Though I do not own an iPhone, I’m always looking for new cool applications for my iPod Touch.  The limitations of the Touch keep me from having a lot of the good applications is the only problem.

I stumbled upon this application called ‘The Best Camera’  which is a great combination of multiple capabilities of the iPhone.  It is to a certain extent a photoshop type application where you can edit photos that you’ve taken on your phone and then save them.  The aspect of it that really intrigued me though was the sharing community that it brings to the table.  After you have gone through the array of filters, vignettes, frames, contrast settings, etc., you can then upload to the internet.  With the click of one button, it is linked to your Facebook, Twitter, email, phone memory, and ‘’s online interactive gallery.

On the website there is a live feed of pictures that people have taken and uploaded.  You can look at all the pictures, pictures of the hour, pictures of the day, and pictures of the month.  It really encourages people to put their work up for recognition across the globe.  I feel that this is a new sort of technology that is really encouraging the use of the cell phone camera for arts sake and for sharing inside of a community.  The website was inspired by a book that the creator put together called THE BEST CAMERA is the one you have with you.  He created the book completely of pictures taken with his iPhone to demonstrate that it is not as much about what camera you use as it is what you take a picture of.  With new applications coming out that focus on the community built around the app, I think that even simple things such as being able to put a filter on your photos will expand because of the ability to share and compare.

So grab your iPhone and get THE BEST CAMERA application if you want to make it on the top photo of the hour/day/month chart, until I get an iPhone, I will be content with Paper Toss and Duck Hunt.

Wait What is a mashup artist that I recently found through the website. who did a full album of mixes between Notorious B.I.G. and a band called The XX.  I saw his videos on youtube and loved the mixes that he was making, very simple but still musically stimulating.

As always, I wanted to download the music so that I could have it and even mix it up  little when I found time.  Upon reaching his website I tried to find the download link that the blog had talked about.  The DL link had been closed because the company that owns the rights to Notorious’ music had found out and sent a letter demanding for the music to be taken down.

Screen shot 2010-05-04 at 4.46.56 PM

I understand the fact that they don’t want their copyrighted material to be downloaded freely but at the same time, all of the videos on youtube are still up.  Not only this but on his account, you can still individually download every track that he’s mashed so far with Notorious.  Is it that they just haven’t found out yet that it is still online or do they not care that it is available elsewhere.

After Patti said that her soundtrack had been taken down from her youtube post, it doesn’t make sense why youtube would not take this down as well.  Or if not youtube, why the people from the record company would not go after every form that he has his music being shared through.  It is just as much of an infringement of the copyright and isn’t parody so I don’t believe that it could be considered as something that falls under the creative commons license.  This line is still something that seems to be blurry in our online and media culture.

There are definitely places that copyright infringing work can be hidden online but I wouldn’t expect youtube to be one of them.  Is it fair that youtube doesn’t get in trouble for hosting this and not taking it down or is it the responsibility of the uploader to realize their (dead)wrong-doings and take them down?  Also, is it likely that certain record companies are much more keen on where their music is being shared and stopping it or is it a matter of someone reporting it to them?  I’d like to know how it is that they come across these things that they aren’t alright with and how they go about getting it down.  I also would like to see an overhaul to a certain extent to the copyright laws that makes it legal for people to use other work as an inspiration of their own artistic creations without repercussions (wishful thinking but hey… The Sky Is The Limit[Biggie reference!])

Have a listen and enjoy, I love Juicy-R and Island’s the Limit.

That is the “slogan” of the company that has started this Software/Hardware interface and design.  I stumbled across this and was at first confused to exactly what it did but once the video get going, it shows you how it works.  I think that integrating a digital HD reality “outside” of your windows is a really cool idea that would definitely confuse people who didn’t know and get them intrigued when they realized that the Golden Gate Bridge or International Space Station wasn’t really outside.  It reminds me a lot also of the computer/projector that Joe showed me that works based on where the necklace sensor is in relation to your fingers.  None of these things are fully functional or without hinges yet but I can see them becoming contenders of a new market in the future.  The integration of the iPhone into this Winscape product is also very good strategy because it is building off of an already existing hit that millions(?) have at the moment.  With HD, 4K, and all of the stunning new video resolutions, these might be more believable than I could imagine in the near future.  I think I would wake up in the Bahamas every day, now just to get the snow to stop and the sun to come… digitally.

