christopher miller discusses marketing, technology and emerging media in the digital space

26th
NOV

26 seconds of booze (or an early shot with the MinoHD)

Posted by Chris under Broadband, TV, Technology, Uncategorized

Sample Booze Video

I thought what better to use for a first still life then my liquor cabinet. And while it’s no Russu bar, it serves it purpose for holding my near and dear whiskey’s (that’s Scotch, Mash and Rye), along with other assorted choice beverages.

Also you’ve got low light, dark colors, glass reflecting some light, etc. so a pretty good test environment to check out the video. And wait for the load, I don’t have the fastest server and it’s 33MB, remember it’s HD

But more important is the 26 seconds of HD video from a $200 camera. Sure it’s a bit grainy but it smaller although thicker then my iPhone. I’ll be playing with this over the next couple of days so look for shots from the family Thanksgiving!

29th
OCT

A sad day

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

I got home from a business trip today to discover in Crains and the Tribune and via the Joffrey blog that Gerald Arpino, internationally-renowned Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of The Joffrey Ballet, had passed away peacefully today in his Chicago home after a long illness.

My wife and I have been attending the Joffrey for over ten years, and every performance we’d look the the stage left balcony and he’d be sitting there, leaning forward ready to watch the company he loved so much. It somehow felt oddly comforting to see him there at each performance.

We attended last Saturday, to view Ashley C. Wheater, the new Artistic Director for the Joffrey and sadly noticed that Mr Arpino was not there.

But we’ll be looking to the balcony each time as just like our ongoing support and attendance of the Joffrey hasn’t wavered, I seem to think that Mr. Arpino will still be watching each performance of the company that he grew and nurtured so well.

And even in his passing he’s left the company a legacy, not only in what he’s done but in bringing in Mr. Wheater as the performance of the new fall season of Postcards, In The Night and Age of Innocence were the best we have every seen of the Joffrey.

5th
OCT

Congrats to my cousin Roland “Chris”

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

Big congratulations on his recent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army!

14th
SEP

Little Britain (USA?)

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

Friends know that I’ve been a big fan of Little Britian since I first saw it in the UK, then BBC America and finally got the full season on DVD. Now Matt and David are bringing it to the USA via HBO. hmm ok so I was a nay sayer about the Office (US version) which has turned out pretty well.

The guys do a fantatic job of a parody and skewer of British culture and life, can they bring this to the US? Well some of the characters have traveled over which is fantastic, but I’m not sure how Vicky Pollard will play, maybe she’ll swap her Kappa tracksuit for a Puma one.

So set the Tivo or DVR for Sept. 28th on HBO 9:30 Central. 10:30 Eastern. There’s a groundswell already in the USA but we’ll see if we, across the pond, can take their scathing humor. Which at least for the British Little Britain have been laugh out loud funny.

Good luck Matt and David!

12th
SEP

Twitter – via applicaitions

Posted by Chris under Adobe, Air, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

In the beginning there was a web browser and Twitter.com But very very quickly as Twitter picked up steam and users there were many other tools for Twitter. These include applications to post to twitter, to read your tweets or even search across twitter.

And my no means is this list fully comprehensive, it’s growing by the week but it’ll give you a start whether you’re an old hand at twitter or a newbie. I personally don’t use twitter.com (the website interface) that much, preferring instead to use a couple of app’s, depending on what platform I’m on. That said I do use the site to follow others, grab individual tweets (e.g.for blog posts) or to update my photo or design.

Applications:
More then comprehensive lists can be found here, here, and here

But to make it easy here are the Applications that I really like. First for computer platform. Now keep in mind I’m on Mac and while I also live in Parallels I’m predominantly working on the Mac, so this is Mac centric (so there).

Twhirl – This was my first go to when I moved away from just using the browser. Built on Adobe Air and now in version 0.8.4, Twhirl is cross platform running on Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX. Twhirl also connects to multiple Twitter, identi.ca, Friendfeed and seesmic accounts, so it’s a bit of all you can eat, which is great.

Two other handy features are the ability to post images to TwitPic, although I tend to do this more on my phone then from my computer, but I do use the built in ability to shorten long URLs (using snurl, twurl or is.gd)
Oh and Twhirl is free

Twitteriffic – I think this is a bit Tomato/Tomato (hear the long “a”) between Twhirl and Twitteriffic but I have friends who swear by it. It also supports multiple Twitter accounts and all of the other things that I mentioned about Twhirl . I think personally it just comes down to which UI you like best.

I should note that I used the paid iPhone version of Twitterifficand love it
Twitteriffic is free with ads or $14.95 for the ad free version.

TweetDeck – My newest Twitter App and the one I’m using the most is TweetDeck which is also built on Adobe Air. I feel like this app is for the graduated, perhaps I dare say sophisticated user of Twitter.

The key thing about TweetDeck is that it “enables users to split their main feed (All Tweets) into topic or group specific columns allowing a broader overview of tweets.” Meaning I have multiple columns (think feeds) based on the kind of tweets, starting with an All Tweets, @ replies and then d (direct) replies.

