Lynda receives the 2009 Eastman Kodak Gold Medal Award from SMPTE

Lynda receiving the SMPTE 2009 Eastman Kodak Gold Medal Award for her role as an education pioneer. Lynda is the first woman to receive this award.

One service that I subscribe to is It was great to see Lynda Weinman win The Eastman Kodak Gold Medal Award in Hollywood on October 29th, 2009 at an event that I attended. It turns out that Lynda Weinman was the first woman to win The Eastman Kodak award with the Society in their 37 year history as of now.  She was awarded for her contribution to education of technologists and practitioners in the field of media production in particular, as a pioneer in online education through creation of the website which provides affordable, interactive training programs for film, television, sound and web production. Way to go Lynda…. Video below….


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SMPTE Toronto’s BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD

Its that time of year again when much of Toronto’s Film and Television technical community will make their annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for NAB 2008. With the light shining on Las Vegas over the next week or so, I think that it is important for the Toronto Film and Television technical community to mark their calendars for May 14 and 15, 2008. That will be the dates for the 16th Toronto Technical Seminar and this year it’s titled BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD.

Priced at $99 for SMPTE members, the two day Technical seminar represents both a tremendous opportunity to learn and an incredible bargain. The last two technical seminars that occurred over the last couple of years sold out for good reason. The content of those seminars was extremely relevant as the conversion to HDTV was well underway in most of the area’s television enterprises. With the standards and practices now well entrenched in the community, this years seminar theme will focus on technologies that go beyond HDTV.

This years speakers, many of them the top technical people in their fields, have been challenged by the organizers to talk about what’s in the future and what the engineering community needs to know when it comes to the future communications and motion imaging technology.

And this year the BOOT CAMP has some new twists. Two HARRIS sponsored keynote sessions are planned. At last nights SMPTE Toronto Meeting it was announced that Mark Schubin, the well-known television engineer, historian, podcaster & journalist will be one of the keynote speakers. As well, Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and former Chief Scientist of Alias Systems will present a keynote. Buxton, who is a designer and a researcher is concerned with human aspects of technology. Both Buxton and Schubin are guaranteed to provide some unique observations into the greater context to which all of the Engineering community works and the role that they play as it relates to technology.

Another highlight of BOOT CAMP III will be the Wednesday evening tradeshow. Its purpose is to allow for the display of some of the advanced technologies presented at the daily sessions.

In reviewing the confirmed speakers I’m looking forward to a number of presentations. ARRI is flying in Dr. Hans Kiening from Germany. Dr. Kiening worked from 2004-2005 as R&D project manager of “ARRISCAN” and is currently responsible for ARRI’s Project 4K+. Dr. Kiening is a specialist in the field of image analysis and sees that the debate about 2K vs. 4K in professional postproduction is awash with expectation, prejudice and contradictory information. In recent presentations he’s focused on making technically-grounded appraisals of the issues.

Eric Heidendahl of Canwest Mediaworks will be presenting a paper. Eric worked on the groundbreaking digital newsroom project where Global Television relies on ORAD virtual set technology at its regional stations, controlled remotely from four production “super centres” that the company is building in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. It’s a model that centralizes control rooms up to 3,000 km away, and relies heavily on remote control and robotics for production.

Another confirmed speaker that I always learn something from is Charles Poynton. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Queen’s University and later studied at the Ontario College of Art. In his long and distinguished career he has contributed to the design and build of the digital video equipment used at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and he introduced color management technology to Sun Microsystems in the early 90’s. He has contributed to many SMPTE and ITU-R standards, including Rec. 601, SMPTE RP 145, SMPTE 170M, and Rec. 709. He was the document editor for SMPTE 274M, the foundation for all of SMPTE’s HDTV studio standards. He’s no stranger to public speaking as he has organized many popular courses and seminars, including HDTV Technology at SIGGRAPH 91, Concepts of Color, Video and Compression at ACM Multimedia 93, and color technology courses at SIGGRAPHs from 1994 through 2004. He now works as an independent contractor, specializing in the physics, mathematics, and engineering of digital color imaging systems, including digital video, HDTV, and digital cinema (D-cinema).

