Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

Zombies!!! Run!!!

May 1, 2012

I’ve had the same New Year’s resolution for the past 20 years: start exercising.  I should clarify that my only desire to exercise is to firm up, it has absolutely nothing to do with being healthy.  I hate people who exercise to be healthy.  Theoretically I love the idea of running, but as a praxis I find it exceedingly boring and painful.  I once ran for an entire summer but I literally had to force myself out the door and deliberately ran through Canada’s worst ghetto (Downtown Winnipeg) to prevent myself from quitting.  

I don’t know if you need to love zombie movies to be as excited about this new app as I am, but you should definitely hate exercise. Zombies Run is an iPhone/Android running game.  It’s not like other running apps that just record distance, time, pace, and number of calories burned.  In the game you are Runner 5 and the world is depending on.  You will need to build your base to unlock new missions and collect critical supplies like medicine, batteries and ammo while under constant threat of impending zombie attacks.  Another great feature of the app is that it allows you to import your own playlists.  Mission updates, tasks, and storyline clues unfold between music tracks like radio transmissions.

Here’s a video explaining more about it:


The Holy Trinity of Online Video Watching

April 18, 2012

In this post I am going to breakdown how Torrents work and introduce you to three sites that will revolutionise your online entertainment experience. Theoretically I use Torrentz, Project Free TV, and Veetle to access the shows and movies I want to watch.

Torrents or BitTorrents are files shared with the BitTorrent  p2p (peer-to-peer) network, or a file-sharing protocol.  In simpler terms, BitTorrents are files shared by a group of individual computers on the network rather than stored on one central server.  BitTorrent p2p sharing breaks the download into chunks ranging in size between 64KB and 4MB and distributes it across several different computers as opposed to just one. The person who first creates a torrent for any file is called an initial seeder.  People who have all the chunks are seeders, the more seeds the quicker the download will be. Once you finish downloading the file then you become a seed. People who do not have the whole file yet are called peers.  Peers are not seeders but the more peers the faster the download because peers can share the chunks of the file that has so-far been downloaded.  This is especially important if the number of seeds is low or decreasing because peers can piece together the file with the chunks they have between them.

In order to download a movie you first need to search for the file on a BitTorrent search engine, theoretically I use Torrentz.  One simply enters the title of the movie they want and a list of BitTorrents will appear.  There are two columns of numerical values to pay attention to: the green numbers represent the seeders and the blue represent the number of peers. High numbers of each are best for download speed.


Once the torrent file has been downloaded it must be run using a BitTorrent client.  You cannot download BitTorrents without a BitTorrent client; for example: uTorrent for Windows, Vuze formerly (Azureus) for Mac, and BitTorrent for Linux.  BitTorrent Clients keep track of what chunks of the file you have and which parts you still need to download.

*It should be noted that using BitTorrent is legal but downloading copyrighted material is not.

BitTorrents are not the only way to watch films and TV shows.  You can stream TV on a great site called Project Free TV. I love this site however it takes some getting used to because of the buffering and advertising.  If you don’t have a strong internet-connection it can take ages to buffer.  The other drawback is the ads.  Sometimes you click on a link for a program and you inadvertently trigger two or three pop-ups.  Some of the ads are over-laid and you need to close them before the play button becomes accessible.  Also, if you are streaming a film you may have to close a pop-up every 20 mins or so.  In any case, project Free TV is a great option because it streams quite fast and they have an extensive selection of programs and films.

Watching live streaming channels in high resolution is also an option which brings me to Veetle.  You just need to download the plugin (65 MB) and then you can watch live streamed TV in HD, high-definition.  They use the latest codecs for the best video quality and there is no buffering required.  Obviously it’s live so you can’t pause or fast-forward but it’s free and not frequently interrupted by ads.

Veetle has a few extra features worth mentioning: you can download the app and live stream TV on your iPad, iPhone & Android phones, and you can broadcast live video in HD.   Veetle has over 10 million viewers a month, which is not bad for the little Sillicon Vally start-up.

Now here’s an impressive UFO video:

#Winning in Corporate Real-Time Communications

March 29, 2011

Whether in a large corporation or a small organisation, internal communications in the work place tends to get locked into predefined information silos. The sheer quantity of data within a company makes it nearly impossible to share information, knowledge and experience with everyone. But innovation is the lovechild of collaboration therefore, it’s crucially important that information and exchange happen not only in small pockets within a company but all over.

