Most talked about technology of the year takes documentary farther

A documentary shot entirely with Google Glass set to explore the cultures of the Hasidic and West Indian communities of Crown Heights called Project 2×1 has been able to go deeper than any other documentary. The reason is simple, Google glass is a lot less intrusive than a normal film crew. This almost stealth capability helped the filmmakers to get unprecedented access to events like weddings, local barbecues and other community gatherings taking their narrative from the perspectives of the various member that recorded them through their point of views by wearing the device.

Image representing Google Glass as depicted in...

Image by None via CrunchBase

The broader mission behind the project is to initiate a global movement combating the “neighborhood anonymity epidemic” by encouraging people to tell the stories of their own neighborhoods. In this first installment the founders looked at the two largest ethnic groups in the neighborhood to try and dissipate the ongoing sense of intolerance that they feel still exists some twenty-two years after the Crown Heights riots. It aims to showcase how using such technology can help combat prejudice and bring communities closer together.

Watch the pitch in the video below and help the project as it is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.


Lucas was planning Star wars sequels before Disney came in

star wars logoI just read a report by Mashable‘s Chris Taylor (@FutureBoy) kind of stating what we already knew, Lucas had plans for episodes 7, 8 and 9 long before LucasArts was sold to Disney. But to be fair the point of the article wasn’t that. The point was that Lucas, according to his son Jett, was and may still be, “having a hard time letting go”. I can image so, after all Star Wars is his 40-year old baby that he now has to see being fostered by someone else. Of course, J.J. Abrams was hand picked for the job and certainly has Lucas’ blessings but still.

Jett also, in an interview with Flicks and the City, said that J.J. Abrams and his father are constantly talking, that George Lucas has set out some ‘guidelines’ for the upcoming episode VII, that he has already read an early version of the script and that he is happy with it.

Like io9’s Rob Bricken in his post, I’m going to say that all three things can be counted as good things. If Lucas involvement is indeed at the level of handing J.J guidelines, meaning the later still has creative control, this is positive. Star-wars-FettLucas always said he had a vision for a 9 episode story and I as fan would like to see that original vision implemented although I always hopped for a more darker narrative, which I think Abrams can deliver. It’s true that he had to apologize for overusing some technique in Star Trek: Into Darkness but his portrayal of Jim Kirk and his crew had a more complex and darker side than any of the previous flavors of the Enterprise folks and any other crew in any of the Star Trek franchises.

star wars - star trooperI hope that on his take on the “far, far  away galaxy”, Abrams bring in some more texture and density. Like many before me have said, in the first three episodes (meaning IV, V and VI) the special effects were ground breaking and while overdone at points it mainly served the story, but on the second trilogy (episodes I, II and III, just to be clear) they were kind of distracting and toke so much effort that the story suffered. And I can’t stress this enough, story has to come first.

Watching Jett’s interview I thought that he was itching to say more than he actually did, and that in between the lines somewhere he was.

Below you can watch the 13 minute interview with Jett and take you own conclusions.


Starling extensions for video and webcam-video

title-logoIf you want to have video or use the webcam in you Starling based app, you probably should check out these two extensions available on Github. Michael Treakler is the guy behind both of them. You can get more details on the extensions on his blog. This post about the video extension, project here, and this one about the webcamVideo extension, project here. Also a demo liveChat app can be seen here. It’s basic though, and is meant to display both extensions combined.

There is a problem with video (en-/decoding) that can be observed very well if you use Scout (advanced telemetry is activated). Be aware that these extensions have to be used with carefully. 

In regard to his extensions, Michael (Treakler) says :

“Take into consideration that:

  • There may occur some issues establishing a connection (especially if reconnecting).
  • The filters aren’t completely finished, yet, but that should happen soon. Just so you know, there will be some changes.
  • You can change the filter properties with your mouse, by clicking on the WebcamVideo instance at the top on the right. Pressing CTRL and/or Shift will take effect on different values, depending on the applied filter.”

Apple’s media event

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Set to be released on September the 18th at Apple’s media event today, and about to reach more than 700 million people, iOS 7 comes into play as a new hope for Apple to gain (some may say regain) the lead as mobile devices operating platform. Coming up with new UI and over 200 new features, iOS 7 is sure to capture the attention of every Apple fan, user and new-comers. Designed to be easy to update (unlike its nemesis of robotic constructs)  it will probably, that is what Apple is preparing for, have over 100 million downloads on the first 24 hours of its availability. But iOS will be seen at its full glory and with a free iWorks (Numbers, Pages, Keynote and others) download on the new iPhone devices also presented today.

iPhone 5c and 5S

Along with the new OS Apple is bringing it’s clients two new phone devices, the 5C and the 5S.

The first one has almost the same specs as the current iPhone 5 but in 5 different color plastic bodies and with a battery that will last longer (how much longer wasn’t disclosed though). The colors are: red, green, blue, white and yellow. At a retail price of $99 for the 16Gb and a hundred more for the 32Gb (with contract in both cases) they are sure to fit in a budget of wider span of iDevices fans and people that long wished for an iPhone and couldn’t afford.

Affordability is important for Apple at this point for several reasons, the major of them being the ability to cover ground that by now is dominated by competitors such as Samsung and being able to bring in carriers like NTT Docomo in Japan and China Mobile in, well, China, of course. Together these two add up  to 900 million clients that are expected to add another 35 million users to the already very large iPhone user family (more on this here).

