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Monday, December 31, 2007

Comcast DVR with TiVo: Video Tour

In this video [ 5:16 ] I give you a quick tour of the Comcast DVR with TiVo. We take a look at TiVo recordings, the Guide, and Find Programs.

Response time could be improved.

We Live In Public

We live in public trailer from RADAR on Vimeo.

Zadi writes:
If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check out web entrepreneur/multi-media artist Josh Harris' trailer for his new documentary We Live In Public. It's a socio-political and artistic experiment that looks at what happens as we propel ourselves into lives that are on perpetual public display via the web. Eight years in the making, the million dollar project hooks up 32 web cams in a Manhattan loft that's set up bunker-style and records the lives of a 100 volunteer artists/guinea pigs while discussing the implications of the project as it d/evolves into madness. It asks the question: Will we survive in public?
via [ epic-fu ]

Wired, November 2000 - Steaming Video:
Like Marshall McLuhan, Josh Harris sees the medium, rather than its content, as the message. "When TV first came out, it had an impact like a social atomic bomb," he says. "But the mode of intimacy that I'm presenting, which we'll experience via the Net, is going to be bigger."
IMDB: We Live in Public.

Bloomberg 08?

Supporters beg Bloomberg to enter race - The Boston Globe
"... the mayor said this month at a news conference, "Last I looked - and I'm not a candidate - but last time I checked reading about the Constitution, the Electoral College has nothing to do with parties, has absolutely nothing to do with parties. It's most states are winners take all. The popular vote assigns electoral votes to the candidate, and I don't think it says in there that you have to be a member of one party or another."


"The mayor was asked last week at a news conference whether a Bloomberg campaign would cost the Democratic or Republican nominee more votes.

"You know," he replied, "if it's a three-way race, the public has more choice than if it's a two-way race, and has more choice in a two-way race than a one-way race. Why shouldn't you have lots of people running, and what's magical about people who happen to be a member of a party?"

Sam Waterston, the actor whose former costar on "Law and Order," Fred D. Thompson, is a Republican presidential candidate, is a founder of Unity08. That organization also hopes to advance a nonpartisan national ticket, and Waterston says the mayor is often mentioned on the group's website as a prospective nominee."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Journey: Don't Stop Believin' is in this video player

Add Journey to your page

Cloverfield: Extended Trailer

Some Thing Has Found Us.

Great new Cloverfield trailer. Notice all the people with cellphones taking pictures.

Gridlock at Riverway and Brookline Ave

Slow Down Boston II

Bob Mathews writes in to oston The Globe's Globewatch and asks, Can't someone unclog the mess on the Riverway?:
"...erect signs on Brookline Ave. inbound at the Riverway intersection warning drivers not to block the intersection; consider stationing a police officer at the intersection during the busiest times to prevent gridlock."
Excellent suggestion Bob.

The selfish people who block the intersection need to be punished. It's bad behavior.

The city's response is unacceptable.

The issue you bring up about "multiple jurisdictions" was not even addressed by the Globe since the only contact they provide is from Boston Transportation Department.

People need to be fined $500 for blocking that intersection and the fee should be paid on site by Check or Credit Card.

New England Patriots: Best TV Coverage

I felt bad for Channel 5 (ABC) in Boston. They signed a deal for exclusive coverage of last night's Partiots/Giants game, and the NFL broke the contract and gave the game to 4 (CBS) and 7 (NBC).

The NFL ended up giving Channel 5 three playoff tickets and exclusive access for their pre-game and post-game shows. Those exclusives didn't end up being so valuable.

Pre Game
When game time came, I watched the Channel 5 pre-game for their exclusive on field interviews. Not that exciting.

Game Time
When game time arrived, I flipped over to the other stations to check them out, and found that Channel 4 had the best sound. Much better than 5 or 7.

Post Game
When it was time for the exclusive post-game coverage, Mike Lynch of Channel 5 was left alone standing in the corridor, looking in vain for players to interview. Sad. I flipped over to Channel 4, and there was Bill Belichick's press conference, LIVE.

Watch the post game press conference footage at the Official Website of the New England Patriots.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Can We Sort Comcast TiVo Out?

Movie View: Sorted by Time

When you sort for upcoming movies on a Comcast TiVo it sorts by Time.

HE View: Sorted by Title

When you sort for upcoming HD programs on a Comcast TiVo it sorts by program name.

No way to change the sort. I'd prefer it to be sorted by time...

Comcast TiVo Yellow Screen of Death

Comcsst TiVo Yellow Screen of Death - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

While trying to record a movie with my new Comcast HD TiVo, the TiVo rebooted and then I got this screen.

The "Comcast TiVo Yellow Screen of Death?"

Maybe it's actually the "Comcast TiVo Yellow Screen of Life" since I saw it during the reboot.

How Kids Learn

Little Stevie

David Rovics writes Raising Leila:
"What I remember about first grade was that I learned that my needs, feelings and desires didn’t matter. I learned that doing what the teacher wanted was all that mattered, and I learned that this was impossible to do. I felt helpless, confused, and afraid most of the time. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the class feeling that way. It was my first experience with a classroom setting with desks and all that, and it was a potentially spirit-killing experience."
What I remember about first grade is that the teacher made me stand at the front of the class and said I was skinny. She made me have my mother write a note with what I had for breakfast each morning.

