Devan Wanders

Listen to me wander.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Twitter is fun...

but will it last?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Me...A Superhero?

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Google deleted my memories

I've been a bit of a Google fanboy for the last couple years being quick to use most of their services and any software they acquire. When they bought Picasa I was really excited because it reminded me a lot of iPhoto on my Mac. I immediately started using it on my Windows machines at home and work.

Since the birth of our first daughter about 6 months ago we've really started taking a lot more pictures and videos. We got a Canon SD550 as a gift in anticipation of our new baby girl. With the addition of a 2Gig SD card it can take and store some really nice movies and is usually more easily accessible than our MiniDV camera. We found that Picasa imported the movie AVIs and played them as well as displaying the pictures. With version 2.5 of Picasa there is even a feature to publish movies to Google Video which we've tested.

Recently I've been noticing the disappearance of particular movies upon importing into Picasa and have been trying to troubleshoot it. My wife and I have been taking so may pictures and movies that I don't know how long this may have been happening.

Essentially Picasa is listing the correct number of items on the camera. However, when asking it to import all the items and delete only those items that are imported it fails to import some movies yet still deletes them. I haven't figured out the pattern of which movies don't get imported, but found this thread on the Picasa support Google Group.

Now going through my albums I'm starting to realize just how many movies did not get imported over the last few months. I feel stupid for not noticing this earlier, but the fact that some movies were getting imported made the problem hard to detect. So I'm pissed. Not only that, but I've recommended Picasa to others with my same Canon SD550 camera. I need to warn everybody I can about this potential problem and don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable using Picasa again.

Google, how could you release a product with such a destructive bug? Is the Canon SD line not common enough to have been tested? What are you going to do to regain my trust?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

electric car resurection?

A collegue pointed out to me that Tesla Motors is set to unvail a new electric car on July 20th. From the description on the site this is a 2-seater roadster with some power. Sounds like its targeting the same market as the EV1. How appropriate that this car be unvailed so shortly after the release of Who Killed the Electric Car.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Who killed the electric car?

Keep your eyes peeled for Who Killed the Electric Car in theaters this summer. I worked for the director, Chris Paine, in Santa Monica back in '95-'97. He was the first person I knew with an electric car, the EV1. The car was very cool. It was fast, good looking, and best of all it didn't run on gas. Around the same time we even started seeing local supermarkets offer rockstar parking and free charging for your electric car while you shopped. It seemed like the way things were going.

But as some of you may know California extended its deadline for low emission cars in 1996. With the requirements to put electric cars on the road delayed not only did manufacturers stop making them, but they recalled the ones they were leasing and destroyed them.

Unfortunately I missed the early screening of this movie in SF due to the birth of my baby girl, but I'm anxiously awaiting it to come to my local theater. Chris was interviewed on PBS' NOW recently. I missed it's airing, but have found the clip below. Check it out...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Not everyone has an iPod

Dave Winer is expressing frustration with learning how to use the controls on his new Sandisk mp3 player because it doesn't work like an iPod. I hear what he's saying, but think its also important to realize that not everyone has had an iPod. For example, I'm on my 5th mp3 player and none of them have been iPods. Why? Because in my opinion the iPod has always been one step behind.

Personally I've mostly owned Rios. It was 1998 when I bought my first compact flash based mp3 player called the Rio PMP300. I still have it around in a box somewhere. It only had 32MB of internal memory (I added 32MB to the expansion slot), but was one of the first of its kind and pretty cool at the time.

After about a year I got pretty sick of moving music on and off of the PMP300 and heard about the Rio Riot. This player had a 20GB internal hard drive. Although it was much bulkier than the iPod, I didn't have much choice because the iPod wasn't introduced for another year or so. It did have a built in FM radio, which I used occasionally when I was sick of listening to my mp3s.

In 2003 I replaced that with another 20GB HD based player from Rio called the Karma. Not only was this smaller than the Riot with all the same features, but it also had a slick docking station with Ethernet and RCA connections. With the Karma in its dock I could listen to my mp3s through my stereo system or any machine on my home network. Not only was the Karma cheaper than the equivalent iPod, but with the FM tuner and spiffy docking station it had more features included in the box. However, I must admit that by this time the iPod was considered cooler and had a smaller profile than the Karma.

In 2004 I replaced my Karma with an Archos Gmini 400. This is also a 20GB HD based player. However, it has a color screen, an internal microphone with audio recording capabilities, supports OGG, FLAC, MP3, WAV, and plays some pretty cool little video games. I got an add-on stereo microphone and in-line remote control with an FM radio for about another $100. While this put its price up with that of a larger capacity iPod at the time, I got the Gmini because of its audio recording capabilities. I've recorded a number of podcasts on the device which are available on this feed.

Last year I bought an iRiver which I've mainly used for soundseeing tours. It has an internal microphone, FM tuner, and is really small. However, I don't use this much because it only has 1GB capacity and the interface is not great for browsing large music collections.

I should also note that I bought my Mom an iPod for her 60th birthday in 2004. I helped her get it setup and found it to be very counterintuitive and difficult to operate given my non-iPod experience. So I guess I know where Dave's coming from, but just from a different angle.

Reading Dave's post about not knowing how to fast-forward to minute 23 of a podcast, my first reaction was...push and hold the forward button like every other device. Then I remembered the funky scroll wheel action of the iPod and realized what he was trying to do. That's too bad because every other device (DVD player, CD player, tape deck, etc.) uses the same fast-forward concept that every mp3 player I've ever had implements. Those that have been using nothing but iPods have been retrained and as Dave puts it, "locked in" to Apple's control scheme. This was likely part of Apple's intent. Not only did they come up with an innovative way of controlling audio media, but by retraining their users they've locked them into using iPods and forever asking "Why can't they just adopt the conventions of an iPod?" Pretty sneaky.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Similar Podcasts Idea

Chris Future's April 29th podcast got me thinking about building a web search to find similar podcasts to those you already listen to without people having to promote them.

Listen to Devan Wander! podcast-mini1.gif

DevanWanders-2005-05-05.mp3 [4.9mb (10:42) 64kbps]

My Odeo Channel (odeo/140c77cc5b261a35)