On Technology

URL Longer-er

I was just talk­ing to James about the idea of hav­ing a URL “longer-er” service/site just for laughs. The idea of it is pret­ty much a reverse of most of the URL short­en­ing ser­vices out there today like tr.im, is.gd, tinyurl.com, etc. Lo and behold, I guess they have one:


Check out URL for this blog using the ser­vice:


Nuts! That’s 2008 char­ac­ters from 20. An increase of about 100 times. =p

Unlock Phones from AT&T

So in prepa­ra­tion to going to Europe, I want­ed to be able to have a cell­phone (mobile) handy in case of an emer­gency. I want­ed to just use the iPhone 3G but I have updat­ed to iPhone OS 2.2.1 with a base­band of 2.30.03, which there is no (soft­ware) unlock for. Luck­i­ly, I still have kept my Sam­sung Black­jack (1).

Here’s what I found out when get­ting my Black­jack unlocked:

  • Call 611 (Cus­tomer Ser­vice), and not the local AT&T store.
  • Unlock­ing is “free” (accord­ing to the CSR who helped me).
  • Give your IMEI num­ber to the CSR to receive your phone’s unlock code.
  • To get your phone’s IMEI num­ber, press *#06#
  • To pro­ceed with the unlock process:
    • Take out the SIM card if there are any first.
    • You have to do the fol­low­ing key­strokes: #7465625*638*unlock_code# (unlock_code is your own of course).
    • Your phone’s dis­play will then have some type of mes­sage that it has dis­abled a lock of some sort.

I hope that helps.

Apple’s New Ipod Shuffle


It seems that Apple just released their new iPod Shuf­fle today. VoiceOver seems to be the newest tech­nol­o­gy oth­er than the new form-fac­tor. They say its half-the-size of the pre­vi­ous one, and has a capac­i­ty of 4GB. In terms of col­or, its cur­rent­ly avail­able in sil­ver or black.

apple-ipod-shuffle-20090311-key apple-ipod-shuffle-20090311-controls

The only thing I’m wor­ried about is that you have to use the built-in con­trols on the ear­phones that comes with it (or am I miss­ing some­thing?). That’s actu­al­ly a pret­ty big one to weigh out.


That would suck if you’d like to use some­thing else and/or replace it in the future. You won’t be able to Play, Pause, Skip, etc. Any­ways, I per­son­al­ly would­n’t buy this new one and would stick with the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion just because of the lim­i­ta­tion of hav­ing to play songs only through the ear­phones.

I’m hop­ing I’m not the only one that finds this as a big con­cern.

For more details regard­ing the new iPod Shuf­fle’s ear­bud-con­trols, read up on Giz­mod­o’s arti­cle: Con­firmed: Your iPod Shuf­fle Ear­buds Need Pro­pri­etary Chip to Func­tion.

Hello Animoto!

Well, I final­ly decid­ed to give Ani­mo­to a try.

Animoto.com is a web appli­ca­tion that cre­ates MTV-style videos with the click of a but­ton.

Users sim­ply choose a song and images. Ani­mo­to then auto­mat­i­cal­ly gen­er­ates a unique video for them. No two videos are ever the same.

Many of the post-pro­duc­tion tech­niques that the founders used while work­ing as pro­duc­ers for MTV, Com­e­dy Cen­tral & ABC are used in Ani­mo­to’s patent-pend­ing Cin­e­mat­ic Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence devel­oped to think like an actu­al edi­tor and direc­tor. The result­ing video is pro­duced in a widescreen for­mat, con­tain­ing the visu­al ener­gy of a music video and the emo­tion­al impact of a movie trail­er.

Ani­mo­to Pro­duc­tions is based in New York City with an office in San Fran­cis­co.

Here’s my first tri­al run video using my BYOBW 2008 pho­to set on Flickr.

I’m dig­ging it. I only wish the free account gives you more time. Maybe when they get their social net­work going, users can vote or give props to slideshows that have “poten­tial” to be remixed even fur­ther due to the amount of images and/or how good their sound­track is. But I’ll let Ani­mo­to decide on that algo­rithm. Anoth­er thing that would be cool is the idea of using tracks from Last.fm, Pan­do­ra, or ones like it. But I’m guess­ing Ani­mo­to would need ample time to ana­lyze those tracks before­hand to inject into their mag­ic fac­to­ry.

Mean­while, the ser­vice is priced well for Per­son­al Use, $25–30/year… just like Flick­r’s. Don’t know if this is a long shot or not, but maybe incor­po­rate a deal with Flickr of get­ting a dis­count­ed mem­ber­ship. Any­ways, I can see myself pur­chas­ing a mem­ber­ship for Ani­mo­to. I fig­ure edit­ing a 3–5 minute video, and queu­ing music at the same time, takes a lot of time and patience and is well worth the $25–30. That’s only about a week’s worth of Lee’s Avo­ca­do Turkey sand­wich­es that I can pass on—not bad at all.