iPhone 4: Not as exciting as iPad

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Today, the iPhone 4 was released. Of course it’s exciting, but it’s much less exciting then the iPad.

Why?

Because compare this picture from Gizmodo from 2 months ago:

Gizmodo's iPhone, April 19th

To this one on the apple website.

Apple's iPhone, Jun 7th

I think they’re pretty similar.

And that’s why the news of it during WWDC was.. well… almost outdated. Everybody had already seen the fourth iPhone, just unofficially. So nobody was in for much of a surprise today.

But for the iPad, nobody had a clue. People were sure it would run Leopard, have a CD drive, USB ports, and they gave us this whole different idea. Not a tablet per se, but this thing that just made sense. And who knew!

But everybody knew about the iPhone. I didn’t walk home that day grinning because of excitement like I did during the iPad announcement. Because I had already seen the thing. And I’m pretty sure you all have as well.

How did Google get their Street View Images?

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Many of us use Google Maps. If you don’t have a GPS, it is usually the #1 site you will go to to get directions. It is mostly accurate, clean free, and of course, by Google.

But one thing that many people find useful is Street view. Before they go, they can see whta their destination should look like so you arent frantically searching for house numbers when you supposedly arrived.

If you have played with Street View before, you may have found that you can drag 360º PLUS go up and down. How were these images captured?

And just in case you havent played with Street View before, click here to go to google maps and click the little golden dude over the vertical zoom bar on the left of the map to get a street view of times square, NY. Click and drag the image to pan this 360º panoramic snapshot. The truth will be revealed now…

It’s a normal monday. La la, coming home from school, lots of traffic WHOW WHAT IS THAT!!

It took me a few seconds to realize t but it was the same kind of rig that google used to get their Street View shots. Here’s the pic I took with my phone:

Wow...

As you can tell, it is this sphere mounted on top of a car. the sphere has numerous cameras in little holes that all take pictures at once. Then, someone puts them all together. So if you see this UMO (Unidentified Mobile Object) around your town, start jumping around in hope that your streets may soon have street view in Google Maps.

Have you found something cool just like this, but have nowhere to post it? Don’t want to start your own blog because you might not actually have THAT MANY thoughts to post? Post it to the community for free at http://community.goodmorninggeek.com!

Flip Mino Review

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I recently got myself a Flip Mino. And I must say, it’s pretty good stuff for a budget camcorder. Try turning it on. Press the small on button on the side. Flip. Nice Name, eh? Now it shows you time left to record, battery life, and the video preview. Want to record something? Just press that big red button. When you are done recording, press the big red button again. Would you like to see what you just recorded? Press the Play/Pause button. You are now watching the most recent video you took. Would you like to turn up or down the volume on the playback? Use the + and – buttons. To fast forward through a video, just press the > or the buttons to navigate through them. Hey, I don’t like this video. Just press the trash button. You can also zoom in/out while in a video: just press the + or – buttons while recording. The buttons light up (except for the red one) when you can use them. For example, when you are recording you aren’t going to use the play/pause, trash, or left and right buttons, but you are going to use the + and – buttons. All of the buttons except for the + and – buttons are illuminated. When you are browsing through videos, you aren’t going to use the + and – buttons, but you are going to use the Play/Pause, delete and left and right buttons. For this reason, All of the buttons but the + and – buttons are illuminated. While in the middle of playback, all of the buttons are illuminated. You can trash it, play/pause it, use the + and – buttons to change volume, and hold the buttons to fast forward/rewind through. I do not have the HD version, but I am completely happy without it. I get 640X480, which is better than any video quality I have ever gotten in my life. I even had them print a custom image onto it. This can be done for no extra charge! It has to be a VERY big image, or the online software says it’s not high enough resolution to make a good print. Here is a picture of mine.
At one point, you are probably going to want to get the videos from the flip to your computer. In the box, there is no installation CD. No cable. And no port on the thing. But sometime, you are going to have to figure out why they call it a flip. They call it a flip because of how you plug it in. Pull a little switchy thingy and a USB digi “flips” out of the top. you can them plug that straight into your machine, buy one of their cables online (extra cost) and plug it into that, or even using any old USB Extension cord works. If you have a little station for all of your gadgets to plug in, I recommend just getting a usb extension cord (they come in handy for LOTS of situations other than this, too). After plugging it in, you will see a USB drive appear either in My Computer or on the desktop (depending on your operating system). Open it and you will see Flip for Mac and a Flip for Windows. These both require a driver to be installed (3ivx er something), but that’s no biggie. The application will run straight off of the drive. In the application, you can download the video files and save them. But I have never used that much, because on the first launch it said would you like to upgrade to FlipShare, and of course, being me, I LOVE updates. Now, Flipshare then deletes the other applications from the flip and replaces it with Start flipshare. It will only do this to the application compatible with your system. The other one (in my case the .exe file) turns to Setup_Flipshare.exe. FlipShare installs on your hard drive and opens each time you plug in the flip. FlipShare the application itself is actually pretty nice. It has a very newish feel, and allows you to do a lot with your video. Save them , make a movie of them, and even upload them straight to AOL video, myspace™ and YouTube™ all without even having to open an internet browser. You can take a snapshot of a certain place in a video. you can export the video. You can email a video. You can even make a video greeting card with it. FlipShare is pretty cool. But if you don’t want to deal with any software and just want the files, easy. Open up the drive, and there will be a folder called DCIM. Go down as many folders as you can and you will be greeted with a bunch of .AVI videos, waiting for you to manually copy them off. If you just want the videos and nothing else, here you go.
Now when it comes to charging and battery life, it’s pretty cool. The battery is like the one in iPods, sealed in and not replaceable. But to charge it, just plug it in to your computer. Recharging a completely dead battery can take up to 3 hours, but that doesn’t usually happen. Usually it take 1.5 to 2.5 hours for it to charge. You know if it is charging by looking at the USB digi. There is a small bright light, that blinks while charging. It stops blinking when it is done charging. The battery life is around 2 hours, not bad at all for how much it can do.
In the end, I give this a 5 Star rating. The sensitivity of the buttons is almost as good as the touchscreen sensitivity of the iPhone. Easy to use, and just like they say–video recording is now as easy and cheap as taking a photo.
Easy cheap video recording and sharing–The Flip Mino