So my mom and I made up breakfasts each morning and wrote her notes.

- Scrambled eggs, with sausage and toast.
- A stack of pankakes
- French Toast with strawberries

All kinds of things that as a first grader I would never have for breakfast.

The teacher's name was Mrs. Gorski and she was an old witch. It was a horrible first grade experience.

Second grade was much better...

The next trauma for me in school was when a Junior High School teacher threw me against the lockers for walking in the hall between classes. Threw me... into the lockers. It hurt.

I had a hall pass.


What do you remember from school?

Friday, December 28, 2007

YouTube on Leno and Letterman?

Late-Night Talk Shows Set to Go Scriptless -
"The shows plan largely to rely on extemporaneous speeches from the hosts and extra banter between the hosts and the band directors (about the strike itself, among other topics), according to people who work on the shows. Since much of the 'writing' on these shows consists of generating ideas for skits and segments, which are loosely scripted and then partially improvised on air, producers say it is unclear how much forethought is technically permissible.

Other ideas being batted around by producers that they believe don't violate strike rules include man-on-the street and audience interviews; clips from YouTube and other video Web sites; and footage of political candidates, particularly the Democrats, many of whom have declined to cross picket lines in support of the guild."

Favorite Photos of 2007

Here's my favorite photo of 2007:

Carol Keeps Her Distance From A Horse

It's from wine country in Napa and tells a funny story. Good memories.

Here's a set of the rest of my favorite photos I shot in 2007. Thanks to Nikon for sending me D80. That's what made most of these photos possible. I love the aperture priority on it and the compact size of the 18-135mm lens. I've had 6 months with the camera and now I have to decide if I want to keep it for 6 more months, send it back, or buy it for $500. I'm leaning towards buying it. The other photos are taken with either my Digital Rebel, Nokia N95 or iPhone. The iPhone takes surprisingly good photos.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Here's CC Chapman's Favorite Photos of 2007. He points us to Your Best Shot 2007 over on flickr.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

CrunchGear Photo Attribution Policy: "Complain and it gets fixed."

CrunchGear Photo Attribution Policy: "Complain and it gets fixed." - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

CrunchGear wrote about a PVRblog post about my Comcast TiVo install blog post and used one of my photos of the Comcast TiVo display without attribution.

After writing 5 comments on the post and emailing the CrunchGear editor, they added attribution.

I asked:
"Do you have policies in place regarding photo use and credit?"

Editor, John Biggs replied:
"Yes. Complain and it gets fixed."

Can I quote you on that?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Comcast TiVo HD Guide

Checking out the new Comcast Tivo HD Program Guide.

Shows in HD are designated by 'HD'. There's also a button to filter out all shows so that only HD shows are displayed, you can also do it via an on screen menu. It took 53 seconds for the screen to refresh. Movies, Kids, Sports, and News come up right away, as does All, but HD takes a long time.

Here's a video of hte Comcast Tivo HD Program Guide if you want to see.

I logged onto Comcast chat and was told that Comcast is aware of the problem and has contacted the hardware manufacturer.

Why do I have to Beta Test these products for free after they are publicly released? Didn't they have a Beta Test period where these things should have been ironed out?

30 Rock Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby
30 Rock | Season 2 | Episode 4 | 21:24 |
When Liz meets her idol, Rosemary Howard, she invites her to be a guest writer on the show.

Funniest 30 Rock Ever!

Really into Twitter, Seesmic, and other mobile/video social systems.

Dan streaming video of Laura on Qik

Dan Bricklin posts about his experience with 'people who are really into Twitter, Seesmic, and other mobile/video social systems'.

Podcast with Laura Fitton about Twitter and using Seesmic and
"We've always talked about how Internet video would be about grandma watching the kid's birthday parties from another city. It's here now, or even more mundane (and potentially more viral) -- here's Laura (of Pistachio Consulting) showing a gift she got (ice cream 'named after her' -- Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio). (I've been using Internet video for some time now -- Skype and other video conferencing systems, YouTube, etc. -- but this seemed even more lightweight and viral and we were using it casually at a party.)"
This all happened at Laura Fitton's Christmas Eve party. It was a special experience.

Much different than some of the sponsored business card pushing free drink events that happen around town.

It was also different than the live twitter around a table Boston Media Maker meetings I have on the first Sunday of each month in Boston. Next Boston Media Makers meeting Jan 6th, btw, and you are invited.

Laura opened up her home to like minded people who ended up having a fun time with new social systems in person. We had discussions and taught each other things. The only thing on the agenda was fun, but it grew into much more.

Check out my earlier post, How can we apply technologies for good.

Disclosure: I'm an investor in Seesmic.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Patriots on WCVB Gotta be better than on WHDH

Watch Pats Take On Giants On WCVB-TV:
"WCVB-TV/DT Channel 5 will broadcast in spectacular high-definition the NFL Network presentation of Saturday Night Football on Dec. 29 with the pre-game starting at 7 p.m."
This Saturday night's Patriots broadcast has got to be better than the disaster that was broadcast on Channel 7 WHDH HD last night. It was the worst broadcast of a football game I HAVE EVER SEEN. The transmission kept stopping and restarting seconds later.

