- No. of users on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace
Twitter had 397,000 users in February, while Facebook had 26.6 million users and MySpace had 51.4 million users in May! Keywords: twitter, facebook, myspace
- Online video is a mainstream media with significant social and viral spreading power: US survey
The results indicate that online video can now be considered a mainstream media: 57% of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video, 19% do so on a typical day. 76% of internet users age 18-29 watch or download video online. Keywords: video, youtube, statistics
- Times Online on Microtrends: Lifecasting
A quick history lesson of lifecasting, from jennicam, to Justin.tv, to Catcam! Keywords: trends, lifecasting, history
- WIRED: Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense
It’s like proprioception, your body’s ability to know where your limbs are. That subliminal sense of orientation is crucial for coordination: It keeps you from accidentally bumping into objects, and it makes possible amazing feats of balance and dexterity Keywords: twitter, presence, social, media
- When Mags Meet The Reaper
A new trend? More magazines end up closing shop. Magazinedeathpool.com, which launched in February, 2006, with the cheery greeting: "The beginning of the end is here." Keywords: magazines, trends, business, web
- Pew Internet: China’s Online Population Explosion
There are now an estimated 137 million internet users in China, second in number only to the United States, where estimates of the current internet population range from 165 million to 210 million. Keywords: china, internet, statistics
Monthly Archive for August, 2007
Yes, I do feel funny bringing up Second Life, as I frankly told the producer that I didn’t really login as much anymore. I’m not the only one feeling this way; there’s a debate going on as to whether Second Life is on a decline.
When the camera rolled, producer Tiffany Ang asked about what I typically do in Second Life, why people enjoy it as well as the serious applications of such MUVEs (multi-user virtual environments). I focused on the educational aspect of it, on what works (simulations) and what doesn’t (virtual classrooms). I spoke based on a previous interview I had with EdTech Librarian / SL Resident, Milosun.
While Linden Lab’s CTO, Cory, made an appearance, I also pointed out key players in our Singapore Second Life scene (Alvin Loo, Rinaz, Aileen), but I believe CNA was too strapped for time to reach them.
Aside 2: Hat tip to Priscilla Tan for acquiring the clip and sending it via DVD to Buffalo!
It ain’t the real iPhone, but it ain’t got roaming charges either! (That’s Nic!)
Peter was doing a little sleuthing on the AT&T web site and found a little gem about an unreported International Data Global Plan for the iPhone…
“For just an additional $24.99 per month, iPhone customers may add a Data Global Plan to their existing domestic data plan and receive 20MB of data usage in 29 countries, including Canada, China, Mexico and many additional countries in Europe/Asia. Overage rate is $.005/KB. Outside the 29 discounted countries, the data usage rate is $.0195/KB”
He called AT&T’s customer service and they told him that he needed to sign a 12 month agreement, which isn’t even mentioned on the website. I was telling Peter how insane that is… and how 20MB would easily be exceeded if the iPhone were left unchecked. Just don’t get hit with a $5k data roaming charge!
Read about AT&T’s International Data Global Plan here…
Aside: Another pretty promising “unlock hack” was shown today on video…
The reason why Skype went down was funny but serious at the same time…
“The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they rebooted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update,” Skype indicated on its blog.
So a timely Windows Update took out the network?
As highlighted by Ars Technica from Skype’s blog, “Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly.”
Yup, we’re still vulnerable…
Just as we’ve discover how vulnerable the global Internet is (remember Taiwan’s earthquake disrupting Singapore’s connectivity?), here’s an instance of a Peer-to-Peer network falling apart when it theoretically shouldn’t.
If you’ve trouble visualizing this, a chat with Su Yuen makes it easy:
Su Yuen: Its like how in the Atlanta olympics…
Su Yuen: Everyone flushed the toilet simultaneously, causing the piping system to burst and leak
Kevin: That is an interesting analogy
Kevin: do you have the link source for that? URL?
Su Yuen: No, I heard it on the Sydney Olympic park tour
Su Yuen: The tour guide told us about it
Su Yuen: and that’s why he said for the Sydney Olympics, they had everyone flush simultaneously a few times to ensure the piping system would be able to manage it.
When the net goes down…
While Facebook might go down for a day, affecting the moods of (mostly) students everywhere, Skype’s outage would have not only amounted to lost business relations (benefiting some), but possibly long distance couples everywhere feeling the blues of being “unavailable”.
Sorry for the deluge of food photos lately, but cooking a decent dinner for someone else actually feels good.
