One Use to Multi Use Video Cam?

OTU_Video1 I read on the Make Zine blog a while ago that the pharmacy company CVS was selling a One Time Use Video Camcorder for $30 or so. Turns out some really smart hardware/software hackers are finding ways to allow us to REUSE them over and over. CVS’s business concept is to sell an inexpensive almost disposible video camcorder then charge to remove the video you record off of it and put it on a DVD. They don’t return the video device and charge you another $12 for the video you shot.

The other day Arif Mamdani reminded me about this cool device. So today while I was out running errands I bought two. I’m going to test one and take it back to CVS to see the results.

Worst Flights Ever!!!

My day started as many flying days do. Waiting in a airport terminal. But this time it kicked off with a big old delay. Bad weather in and around Minneapolis and Chicago stopped most flights west. People were stuck and not moving at all. The crowd became larger and larger.

Eventually three hours late my first flight left. We arrived in Chicago Midway and that’s when the nightmare really began. For starters I *almost* missed my connection flight.

When I got to there I found out that my connection was running late. I ran/jogged to the gate. I stood in line for my boarding pass which wasn’t given to me earlier for some reason.

So far this story sounds like every other day in a airport but you ain’t heard nothing yet. Read the rest of this insanity by clicking on more.
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Interview with Ravi Singh : Money and Votes

This podcast interview is a conversation with Ravi Singh, CEO of ElectionMall Technologies Inc. We were able to speak at the end of the International Symposium on Local E-democracy. We talked about technology for politicians that helps them reach constituents, raise money, and get votes. We also discussed the recent FEC hearings about blogging and political campaigns.

MP3 9m 50s 4.6MB 64kbps

My Panel Speech at Local E-Dem Symposium

I had the pleasure today to be on a panel at the International Symposium on Local e-Democracy and speak a bit. Bellow is a podcast mp3 of my talk. The best part was being able to speak on the same panel as two serious activists. One was R.T. Rybak the Mayor of the City of Minneapolis. His vision of a participatory democracy augmented with technology is revolutionary and quite advanced. (For American standards) I was genuinly impressed at how an elected official could be himself in a room so effectivly. He gave a very honnest sounding speech. I told him I wish he’d come to Chapel Hill and share his wisdom. I hope to bug him about it in the future. 🙂 The other amazing panelist was Chuck Olsen of Minneapolis Stories and blogumentary.typepad.com. He’s a video blogger who’s work is a very good example of democratized media. I felt a serious kinship with Chuck though we didn’t get to talk enough. It’s obvious he cares about what he does and is excited about sharing it with others. Two qualities that I strive to have. All in all an amazing day. Look for more blog posts and podcasts about this in the next day or so.

MP3 7m 53s 3.7MB 64kbps

How to Create Interview Podcasts on the Cheap

Here is a step-by-step guide on how I create a interview podcast. It’s inexpensive and very mobile. Just about anywhere you can have a conversation with someone you can record what you talk about and share the results with others. To learn more about Podcasting in general please see my article Podcasting Tutorial and Intro. Click more for the rest of the tutorial.
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I’m going to the Local E-Democracy Symposium

Monday i’m flying to Minneapolis to attend the International Symposium on Local E-Democracy. I’m on a panel called Citizens Online and Public Engagement. My short presentation is entitled Discover, Report, Share. (More details on this soon.) I’ll briefly demonstrate how making your own media with tools like Podcasting can empower citizens to be more active in politics, democracy, and social justice. Check back soon… i’ll be blogging and podcasting the event. 🙂

Gizmo makes good VOIP recordings

The Gizmo Project has released some free, but not Open Source, VOIP (Voice over IP) software for the Mac and PC (soon for Linux as well). It’s essentially the same stuff as Skype but with KEY DIFFERENCES. The ones that are most important to the podcaster/audiophile in me are:
1) Out of the box and easy call recording
2) Excellent sounding call quality (comparatively speaking)
3) Good User Interface

Here is a recording I made of Ruby and I talking as we try out this software. (I’ve podcast the WAV file Gizmo recorded so you can hear the actual quality without MP3 compression.) I’m also very impressed that the Gizmo Project is using a VOIP protocol called SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Should help this software play nice with other VOIP software like Asterisk.

WAV 3m 35s 1.7MB 64kbps