In exploring Façade, I found it to be a very interesting “game”.  From my first experience of watching Torren knock on the door and start to engage with both Trip and Grace, I was very intrigued by the typing recognition.  The fact that it is able to discern what you are saying by picking out different pieces of what you type is something that I haven’t before seen incorporated into a game or interface.  In exploring what they say and respond to, I had a desire to try to push its limits with words that I wasn’t sure it would recognize.  In asking for different types of drinks when he offers one and chatting with Trip about his trip to Europe, it was apparent that there definitely were surprising results and boundaries.

Sometimes the game would move on as though you hadn’t said a sentence and sometimes your sentence would stop him mid conversation to branch off into something that he wanted to talk about.  In a game ( I use the term loosely) that incorporates you into the way in which the plot pushes, I also wondered if it would be possible to recreate the same experience twice.  It seemed to me that there was a “web” that it followed as you trickled down into more specific experiences until you either got kicked out or helped them resolve their differences.  When Molly said that she was very nice the whole time and just asked about insignificant things around the apartment, they still fought.  It seems that the role the game asks you to play is mediator to the two of them.  You can either help avoid a fight, push for a fight, or do nothing and they still fight.

I think that this game opens up a new window and could easily be built upon to make the overall experience more immersive and less restricted.  Having won the Grand Jury Prize in 2006 at the Slam Dance Independent Games Festival, it certainly shows promise and the possibility of future inspiration.  Weird to think that soon enough computers will not only be able to recognize text but also understand what it says and respond with an answer.  Will the roles be switched someday where we are in the position of Trip and Grace and the computer acts as mediator?  Hopefully not!

My younger brother showed me this video and I thought that it was a great example of how Chatroulette might be able to be used for other sorts of things. Like I said in my earlier blog posts, if there was a way to filter why people were there it would be much more useful. The fact that “Merton” used it though to create a hilarious beginning to a concert for Ben Folds blows my mind. Such a simple idea that got millions to laugh 🙂 Take a peek.

ABC Nightly news with Brian Williams is a program that millions tune into across the country as a source for what’s going on in the nation and the world on a regular basis. I personally have replaced watching the news on TV with reading it online or watching little clips here and there on the internet. It works with my schedule, I get to watch/read whenever I want and don’t have to deal with (many) commercials.

After spending time with my grandfather during break, who tunes in on a nightly basis, I saw how little has changed about the nightly broadcast. There was one major thing that I have never seen before though that caught my eye. At the end of the broadcast while the credits rolled, they had four icons across the bottom under the words “To get this broadcast”. The Facebook “F”, the Twitter “T”, the RSS squiggles, and the Podcast “i” icon are all there popping out like candy on the screen in their colorful “shorthand” icons.

ABC has recognized that in the modern day, many people either have converted to digital/internet media for collecting their information and they really don’t want to miss out. If you had told them five years ago that to keep their following they would have to convert their broadcast into four different electronic versions, they would probably tell you you’re crazy and that everybody following them watches TV. Now, they have stayed up with the latest and turned a half hour TV show into many other forms of communication.

How you condense that into 140 characters or a wall post… I’m not sure but, they have found ways of making it work to get their program to the masses. I think that it is interesting also that you see it at the end of the broadcast. They don’t put it in the beginning saying if you don’t want to watch this whole thing or don’t want the commercials then look at our online sources for giving you the news. It is only after the broadcast is over that they advertise other possible ways. It would be interesting to see how the five different ways of collecting their news are different and what is cut out in certain ones.

Life on the run is always shifting and thankfully, industries are noticing that and tailoring their products to help go along seamlessly with the shift. I’m sure that the daily commuter appreciates being able to bring up the highlights of the newscast on their blackberry from the same firsthand source that they would have gotten the information from on TV.

