Facebook Video Calling Announcement for July 2011

In a live announcement from Facebook’s HQ in Palo Alto, Facebook CEO Mark  Zuckerberg shows us a new video chat system that combines Skype software with  Facebook’s social infrastructure.

This function is made to be very simple and functions as an app built into  Facebook. You will be able to click a small button on your friend’s chat window ,  you both install a small 500kb plugin and you’ll be video calling in no time.

Zuckerberg also announced two other new features.  One is a group chat feature  that will allow for ad hoc chats between groups of friends. The other new feature  is a new layout that will put a separate bar of friends (both online and  offline)on the side of browser.

All the features are aimed at increasing interaction between friends on Facebook.  Zuckerberg highlighted this as a key goal for his site expansion.750 million  users and counting.

I have personally tested out the video calling feature and the new sidebar. Both  looks very promising. I can’t wait until I can try them out some more.

Are Facebook’s new features as ‘awesome’ as they were said to be? I am sort of  disappointed that group calling isn’t available yet similar to Google+’s  ‘Hangout’ feature which is currently in the beta stage, invite only.

This is going to help a lot of people though, that is for sure. Like I said,  Facebook created this with simplicity in mind. This is going to be a very nice  feature for people who don’t know a lot about computers, to use. No additional off  site programs. No additional set-up, etc. It is all right there, within your own  web browser.

Leave your comments. Let us know what you think about this new service and if you are going to use it.

Time For New Hardware? My Apple Predictions for June 15th 2011

I wanted to quickly give my thoughts and predictions on Apple and what I think might be released or announced tomorrow, June 15th 2011.

Firstly, Apple’s MacBook Air. There is a lot of talk about this and I think it is about time for an upgrade. Here is what I’d like to see in the 3rd generation MacBook Air:

– Higher resolution display
– larger SSD (512gb +)
– backlit keyboard
– upgraded processor (i3, i5)
– option to upgrade to 6GB or 8GB of RAM
– one or two Thunderbolt ports.

I don’t think all of this is a reasonable guess but it is all possible. You never know what to expect with Apple.

One thing to note about the MacBook Air that makes me think they will update before OS X Lion is, in all of Apple’s demo videos of OS X Lion they use not just any MacBook but the MacBook Air. I think the MacBook Air is one of Apple’s favourite computers and the way the future of Macintosh computing might be.

 

It is said to be exactly one year since the last time the Mac Mini was updated. My thoughts for the Mac Mini are quite similar. More RAM, Thunderbolt, better processor (i3 or i5) etc.

I can’t wait to see what Apple announces. I think tomorrow will be an Apple lover’s lucky day.


Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202

I purchased the Behringer U-Control UCA202 to use my mixer as a USB source so that I could keep my 1/8″ plug for a separate voice input. For example, If I was talking to someone on Skype and using the mixer as an input, then they would end up hearing themselves so now I am using the FX Send on the Behringer Mixer along with this USB interface to stop feedback problems.
Here are some specs and details from the Behringer website:

Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB/Audio Interface with Digital Output
-Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer, etc. with your computer for recording and playback
-High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
-Works with your PC or Mac computer—no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at www.behringer.com
-Stereo Headphone output with dedicated Level control lets you monitor both input and output
-Additional S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion
-Powered via USB—no external power supply needed

Currently, I am not using all of the features this U-Control offers but for the parts that I have used, it is working very well.

Just plug into a powered USB port and you have a secondary input / output for your computer. You can use this interface for inputting from a mixing console, a guitar or other interment, 1/8″ (non-phantom powered) microphone, your optical stereo speakers, and much more. The possibilities are endless. For only $40, this Audio interface can come in handy for any audio producers.

For more information you can checkout the Behringer website.

iPad 2 – What you need to know

Today, March 2nd 2011, Steve Jobs revealed the lighter, thinner, and faster iPad 2 in person at the Apple Conference in San Francisco. Apple is a growing company and with the news about Jobs, Everyone, including many stock holders were all scared and curious about who might be presenting Apple’s newest product.

Below are some major differences & similarities between the first and second generation iPad

In addition to these changes, the iPad 2 is only 8.5mm thick (that’s thinner then the iPhone 4) compared to the 1st generation which was 13mm thick

The iPad 2 is the same price as the older models originally were. With these new features and upgrades, you couldn’t expect much of a price drop. The iPad 1st generation is still available on the Apple website for about $80 cheaper then it was yesterday.

Are you going to purchase the iPad 2, what are your thoughts? Did Apple impress you with the new features or, did they miss something important. Leave you replies in the comment section below.


Canadian Bandwidth Caps – #1

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are about to impose usage-based billing on YOU.

This means we’re looking at a future where ISPs will charge per byte, the way they do with smart phones. If we allow this to happen Canadians will have no choice but to pay MUCH more for less Internet. Big Telecom companies are obviously trying to gouge consumers, control the Internet market, and ensure that consumers continue to subscribe to their television services.
These Big Telecom companies are forcing small competing ISPs to adopt the same pricing scheme, so that we have no choice but to pay these punitive fees.

Continued @ http://openmedia.ca/meter

In order to tell the government parties who aren’t already fighting against this new “national bandwidth” downgrade how much we care, we’d appreciate if you sign the petition below.
More information about this will be available on this blog throughout the month.


Thank you to all who participate in this ‘petition’ and are supporting the canadians as we fight this “life changing” event. :)

http://openmedia.ca/

Eric Andrews

RIP Apple Xserve

It was 2006 when Apple brought an Intel Xeon Xserve into the running of business and home servers. The beginning of November 2011, Apple decided it was time that the Xserve would be discontinued before February 2011. The replacement would be the Mac Pro Server and the Mac Mini Server which have both been available for a while and are both very strong machines. They differ in price depending what you want to do with them. The Xserve, which was used for a variety of applications, including file server, web server, high-performance computing applications using clustering, and more can now easily be replaced by one or multiple of the current Mac servers.

You can even buy a Mac Mini and pay a short monthly fee for this service, http://www.macminicolo.net, to run “your Mac Mini” as a server for website hosting, files etc.

If you have an old Mac at home running OS X that you want to turn into a Home file / printer server, follow these instructions,  It’s easy!

To all who have an Xserve currently, I hope they are ‘serving’ you well (heehee) and you enjoy your professional ‘server’ while the rest of us turn our Mac into a web or FTP server from home.

RIP Apple Xserve.