Archive for WOW!

iPhone Explorer solves stupid Apple problem

Free utility iPhone Explorer does what Apple should always have done…

It lets you access the data on your own iPhone – just like a proper grown up.

I took an audio recording of a client presentation today. It was critical that I had this audio file in order to play it back to some people who weren’t able to attend and to transcribe the content in text form. The Apple voice memo app has (to my mind) always been sorely lacking in the control department. Once you’ve recorded your audio, there’s no clear ‘click to save this’ option. You find yourself clicking the pause button which takes you to the file storage area.. where you hope your file has been stored.

Today, it appeared to tell me that my 46 minute file had recorded. But to my horror, when I tried to access the file on my iPhone although it said it was there, it ominously wouldn’t play it. Nor would it sync that file to the MacBook (although it synced another from the same session).

A quick Google search revealed a free little utility called ‘iPhone Explorer’.

Fantastic. Not only could I see my iPhone without Apple’s annoying iTunes getting in the way, but – miracles! – I could drag and copy the file that neither the iPhone or iTunes could play to my MacBook desktop. Once there, I was able to open it in Bias Peak, edit away, then levelate it and get it off to my client for reference.

Brilliant. All thanks to iPhone Explorer – and no thanks to Apple’s voice memo app and iTunes.

LG condenser dryer not heating?

Has your LG condenser dryer stopped heating?? Read this before you spend another £500

** Online reputation boost due to and the internet generally!! **

Same happened to us this morning. Can’t live without one. Can’t (frankly) be arsed to start thinking about ‘repair man’ (if such a reliable person can even be found any more?). So started immediately thinking about just buying another. Hell, we’ve had this one running continuously for 4 years – it’s not as if it hasn’t seen good service.

But before spending another £500 I went to our friend Google.

And discovered that if your LG condenser dryer stops heating, you might want to take off the back metal panel (after switching off from the mains, of course) – whereapon you’ll find a little red reset switch.

If you press that little red reset switch, the dryer will start heating again. At least mine has.

I’m not sure it’s a permanent fix (there’s something about the filter sensors increasingly coming on – but no idea of how to get to those sensors to clean them…) – but I’ve just done it and it worked for now.

Thank you Internet. :-) I’m suddenly £500 better off than I was about to be. Nice.

Two other things:

1) LG – why don’t you paste a little note on the machine itself saying “If your heater element should stop working…”

2) LG – why don’t you print your little instruction stickers that you DO have on the machine upside down in future? That way I’ll actually be able to read them when I’m on my hands and knees trying to fix the unit (instead of putting the ‘right’ way up at floor level?)

Looking for a guitar chords app for the iPhone?

Ultimate Guitar chords is a bargain. (Secret: I would have paid 3 times as much)

I was in the mood to play some guitar the other day. But the thought of starting up the iBook, opening a browser, searching for a song and then having to choose between competing websites offering lyrics, chords and tabs was a bit off-putting.

“Why hasn’t someone brought out an iPhone app that does this?” I thought – and then went looking.  A few minutes later, I was downloading the Ultimate Guitar app on the strength of the screen shots alone.

£1.79?? I would have paid a tenner for this app. For a guitarist, this app is simply the best use of the technology you can get: any song I want to play, whenever the mood strikes me.

Seriously, the value this app adds over and above the laptop/browser based experience is huge.  I genuinely think that the developer has been guided here by the norms of app pricing rather than by the actual value this app delivers.

It is a tiny bit buggy (it’s crashed a couple of times) but it’s so fast to load – and has been such fun already – that it’s still worth every one of those 179 pennies.

First flat screen spotted in 1960 film ‘The Time Machine’

Is this the earliest flat screen TV sighting ever? Or perhaps the first iMac?

George Pal’s 1960 film of H.G.Wells’ classic sci-fi story ‘The Time Machine’ has long been a favourite of mine. I’ve watched it dozens of times. But last week, on the train up to London, I spotted something new that I’d not noticed before.  There’s a scene where the Time Traveller stops in the year 1966, amazingly, on the very day that the world gets destroyed by atomic war (what are the odds of that?).

It wasn’t the awful ‘burnt toy cars floating in red porridge’ end of the world special effects. No – it was something in a shop window that caught my eye: the world’s first ‘tubeless TV’.  Not bad for a film made in 1960!

I can’t help thinking how much it looks like an iMac.

‘mu:kaumedia’s Sam Deeks proud to have helped at Davos

Sam Deeks proud to have used social media to get a difficult issue in front of a world audience at Davos

Two weeks ago my friend Julia Lalla-Maharaj heard about the YouTube Davos competition.  Activists all around the world were invited to create video pitches for the issues or campaigns they felt most passionate about.  The YouTube community and a panel of 3 world-renowned speakers would be the judges. The prize for the winner would be the chance to debate their issue with world leaders at the World Economic Forum at Davos this past week.

Having given up her career to campaign against the painful and repressive tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM), Julia jumped at the chance, only just making the deadline to film her video pitch.

Next, we hurriedly bought the domain and set up email addresses. A friend made a holding page that outlined the basic campaign aims.

Then, suddenly, to her surprise, Julia made the last 5 shortlist. The YouTube community voted away like mad.  Some of the shortlisted campaigners had huge YouTube communities behind them (one had 250,000 followers at the start of the race).  Others, like Julia left the starting blocks complete unknowns.

A friend’s flat became campaign HQ.  First line of attack was Twitter – creating a new account and leapfrogging quickly to follow a huge web of influential women who might be interested in FGM and the chance to take an issue about empowerment for women to the centre of a global stage.

