My Raspberry Pi arrived a few days ago and I've been busy experimenting ever since. I initially tried Debian “squeeze” as recommended on the Raspberry Pi website. The distro was fairly easy to setup using the dd command in OS X Terminal to copy the Debian image file to the SD card (the instructions on the Raspberry Pi Wiki are fairly comprehensive).

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi.

I was using a fairly cheap SD card that kept getting locked every time I slid it into my MacBook Pro so I ended up taping the lock into the off position (might help someone if they keep getting permission denied when trying to write via dd).

The device booted in sub 30 seconds and once logged in you can start the window manager by typing 'startx'. It was unable to detect the correct resolution of my HD TV but otherwise worked without a problem. I enabled SSH through the command line and played around with some of the pre-installed applications.

My aim for the Raspberry Pi was a media center with the overall goal of having one in the living room, kitchen and bedroom meaning that wherever I am in the house I can stream my media. I was led to Raspbmc, a Debian based OS running XBMC. 

The software is in early beta (as with a lot of software surrounding the Pi) but has a downloadable image and a similar setup process to Debian "squeeze". 

  Raspbmc  

Raspbmc streaming Digitally Imported Trance Channel.

On booting for the first time Raspbmc downloads and installs all the necessary files for XBMC, a process taking about 15mins. I was then able to set the correct resolution for my TV and install plugins for Internet Radio and BBC iPlayer (I installed this from a flash drive). SMB didn't work for file sharing (and crashed the Pi) but I'm sure this will be fixed in a later version.

It's early days for the Pi but there is a growing community, from the Raspberry Pi website, to the Element 14 forums to our local Lug - all seem very interested in seeing the Pi being a success.

More to come on the Pi soon...

Top iPad News Apps

By Pete | @kingpetey | 08 Aug 2010

Here are my top iPad news apps:

Reuters News Pro

An overall great app for finding out today's news articles, pictures, videos and financial data. Homepage articles can be scrolled horizontally whilst vertical scrolling shows news categories. Images and text in articles can be enlarged.

Eurosport

Great for live sport, latest scores, breaking news and articles - no other sports app has content updated as often as the Eurosport app.

BBC News

Similar to the Reuters app in content, the BBC News app shows the recent articles on the left (in horizontal mode) and at the top (in vertical mode) allowing you to easily browse through articles.

Mashable

Best app for social media/technology news. I like how the articles appear over the headlines through i do find myself knocking the previous and next buttons by accident.

Bloomberg

Great for in depth financial news and data. The app also lets you keep a portfolio of the shares you own.

The Financial Times

The FT app is more article based than the Bloomberg app but has some nice features including being able to horizontal scroll between articles.

The Guardian Eyewitness

A great app for viewing current photos on the iPad, I like how with each picture it tells you a little about how the photographer got the shot.

Reuters Galleries

Again another nice photo based application, I like how photos can be displayed as a slide show.

Bonus App: AccuWeather

Not strictly a news app but a great app for finding out the weather.

Know any other great news apps? If so share them below!

A new website has launched called WeVee with the aim of opening up West Midlands based archive footage.

You can edit clips together through the sites interface to create your own "WeVee's", this one is a nice example showing the changes in transport over the region:

Pros: Great tool for school kids, nice simple editing tools.

Cons: No easy way to download clips to edit offline.

Full press release below:

"WeVee is a new unique, online tool.  It gives anyone the chance to view clips from the region’s fantastic archive collections of film and video, edit them to music tracks and make a short ‘mash-up’ (two and a half minutes max) as your personal take on the region’s history.  Try out different effects by mixing the original sound of your selected clips to music.

This approach deliberately uses the latest digital technology as an incentive for the next generation to explore their region’s history.  And that history will reflect the different communities, as well as the struggles and successes the region has experienced. The beauty of WeVee, thanks to our region’s archive holders, is the richness of the moving image archive.  There is footage from as early as 1901 and as recent as just five years ago, so you can put quite different clips together, add a music track and effects and create your own WeVee.  Initial trials have shown the process has a very personal appeal for children, students, parents and silver surfers, because you can use WeVee to say something about yourself, your home and locality and reference past events that mean something for you today. 

The ease with which you can WeVee means you can have fun as you create and save, create and change, create and delete while playing with moving images from the past. It’s fun to WeVee, and at the same time it gives you a truly unique opportunity to marvel at how the region has been captured on camera.  Cadbury’s have generously made some of their previously unseen archive available for the site. Other archive includes footage from the Staffordshire Film Archive collection accessing the heritage of the potteries and the Midlands Archive for Central England.

WeVee’s official launch is in January 2010.  At this stage you’ll be able to share your WeVees, not just on the WeVee Gallery but across social networking sites. 

In the meantime you can visit our website www.wevee.co.uk to register for updates and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/weveecreate

The project is supported through Screen West Midlands’ Digital Film Archive Fund with support from the National Lottery through the UK Film Council."

Twitter the micro blogging service finally hit the mainstream this week in the UK. It started last Friday with Jonathan Ross discussing the service with Twitter power user Stephen Fry. The discussion lasted about 40 seconds but launched a weeks worth of media attention. A lot of this came from BBC Radio 1 with some of the DJ's including Chris Moyles using and discussing the service on air.

Twitter was featured in national newspapers including the Daily Mail when Stephen Fry used the service to Tweet about being stuck in a lift (and to post picture of the experience).

UK based TweekDesk has also found itself in the news this week for the way it works with Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/imafish .

