July 16th, 2024

Can’t say I never won anything…

When reading my December issue of Wired Magazine, I found out about a contest that Casio was putting on for the best “high-tech crib.”  You needed to submit a 2-minute video of your crib.  Considering how much of a geek I have been with all my gadgets, I thought I had a pretty reasonable chance of winning.  Once I found out that you could win a $3,000 gift certificate to Best Buy, I got quite interested.  After a frenzy of taking and retaking the video on New Year’s Eve (the last day of submission), I got the video into them at the last moment. 

Watch the other videos that were submitted: https://www.youtube.com/casiousa  (Click on the “Vote” tab vote.JPG to see the videos)I won due to a number of factors.  Yes, I have a cool crib with a lot of gadgets… sure.  In addition, the rules state that you can’t state any trademarks or brand names.  Most people didn’t read that.  So you could say I won on a technicality.  If you watch the other videos that were submitted, you’ll see just how many people said “iPod” instead of “portable music player.”  Also, there were four categories – fortunately for me, I submitted mine in the one with a little less competition.  Finally, way less people than I am sure Casio expected even entered into the competition at all.  You could page through the submitted videos on their site, and maybe only about 100 videos were even entered!

So anyway, I won “first prize,” which is truly “second place,” under the “grand prize.”  This ends up being a $500 Best Buy gift certificate, Casio camera and a 2 gig card.  I’m pretty excited. In all, I think the contest was meant to make a point: uploading to YouTube is a pain with regular point and shoot cameras. I got the point – it was a pain.

Quick Rant
On the other hand, I am disappointed in the advancement of video technology on these little devices. Over three years ago I bought a Canon SD300 which records at 640×480 and 30fps. During that time, we have seen the average resolution of still pictures increase from around 3Mp to 10Mp. Why then have we not seen a similar increase in video resolution, or even much of an increase at all? My theory: So companies can sell their new HD camcorders. Why would you put down $1000 on an HD camera if you can buy a compact camera that gives you most of what you would actually use in a much smaller package? You wouldn’t. That said, this Canon sounds cool.

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Comcast at 16mbps

On the phone with Comcast yesterday I found out that I was at an 8mbps plan, but a 16mbps plan was available for the same price “in my area” (zip or city, don’t know).   This is not information that’s shared on their website, nor have I seen it publicized in any flier or other mailing.  I was already paying $10 more to get to 8 (from 6), but it turns out that this same $10 could give me a solid 16mbps connection.  So I asked them to switch me for no cost and they did.  Just tested, and sure enough, I downloaded a 700meg file at a consistent 2 MB /sec – all done in about 3 minutes.  The “speed boost” jumps it to downloading around 4 MB sec for the first 60 megs or so.  If you have Comcast (and especially if you’re already paying more for faster service), might want to check.

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Eldar is amazing

Went to see Eldar last night. Simply amazing. Someone at work corrected me when I said he was a prodigy. He’s right – too old to be called that. He’s a genius.  I can not recall the last time I have been this impressed with a performer.  I have been playing piano more years than he has been alive, and yet I will never play half as good as him.  And this is… ok. 🙂  Honestly, it’s wonderful, and an inspiration. 

The idea that this beautiful venue was maybe only a quarter full tonight shows this is a special time, before people are completely aware of who he is. No wonder he got nominated for a Grammy. And, although this has not been announced, he told me he is playing at this year’s awards show.  I feel lucky to catch him before it becomes difficult.  If you watch the Grammy’s, look for a 21-year-old to knock your socks off.

I’m already a fan.

 Eldar and Me

Thanks Eldar for signing both CDs I purchased. I am enjoying re-imagination as I write this, and amazed that it’s still so largely new from what you played last night. Fantastic.

The new Yoshi’s was fantastic as well. I highly recommend it.  Beautiful place and fantastic sound.

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last post. Sorry – I’ll try to write more often…

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