Within a few days, we were following a couple of thousand key people – and being followed back by about 1/4 of those.  Julia and her team pulled all the best strings from her years as a communications / PR consultant in London and all the links she’d made in her work volunteering in the 3rd sector.

If you believed the YouTube view count, Julia’s capaign didn’t stand a chance of winning. But I was confident that it wasn’t about clicky numbers from an invisible audience, or nice-sounding campaigns with palatable aims like making the whole world feel a bit better.  The organisers were clearly looking for an issue that was real and focused enough for a group of influential – and powerful – people to have a meaningful debate about on a world stage.

Which is why Julia’s pitch won. Suddenly, the Google film crew were at the flat making a ‘Davos Diary’ and the interviews and news features began in earnest.

We quickly installed a WordPress blog on the domain and began to fill it with video content and the occasional emailed text blogs from Julia (who by this time was whirling around Davos getting into the black books of the likes of Bill Clinton, the Gates, Klaus Schwab, Paulo Coehlo and a whole host of others).

The campaign came to a climax today with a live YouTube streamed debate exploring how the different nations can work together to end FGM – and end it soon.

It was great to see social media playing its part in this campaign in a powerful and refreshingly unself-conscious way.  This wasn’t about cute, cool social media gazing at its own navel.  It was about getting things done in a real, offline world.

But it was only when I was watching the debate live from Davos this afternoon and I heard Julia say “…and that will be on my site shortly” that it hit me that she was talking to me, sitting on my sofa in Devon with one eye on the YouTube window and the other on the tweaks I was making to the End FGM Now site.

It’s at moments like that I see how amazing tools like WordPress and Twitter really are and – despite the nerdy frustration they can bring and the cringe-inducing self-obsession – how empowering they can be.

Snowing in Florida? Let’s investigate

Has it really snowed in Florida? Or is this just another ‘wildfire’ Google trend gone mad?

Lets investigate.

First, there’s this picture which I’m told is of a man sunbathing in the snow on Daytona Beach.  Suspicious.

Second, there are several blog reports here, here, here, here, here (lols), and here as well as Flickr photosets that seem to show that it has, indeed, been snowing in the Sunshine State.

It could just be a moment of madness showing up as a Google trend.  Mind you, I’ve just been for a walk with my cat in the thick snow in the UK, so anything’s possible I suppose.

Personally, I believe the Daytona Beach News Journal.  If anyone should know, they should.

Snow in Florida.  Who would have believed it?

The Credit Crunch – explained brilliantly in pictures

Jonathan Jarvis makes sense of the credit crunch – awesome.  This should be compulsory viewing

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

This animation is one of the best things I’ve seen online.  Brilliant.  A spellbinding way to show the greedy, self-destructive madness of selling risk onwards for bigger an bigger profit.

There are parts of this animation that I think might be slightly inaccurate but I don’t think it detracts from the power of the piece. I’m not a financier, but when he talks about leverage, I think he misses the point that leverage isn’t just about getting the same level of profit from more volume but using volume to achieve a better buying price – and hence making more profit.

Details aside, the animation still hits the issue right between the eyes.  Watch it and tell me you didn’t go “Yesss!!!” at some point. :-)

Spy sunglasses – surveillance video recorder

Thinking of making a ‘day in my life’ video podcast?  These spy sunglasses just made your job a million times easier!

If you’ve ever wanted a ‘brain-off’ head-mounted video camera to make a ‘point of view’ video podcast, this is the gadget you want. Thanks to Jorge Salgago-Reyes of Allied Detectives for posting this on Facebook.

There are many neat gizmos you come across but not many you can see working in action.  This is a great example from someone I trust.  As a result, I’m 100% closer to buying because of that combination of demonstration and recommendation.

Marketers, take note of the power of that combination.  Forget spammy affiliate schemes – real recommendations from people you trust is where it’s at.

BTW – if you need a P.I. take my recommendation and visit Jorge at Allied Detectives. Tell him Sam sent ya.

London Eye pictures prove London’s got ‘an ‘eart

Pictures courtesy random act of kindness at London Eye

I met my mum at Waterloo this evening to go for a walk along the river.  We came to the London Eye and decided on the spur of the moment to go on it.

I’d never been on it in all those years.  Amazingly, there was no queue at all.  Perfect spontaneous idea!

Until we asked one of the guys on the gate how much it was.  “£15 for adults, £12 for seniors” said the man.  Not originally planning to take a flight on the eye, I’d only brought £25 with me.

“Ah,” I said “I didn’t bring enough money” turning to walk away.

“Come here” said the man, motioning to the gate he was opening “On you go.  Enjoy yourselves”

Just like that.  What what a wonderful gesture.

BA London Eye, if you’re reading this, that man made our evening.  Thank you.

NY plane crash-landing on water (video now available!)

“In the unlikely event of the aeroplane having to put down on water…”

‘Put down on water’? Disintegrate into a million pieces you mean” I thought every time I heard that line in an in-flight safety video.

I’ve seen planes ‘putting down’ on water, oh yes. Like this one.

Well, from now on, I’ll keep my smart-ass comments to myself because this amazing crew showed us it can be done :-)

It’s a real good-news story.

And what makes me smile even more is these guys did it with less damage to their plane than the one in the Safety Card illustration

Here’s a step-by-step guide how to do this incredible stunt (in case you ever find yourself in the hot seat).

What’s the one thing that would make this story perfect?

A YouTube video, of course.  And here it is – plus another view from FoxTV and even a medley on YouTube. Thank heavens for surveillance cameras!