gorgon – photosynth for video in real time

I read about our new Gorgon all seeing eye drone and wondered if there was a commercially available tool to do the same thing for mobile phones. First a bit more on the Gorgon drone from PopSci:

Two MQ-9 Reapers retrofitted with the new $15 million wide-area aerial surveillance sensors, or WAAS, will fly test missions later this year, and the Air Force plans to have ten such planes in battle by next spring, in rotation on a 24/7 patrol. “It’s an incredible force enhancer,” said Colonel Eric Mathewson, Director of the service’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force at the Pentagon. Sierra Nevada Corporation, makers of the WAAS, chose the name, a spooky reference to the cursed sisters from Greek mythology—Medusa being the Beyoncé of the trio—whose gaze turned men to stone.

Perhaps a better description from this Washington Post Article on the Gorgon drone:

This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.

The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a “soda straw” area the size of a building or two.

It turns out Microsoft is doing something similar as was seen at TechCrunch TechFest last year. In this video called Qik Meets Photosynth they are combining different low res video streams into a much larger stream that is color corrected and aspect correct. Pretty darn cool. The video is below:

If we all streamed video from dash cams in our cars, we could have a real time traffic map of major roads combined. Things that make me go hmmmmm….

T3PR: Strategic Views on Technology & PR

Honored to be presenting at PRSA’s T3PR Conference “Strategic Views on Technology and the Changing PR Landscape” this Friday in NYC. Sarah EvansYou really can’t visit NYC often enough. And I definitely appreciate true STRATEGIC PR. Our keynote speaker is none other than Sarah Evans speaking on “What’s Next for PR, Strategy and Technology.”

It will also be great to see our conference co-chair Deirdre Breakenridge, the moderator of the #techprsa Tweet Chat and the author of PR 2.0! We were lucky enough to have Deirdre chair SchipulCon09 last year and I assure you she is a great speaker and “gets it.”

From the official T3PR Conference Web Site:

Achieve your organizational goals with T3PR’s panels, networking events and tactical sessions developed by the industry’s premier thought leaders, including:

“Driving Your Online Footprint: PR Experts as Influencers” — Christine Perkett, CEO and founder, PerkettPR

“Storytelling in the Changing Digital Space” —  Nick Bilton, technology reporter and lead writer, Bits Blog, The New York Times; author of the upcoming “I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works”

“The New Era of Blogging” — Joe Ciarallo, editor, PRNewser; manager, PR Initiatives at MediaBistro (moderator);Adam Ostrow, editor-in-chief, Mashable; Sara Polsky, editor, Curbed; Frederick Mwangaguhunga, founder,MediaTakeOut.com

“Facebook Marketing and the Word of Mouth Campaign” — Justin Levy, general manager, New Marketing Labs; author of “Facebook Marketing: Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign.”

“B-to-B Tech Firms and Murphy’s Law: Anticipating Communications Crises” — Harjiv Singh, co-founder and co-CEO, International, Gutenberg Communications

If your schedule permits and you can join us in NYC – THIS  – Friday, June 11, 2010. Ping me for a discount code!

Personal brands, being human, can not truly be consistent.

Reading Gwen’s post Leave it at the Alter about personal brands got me thinking.

hans-haacke-blue-sailPerhaps our online personal brands are really pseudonyms for the Umbrella Corporation? A protective wrapper than includes a “a highly-trained security force capable of rescue, reconnaissance, and para-military operations” division. And one sub-corp that makes band aids for the kids when they skin a knee so we also get some good PR for our radical transparency.

So for the sake of argument, let’s assume that personal brand are the umbrella. Yet humans, like Tara, are very diverse creatures. We cycle through roles as Goffman’s Symbolic interactionists. From wikipedia:

…people act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them; and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation.

A fancy way of saying we act differently in different situations when we play different roles. As a speaker I am outgoing. As a person, not so much, testing as an introvert.

The fundamental flaw with personal brands and radical transparency is brand consumers can’t handle this dissonance. Yet a human will always be a messy puddle of emotions and role playing and bluffing and reality.

Specifically brands are strengthened as they move towards one (1) thing in the mind of the consumer. Positioning is about the internal brand singularity. From Ries:

The Law of Singularity: The most important aspect of a brand is its single-mindedness. What is a brand? A singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect. It’s as simple or as difficult as that.

THE leading energy drink. THE best violin. THE fastest sports car.  Get it?

So real brands CAN be consistent. Coke-a-Cola is “the real thing”. Personal brands, being human, can NOT truly be consistent. Unless we hold back and show only our personal-brand-act in all public channels.

Steve Martin has an act, but that isn’t him. The fact that he inherited a personal brand of his name simply means he must live a double life, or triple life, of cover ups. Or risk not being true to the personal brand “Steve Martin” which surely isn’t him. (when did he stop doing stand up?)

So yes we have a personal brand. But they will never be as strong as a real brand.

