutting the PC and rebuilding it in a better case with a better PSU. I’ve managed to get those numbers increased (if they really mean anything).

CPU, Memory and HD data rate are now 5.9
Bumped Graphics up to 5 and Gaming graphics up to 4.7.

All I need is a decent Graphics card and I’m good to go again.

Not bad at all for  $325! 😀

Never to be heard again….

Chris Brooker
June 12, 2009

A lonely lost pair of iconic white Apple ear buds lost… to never be heard again.

ear buds

Make Web Not War – Microsoft Conference

Today is Make Web Not War an event hosted by Microsoft Canada at the Ted Rogers School of Management. First, I must say this is a beautiful building. Large, clean, bright with big atriums and tables outside. School was never like this when I attended.

I did get here a little late but I did make it in time for David Crow’s keynote presentation. W00t!

As a side-note, I’ve never heard MS say “WordPress” so many times. Very kewl.

I shot a great deal of video so far and it will better tell the rest of the story. Once I have a chance to review and edit the footage. I’m just going to post images I have taken.

img_0085One of the atriums with tables and a Tim Horton’s Express. Microsoft provided coffee and breakfast, so I didn’t have to visit it. Win!

img_0077Breakfast: coffee black and a blueberry scone. Yum. That device is for real time voting. Kewl. We used it a bit, but we also just raised our hands. Twitter was also in full force.

img_0078David Crow just starting his keynote. Very kewl stadium class room. I’ve only seen these things on TV. So awesome. One problem is there were very few plugs. Laptop #Fail. Yes, that’s a Mac in the lower left-hand corner. This is Make Web Not War we’re all welcome. Macs, Linux, Windows all co-mingling. The blue mat is for a boxing throw down later in the day.

img_0076

img_0082Yes, this is a nice buidling. More to come!

Distillery District – Sunny Saturday and Illuminato

Chris Brooker
June 9, 2009

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and Krista and I decided to head down to the awesome Toronto Distillery District.

img_0041chillin’ for a photo out front of what I believe is the Boiler Room. From the looks of it, amazing patio.

img_0042

img_0045doing my best cheesy boy band pose. Think I need to work on that.

img_0038

img_0047this thing has some crazy name based on War of the Worlds but to me, it will always be that evil walker from Half-Life. Apparently the local residents don’t really like it, I’ll trade you condos.

img_0050

img_0051the awesomest condos ever! I would love to life in one of these corner, all glass condos. Maybe I just like people watching me. But the constant attention would force me to keep it clean. The recording studio on (the one with the guitars) is just awesome.

img_0053hanging in front of the crazy face monster at the entrance to the Distillery District.

img_0056you are my minion! I will sit on you!

img_0059the all important coffee at Balzac’s. Upstairs with a Peanut butter square.

img_0066hey handsome fellow

img_0068jazz band playing inside the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. There were a whole bunch of little performances going on all around the theatre for Illuminato. It was really kewl. Each auditorium had a random performance and often something would break out right in the middle of the lobby. Awesome!

img_0069watched a kewl cabaret show in one of the theatres. Wish I could remember the names of the performers. Still an excellent day!

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (#WWDC) 2009

Chris Brooker
June 8, 2009

wwdc

If anyone follows technology than you know today at 9am PST (1pm EST) was the kick-off keynote where dreams are typically made. This is the conference where the original iPhone’s release date and key features where announced. Last year the  iPhone 3g was anounced. This is typically the one event where you can expect Apple to bring out the big guns.

As always, expectations were increadibly high. However, this year for me, it felt like a major let down. Actually I felt like this was a company wide Service Pack.

Let’s run down the items that were presented today at the WWDC keynote delivered by Phil Schiller;

New 15″ MacBook Pro – minor updates. A hardware Service Pack.

New 13″ MacBook Pro – new model, like a MacBook with better specs.

Safari 4 – Nothing really new. It’s WebKit, they tuned it a bit more.

Mac OS – Snow Leopard – Apple touted this as  next big thing. Really there are only 3 new features and none of them are truly ground breaking. Seems more like playing catch up to Windows; adding better multi-threading, giving control to developers, supporting 64-bit. Typically Apple will charge $129 for and OS upgrade but even they understand there is nothing here and lowered the price to $29. People cheered really loud for this one. You typically get much more in a Microsoft Service Pack for the price of $0.

iPhone Apps – Apple spent an hour of the keynote showing off apps from third-parties. The one that made me chuckle the most was the TomTom turn-by-turn navigation software. Really? this is new? I honestly had this 3 years ago on my Palm Zire 71 and 2 years ago on WinMo. The fact that TomTom was finally allowed by Apple to enter the iPhone is sad. Not something to be cheered.

iPhone 3.0 – They recapped all of the features that we heard about 6 months ago and added a few more. MMS, tethering, notification, voice recorder, global search, copy and paste, A2DP, etc. You know what they are. It’s a list of features that all other phones have that Apple is finally blessing us with. These are really 2 years late guys. Especially MMS.

Find my Phone – This is actually a great service. It will find your lost or stolen phone. Make it ring even in silent mode, locate it by GPS or Wifi, and perform a remote wipe.Then they tell you, it’s only for MobileMe subscribers. Someone should really make this an App for $3. If the SDK gives you the hardware access but I’m not sure it does. Remote wipe should be part of Exchange sync, this is MUCH needed for the corporate world.

iPhone 3GS – The moment we were all waiting for! An exciting, mind blowing upgrade to the iPhone which will make me go running out and camp at the nearest seller of iPhones. I felt really let down. It’s exactly the same ascetically as the current iPhone. There is really no way to tell them apart. The 3GS gets a bump in processor speed, more RAM, more storage,  longer battery life, a compass, 3MP AF Camera with video recording and Voice Dialing. Again, this is just a hardware Service Pack. A good improvement to the 3g but still, it’s just adding the missing features that even my Razor had. Voice Dialing? Finally. Video, Finally. We shouldn’t have had to wait 2 years for these features.

I’ve currently had an iPhone 3g for almost an entire year. This is the longest I’ve had a phone in my life! They typically last 3 months before I replace them with something different. Always searching in vein for a phone that makes me happy. There is still nothing even close.

Apple, thanks for the minor improvements. Microsoft has been much, much more exciting lately.

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