ImAFish TV Pilot

By Pete | @kingpetey | 27 Dec 2008

This is the pilot episode of our technology based ImAFish TV show. The show uses the same format as Revision 3's Diggnation and aims to give a British/European touch to a US show.

 

Let me know what you think as we are always looking for improvements. The show is 40minutes long and we discuss a range of this weeks top topics from the social new site www.digg.com.

Email us at [email protected] with your comments and suggestions

 

In general day time TV sucks, I don't get to see much of it now I work full time but at University there was always one show you could rely on for some entertainment - The Jeremy Kyle show.

There was shock and horror in the news today as a judge stated that The Jeremy Kyle show is "a human form of bear baiting which goes under the guise of entertainment".

This all comes after a man head butted someone on the show. It was not aired though Sky News fortunately provided a clip. The man was fined

The long awaited BBC iPlayer is launching in two days time (on the 27th July) for Windows XP only. The service will allow people to download TV shows to their computers and watch them for a set number of days after.

Channel 4 launched a similar service called 4OD (on demand) a couple of months ago however has been plagued with problems, if the BBC are to succeed with the iPlayer it must not have the following problems that 4OD has:

  • Connection - 4OD only allows people in the UK to download shows, that's fine as we pay for the shows however the technology they use to only allow UK people sucks. For about the first month my BT connection was unable to use 4OD because I was apparently not living in the UK. I know some people now who are still told they cannot connect.
  • Quality - When making 4OD videos full screen everything is pixelated, I was watching 8 out of 10 cats last night and Sean Locks ear was one giant pixel. The average 45min show is 350mb to download off 4OD yet if I downloaded the same show off a torrent site with the same file size the quality would be so much better.
  • Application slowness - 4OD is basically a web page stuck inside Windows Media Player, this means that every time you click a link it loads another page. The problem with this is that the site and application doesn't look like a web page so you expect it to act a stand alone application. This makes 4OD seem incredibly slow to use and painful to navigate.
  • Program expiration - This I believe is the biggest problem of 4OD - everything expires so quickly. For most free shows you can watch them for seven days after use. So if you download it on the sixth day and then leave it for two days it will have expired. Also once you have watched a show the expiration date changes. I personally don't see why shows need to expire, the chances are if I have seen it I'm not going to buy it anyway.
  • Lame Technology - This may just be me but every time I go to stream a show it gets past the adverts (that don't particularly bother me) then it tells me I don't have the correct license installed to watch the show. It gives me no way to install the correct license and I just have to accept that I can't stream anything.
  • Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6, WMP 11 - I don't like applications that force you down one particular route of technology. I have a Mac as my main machine but I don't mind using my PC. On my PC I use Firefox but I'm told I must use IE then finally I use VLC for media but I'm told to use WMP.

The reason Youtube is so popular is that it is so convenient and just works - this is a far cry from the buggy inconvenient 4OD. However 4OD is still a Beta so its allowed to suck to a certain extent!

By the sounds of it the iPlayer is going to equally suck come this Friday but I will reserve my judgement for now.

The BBC has decided to use Windows Media technology for their upcoming on demand online service meaning that only people using Windows XP or Vista will be able to play content. The iPlayer will be launching later this year and will let you download and watch content aired on TV for the following 7 days for free.

Five and Channel 4 already have online paid download services that also use Windows Media and will not work on Mac OS X or Linux. ITV is launching its online download service later this year though little detail has emerged about this service so far.

Its a shame the BBC is not using open standards to protect its content and that a significant amount of public money will be going to Microsoft to fund the service.

read more | digg story

I've just read this article from the BBC about the top 10 Google searches in 2006.For anyone who cant be bothered to read it the top 10 searches are:

1. Bebo

2. MySpace

3. World Cup

4. Metacafe (not the desperate housewives actor - though i'm sure some of his hits counted)

5. Radioblog

6. Wikipedia

7. Video

8. Rebelde

9. Mininova

10. Wiki

The article says a lot about how social networking sites and web 2.0 sites have dominated searches in 2006. In fact this very morning I signed upto facebook (yet another of these social networking sites like myspace, bebo, hi5, wayn, etc etc etc) so it shows how popular they are.

What the article fails to mention is the search on #9 of the list - yes Mininova, the popular (very popular according to this list) torrent sharing site for downloading music, TV Shows, Films and lots more pirated warez.

I'm surprised that the article doesn't mention how well known piracy is online and what a huge demand there is for on demand downloadable content. When will the industry realise this is what people want and that in a lot of cases they don't mind paying a bit for it.

It's ashame the BBC stay so politically correct when it comes to reporting these sorts of results, you will notice that on the right of the article there are links to Bebo, Myspace etc but not to Mininova. I wonder why...

Welcome to ImAFish video, check out some of our lo-budget releases:

Aug 05 - S**t Shrewsbury. (Quicktime 7 - 37mbs)
The ImAFish team films parts of Shrewsbury promoters wouldn't have you see uncovering the truth to this chav infested town.

Sept 05 - Blender Pimping Documentary. (Multiple Formats)
ImAFish shows a unique insight into the up and coming culture of Blender Pimping.

Jan 06 - Sheep Documentary (Multiple Formats)
The ImAFish team clear up some common mis-conceptions about sheep.

Feb 06 - Tim Westwood Interview (Google Video)
Bill Bennett interviews Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood.

Dec 07 - ImAFish YouTube Player

Dec 08 - ImAFish Pilot TV Show

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