Sitting on the organizing committee I can tell you that the quality of papers and speakers that will provide for the bulk of the content are outstanding. In fact the topics and the people are so good the Organizing Committee is challenged with the awesome task of trimming the content down. Expect a jam packed agenda.

The seminar will take place at Ryerson University’s George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre in a state of the art 330 seat theatre. Up to date information on BOOT CAMP III and information on how you can register can be found at

I’d suggest you get yourself registered. BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD is bound to be a good one.


Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization

I thought I’d conclude my weekly post by blogging the details of this weeks Toronto Section SMPTE meeting that I organized thitled; ” Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization”. For the record it occured on Tuesday March 11, 2008 in Room RCC-204, Eaton Lecture Theatre, Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University.

The meeting was recorded and is available online at the following links; (Please Use Internet Explorer On A Windows Computer For Best Interactive Results)

Paper: Optimizing Facility Operation In High Density Data Center Environments

Paper: Ryerson University’s Real-World Education In Server Virtualization

Video: Kevin Kettler, Dell Inc.’s Chief Technology Officer, Virtualization…What’s the Big Deal?

Video: Dan Chu, Senior Director of Product, VMware, What Is Virtualization

Video: Multicore and Virtualization, Dell Inc.

Pt. 1 –

Optimizing Facility Operation In High Density Data Center Environments
Pete Deacon – Canadian Portfolio Manager, Hewlett Packard (Canada) Data Center Power and Cooling Services

This paper describes issues of high processor and server density within existing and emerging data center infrastructures. It identifies methods to optimize the effectiveness of power and cooling resources in facilities that are deploying high-density equipment or that are already fully populated with high-density equipment. The intended audience for this paper includes managers, administrators, facility planners, and operations staff.

Ryerson University’s “Real-World Education” in Server Virtualization
Eran Frank – Manager, Technical Support Group, Computer And Communication Services, Ryerson University
Steve Docherty – Advanced Systems Group, Dell Inc.
Brad Fortner – Program Director, Operations and Technology, Ryerson University

In this paper Brad Fortner of Ryerson’s Rogers Communications Centre will provide an overview of what he’s learned about Server Virtualization and how it relates to Media Computing within the University. The presentation will include virtualization videos from Kevin Kettler, Dell Inc.’s Chief Technology Officer, Dan Chu, Senior Director of Product, VMware and an overview video on the impact of multicore processing to server virtualization. The paper will also outline benefits of server virtualization via a case study where Ryerson’s Computer And Communication Services group consolidated 130 servers onto 13 physical hosts. Brads presentation will conclude with a look at how this technology has allowed for Ryerson to Virtualize Desktops and distribute many of its 2D, New Media and Graphics software applications in a virtual desktop environment. An environment from which Ryerson students can access this software using any common operating system, on any University computer and/or via the Internet.

Pt. 2 –

Rendering Animation And Film Effects In A Virtualized Blade Environment
John A. Shaw, Rendering Supervisor, C.O.R.E. Feature Animation.

In May 2006 C.O.R.E. Feature Animation successfully completed its first animated feature film “The Wild” by employing a virtualized Blade based environment. Previous to the Blade approach C.O.R.E. had rendered its films using a mixture of Silicon Graphics and IBM Linux workstations. The Blade technology allowed C.O.R.E. to render the equivalent of a movie and a half every week in the amount of frames generated while allowing C.O.R.E. to save up to 25% in energy costs, by employing advances in power and cooling technology associated with the Blade. With two years of operational knowledge behind him, John will discuss firsthand the benefits that C.O.R.E. derived from the installation from its integrated hardware environment to C.O.R.E.’s efforts to virtualize the 3D production desktop.

Virtualized Media Production Desktops – Looking Into The Future
Dr. Michael Murphy, Principal Investigator and Lead Research, Accessfabrik Lab, Ryerson University
Rod Hardman, Solutions Business Manager, Remote Client Solutions, Hewlett Packard (Canada)
John A. Shaw, Rendering Supervisor, C.O.R.E. Feature Animation

The “Holy Grail” for both cost effectiveness and the “green” implementation of Media production workstations would be to virtualize the hardware in a common area room and employ desktop virtualization to the locations where production personnel do their work. While this environment is very attractive from a green, financial and operational perspective, desktop virtualization has yet to fully prove itself when it comes to advanced distributed 3D production and in non-linear video editing applications. In this session Michael Murphy of Ryerson University will lead the discussion on a panel that will highlight the current “state of the art” in this area and provide some insight how desktop virtualization applications are developing towards potential solutions for the Broadcast, Film and New Media industries. The panel and meeting will conclude with a Q and A on all aspects of “Green Computing” that were presented at the meeting.

