PR people get ready for BDSM! (SFW)

Chris Brooker
March 25, 2010

or a Big Day in Social Media! See what I did there? I used a sexy headline to get your attention and cause you to visit this page. I used your PR tricks against you! muah ha ha ha.

But seriously, today is a big day for social media. Today is the second annual Twestival (3rd TwestivalTO). At a high level Twestival is an amazing time to meet all the people you talk to on Twitter everday IRL. Put people to avatar pics. Plus you get to drink to excess and dance to great music! What more could you want on a Thursday (other than Karaoke)?

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Here are the official details:

What is Twestival?

On Thursday 25 March 2010, people in hundreds of cities around the world will come together offline to rally around the important cause of Education by hosting local events to have fun and create awareness.  Twestival™ (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good.  All of the local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.  If you would like to get involved, please Register your City, Register your School, or Volunteer and we will get in touch.  Organizers will be given a handbook and invitation to our collaboration workspace.  Follow @twestival for updates.

“This year’s Twestival Toronto festivities will be held at Tryst Nightclub on Thursday, March 25th 2010…and I know you’re free because it’s a Thursday night! Tickets are still available and can be purchased on the Twestival Toronto site. Like any good event there will be fun hosts, loud music, cash bar, great company (ahem yours truly will be there!!) and more!  (Am hearing there may be some big raffles as well so bring a little extra with you!). All in all, it will be a great party with great people for a great cause.” – Aleksandra Stalmach

All the details can be found here: http://toronto.twestival.com/

Here is a great post by Aleks (@alisaan) about the top 11 reasons to come to Twestival!

http://alisaan.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/twestivalto-have-fun-do-good/

Her post is probably a little more articulate than mine. But I would have added;

#12 – I’ll be there!! Here is me at TwestivalTO in the summer. The theme was old school Hollywood glamour.
TwestivalTO-11

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There is me with the infamous Joallore (@clickflicka) and his cousin.

So get on Twitter and beg to find someone selling a ticket and get your ass there!

Toronto Blog Stars – Rock the market

Chris Brooker
March 19, 2010

Yesterday, I woke up feelign totally shitty. Not shitty as in hung over, like the majority of people, but shitty as in sick. I wanted to call in sick to work but had just way much to do so I decided to compromise, I worked from home. Even though I was feeling shitty I still wanted to attend the Toronto Blog Stars event I had signed up for. For the knowledge and to support my friends.

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The Toronto Blog Star event was;

This is the ultimate how-to with the Toronto Blog Stars, followed by a Meet the Blog Stars cocktail reception.

You will learn everything you need to know about living the Blog Star lifestyle using blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and social networking, including:

  • how to get – and keep – the attention of movers and shakers in your industry
  • how to turn your everyday life into compelling content
  • how to brand yourself online
  • what programs and applications to use to host your site, keep track of your statistics, and promote yourself & your blog

Featuring:

Raymi Lauren of Raymi the Minx – A trendsetter and award-winning blogger, Raymi is a pioneer in the online world, having started her blog in 2000.  Her voyeuristic approach to blogging has gained her international readers and recognition and she has been featured in major news outlets, both on camera and in print.  Raymi is an aspiring actor and an accomplished writer and artist.

Sean Ward of seanward.net and Sean Ward’s Super Party – Sean set out to create his own entertainment empire with original underground cinema screenings and a comic book series.  He was a writer and cast member on Ed the Sock, a featured speaker, and master of ceremonies.

Casie Stewart of This Is My Life – a daily blogger with a passion for social media, Casie Stewart has been involved in many social media campaigns to raise money for charity as well as blogging about products & services for major brands. She started her blog in 2006 as a way to keep more memories and today, it’s a daily publication of her life, events, inspiration and photos.

Put together by the Fairlie Agency.

