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Wednesday 7 February 2007

Resource-hungry websites

The animated Flash advertisements on some websites can hog an extraordinary amount of your computer’s processing power.

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Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 10:11 am
Thursday 18 January 2007

Flowplayer: a completely free Flash Video player for web pages

I think Flowplayer is the first decent Flash Video player that you can use on your website completely free of charge.

Flash Video Player is also nice, but free only for non-commercial use.

One issue I did have with Flowplayer, when I used the basic code for embedding, was that it seemed to ignore the setting not to loop the video. Eventually I solved the problem by using a simple playlist instead.

Playlists are a great feature. You can line up a series of videos and mix in still images too. If you don’t set a duration for a still, it will pause the playback until the user clicks.

Here is an example of the code I’m using to embed Flowplayer and you can see the player in action in yesterday’s entry.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 9:53 pm

Rushes: high winds in Manchester (video)

Britain was hit by high winds today and here in the north-west they reached 100 miles per hour. I’ve lived on the 8th floor for more than seven years and have never felt the building shake in the wind the way it did today.

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Filed under: Environment,Manchester,Rushes,With video — GS @ 9:11 pm
Friday 22 September 2006

AA batteries that recharge by USB

Here’s a great idea. The top of the rechargeable AA battery flips to reveal a USB plug. You just plug the battery into a spare USB port on your PC and it charges up. Nothing else needed.

AA batteries that can be recharged from a USB port

I love rechargeable batteries. If you take care of them, they can last for years. I have four NiCad batteries that I bought on Old Compton Street in 1992 (was that electrical shop called Rayners?). I think they cost about £10.

For years I used them in my flash-gun. Now I use them in my digital camera. They must have been recharged hundreds of times and still work perfectly.

Imagine the damage to the environment if I had used standard batteries all this time instead and what would the cost have been? Maybe £500?

There are two types of rechargeable AA battery. The older NiCad type and the more recent NiMH. The secret to getting long life out of Nicads is to make sure you always run them down completely before you recharge. Otherwise they develop a ‘memory’ effect, which means you never get a full charge from them again. Whereas the NiMH type can be ‘topped up’ whenever you like.

In fact, my experience so far has been that, if they are looked after, NiCads seem to survive much longer than their NiMH counterparts.

These USBCell batteries are NiMH and cost £12.99 for two. Which isn’t bad if you get a few years of use out of them.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 10:37 am
Wednesday 13 September 2006

When cows attack (video)

I had an eventful five hour walk this afternoon. This is a short extract from a much longer video that I’ll be making about it.

I’m laughing about this but, with a calf on the track ahead of me, I wasn’t sure whether angry mum and dad and all their friends might be able to get out the field if they reached the corner before me.

There have been a few cases of walkers being trampled to death by cattle. Especially when there are calves: BBC report.

(Peter says: ‘get back to the city centre!’)


Filed under: Environment,Wildlife,With video — GS @ 11:32 pm
Tuesday 8 August 2006

A great spotted woodpecker outside my window (video)

Currently I’m in a little village near the England/Scotland border.

At 6am on Friday morning there seemed to be a lot of bird noise outside the window. I looked out and saw a crowd of sparrows and a male great spotted woodpecker (I know that because I looked it up on the RSPB website)

The first woodpecker I’ve seen in real-life. I was rather excited. The window has that old-fashioned glass, which is why the video is a bit blurred.


Filed under: Environment,Wildlife,With video — GS @ 6:15 pm
Saturday 1 July 2006

Big Brother: Pete accidentally falls into the pool

Earlier this morning Pete was sitting on the edge of the pool chatting, when he leaned back, overbalanced and fell in. Love the sound as his microphone goes underwater! Pete is great entertainment.


Filed under: TV & film,With video — GS @ 3:25 am
 
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