Another way to count the vote

Victor

Canada isn’t the only nation having an election in May. Folks in the United Kingdom go to the polls on May 5th — and when they do, they’ll not only be selecting their leaders, they’ll be voting on a referendum to change they way votes are counted. And this has the chance to really make your trip to the polling station, and the act of casting a vote, much more valuable.

You see, I find this interesting as I’d never really considered weighting my vote before. Yes, it makes perfect sense to rank your candidates in order of preference, but for some reason, it’s just not done here. If it were, I’d have much more interest in finding out more about the candidates in my riding and voting for the person, instead of the party or the leader.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out this video explaining the United Kingdom referendum on the voting process.

Note, this is a paid post (I get pennies per view; but only if you’re viewing the video from the UK) but frankly, I think it’s an interesting enough concept that we in Canada should look at and consider this type of system. I think it would make me feel that my vote is more meaningful.

Your thoughts?

What is it about a Moleskine?

ms1.jpgIt’s a notebook, plain and simple. A very well-made notebook, to be sure. It is, perhaps, a premium notebook (which would justify the price). I know, I have one. And it’s quite nice.

Yet, Moleskine is also a brand that brings a lot of emotion and sentiment to the humble notebook. Notebooks are about remembering things, writing them down to have later — and the Moleskine brand is based around the concept of being the best notebook you can use to remember. Just check out this description from the Moleskine website’s about page:

Moleskine was created as a brand in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. A trusted and handy travel companion, the nameless black notebook held invaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books.

 

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Today, the name Moleskine encompasses a family of nomadic objects: notebooks, diaries, journals, bags, writing instruments and reading accessories, dedicated to our mobile identity. Indispensable companions to the creative  professions and the imagination of our times: they are intimately tied to the digital world.

 

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A lot of famous people use(d) Moleskines, and a lot of people wax eloquently about the virtues of the notebook.

And now, they can do the same about the free official Moleskine app, for iPad and iPhone / iPod Touch:

The official Moleskine App for iPhone and iPad allows you to express your creativity through text, images and sketches. Pick a classic Moleskine notebook paper style, create a new thought and start to type or draw choosing amongst different colors and sizes. Once you are done with your thought, you can store it on your device and make edits whenever you want.

Features:

  • Pick a Moleskine notebook paper style: plain, ruled, squared
  • Write and edit a text note
  • Sketching tool
  • Insert and play with your personal images
  • Catalogue as many memories as you want with a full range of categories
  • Play with images provided by Moleskine
  • Geo-tag each note created and create a virtual map of your memories
  • Share your notes with friends through email or social networks

Of course, the Moleskine app is also a marketing tool to get the Moleskine name on your iOS device, get you comfortable and familiar with the Moleskine name, and presumably get you curious about the actual paper notebook.

Marketing aside, the app is a fairly good notebook app, with some interesting features. And it’s free, so what have you got to lose — maybe it’ll work for you, as the original notebook worked for Hemingway, back in the day.
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Unleash your inner Spielberg

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I’m sure all of us have, at one point or another, dreamed of releasing that movie director deep inside, and making our own movie, complete with music and special effects.

Well, if your dream is to make one that hearkens back to the golden days of silent cinema, then I’ve got an inexpensive app for you.

Silent Film Director, released today, can help you make movies in a style reminensent of the classic Hollywood silver screen.

It’s a very slick app that lets you shoot, edit and share movies on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (in Universal mode). Continue reading “Unleash your inner Spielberg”

I think I’ve bought my last desktop computer

A couple of years ago, I was all into and enjoyed building desktop computers, picking out the right video card, selecting the best motherboard and generally digging deep into the innards of my future computing platform. And designing the perfect ‘office’ computing environment with short cable runs, ample power for my accessories and lots of desktop space. Yes it was complex and involved and detailed, but it was a hobby — building computers.

These days, I’m not so concerned about it. What I need to do on a computer hasn’t changed, but the computing industry has matured, my needs are now becoming much more mainstream, and the significant differences between one component and another aren’t quite so significant any more.

Put another way, what I have been doing and want to do on a computer, is now much more in demand by everyday consumers. And the hardware, is becoming much more homogeneous. They’ve caught up. Welcome to the future.

Honey, I shrunk the CPU
Moore’s Law has also caught up, to the point where the hardware is smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper to make. On today’s hardware you can have full audio and video editing studios in the software that runs your phone. You can remotely pilot vehicles with your phone or mobile computing device, and you can easily communicate with anyone on the planet using any number of mobile technologies.

Any of the modern notebook computers have all that stuff in a very tiny package.

Home file sharing
It used to be that you had files on one computer, and you shared them with the other. Both computers had to be on to share the files. Now, with ubiquitous WiFi and home network storage appliances (basically network-aware hard drives) in your household, any computer or compatible device can access any document, video, mp3, at any time. No need to have a big Master Server.

Printing
The same goes for network-aware printers. Most manufacturers have WiFi models available that know how to play nice with your home network environment. Again, no need for a computer directly connected to a printer.

Storage
I mentioned home network storage above, but these days storage devices are dirt cheap. So much so that it’s become possible for commercial business to be built up around the concept of offering you free online storage of your documents, photos, music, whatever…for free.

And they won’t only store your files, they’ll give you free access to applications and tools to create and edit your stuff. Again, I no longer have a need for a huge drive attached to a big desktop box — all this stuff is in the cloud.

One caveat
There’s only two real reason that I can think of for needing a dedicated desktop computer these days; high-quality media creation, and gaming.

If you’re into music making, video editing, photography, art, design, anything that needs you to move masses of pixels or gigs of data around, the architecture of a desktop computer box is more suited to that than many of the notebook computers on the market. And you’re likely using the computer in a professional setting as a photographer, composer and the like.

Gaming also is a hardware resource hog, and falls into that category as many of the same computing tasks in media creation are also necessary in game creation and playing. Of course, there are exceptions — I’ve seen some very powerful (and pretty) gaming laptops.

Interesting, but not enough
But gaming isn’t enough for me to build my desktop around it, any more. Console gaming systems have edged in with comparable graphics and gameplay, on much bigger screens than could fit on my desktop.

So it looks like my next new system, likely in a year or two, won’t be a power-sucking behemoth that sits under my desk. Rather, it’ll be something small, light, can connect to desktop monitors, mice & keyboards, and the home net, yet is still portable. And I think the same holds true for most of you too. Yes, welcome to the future 🙂
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Oldschool Awesome – Sword and Sworcery brings it!

Night

With an allusion to a massive psychological experiment, the new Superbrothers Role Playing Game release, Sword & Sworcery, brings a new / old 8bit look to iPad gaming. Oh, and the game can integrate with your Twitter account, extending the gameplay into the Social Media world.

While I download the app and start playing (for an upcoming review, of course), why don’t you check out this video and then read this excellent interview with the game’s creator / artist / animator, Craig D. Adams.

Audience Calibration Procedure from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery on Vimeo.

Oh, almost forgot — it’s a Made in Canada game 🙂 or Art Project. Something.

Update: Currently iPad only, though an iPhone version is in the works.