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Posts Tagged ‘video’

Toronto Christmas Light Display 2011 Outside House Near Wilson Station

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I was walking to Wilson Station in Toronto on November 28, 2011 at around 6pm and saw that some people in my area on Goodwill Avenue had already gotten their Christmas decorating well underway.

This was one of the most extravagant demonstrations I have ever seen in my neighborhood! It was complete with motorized/moving decorations and its own soundtrack – which I hope you’ll be able to hear.

I am sure there are crazier displays out there but didn’t know the hardcore people started it up this early! I always they did it progressively not in one fell swoop. Maybe they wanted to get it done before it REALLY cold? (If so, good timing because today we got out first stick-on-the-ground snowfall, light though it was.) I would love to know how many people it takes to set this up and how long. I am guessing they did it over the weekend.

As I say in the video, easily one of the most insane lawn decorations at someone’s house I have ever seen. You also gotta love it when they do this level of decoration outside a house which is not a massive house. These people are really into the holidays and are taking joy out of it and good for them! I can say this even though I’m Jewish because I am all for people enjoying the positive aspects of any religion and spreading cheer and joy at any time.

Know of any other over the top houses in the Christmas decorations category? I am sure there are plenty around Toronto and I am sure there will sooner or later be some sort of geeky twist on someone’s Christmas decorations – like the family who hooked their lights up to the internet and let people control it at certain times during the day and see the livestream on a webcam. You also got to appreciate this amount of dedication in celebrating any holiday.

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Landscapes: Volume Two Arizona & Utah Desktop Wallpapers At 1920×1080

October 14, 2011 13 comments

This is one heck of a fantastic timelapse video called Landscapes: Volume Two made by @Dustin_Farrell and hosted on Vimeo – I have embedded the full video below. I found it via my friend Chris‘ (@cbrooker) share of this Gizmodo article – Is This the Most Amazing Time Lapse Video Yet? (Spoiler: It Is). As I watched it – and you really should, ideally in HD with a nice screen & with the music on – I realized that these scenes of Arizona and Utah would make superb desktop backgrounds so I started hitting the “pause” button on the video and the “PrntScrn” button and pasting the resulting image into Paint and you have the results below. (UPDATE July 16, 2012 9:05PM: Mr Farrell commented below [direct link] that he wanted the images taken down and I have done just that right as soon as I read his comment.)

I hope Mr. Farrell and the company he works for/made this video for – Crew West Inc – don’t mind my making these wallpapers as I am not benefiting from giving them out like this and am only spreading the word of their existence. (UPDATE July 16, 2012 9:05PM: Mr Farrell does mind and as such I have removed all the images. See comment below [direct link].)

Here is a link to Dustin Farrell’s Vimeo account http://vimeo.com/dustinfarrell and below check out the video I am talking about:

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

I have included a slideshow of the screenshots and this is mirrored below in the clickable 4 columns of images. (UPDATE July 16, 2012 9:05PM: Removed at Mr Farrell’s request. See comment below [direct link].)

And, as I mentioned above you can check out the gallery of screenshots I took of the video and out of which I made a series of 1920×1080 desktop wallpapers. Again, I hope Mr Farrell doesn’t mind. (UPDATE July 16, 2012 9:05PM: Mr Farrell does mind and as such I have removed all the images. See comment below [direct link].)

A Favor To Ask: Help Me Blog For & Road Trip With Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin

June 17, 2011 7 comments

OK, to be fair, this is the second contest in 3 months I am asking you to help me out with a contest. But I think all y’all know that this is the contest for me. Also, I wanted an excuse to add my video for the contest to this blog. If I win this contest, I will also finally be able to go on my epic road trip that I didn’t go on when I didn’t go to Chicago.

The contest is to be the official blogger for a road trip that Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin is taking across Canada.

According to the contest description the winner will receive

…a road trip with Mobilicity’s CEO, currently anticipated to commence from Toronto on or around July 15, 2011 and concluding in Vancouver by or around July 30, 2011 (the “Trip”). Transportation to Toronto will be provided (if the winner resides outside Toronto) and transportation from Vancouver (if the winner resides outside Vancouver) will also be provided.  

….Prize winner’s attendance and participation in the form of documenting the Trip via social media are mandatory.

As my regular readers know (I hope!) I am a pretty good blogger and am a total social media addict so this would be superfantasticawesome for me. 15 days with the CEO of Mobilicity. As a phone and gadget geek that is like a dream come true!

Anyway, without further ado – here is my video. I hope you will “Like” the video on YouTube and support me in this endeavor!

