Flipboard comes to the web – and my Gaming Magazine is featured!

Very cool! I’ve been curating a Flipboard magazine for a few months now, gathered a modest following, and now that Flipboard magazine is featured as Flipboard makes the huge leap to sharing magazines on the web!

On Gaming is featured in the ‘Magazines we Love’ section of Flipboard’s Community profiled pages.

So now, you don’t need to view Flipboard magazines only on mobile devices — you  can easily find the with any web browser.

 

 

SoundCloud – Flickr for musicians?

SoundCloud Logo

Recently I’ve started poking around synthesizer and music technology on my iPad and desktop computer. I’ve not made anything noteworthy to share yet, but when I do, I’ll be using SoundCloud as one of my mediums to share.

Like Flickr you say?
SoundCloud is very much like Flickr — an online destination where members upload and share content.

In SoundCloud’s case, the content shared is sound – be it music or sound effects or whatever! If it’s audio and is uploadable, then you’ll find it on SoundCloud. And embeddable and shareable — here’s an example:

Smooth ipod (NanoStudio) by NiceThings

Community
Yep, now this is one of the important parts of both SoundCloud and Flickr — the communities that can develop around a particular member, or activity, or group.

Friends and Groups work as you’d expect them to. For example, there’s an online mobile music site called Palm Sounds — and they’ve got a Group on SoundCloud that I’ve joined.

In that group, I can listen to content that other members of that group have uploaded to SoundCloud and shared with the Palm Sounds group.

This is exactly the same way that Flickr handles groups and image sharing.

There are other similarities, but I leave that for you to explore for yourself if you’re interested.

I am, and you can find me on SoundCloud here — I’ve shared a couple of sound items, mostly things I’ve featured in past blog posts.

And if you’re on SoundCloud, give me a ping and let me know what you’re into!

Free and good? It’s for the birds!

Actually it’s for you and me, and I’m referring to the free online suite of tools that flies under the Aviary banner. Actually, it’s more than a suite of tools, Aviary is also a community by and for content creators:

At Aviary, we believe that everyone in the world should have access to powerful creation tools. We therefore chose our company mission to be We make creation accessible to everyone. Our powerful set of tools helps fulfill this mission by enabling small businesses, students, artists & creators across different genres.

What this means for us is that there’s now an awesome set of media creation tools available for you to use, for the cost of your internet connection — yes, the Aviary tools are free (though they originally had a subscription business model).

My most recent forray into the birdhouse had me using the Myna audio editor to trim down a mix I’d created for another blog post reviewing Seline HD (a cool iPad instrument).

MynaEdit.jpg

My mix had too much dead space at the head and tale of the selection. A few quick tweaks in Myna, and the mix is much as you see above.

download.jpg

Then, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can mix it down, and download it or copy some publish code to embed it in your website or blog post (as I did here).

bard1.egg by bgrier on Aviarybard1.egg by bgrier on Aviary

But this is just one of the Aviary suite of bird-themed tools. Others include:

  • Phoenix – Image Editor
    An image editor has layers, masks, effects, undo history, and all that other good stuff.
  • Talon – Screen Capture
    Use Talon to capture screenshots web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Raven – Vector Editor
    The world’s first online vector editor.
  • Peacock – Effects Editor
    It does so many wonderful and amazing things, we decided to call it our visual laboratory.
  • Roc – Music Creator
    Use Roc to create music and loops for use in Myna and ringtones.
  • Falcon – Image Markup
    Use Falcon to quickly capture images and web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Toucan – Swatch Editor
    A color swatches and palettes tool will help you find colors you didn’t even know exist.

And as I mentioned above, there’s a whole set of Aviary communities focused on the tools, and on creating, discovering, mashing up and publishing content.

It’s free — so can you afford not to take a peek into the bird house?



This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.


Making music on the iPad

In the previous item I mentioned that I’d not yet tested out Seline HD, an iPad app. Well, I have now, and yes, it really is quite cool.

After fiddling about with the interface for a bit, I was able to pull this little bit together.

I must have been inspired by the few hours of The Pillars of the Earth we were watching — seems to have a medieval theme.