I called Comcast and a pre-recorded message said that WHDH TV was aware of the technical problem and was working to fix it. It was still a problem at half time.

You guys in Boston saw this if you were watching in HD, right?

How can we apply technologies for good

A conversation with laura fitton, dan bricklin, critt jarvis, beth kantor and steve garfield.

But only Dan's part got saved. :-) I'll figure it out as I do more live streaming.

Direct link

Streamed from and N95 over ATT via Qik.

Zadi Rocks Epic-Fu

Online Videos by

Epic-fu fan Patrick made this!

via Epic-fu Blog

Go See Juno, She Loved It.

via [ Anna Kuperberg ]

Not sure what else could be in the movie, since this preview seems to have all the best stuff.

YouTube is His Life

via [ Nalts ]

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Investing in Seesmic

Something is happening here:

That's a video by Efisia on Seesmic.

I started videoblogging in 2004 when almost no one was putting video in blogs. There weren't any free hosting sites. You had to figure out how to record, optionally edit, compress, and upload your video somewhere, then figure out how to embed it or a link to it in a blog post.

Throughout 2004, there were so few videobloggers, that we all got to know each other. We all watched each others videos. Visited each other's blogs and commented on everyone's videos.

Steve and Chuck

It was an amazing time, which culminated with us all getting together in January of 2005 for the first vloggercon. A gathering of videobloggers in NYC.

Steve and Amanda

In 2005, things changed. Free video hosting sites popped up and more people started videoblogging. When the sites weren't free our fear was that one of our videos would get popular, and then it'd end up costing us a lot of money. At the end of 2005, RSS 2.0 with enclosures started being used so that we could subscribe to each others videos and have them automatically downloaded for offline viewing.

Faces of Vloggercon 2006

2006 saw the popularity of community video sites like YouTube, where you could post video to the site without necessarily posting to a blog.

The videoblogging community did not embrace YouTube because it didn't allow access to the source QuickTime video or support RSS 2.0 with enclosures. We were all happy to use desktop aggregators like FireANT to watch all our friend's videos.

While were were all in our little bubble doing that, a YouTube community was growing, and it was growing quickly. People were subscribing to each other's videos, making comments, and developing a community of people.

Loic on Seesmic

That brings us to the emergence of Seesmic. Seesmic allows a new user to login and painlessly post a video. The first time I've ever seen some of my social media friends on video is on Seesmic.

Seesmic made it easy for them to post video to the web. That's something I've been speaking about for years, helping people share their stories through video on the web.

I missed it the first time when the YouTube community was formed around online video, outside our videoblogging circle, but I can clearly see it this time. Seesmic is unique.

Although still in Pre-alpha, whatever that means, Seesmic has a few features that make it a powerful tool that will help people connect with each other.

1. Easy to record
Recording a new video is easy. All you need is a webcam.

2. Timeline
The timeline lets you see what people are talking about and you can click on someone's video and see it on the same page without having to load up another webpage. Everything is right there in a dashboard.

3. Threaded Conversations
Recently added threaded conversations allow you to step back one video at a time. New features I can see that will enhance this are allowing you to also step forward.

Jim Kukral solicited Seesmic users to post a video explaining why they love Seesmic.

Here's one that starts off with, "I love Seesmic because it's the first application that I've found that makes videoblogging easy."

That's Christian Payne aka documentally on Seesmic.

Much like Twitter, where you can participate in conversations in a central spot, Seesmic introduces a new spin on things by including video. Seesmic isn't a replacement for Twitter, just a communnity site with a rich membership that's growing every day.

Like in the early days of videoblogging where we could all watch every single video that every other videoblogger made, right now on Seesmic you can watch all the videos, but it's getting to the point where watching everything won't be possible anymore.

That's where the friends feature will come in handy to allow you to follow selected people, without restricting you from watching the public timeline.

You can also follow threads of interest.

That's another video by Efisia where she joins in on the conversation about Seesmic users collaborating to make a movie.

And while we're at it, here's Efisia's fiance, my friend, Kosso:

The possibilities are endless. That's why I'm excited to announce that as of today, I'm an investor in Seesmic.

Seesmic is People.

Let me know if you want a Seesmic invite, I've got a few.

At Supermarket with everyone!

Mobile post sent by stevegarfield using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Merry Christmas Flickr/Twitter/FB Friends!

Merry Christmas Flickr/Twitter/FB Friends! - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

We had the guy at the local farm take this of us with my iPhone. He was so cool and enjoyed taking it... Fun!

Title via Zadi: CC BY-NC-SA

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Twas The Night Before Christmas" Read by Tay Zonday

Tay Zonday has an amazing voice. :-)

The Holiday Sweater Song

My longtime friend Justin Johnson from Next New Networks directed, wrote and edited this Holiday Video. Thanks for having me join in!

Happy Holidays Sweater Day!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chuck Goes To Iowa

My good friend Chuck Olsen filed this report from Iowa for Veracifier.

