OSX Leopard
After a fun afternoon driving up to Vallejo to visit my good friend John Zorko, we took the ferry to SF to pickup his WWDC credentials. What’s in store this week? Can’t wait to find out! Probably some cool GUI interface tricks with Core Animation. John is hoping that Apple opens up the iPhone platform to developers to justify an iPhone purchase. I’ll probably look into getting one when my two year contract is up with my Sony/Ericsson W600.

Another fun part of the day was trying out my new Canon SD750. I got it to replace my little Nikon that I squished a bit in NYC last month. This camera is pretty cool. It’s super small but the quality is great. There’s a slow sync mode reminiscent of the rear-curtain sync settings I liked using in the film days. Another surprise is the quality of the video this thing shoots. 30fps – very smooth! My first digital camera, the Canon G2 couldn’t come close to this.

SF Ferry Building

Bye-bye City! Um until Monday morning…

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?

Podcast Fanboy

Over the last two years I’ve become a follower of several of the popular Podcast that emanate from the Bay Area.

As someone interested in the Mac Scene, I started listening to the Your Mac Life show which was a conventional web cast available by download or a live Internet stream. A couple years ago Your Mac Life stopped allowing downloads of their show, only giving the option of purchasing the show through Audible.com a web stream. Since I like to listen at my convenience and didn’t want to pay for the show, I listened less and less as it wasn’t a Podcast.

Annually, the Your Mac Life show would  hype up their  party at Macworld San Francisco, thinking it would be a great way to meet the community of listeners and the show hosts. I would request how I could attend, but instead of getting an invite,  I would get a pitch from YML to have my company buy into being a sponsor for the event in order to attend. So much for the YML community aspect…

Then along came This Week in Tech, or better known as Twit. Hosted by Leo LaPorte and other alumni of TechTV, he started a weekly podcast taking his idea of a lively roundtable of people in the tech field to discuss a range of topics. From this show, I learned of Kevin Rose and his The Broken series and the then new, Diggnation show and Merlin Mann’s 43Folders.com.

What helped catapult these shows to the forefront of the scene and surpassing Your Mac Life, was using RSS to ‘Podcast’ the content for free. This is the best format for me and a lot of other listeners as you can listen when you want on your iPod; riding to work, jogging or on your stereo. And the biggest  aspect that makes these shows a success, is the community that was started around the shows. Leo started taping the shows at various spots around SF and invited the listeners to participate. A few shows were done at the SF Apple store and a few were done at local cafes or beer joints.

The Diggnation shows have also taken on a life of their own. Their Podcast  started with just co-hosts, Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht sitting on a couch, drinking some beers with their laptops on their laps. They discuss top news stories from the reader selected top stories on digg.com. They also had a brilliant idea to help build their community – to record some of their podcasts in public at a local brewpub. Entry into the party event was free! Recently they recorded at the Beach House brewpub in San Francisco. Beer + geeks = good times!

Digg.com recently had a big party for their listeners at Club Mezzanine in San Francisco. They generously gave away two drink tickets and a t-shirt! I even got to meet my organization/life-hack hero, Merlin Mann.

I’m posting some of the pics I’ve taken from the many public shows I went too in the last couple years.

Failure Pile in a Sadness Bowl?

In 2006, I saw Patton Oswalt twice at Cobb’s Comedy Club in North Beach. He’s been a fave of mine and Dru since we heard his bit on Heavy Metal on a mix tape from a friend.

Couple weeks ago, I was coming home alone late at night when I drove by the local KFC. The Sadness bowl was indeed mine… all mine!

Now where was that This Mortal Coil box set?

Buzz Buzz


Being a Java Junkie always in pursuit of quality coffee has led me to a few places to mention. One that is very good and closest to home is Mama Buzz on Telegraph and 23rd. An adjoing room has a gallery and 50s style kitchen furniture to kick back. Free Wifi is available and the coffee is dark and rich! They also have some quality beers including Boont Ale. If you order a snack you will be surprised at the quality. Tomatoes on your sandwich are fresh ripe and tasty. An extra bonus is that they usually play a lot of old school spooky music (Virgin Prunes, Bauahus, Joy Division).

Mama Buzz is in an emerging little boho Booze, Art and Coffee zone. Being neighbors to The Stork Club and Rock, Paper, Scissors art collective. FYI, there’s still plenty of crack activity on the corner and nearby Valley St.

