Aug 09

But I don’t have an iPhone

Nor do I plan to get one. I need to understand is this weird need for companies to isolate active users of their products by not offering an option for those of us without iPhones, Black Berry’s or Nokia’s. Some of us have phones with similar features. Some of us (namely me) have been asking for over a year now when our phones will be supported. You can only get a blowoff for so long until you become sick of it.

I used to be the biggest champion of sites like Qik, 12seconds and Shozu. (Note: normally, I would link to these sites. Now, it’s not worth my time.) When I had my PPC-6700, I used these sites with no problems. I told all my friends about them. I blogged about them. Then I got the Sprint Instinct. It’s web-enabled, has video, can send MMS and has many other features that users of the above phones wanted but lacked. What it doesn’t have is good marketing and sales. Somehow, that means it’s not worth supporting for whatever reason.

In July 2008, I contacted each of the companies asking when my phone would be supported. Every single one of them told me soon, to wait until October. Meanwhile, I watched as apps for phones and iterations of phones that were released after mine were created and touted. I watched as companies sent out press release after press release about their newest iPhone app. Screw the users of the other phones though. I’m not saying that they should solely cater to me, but I know that I am not alone with this frustration.

The lesson I’ve learned in not being part of the lowest common denominator is that I have to find workarounds and sometimes it’s a little harder and more time consuming that it should be.  I don’t use those sites mentioned above any more. My accounts at both Qik and Shozu have been canceled for awhile now. The 12seconds one will be shuttered as soon as I find a way to back up some of the videos shot on the site. Instead, I will continue to use YouTube and because both of those sites support mobile uploads of video, even just 12 seconds of it.

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Apr 09

Time to cancel cable, thanks to Hulu & YouTube

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Last summer when I was first introduced to Hulu, I thought it was a nice service. There were a few movies on there that my kids enjoyed, some clips of TV shows I had once found amusing, but for my taste it was definitely lacking.

I’ve been a Netflix customer since 2001 (You can add me as a friend here). Naturally, the service is more appealing to me; the DVDs come and they go back when I feel like it. But Netflix changed the game when they offered up Watch Instantly. Suddenly, we were hooking up our laptop to the TV so we could watch the available movies & TV shows.  Last fall, when Microsoft enabled Netflix on our Xbox 360, we saw no reason to keep our bloated cable package.  We still have our basic cable +HD tier, but we’ve scaled back our other packages losing HBO, Starz, IFC and Encore; the movie channels we’d watch on those rare times we turned on the TV to zone out. But since the only show we actively watch on TV is LOST, anything else flies under the radar. (Sidenote, we never actually sit down to watch LOST when it’s on, instead we watch it on the DVR about 30 minutes to an hour after air time. Even if we didn’t do that, we could still watch LOST on the next day.)

These past few days, I’ve had the pleasure of checking out Hulu. If you’re subscribed to me on FriendFeed or have clicked the FriendFeed tab above, you’ve seen the recent Hulu clips I’ve posted. (You can also subscribe to me on Hulu if you’re in the US and have an account.) Yes, the site is still a headache to navigate, but if you take the time to go through the genres available, you’ll find a lot of gems.  One feature I’m in love with on Hulu is the embed feature. On Friday, I took the movie Jesus Christ Superstar, narrowed down to the song I wanted and embedded that clip into my Tumbler blog.

I used to rely heavily on YouTube to show my kids clips of old TV shows I used to watch. On YouTube, the quality of these old show clips are usually quite horrible.  Last night, I pulled up several Sesame Street clips that I’ve watched on YouTube and was amazed at the high-quality of the clips.  Even comparing movies available on Hulu versus movies available on Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu wins out with the better quality video watching on the same computer. Piping Netflix through the Xbox 360 as a Time Warner Cable customer leaves a lot to be desired. The video quality is on par with watching an old VHS cassette on a VCR taking its last breath.

With Netflix you’re paying monthly, naturally that means no ads.  On Hulu, short ads (30 seconds) are interspersed throughout the episodes or you have an option of watching all the ads at once and then have uninterrupted play.  You can also vote on the ads, which makes viewing them a little more tolerable. The ads you rate down, don’t get shown any more. The ads are so non-invasive that I’ve never even bothered to count how many times you get interrupted during a show. Unlike say, watching, where the ads are way too long, and you have that 15 second – 30 second buffer at the end of each 1 minute bank of ads. I can not speak to YouTube’s ad policy on their Shows page, as I haven’t witnessed any ads during the short test periods.