Comcast TiVo DVR - Groups

Comcast TiVo DVR - Groups - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Groups works on NEW recordings that you make after the TiVo software is downloaded. Existing programs do not get grouped.

Comcast TiVo and Original TiVo Remotes

Comcast TiVo and Original TiVo Remotes - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

The Comcast TiVo remote adds buttons. I don't like more buttons.

New buttons include:
On Demand

"The A, B, C, D buttons let you access shortcuts and various features, depending on where you are."

That goes again the original Apple developer guidelines from 1984. It makes the functions modal, when the preferred way is non-modal.

In fact, it would have been better if no additional buttons were added at all, and these functions were put in on screen menus.

Presidential Candidates aren't Blogging

TechPresident just came out with their TechPresident's 2007 Campaign Web Index:
"TechPresident presents our 2007 Campaign Web Index, a year-end study of which campaigns are best at using the various elements of the web. For the survey we've tapped the very brightest minds working in tech and politics, who happen to be our own bloggers and other friends (some respondents have asked to remain anonymous). Check out their votes and opinions for who's best at online video, advertising, social networking, rapid response, and much more. Some of their responses may surprise you, and some may be entirely predictable.

Our panel judged Ron Paul and Barack Obama to have the best overall web presences, and they also led their respective fields in the most individual categories. Mike Huckabee and John Edwards followed, with each earning strong support from our panel. But while these four campaigns were the leaders, there were many surprises in specific categories. For example, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney scored the most points for their online rapid response work."
As a contributor to TechPresident, I contributed to the study, but my most important comment about blogging was lost in the compilation of responses.

Here's what I said:
"I visited every blog for each candidate and took a look at the first post.

Sam Brownback was the only candidate that had personally written the most recent post.

Although team blogs are great for getting campaign news out there, the personal blog gives the candidate the opportunity to talk directly to website visitors. Candidates should take advantage of the power of blogging."
I hope it's not too late for hte presidential candidates to contribute to their own blogs. They can write a blog post, record an audio or video... There are so many tools out there that make it easy.

If you see any presidential candidates out there in the wild, making blog posts themselves whether it be text, audio or video. Let me know by posting a link in the comments... I'd like to see it.

Ellie from Rocketboom

Ellie from Rocketboom - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Watch Ellie on Rocketboom:

Friday December 21, 2007 - Know Your Meme: LOLCats

Wednesday December 19, 2007 : Know Your Meme - I Like Turtles

Stronger (Kanye West cover) by 30 Seconds to Mars

via [ Rick Rey at Epic-Fu ]

Post Blogger Comments With a URL

Post Blogger Comments Using Your Own Domain:
"Blogger brought back the option to enter a URL when post unauthenticated comments."

While everyone was complaining about Blogger removing the ability to comment and put in your own URL, I contacted a friend who has a friend who works on Blogger. I made them aware that people were upset about it.

Now it's back.

I hope my email had something to do with the change.

Now the next thing they can do is change the wording. Change 'Nickname' to 'Name."


Comcast TiVo DVR - Fast Forward (4 clicks)

Comcast TiVo DVR - Fast Forward (4 clicks) - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Fast Forward on the new Comcast TiVo DVR IS NOT the same as on the standalone TiVo. It takes (4) clicks to fast forward in stead of (3), plus that sweet TiVo buffer doesn't work as well. When you first see the recorded program after fast forwarding through a commercial, and hit the Fast Forward key once more to stop, it seems to stops at that point and you have to rewind to get to the start of the program. Maybe it's because the Fast Forward is a little faster than normal, but it's not a seamless change.

With the old TiVo you press FF three times and when you see the show start, you press FF again and the TiVo jumps back a little to start playback where the show starts again.

With the new TiVo, pressing FF four times makes it go too fast and then pressing FF again doesn't seem to support jump back.

BUT, if I press FF three times, and then press PLAY, when I see the show start, jump back seems to work.

It's a new way of using FF, with the PLAY key, but it seems to work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

TiVo Central on Comcast DVR

TiVo Central on Comcast DVR - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Oh happy day!

The TiVo sofware has been downloaded to my Comcast DVR. I was lucky to be the first Comcast user in Boston to get the TiVo interface.

I'm told it's now available in Brookline and Jamaica Plain, Mass.

This earlier post, Comcast DVR with TiVo is now available, details my installation experience. Because of my calls, the online system and telephone reps should now be able to handle Comcast TiVo orders in the newighborhoods where it gets rolled out.

God Save Us From Ignorant Religionists

Ronni Bennett writes, The Perversion of American Democracy:
From what I can glean, half the Democrats are crypto-Republicans and half the Republicans want to establish a theocracy in America. As a friend refers to him, "that Mormon fellow," trying unsuccessfully to channel John F. Kennedy didn't come within light years of JFK's unequivocal, "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." Instead he told us "freedom requires religion". God save me and our country from all the ignorant religionists in America (and that's not irony).

I don't mean to single out Governor Romney. All the candidates but one of both parties are smarmy suckups paying lip service to democracy with their carefully crafted non-statements calculated to be empty of substance so they will be beholden to nothing and no one if they are elected.

There is one exception among them, Dennis Kucinich, but the public is not being allowed to hear the lone voice of reality and intelligence in the campaign. The news media almost never lists him in the preference rankings even though he regularly outpolls Senator Biden and Senator Dodd.

