Monday, January 05, 2009

Video: The Red Elvises at the Handlebar in Greenville, SC

The Red Elvises came to The Handlebar in October and I shot several snippets of video from the audience knowing that I'd make a montage of it later. I shot the video using my Flip Mino, and went about making the montage, but couldn't get the sound right using only the software from Flip. Well, they updated the software to FlipShare and I installed the update which now allows you to replace the audio from your video with something else. The video below is all from the October concert and the audio is an mp3 of one of the Red Elvises songs which I downloaded from their officially sanctioned fan web site.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thriller! MTV Videos now available online

If you are as old as me then you'll remember that MTV was once all about music videos. The channel was mesmerizing, is added compelling video to popular music in a format that for any years was absolutely addictive. You could turn on the channel, sit down in your bean bag chair and lose hours at a time.

In the spirit of Halloween, I'll embed here a video that is also vintage. It's the long version of Michael Jackson's Thriller:

qv: MTV Music

Making this blog entry a double feature, here is the first video I played when checking out the new site. The music, video, and artist are are beautifully frozen in time:

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Honda Goldwing Wingding Video via Flip Mino

Honda Goldwing Wing Ding 2008 in Greenville, SC. This is a sample video created with the Flip Mino and the embedded muvee software.

Once I had seen how the Muvee software worked, I shot video in short clips with the idea that I would paste them together with the Muvee software later. I knew that I would care very little about the sound at the event as it would end up being background to the music track. I then selected all of my video clips and told the Movie Mixer to make the clip. This is what I got. I am amazed at what it turns out. In this particular case, I used a piece of downloaded music as the sound track.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Kathryn Plays Harmonica

My evaluation of the Flip Mino continues. This is an impromptu moment where Kathryn invites me to play harmonica with her. Flip Mino operated by Mom.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Flip Mino Preview and some very specific food advice

Here is a chance to see my very first thoughts of the Flip Mino as well as a bit of it's output. You may also learn one very simple technique for avoiding food you don't like. Sure, you think it's easy, but sometimes a bad meal is just what you need in order to avoid having two bad meals.

qv: Flip Mino


Friday, February 15, 2008

iPod Free Download: Jericho - Reconstruction

This week's free iPod (video) download in the Apple Store is a chance to catch up with Jericho:

"Jericho, a drama about what happens in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion in a once peaceful town, is back for a second season. Following the bloody battle with New Bern, the citizens of Jericho begin reconstruction efforts to restore the town's power and communication with the outside world. As the country's new leaders, the Cheyenne government, attempt to establish their stronghold in the region, Jericho's citizens become increasingly suspicious of their new leaders and question why their community is so important to this newly formed government."

Free Download (expires soon!): [iTunes Store]

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Too many choices makes for more misery than is necessary

I was sitting in a well established local restaurant for lunch yesterday wondering why their menu has 8000 items to choose from. It takes forever to decide what to eat in this place, and should you take a group of people in, it takes even longer. I am sure the proprietor wants people to feel like they've got lots of options. What he is actually doing is making us miserable. Don't believe me? Watch Barry Schwartz as he explains why too many choices undermine our happiness:

via: TED


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

A casual message from the proprietors...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bowling for Dollars, Nick Perry and Hearst-Argyle on YouTube

When I was growing up south of Pittsburgh, channel 4 meant WTAE-TV. The news was Paul Long, Don Cannon and Joe Denardo with the weather. I might have forgotten most of that, except WTAE is owned by Hearst-Argyle which has recently signed a deal to put some of their stations on YouTube in exchange for a cut of the revenue.

Here's the announcement:

YouTube said on Sunday it has reached a revenue-sharing deal with Hearst-Argyle Television whereby local TV stations will be paid when users of the video-sharing site watch their programming. YouTube, a unit of Google, and Hearst-Argyle said in a statement that they will share advertising revenue on news, weather and entertainment videos from five TV stations the first time YouTube has paid for local TV programming.

Hearst-Argyle television stations in Boston, Manchester in New Hampshire, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore will begin posting local video content to dedicated channels on YouTube.

YouTube will also distribute Hearst-Argyle's new digital video initiatives, including high school football, basketball and local amateur entertainment, the companies said.

