Category Archives: Tech

HD Video from a RC Helicopter!

Aerial video with a Canon 5D , 7D from Eric AUSTIN on Vimeo.

I’ve always wanted an excuse like this to get the ultimate toy for myself – a RC helicopter! I imagined it would be cool if it could fly my Canon G9 overhead and take some groovy aerial video and photos. Well, this guy went for it and mount an awesome Canon 5D with it’s ability to shoot gorgeous 1080p HD video.

Like he says in the video, crashing is NOT an option!

20 Highest Radiating Cell Phones

Hmm, is your ear feeling a little too warm?

Manufacturer and model SAR level(digital)
1 Motorola V195s 1.6
2 Motorola Zine ZN5 1.59
2a Motorola Rival 1.59
4 Kyocera Jax S1300 1.55
4a Motorola VU204 1.55
6 RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Sprint) 1.54
6a RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (U.S. Cellular) 1.54
6b RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 (Verizon Wireless) 1.54
9 Motorola Crush 1.53
9a Nokia E71x 1.53
11 Pantech Matrix 1.52
12 LG Rumor 2 1.51
12a RIM BlackBerry Bold 1.51
14 HTC SMT5800 1.49
14a Motorola Droid 1.49
16 Sony Ericsson W350a 1.48
17 LG Chocolate Touch 1.47
17a Nokia 2320 GoPhone 1.47
17b Palm Pixi Plus (Verizon Wireless) 1.47
17c T-Mobile Dash 3G 1.47

Upgrading Windows 7 RC to Retail version

Now that the installation of Windows 7 RC installed on my Media server is giving me the countdown to death, it’s time to upgrade with a retail copy of Windows 7 Professional. Microsoft doesn’t support upgrading the free Release Candidate version to the retail version, but there is a easy workaround posted  at Icrontic. The advantage of doing it this way instead of a ‘clean install’, is that you can keep your installed apps and settings. Another how-to is posted by Colleen of TWiT fame on her site,

After pondering this for a moment,  I decided to just do a clean install. It actually goes quicker than running this hack and I only had a couple programs installed [Boxee and VLC], so re-installing apps was a breeze. I just installed over the old XP partition on my Media box and was up and running. I then deleted the RC partition to free up some space.

Visit to the TWiT Cottage

On a lark, I decided to drive up to Petaluma and visit Leo LaPorte’s TWiT Cottage where he and crew produce shows. During my visit I watched the recording of Macbreak Weekly, which features Leo, Alex Lindsay and Andy Ihnatko.

Beware of iMovie 8.0.5 Update

I love iMovie for making quick little videos from video clips I shoot with my digital cameras. After I attempted to edit some video I shot in Disneyland, I couldn’t get the video clips which are stored in iPhoto’s Library stored on my external hard drive to appear in iMovie without making iMovie crash. I tried all kinds of fixes like deleting preference files in my Library directory etc. Seems there are serious issues with the 8.0.5 update which came out a couple weeks ago. The fix came when I just deleted iMovie and reinstalled version 8.0 from the iLife install disk. Next, I upgraded with the iMovie 8.0.3 update (Apple seems to have removed the 8.0.4 update). My videos then appeared again in iPhoto Videos under the Event Library!

High Power Rocket Launch Video

It was a great time in the Black Rock Desert. Ken McGrath accompanied me on my return trip to the launch site on Saturday. Seeing this 12 foot beast blast off made the whole trip worthwhile!  It was also great to see so many other spectacular launches. I’ll post videos of them soon.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Compare this version of the video that I uploaded to YouTube. I might just post videos this way from now on as the quality is now higher with its HQ setting than exporting my flash movie files using WordTube. What do you think?

Layoff Fallout

Photo by Todd Bishop

Photo by Todd Bishop

As more and more companies layoff employees, the flotsam of past marketing efforts like t-shirt schwag heads for the local thrift shop. When a previous Santa Cruz company I worked for imploded, they donated their marketing t-shirts a local shelter. For months I would see street characters wearing their Lutris shirts on Pacific Ave in downtown Santa Cruz.