And on 13 December, Kucinich was shamefully and shamelessly banned by CNN and sponsor The Des Moines Register from participating in the final Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses based on the stupendously stupid excuse that he doesn't have a campaign office in Iowa, instead working out of his home. Will someone explain to me how this is different from tyranny where the power elite decide whose voices may be heard.

Espresso Stout Streamed Live via Cellphone

Espresso Stout - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

It was great to see Carl Weaver in Cambridge last night at John Harvard's.

I showed him what I am experimenting with for streaming live video over the ATT network with my Nokia N95 using Qik.

It's very cool. Here's an archive of a quick Qik video I streamed.

I just set up page, Steve Garfield Live, where you can see if I'm streaming live, or if not, my most recent live stream.

I've experimented with other live streaming solutions for the Nokia, and this one is very easy to implement. The Flash playback works too. Looking forward to experiencing a citizen journalism moment with this set up.

Yes... the beer is Stout + Espresso.

Cell service supplied by ATT, cell phone supplied by Nokia and streaming service supplied by Qik, beer supplied by Carl Weaver.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Comcast DVR with TiVo is now available

Just got an email from Comcast telling me that my wait is over.
"Comcast DVR with TiVo is now available"

Comcast now has TiVo service!
I clicked to learn more, but once you log in, the online system has no way to order it.

I had to call on the phone....

I keyed in all my info.

Talked to a rep.

He put me on hold.

Then I ended up talking to someone else.

She asked again for my address and said:
I didn't know it was coming out so soon. Let me check if it's available.
After waiting on hold for at least 5 minutes the rep comes back on the phone and says:
"TiVo is available in your area but I have no pricing or codes to order it. Can I call you back within 15 minutes after I talk to a supervisor?"


My suggestions for Comcast:
1. Click on links in emails prior to sending them out to make sure they lead to the correct information.

2. Make sure that customers can order new products online.

3. Make sure internal systems have the pricing and codes available for customer service reps to be able to process orders.

4. Make sure that people answering the phone and representing the company knew about new products being rolled out.
Seems logical to me.

Hopefully this won't become too long of a post.

Stay tuned.

Please comment on your experiences.

Update ( the next day ):

I'm now on an online chat with Comcast customer service...

This is what is happening:

Stay tuned.

The phone rings...

Deborah just called from Comcast:
- She does not see 'the codes' in my account.

- Needs to look into the status

- Coding needs to be put into my account to allow downloading to DVR
The way I left it with her is that I authorized Comcast to add the TiVo software to my DVR. Comcast will also drop off my new remote.

She agreed to email me when it's set up, and she gave me her direct phone #.

Stay tuned...

Time passes... The phone rings...

Deborah called to get my preferred email address.

Update 12/19/07:

The phone rings...

Bill from Comcast's Executive Office in Massachusetts just called to confirm my appointment for tomorrow.

I told him I wasn't sure what he was talking about, since this was the first I'd heard of an appointment.

Bill went on to explain that Comcast rolling out a truck to my house to replace my Comcast DVR with a new Comcast TiVo DVR.

That's great I said, but what about all the shows I currently have sitting on the Comcast DVR?

Bill says that I can keep the old one for a while until I watch all the shows. I hope he realizes that sometimes it takes a year for me to watch recorded shows. :-)

I asked Bill why I was getting a call from the executive office and he replied that they heard I was having trouble ordering TiVo.

I explained how you couldn't order it online and the phone reps didn't have the codes to activate it.

Bill told me that because of my call, the codes are now available and for neighborhoods where TiVo is rolling out, you can order it.

Stay tuned...

Update 12/20/07:

Two installers and a supervisor came over this afternoon to install the Comcast TiVo software on my existing Comcast DVR.

I was the first Comcast DVR installation in Boston.

They came by to make sure the signal was strong enough to download the TiVo software.

Comcast is here installing TiVo

There WAS an issue with the signal strength, so they climbed up on the pole outside to look for a filter. They used to use filters to filter out over the air signals from the cable. Now that it's digital, the filter is not needed.

Cable Filter - Remove for Comcast TiVo Dwonload

It ended up that the filter was attached to a splitter inside the house. Once removed, the installer called in to Comcast and the download started.

Comcast TiVo Software being downloaded
After about 30 minutes the download was complete and the TiVo interface was successfully installed on my Comcast DVR. Yay!

TiVo Screen Display
The TiVo screen display was too big for the screen, so I went into the TiVo menu and reset the interface so that the TiVo menu fit on the screen.

It's not an HD TiVo display, so the TiVo interface does not fit the wide HD screen, but sits in the middle like regular TV broadcasts.

All my previously recorded shows are still on the box.

The only thing that doesn't seem to work is 'groups.' I'm expecting a call to address that.

TiVo Central on Comcast DVR

I'm looking forward to using the TiVo software and will post more about it as I start using it.

I got a call from a technician about groups not working. I am thinking that it might work on new shows that I record, but just not on shows I recorded with the old software. We'll see.