Here I am in my seat, it was a full house;

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Here is Casie Stewart;

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Raymi The Minx;

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Sean Ward;

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Here is a great video I took of the panel talking about what twitter is and why it’s not banal;

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC0Pn1xgWJs

Thanks guys for a great event.

Top of the Morning to you – Shamrocks and Shillalies

Chris Brooker
March 18, 2010

Yesterday was St Patricks day aka. Green beer day! I was starting to feel some sickness coming on all day with my throat hurting so I decided to take it easy. I got home from work and headed on over to the Adelaide St Pub where I was meeting a number of great friends!

Big props goto: @Renee3 @unbrelievable @alisaan @JonGauthier @joncrowley @casiestewart @rochlatinsky @DaveColeman @smichm @randeepk

You best believe I got lei’ed, son!

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Apparently I don’t smile anymore but I can assure you a another good time had by all! Was home before 10pm, fell asleep on the couch before 11pm. Woke up with full on sickness. I think I would have prefered a hangover.

Towels are a laptop’s best friend? (HP TX1220US)

Chris Brooker
August 7, 2009

You might have heard last week that my laptop died :(. I would turn it on, the lights would light up, but then nothing, no beep, no POST screen, nothing. It would just hang like that forever.

It was a very sad time and I didn’t know what to do. I checked and the warranty had run out and the extended warranty on from my credit card had also run out. I was completely on my own.

I hit the forums to see if anyone had had similar problems. Turns out it’s quite a common problem, damn!, but it usually manifests sooner and would be covered by the warranty. The problem is related to the nVidia chipset getting micro fractures in the solder preventing it from making a solid contact with the motherboard. There is a recall on this particular problem on many, many HP laptops, but they won’t admit it for my model.

As I had nothing left to lose, I decided to try the forum suggested xBox360 Red Ring of Death towel trick. For the 360 the trick goes, take the 360 wrap it up in towel blocking all vents, turn it on, and let it bake. This overheating  causes the solder to slightly melt and reestablish the connections broken by the micro fractures.

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(In this photo I have the screen turned 90 degrees for better towel coverage [it’s a tablet])

I grabbed my laptop, removed the HD, DVD drive, etc anything that could be damaged by the heat. Wrapped it up completly in the 2 towels and turned it on. I let it sit there for about 6 hours. The towels had gotten very hot. As soon as the sun through the window touched the “package” the extra heat caused it to shutdown from over heating. I took it out and let it cool.

I came back later and with little expectations, I turned it on. At first it looked the same, then, all of a sudden it POST’d! I couldn’t believe it!

It’s now been a week since I did this trick and have used my laptop for at least 20 hours total for scretches as long as 6 hours, with no problems what-so-ever.

I’m so very happy to have my friend back!

UPDATE (Nov 24, 2009): This trick has now resurrected this laptop twice! It’s still working to this day.

Windows 7 Community Event

Looks like I had a productive long weekend editing video :)

A few weeks ago I receive an email from the lovely Chantelle at High Road Communications asking if I would be apart of a Windows 7 community dinner event. I was honoured to be invited and accepted.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was invited but after I arrived, I was very surprised at what an amazing event the ladies at High Road Communications put together. Thanks Chantelle, Cortney and Isabella (sorry if I missed anyone).

As you can see in the video, I got there late. The event was schedules to start at 5pm but with traffic and having to drive from uptown, I didn’t actually get there until 5:35pm, so I missed most of the presentations. But I did get a chance to run around and talk to almost everyone, even if I didn’t film it.

If there is anyone I missed, or more information that I can use, please drop me a line.

Hope to see you all at the next one.

Here is the video;

Microsoft Canada
High Road Communications
Absolute Software
bumptop

Thanks!!

Did you hear? I’m a published writer!

Chris Brooker
August 2, 2009

Epson-Artisan-8001

Hey all!

Yes, that’s right. After a long time of reading, venting, and ranting about tech, I now get to write. Write not just for myself, like I do here, as I’m the only one that reads my posts, but write for a real magazine.