The second one, the 5S comes with 3 new features:

  • 64-bit A7 processor that can be as much as twice as fast as the A6 chip, and has a partner M7 chip to handle motion.
  • Security system base on Touch ID, a fingerprint reader that will allow you to unlock the phone as well as buy music, movies, books and apps.
  • Upgraded camera with 5 elements lens, bigger pixel (that supposedly allows for better picture) and double led flash.

This new device comes with what seems to be “too little, too late” when you look at the likes of LG G2, Samsung S4 and note 3, or the upcoming Google Nexus 5. But what some may fail to see and, if Apple is right, may pay off enormously is the fact that sometimes, even though it’s a pretty overused expression by now, less is more. Focused on enhancing the experience without becoming an white elephant in your bag or your pocket the iPhone 5S brings security (maybe not NSA proof yet, but), better pictures with improved tools for speed, accuracy, color richness, even at lower luminosity, and faster processing with a coprocessor that will change the way health, fitness and probably a new category of apps all together are thought of and designed.

Speed wise, the new 64-bit will spur apps 56 times faster than the original iPhone and five times as fast as the 5. This new capacity will certainly make the 200 new features of iOS 7 shine and I guess this combined power was what Apple was aiming for with what was unveiled at today’s event


Another “Flash Killer” goes down

Microsoft SilverLight

Microsoft has announced last week that “it’s strategy towards Silverlight has shifted” (more can be read at: http://zd.net/b2vIUn) which means, since they have themselves positioned Silverlight as a “Flash Killer” from the beginning, that another flash-killer goes down. But is it really good for the flash community?

More than a few have celebrated this as a Flash victory but some, like Keith Peters, have not (read Peters post on the matter here: http://t.co/BraI4Uz). While it may seem a victory, and at some level it is, it is not necessarily good news for the flash community. Right now, with this stupid Flash vs. HTML5 thing going on it would be important to have more than one contender in the “RIA-plug-in” category showing people that there’s more to it than a open vs. closed, or plug-in vs. built-in. What really matters is the delivery. How well the goal of presenting the user with the best possible experience while keeping the ability to do it in the fastest and most maintainable way is reached.

At least for now, the flash platform and environment is the one place you can go to to reach those goals with success. Silverlight could have been another, and that wouldn’t be bad for flash for it would have set RIA in a plug-in as a viable approach, had the .net developer community not waited for so long to see what silverlight’s penetration rate would be to start developing apps.

Of course, I’m not stupid enough to use the “HTML5 is not ready” argument for we all know that it will be in heavy use long before the 2022 final release date set by W3C. And my point was never related to HTML5 readiness but about the tools to build pages/apps using it that gives the developers a consistent and practical way of doing so. And on that, do you know who is the company that will probably be the first to present us a well thought set of tools to do that: Adobe. Yes, Adobe. Also last week, they have showed us at MAX (their annual product showcase event) that they are much more than the flash/photoshop company. With simple things like the Flash to HTML5 converter or the more “productized” Edge (http://bit.ly/9bSJOY), Adobe is preparing itself to embrace HTML5 (like any serious company in their position should) and not fight it.

May Adobe capitalize on it’s flash community when including HTML5 as one of the targets for it’s products unlike Microsoft did in the silverlight case.

Update: Bob Muglia, President of the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft just posted on the Silverlight Team Blog a clarification of what he really meant when e said the “strategy towards silverlight has shifted”. The post can read here: http://bit.ly/dsqNKY


About Apple’s media event and the HTTP streaming

Yesterday Apple held its media and decide, for the first time, to stream it over the internet. To the surprise of most, Apple decided to use a technology that could only be viewed by users with safari 4 or 5 on a MacOS X Snow Leopard or safari on a iOS 3 or later.

Obviously  this caused immediate complaints. Thousands of people, feeling left out, posted on their blogs, twitter and other social media their anger and wishes of failure of the whole thing. Granted the stream was a lot less than good, but after considering all the facts, here’s what I concluded.

Apples event was always a closed session for a few invitees, the streaming can be viewed as a decision to extend the invitation list, but still at their discretion.

The technology is implemented in their OS and browser but very little effort have been made to explore it or even make it popular, this event stream can be viewed as a first of many attempts to popularize this technology. One can even say that this is a classic case of “eating your own dogs shit”.

Since this kind of streaming is still new, they probably wound up with a lot of lessons learned, which will very likely become a benefit for us all.

And last but not least, Jobs made his statement about the flash platform to world a while ago and feels like he has to prove himself right, and this looked like the perfect opportunity. Of course, he have did just the opposite, we are all very accustomed to streaming on the flash platform and it’s quality and smoothness and that’s not what we saw yesterday.

In short, Apple had the right to invite whoever they wanted to their event even if it was by means of a “closed circle” open technology. Sorry if you felt left out.


Hello world!

Well, here it is. Finally my own blog.

To tell you the truth, it was a bit weird that I didn’t have one, being one of the first to use internet in Brasil and having developed so many internet apps and sites.

But anyways, I guess things happen when they have to, and I’m happy it’s finally here.

I’ll be talking about things I like a dislike in my profession, crafts, life and of course technologies, specially programming languages and among them mainly Actionscript.

Hope you all enjoy what I have to say.

Actually, I take that back. I hope I enjoy saying whatever I have to say next, and that you may enjoy it too.