Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kino


Since we have transitioned from using our macs to using Windows and Linux, we haven't had a solution for importing our movies from our camcorder.  I looked today for an application that has the same functionality as iMovie for my linux laptop.  Kino looks like it will do the job.



You can import your video via firewire into Kino.  Kino will control a DV camcorder during the import.  Then you can edit and export into various formats.  It seems that Kino is faster at exporting to flv or mpeg4 than iMovie is.



The only problem that I had was when I initially tryed to import the video.  I got an error message that stated: "raw1394 kernel module not loaded or failure to read/write /dev/raw1394" To fix this, I needed to give myself permsion to access /dev/raw1994




 chmod 777 /dev/raw1394


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lips


Lips
A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Lips. Lips is a karaoke party video game.  The game play is pretty simiar to the rythm based music games, but instead of pushing buttons in time with an onscreen display, you have to sing along with the song.  Using the included microphones the game detects your pitch and compares it to what it thinks is appropriate for the song.



They put a lot of nice touches on the microphones.  There are embedded LEDs that pulse and change colors with the music.  Also, there is an embedded accellerometer in the mic, and you can impove your score in the game by moving around.  In a party situation, other people who are not singing, can use the controllers to play backup instruments.



I am not a singer, my wife is, but this can be a fun game, especially in a party situation.  



I do have some problems with the game. The main problem that I have is that it appears that this game was ported to the Xbox 360, but doesn't correctly implement some of the main features.



  1. Achievements - Most games that allow multiple to play on a single Xbox 360 use the Xbox user that is associated with a controller to determine who gets Xbox Achievements.  So normally, if I and my wife are logged in, I will get achievements for the accomplisments that I do, and she will get them for hers.  But in Lips, only the person who launched the game gets the achievements, even if they were earned by the other player.

  2. Downloadable Content - Most games that have downloadable content will use that content, if one Xbox account has downloaded it (The DRM that the Xbox 360 uses makes content available to every user on the first Xbox that downloaded it and the user who authorized the download on any Xbox.   But not Lips.  In Lips only the user who downloaded the content can use it to sing.  So if a different user launches Lips, that content is not available.


Update: This problem has been discussed the Lips Xbox forums.  You need to launch Lips as each user that wants to access the DLC.  Then you need to select the content that you want to add to your library.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Potential Problem with Google Friend Connect

I really like the potential of Google Friend Connect.  The ability to add social network features to any web site is pretty cool.  One problem that I have is that I have to change the way that I read information to take advantage of Friend Connect.

I normally read blogs through Google Reader.  When I do this, I miss all of the social enhancements provided by Friend Connect.  What would be cool would be if Google Reader could present a Google Connect widget if you are reading a feed where the main site has the widget installed.  Then you would be able to see what other users are reading.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Google Friend Connect


Google has released Friend Connect today. Friend Connect allows you to add social network features to any web site. 



 
http://www.youtube.com/v/N94s7ix0JPo



I have installed it on this blog, as I am curious on how it takes off.



[via Official Google Blog]

Outlook / Google Calendar Sync


As I have mentioned before, I have been playing with solutions to get my Google Calendars to sync with my iPhone.  I had settled on using NuevaSync to sync calendar events wirelessly to my phone.  I have gotten fed up with the fact that on my phone, all of the calendars got merged, so it is hard to look at events.



On my wife's computer, I had installed OggSync.  This syncs her calendar to Outlook.  Then from there, the calendars will can be sync'd to Mobile Me.



Yesterday, I found SyncMyCal.  This essentially has the same functionality as OggSync, but it seems more polished.  Both offer free and paid vesions.  I installed it on my computer, and it works well.  I think that I will uninstall OggSync from my wife's computer and install