YouTube recently announced its Shows page. The genre breakdowns mirror Hulu’s and most of the content available on YouTube is also available on Hulu.  Running on my netbook, where a Hulu show can take about 13 seconds to load, YouTube shows take about 2 minutes. The only appealing thing YouTube has that Hulu doesn’t is a Foreign movie section, with automatic subtitles. That means, for me several full-length Bollywood classics. This works for me because I often rent them from the local Indian markets and the quality of the DVDs are often bad.  Some of the same Bollywood movies are available via Netflix Watch Instantly, but then we’re back to the quality, and yes YouTube offers better quality than Netflix in this case too.

Between Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, I’m hard pressed to find a valid reason to keep my cable. It seems the only reason I have it, is so that the kids can watch their shows and my husband can watch the HD channels in the wee hours of the morning. Sure, there are bonuses of cable, such as the ability to let the kids watch OnDemand in our bedroom, streaming music from MusicChoice, even though we use or Pandora more often than we play our physical albums. Right now, having cable is the only thing keeping our internet bill low, but that’s becoming more and more less valid as a reason. After all, why pay for something we’re not using?

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Oct 08

And Ode to Mrs. Palin

It’s official, this campaign has a lot more funny than the last one.

Oct 08


I have no words as I’m still laughing.

Aug 08

Dance Ditty of the Day

Jul 08


Jul 08

Some people are too sensitive

You may or may not have heard of Loren Feldman. If you have, I’m sorry. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. I’m not going to get into too much detail, but let’s just say Feldman is something of a verbal masturbater who thinks his video works are great satire. Personally, I think they’re giant yawners and shows that Feldman has no fucking clue about any of the stuff he says he’s satirizing.

Recently, there’s been some Schadenfreude among social media geeks and bloggers because Feldman lost a contract with Verizon over his TechNigga’ “satire”.  Oh well, it sucks to be him.  No one will ever accuse Feldman of being a fair guy or being able to roll with the punches.

I’m sure I’m breaching some kind of netiquette, but frankly don’t give a fuck…this shit killed me:

“Finally going through my followers list here, never looked to see who people were before. Blocking people by the hundreds.”

All because of a little public humiliation…something he does to others all the time.

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Jun 08

I won!

That’s right, I won the Easy Green Living book by Renée Loux that was being given away on Seesmic. Want to watch the whole thing? Below is the video of the when Ms. Loux took our questions on what we viewed as important in living “green”:

Yes, that’s not Renée, but if you click on it, you’ll see here (yes, I’m laughing at a pretty frantic email I received).

About a week and some days later, the winner was announced:

I laughed. I cried. I want to thank the Academy…

Then today…the book arrived:

I’m kinda busy with work, but I’ve had a chance to flip through the book and it’s pretty interesting. There are a lot of items in the book that I already own/buy not because of any greenness on my part, but because of price, locality and prettiness/smells. The book is more a shopping guide than a lifestyle guide, IMO, but even flipping through it, it was struck by how many items in the book are things you don’t really need in life. Or the lack of actual greenness of them, i.e. paper towels/napkins. It’s much more green to use cloth towels, and thankfully, the author does point that out. Which brings me to the second cool thing about the book.

Everything is pretty accessible to anyone who can read and shows that you don’t have to drop big $$$ to be green which is stunning to me considering Loux hosts a show on Fine Living. The best part is that Loux does explain why certain things are better than others. Unlike other “green” books, there doesn’t seem to be those not-so-unsubtle judgment calls on your purchases. Take the section on cookware. It’s extremely detailed explaining why Teflon or non-stick cookware isn’t in your best interest vs. stainless steel or cast iron cookware.

Check out the book at your local library or you can find at Powell’s.

Jun 08

My Fountain!

Faboomama’s Fountain from Brad Fidler on Vimeo.

My new seesmic friend Brad, recorded my top favorite fountain in all of Los Angeles for me. This is at UCLA. I don’t know if the fountain has a name, but it’s a pretty cool fountain.

Jun 08

Seesmic Guitar Lessons

Over at Seesmic, Craig Manganello is offering guitar lessons. This project arose from a conversation where people expressed interest in learning their guitars. So Craig, a singer and songwriter from Long Island, has offered to tutor. There are 5 lessons all together, culminating in the guitarist playing Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

Though I’m posting the lessons here, you can also follow Craig’s lessons at seesmic under the user name ‘guitarlessons’:

Lesson 1: Tuning Your Guitar

Lesson 2: The G Chord

Lesson 3: The D Chord

Lesson 4: The C Chord

Lesson 5: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Yay! Thank you Craig. Everybody give Craig a big round of applause.