Got a burning desire to build a PC out of a gas can? Here's your chance. This week, Via Technologies released a new version of its Mini-ITX motherboard. Because of its comparatively small size, the Mini-ITX--a circuit board complete with the processor and many of the other components necessary to build a PC--is altering what desktops look like. Smaller PC manufacturers in Europe and Asia are putting the board into desktops clad with aluminum cases, so they look more like stereo equipment. Universities are using it in class projects, where students have to incorporate PCs into electronics systems inside cars. And do-it-yourself types are also getting into the act, building Mini ITX-based PCs inside shells such as a desk drawer, a cigar humidor and an old E.T. doll, as well as in lunch pails and briefcases. "We get about five or six things a week, people doing crazy things with a PC. There are car PCs, PCs in a bread bin," Richard Brown, vice president of marketing for Taiwanese-based … [Read more...] about PCs shape up as masters of disguise
Master of digital media
This afternoon at Google I/O 2009 Dave Sparks gave the most technical presentation of the conference so far when he delved into the details of the Android Media Framework. Here are my notes from the talk. Design Goals of the Media Framework include: Simplify application development Share resources in multi-tasked environment Provide a strong security model Leave room for future growth The typical stack for a media function call is pretty complex: DVM proxy > JNI > Native proxy (C++) > Binder Proxy > Binder Native > Native Implementation Thankfully you don't need to make many calls to the framework. Using a native proxy will allow developers to call media from native games in the future. Internally the media framework has its own handlers for .ogg and .mid files, and sends anything else to the OpenCORE library. That's why the .ogg format is preferred for lightweight sound effects. Android video codecs include: H.263 Video. Originally designed for low bit-rate … [Read more...] about Google I/O: Mastering the Android Media Framework
I read a lot about social media. Partly because I am interested, partly because I have to in order to write this blog. In all of my reading, there is one implied thought I run across more than others: "Social media is powerful." It gives any average person who has access to the Internet and a bit of ingenuity the opportunity to create a more vivid, accessible "personal brand" and, if done right, that person can spend 15 minutes in the Internet spotlight. But at what cost? We've all read the stories about people stupidly posting Facebook status messages about ditching work, only to have their bosses read it. We've also heard the stories about the guy who gets caught cheating because he was sloppy with his social networking. I'm not talking about those costs - that kind of human error deserves grief. I'm talking about the side effects of creating a successful personal brand and, even if you make all of the apparent right decisions along the way, how it can create upheaval in both … [Read more...] about The psychology of social media: Can a visible brand ruin your life?
Online streaming is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort through the good and the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies worth a watch.On the list this week: Master of None returns, Clint Eastwood tackles recent events, and a critically acclaimed movie hits Amazon.Master of None season 2Aziz Ansari’s slice-of-life series Master of None follows Dev Shah (Ansari), an aspiring actor struggling with work and relationships as he stumbles through his 30s. While the first season took place largely in the bourgeois metropolis of New York City, season 2 begins in Italy, where Dev pursues training in the culinary arts. Despite the change of setting, Master of None’s second season maintains the show’s preoccupation with millennial … [Read more...] about Five shows and movies to stream this week: ‘Master of None,’ ‘Sully,’ and more
Part two of a two-part series. For a contrarian view, see "Why PCs, not smartphones, are best for social media sharing."The PC is a fully customizable content creation tool for making videos, games, and music. It's an entertainment machine for playing the latest games and movies with peerless fidelity. And as a communication tool, it has served us well for many, many years: You can use it for email, instant messaging, and video conferencing.But the PC isn't perfect, and it is certainly not the best tool for social media consumption and distribution. It's a technological team player that relies on a deep bench of peripherals to deliver optimal performance, and sometimes you just can't afford to lug around all that extra gear. Life can take you places a PC simply can't go--places with no room for a decent mouse and keyboard, a gorgeous high-resolution display, or a power cable connected to a convenient power outlet.Perversely, it's often when we're farthest from our PCs--whether … [Read more...] about Why Smartphones are the Rightful Kings of Social Media