Check it out;
http://www.deadsexymag.com/Toronto/2009/August/Gadget/Artisan_800.html

Dead Sexy Mag is a new, currently online only, Toronto lifestyle magazine. You shold really check it out; and not just because I contributed 😉

http://www.DeadSexyMag.com

2 weeks late but I didn’t forget – Tech Karaoke

Chris Brooker
July 31, 2009

Hey everyone! I was looking through all the video I had shot, mostly because my card had run out of space and I needed to delete somethings, and I ran into these wonderful videos I forgot about from the last #TechKaraokeTO at Tequila Sunrise.

It was the second one that we’ve officially had in Toronto and it’s still some of the best people and fun to be had. Plus 710ml bottle of beer.

Enjoy the dark, yet exceptionally performed, version of Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-lot.

If you just can’t get enough, here is the video from the first Tech Karaoke

Experience with video on the iPhone 3GS

Chris Brooker
July 13, 2009
Hey all! This week I tried a grand old experiment which ultimately failed totally and completely.
As I was not going to be home Friday night, I wasn’t going to have a chance to edit and upload the cheesy pick-up line Friday segment. So I decided to film it on the my new iPhone 3GS.
Filming it was no problem, I recorded an intro, 2 pick-up lines and an outro as 4 seperate clips. In case you were wondering I did it in my car as it was the best place for the mic on the iPhone to pick up only the sound of my voice.
I trimmer the intro clip and the firtst pick-up line then tried to join them together. Nope, you can’t do that on the 3GS. All you can do it trim the beginning and end of a video clip. I thought I saw a video somewhere, maybe it was a beta, of someone joining clips on the phone. But on mine it couldn’t be done.
I then thought I could upload all the clips and join them on YouTube. I picked the intro and selected upload to YouTube, it “compressed the video” and sent me to the video meta data screen on YouTube. I typed in all the test needed on the portait only keyboard and hit upload. The app immediately crashed and returned me to the springboard. ARGH! So I start again, pick the video, wait for the “Compressing video” fill out all the information, press upload. It starts uploading and says “Upload failed”. Double ARGH!
I give up on the intro and just upload the short 6 secs clips of just the pick-up lines. these actually went up. What a frustrating experience.
Sunday I took the clips into Premiere Pro CS4 and quickly pulled out an edited version which is what you see now. I also upscalled the videos to 720p.
Apple, can we join clips soon?

Hey all! This week I tried a grand old experiment which ultimately failed totally and completely.

As I was not going to be home Friday night, I wasn’t going to have a chance to edit and upload the cheesy pick-up line Friday segment. So I decided to film it on the my new iPhone 3GS.

Filming it was no problem, I recorded an intro, 2 pick-up lines and an outro as 4 seperate clips. In case you were wondering I did it in my car as it was the best place for the mic on the iPhone to pick up only the sound of my voice.

I trimmer the intro clip and the firtst pick-up line then tried to join them together. Nope, you can’t do that on the 3GS. All you can do it trim the beginning and end of a video clip. I thought I saw a video somewhere, maybe it was a beta, of someone joining clips on the phone. But on mine it couldn’t be done.

I then thought I could upload all the clips and join them on YouTube. I picked the intro and selected upload to YouTube, it “compressed the video” and sent me to the video meta data screen on YouTube. I typed in all the test needed on the portait only keyboard and hit upload. The app immediately crashed and returned me to the springboard. ARGH! So I start again, pick the video, wait for the “Compressing video” fill out all the information, press upload. It starts uploading and says “Upload failed”. Double ARGH!

I give up on the intro and just upload the short 6 secs clips of just the pick-up lines. these actually went up. What a frustrating experience.

Sunday I took the clips into Premiere Pro CS4 and quickly pulled out an edited version which is what you see now. I also upscalled the videos to 720p.

Apple, can we join clips soon?

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.

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