Meeting Notes - 13 January 2015

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Meeting Notes - 13 January 2015

Post by bdahm on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:31 pm

CM Geeks - Notes

No free lunch - We’ve heard this expression time and again. It’s true. It’s equally true here. We don’t charge anything for our meetings, perhaps on the philosophy that you get what you pay for. Be that as it may, the River Market is providing us with a place to meet every week. They are providing us with parking, a projector and a screen and even a sound system for our videos. All they ask in return and all we ask in return is that you purchase something from the menu, even a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Information wants to be free. Food is something else. For those who may have eaten or are not hungry, a tip for the wait staff would be appreciated.

CES: The Internet of Things
CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show, ended after a week in Las Vegas. This is the trade show that showcases new electronics offerings. Unfortunately a lot of these things are prototypes that never come to market. One has to always ask when the item will be available and at what cost? Baring that, there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors and vapor ware.

This year one of the big stars was the so-called “Internet of Things”, those gadgets that can be controlled from our smartphones. We’ve already seen apps that control lighting in the home or can be used to unlock the door. One place to go to get an idea of what some of the offerings are is: 

On a broader level if you want to get some idea of all the cool gadgets out there check out Quirky. You’ll be amazed at what’s available. 

Samsung, with it’s plethora of appliances, is sure to be a big winner here. On the downside, many of these gadgets, especially the software, have been developed like much of the other computer software without much regard to security. All too often security is just an afterthought and not an integral part of the architecture. These lapses promise to create way of breaching ones home network and systems.

Video Resources
There are a number of torrent sites that have recent, good quality movies. One word of caution, however. If either before, after or during such downloads you get a pop-up or other message, which says that in order to play the movies you have to download a codec associated with playing them, do not do so. That download will almost certainly contain some kind of virus or other malware, which will infect your machine. Best to find another source. Also some of the more reliable sites such as KickAss Torrents have comments from people who have downloaded the videos and they will warn of any potential problems or comment on the quality of the download. Take these comments to heart.

Having said all of that, a good source of good quality movies is:

Another one that Stan told us about at the meeting is:

There a source in Thailand for streaming a good selection of recent movies if you have good bandwidth. There’s a nominal charge for this service, something like 200 baht/month. I suspect the service is trying to be a local version of Netflix. It has a way to go, but it’s a good start.

Finally, if you are looking for some stunning, action videos, check out the GoPro site. All those videos were taken with a GoPro camera and some of them are spectacular.

Steadicam Software
A couple of weeks ago we showed a couple of videos by a young videographer by the name of Devin Graham. He used a steadicam to get create some incredible videos. The steadicam reduces the effects of camera movement making for smooth video when the camera is in motion. There is also software that does a pretty good job of achieving the same effects. It’s called Hyper Lapse Here are some examples of what it will do as well of an explanation of how it works.

Here’s an example of Hyper Lapse on a bike.

Here’s the same technology, but I don’t believe this was shot with Hyper Lapse.

That’s all I have for this week; That’s a wrap.



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