Blu Ray, Green Media Computing, Dissecting Macbooks and Twitter Stories

Twitter Stories

Twitter has been up and down since I went to the Toronto Raptors game last night. It’s great to see that MSNBC had its highest ratings ever with Obama, Clinton debate last night. I understand that Twitter was expecting a huge amount of tweets last night relating to the debate and maybe that’s what caused the outage.

I’m finding Twitter not very handy in a pinch with the service going up and down but here are my stories. I tweeted that I was at the game and the message obviously got out. I realized this morning that Stuart MacDonald had replied as he was at the game as well. Turns out he and I had talked last Saturday night at the Toronto Podcamp 2008. Stuart is the CEO & Founder of, former Founder and CMO, and mesh Co-Founder.

When I walked down to Kipling Subway station to go into work today it was around 3:30 pm. I noticed a huge plume of smoke on the south side of the tracks. When I went by it on the train the smoke that looked more like steam was billowing in a huge cloud. The story at explains the fire and I gather that firefighters must have been dousing the roof when I went by. I immediately twittered noting the fire asking if anyone had information. My daughter responded by the time I surfaced and got telephone service at Old Mill and by the time I got to Yonge Station where I can pick up service Jason Theodor ( had Twittered me with the details on the fire. Sweet…

New Media Gallery Launched At Ryerson University

I attended the launch of the New Media Gallery in the Image Arts School at Ryerson University. Ryerson has a terrific program in New Media. The School goes way beyond mainstream New Media and offers a very interesting program in Physical Computing as it relates to media production and exhibition. I think the students and faculty in the program believe that their program is not well known and the event occurred because the space was the first dedicated space specific to the program and in a University that is so space starved that was a reason to celebrate. My impression of the program is that it is as well known as New Media programs get. Amongst the countless things that I could get into about the innovation in the school, it’s worth noting that Josh Raskin who was up for an Oscar last week for I Met The Walrus is an alumnus of the program

One last thought on the New Media program at Ryerson. I first heard about this Technology from Steve Daniels who is the Program Director of New Media at Ryerson. It allows plants to communicate with people. It’s really neat and its the kinds of technologies that the students might experiment with in the New Media program.

Corporate or Publicly Owned Internet

According to Comcast admits that it planted people in a room at an FCC hearing into its practices. Wow! Begs the question…. Can we really trust corporations when it comes to network neutrality?

InfoComm 08

I really enjoyed the last two InfoComm’s I attended. InfoComm 08 registration is now open and it’s in Vegas this year. Infocomm 08 is occurring in conjunction with NXTcomm08. It’s a network-enabled voice, video and data show. InfoComm 08 will feature a walking Las Vegas Digital Signage tour and a tour of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that will include their state of the art the Casino Laboratory and the Casino Surveillance Lab.

SMPTE Toronto Meeting March 11, 2008

The full details of the SMPTE Toronto meeting that I’ve been working on is online at It’s titled Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization. Should be fun.

Ubuntu… Mobile Edition

Ubuntu Mobile is something that I was not aware of.

NMC Launches Open Virtual Worlds Project

The New Media Consortium (NMC) announced a $250,000 two-year collaboration with Sun Microsystems to launch the Open Virtual Worlds Project. This effort is very welcome as the effort is aimed at making it easier to learn, work, and exchange ideas in virtual space. The project will develop a range of standards-based, portable open-source educational spaces, content, and objects, and use them to extend open source Project Darkstar and Project Wonderland virtual world platforms.

Random Thoughts

Zerofootprint Calculators

You’ll find a number of Zero Footprint Calculators at

I read an interesting article where one of the new Mac Books was dissected. You can read all about it at . It’s quite detailed and it has a handy little chart that outlines the hardware differences..

Adobe’s AIR

Adobe’s AIR platform allows developers to create web applications that run on desktops without a web browser.

Blu Ray

Blu Ray buyers guide


Launchy is a free windows utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager. Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes!

Online Bible 

Ever need a biblical quote? AskSam has the King James Bible online at

IPTV, HDTV, YouTube and Virtualization

IPTV In Canada

In the CRTC hearings relating to new ownership, it came to light that Bell Canada is reviewing the competitive landscape before deciding to add Internet Protocol TV service (IPTV). To my way of thinking IPTV would be welcome in my household if I didn’t have to purchase a basic service and I would seriously consider dropping my cable service. Since I live in TO my switch to HDTV will include getting my local service for free using an HDTV over the air antenna. I’ll use a MythTV system to handle all of my household media.

That said I’d welcome a service that complements free over the air television by offering non broadcast stations such as the sports and specialty channels. I trust the CRTC won’t put in regulations that forces me to buy a basic package when all of the basic services can be delivered via ATSC. On another front it’s looking like a lot of the sports teams I watch such as the Blue Jays, Raptors, Toronto FC, Argo’s etc may be –or are– starting offering streaming services that bypass traditional broadcasters to deliver their product anyway. Without an IPTV service available, I wonder if the trend toward downloading bittorrent content will continue to grow? I think so….

