Dwight Can Has iPhone

Dwight Can Has

Dwight Can Has

Looks very cool larger and on black

Dwight Silverman of The Houston Chronicle’s Tech Blog and co-host of Technology Bytes proudly shows us his iPhone. I chose to let the iPhone remain in color while desaturating the rest. I find the contrast between the shiny new technology and the not so shiny new tech geek rather compelling.

Nothing personal, Dwight!

I Can Has Video (in my pocket)

I remember getting access to a super 8mm camera back in high school and shooting some film of a field trip. I also remember the pain of getting the film developed and then having to arrange to borrow a projector just so I could show the film to my classmates.

Ever since then I have been nothing more than a spectator as video production has become more and more accessible to the common man via video tape recorder, mini disk and now digital cameras.

On our last vacation I considered taking a small handheld video DV camera with us just to have, but even the newest palm sized devices were going to be too unwieldy and I opted to forgo the video in favor of my preferred medium of digital still photography.

Now it appears that Pure Digital Technologies has come up with a device to lure me to the dark side. Meet my new friend, the Flip Mino.



Very impressive specs. It runs about 4 hours on a charge and records up to 60 minutes of video.

Internal Memory: 2GB (60 minutes)
Screen Size: 1.46″ (transflective TFT)
Screen Resolution: 528 x 132 pixels
Video Resolution: 640 x 480

And the size is right. 3.94″ x 1.97″ x 0.63″ (H x W x D) it fits easily into your pocket making it as readily available as a small camera phone.

It’s also very easy to use. Out of the box all I had to do was charge it up and go.



The software for managing and editing your videos installs right from the device and it make sharing and uploading of your videos quite simple.

KPFT Remembers

[tags]kpft, pacifica[/tags]

The remains of the KPFT transmitter from when we were literally blown off the air on May 12, 1970.

The History

KPFT’s transmitter was dynamited two months after signing on to the airwaves. KPFT was down for three weeks until repairs could be made.

Five months later, on October 6, 1970, while the station was broadcasting Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” the transmitter was bombed yet again and the damage was significantly more extensive. The second bombing took KPFT off the air for three months.

Here is the 10/6/70 press release from KPFT concerning the second bombing attack:

October 6, 1970
2:30 P.M.

Some time before sunrise this morning someone dynamited the transmitter of KPFT, Pacifica Radio in Houston. This is the second time in less than six months that criminals have tried to silence the station by bombing our transmitter, a transmitter which can be built and operated only with the permission of the Federal Government. The act itself is criminal. It is a modern method of cutting out a man’s tongue.

KPFT is a grass roots enterprise, community supported and paid for by its listeners. It is educational non-commercial and its microphones are open to all points of view.

People in Houston should know of the 20 year history of the Pacifica foundation, whose successful stations in New York, California – and affiliates on college campuses – have won plaudits from professional journalists, its listeners, and such national organizations as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Pacifica Foundation is a nonprofit corporation chartered in 1946. It is a fully tax-exempt public charity. As a noncommercial broadcaster, it limits its work to the ownership and operation of radio stations and to related projects. Pacifica is non-political and has no social program or goals. It never editorializes about political questions or other matters. The Foundation’s four stations exchange programs, but are independently programmed. Like all stations, they are prohibited from programming anything that could be characterized as obscene, libelous, or seditious.

KPFT will be back on the air broadcasting with your help – broadcasting complete wire copy, broadcasting music and voices which are so hard to hear in Houston. All of us who are working to put the station back on the air – the Advisory Board of Directors, the paid staff and, most of all, the unpaid volunteers, listeners, and supporters of the station – are more determined than ever that Houston have an open microphone. It looks like it needs it.

We feel our loss is Houston’s loss and solicit the aid of all concerned citizens. We will be back on the air, but only with your help. This bombing can be fatal to Pacifica in Houston. We earnestly appeal for your financial contributions.


Also in the picture above is the recently added window pane that features the bullet hole from the recent drive by shooting.

Here’s a rather rare video about the bombing in 1970

Satellite Radio

With the purchase of my new car came the added bonus of an XM radio with a three month subscription.

Since I’ve never really been too keen on owning an iPod (which I do) and amassing a huge personal collection of digitized music (which I haven’t) XM has been a great boon to my music listening. Hours upon hours of commercial free music have successfully lured me back from my recent addiction to talk radio and introduced me to many new favorites as well as rekindling my interest in some old friends.

Just the other day I was introduced to The Move which is a band I probably *should* have been aware of 30 years ago.

As I was listening to a version of “Do Ya” which I have always associated with Electric Light Orchestra I was struck by the fact that not only was the song one I knew, but the musical and vocal styling were hauntingly familiar. It was like listening to ELO without the string section and the polish and production values that made them a huge success in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Of course this made perfect sense once I verified (via the WWW) that The Move was fronted by none other than Roy Wood. After a little research I learned that Jeff Lynn joined up with Roy Wood toward the end of the band’s career and it’s obvious to me it was he who transitioned The Move into the better known, more widely acclaimed ELO.

And last week I was was listening to the live version of 21st Century Schizoid Man performed by Greg Lake (not with King Crimson) that must have gone on for over 10 minutes.

XM is rekindling a sense of wonder and joy in my music listening that I thought had gone the way of the Dodo and 70’s style album rock (a la late night KLOL). I wasn’t sure if I was going to go ahead and subscribe when the free trial was over but after 3 months I was hooked. When the sales monkey from XM called to let me know my free trial was expiring I signed up for a full year.