While Hai Lee prepared seaweed soup and scrambled ham and eggs, I baked something resembling sweet and sour fish back in Singapore. Wrapped in each foil were a tilapia, two scallops, broccoli, string veggies and pieces of mango, all topped with tropical pineapple sauce. In this land far from Singapore, it was perfect. I actually loved what I made. So did Kenny and Hai Lee. Now to figure out what else I can make that’s not fish…
Aside: Andrea Ng, also a previous students of mine, also has a Buffalo blog.
As many of you have noticed, you can watch what I’m doing right now.
Priscilla has been intrigued by the 24/7 blog cam I have running on my blog’s sidebar, so we got around to a friendly interview via iChat. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the video iChat interview, together with my blog’s lifestreaming widget (see my uStream.tv channel).
All this is part of my sousveillance video project, where I experiment with ways of establishing a richer sense of presence and feedback in a non-directional everyday setting. As seen in the video interview, this project has involved concepts such as:
1. Continuous Partial Presence: Loved ones feel as if I am actually close by (e.g. in the next room).
2. Live Crowdsourcing: Friends have called me based on what I’m doing (e.g. remind me to work, ask what I’m eating).
3. Public Therapy (?): The idea that I’d be mindful of bad habits since my life is visible to all.
4. Redefinition of Privacy: Privacy is a broad term, so here I am trying to find boundaries (e.g. I don’t broadcast sound).
5. Memory Prosthetic: I can opt to record moments of my life on video, and search by date, time, subject matter, etc.
Friends have made interesting suggestions on how I could further this project, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’d like to see this take flight. I also encourage you to try this on your own, so feel free to ask if you have any questions.
If you’d like to know more, read her blog post entitled “It’s Live – Intrigued by Ustream“.
Do note that this is a two-in-one blog post:
1) It’s my first home cooked meal, made healthier based on your suggestions (yes, veggies!)
2) It’s my first go at using the new and controversial iMovie 7 (part of iLife ’08)
The setup has me going through Wegmans supermarket to buy what I need for that evening’s dinner. Since my buddy Peter taught me how simple it was to prepare Tilapia, I decided to go with that, adding some seasoning, veggies and cooking by steaming or grilling.
Thoughts on iMovie 7
The new iMovie 7 feels unlike anything I’ve used before and while I agree it’s faster than other iMovies I’ve used before, the interface does seem too strange for my liking… in fact, counterproductive. Adding titles and setting duration takes a bit of guesswork, but on the whole, the new iMovie is designed for a faster workflow, so some intricacies were sacrificed for simplicity.
One of the most sought after features of the new iMovie is the “Export to Youtube” capability. As a videoblogger, this frees me from the time-sucking step of waiting for videos to encode, then manually uploading them. Interestingly, this was the first instance I’ve seen any application work with Youtube’s API directly, just as how many apps are now communicating with Flickr API once you authorized the transaction.
While all could be peachy, I found that the “Export to Youtube” video quality isn’t the best possible. It isn’t encoded to give you a the highest quality Youtube video, but rather iMovie 7 simply uploads Apple’s mobile-quality video which is: H.264, 480 x 360, Millions, AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz
A properly encoded video for Youtube would be:
H.264 (or Divx), 320 x 240, Millions
AAC, Mono, 22kHz
30fps (or 15fps for speedier transfers)
Now compare the Youtube and .Mac Gallery videos exported via the new iMovie 7, as well as one manually encoded for best quality on Youtube. Which reigns supreme?
Here’s a comparison I made between iMovie 7’s “Share on Youtube” feature (see video sample) versus my ideal encoding setting using Quicktime (see video sample) . As you can see, the iMovie’s Youtube video appears more washed-out while the Youtube-specific video encoding standard yields better image clarity. Just compare the text on the packages and the color saturation in both instances.
Of course when it comes to sharing higher definition videos on the web, nothing has come as clear and simple as the new .Mac Gallery export, which uploads videos at a number of resolutions to suit various devices. If the mobile quality is sharp, you can only imagine how the Medium and High quality versions look like. Take a look for yourself…
Overall, iMovie 7 is pretty much a first generation application with the intention of letting you make great looking videos fast. Rendering of titles and transitions are much faster, and so does the browsing of video clips thanks to the new “skimming” thumbnail rollover feature. I think it’s a good base to work from, and here’s hoping for more improvements in future versions.
BTW: I made a grilled version for lunch today! Have you made any nice meals lately?
I’m happy to have two of my previous UB/SIM students as housemates at my humble apartment.
Meet Hai Lee and Kenny standing proud at their new home, the Triad Apartment (talk about Asian representation!). They’ve shared a mini-travelogue of their time here and if you’re interested to see life around the University at Buffalo, you’ve now got three of us bloggers to give you the low-down.
We’ll give reality TV a run for their money! :P