Michael Geist Digital Pioneer

It’s great to see that University of Ottawa Professor Michael Geist will be honoured as a digital pioneer by the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. Last year, Geist led the public protest to proposed Canadian copyright law changes that would have devastated consumers’ technology rights. His blog makes for great reading at

Corus Entertainment Building

I found out today that the Corus Entertainment building, which will house 1,300 media and entertainment sector workers, is expected to be completed by 2010. It’s being built on waterfront property a kilometer east of the Sugar refinery located at Cooper Street. The stretch of beach between the two locations is going to be called Sugar Beach.

W hat most Torontonian’s don’t know is that Cooper Street was once Cooper’s Wharf. In its day Cooper’s Wharf Toronto’s main transportation and shopping hub. Everything that came into Toronto came through Cooper’s Wharf. Toronto’s first general store and a shipbuilding slip was once located there. It was the place dock where passenger ships arrived and sailed away to far-flung destinations. Cooper’s Wharf was no more by 1845 and all that remains of this once historic landmark is Cooper Street. More info at

Using Twitter To Assist With My Blog

I found it very useful today to tweet my Twitter account with ideas that popped into my head today as fodder for my blog. It got me thinking that it would be very useful if I could tweet to an address and get related images and a different one to get links for the research I do… One thing I did discover in my exploration was Jason Theodor’s tweet sheet at . Hmmm… I wonder what these cheats actually do?

Best Social Network

After opening a Facebook account last, reactivating my Twitter account and getting it interacting with this blog this article “Facebook, Ning or LibraryThing? – Plugging into the best social network for you“‘ was another article that I read today that I found of interest. If I get a little time later on tonight I’ll take a look at some of the other services it notes.

Virtualizing Computer Desktops

I’m in the process of arranging a Toronto Section SMPTE Evening. One of the topics will be ”
Virtualized Media Production Desktops – Looking Into The Future “. It looks like HP might confirm as one of the speakers they have Remote Graphics Software that is proprietary. One person who has confirmed is Dr. Michael Murphy, Principal Investigator and Lead Research, Accessfabrik Lab, here at Ryerson. His group have done a lot ow work Virtualizing Desktops in industrial environments using Open Source software and tools. Should be an interesting evening.

Eran Frank On Server Virtualization

Another presentation at the Toronto Section SMPTE meeting that I’m arranging for March 11 is a presentation based on the work of Eran Frank of Ryerson. It’s an amazing story of what he’s done for the University. If you’re at Ryerson on Wed. Feb. 27, Eran Frank will present info on Ryerson’s Virtual Server Technology from 10 -11 am, in RBB 2-021. If you’re not in the Toronto area or are just interested download this ( Or you can come and watch me deliver a paper on server virtualization that will outline Eran Franks work at the SMPTE meeting. Details at

Hacking the 2008 SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition

Speaking of SMPTE I got an e-mail today from them noting that the 2008 SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition has put out a Call for Papers. This year its in Hollywood.

Random Thoughts

YouTube Getting Better For Technology Research and Learning

I gather in trying to block domestic access, Pakistan’s government blocked YouTube for several hours on Sunday. ( I’ve not been a big YouTube fan but I’ve been finding it useful for research. For the SMPTE presentation I mentioned above I plan to show 3 YouTube videos on Virtualization. It’s a lot easier to play them then arrange for speakers. The three I’m planning to play are VMWare What Is Virtualization, Virtualization…What’s the Big Deal? and Multicore and Virtualization Lets hope no-one else tries to take the service down during my presentation.

iBand – The Future Of Music Instrumentation

iBand… Is it the future of bands. You tell me.

Ryerson University’s New Media Gallery

It’s worth noting that Ryerson’s New Media School will be launching its New Media Gallery this Thursday at 6:30 pm. If you’re interested celebration is planned from 6 to 7pm at IMA323 around the event. I think I’ll drop in.

Taking Risks

I read this article today titled Taking risks may be the smartest way to advance your IT career. The story cites several examples from a number of management types who talk about where and how they have taken risks. I really relate to the line in the story that says “Their stories show that taking risks, even those that don’t pan out, can have big payoffs.” I’ve often found that one can recover from mistakes. The most important thing about mistakes is to learn from them.

Telephone Teleconferences
Yesterday I sat through a telephone teleconference that had lots of holes in it because it was called in a rush to deal with a problem we were having at work. I think the most important thing a teleconference has to have is an agenda and someone moderating the call. Hence I found this article on Tips and tools was timely.

What’s Making These Social Media Press Releases So Hot?

