Pocket HD

Living in a new city away from friends and family has given me reason to make a purchase that I have never cared to do in the past, a video camera. The issue I had in getting one is I rarely have anything worthy to put on video. No kids, no interesting hobbies that would benefit from a video camera, nothing. This being the case, I still decided I had no use for a full featured camera, but instead felt that one of the popular pocket cameras would be perfect.

The initial decision was between one of the many Flip cameras or the Kodak Zi6.

Although the first Flip cameras are very popular, I had a desire to get a camera with good video quality above what these Flips were capable of. This quickly narrowed my selection to the Flip MinoHD and the Kodak Zi6. After much research, I ended up with the Kodak.

The decision was made for a few reasons. The Flip has 4GB internal memory with no way of extending the memory whereas the Kodak has an SD (SDHC) slot. The internal memory of the Kodak is so small it isn’t worth mentioning, so an SD card is basically required.

Another item was the battery. The Flip has an internal Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery that gets 2 hours of life. This is plenty since the 4GB memory can only hold 60 minutes of video, but since I wanted more than the 4GB, I felt that the battery life needed to be longer if not replaceable. The Kodak requires 2 AA batteries, and includes 4 rechargeable AA’s with charger. I have not had a chance to fully test out how long 2 AA’s will last, but the ability to switch in new batteries quickly is essential.

Lastly, the price. The Flip costs $230 and can be found for as little as $200. The Kodak costs $180 and can be found for as little as $140. The difference is that the Kodak will require an additional purchase of an SD card, but a 16GB SDHC card can be had for $20.

In the end, both produce great video at 720p with minor variations in quality. The Kodak tends to be more yellow, and I have read the Flip tends to be more Blue. Neither from what I have found do very well in low light or dark environments. The Kodak is a bit more bulkier than the Flip, but it also has a 2.4 LCD screen vs Flip’s 1.5 LCD screen.

Although I have no video to show just yet, you can find comparisons all over. Check out John Gruber’s, from daringfireball, vimeo. He has a couple of videos comparing the two.

UPDATE: Gruber’s comparison is between the Flip Ultra and Zi6, not the Flip MinoHD.


Twitter overload

Everyone is writing about twitter, writing on twitter, writing about twitter on twitter, and every other way they can to get across their twitter addiction.

Why twitter? How is this service attracting so much positive attention when it crashes regularly, 3rd party client software isn’t reliable, and you are limited to only 140 characters per update?

The idea is quite simple and the execution of it is just as simple. Where myspace and facebook both wanted to revolutionize the area of social networking with tons of features (wanted or not), twitter took the route of creating a social networking site with only a status update feature (also known as a tweet). What are you doing? Where are you? What are your thoughts? Any of these can be put into the 140 character tweet limit.

Initially, twitter wanted you to be able to do this on the move. Want to let people know where you are and see if they want to meet up? Use SMS from your phone to send a tweet. Now, the 140 characters makes sense, right? If it doesn’t, allow me to explain.

Most cell phone carriers enforce a 160 character limit on SMS messages. There is no technological limit here, simply one that carriers enforce on their end. Twitter’s idea was to allow you to send a tweet to all of your friends with the equivalent of an SMS message. Why are they using 140 vs the 160 allowed is beyond me, but nonetheless, with the success of today’s text messaging, it was obvious that 140 would be enough.

So, once more. Why with all of the limitations has twitter been so successful? With a guess of 200K+ active users and 3M+ total users, the service pales in comparison to both myspace’s and facebook’s 100M+ count, but the twitter user base is nothing to shrug shoulders at.

Twitter has something that the “bigger” social network sites don’t. Simple, minimalistic, quick access. Most client apps are built around this concept and the twitter site allows twitterers to do basically one thing beyond following other twitterers, send out a tweet. You don’t have to muck through all of the notifications, facebook apps, profiles, likes, dislikes, groups, pics, and hideously designed sites that will bring powerful computers to their knees. You simply type “End of day is here. Happy Hour anyone?” or “Just saw 7 pounds. Very sad, but everyone needs to see it!”

What makes this plain concept so great is that It keeps your attention. Twitter has been described as micro-blogging. In this description, it makes sense. You may not want to read through an entire blog entry on a friend’s site, but you wouldn’t mind reading less than 140 characters expressing what is on your friend’s mind. Much like youtube created the 2 minute time wasting video to satisfy our generation’s short attention span, twitter is doing the same on the written front.

Add other items to this simple ability and you have developed a method of active communication that you aren’t able to get from the other social sites. Clients on mobile phones, computers, iPhones, and many other devices with internet access are creating methods of sharing your physical location with a tap of a button, uploading on-the-fly snapshots of your life, allowing you to find other twitterers that may be close by, and being able to share that great link to a website you found while waiting for a bus. All of this is kept within the confines of 140 characters.

Now. Twitter me up at http://twitter.com/icedtrip.


Mingalaba rands!

Rands in Repose has some of the best writing that I have come across in recent years. I like to think it is a discussion on everything. Every time I read new posts, I feel as though I am simply listening to a conversation of thoughts. The most recent post is no exception.

A Signature Candence is a simple dive into observations of the way items are displayed on several sites from the way “time” is shown on status updates to the way you are greeted at kiosks. It’s a look into how technology and we as humans are interacting with it as if the human element behind the technology is sitting in front of us.

Yeah, they’re faking us out. Yeah, it’s a script that is randomly saying “Hi” in every language possible, but look at the design intent. You are being benignly deceived into believe that you aren’t interacting with a computer, you’re staring through a window at other people.

And that’s where your head should be. Not worrying about how it might work, but who you might find on the other side.


Tabula rasa

New city, new job, new life.

All these deserve individual entries, so I will expand on each of them as I move on to more posts, but first, the site.

Everything is as I have envisioned. Extreme minimalist design offering readers the ability to view my thoughts, observations, and ramblings without the added mess of menus and links (aside from past entries and me links). This was a vision for the old site, but never came to be due to the amount of involvement required. With a new host provider (hostgator), a perfect time presented itself for a clean slate.

Gone are all past posts. Partially because they exist on a server that currently is not running and out of reach, but mostly because connection to past entries and this site is not desired. What you will see here will be a new life.

With so many recent changes, this area will receive more focus than before. With old friends, family, and my old way of life being at a distance, this will be where I am able to share.

So, here’s to all that venture this way, and to me making moves forward in all imaginable aspects.

Dilbert’s Scott Adams commissioned a survey of over 500 economists on which Presidential candidate would be better for today’s economy. Although the results don’t really surprise me all that much, the survey and Adams’ intentions are certainly noteworthy.

Dilbert Survey of Economists


Evening News

I could not have said it better myself.

Evening News

By way of DaringFireball (DF - Me, Myself and I):

NYT - Me, Myself and I

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