Monday, December 31, 2007

Chicago By Night

Here is a great new 1 Gigapixel image of Chicago By Night from Scott Howard. This is a another very nice zoom image from Scott who also did Sydney By Night which is 720 Megapixels and was my first find in the large zoomable online pictures I hunt for. According to Scott's website he is also planning to sell prints of these pictures up to 6 ft. wide, no mention of the price for a print that large.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

AIM in Gmail is here

Well the Google and AOL partnership has finally delivered on something I'm sure many people have been waiting for, access to AIM from Google Talk. This is a limited introduction of this feature though. Currently or at least on my account I can only access my AIM Buddies via the Gmail version of Google Talk. The full Google Talk client so far doesn't appear to have this functionality.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winamp has been improved, check out Winamp Remote

I don't know about you but I have tried Winamp any number of times over the years but always felt it was just another media player. Well I just tried out Winamp 5.5 and I'm impressed. Not sure which features I like more but the builtin access to Shoutcast Raido, AOL Radio with XM and Winamp Music is very nice. In addition Orb or Winamp Remote is a great addition I had not seen before. But Winamp Remote is in Beta and has a few quirks such as losing track of where you are at in a album if you move forwards and backwards in an album. Well anyway when I accessed my audio library over my Sprint PPC6700 I was impressed with the audio quality which was equal to listening to content from my MiniSD card which is impressive. After the initial buffering delay songs play through without a single buffering delay. Now Video via my PPC6700 on the other hand was a problem, there where constant buffering delays but my testing was done at home where my cell signal is shall we say somewhat less than optimal. I'm going to give Video a try later to see if having a strong cell signal helps the video.

Well having a good cell signal makes a big improvement for Video. Although there where some buffering delays it was greatly improved and aside from the small screen, viewing a video is as watchable as can be expected on a small screen device if you ask me.

My next area of testing will be the Friends/Sharing feature of Winamp Remote.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Black Friday Deals Online Today

What could be better for those of us who hate to shop at the stores on Black Friday with mobs of crazy people. Well for me online shopping on Thursday with Black Friday deals can't be beat.

Here are a few sites to lead you to the deals at a number of top name retailers -

Black Friday Online Deals

Black Friday 2007

If your looking for coupons check this out -


Monday, November 19, 2007

$20 per year for unlimited calling

Just saw this on cnet Crave, it's a USB device called majicJack from a company called YMax Communications that you plug into your PC and then install the client software (SIP softphone client). After installing the client you then hook up any regular analog phone to the jack on the USB device and you then get unlimited calling in the US and Canada for $20 per year after the first year. The first year is included in the $39.95 purchase price. This product is still in beta according to the majicJack website and was kicked off at Spring 2007 VON Conference from what I can find. If you go over to GigaOM you can read through the various comments to get a flavor for how this product has developed since the Spring 2007 VON launch. Based on the comments is seems most people are very pleased with the Call Quality which is enough to make me give this device a try. I had Vonage for over a year but the Call Quality was poor more times than I care to remember so I finally dropped there service. I have also used Skype at times but overall I have not been impressed with Skype Call Quality either.

The Inventor behind this product is a guy named Dan Borislow who previously ran Tel-Sav,Inc. and has a long history in the phone business. What is interesting is that Dan's new company YMax Communications the underlying CLEC(Phone Company) behind the majicJack has setup 31 SBC(Session Border Control/SIP Gateways) which if done properly should provide great reliability and also should be key in continuing to provide the great Call Quality initial users have experienced.

One question I had and couldn't find on the majicJack website is what area codes are available for local numbers. Well after a quick online chat with one of the very helpful majicJack support people I received this link which lists the currently available area codes and prefixes. Well my area code is covered so I'm going to give this a try, it sure beats Vonage and SkypeOut pricing.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cosmic Tree of Life

My latest find is a fantastic piece of computer art by Roger Ferragallo called the The Tree of Life. If you happen to live near the University of California, Irvine you might be able to see this work of art on there 23 x 9 foot HIPerWall which has a resolution of 200 megapixels. For the rest of we can explore this work over at Gigapan.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Google phone to be announced Monday

According to these Wall Street Journal and Information Week articles the Gphone is going to be announced Monday.