Hearst-Argyle, which owns 29 local TV stations in the United States, will take an undisclosed cut of the advertising revenue YouTube earns when its users view clips, a spokesman said.

The WTAE channel on YouTube includes some vintage promos as well as highlights of some shows from my youth. On that caught my eye in particular was this video of Bowling for Dollars which was hosted by Nick Perry:

As it says in the Wikipedia, Nick Perry was a television and radio personality who became infamous after being indicted in a scandal involving the rigging of the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1980.

I was in college and 500 miles to the south at the time, but it was big news across the country. Nick and his buddies rigged the lottery but couldn't keep it quiet.

The full story is fascinating, once again from the Wikipedia entry:

In 1977, Perry became the host of the live nightly broadcast of the Pennsylvania Lottery, which was then held in the studios of WTAE in Pittsburgh. On the night of April 24, 1980, more than six million viewers watched as 666 was pulled as the winning number. (Contrary to popular belief, Perry was only an announcer and never drew the winning numbers. This was always done by a senior citizen volunteer, as the lottery benefits senior citizens in Pennsylvania.) Lottery authorities and local bookmakers became suspicious when they noticed a large number of tickets were purchased for certain numbers, and a handful of players came forward to claim approximately $1.8 million of the then record $3.5 million payout. However, they had no actual evidence that the drawing was fixed.

The scheme was masterminded by Perry, who first discussed the idea with two of his business partners, brothers Peter Maragos and Jack Maragos, whom he worked with in the vending business. Once committed to the plan, Perry approached local Pittsburgh lettering expert and WTAE art director Joseph Bock about creating weighted ping-pong balls that were replicas of the official balls used in the lottery machines. Bock agreed to help, and experimented with powder and other substances until he settled on white latex paint. Bock performed careful experiments to determine just the right amount of paint to use so that the weighted balls could fly up off the bottom of the machine, but not high enough to reach the vacuum tube so the ball would be drawn out of the machine. The men thought it would be too risky to weight nine of the ten balls for each machine, so they decided to leave both the 4 and 6 balls unchanged. Those would be the only balls light enough to actually be drawn. This would reduce the number of possible combinations that could come up to eight: 444, 446, 464, 466, 644, 646, 664, or 666. Bock then applied labels on the balls (obtained from an art supply store) that matched those of the originals.

However, Perry needed more help to pull the scheme off. Perry got access to the machines and ping pong balls through the involvement of Pennsylvania Lottery official Edward Plevel. Plevel left the machines and balls unguarded for several minutes on a few occasions. Perry also got WTAE stagehand Fred Luman to actually switch the original balls with the weighted ones before and after the drawing. Bock then took the balls back to his studio and burned them in a paint can half an hour after the on-air drawing was done.

The Maragos brothers, on the date of the drawing, travelled around Pennsylvania buying large quantities of tickets containing the eight possible numbers. The investigation was broken open with an anonymous tip led to a bar near Philadelphia where the Maragos brothers bought a large number of lottery tickets. An employee remembers the Maragos brothers coming into the bar with a platinum blonde woman and laying down a large amount of cash to buy lottery tickets, all on eight specific numbers. While the employee worked the lottery machine to print the tickets, he remembered that one of the Maragos brothers used the pay phone to make a call, spoke in a foreign language, and held up the phone so the listener could hear the lottery machine printing the tickets. Investigators pulled the phone records and traced the call to the WTAE announcer's booth in the studio where the drawing was done. They had successfully implicated Perry, but also knew he could not have acted alone. Further investigation and questioning of the Maragos brothers eventually implicated the rest of the men.

It was later revealed that the Maragos brothers also placed bets on the eight numbers with local bookmakers who had illegal numbers games that used the lottery drawing as the winning result. The brothers also told friends and family which numbers to play. This extra bit of greed may have been what ultimately did all of the conspirators in.

A grand jury was called and charges were brought against all six men. Plevel was convicted and spent two years in prison. Bock and Luman pleaded guilty in exchange for lighter sentences. The Maragos brothers avoided jail time by agreeing to testify against Perry. Much of the $1.8 million was recovered from the Maragos brothers, as were numerous lottery tickets.

