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I bought a Nintendo DSi. I'm liking it; bigger screen, more features (including web browsing), SD card slot, download play with the DSi shop, and all the features of the old DS Lite except for the Game Boy slot - but that is really the big negative for me, I'm sad that I need to keep a DS Lite hanging around to play my Game Boy games... though if I'd kept all my compatible Nintendo hardware instead of selling most of it recently, I would have had to keep a Game Boy Advance around as well for eReader and such. But I suppose at some point down the road most games will be available as downloads and the need for the DS Lite will abate, which will be cool, but we seem to be quite far off from that.

The quality of the DSi camera seems to be way, way, way better than the iPhone camera - not to mention that it has both inner and outer cameras. It's better in lower lighting, captures real colors better, and it's faster and easier to use, but it may not have as high a resolution; I haven't yet pulled the photos from it. The DSi also records sound, but I haven't yet determined if the mic quality is better on the DSi or the iPhone. I'm a bit disappointed that some of the lectures I recorded yesterday have low gain.

I spent a good part of the Brooklyn Food Conference yesterday recording audio with my iPhone and taking pictures with my DSi. Fun!!

P.S. Raj Patel is my new hero.
mik3cap: (Default)

It seems like most people believe that video recording is just going to be another iPhone feature... I'm still wavering on this though. If it were me, it would make more sense to have a separate camera device. It's not like Apple has eliminated iPods, even though the iPhone has a software iPod inside it. Apple is in the hardware business, always has been, and they want to sell more devices. If I already own an iPhone, am I really more likely to buy another iPhone just to get video features? Wouldn't Apple rather sell me a second device?

The Flip is a dedicated HD video camera, and it has 8G of storage. If Apple wanted to compete with that, they'd need a device with equal video storage capacity, better lenses, battery life, and so forth. Putting more demands on the iPhone battery doesn't make a lot of sense; as it is, WiFi and 3G suck the life out of it pretty fast, I can't imagine what video recording on top of all of that would reduce battery life to.

What I would do: Introduce *limited* video recording capability on the next iPhone. A somewhat better, but not super high quality lens to take video with. Then, I would create the iVid, another device with a higher quality lens, autofocus, and the optimized-for-iPhone iMovie editing suite. It would come in 8GB and 16GB flavors, have still camera functionality, and of course be totally integrated with iPhoto and iMovie, with native H.264 processing. It would probably also have WiFi on it for transfer to your Apple TV or other computers. Just like iPod touches are dedicated for audio playback and storage, the iVid would be dedicated video recording, playback and storage. It'll also be cheaper than the iPhone, and won't have all the political/financial rigamarole of telecommunications companies associated with it - and it'll be yet another platform for the App Store. So I bet people could even download Skype onto it, and just use it as a VOIP phone without ever needing a phone company's permission!!
mik3cap: (Default)
Flip video cameras.

These little guys are the "new iPod". They're small, they're cheap, they do their job - the form factor isn't as sexy as an iPod/iPhone, but people want them. They want them, they want to get nice resolution video in a small package, and this market need has been filled by a small company. Except now they're a big company, because Cisco bought them up big time.

Cisco gets video, they want to corner the market on portable video devices and push those bits over networks. So now we're wondering: where the hell is Apple? Apple's got this great iChat video conferencing thing going. They've got iPhones with still cameras, and those cameras can clearly be used as video cameras as proven by jailbreakers. Yet iPhoneOS 3.0 has no provision for this! Very, very strange.

Well, I suspect that they are working on a video camera of their own. Ars Technica reported recently on some new product IDs found in the iPhoneOS - the mysterious "iProd" may very well be an iCam of the Flip variety. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a touch device with a sweet camera built into it, with a zoom feature, and integration with iMovie and all that? Maybe you could even get a little case that puts them together like a clamshell, and have the two devices communicate together over Bonjour or Bluetooth, and THEN you could do video chat with the iCam pointed at your face, and your friend appearing in the iPhone while you talk to it?? Or have one device be a full screen keyboard, and the other just be a full display?

That's what I want to see. Apple, are you listening?
mik3cap: (Default)
Someday people will learn that greed is not sustainable. The serpent can only eat so much of its own tail before it chokes.

I predict that the DJIA will settle down when it hits about 3500. I suspect it will take nearly another year to get to that point, when the markets all finally bottom out. Some time after Google's stock tanks, I think.

Why 3500? Because that's where it was 15 years ago, after more than a decade of steady growth through the 80s. That's where it was at just as the Internet first came into play - before people started going apeshit with everything, and began to believe that castles could be built on clouds. How could we possibly have created 300% more wealth out of thin air? The DJIA had barely broken 1000 for two decades prior to the 80s, and then we saw real growth with the rise of computing and software and general advancement of technology up to the early 90s. But somehow people went batty along the way and started ignoring things like "profits" and "business models" and suddenly CEOs started making exorbitant salaries, and more and more snake oil salesmen popped up to part fools and their money with made up shit they called "financial instruments", usually aided and abetted by our own government with tailor-made legislation paid for by the finest of lobbyists. And what was the result of all that?

Well we've now witnessed the implosion of finance, real estate, and car companies. Really these events are still ongoing, these prideful bastards haven't fallen all the way yet - all the bailout money in the world won't cushion their impacts either. But the real killer will be when high tech hits the skids again.

Internet bubble 2.0 is on the way. Internet advertising is going to pop it, again. Advertising revenue is just not sustainable on the Internet, because there's no way to make money from it unless you completely control the medium. It worked great for newspapers when they had regional monopolies. It worked great for TV with the network and cable monopolies. And of course the Internet killed both of those monopolies! So the Internet must be the future monopoly, right? Wrong.

Google's doing pretty well with ad revenue because they've got a search monopoly - but how long will that really last? Hint: it's already eroding, because iPhones and user generated content from social networks make Google obsolete. So wait, social networking is the new monopoly? Well, Facebook certainly won't have a monopoly on social networking for any long period of time... remember when MySpace was the monopoly? Ask yourself: is Facebook really worth billions? Was MySpace? No. That's utterly ridiculous, because people always move on to the next site, and the Internet is too big to really control.

Did Google ever advertise itself? Wikipedia? MySpace and Facebook? YouTube? Never. Because viral social networks spread word faster and more effectively than any advertising ever could. And when you actually have a piece of hardware that enables that viral action (iPhone: Google Killer) you're going to see just how ineffective ads actually are in comparison. Someone can write an iPhone app that will change a playing field overnight and render whole industries worth of web sites obsolete. You just can't beat the power of a network of millions and millions of people continuously sending the freshest live audio, video, GPS, and pure data streams. All the dead data in Google's web page index is worthless in comparison.

Maybe people will try to speculate a biotech bubble into existence, but I doubt that will succeed. People are too freaked out by biohacking, and legislation and regulation will continually muddle its development, too much so for it to really boom like the other deregulated industries all did.
mik3cap: (Default)
The King Of Kong is now available as a Netflix instant watching movie. I highly, highly recommend this film! It's an incredible piece of modern cultural history framed by the eternal struggle of the underdog outsider versus the establishment. And hey, DONKEY KONG!!

I witnessed Steve Wiebe achieve the fourth ever known kill screen here in New York and heard him speak at MoMI. He's a great guy, and it's a great story.


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