When asked what I do for a living, I often describe myself as “an information infrastructure guy” — a technology research analyst who focuses on systems/storage/networks/operating environments and systems software. But in reality I cover far more than just infrastructure. I explore how cloud environments are built and managed, I dabble in big data analytics, and occasionally I explore DevOps and mobile computing initiatives. But one area I have avoided has been the relationship between information systems and social engagement. That is, until I was invited to IDG’s AGENDA15 conference last week just down the road from me at Amelia Island, Fla.AGENDA15 was billed as a conference that focused on driving business through “digital transformation.” Digital transformation seeks to more closely link enterprises with customers and business partners through the use of technology. Or, as Altimeter Group puts it, digital transformation is “the realignment … [Read more...] about IDG’s AGENDA15: The dynamics of digital transformation
It was Rachel Tipograph's second day at NYU. The former global director of digital and social media at Gap was walking down 2nd avenue, when she physically collided with a guy on the sidewalk. That guy was comedian Judah Friedlander, perhaps best known as Frank on 30 Rock.They started talking, and given that it was 2005, when she told him about Facebook groups and how to use social to galvanize his fans, he was hearing it for the first time.A sushi meeting later, Friedlander made Tipograph his "web master." — though not in the traditional sense."I was probably one of the first people to ever be a community manager," she said. She helped Judah out on social media, including helping create content. "That started to put me on a path of this idea of technology entertainment media," she said. It's hard to say that's where it all started — Tipograph was an eBay power user at 13 who later developed aspirations to be a Hollywood agent, so it was probably a matter of … [Read more...] about Rachel Tipograph: Former Gap director of digital. Burgeoning entrepreneur. Ex comedy agent.
Major League Baseball has been playing games for much the same way since 1869, but today the digital revolution is driving an overhaul of the game and the fan experience at ballparks across North America.The game has suffered losses in popularity in recent years, compared to the NFL and the NBA. Regardless, it still has an old-fashioned appeal to those fans who like nothing better than a sunny afternoon at a ballpark with a hot dog and a beer. But that's not enough for newer fans, and even for some longtime fans—they want more excitement from a game that can move very slowly compared to other sports.Tech is being used to rev up the game experience so that teams can keep people coming to stadiums, as well as buying merchandise, food, and drinks. Since 2012, attendance has been slowly declining at MLB games, with fewer fans opting to navigate the traffic around stadiums and paying high ticket prices to see their favorite teams. In 2007, the highest-attended year in the history of … [Read more...] about Field of digital dreams: Why MLB is betting its future on big data, Wi-Fi, apps, and AR
Do your kids need to disconnect?Are video games and the proliferation of mobile devices making us expect constant stimulation? Are we raising a generation of kids that believe they are entitled to be entertained at all times?Like the King with his court jester, do your kids think that they have a divinely ordained right to be amused at all times? Can your kids sit still? Can you? Do you know how to wait?For better or worse, most of our kids now spend more time in the digitally constructed sandbox of video games than they do with the worms, stones, sticks and dirt that reigned during my imaginative childhood. What happened to make-believe? Many parents worry that their kids will never learn how to be content without electronic stimulation.But it is too simple to just blame the new tech for the destruction of the old ways.Certainly, when I was a teenager, we didn’t have Twitter and Facebook in the palms of our hands. I wrote in my journal or read a book while waiting for the train … [Read more...] about 3 Tips For Disconnecting Kids From Over-Stimulation, Video Games, And Digital Media
Matthew Gonnering is CEO of Widen Enterprises. Your brand has a story, and it's nearly impossible to tell that story without some form of digital media. As your brand, your product and service offerings, and your organization grow, so too will your library of digital assets. Images, audio, video, documents and more are all vital tools to marketers. That means that managing those assets effectively is as important a skill as any other. Here are five ways you can step up your digital asset management game and keep the focus on telling your story, no matter how big you are or what kinds of systems you're using to store and distribute media. Centralize your media library Except in rare situations, there's just too little benefit and too much risk involved to justify having your digital assets spread out across more than one location. Doing so invites redundancy and confusion, especially if there aren't strict protocols in place that help people figure out what media is housed where. … [Read more...] about Managing Digital Assets Important for Marketing Pros