Now as Microsoft lays off thousands, their shirts are appearing in the Seattle area thrifts.

Crazy Nights in Oakland

Helicopter over Oakland - Photo by Thomas Hawk

Helicopter over Oakland - Photo by Thomas Hawk

It has been noisy with helicopters constantly in the air. The downtown streets started filling up with protesters two nights ago. After a grocery trip, I followed one of the helicopters towards Lake Merritt. I turned down Madison and then at the intersection with 14th St., I saw a dozen police cars, and scores of OPD. Smoke was in the air. A dozen or so bystanders were on the sidewalk. I parked and started to check out the scene. I talked to a street journalist guy with pro Sony headphones and a microphone who was interviewing people to see what was going on. He told me it was that this is where the Fruitvale BART protest ended up and that there was rioting.

I went back to my car and sent out a couple Twitter messages. A bottle crashed to the pavement a few feet from my car. Time to get out!

Helicopters circled the city all night. I checked tv to see if there was any coverage. The local Oakland station? Nope. The only station doing some live coverage before 10PM was KRON. The most news I got was from doing searches for ‘riot’ and ‘Oakland’ on Twitter’s

Though there are reasons for the community to be upset about the tragic New Year’s Eve BART shooting, trashing the struggling business of downtown Oakland doesn’t seem to be the answer. The businesses and citizens of Oakland had nothing to do with this incident. There seemed to be an anarchist element that came from out of town that helped create the violence, arson and property damage that happened that night.

Broken dreams? Photo by Thomas Hawk

Smashed dreams? Photo by Thomas Hawk

It was only two months ago these streets were full of joy and hope after Obama was elected. Now there are boarded windows and burnt cars in the streets.

The Humans!

Human 'Play' EP

Going to high school in late seventies Santa Cruz, my favorite local band was The Humans. They were a mix of the then emerging New Wave scene with a mix of surf, punk and avant garde theatrics. The first time I saw them was after Devo played a show at the Santa Cruz Civic in 1979. I hung out after the show and got to meetup with Devo so I could show them some pics from their previous Santa Cruz show earlier that year. While talking to them they got an invite note from a local band called The Humans that said they were inspired by Devo and that they should come check out their show later that night at JJ’s Pizza over in the East Cliff neighborhood. The guys from Devo and their brother/manager said come on let’s all go!.

So me and my younger brother booked out to JJ’s in my Datsun 510 to go hang with Devo and finally get see The Humans which were getting some considerable buzz at the time. Half hour later, I’m sitting at a little table with a couple guys from Devo, their manager and a pitcher of beer! I guess those times were a little different.

The Humans came on stage and did a blistering set of punk/new wave music with great surfy guitar licks. I became a big fan of them that night and went to almost every performance they did around the Monterey Bay area. The band was always so cool and friendly to this dorky teenager with his ever present camera around his neck.

Recently I’ve been going through and digitizing some of my favorite old cassette tapes and I found this aircheck tape of Eric Gies and Sterling Storm of The Humans being interviewed on KLRB – the ‘alternative’ progressive FM rock station that broadcast from the Barnyard in Carmel Valley. Because of this station I was exposed to the Punk revolution, New Wave as well as artists like Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and anything else weird the DJs felt like playing.

Here’s the cassette tape from November 1980.

Photo Finishing?

What do you know – just as I upgrade my Flickr photo account to ‘Pro‘, it’s come to my attention that they are censoring users photos.

Blogger, Violet Blue, had her pics ‘snowed over’ to the regular viewer of her account page. What’s strange is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what gets snowed. The sexytime pictures of her on the floor that my friend Seventeenstars composed? Or maybe the pics of her with some SRL machinery Worldess Workshop Style?

This is all adding up to some bad publicity for Flickr. Maybe theres some room for an edgier, freer (more in the spirit of the Internet) photo sharing site?