Next up is a column of key people I follow who’s tweets appear in there, making it easy to see what @russu, @armano, @simplybrad or the various Mad Men characters are up to.

So for now TweetDeck is getting the lions share of my Twittering (at least on the computer).

Hope this helps your tweet stream!

11th
SEP

Seven years ago

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

I was in NYC with my wife and two business associates/friends for an award show. And a lucky award show it was, as had we not been nominated I would have been at the Pentagon at a meeting, which is a whole other story. So while strange to say, I count myself lucky to be in Mid-Town on 9/11.

It’s always a strange day for me as I’m sure it is for many and it was a very strange couple of days before we could get a rental car to drive back to Chicago. The attached picture is from Sept 12, 2001 at about 9:15 in the morning in Times Square, practically deserted.

So for me today, despite it’s outwardly normal appearace, is a day to stop and reflect a bit. To wish safe passage and God Speed to my cousin headed to Iraq in a few days. And to remember: the friends lost at the Pentagon, the people walking uptown covered in dust, the emptiness of Time Square during rush hour and most of all to never forget.

3rd
AUG

Your bits are better then mine

Posted by Chris under Broadband, Comcast, Security, Technology, Uncategorized

Yesterday CNET reported on the latests over the the FCC 3-2 ruling on Friday to “declare that Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent traffic last year was unlawful, marking the first time that any U.S. broadband provider has ever been found to violate Net neutrality rules”

Big news right except that there were not fines, penalties or even a slap on the wrist, and Comcast’s comment from a company spokeswomen: “We believe that our network management choices were reasonable, wholly consistent with industry practices,” isn’t really one of apology.

Remember this is the same Comcast that denied in August 2007 that it was filtering BitTorrent traffic. But when experts showed a few months later that Comcast really was throttling BitTorrent after all, and the company was forced to concede to the FCC that it blocks only “excessive” traffic.

Now I’m a Comcast subscriber. I’ve been using their highspeed broadband for almost 10 years and their broadband and TV for over four. It’s fast, reliable and for the most part like the electricity in my house, it just works. Clearly their are network bandwidth issues, some of which along with some solutions are pointed out in the recent MIT Technology Journal. As a side note I’d suggest you add this magazine or the website to your regular reading.

The FCC needs to get it’s act together to work with ISP’s and create solutions to packet/data management as the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

8th
JUL

New? Twitter screen

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

Maybe it’s because I see the fail whale so much but here’s a new Twitter screen I hadn’t seen before

1st
JUL

Laptop Traveling

Posted by Chris under Apple, Technology, Travel, Uncategorized

Well I’ve just found out I’m either way ahead of the curve or just keeping up in regards to travel. For two years all my stuff went into my Dakine Terminal Backpack but most recently I’ve been using the Timbuk2 commuter (in large). Both are great packs for traveling with a laptop, all assoc. cords, ipod phone, papers, magazine, etc.

*note to self I’ll have to do some unpack shots of all the stuff in my pack*

Anyway this is great until you find yourself at the airport and you have to take your laptop out. That’s where I’ve been using a Incase Neoprene sleeve to protect my MacBook Pro for the last couple of years. Funnily or luckily as the case may be I almost never have to take it out of the case. And strangely when I do have to go sans incase it’s only been at smaller airports (Louisville and Charlotte) but not in Heathrow, Chicago, New York or Miami.

But I guess it’s all about to be legit or at least official. According to the NY Times the “TSA has given the go-ahead for passengers to use newly designed carry-on bags that will let them pass through security without having to take their laptops out for the X-ray inspection”

Not sure if my Incase is “official” but it’s been working for me and I hope to continue to use it.

30th
JUN

Swurl, worth a look and a sign-up

Posted by Chris under Facebook, Friend Feed, Social Networking, Swurl, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

As if friendfeed wasn’t enough, along comes Swurl and from my first 15 minutes I can already say it’s worth a good and deeper look. Just like friendfeed it can aggregate all of your disparate sources yet it’s being positioned as more of a life scrapbook.

Swurl is essentially a lifecasting aggregator that pulls your current activity from web services, all the usual suspects are here: like Flickr, Twitter, Amazon, Pandora and about fifteen others.

Perhaps the coolest feature of Swurl is that the site automatically detects what kind of content it is pulling (from your other sources) and “enhance” it accordingly. So things like Flickr photos will be shown in full size along with a slide show. Another great feature is the Timeline and impressive calendar function to visualize when actions have occurred. Put on your marketing glasses as you look at this, I spy a way to monetize within this calendar. Ryan and Jonathan if you haven’t figured this out yet, give me a ping I’ve got some ideas for you.

In public beta now, no codes or referrals needed to join. And IA/UX people you’ll love the sign-up process, three simple fields, it doesn’t get much easier.

PS have to figure out security settings as it seems anything you put out there is all public all the time