Many of you will know that I’m currently spending one day a week in the University Computer Lab helping my pal Frank Stajano with a project called ‘Pico’. We’ve been making a little introduction movie, which has been a great opportunity for me to get some more practice shooting video with my Canon 6D, and learning the new version of Final Cut Pro.
We plan to refine it a bit in the New Year, but here it is for anyone who’s curious about what we’re doing:
Out of Vision My friend Phil Ashby has long experience in the world...
I always enjoy Jeff Cable’s photography tutorials. Here’s a good talk to recommend if you know somebody who has just got a DSLR, or is wondering about getting one. What kind of things can you do with it, and what do you need to know about it, if you’re used to a fully-automatic point-and-shoot?
Remember that these days you may need to click the ‘YouTube’ logo and watch it there if you want to do so in full-screen mode.
I’ve been trying to shift much more of the paperwork in my life into the digital world, but I was very keen that filing a bit of paper electronically should be as easy as putting it in a folder in the filing cabinet. “Wouldn’t it be nice”, I thought, “if the only thing I had to do was type a name or a few keywords and everything else happened automatically?” So I built a system which did just that.
This video describes in some detail how the script is set up. You may want to use the full-screen and HD options to make things more readable. If you’re less interested in the details and would just like to see it in action, watch the first couple of minutes and then skip to about 13:30.
One thing I don’t talk about in the video is the fact that Hazel rules can also look at the contents of the file. So, once the document has been OCRed, the automatic filing can happen based on words that actually occur on the paper — it might detect your car’s registration number (licence plate), for example, in a document and know to file that under ‘car stuff’ — which I think is very cool.
This is an interesting and unusual talk, given about a year ago at a Canadian software engineering conference. I’d seen it before, but a friend reminded me of it recently (thanks, Aideen!) so I’ve just watched it again.
Bret Victor starts by talking about new ways to design software, and finishes with some suggestions on how to live your life. This is dangerous, because you may only find him credible on one of these points, and one could perhaps argue that the one-hour talk would be better delivered as two half-hour talks. And the first couple of minutes, delivered in his slow, careful style in a badly-lit brown room, don’t jump out and grab you. However, I think he pulls it off, and it certainly has the merit of being very different from your typical software-engineering talk.
One of the records that was regularly played in my childhood home was a collection of sketches by the wonderful Joyce Grenfell. This was a favourite, and though I only ever knew it as audio, the place to find such things nowadays is of course YouTube.
It’s almost too easy to find inspiring TED talks, so I don’t often post them here now, but this one particularly attracted me.
Ernesto Sirolli manages to give some great advice on aid (which is also relevant in the developed world) and on high-tech entrepreneurship (which is also relevant in the developing world). To do both of these in such an amusing and impassioned way, in just 15 mins, is sheer brilliance.
(Very nicely filmed, too)
Today’s talk Highly recommended: Malcolm Gladwell’s TED2004 talk. In just 15 mins,...
How can you take a year and a half to make a 3-minute music video? Like this:
It’s even more amazing when you know how they made it. There are no green-screens here, and every frame is created by hand…
This has been out for a while, of course, but old people like me have just discovered it. (Old people like me might also be reminded of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ video, which was pretty amazing a quarter of a century ago…)