Charlie Ticket vs Charlie Card

I topped off my last Charlie Ticket today. The Charlie Ticket is the little paper ticket that you can use in Boston to pay for the trains. I've got a new Charlie Card now, which is plastic.

My last Charlie Ticket had $1.50 on it. I topped it off to $1.70, but the ticket was rejected because $1.70 is the per ride fare if you use a Charlie Card, not a Charlie Ticket, so I went back and topped off the ticket again from $1.70 to $2.00.

I did these transactions with a credit card too!

It'd be much easier if the MBTA standardized it's fare structure.

MBTA Fares.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nor'easter Snow Photo

Nor'easter Snow Photo - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

I submitted this photo to the major media outlets in Boston via thier web submission tools this morning to see if I'm the audience, a stakeholder, or part of a community?

This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons NC-BY-SA license as noted on it's home over on my flickr page. By sending it in to these media outlets, I'm granting them use of it for commercial purposes.

Over at their terms are as follows:
By submitting your photo(s) to, you agree that such photo(s) and the accompanying information will become the property of and you grant, The Boston Globe, Boston Metro, and their sublicensees permission to publicly display, reproduce and use the photographs in any form or media for any and (all editorial and related promotional purposes) purposes.. You also warrant that (i) the photo is your original work, or is properly licensed, and does not violate the copyright or any other personal or property right of any third party, and (ii) you have obtained any and all releases and permissions necessary for our intended use. Your submission also allows to edit, crop or adjust the colors of the image(s) on an as needed basis.
It's a mistake photo, so I don't care if they own it. I'm granting them non-exclusive rights, though. I notified them via email. I hope that works for them.

This is a FauxMovie. I went to take a video and the camera was in photo mode by mistake.

Fauxtography is when you take a movie by mistake when you mean to take a photo, this is the opposite.



I made a movie too: Nor'easter Snow Movie. A real movie, not a faux one. :-)

Blogging for Over 10 Years

Behind the Scenes Blog

I started blogging on November 18, 1997. Here's my first post, "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably Stan." Kevin Karlson.

Archived here.

I was a producer for the Karlson and McKenzie morning radio show in Boston on Eagle 93.7.

At that time I didn't have any blogging software so I hand coded the page that was in reverse chronological order with permalinks to each item.

I started using blogger on Thursday, November 09, 2000 over here with this blog, Off On A Tangent.

I started videoblogging at Steve Garfield's Video Blog on January 1, 2004 with this post, 2004: The Year of the Video Blog.

I missed noting it on the exact day, but I've been blogging now for over 10 years.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

56 geeks poster

56 geeks poster complete - Originally uploaded on flickr by ExtraLife.

Scott Johnson's 56 Geeks Project.

Via [ Epic-Fu ]

Mobile journalism: Poor quality video

Rocketboom on the Nokia N95

Mark Glaser writes at Media Shift, Digging Deeper::Your Guide to Hyper-Local News | PBS:
"Mobile journalism
A few traditional news organizations are experimenting with having their reporters go out as “one-man bands” who write up quick reports, take photographs or video and file them from the road. Gannett has tried to do more coverage of community events, while Reuters is working with Nokia to outfit reporters with gear to get raw footage of live events as they happen.

Strengths: Quick coverage of more events on the fly.

Weaknesses: Poor quality video and photos; not enough time for thoughtful work."
I replied over on his blog:
Hi Mark,
When you talk about Mobile Journalism, you call it 'poor quality video.'

It's not. Did you look at Reuters fashion show video? It's the Nokia 640x480 30 fps video. It's not poor quality.

You know I've been working with the Nokia N95 for a while now. I think the quality it great. Although it's not as good as something like miniDV or HD, I wouldn't call it 'poor' quality.

That's like saying that all YouTube videos are 'grainy.' They aren't.

I am going to be experimenting a lot more with Mobile Journalism in 2008.
My comment isn't being accepted over there because of a technical issue:
Proxy Error

The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
The proxy server could not handle the request POST /mt/cgi/comments.

Reason: Error reading from remote server

Traffic on the 'This is a recording'

Shoveling snow

That Guy Tai writes on his blog about the lack of live local radio, - Blogs: the Tai-rade -The Need To Know:
"Last night at a little after 7, I found out that a section of 128 was virtually impassable, and had jackknifed tractor-trailers and abandoned cars blocking the traffic. How did I find this out? On satellite radio. I found it because I needed to know what was going on in order to get home safely. I had never listened to the traffic this way before. This bummed me out way more than any steroid scandal. How could WBZ, the region’s station of record, just act like nothing was going on and broadcast a Bruins game?"
I replied on Tai's blog:
Hi Tai,
I agree with you 100%. I was at home yesterday fielding calls from my wife, who was trapped on 128. she wanted INFORMATION and wasn't getting it from WBZ, WRKO or ANY radio station out there.

When she called, I turned on the TV and went to the web. There wasn't anything better out there either.

Reporters were measuring the height of the snow with wooden rulers and interviewing people at rest stops.

There was NO information about what was happening.

My wife was trying to decide if she should attempt to get off at the Route 30 exit, and her only source of information on what was happening there was to look out her car window.

We have got to solve this communication problem.
You might remember that I was complaining about this problem with local radio earlier.

