Folks, this is my first attempt at video editing some of the footage I got in South Africa. I finally found a firewire cable (it was in a closet) to connect my Sony camcorder to my Sony Vaio laptop.
Shazam! A window popped-up to offer to use DVGate, which I tried. Rather easy video acquisition: it displays all the information such as time, date, sound info, etc. But not useful for video editing, just for capturing (and to .avi format, which makes just HUGE files).
Then I tried using Dr. DivX for video acquisition: better file size, but no video editing capabilities.
Then I found Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker (it probably comes with WinXP ?) on my hard drive. It does both video acquisition and editing. Here's the first result
, after trying for about 5 minutes.
Folks, if you point me to the right software, I'll publish a nice movie on South Africa ;)
I hadn't checked in a while, and it's a rather amazing collection of accessories: the iPod is generating a whole new industry of goodies, helping you feel good about buying a white piece of plastic that is less performing that a good taiwanese music player ;)
Have a look at the collection of partners lined up by Apple for their "new" car stereo system... That's a nice stretch from a former computer player into the entertainment business...
I was sitting in my living room tonight, looking at my shelves with my audio CD collection. I seldom listen to any of them because 1. they are on shelves and it's a (small) hassle to put them in a CD player 2. I seldom know what to choose
So I thought: "what if I turned all the tracks into MP3 files using the latest version of iTunes 4.7.1" ? That would be great: I'd have to sit for hours doing that, but then I would always have my CD collection at my disposal everywhere I go (I have a large capacity hard disk on my laptop), and I could use the shuffle mode. I could even get an iPod (or something similar), and play the music in my car with that funny FM transmitter ;)
Sounds like a cool plan. Then I thought, "maybe I could sell my whole collection 2nd hand. That would save me some room at home, right?".
Now, there's a problem: is that legal ? I've bought all those CDs, and have owned them for many years. I have paid - presumably- all the rights and fees to the music studios, and the studios have gotten a share of my money. I have always had the right to sell anything 2nd hand. Do I have the right to keep a backup copy ? I suppose that yes (isn't it like a backup of a computer program?). Now do I have an obligation to destroy my backup copy if I sell the original ? I suppose not... What if I loose the original? Do I have to delete all my files ? I guess that I only bought the right to own a reproduction of an IP-protected piece of work, and not the right to duplicate it.
Then... why is Apple giving away software that allows people to create MP3 files from their CDs ? why are other companies doing it as well ? Why are companies selling MP3 players (only to play those songs bought in MP3 format ?) ?
What's wrong here ? That studios aren't getting an extra share for the copy you are keeping while you are selling away your CDs ?
Funnily enough, Joi was thinking about the same thing, in a note I discovered later tonight. Only that he seems to prefer the Ogg Vorbis format. Good, it's the native format now on Linux ;oD
All good things have an end, or should I say, all good things have a beginning...
This week, we had a nice gathering at glowria.fr to celebrate the launch of a new Internet startup (hush... more to come soon, we hear they even have found office space), created by 3 former marketing team members at glowria.fr, hence leaving the company that day: Francis Lelong, Yoann Le Berrigaud and Franck Zayan. We wish them well.
Back in 2001, in a geopolitics class, I was introduced to Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama, as tow leading scholars with radically opposed views. In 'The End of History and the Last Man', Fukuyama argues that we are converging towards one common universal civilization, and since history traces the development of civilizations, we are now approaching a status quo in our development. In 'The Clash of Civilizations', Huntington argues that on the contrary, the world has moved from a former unified world (Europe), to a bipolar world during the Cold War to a world dominated by 9 global civilizations, based on culture and religion. These offer a paragidm through which one can analyse our current state of the world.
I had read only excerpts of the book in B-school; coming back thourgh Heathrow T4 the other day, I grabbed a copy of the book. I have to tell you folks, it is a fantastic read. Kudos to Sam. It is written like a textbook, walking the reader through a number of historic developments we have - it seems - forgotten, developping, quite convincingly this theory. The man is very articulate, well documented and well argued. Of course, at times you wonder whether he forgot one angle in his analysis, but he is basically very convincing. He even predicted correctly the recent events in Ukraine (his book was published in 1998...
Of course, after I finish reading it, I'm getting a copy of the Debate book summarizing reactions to his original article in Foreign Affairs.
In retrospect, this book is already answering many questions I've had for many years on the role and future of Europe in the world, on the development of the North-South divide (which Huntington dismisses), on the difficulties of understanding the Middle-East conflicts, etc. Sheer ignorance is not an excuse I suppose, with amazon.com just a click away...
Last week, I finished reading a book by Jim Collins, the author of Build to Last, a once very highly acclaimed business book where he discussed how companies managed to build successful companies. It was a good read, with a good insight into some companies such as 3M or Nordstrom.
His new opus, Good to Great, is written in the same fashion. He compares two sets of companies (one sample vs. another sample) after defining very harsh criteria, and tries to identify common characteristics to build an empirical theory. What makes a great company (defined as producing multiple returns above market average for more than 15 years). It's a rather easy read, with many examples, although I felt a bit frustrated: his research spanned over 5 years; he was helped by a dozen research assistants, compiled thousands of documents, interviewed hundreds of executives, and yet, there is almost no data transcribed in the book, just a plain explanation of their conclusions. Good conclusions, but simple conclusions... in a nutshell: be passionate about your work, understand the profound mechanics of how you make money, and aim to become the best in the world at what you do.
That was not a spoiler, but a rather good summary of it all. Give it a try, and let me know what you thought about it.
Interested in Home Cinema ? I've always loved reading the reviews of a real pro (and a great friend also: he's fantastic at dinner discussing his passion, his daughter and his cigars): Jean-Patrick Grumberg, founder & CEO of Hifissimo, an online site for hi-fi fanatics, and also a chain of brick & mortar shops. Read some reviews here (French only) ;)
Do you know similar reviews written by passionate people in English ?