Wanna see 3D? Try this…

The best thing for browsing in full 3D has to be CoolIris. The best part, is that its a plug-in for Firefox. Takes a minute to install and fire up. But wow, once you’ve launched the product, its just amazing. You’ll need to see it for yourself. This is a Kleiner-Perkins backed company and has about 2.4 million users (downloads of the plug-in). Its fun eye-candy, especially for those of you with a large, wide screen monitor.

Check it out here.

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another ghost video or is it?

The facility is Anytime Gym, which is open 24/7, located in Overland Park, Kansas. The alarm has gone off numerous times in the past couple of weeks – always in the middle of the night. While studying the tape one morning, owner Kim Peterson noticed a white orb floating through the workout room. The phenomena lasted for approximately two hours and was only on one night’s taping. Here’s the video from the local Kansas City channel, KMBCTV.

Well, what do you think? I posted another one of these last year too: 

https://williamsager.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/ghost-or-angeldo-you-believe-in-this/

Rich techies…how much $ do they have?

Here’s an interesting list, courtesy of TechCrunch. Thanks Mike!.

The Richest People in Tech

1. Bill Gates (Microsoft), $57 billion
3. Larry Ellison (Oracle), $27 billion
11. Michael Dell (Dell), $17.3 billion
12. Paul Allen (Microsoft), $16 billion
13. Sergey Brin (Google), $15.9 billion
14. Larry Page (Google), $15.8 billion
15. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), $15 billion
33. Jeff Bezos (Amazon), $8.7 billion
47. Rupert Murdoch (News Corp.), $6.8 billion
54. Pierre Omidyar (eBay), $6.3 billion
59. Eric Schmidt (Google), $5.9 billion
61. Steve Jobs (Apple), $5.7 billion
84. Gordon Moore (Intel), $4.4 billion
84. John Sall (SAS Institute), $4.4 billion
91. David Sun (Kingston Technology), $4 billion
91. John Tu, (Kingston Technology), $4 billion
105. Richard Shulze (Best Buy), $3.5 billion
144. Ray Dolby (Dolby), $2.9 billion
161. Mark Cuban (Broadcast.com), $2.6 billion
246. Irwin Jacobs (Qualcomm), $1.9 billion
246. Omid Kordestani (Google), $1.9 billion
262. Henry Samueli (Broadcom), $1.8 billion
281. David Filo (Yahoo), $1.7 billion
321. Amar Bose (Bose), $1.5 billion
321. Todd Wagner (Broadcast.com), $1.5 billion
321. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), $1.5 billion
355. Richard Egan (EMC), $1.4 billion
355. Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems), $1.4 billion
355. Theodore Waitt (Gateway), $1.4 billion

On Keating and Savings and Loans or did you forget?

I’m not a very political animal as some of my friends are but lest we not forget some of the things that John McCain did just a few year ago. It has not been discussed yet, but now maybe it will be. This will be the ONLY post I’ll place here on politics.

Remember this?

John McCain was officially reprimanded by the US Senate for taking undisclosed donations and gifts from savings and loan swindler Charlie Keating. McCain took $100G in cash, vacations at Keating’s Bahamas’ estate and trips on Keating’s private jet. Wife Cindy McCain’s Dad was Charlie Keating’s partner in a large phoenix shopping center and several large tracts of land that were being developed for housing tracts when Keating’s house of cards empire collapsed and left taxpayers paying $2.6 BILLION to bank account holders. The Keating’s must be rolling on the floor laughing at big banks when they hear McCain yell about riding his white horse to Washington so he can punish greedy bankers and stock swindlers.

Then, someone sent me this yesterday.

I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”

Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers: a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig, and Track: you’re a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating: you’re well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl (sports caster), 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.

If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

TV Guide – Where are you?

Next question: how does one decide what to watch, when and where? There is no ‘TV Guide’ like there used to be. TV Guide used to be the Kleenex of how you looked up what was on TV. That was it. Someone asked what was on TV tonight? You told them to look it up in TV Guide.  There should be some kind of universal online TV widget that displayed a guide to what’s on TV online each night in prime time, like a TV guide for your desktop (I’m surprised that Adobe ‘air’ doesn’t offer a widget like this. I might like to know that I can see ‘BattleStar Gallactica’ on hulu the following night it airs on traditional TV. Boy, would I use that. A little advertising at the bottom and there you go. ~b.

TV Online – It’s NOT on TV and worse, everyone appears to be all the same.

At first, CinemaNow and MovieLink were the 2 places for online consumption of movies at first, then TV shows were added. Well intentioned but clunky and smothered with restrictions on viewing the content, it was accepted only by the most avid online enthusiast with the fastest connections to the Internet.  You could download Indiana Jones ( 30-45 days AFTER its DVD release) and by the time you were done, Indi 2 was in the theaters. It was painful.  But your yardstick for measuring success was simple – in the number of downloads.

