Thinking about online publishing systems

About a decade ago, I started using Microsoft Office FrontPage to post rants on the internet. Some of that original content still exists, but most of it disappeared into the ether. Six Apart launched Movable Type back in 2001 and it pretty much changed the nature of personalized online content generation. I used Movable Type for several years before finally settling on WordPress as an online publishing platform. From August 2003 to about two months ago I was satisfied with weblog based publishing. In any event, I have started to look for a new online content publishing medium.

Gearing up for the massively large Stanford online classes

On October 10, 2011 the freely available online Stanford engineering sponsored AI and db classes will start. I have been looking forward to the advanced version of Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig’s introductory to Artificial Intelligence course. I think these classes are ultimately part of a larger social experiment about distributed online learning.

http://www.db-class.org/
http://www.ai-class.com/

Thinking about the cable industry

Outside the warmth of the house winter weather has blanked Colorado Springs with a mixture of snow flurries and generally gloominess. Normally, we have to wait until Halloween for snow in Colorado Springs. Even Peppercorn the dog has given up on going outside today. To make matters worse the University of Texas Longhorn football team is having a hard time competing against the Oklahoma Sooners on ABC today. One of the challenges of giving up cable involves being willing to watch whatever football games happen to be on broadcast television. From what I can tell from a few quick internet searches overall cable subscriptions are down. I was looking for a chart of the total number of cable subscribers by year, but was unable to find one that I liked. I built one from some data I found on the NCTA website mixed with some press release based Netflix data. Statistician based wizardry aside; the obvious conclusion that can be extracted from the data involves a trajectory of increased competition for content providers.

Today should be a pretty good college football day for broadcast television viewers:

  • Texas vs. Oklahoma on ABC (Morning)
  • Florida vs. LSU on CBS (Afternoon)
  • Ohio State vs. Nebraska on ABC (Evening)

Some of my best thinking happens after ordering a pizza. Today’s bout of cold weather inspired me to purchase a pizza from Borriello Brothers. In other food related musings, I would hazard that the number of people making chili sometime this week in Colorado Springs is about to increase significantly.

Traditional Camcorder or Pocket Video Camera?

A ton of pretty good cameras have flooded the market. Sony has developed a newer (better) version of the Sony Handycam camcorder I have had for the last few years. The Sony Handycam Camcorder Model number: HDR-XR160 has every feature you would want. It shots in 1080p at 60 frames per second and has enough hard drive space to last an entire vacation. It also has pretty good image stabilization. It also has a wind reduction feature (that is awesome for filing outdoors).

I would highly recommend purchasing a pocket video camera like the Sony Bloggie. I feel like shareable web video has trumped building DVDs or Blu-ray discs with a traditional camcorder. The Sony Bloggie records in web ready Mp4 clips that are easy to share and play. Keep in mind that with the camcorder you have to offload the video to a computer and edit it into a format that you can then export to a DVD (15 minutes) or a Blu-ray disc (the writer is like $125 and the discs are pretty expensive $3 each). You could always export to regular DVD by decoding the video on a computer from HD to SD. I just export our 1080p video to Flickr or our PS3 using a networked attached storage drive.