After seeing Collin Douma’s Social Media Press Release session at the Toronto Podcamp 2008, I get this;

Roger Waters Has New Song

If your an old Pink Floyd fan like I am you may be interested to know that Roger Waters new song To Kill The Child will be on the Body Of War soundtrack. It will be released March 18. . I also heard that Roger Waters will be back on tout this summer and Pollstar confirms it ( and their were rumours of a new album. I’ll purchase tickets to see him anytime and anywhere I can make it too. His show last year at the Rogers Centre was amongst the best I saw last year and the best sounding arena shows of the hundreds that I’ve seen.

Been Gone For A While! Toronto podcamp 2008 brought me back!

Back In Black

I feel like I’m “Back In Black” as the saying goes but I decided to renew the after hanging out at the Toronto Podcamp 2008 this weekend. I also decided that its time to restart my blog.

Toronto Podcamp 2008

In the past four weekends I’ve attended and participated in a Toronto 4K workflow event, the SMPTE/VSF conference in Houston and Toronto podcamp 2008. To say I’m worn out is an understatement as I worked all of those events on top of my “day job” and as such was not all that talkative at the podcamp event. The content at the Toronto podcamp 2008 was good and I was amazed at the number of PR and marketers now working the space. Between the PR/Marketing component and Twitter discussion seemed to be very popular. I also took in the Open Source, Wiki and Green sessions on Sunday to broaden my knowledge in these area’s.

This years podcamp was much easier for me as Jim Loney, Sam Ellen and Marcel Ramagnano –who are second year students in Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts Program– did much of the heavy lifting and all of the video recording for Toronto podcamp 2008. They deserve a great deal of the credit. The event went exceptionally smooth because of them.

We also employed different technology this year. We had wireless in place and we used MacBooks that we normally employ in out Hybrid Computer Lab to stream and record the sessions. The RDY2GO Espresso Media Center’s we employed for laptop projection worked perfectly and we only had one incident that I’m aware of and it was a faulty AC extension cable. If your at all interested in the technology we employ in Ryerson’s Rogers Communications Centre it can be found at

Once again Many was exceptional. ( He took some great pictures of the event with his new camera and their posted on his image site at I really like his picture of Steve Saylor just prior to his presentation at I’m looking forward to Many posting the video links because there was a lot of information at the podcamp that I’d like to review.

Random Thoughts

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors played twice this weekend against the Knicks. Boy did they ever look great on Sunday night and their new players Primoz Brezec makes the team really big. Sam Michell ran the Knicks a little ragged on Sunday putting Ford in the game and switching from a big to a small lineup with Brezec just as New York was getting into a rhythm. Can’t wait for tonights game.

RUSH Snakes and Arrows Tour…. Again!

RUSH is coming back to Toronto. I think I’ll pass on them this time around as it’s the same “Snakes and Arrows” tour that appeared in town in 2007.

NAB and Editing… What’s going on this year?

What’s this about Apple not appearing at the National Association Of Broadcasters show (NAB) in Las Vegas this year. I had heard that AVID dropped out some months before. I realize that video editing has become a “commodity” item but Apple needs to remain connected to its community and the broadcast market. It’s not the size of the booth that matters to me per say but I am concerned (after living the demise of COMDEX) that they just disappeared from the floormap. I understand that these shows take a lot of financial and human resources away from the company but totally disappearing is not a good thing in my opinion. Apple should have gone the presentation “stage” and partner pavilion route in my opinion. They would have saved some dollars on floorspace, reduced the drain on their Human Resources and perhaps added some diversity to NAB relating to third party Final Cut Pro Apps. I don’t think that a lot of people associated with Film and Broadcast industry will go to MacWorld on mass or will line up to buy the “MacBook Air” so how Apple will build a community without NAB will be an interesting thing to watch.

Speaking of NAB there seems to a great deal of confusion about the appearance of RED Digital’s RED One 4K digital cinema camera that was unveiled at NAB last year. The camera started shipping just before Christmas and there are several on the streets of Toronto. The 4K Camera, 4K Workflow event that I helped organize three weeks ago shed a great deal of light on the camera. While the event focused primarily on 4K digital cinema workflows I found the discussion amongst the people who’ve shot with the camera most interesting. What one needs to keep in mind is that the RED ONE is a Digital Cinema camera. As such it uses the same kind of lenses used on Motion Picture film camera’s. What one needs to keep in mind is that it does not have the automatic lenses that are common to most HDTV camera’s and have been designed for New Production. With RED film crews will require “focus pullers”, a skill that the new generation of “Indie” filmakers may be lacking given that they’ve developed their craft with camera’s like Panasonic’s AG-HVX200 that greatly automates the lens.

Blue Jays First 2008 Homestand

Looks like I’ll be in town for the Blue Jays opening homestand this year! It’ll be great seeing as its a Friday night home opener against Boston. Maybe I’ll actually make it out to some games this year.

I came across Microsoft’s Research into a Midair Mouse. It looks promising and I’d sure like to try one.

Pligg is an open source software package that allows one to set up a site like digg!

I found this interesting online pie chart program that I actually make use of when I create reports. I always seem to have trouble when I use Excel for simple pie charts Online Charting