I am going to start working on a solution.

via [ Universal Hub ]

Nina's Mongolian BBQ

Nina's Mongolian BBQ - Originally uploaded on flickr by stevegarfield.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Burger King Whopper Freakout, Going Viral.

Burger King Whopper Freakout.

Best line: "It's Nuts, It's Lunatic, It's Stupid." That is, until Part 2.

I know it's an ad for Burger King, but it's a great ad. Hang in there until part 2.

Note to Burger King: It would be nice if this embeded player had a thumbnail image instead of black.

via [ Julia Roy on twitter ]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Great Wine Glasses Revealed

Great Wine Glasses Revealed - Originally uploaded on flickr by Spices of Life.

Watch the "Great Wine Glasses Revealed" video over at Spices of Life.

Nina Simonds and Ann Trieger show how wine glasses can effect the taste of the wine.

Steve Garfield Morning Show from Logan Aiport

Mobile post sent by stevegarfield using Utterz Replies.  mp3

In this post I talk about how many times I've been to Logan airport this year, Imus' return to 96.9 FM in Boston, and the presidential candidates including Romney, Huckabee, Obama and Oprah.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In theory, Avatar will address Bali conference

Avatar will address Bali conference in place of Markey - The Boston Globe:
"A live audience in Bali will hear Markey's speech. In theory, the audience will be able to ask the congressman questions, and Markey will be able to respond instantly over the Internet."
So funny.

I didn't know that talking to others in Second Life was theoretical

Once again the Globe doesn't link to the site that the main story is about, so here it is: Second Life.

And you can't expect the Globe to link inside Second Life by using a SLURL.

This Second Life blog, NPSL: Nonprofits in Second Life, knows how to do it though:
This year, Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, decided to avoid the carbon cost of flying and deliver his speech via Virtual Bali. Virtual Bali is the Second Life, carbon-friendly alternative to this year's UN Climate Summit (COP 13) meeting in Bali December 3-14th

You can meet Congressman Markey and hear his presentation in-world on the OneClimate islands tomorrow at 8 PM EST, 5PM PST/SL and 1:00 AM in the UK. Or you can watch it on the Web.
It's cool that they are using Second Life and all, but don't you think a live video stream with chat would be better in this case?

Dunkin' Donuts Street View Jamaica Plain

View Larger Map

Is that you getting a cup of coffee?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Scaring People Away From Blogging

Note Taking at Boston Media Makers

Penelope Trunk wrote about Blogging and Twitter in the Boston Globe this weekend, but got it all wrong, Social networking tools give introverts opportunities to connect, lift careers.

First she defines rules for blogging. The problem is that there are no rules. Trunk writes:
Blogs: A blog is like a home page you update three or four times a week. Or more. It is a list of the ideas you're thinking about. Some of the best blogs are like op-ed pages where you are the only writer. What blogs are not is quirky outlets for desperate and lonely teens. Blogging takes a big time commitment because organizing one's thoughts into cogent ideas, multiple times a week, takes a lot of time.

So most of the bloggers are doing it for their career, and blogging requires so much industry knowledge that most bloggers are midcareer. These are great people to network with because they can help you get what you want from your career.

And they're easy to network with because all you have to do is read their most recent ideas, and type out a comment about one of them. After a few comments, you will forge a connection with the blogger.
Everything that I've highlighted above is wrong.

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

Blog Whenever You Want To
The beauty of blogging is that you are not required to update three or four times a week. You can update your blog whenever you want. My mom updates once a week.

Blogs are Quirky
Even if you are talking about blogging in business, you can be quirky on a blog. Blogs are "quirky outlets for desperate and lonely teens." Blogs can also be quirky outlets for business people.

Blogging Doesn't Have to Take a Lot Of Time
Instead of writing up a long article on your blog, you can use your blog as a link blog. Link to other blog posts that you enjoy and become a source of good information, or be a source of bad information.

Next up I need to address some problems with Penelope's description of Twitter:
Twitter: Twitter is like instant messenger, only you never shut up. You can tell people what you're doing all day long. Small tidbits of your life condensed into even smaller sentences about where you are or what you're doing.

One of the hardest parts of building a network is the upkeep. Letting people know what you are doing so that they continue to feel connected with you even though you are not hanging out at bars together on the weekend

The other nice thing about Twitter is that it is largely output. You don't have to listen. When introverts are overwhelmed, they shut down. Twitter makes it easy by not requiring a lot of listening - only reporting.
Please Shut Up
Actually, as with blogging, you do not have to be a frequent twitterer and never shut up. Some people do use twitter this way, but others might post infrequently. Again, there are no rules. There come to be generally accepted practices by users of twitter, but never shutting up is not something that makes me want to follow someone on twitter. In fact, it makes me stop following them.

Twitter Is a Conversation
Twitter is not largely output. If it was, it would be a failure. Twitter is actually largely input. Most people spend a much larger percentage of their time reading what their friends are doing rather than posting what they are doing.

The MacBook Pro WAS Supporting an ExpressCard

Belkin FireWire ExpressCard F5U505

Belkin just got back to me and says that the FireWire ExpressCard F5U505 is not compatible with MacBook Pro.