All of these new things that I am being introduced to, now Second Life, I can barely handle first life!  It is so much to take in for someone that thought I knew ALOT about the internet.  From Twitter and Blogging to creating Avatars and SecondLife.  I spent a little longer then I realized this afternoon browsing around on Second Life and visiting the sites that we were assigned to, and much to my surprise found some pretty neat stuff.  The first place that I went was the Library that was recommended to us.


While walking around I didn’t really see anyone then noticed all of the computers with little titles over them.  People created a virtual library with links to just about everything.  It intrigues me in that it is a way of filtering through the internet.  As Lessig talked about, a great example of collaborative action.  Every contributes their links for the greater good of the virtual library.  This process works especially well with REAL librarians all over the world making sure that everything checks out (pun intended).  I clicked on the Cowboy Adventures computer and found myself lost, browsing through places on the web I would have never seen.  Next stop was the NMC Information Mall.


I found this to be quite helpful because of the lack of knowledge I have about how the Second Life world works or even really what it is.  I watched the “Advanced Camera Techniques” video that was literally posted on a wall in the mall( Definitely watch it.  It has proven to be very helpful for helping me take these pictures and manipulate the camera the way that I want to.  Thinking about it, this could also be a really cool way to do some “pre-visualizations” for shooting a real movie.  Other then the camera flying away, most of the moves that the camera does are completely replicable.  If someone were to build a house in Second Life that was like the movie set, they could essentially block out all of their shots before hand or have a pretty good idea of what looks good and what they like.  Just a thought.  Moving on, I went to the Space Station.


Taking a few pictures and browsing around just as if I were a real tourist, I then set up in the air and flew around to peek at the models of space ships that had been created for the island.  A nice stop on my world tour, it really went to show that people really are building ANYTHING in this world.  A few more teleports, and I found myself at the Middlebury College Terra Project.


Not only do they only speak spanish in this “building” but they say it outside on big billboards that plaster the walls.  Just like the article about “Second Life rape”, anyone could just as easily violate the rules here and run in speaking English without anything stopping them and without a voodoo doll.  It really just comes down to respecting what people ask for and ask you not to do because to the best of my knowledge there are no Second Life police yet!  I stopped in and admired the artwork on display in the gallery here and then headed out to catch sunset in Dublin.

One of the glitches about a program like this is the speed at which a “world” loads.  I had a lot of trouble here because of how long it took to load everything (buildings, posters, modeling, textures, music playing in the streets etc.)  That did not stop me from doing some wandering though.  Dublin had some cool stores and buildings.  In one, I found the “Dublin Literary Pub Crawl” which apparently was a quest I could set out on to combine finding great literary works and great Dublin bars.  I did not indulge because of all the literary works I have to deal with tonight in First Life but I am sure that it would have been an interesting journey to go on.


I ended my adventure flying around Dublin and admiring the sunset that reflected off of the endless ocean, separating this island from the next.  Though time consuming with all of the loading, I enjoyed the sharing and community that this online world has to offer.  It can be used in many ways and I’m sure that as time goes on, they will only keep expanding.

While watching March Madness on TV, there are a million commercials that say something about American culture and what we “consume” and buy into. Everything from energy drink ads to airline commercials, we are a fast and busy culture. But really… how fast and busy do we need to be? AT&T is now advertising that they are the only carrier that allows you to “talk and download from the web at the same time” on you phone. For some serious people who don’t even have a spare minute in the work day I guess it might be a nice feature but really… how many of us need to be able to stream videos and talk on the phone at the same time? Are our attention spans evens even capable of multi tasking and taking in either if we had a friend on the phone and were streaming a basketball game at the same time? The ad shows three friends on the phone, two are watching a basketball game and one is stuck in traffic in a taxi. They put him in a taxi in traffic to show his network as being slow and “stuck”. They are all talking about the game and then say “Hey ____ did you see that shot?”, he of course answers no and looks like the loser. Phone companies are really doing whatever they can to one up each other and this is a prime example. And knowing AT&T, it’s probably an extra $25.00 per month for that capability. What is the use for this and do we really need it or does everybody just want to have the phone that can do the most possible and the most simultaneously? I mean what’s next… an IMAX screen and a 3D keypad?

« Older entries

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.