One neat thing I loved; you can record and overdub, so with a bit of patience, you are the orchestra!
bard1.egg by bgrier on Aviarybard1.egg by bgrier on Aviary

Additional note: I used the awesome free online clip / audio editor Myna (an Aviary tool) to trim the head and tail of the clip so there was no dead space. Cloud audio editing…how cool!
Check out this video / tutorial of Selene HD for a bit more detail.

Keeping the Internet safe, one browser at a time

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser hasn’t been my daily work browser for many years, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. There are many reasons that I’m not going to go into, but these days it’s mostly about what I’m familiar with. From the satisfaction numbers I’ve seen, IE is still quite the powerhouse browser-of-choice for a large majority of Internet users, but it’s not my cup of tea.

But this post isn’t really about my selection of browser. Rather, it’s about an interesting online initiative focusing on Kinsa, the Kid’s Internet Safety Alliance.

The campaign, dubbed Browse with Confidence is a new online destination designed to promote safe browsing using Microsoft’s IE 8 browser and features links to product information, and downloads.

But that’s not all
The really cool part about this is the way the Browse with Confidence initiative is generating funds for Kinsa. As you can see in this image, Microsoft Canada is donating $2.00 when you ‘post your support’ on your Facebook Wall. The more people post, the more Kinsa gets. Simple.

So, yeah, Microsoft gets a little PR bump out of this, but in my mind, the big benefit is to Kinsa, who:

“…helps to find, rescue and heal child victims of abuse whos images are shared on the Internet.”

For more information, check out the video, or hit Kinsa’s website. And consider giving your support to Kinsa.

Other Resources:
Microsoft’s Browse with Confidence news release

The view out my window

Daily I work in a cube, except for today. As you can see, I’m in my ‘away’ office, yet still connected.

My 'away' office.

And yes, I am working. Through the wonders of technology, I’m cranking out the copy, sending the email, editing the text and photos.

This is Lifestyle Technology at work. Wifi enables me to be mobile / portable. And once you’re online, Skype is an awesome tool that enables you to call anyone, almost anywhere, and not have to pay cel roaming or hotel phone fees.

But as I said, I do have a few blog posts to churn out, as well as gather some background information on upcoming technology…which the reason for me being at my ‘away’ office.

No worries though, I’ll be back home later this week. But for now, I think I’m going to enjoy the view 🙂

Grocery lists made easy — seriously.

Yes, look at that headline. Grocery lists. In a tech blog. What’s this world coming to.

But yet, if you bear with me for a moment, you’ll understand why this is cool.

You see, if you throw an iPhone or iPod Touch into the mix, you’ll realize that ‘ah, maybe that Brad fellow’s on to something’.

So here’s the deal, for me the iPhone and iPod touch has not excelled at managing and sharing simple lists, like a grocery list. Which store carries what, and oh, is that what it’s really called or did you mean this. Confusion, at least for me, until we picked up (and shared via Apple’s iTunes Home Sharing system) GroceryIQ.

Quite simply, GroceryIQ is a list manager with a few cool bells and whistles:

  • Auto-suggest: Start typing and Grocery iQ will suggest grocery items you can quickly select.
  • Barcode scanning: Take a picture of a barcode with your iPhone camera to add an item to your list.
  • Favorites and History: Add frequently- or previously-purchased items to your list with just a few taps.

Behind the scenes, GroceryIQ relies on a local (to the device) product database as well as updates which are hosted on the mothership – coupons.com.

When you’re building a list, the app often calls home and tries to match the text you’re entering with items it knows about. This is good, because I didn’t know there where quite that many variants on Condensed Milk.

1+1=5
Another cool feature, and this is where it’s neat to have the app running on two devices in the same household. In this case it really does improve the usability of the app when you share it. List sharing – from the FAQ:

You can share your list with multiple people by sending an invitation to sync with them. If anyone with access to the list makes a change to it, everyone’s list will reflect that change. List sharing can be turned off at any time and will not delete or affect existing lists. You can also invite more people to share a list at any time.

So by keeping your lists sync’d up, anyone at the grocery store can easily see what’s missing in the fridge.

And, since the GroceryIQ also allows you to tag items as Favourites, it’s easy to build the list every week with commonly purchased goods.

I know in our household, since we’ve started sharing the list, I’ve had a better success rate at the grocer by having a list that is actually current 🙂

Oh, and this lively little app is only .99 at the iTunes App store.