Then came the notion of streaming video just like youtube was doing (and much illegal content on youtube ) and then came a crop of youtube look-alikes, then joost appeared and a whole slew of joost-alikes came along.  Once the social networks hit big, there were social networks built around content, blip TV, veoh’s, revvers, myspaceTV, etc.  Somehow, someone felt that if I was online at Facebook or a MySpace member then I must also like to watch a certain genre of films or type of TV show (which is mistake # 1) and that I’d watch it online (mistake # 2).  The recommendation engine ‘notion’ applied to me in this way was all wrong!

Soon, established brands launched their own ‘branded’ version/site of online TV and movie consumption; iTunes,  amazon video on demand (downloads) , hulu, reeltime, tidaltv, jaman, babelgum, TheWB + and more. Then we have all the set-top ‘boxes’ that arrived, X-Box downloads, Vudu, Roku/Netflix, the late Akimbo, TiVo, Comcast, ATT-U-Verse and the list goes on.  Now, after all of this ‘launching’ and all of these press releases and all of these disparate systems, I have 2 observations to make. The FIRST is that unfortunately, EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE MUCH OF THE SAME MOVIES AND TV SHOWS. There is no real ‘differentiation’ other than the domain. No one ‘programs’ a service anymore.   It seems depending on the service and who they have been able to strike a deal with, they simply put every single piece of content up online in mass, categorize each piece with the usual tags like ‘adventure’, ‘sci-fi’,  ‘suspense’ etc.  Each is advertising not hundreds, but ‘thousands’ of titles…4,500..10,000, 40,000 +. There is no ‘guide’ other than search fields embedded somewhere on each site for the consumer to ‘search’ for his or her movie or show. The SECOND is that despite all of the many services calling themselves ‘online TV’ or ‘ IPTV’, NONE OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY CARRIED ON TELEVISION. Unless you’ve hooked up your PC/MAC to your LCD, your computer bound. With the exception of a few ‘boxes’, most online TV websites require you to watch and pay to watch this content on your computer. I can see watching some of this content for free on my computer, but I have a hard time seeing myself paying for any of it, especially since most of it I can already get on my cable or satellite TV in one form or the other (and I can find it easier with the TV guide on my cable or Direct TV). So, why should I be excited to see ‘Tropic Thunder’ show up online on my 21” PC screen for $ 5.99 ? It will show-up on my 45” LCD TV set anyway on PPV for the same fee, but I can sit on my couch and watch it.

UGC is easy to understand why its so popular. Most UGC is 2-3 minutes in length, hardly an hour and a half movie.

There are a lot of people online and yes, movies and TV shows are popular. But the reason most of us are online was not to find a movie or TV show. Initially, it was for email and for information and communication. It still is and even more so. It’s simply that our connections are that much bigger today and therefore this allows for the ‘broadcasting’ of video whereas years ago, it just was a ‘pipe’ (sorry, bad joke) dream.

Now, if one day, somehow I can get access to any movie or TV show I can think of sent directly to my TV set, (using the internet as a dumb pipe) regardless of what pay or basic cable service had the film under license… now that’s something I’d pay for or watch with commercials. I’d love to collectively watch some of Hollywood’s grandest and biggest failures that I choose like Michael Cimino’s ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘George Lucas’s Howard the Duck’ , Warren Beatty’s ‘Ishtar’, ‘Under the Volcano’ etc. Or, watch all of the ‘Thin Man’ films (William Powell, Mynra Loy and Asta). Ahh…maybe one day.

Hurricane’s worth watching.

police car chase

police car chase

There is this urge in all of us to watch others dilemma’s, happenstances and circumstances that are out of our control or for that matter, anyone’s control to see what will happen and when it will happen.  If there was a 24/7 car chase channel on TV that did nothing but let us watch the myriads of car chases from TV news helicopters that occur every day on our highways and city streets, it would be a ratings star.  We’d use it as TV wallpaper.  Leave it on, glance over at the screen once and a while all the time hoping to see some kind of climactic and safe (?) resolution to each chase.  Well, there is no ‘Chase Channel’ cable TV or internet channel today but there is a new web site that allows us to better watch and observe a Hurricane. And its got great graphics and data, along with a nice light degree of interactivity. So, instead of only being able to see the giant ‘green swirling’ white clouds repeated 10X backwards and forwards on the evening weather portion of the news, try this site called ‘Stormpulse‘.  Here’s a pic/preview. There’s nothing to download,  which is even better.

Stormpulse partial screen shot

Stormpulse partial screen shot

Chrome’s tricks and ‘eggs’ of strength revealed!

Chrome is a very nice little new broswer. Not sure the world needed another one, but its still pretty cool. A few tricks that you can try are below. Google placed a few ‘easter’ eggs into the code. So, if you paste some of these commands into the broswer address bar, you’ll have some fun. Try some of these:

about:internets – makes your browser a MS screen saver

  • about:memory
  • about:stats
  • about:network
  • about:internets
  • about:histograms
  • about:dns
  • about:cache
  • about:plugins
  • about:version

Enjoy!