In Case Your Interested: Synopsis

The synopsis of the meeting was as follows; “Over the past several years the Media production process, be it for television, film and/or new media, has seen unprecedented change in its use of IT technology. Most Media Production organizations, be they small, medium or large, have experienced explosive growth in their use of servers, centralized storage and in processing intensive services such as rendering. The adoption of IT based technologies has created problems related to cooling, power consumption and server sprawl. Given current industry consolidation, the evolution of “data centric” production technology along with a growing desire to distribute the design and production workflow this trend towards IT technology is expected to grow.

This meeting explores the next five years of IT technology as it relates to Media computing and how new technological developments can be harnessed from a “Green” perspective. The program has been designed to provide a broader operational understanding of how, recent advances in both science and technology, one can obtain significant technological cost savings while minimizing the creation of greenhouse gases that adds to the problem of Global warming. It is expected that attendees at this meeting will discover that “Green Practice” is actually good “Business Practice”.

Build A Great ATSC Antenna, TV Engineering Handbook, IPTV, Toronto Winter Storm Coverage Ratings, TV Graphics

Build Your Own Super ATSC Antenna

Many Ayromlou over at NerdLogger posted an interesting link to a site that tells one how to build their own super ATSC antenna. It’s based on Doyt R. Hoverman’s original design for a television antenna that was granted US patents in 1959 and in 1964. They expired in 1979 and 1984 respectively. Earlier this year a group of Antenna enthusiasts got together and designed the Gray-Hoverman UHF Television Antenna. It’s designs, schematics, and diagrams are licensed so you can build your own under the GPLv3.

NAB Engineering Handbook – 10th Edition

It seems a bit old school but the NAB Engineering Handbook – 10th Edition is avaialble for sale. The publication was a godsend years ago when I was on the design team of the Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University. It was useful because it was the only book I could find that outlined the various systems involved in constructing Media studio’s and workplaces. Quite frankly there is no book like it.

Television/Film Industry Silo’d On Topic Of IPTV

The television industry is a bit of a victim of its own culture when it discusses IPTV. Even though industry projections indicate that IPTV subscribers will grow from 14.3 million in 2007 to 63.6 million in 2011 (source:, there seems to be a phobia on what’s really going on in IPTV. For example SMPTE’s Jan/Feb issue of its Motion Picture Journal showed You Tube (by far the most used IPTV service in the world) on the front cover but there was nary a word on the service inside the issue.

Granted the current business model for content subscription services is normally through set-top boxes so SMPTE’s focus being an engineering organization is to develop standards based around quality of service to deliver in an IPTV environment. While we all know that You Tube works very well and is slowly improving its quality, it’s also notable that Bell Canada, who was much rumored in Canada to start an IPTV service, recently announced its efforts were on hold pending a CRTC decision on its takeover by new ownership.

It’s gotten to the point now where one has to wonder if subscription based IPTV services with a controlled set-top box model will ever come to be on any large scale. To me a live and download model seems plausible, however I would tend to go to the source for IPTV by purchasing and receiving a Toronto FC television subscription (as an example) over the Internet rather than through a set-top box.

Local Works In Television As Well…. Just ask CP-24… And Global Is Flipping Over It….

The revival of Radio has been all about local, local, local. It seems that CP24 toped the Weather Network during T.O. storm last weekend in terms of ratings. While I normally tune to the Weather Network to get reports on Thunderstorms in the summer, CP-24 is able to cover the city in a situation with a prolonged storm much better because its a local service. However when it comes to coverage in the snow, nothing beats the professionalism of a local Global TV reporter who was covering a sledding race at Riverdale park.

