January 19, 2007

Open Captioning the Apple

When the Apple falls on the TV, will anyone read between the lines?

What if iTunes were to start serving up properly closed-captioned video?

The QuickTime video format already supports it and the upcoming Leopard release will have enhanced captioning support for accessibility. If their video content had captions there would be no good reason why iTunes wouldn't be able to search the caption text directly and return links to those points in the video.

It's not just about checking off that box beside "accessibility requirements" for the subset of our population that is deaf and hard-of-hearing.

It's a potential profit multiplier, reinforcing the cycle of choice.

1. Make it easy for me to find what I'm looking for.

2. Make it easy for me to share what I've found with others.

3. Make it easy for me to find what I didn't know I was looking for.

...oh yeah, I almost forgot...

0. Let me buy video content through iTunes Canada already!!

January 18, 2007

Americans-Only; Fourth Amendment

Overdue for another post. Being Canadian, living in Canada but working for a company headquartered in the US, I've taken more than a passing interest in what my rights, or lack there-of, are. Take the Fourth Amendment of the US constitution for example:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It's really quite subtle. Having grown up under constant barrage of programming produced in the US, it's all too easy to take for granted that the laws and rights trumpeted apply to us as well. As the saying goes, when you assume...

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December 9, 2006

...I claim thee.

Hello Technorati Profile

...and Bloglines.

November 30, 2006

Gartner Report on Greener Electronics

Slowly but surely, the message is getting out that electronics designers and manufacturers need to push forward on the greening of technology.

Meike Escherich, a principal research analyst at Gartner, has written a report [via] outlining the challenges ahead. As more countries raise the bar what are acceptable levels of toxic materials in the manufacturing processes and final products available to the general population, companies need to adapt and innovate now or face an ever-shrinking market for their 'wares.

Haven't found a link to the report itself yet...

November 24, 2006

Sun Through Shaded Window

Sun Through Shaded Window
Originally uploaded by aplumb.
Winter is finally settling in. Once the temperature drops below freezing, the skies clear up and eventually the snow will come... At least I HOPE the snow will come. I hate it when the temperature endlessly hovers around freezing.

I'll take deep-cold-but-calm-and-sunny over thawed-but-cloudy any day.

November 15, 2006

Archi-temporal Fabrication

Originally uploaded by brucesflickr.
Seeing the brick/mold in this picture of Bruce's got me thinking. What if buildings and/or monuments incorporated some sort of second, environment-driven structural element?

...Think of large caverns with stalactites and stalagmites formed by millenia of mineral-rich drips of water.

...Or the ultra-slow flow and crystalization of man-made glass.

...Or a field of petrified wood.

As one volume errodes and decays, a secondary structure could be revealed, possibly even reinforced as time goes by.

November 10, 2006

One Minute Make File

Lately, I've been doing a lot of tutorial, documentation and demo crafting at work. Nothing fancy, just screen capture stuff with annotations. I'm an engineer first...

Seeing Bre's weekly Make videos develop has got me wanting to do more and different things. Hard to believe it's been fifteen years since the last documentary soundtrack work and ten since my last orchestral performance.

Enter the One Minute Make File:

  1. Take one minute. No more; no less.

  2. Pick a mini-tutorial topic.

  3. Record the material.

  4. Edit to fit one minute.

  5. Slap on a Creative Commons license.

  6. Post it.

Time to get exercising those creative muscles again!

November 8, 2006

Sillyphone Cycoling

Wouldn't it suck if a driver followed these safety tips and flattened a cyclist or two because they stayed in the right-hand lane, where driving may be less demanding?

...or just a pedestrian or two? At least they're softer and would be less likely to scratch your paint-job.

November 1, 2006

Tangible Essence

The coolest thing in my mind, about the minimal laptop form in this installation by Samantha van def Werff, is that the technology exists today to implement a fully functional version.

Note to self: Break out that MC33794 E-Field sensor development kit and start playing.

Photo Details:

designer Samantha van der Werff
department Man and communication
project Schaduw en geraamte
photo Miep Jukkema

October 29, 2006

Trains, Planes and Ottawamobiles

One of these days, Ottawa will get a rail backbone. Hopefully it will happen sooner, rather than later or never.
Feldkirchen Train Station 8

Having to travel as much as I do for work is a mixed blessing. While it does give me the opportunity to see breadth of places few people do, it can be exhausting and although I'm on location, I don't often get to really see what there is to see. This ain't no vacation!

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