Thursday, May 29, 2008

Netflix Player by Roku

So, I got a new toy delivered by FedEx today: the Netflix Player by Roku. For those that haven't heard of it, it's a device that delivers Netflix streaming content directly to your TV. Finally, there's a good way to see the Play it Now content from Netflix in the living room.

From the short time I've used it already, it seems to be a nice device. The unit itself is a bit lighter than I would have expected, but with no hard disk or storage, there's not much to weigh it down. The array of connections are quite sufficient for my needs: composite, component, analog audio, optical digital audio and HDMI (which I'm using).

The quality on my 6Mbit Speakeasy connection is quite good. In fact, it appears to rival DVD and the AppleTV/iTunes content I usually watch. It scales quite nicely on my Philips 42" LCD TV.

My only complaints to this point is that the device doesn't let you browse all the choices, but is instead tied into your queue. Also, I seem to be hearing a bit of popping in the audio. Right now I can't tell if it's the unit, my TV or something else. I'll have to investigate more.

Michigan and Florida and the Democrats

Quick whine for the day:

I'm sick and tired of hearing about Michigan and Florida and the DNC delegates. To me, this whole thing is emblematic of the Democrats. The rules were set, Florida and Michigan broke the rules and now they're whining to not be punished as they were promised. I believe that in the end, the DNC will back away from their promise because it's politically expedient for them too. In the end it appears the Democrats do not belive in consequences.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Couldn't Agree More

Just found this article on BusinessWeek that points out a good way to decrease our pollution from automobile traffic is to make them not necessary. The best way to do this is increase the development of infill housing and mixed-use construction.

See: Cities: A Smart Alternative to Cars Via: the Greater Greater Washington blog

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Darn You Nikon!

I tend to be loyal to companies that have treated me well in the past. One of those companies is Nikon. Over the years I've collected a decent amount of Nikon products. A couple of weeks ago Feli and I purchased a new D300 (which is a great camera, BTW). Today I decided to place all my Nikon equipment together just to see what it looks like. And when I did that, I figured I'd take a picture.

Of course, the hard part is taking a picture of all your camera equipment. You want to take a good picture, but the good cameras are the subject of the picture. Sigh.

So here's a picture from my video camera (the only non Nikon camera I have).

So why did I title this post "Darn You Nikon!"? That wasn't me, that was my wallet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Netflix Player by Roku

Ok, so I've found yet another new toy to pick up (when will it end?). Netflix currently offers a streaming service for subscribers. It offers access to a growing number of movies and TV shows. The biggest limitation with the service to date has been its reliance on a computer for viewing. Or more specifically, it requires a Windows computer to view the content.

While I haven't really been paying attention (not sure how I missed this), apparently Netflix has been working with hardware manufacturers (such as TiVo or DVD player manufacturers) to build streaming clients into their hardware. The first of these is the Netflix Player by Roku.

Long time nerds may recognize Roku as the makers of the SoundBridge network music player (of which I have 2 already). Needless to say I'm a big fan of the SoundBridge and I'm a Netflix subscriber, so picking up a Netflix Player seemed like a no brainer. After it arrives and I get a chance to play with it, I'll post a review.

Coverage by other sites

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pretty cool music video

Pretty cool music video:

Zoundry Raven

Quick link for the day. I've started using Zoundry Raven as my blogging tool of choice. It's free (or a zero Alex pick if you will) and seems to work rather well at least with Blogger. Let me know if you're using it and what you think.

Communication and Organization

So a while back I had a yearly review with my boss. You know those meetings, the sometimes useful, sometimes not meetings where you discuss your future with your immediate supervisor. In my case, it was a very useful meeting (as have most of mine because of the succession of really good bosses I've had over the years). The primary takeaway from the meeting was that I need to work on my communication of ideas and better organizing my business relationships. I was told I have a number of good ideas, but no real, official framework for how to present them.

For work, I've been trying to implement some procedures and frameworks to help organize things, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it might be a good thing to do the same thing in my personal life. Hence this blog and my presence on Twitter, etc.

With that in mind, I hope to be a bit more prolific on this blog in just streaming my ideas for all to read (for better or worse). We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Far We've Come

Just thinking back to when I was first learning to edit video. A simple 3 minute video could take a couple of days (especially if the footage was spread over a number of tapes). I remember spending a whole weekend working on editing a simple video for the youth group I was a part of. Today, by comparison, I was able to edit a 3:30 video in about 40 minutes. In HD no less. With titles. And transitions. And .. well .. you get the picture. We've definitely come a long way from a tape-to-tape editing system.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Gas Tax Moritorium

Sorry all. Gotta whine for just a second. There's currently a debate here about dropping the gasoline tax for the summer. McCain and Clinton both support it and Obama is against.

Let me put in my 2 cents worth. The only long term solution we have for solving the energy problem in this country is to drive less and when we drive be more efficient about it. Dropping the tax won't help this and in fact would work as a disincentive to driving less. So this is a brilliant idea.


DC vs the Suburbs

An interesting article in the Washington Post describing readers experiences in the city and the suburbs. The interesting thing it found is that despite living near the suburban ammenities, the residents were too busy stuck in traffic and dealing with life to enjoy them.

On the other hand, the DC'ites didn't have quite the libraries or schools of our suburban bretheren, but we have time to enjoy what we have.