TTC Buses In Head On Collision At Wilson Station [With Photos & Video By Me]

May 13, 2011 2 comments

Today, I was sitting at work minding my own business when I saw a tweet from a local news agency:

“BREAKING: Several people have been injured in a head-on crash involving two TTC buses at Wilson Avenue and Wilson Heights Boulevard.”

Right afterward, as I mused whether or not to go check out the scene because it was 2 minutes from me my friend ReTweeted a tweet by a woman who is a “[news agency name removed] Senior Assignment Editor, overnight news anchor, sometimes reporter” (taken from her Twitter bio) that read:

“Anyone in #Toronto near Wilson & Wilson Heights? Crash involving two TTC buses. Looking for pics”

So I figured what the heck I would head over there and take some pictures with my trusty BlackBerry Torch 9800 and ideally they would be on the local news agency’s TV channel and almost definitely (so I thought) on their Twitter feed which would be really cool.

Below is the pictures I took today. They are from a set I posted on Flickr which, as you know, I have recently started using.

Toronto-20110513-00052Toronto-20110513-00060Toronto-20110513-00059Toronto-20110513-00058Toronto-20110513-00057Toronto-20110513-00056
Toronto-20110513-00055Toronto-20110513-00054Toronto-20110513-00053

TTC Wilson Station Bus Crash, a set on Flickr.

The local news agency did indeed use one of my pictures in their story when the news was still fresh. Now, however, my picture is no longer there replaced by a video of Toronto Police Traffic Services Constable Hugh Smith and the scene.

I also got video of Toronto Police Traffic Services Constable Hugh Smith on hand Read more…

UPDATE With New Info – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings”

February 11, 2011 6 comments

In my Post-A-Day Challenge post for January 18, 2011 – “Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings” I gave my opinion about wanting Facebook to give us more control over our photo/video tags. I’ve pasted an image of that post’s thoughts below to refresh your memories.

Clicking this image above will take you to the older post from January 18, 2011. But this is the specific aspect of that post I will be discussing in this post.

A bunch of people between Twitter and in the Comments of the original post agreed with me on the issue and my solutions. However, I personally had no way of trying to get this implemented or even making Facebook aware of our feelings on the issue until this week. This week in Toronto, and around the world is Social Media Week and all week in multiple cities there have been talks and panels and workshops about social media and the use of it from all different aspects – there’s also been a bunch of parties one of which organized by the group #GenYTO I will be heading to shortly after finishing this post.

At an event Wednesday morning called “How to be “LIKEABLE”” on Facebook” which I was hosted by Matchstick Inc. as part of their Forum Series and who generously invited me and a friend. The event was described as a couple of presentations which “explore the topics of how to garner a brand following and generate meaningful content for your online community” on Facebook and social media in general included a talk from Alfredo Tan of Facebook Canada. The whole thing was extremely interesting and I learned a lot from it but at the end I got to have a little face to face with a Facebook Canada employee. This was my chance to mention my concerns as laid out in the January 18 post directly ‘to Facebook’ and I did.

The answer I received was honestly somewhat disappointing. I don’t blame Alfredo for the answer he gave me, he is a very nice and personable guy and he was probably just quoting Facebook’s stance on the issue (I guess they have already given this thought). Basically he said it is very low on their list of things to do for a number of reasons:

  • Allowing this would ruin the ‘real time’ aspect of Facebook photo tagging and that goes against what Facebook – and social media in general – is aspiring to do. They want to give users a real time experience as well as they can.
  • If you are so worried about the wrong people seeing the wrong pictures of you, you can set it so no one can see photos you are tagged in.
  • You can set up a list of people who can see photos of you and people who cannot.

While I understand Facebook’s position on the matter from a business perspective – especially the desire to give users a real time experience. I completely agree that I do also want a ‘real time experience’ as well. However, I don’t personally care if it is real time when I am not around to be a custodian of my online identity because I am asleep but, hey, nothing is perfect. Nevertheless, it is what it is and I thought people would be interested to hear the follow up.

I think the only way to achieve the stopgap without Facebook giving us the option – and this sounds ridiculously insane, I know – would be to “Deactivate” your Facebook account when you aren’t around to watch over it. The reason why it would work is that even when you “Deactivate” your Facebook account it doesn’t actually get deleted it just sits there until you “reactivate” it. Your whole profile including pictures and friends and posts and messages is still saved in Facebook’s servers waiting for you to come back and reactivate (although it supposedly will not be able to bring everything back immediately). The reason this is completely an insane solution is because it also means that people will not be able to send you Facebook Messages (and I know A LOT of people who don’t email their friends and prefer to communicate with them solely through Facebook Messages), look at your photos, comment on your photos, tag you in posts, invite you to events, make you a Facebook Friend (if it is someone you just recently met or just joined Facebook), or do any of the other interactive things Facebook allows you to do with your friends.

