Stock camera apps are for suckers...

Pixlr-o-matic Auckland

I had downloaded Autodesk's Pixlr-o-matic Android app to my Samsung Galaxy S a few months ago but never really used it. For some reason I decided to have a go with it tonight and it's not too bad. It's not subtle by any means in regards to post-processing but it's kind of fun.

Not sure if it will replace my main camera app which is Vignette for Android but it's a nice app to have on the side along with Snaptastic.

You can download Pixlr-o-matic for your Android or iOS device, it's free. You can also use it through your browser by going to

UC Berkeley researchers reconstruct images from brain activity

This is nuts, being able to reconstruct what the brain is thinking via fMRI examining brain activity. Right now it doesn't look like much and can only be used on what the subject is actually seeing but researchers hope to be able to recreate memories or dreams with this method.

I don't know if I want to be able to see what some people dream or are thinking about, but imagine this technology being used in a trail. Who needs witnesses if you can extract the memories of the accused.

The Future of the Book

Interesting ideas on how to enhance and enrich reading on a tablet-style device.


Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?


The best camera is the one you have with you...

I recently became the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S Android phone. The phone itself is great, Android is a cool if not geeky OS. First thing I did was check out the 5mp camera. I've read and seen photos taken with the iPhone 4 and was hoping that the Galaxy would also have a good camera. Not shockingly it was okay at best. Then I discovered an app called Vignette. This app can mimic various style such as a lomo or toy camera. So trying to mimic what is essentially crappy quality cameras turns out to be a good use for this mobile phone camera.

Since I have my phone with me all the time, I haven't thought twice about pulling it out if I think I can capture something some what interesting, and it's actually been fun trying to see what results I will get.

My phone will not replace my Canon 7D but I have received some positive feedback if not a lot of views on Flickr in regards to photos taken with my phone. Check out the slideshow below to see what kind of images can be pulled off with Vignette for Android.

Canon 7D Video Test #1 - Subway

I recently made the jump and purchased a Canon 7D, upgrading from my first DSLR, a Sony Alpha a100. It's a very impressive camera, amazingly fast, very quiet and impressively built.

At the moment I've only got one lens, a Canon 50mm 1.4. Seeing how I use my Minlota 50mm 1.7 on my a100 about 90% of the time I figured this would be a good choice. At least until I can get a Canon 16mm - 35mm 2.8.

This is a little edit I put together of some test footage I took one day while heading home from work. Just random footage, all hand held to just learn how the camera deals with video. It's actually been pretty busy at work so I haven't had much chance to use the 7D. I'd like to record some full HD video at 24fps.

For this clip, as I mentioned the footage was recorded at 1280x720 at 60fps. I then did a rough edit in After Effects where I also did a general levels adjust and quickly stabilized a couple of shots. I then worked my way down to a 30fps QuickTime with Photo-JPEG compression at 50% at 960x540 which is the clip I've uploaded to Flickr.

Testing out the Squarespace iPhone app...

I accedentaly wiped the apps off of my jailbroken iPod Touch the other day which I used as an excuse to finally update to OS 3.1.2. With that I had to update the apps I had dowloaded and decided to search the app store for any knew interesting apps.

That's when I came across the Squarespace app whoch is what I am using to create this post via my iPod Touch. Seems like a well designed app allowing me to manage my site, view usage stats as well update and create content. It's one of the few apps that makes me want an iPhone for the ability to be always connected. I could see myself posting a lot more often with this app but we'll have to wait and see if that's true.

That being said I still jailbroke my iPod Touch - can't go without the ability to tweak this thing beyond what Apple allows.

Fun with time...

So I recently came across two very interesting pieces of video, both essentially created to advertise new products but both interesting to watch.

First up is a demo reel from I-Movix to showcase their SprintCam V3HD that was recently announced at NAB. This broadcast native HD camera can capture ultra-slow-motion solution offering frame rates of 500 to 1,000 fps with instant replay.

Next up is a really well executed piece for Philips to show case their new lince of ultra wide screen tvs. Check out the official site for the full experience but you can get a preview from the YouTube clip below.

More signs that we are living in the future...

So can your old baseball cards do this...

From Engadget...

Topps is back with a vengeance in an attempt to woo Internet bred sophisti-tots back into collecting baseball cards. Right, Topps, the company that pre-dates Human Growth Hormone abuse and packs a nostalgic smack of dusty pink sticks of chewing gum is back in the game, this time with some help from former Disney exec Michael Eisner. Just hold the special 3D Live card in front of a webcam and watch a three-dimensional avatar spring to life -- rotate the card and the figure rotates in full perspective. The technology provided by Total Immersion also allows collectors to drop the player into simple pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard. Series 1 cards will cost $2 for a 12-pack while a buck snags a fistful of five. The 3D Live series will eventually feature video.

New photos w/ a little Fallon on the side

So trying to update this site as often as I'd like is a bit more difficult with a full time job... in case my employers read this I'm not complaining about having a full time job. 

I did manage to upload a few more photos to the Urban Life gallery.  A small sample of my last photos taken before leaving Melbourne.  I've been back in Toronto for almost 3 months and still have 1000 or so photos to still go through from my time in Australia - hopefully those photos will be up sometime before summer!

I also want to point out that Engadget Editor-in-chief, Joshua Topolsky will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Monday March 9th.  Geeky tech journalist + ackward talk show host must make for good tv.  Any way, here's a clip of Joshua and Jimmy having a little talk from the floor of CES back in January.

So what will ILM do after everyone becomes VFX artisit?

I stumbled upon this video of Adobe's Dan Goldman showing off some R&D work.  As someone who took an intense VFX program learning how to do motion tracking, this makes me smile and feel a bit bad all at the same time.  So I'm not sure who gets more respect now, the compisitor using an Inferno machine or some one who can do the same task in a couple of minutes with a few clicks?


Any ways, watch and enjoy.

Interactive Video Object Manipulation from Dan Goldman on Vimeo.

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Help me Obi-Wan Blitzer...

As if the 2008 US Presidential election wasn't exciting enough to watch, CNN went above and beyond charts and graphs in its coverage and brought us the future. I thought that using tech like Microsoft's Surface was cool but I guess that was so 6 months ago.

A lot of focus has been made about the so called holograms used when Wold Blitzer played out his Star Wars fantasy while interviewing a Jessica Yellin in Chicago. Now, this strikes me as equally cool technically as much as it does pointless in its use as it added nothing in regards to delivering news. Making use of 35 HD cameras and 20 computers to pull this off this really was CNN doing a "hey look at what we can do" moment.

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