CNET talks about the underlying software platform which is code named 'Android' and Linux based. This will also be part of the Monday announcement according the CNET.

Well let's see if Google will be able to steal the lime light from Apple and there iPhone. Maybe I made the right decision in holding off on replacing my Sprint PPC6700. But if I have to wait until the middle of next year as the Wall Street Journal article suggests well that could be tough.

Eye-Fi reviews

I'm still thinking about the Eye-Fi card and here are some of the reviews I found to help me decide -

PC World's Review - gives it an 81 out of 100 or very good.

Gizmodo - "works flawlessly" also mentions that it works with 20 services I checked and the Eye-Fi website still just lists 17 so maybe they have information on additional services that are going to be available soon.

Digital Photography Review

CruchGear - most detailed review I've seen so far.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Eye-Fi or Wi-Fi + Photo Sharing for your Camera

Now this is a neat new device I just saw from Photojojo called Eye-Fi or Wi-Fi + Photo Sharing for your Camera. What Eye-Fi is offering is an all in one 2GB SD memory card with built in Wi-Fi. Not sure how Eye-Fi did it but they have squeezed 2GB of memory along with a 802.11b,g and n Wi-Fi radio all into the SD memory card form factor. Even better there is no external antenna. Next comes the really cool feature to this device, the Eye-Fi card automatically uploads your photos to your favorite photo sharing, photo printing, blogging or social networking site. Eye-Fi currently lists flickr, Picasa, facebook, Wal*Mart, SmugMug, photobucket, Kodak Gallery, shutterfly, snapfish, TypePad, FOTKI, webshots, Gallery, VOX, phanfare, dotphoto and Sharpcast as sites that they work with. If you need the CompactFlash type form factor instead of SD Eye-Fi says that will be available soon via an adapter. When you consider that roughly 2 years ago when a 1GB SD memory card alone was running around $109, $99 for the Eye-Fi card seems reasonable. So I guess I'm going to have to decide if I get one of these babies now or wait for Christmas. Hmmm, it's going to be tough to wait that long for something this neat.

Updated: If your looking for a good review of the Eye-Fi card here is one at CruchGear.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Gigapixel images to explore

Started getting interested in Gigapixel images and I found this Microsoft Research project called HD View: Gigapixel Panoramas. You will need to install a HD View addon which is browser specific one for Firefox and one for IE which for the small amount of trouble is worth it to explore the images that are available. So as I started to explore the Microsoft HD View site I found some incredible outdoor panoramic images by xRez Extreme Resolution of Yosemite's (Divingboard, Glacier Point and El Capitan), there are others but these caught my eye first. There is also integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth and over 50 HD View images located around the world on the Microsoft Virtual Earth map. In addition there is a RSS feed available of HD View image favorites.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

16 Gigapixel image of The Last Supper

Wow is this an incredible amount of resolution or what, here is a 16 Gigapixel image of The Last Supper by Leonardo Di Vinci. The site also hosts a 8.6 Gigapixel image of Vita di Cristo by Gaudenzio Ferrari and a 9.8 Gigapixel image of La Gloria di Sant'Ignazio by Andrea Pozzo.

Friday, October 26, 2007

GMail Capacity

Well Google seems to be quietly increasing the storage available on GMail, I started to notice about 2 weeks ago that capacity had went from roughly 2.9M to 4.405M as of today. I had started to clean up my GMail account which was approaching the 2M mark around 2 weeks ago but with the new storage capacity Google has made available I'm going to go back to more productive uses of my time.

Google, just wanted to say Thanks for the extra storage.

4.507M as of 10/30/07 and climbing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Electric Sheep

If your a fan of cool screen savers here is what has quickly become my favorite. It's called Electric Sheep and it's open source. It supports MAC,PC and Linux. It takes a little while to get going because unless you download sheep packs (i.e. the underlying mpeg's) to prime it the program has to go out and download them on it's own. If you want to learn more about Electric Sheep it even has it's on wiki. Once you get it going if you happen to think the images have a fractal nature to them your correct. The underlying code is called Fractal Flames once again more information is available in the wiki.