Behold! The Future!

A video clip of online shopping as envisioned from the 1960’s, called “Shopping in 1999 A.D. The video shows online bill paying and PC desktops with flat screen monitors, including a multi-screen display.

I especially like the part that describes how the wife’s transactions will be sent to the husband’s console for payment and banking review….

…yea, right! Cynthia’s Amazon shopping goes mostly undetected by me until the box arrives in the mail!

Geek Grattitude

Barrett, one of my co-hosts on Technology Bytes and writer of the Geekspeak Blog at the Houston Chronicle came up with this Thanksgiving thought for last night Barrett Time segment…

I was originally going to come up with a list of the top ten techy things that I am thankful for this year, but with the DMCA, my broken oh key and the makings of another exploding battery, I thought I’d go back and borrow from what other people in technology had been thankful for over the years.

In 1899, Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, was thankful that everything that could be invented already had.

In 1927, H.M. Warner of Warner Brothers was thankful that his audiences would never want to hear actors talk.

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the then chairman of IBM, was thankful that there was a world market for maybe five computers.

In 1949, popular mechanics was thankful that computers may one day weigh no more than 1.5 tons.

In 1957, the Prentice Hall editor in charge of business books was thankful that this data processing fad wouldn’t last the year.

In 1981, Bill Gates was thankful that he’d never need more than 640k of memory.

In 1995, Wall Street was thankful for all those new dotcom companies.

In 1999, Nigeria was thankful that Al Gore invented the Internet.

In 2003, SCO’s Darl McBride was thankful that there would be a “day of reckoning” for Red Hat and SuSE.

And today, you might be thankful that that’s it for BarretTime.

Spammer for a day

Apparently my psueo-celeb status makes my own stinging by the evil-doers at Quechup all the more blog-worthy.

My post describing my shame has been mentioned in Dwight’s Techblog, Anne Heathen’s Librarianne blog and Dan’s Wisdom of a Distracted Mind blog.

And now, JOY OF FREAKIN JOYS, I’ve been linked at Boing Boing….

Traffic to baldheretic.com is through the roof right now.
We’ll see if the site can hold on and weather this category 5 Internet hurricane.

Also, still fielding responses to the invite coming in at a steady pace as well as over 100 invitations to join Quechup.

I am dreading the show this Wednesday….

[tags]Quechup, spam, “social networking”, “feeling foolish”[/tags]

Google Maps

Google just announced a new feature of their map site that allows you to embed a Google Map right into a web page just like you would with a Youtube video.


View Larger Map

The embedded map has all the functionality you find at the actual Google Maps site. You can scroll it, zoom it, get directions and that good stuff.

It’s way faster and easier than the in-line Google maps plug-in I was playing with before.

This will be a lot of fun to use during the upcoming trip to Spain….

Details are at the Google Lat Long Blog

Where’s the “any” key?

When travelling to Europe a few years back I did not take a computer with me. It was pretty much “catch as catch can” in the various countries, between the odd Internet cafe and the various hotel or B&B provided terminals.

Something I knew, but did not fully consider, was that each country used a unique keyboard layout. This made it somewhat vexing when it came to typing certain characters. I recall struggling to find the key combination for the @ symbol on a French computer with the key symbols worn away from over-use.

If you know how to type without watching your fingers, and you have access to the computer settings then the easiest thing to do is go to the control panel and change the layout to US.

Microsoft offers step by step instructions in KB306560

If you’re a hunt and peck typist or you don’t have the ability to change the keyboard layout you will need to familiarize yourself with the keyboard layout of the country you’re visiting.

There’s a handy guide located at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout



One of the most frustrating differences on UK keyboard is that the quotation marks are on the 2 key while the @ sign takes the place the quotation marks.

Cat Cam

I’m not a huge cat fan nor am I cat cam fan but I am a technology fan and a fan of novel ideas. That’s why I find Mr. Lee’s CatCam quite fascinating.

Ever wonder what a cat who spends most of his time outdoors is up to?
Apparently J. Perthold in Germany did and came up with an idea…

So the idea was born and split into these parts:

1. find small, lightweight, inexpensive digital camera
2. develop a controller for the camera
3. protect the camera from cat attack
4. mount equipment to cat

For anyone who has lived with a feline, the mystery of a cat’s mind is an all-too-familiar quandary. This site does not venture any answers to that dilemma. But it does attempt to record what one cat.the illustrious Mr. Lee.does and where he goes when left to his own devices. Mr. Lee’s human companion, a clever man who lives in Germany, rigged a small digital camera to take a photo at regular intervals. He affixed the device to his cat’s collar and let Mr. Lee do his thing. What came back is an amusing, sometimes fascinating peek into Mr. Lee’s daily activities.

Out of the day of a cat – Trip 1
Out of the day of a cat – Trip 2
Out of the day of a cat – Trip 3
Out of the day of a cat – Trip 4

TV Time

Got a call from Jeff Ehling over at the local ABC affiliate (Channel 13). He was putting together a story to tie in to the recent FBI press release regarding botnet cyber crime and needed a geek talking head.

Lord knows there’s no talking head geekier than yours truly and despite my fear of being in front of the camera, I agreed to do it. I try not to pass up any opportunity to promote the radio show. Plus I think I must secretly enjoy being scared out of my wits.

Much like the previous times, it went smoothly enough and I was not horrified with the results. Jeff did a great job on the story and used sound bites from me in the piece that worked well and I was very pleased to hear him use talking points that came from our more candid off camera conversation.

You can see the news story video here.