Friday, October 22, 2010

Small discoveries in tech

Fragments of things ...
  • Some corporations have stopped paying for remote employee business phones. Employees are signing up for Google Voice. They get much better service for "free", and they now own their business number. When they leave they take it with them. These corporations are outsourcing a business function to Google. There will be unintended consequences.
  • In 10.6 QuickTime Player will trim video fragments. This is old news, but new to me. I hadn't noticed. It's a big help. Now I can take the 300MB videos Emily and the kids make and trim them in seconds to a fragment I can file in iPhoto. This is the kind of high speed video editing I can manage. AVI inputs are saved as QuickTime movie. One bug -- no date/time metadata! I need a utility that will change the file creation and modification time stamps to match the true video acquisition date. Metadata standards for video are a mess.
  • Yesterday I wanted to conference in a remote speaker to a lecture. In under 10 minutes I plugged external speakers into a WiFi connected laptop and called his cell from Gmail's Talk/Phone capability. He gave the 10 minute presentation from his airplane seat. Everyone could hear him easily. It was all a bit supernatural.
  • The latest version of iTunes does quite a good job simultaneously synchronizing multiple iOS devices. That's an improvement. It still has some problems when users accounts switch however.
  • Google Voice quality to Canada nose dived a few weeks ago, but is very good now. The improvement corresponded with switching from using the dial-up method to establishing a connection using GV Mobile+ on my iPhone. Could be coincidence, but the call setup is different. This service has saved me about $2,500 -- and cost AT&T that much. I'm now seeing non-geeks using Google Voice. I wonder when this will impact AT&T.
  • Apple killed the 5.25" floppy, the 3.25" diskette, the serial and parallel cable, and the CD (data and music). Now Apple is killing the DVD and the hard drive. I wonder if they're going to try to kill the unborn USB 3. Ruthless.
  • The power, value, and significance of Apple's FairPlay DRM is grossly underestimated. In technology as in politics some of the most important discussions are completely invisible. In my 50s I am more intrigued by what is not said than what is said.
  • Blogger's rich text editor paragraph/line spacing problems are getting worse, but maybe that's a sign of progress. At this point I'll take any straw.
  • FaceTime for OS X is a big deal. The big fight now is whether a future carrier will allow it over a 4G network (WiFi only now). Sprint?
  • Microsoft, Dell and HP are walking dead. That's shocking. Is Intel next?
  • The MacBook Air 11", iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch all provide overlapping value. The iOS devices have much better Exchange/ActiveSync synchronization services, the Air runs other software I prefer. I have an iPhone and I'm a geek, so the Air is under serious consideration.
  • OS X management of mounted drives on a WiFi network sucks.
  • First family trip with each kid one iPhone equivalent. I don't like it -- much better to have the kids watch one DVD. More on this in another post I think.

1 comment:

KimH said...

>>> In 10.6 QuickTime Player will trim video fragments. <<<

Inexplicably, in 10.6 Apple left out the "in" & "out" shortcut keys: "i" and "o." In earlier QT apps, you could tap those keys to set "in" & "out" points.

There's no reason not to support these in the new app when it's in trim mode. Arghh.

With 10.7's emphasis on full-screen, I wonder how much more functionality will be thrown overboard. Needlessly.