Tomorrow is the start of Movember, so come on lads, let’s punch cancer in the face and raise some awareness and much needed funds.
What is cuter than a chameleon with OCD tendancies?
When was the last time you came up to someone and asked if you could “poke” or “follow” them? So why do we do it “online”? A light-hearted and somewhat scary look at what happens when our “online” and “offline” activities meet.
Earlier this year, around September 2011, I attended the Compubrand Brand Summit in partnership with Microsoft.
One of the presentations by Microsoft’s Alexandre Michelin (Executive producer MSN EMEA) really grabbed my attention. He stated that, “Brands needs to reinvent themselves in this new digital world and find new ways to re-engage consumers in order to enhance brand loyalty, otherwise, consumers will desert them.” Which is particularly true and very challenging.
That aside, he played a video clip of Microsoft’s productivity future vision. A high-tech representation of how technology could transform the way we get things done at school, at work, and in the home over the next 5 to 10 years. That video was released back in 2009.
Productivity Future Vision (2009)
Fast forward to 2011 and Microsoft has just released the latest edition of this futuristic view, with a surprising addition. South Africa features with views of OR Tambo International airport, Johannesburg and melktert. Yes, you read correctly, melktert.
Melktert, for the uninitiated, is loosely translated as milk tart in Afrikaans, and is a traditional South African dessert. It is a sweet pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs. The ratio of milk to egg is higher than in a traditional European custard tart or Chinese egg tart, resulting in a lighter texture and a stronger milk flavour.
Skip forward to time code 05:31 and behold high-tech melktert. Not exactly melktert made by small nanoprobes, but rather an interactive recipe with video and some cool infographics depicting the ingredients and method of cooking.
This is certainly not new. iPad apps such as Epicurious and Jamie’s recipes already offer some of these features. However, if we have this kind of technology at our disposal now, I get extremely excited about what the future may hold.
High-tech melktert Productivity future vision 2011
Judging by this live video of Katy Perry’s performance of Last Friday Night – TGIF at her Rock in Rio concert in Rio de Janeiro, the audience should at least have been issued with earplugs. Normally I would give the artist the benefit of the doubt and blame dodgy sound equipment, or more specifically the sound engineer, but not in this case.
There was a definite false note on many occasions [time 00:30] and it seemed as she was forcing it. She also often sounded out of breath [time 01:39] – which could probably be explained by all the dancing and jumping [time 02:53].
On the other hand, the studio produced version of this song sounds so much better – No earplugs required.
I’ve been playing around with the iTimeLapse app for the iPhone and I must say that I’m hooked.
With iTimeLapse you can create stunning time lapse videos straight from your phone! iTimeLapse allows you to capture a series of images rapidly and then compile them into a video.
So with the iPhone in hand, I loaded up the iTimeLapse app and directed it at the Tipp-Kick Table football game.
TIPP-KICK is a football game featuring two versatile metal players who can kick the ball along the ground or lob it up in the air. One push of the button sends the goalkeeper diving / leaping across the goal to clear the ball. The colour showing uppermost on the two-tone balls tells the players who is allowed to kick. The winner is the one that manages to combine ability, skill and tactics.
After recording 15 minutes of “footage” and a quick render – the end result was of course the following video:
Direct link to Tipp-Kick football game timelapse
And for those wondering, the final score was 3-2 in favour of the red team.
Ever had a song stuck in your head and you don’t know the name? It happens to me all the time. Either I know a line from the song, or have some idea of the tune, but no idea who the artist or the song is.
To make matters worse, I always seem to miss the song intro on the radio and the DJ never seems to repeat the song title.
Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the iPhone song identification application Midomi. Let me briefly interject.
A good friend, Leon Jacobs once said, “The greatest things about iPhone is the potential that every new app has to completely transform the device into a totally new experience.” I have to agree with Leon. Midomi has transformed the way I interact with music.
The premise is simple – open Midomi, press the big orange button, hold your iPhone up to a source of music and voila, it identifies the artist and song title. It even allows you to play back a short clip (from its own database) so that you can confirm if it’s the same song. Just watch out for loud ambient noise though – it makes song recognition a bit tricky.
Surprisingly enough it even recognised my tone-deaf humming of certain songs. Of course, if you don’t want to feel like a dork singing to your phone, you can also search for a song or band just by saying or typing the name.
The features don’t stop there though. You can bookmark and share your song results via Twitter and Facebook. Check out the lyrics, videos via YouTube and obtain detailed artist info. You can buy the song, but I haven’t been able to do so since the iTunes music store is still not available in South Africa.
All in all, this is a great application and at $4.99 (around R38) it’s worth every cent.