That's weird because it was working fine until I popped it out of hte slot and then couldn't pop it back in.

Here's my email into Belkin support:
Customer Call Details Dec 6 2007 14:54
Just because it`s not supported does not mean it does not work.

It works. It just does not stay in the slot.

I guess it`s a MacBook Pro hardware problem. Just wanted you to help me rule out a problem with the card.

But it sounds like you don`t do that.

Here's their reply:
Belkin Response Dec 6 2007 17:26
Hi steve,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

We understand that, You have a FireWire ExpressCard, and this product is not compatible with MacBook Pro. This product doesnot support MAC Operating system.

If you need further assistance please feel free to write back to us and we will be happy to assist you.

steve, if you have any other questions or problems you may also call us toll free at 800-223-5546 (Extn. 21). Alternatively, call us on 310 898 1100 Ext. 21.



Belkin Technical Support
They fail to address the problem with the card not being able to remain seated in the ExpressCard Slot.

To me, it just sounds like a "It's not my job" type of answer. And I hate that.

After a visit to TechSuperpowers in Boston, it has been determined that the I/O port on the MacBook Pro is bad. It's being replaced.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Romney Discriminates Based on Religion

I just Romney's quotes from yesterday on, Romney vows a balance on religion:
"In recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning . . . It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong," he said.
That sounds to me like he is intollerant of secularists.

Romney then ended his speech with this:
"God bless this great land," he concluded. "God bless the United States of America."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Belkin: Sorry That Card is Not Supported

I contacted Belkin about my Belkin FireWire ExpressCard F5U505 not staying seated in my MacBook Pro.

Here's my unsatisfactory exchange with customer support:
Customer Call Details
Dec 3 2007 20:31
FireWire Express Card does not stay seated in my MacBook Pro. It used to click in and stay there, but now it just keeps popping out. Thanks.

Belkin Response
Dec 6 2007 13:59
Hi steve,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

We understand that, You have a FireWire ExpressCard, and this product is not compatible with MacBook Pro. This product is compatible with Windows® 2000, XP, 2003, or Linux® 2.4x, 2.6x.

If you need further assistance please feel free to write back to us and we will be happy to assist you.

steve, if you have any other questions or problems you may also call us toll free at 800-223-5546 (Extn. 21). Alternatively, call us on 310 898 1100 Ext. 21.



Belkin Technical Support

It works fine when it remains inserted in the ExpressCard slot. Works with the software.

I guess it's actually a MacBook Pro problem... Back to the shop.

Thanks for nothing Belkin.

Bargain Red Wines Revealed

Bargain Red Wines Revealed - Originally uploaded on flickr by Spices of Life.

Watch Nina Simonds discover Red Wines that are affordable and delicious in the video Bargain Red Wines Revealed.

Zadi Diaz Epic-Fu shows you Illegal beauty, wu-tang, normal guy, superluckycat

Watch my good friend Zadi Diaz from, JetSet presents Epic-FU, show you what kids these days are interested in:

Deleted images (Discovered Beauty), strictly no photography (I sent that in, Yay!), bathroom graffiti project, face your pockets (Close your eyes before taking a photo of yourself in a scanner), mtv hats blog, i am hip-hop, okay player, wu-tang clan (Free music!), loud, jon lajoie (regular guy sings, NSFW), superluckycat (Yay! Love the cat!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Way story generation, reporting and follow-up will be

Boston Media Makers

MediaShift . Reconstructing Reporting::Revamping the Story Flow for Journalists | PBS.

BTW, I'd like flickr to put the following helpful. HTML code on all photos that are CC Licensed. Not just display it on your own pictures. Come on guys!


And while you are at it, please include the attribution and license information too.



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pray for Fewer God References

The Associated Press: Pledge, Motto Cases to Be Heard by Court:
"Congress first authorized a reference to God on a two-cent piece in 1864. In 1955, the year after lawmakers added the words 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance, Congress passed a law requiring all U.S. currency to carry the motto 'In God We Trust.'"
NorCal Atheist Takes Pledge Case Back To Court:
(Michael) Newdow claims the references to God violate the constitutional ban on government establishment of religion.
Michael Newdow - Wikipedia.

David Berlind interviews Adobe's Kevin Towes

Photo By David Tam├ęs CC BY-NC-ND

Between H.264 & 90% price drop, will Adobe’s new media servers mean more YouTubes? | Berlind’s Testbed |
"One of the issues Towes and I cover is the shift from delivering what has been traditionally thought of as low-def video on the Net (and on-demand) to hi-def. What is hi-def video on the Net? In the TV world, hi-def is thought of as being at least 720 lines of vertical resolution if not 1080. But on the Net, the definition of hi-def is the subject of some debate. In the the interview, Towes defines 480 lines of vertical resolution as being hi-def for the Net, a full 2x the lines of vertical resolution found in the 320x240 sized video windows that were once commonplace on the Net, but are now less so (YouTube video windows are approximately 480W x 362h). Just for grins, take a look at ABC’s self-described HD channel for streamed content. I’m not sure how they do it (well, it involves a plug-in), but they do it well and wouldn’t it be something if all Net-based video-on-demand involved as many bits and full-screen video without caching problems."