And on that note, personal brands are horribly unfair. Think about it. People with no marketing training are compelled to come up with a brand name for all social software channels. But unlike companies that can trademark a brand; they typically don’t. And companies can buy their domain name. But how can an individual reserve their personal brand on every new social web site? So even IF an individual comes up with a great personal brand, they have no formal method of protecting it. Completely an unfair challenge to the individual. Yet there it is.

Great post on personal branding Gwen! Clearly you got me thinking. Thanks!

The image? Hans Haacke’s Blue Sail. It is every changing and completely dependent upon the fan as part of the installation. Just as our personal brands are completely dependent on how others perceive them. Whether in person or through social media. Our brands are singular and exist in the mind of the consumer, correct or not, if we wish or not, they just are. Sitting in a spot in their brain. And that is a tad bit unfair…

Finding myself advocating for dual monitors again

I can’t imagine working on just one monitor. So much so that EVERYONE at our company has two monitors at a minimum. It is just that important. So here is an email chain I just sent with names removed. First the question:

—–Original Message—–
From:
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 9:08 PM
To: Schipul, Edward G.
Subject: monitors

Hey- can you send me any info on the study that showed people are happier with two monitors than one? I’m trying to decide whether to get all the designers one 20″ monitor, or two smaller ones– so when I heard what you said I was intrigued….

and my reply with links was:

My old blog post on the topic of dual monitors and visualization:
https://www.eschipul.com/2006/04/lateral-adjacency-virtues-of-a-second-screen/

and here is an NY Times article about it
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/20/technology/20basics.html?ex=1303185600&en=6fc17b9bf54c62ef&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

And here is one from lifehacker:
http://lifehacker.com/software/dual-monitor/dual-monitors-increase-productivity-168488.php

Your Macbook is already dual monitor capable. Just plug that second monitor in!

Thanks,

Ed

In practice we all use dual 19s or larger. I just switched to dual wide screens with an aspect ratio of 1680 x 1050 each. Love it.

Continue reading “Finding myself advocating for dual monitors again”

Scratch Visual Programming Language

Picture_2
Just was reminded about Scratch, a visual programming language helpful to teach programming.

          Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your
        own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share
        your creations on the web.
   

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills.
      As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical
      and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process
      of design.

Scratch is available free of charge, go to Download.

Download scratch here.

Vista AERO and Beryl Visual Interfaces

I have seen numerous AERO previews and demos of AERO, the new user interface included with Windows Vista. But I had not yet seen the Beryl Interface for Ubuntu Linux.

One thought that immediately came to mind. As much as Beryl has an unbelievable cool factor. I am not sure it leverages any real increase in lateral visual adjacency. Lateral adjacency to me is the primary limiting factor for user interfaces at a practical level. By definition showing items at an angle lets you see more items in perspective. A rotating cube on the other hand at most shows you three options.

Also see the comments on this life hacker post on dual monitors.

And researching links for this post I just found UltraMon. Wow! Definitely going to test that one out!

Swivel – youTube for Data for Visual Comparisons

Via Techcrunch, introducing swivel (new to me!)

the site allows users to upload data – any data – and display it to other users visually.

The site is currently down, most likely from the 144k techcrunch readers all clicking at the same time. But the promise of the site is strong:

But then the real fun begins. You and other users can then compare
that data to other data sets to find possible correlation (or lack
thereof). Compare gas prices to presidential approval ratings or UFO
sightings to iPod sales. Track your page views against weather reports
in Silicon Valley. See if something interesting occurs.

And better yet, Swivel will be automatically comparing your data to
other data sets in the background, suggesting possible correlations to
you that you may never have noticed.

For those of you in the public relations field, anonymizing client data and looking for newsworthy trends (sales of pies predicts stock market!) seems like a good bet. Creativity and strategy. Go get ’em!

1080p – 1080 Progressive is the Best HD Available

I have been studying video formats and standards lately (yes, part of my job). I like knowing the standards. We all do. Example:

Q: "I want a portable music player. What should I buy?"
A: "Ipod"

That simple. That is what positioning and branding is about. So, to break down the specifics:

Q: "I want the best HD system available. What should I buy?"
A: "1080 Progressive Scan."

OK, the second example doesn’t have a brand name. But just knowing that 1080p is the "one", that is helpful to me. Same for the folks at the xBox 360 who now support 1080p. Yea!

TUAW – Bryce 5 Free for a Bit

Bryce52
Speaking of visualization, via the tuaw blog:

Bryce 5 free until September 6th

DAZ Productions is the latest software company to have been struck by the ‘let’s give it away for free!’ bug, as they have placed a $0 price tag on Bryce 5 for both Mac and PC – but only until Sept. 6th.

I wonder if you can import the Bryce models into Sketchup? Hmmm.

Greenroomschipul
On the visualization theme we also *finally* finished painting what used to be our training room to be a small green room. Chroma Key paint to drop in backgrounds from Star Wars. Or more subdued maps like the weather man.

Now the catch here is none of us are exactly videographers. So, if you have this need for a chroma key green backdrop and are in the Houston area, drop me a line. Free access to a mini studio – not a bad deal.