Companies generally rely on email, face-2-face meetings and lunches when it comes to knowledge sharing but imagine adding a new dynamic social layer to the existing infrastructure! According to Tim Young, CEO of SocialCast, the solution for the information overflow problem is activity streams. activity streams unite people, data, and applications in real-time in a central, accessible, virtual interface. Think of a company social network where employees can exchange real-time information about their activities using a software system that unifies all company data and knowledge. Each employee can find data that he or she never knew existed, collaborate around this information and access it in a variety of ways (email, mobile applications etc).
SocialCast Features
The SocialCast interface makes it simple to share documents, presentations, photos and links with your network. You can post updates, questions or ideas for people to discuss and comment on. It has also incorporated the ‘like’ feature from Facebook as well as the @tag feature from Twitter. Another added feature is the flag option: flagging helps you keep track of your favourite posts so you can return to them easily. Other features include social media integration so you can see Facebook and Twitter updates within your activity stream. Its mobile applications enable you to access it from your BlackBerry or iphone (or Android phone) and the desktop application option allows for network updates without even opening a browser.

The premium Town Hall feature enables you to schedule company-wide, moderator-optional virtual sessions in an open real-time forum. Another premium feature worth mentioning is private messaging. You can also create a personal profile that highlights your particular skills and expertise including contact information. Additional features like photo galleries add a personal touch to browsing company profiles. SocialCast also incorporates features from LinkedIn by allowing you to form and join groups with the option of designating them public or by invitation. Network search options allow you to build custom streams that filter network messages by keywords and topics, with email notifications that alert you to updates.
SocialCast can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, CRM and ERP systems, wikis, blogs and any HTML/Javascript compatible business system and it ensures the highest standards in privacy, security, data-retention, and also in terms of meeting IT regulations. It will even sync with LDAP and automatically provisions user accounts, removing former employees and importing employee contact information, job roles, and profile details into the network whilst keeping one set of login credentials across all of your applications. It also has a suite of analytics to measure ROI collaboration based on user activity patterns.
Tim Young and his team continue to innovate and create new and improved extensions for an already great product. I highly recommend SocialCast for any company looking to enhance internal communications, innovation and engagement.

Now here’s Charlie Sheen:


Sharon Jones, iphone Envy and Menstrual Cycles

January 24, 2011

There is a saying that if you’re thinking about it then someone else is doing  it…or perhaps I just made that up.  It couldn’t be more true in the case of the two apps I am about to recommend here.

I was sitting with my itunes open listening to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings when it occured to me to check her website to see if she had any upcoming tour dates.

I discovered that I missed her London concert by one week!  I was so pissed off about it.  After ranting to my cats, who were only a modicum more sympathetic to my calamity than my husband and children were, I suddenly thought “why can’t there be an app that goes through my itunes and sends me email alerts for concerts of my favourite artists performing near me?”  For the thirty seconds that it took me to Google it and find out that it’s already been done, I thought I’d had an original idea, but alas ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ (and that is a real saying).

The app is called Songkick and it’s awesome!  It takes only a few minutes to set up while it goes through your itunes and before you know it you’re getting emails for upcoming concerts near you.  I will never miss another concert again. Check it out:

This next one is for girls only:

The other day I was regretting not keeping track of my periods when I suddenly had the idea for an iphone app that tells you about your menstrual cycle.  How easy would it be to simply enter the first and last days of your menstrual cycle each month and keep track of the length of your periods, ovulation days etc.  Well, don’t be too surprised girls but the app already exists, it’s called Period Calendar Deluxe for BlackBerry and costs $3.99 USD.  The app was released in November of 2009 and uses 370kb.  In 197 reviews it scored an average of 3.5/5 stars. As you can see from the screen shots below it predicts the date of your next cycle, tracks past cycles, as well as basal body temperature, period flow level, cervical fluid and daily mood.  It also has features for adding notes and exporting your data into a spreadsheet.

For the iphone there is Period+ and copious others.

One last app that I just want to mention…I recently downloaded CrunchSMS for my BlackBerry as I’ve always envied the iphone texting layout compared to the BlackBerry layout which looks like this:

The superior iphone SMS layout uses little white and green speech balloons which I really fancy for some reason. CrunchSMS allows BlackBerry users to feel like their texting on a iphone…iphone envy you say?  Perhaps just a little.

Now here’s a video of a baby preacher:

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