Dark Sparkle

Michelle, Dave & Dru
Michelle, Dave & Dru

I miss going to Dark Sparkle. This is my favorite Darkwave/Goth club event since I’ve moved up to the SF Bay Area. It’s usually held at either the elegantl Café Du Nord or the DNA Lounge. Lately they’ve been moving around other SOMA locations. It’s the spooky music with out the VNV synth gop that’s permeated the goth scene the last five or so years.

Rooz Rules

Rooz Café is now my fave Bean Hut. Compfy reasonably quiet interior, great coffee served in nice big mugs and tasty breaksfasts! Oh – and FREE WiFi!

Rooz is on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.

I’ve been canvassing many East Bay cafés looking for good coffee and free WiFi. Went to check out some I saw listed on the BeastBlog.com site and was disappointed. Next time I’m firing up the laptop before I order. Brewed Awakening and Café Neffeli on Euclid were both a waste of time.

Some might disagree with me that WiFi is important for a Café. I like to be able to grab my laptop and work on projects when I’m out. I also enjoy the fact that people on laptops are usually quiet people. Having to overhear some UCSC TA blab on and on about them selves at the next table is no treat.

Flimmity Flam – The Pat McCormack Band

Jay Wilson

Last month I went to down to Santa Cruz and saw my old pal Jay in his latest project, The Pat McCormack Group. He pulled some strings and got me a free pass to get inside the historic Catalyst nightclub. It was a special evening as there was much anticipation for the headline act, Blue Oyster Cult.

Blue Oyster Cult use to be pretty big. They would play 3rd or 4th at a big Day on the Green stadium rock festival type of show back in the late 70s. Now they’re better known as the mocked band in the SNL ‘More Cowbell’ skit.

View QuickTime Movie


Selia - Tokyo, Japan

When I was in Japan back in April, I went to an evening of Tokyo Dark Castle in the Shibuya district. One unforgettable performance was by a group called Selia with an amazing altino countertenor.

I just extracted this little video clip from one of my DV tapes. It’s in encoded in H.264 and formatted the new iPod (video).

View QuickTime Movie

Download iPod Video 38.1MB

Apple Surprises Today?

Though many pundits are predicting some sort of Video iPod. I think something much more interesting is in store for us.

If you look back to the beginning of the year, Steve Jobs declared this year, ‘The Year of HD’. Apple upgraded it’s iMovie and Final Cut Pro video editing apps, introduced wide screen LCD displays and more importantly introduced QT 7 with the H.264 codec. With this codec content can leap frog DVD in quality.


There is a big boom in HD TVs these days. Comcast cable is expanding it’s HD offerings and bundling HD DVRs with it’s new subscriber packages (I’ll review this in a later review). Unfortunately, the DVD, the previous high quality delivery medium, doesn’t deliver HD in it’s previous version. Blu-Ray and HD DVD are on the horizon but are having to go through a format war and more meddling by Hollywood.

Now I think Apple is going to seize the opportunity and put it all together! Using a delivery app like the iTunes Music Store, create an ‘iMovie Music Store’ to deliver H.264 HD content to users computers. But, watching a video or movie on your computer is fine but it’s more preferable to relax and watch a movie or TV show on your wide screen HD TV. How do you get your program to your TV? I sometimes hook up the DVI cable connector from the laptop to the TV equipment and then hook up a audio cable – what a hassle…

The Real Surpirse

I think the coolest thing to be possilby announced is a WiFi A/V connector for your TV setup. It could be either like a fancier AirPort Express or a little set-top box. Downloaded HD content once downloaded, could the be easily picked up wirelessly by your new HDVideo Express box and delivered to your TV. Now you will have a ‘lean back’ compared to a ‘lean forward’ video watching experience.

If these things happen at today’s announcement, I believe HD will really take off. I was really first introduced to HD through finding HD quality TV shows over the last year. I did a lot of moving and didn’t have access to cable or a TV. I found you can download HD TV shows in higher quality than can be viewed from my friends regular Digital Cable TV.

If Apple makes a compelling easy to use online Video Rental store, the local DVD will have some serious competition. The DVD has to be physically delivered and I personally, I hate DVDs, they are slow and I dislike how producers can keep you from skipping over startup screens etc. No one likes to be forced to watch content. Oh, and did I say they are slow? Waiting for a disk to startup and then find your content is a pain.

Oh yeah, and One More Thing…

Well, yeah, with all this in place, a Video iPod could be a nice accessory to view this content on the go, but I think it’s more of an accessory – maybe announced at a later time. Anyway, it’ll be fun to see what’s on tap today. Maybe you’ll be able to download some Madonna videos too?