The above ‘solution’ is obviously a terrible one and that’s why I put the word solution in quotes. The only reason I’m just proposing it is if you REALLY don’t want to make huge lists of people who can & can’t see your tagged photos or turn off the ability of being able to be tagged in photos entirely while still maintaining a Facebook presence that seems to be the only one right now.

Changes Facebook MUST MAKE To Photo Tag Options & Privacy Settings

January 18, 2011 9 comments

Current Facebook Privacy Options only allow you to set who can SEE tagged photos & videos of you

In the post “Simple Things About Facebook That Need Changing!” from August 9, 2009 I talked about a number of things centered around the message inbox & events that I thought Facebook needed to change to make their users’ experience more enjoyable. I know Facebook has made changes to the inbox in late 2010 but on my account I do not have the changes implemented yet. However, as far as I know, they have not put into place the changes I suggested a year and a half ago. Either way, I have some more changes that I feel Facebook needs to make and I actually feel even more strongly about these. These changes were relevant when I wrote that first post, I just hadn’t thought of them yet. It is just as well, because I feel that with the new profile pages showcasing the 5 most recently tagged pictures of you at the top this issue has become even more relevant. The content of this post has been banging around my head for a while but over the past week I had a discussion with my friend Jonathan about this and I decided I was finally going to write about it.

The Problem, A Solution, & An Annoying Result Of The Status Quo

People’s profiles on social media sites have become hot topics recently. There have been stories and articles about people caught cheating on schoolwork, people not getting hired, people getting fired from jobs, people being evicted, and even getting caught lying in attempts to avoid national conscription. It is obviously very important to have a handle on the privacy settings and options of our profiles on social media sites like Facebook. One of the major issues I have seen with Facebook specifically is in the options available to us to control pictures and videos being tagged on Facebook. Currently, we are only able to (as shown above) decide who amongst your friends, network, and the general public can see the photos and videos in which you’re tagged. We cannot, however, decide who can actually DO the tagging of us on Facebook. If we are friends with a person on Facebook, they can tag us in any picture or photo or video they please. This is something that must change. Facebook must IMPLEMENT A SETTING ALLOWING USERS CONTROL OVER WHO CAN AND CANNOT TAG THEM in pictures and videos. That is, unless Facebook decides to implement my second suggestion of tag management which I will get to below.

People who have also began to use this to their advantage and most people’s annoyance are promoters and organizers of parties and events. I have begun to notice a trend of being tagged in images of flyers for events where I’m not actually in the picture and it is actually a poster for the event. It’s the new tactic for promoters of parties and events to tag us in their event posters uploaded onto Facebook as opposed to merely inviting us to the event. This serves the purpose of not only getting the information about the event out to us but it also shows up on our Facebook news feeds so everyone else we are friends with sees the event to as it is shows up as a photo that has been tagged of us. An example of this type of tagging I have taken a screenshot of below.

Event Flyer uploaded & tagged on Facebook as if it was a real photo.

One of the most ironic things about the picture is that the person who posted this event advertisement and tagged all those people so doesn’t want his privacy compromised that he doesn’t have his full name on Facebook. Instead he prefers to remain on the site only identified with the last name “Br” which are the first two letters of his last name. I also chose his name to hover my mouse over to highlight what they are tagging. Cyrille Br is a guy, he is definitely NOT that model.

Another Solution

The other solution is somewhat close to the first one in that it allows more control over who tags you and where you are tagged. This method, however, acts as more of a stopgap to inappropriate tagging than a preventative. Basically, Facebook should allow you to turn on a setting where any time someone tags you in a photo or video on the site YOU GET TO APPROVE IT BEFORE IT GOES PUBLIC.

No longer will you wake up and find out the pictures from the wild party you went to last night have been uploaded to Facebook with you tagged in them and you hurriedly untag them hoping no one you know has seen them. Or, even worse, you wake up and find those same pictures uploaded only in this case 83 people – including your family, co-workers, and superiors – have already commented on them (or even worse, maybe it’s the phone call from your outraged significant other, parent, or grandparent that woke you in the first place).

Personally I like this second solution better than the first as it is just one click solution from the user standpoint and we won’t have to start dividing friends into lists of who can and who cannot tag us. It also means we won’t ever have the problem of thinking we can trust someone not to tag something inappropriate only to find out way too late that we really can’t. Removing them from the ‘trusted’ list at that point wouldn’t really help in the here and now.

Those are my solutions to the problem, what do you think?

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