Technology Shows

A few notes on some upcoming technology shows and conferences;

More Blu Ray Tidbits, Internet Media, Electronics History, Private Television In Canada,

More Blu-ray Tidbits

I’m still on a bit of a rant around exactly what it was (or is) that Blu-ray won when the HD DVD format went south. That said more comes to light each day on the subject, I can’t wait for the WIRED expose on the whole thing.

One thing that did surface on Blu Ray was that Sir Howard Stringer of SONY admitted that he was a “Pain in the ass” in winning the Blu-ray / HD DVD format war. ( questions the format as well in an article titled “Blu-ray endears, but won’t endure”. In the posting Shelley Fralic, of Canwest News Service asks “What does that mean, exactly”? And then goes on to note that the word is that Internet-based movie downloads will soon leave Blu-ray in the digital dust.

Media Takes On A Life Of Its Own When It Is Put On The Internet

It’s not Wikipedia but it’s amazing to see what happens when your some of your materials when they are on-line for a long period of time. I recently came across some of my teaching notes. I haven’t taught in a decade and back when I was teaching I put all my notes on-line and they are still floating around the Internet! Here is a link to an original set of notes on the History of Television Technology.

Now here’s where it gets interesting… I recently came across this set of my old online instructor notes that I compiled on Computer technology. I discovered it because it made it to a feature item on Only this time someone has substantially updated them with additional content and images.

Film, Radio and Electronics History In Upper New York State

I came across a couple of museums that are in the Rochester/Syracuse area when I was on the Rochester SMPTE website today. The Case Research Lab Museum is The Birthplace of Sound Film and it is in Auburn NY. Another museum is the A.W.A. Electronic Communication Museum. It’s in Apalachin NY.

Two summers my friends and I drove to Boston to SIGGRAPH 2006. Along the way we stopped in Schenectady, New York and took in the Schenectady Museum. Schenectady was the town that Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady and later Schenectady became the headquarters of the General Electric Company.

The town also lays claim to WGY-AM, one of the first commercial radio stations in the US. General Electric also started the first regular television broadcasts in the US in 1928 in Schenectady. That’s when W2XB began regular broadcasts on Thursday and Friday afternoons. The station still exists as WRGB. So there is a lot of broadcast history in the museum and in the area.

The Number Of Canadians Working In Conventional Private Television In Canada

With the US having developed their version of television so close to home it was interesting to read some of the numbers associated with private conventional broadcasting in Canada. In 2007, private television stations in Canada employed 7,873 people. In 2006 8,197 people were employed in the sector.

It turns out that Canadian private TV saw a profit improvement in 2007 even though revenues stayed flat. One would think the profit improvement would have been on the backs of the 324 positions that disappeared but it appears the private broadcasters spent more on salaries in 2007 than they did in 2006. The largest amount of money spent by this sector for content was $324.8 million for their news production.

American Election Coverage On Traditional US Networks Resorts To Information Crawls.

Despite having one of the most interesting Presidential elections the New York Times Reports that “TV Networks Resort to the ‘Crawl’ Instead of Real News Coverage” ( The story reports on how most of the traditional TV networks kept their regular programs running and delivered last evening primary election results as information crawls. The article is really more of a statement on how much television has changed with specialty networks being available.

Because it’s their biggest expense, I worry that up here in Canada our mainstream networks might start dropping News resources and resort to thee crawls more and more in and effort to improve profitability.

Scholarships For Students Interested In The Technical Side Of The Media Industry.

For those students interested pursuing careers in the Audio Visual Industry, information on Infocomm’s Scholarships & Mentoring is now online at There is a great quick start guide to the AV Industry.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers offers the The Lou Wolf Memorial Scholarship is designed to help students further their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology.

SMPTE Events in Toronto

I found out today that Kimberly Maki, who is the Executive Director of SMPTE will be speaking at the Toronto Technical Seminar in May. It’s been branded as BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD and I’m sitting on the organizing committee.

It’s premature to release any specifics but the organization of the event is going very well and the call for papers provided a very good content base for the organizers to draw from. There are a lot of new idea’s that are being incorporated into this event so circle your calendar for this one. Registration has yet to open for this but you can watch the details unfold at, click on the BOOT CAMP III: Advanced Technologies—Beyond HD details link for additional information.

Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization

While I’m on the subject of SMPTE I might as well promote the Toronto Section meeting that I arranged for next week. It’s titled Green Media Computing – From Data Centre Cooling Through Production Technology Virtualization. It may be the first “Green Meeting” organized by a SMPTE Section. Just so everyone knows who might consider coming to the meeting. The meeting will focus on the next five years of media computing from a business and operations perspective. There are so many good reasons to look at what’s happening with computer technology and by making use of it you’ll actually save money and help preserve the environment at the same time. Details of the meeting are at

New Ryerson Photography Gallery

Ryerson Universityunveiled its new Photography Gallery & Research Centre today. It looks quite impressive and it is going to make the Bond Street location on the Image Arts building really shine for Ryerson. That building and its associated programs in Still Photography, Motion Picture Film Studies and New Media have help develop numerous talents. The Schools contribution to education in this area in Canada that their story is almost impossible to tell.


Many Ayromlou over at NerdLogger is currently taking a still photography course in the school. Everyone who know Many knows how good a photographer he is. He’s really been enjoying his classes and he posts some of his work on his blog and you can see improvements in his work with each posting. Check out his product shots at that he did as part of his classwork.


Another great part of that school is the Quality of the Faculty. Every time I meet up with one of them I learn a lot. I noted the following story today; “IT on the brink of another revolution” says Microsoft’s Ballmer. (

Alexandra Bal (, who is a faculty member in Ryerson’s New Media program, pointed out the same revolution that Ballmer’s just talking to me almost two years ago. I’ve used this knowledge in just about every installation and presentation that I’ve been involved in ever since.

Steve Ballmer and Microsoft’s Current Woes

Given the timing of the Balmer story above my question is why does Ballmer always seem so late when he comes to the party? I know he was busy spreading fears about Linux with his past “Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability” statements ( over the past year or so. However I understand that Microsoft has kissed and made up with us Linux users ( and I’m willing to let sleeping dogs lie if Ballmer can. However after watching the world famous developer “monkey boy” video ( I can’t help but think that he’s a little put out when CNet News reports that “Open-source developers command up to 40 percent premium”

Even worse for Microsoft is that Robert Cringely sees (and writes) “No big bargain in Vista price cut” In the article that was posted yesterday he muses as follows. “Let me get this straight: I get a price cut on an OS upgrade that will not run on the computer I purchased just one year prior to the Vista release? I think I will run out right now and not buy a copy.

Funny Microsoft Video And Other Useful Items on NerdLogger

I finally had a chance to review Many Ayromlou’s blog NerdLogger. He provides a link to a humorous video on a MS-DOS 5.5. I really enjoyed watching it!

His site also pointed me to youconvertit. It converts videos, still image files and text files of all kinds . His site also pointed me to Mango. It provides free language instruction online! Just in case NerdLogger is at

Random Thoughts

Netscape Navigator, now owned by AOL, will no longer be supported after 1 March 2008.

A group of 12 audiophiles” couldn’t tell the difference between Monster 1000 speaker cables and coat hangers.

Canadian regulators appear stuck in the slow lane when it comes to Network Neutrality. – Michael Geist

Pascal Cotte became famous when his technologies uncovered the true colours of the Mona Lisa. He will be part of ideaCity here in Toronto.

Accroding to ars technica “Book lovers have emotional bond with paper”. I always thought that….

Jason Cranford Teague talks about why he likes Apple’s Safari 3.0.4. It’s worth a read.

According to the MacBook Air is selling much stronger than many would have guessed.

ITcanada identifies four reasons for Mac popularity. It claims PC compatibility, improved OS, Mac vs. PC ads, and support as the key reasons.

Apple falls short of 1000 movie rentals,

“Atom” is the name Intel’s new chip family.

Microsoft is launching an online version of its Office software.

It’s been a year since Adobe announced the development of their Photoshop webapp. Where is it?

Research firm iSuppli has come out and stated that 2008 is likely to be the breakout year for the PS3.

Everex is going after Mini PCs like the Mac Mini. They’ve launched the Everex gPC Mini which is a Linux powered Mini PC.

Jungle Disk is a service that lets you backup data securely to for only 15¢ per gigabyte.

More later


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.