Perry was convicted of criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, theft by deception, rigging a publicly exhibited contest, and perjury in 1981 and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. He served two years at Camp Hill State Penitentiary and spent another year at a halfway house in East Liberty, Pennsylvania. Perry remained on parole until March 1989. He held a number of jobs after prison including an unsuccessful attempt to return to broadcasting in the late 1980s. Perry died in Andover, Massachusetts on April 22, 2003, having never admitted his role in the scandal.

Watch: WTAE on YouTube

ps: So, why doesn't my new favorite channel 4, WYFF-TV in Greenville have their videos on YouTube? Especially those that feature my mother's favorite tech guy chatting with Tim Waller or Nigel Robertson?

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Friday, April 20, 2007

WYFF Video -- Citizen Journalists

If your cell phone has a built-in camera, you can record breaking news when it happens, sometimes quicker than traditional media outlets.

Tim Waller put together a piece for WYFF-TV this week that reminds people of the power to deliver breaking news that they are carrying around in their video powered cell phone. It features a few words from yours truly.

qv: [Link to the video]

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Video: March Tech Insider Update

Our March video for the GSA Technology Council is now out. The Google Video version is below.

Want to see the video in it's original glory? Check it out at the GSA Technology Council website --
qv: GSATC March Video

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Video: Buyer Beware! Internet Scams getting Bigger

I stopped by WYFF yesterday to talk to Tim Waller about the growing threat of internet scams. It seems the more popular a website gets, the more likely it is to be frequented by bad guys looking to scam you.

Tim put together a great story. The video is at the WYYF link below.

You just can't warn people enough...

qv: Buyer Beware: The Next Big Scams

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

An easier way to understand and explain Net Neutrality is just one click away...

Don't understand Net Neutrality? Do understand Net Neutrality, but haven't come up with a compact yet lucid explanation suitable for your non-technical friends? Not to worry, SaveTheInternet has come to the rescue with a video that's clear and to the point. Watch the video. Sign the petition. Tell your friends.

qv: Save the Internet

via: Cory & Lessig


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Video: February News and Meeting Information

This is the Google Video version of the February video update.
In this video:

For both versions of the video, I'd like to thank Champion Communications for producing the videos. They did a bang up job.

Watch the High Fidelity WMV at the GSATC website: GSATC-TV - February Video Update

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Video: Star Trek Cribs - The Director's Cut

Sure, it's an ad for Star Trek on G4TV, but it's still very clever and quite funny.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Secret Life of Pilots

It's a guilty pleasure to laugh at the antics of Dean Martin and Foster Brooks. They are still funny, still charming after all these years...

Thanks Travis!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

Finally, something of real educational value on YouTube:

There is a great article about the "success" of this video at:
My Wild Million-Hit Ride on YouTube

FYI -- The Orange Yeti made me do this.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WYFF-TV Video of Gadgetfest

JL Watkins has posted the video segment he did about gadgetfest. It's uber cool, of course.

qv: [Watch the video]

update! I fixed the broken links in this post. ooph!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

GSATC TV - Gadgetfest is coming Dec 13!

Play VideoOnce again the nice guys at Champion have helped us put together a video to talk about the upcoming GSATC meeting. Sitting on the fence about attending? You shouldn't be, we have lots of good reasons to come. We've got gadgets, thank you gifts for all who attend, and a special gift for those who bring a new, unwrapped toy to be distributed in the community.

Gadgets we know are coming:
  • WiMAX
  • USB Missile Launcher
  • Mac PowerBook
  • Tough Book PC
  • Ubuntu (a free Linux)
  • Head mounted display
  • Zune
  • and more...
Learn more: GSATC Gadgetfest

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Friday, November 17, 2006

I am my own Grandpa!

As thoughts turn to family for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, the following video makes me appreciate that my family isn't as complicated as it could be:

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wonderboy Revisted - Fall Brawl III

Three years ago today, I helped Ray Thompson promote a kickboxing event at the Palmetto Expo Center. It was fun and definitely exciting. After the event, I pulled together some of the best pictures taken by our event photographer and put them in a slideshow with some music.


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