Problem with Bloglines and PNG

Bloglines problem with PNG
The problem is not PNG. As stated in the comment from Ben Lowery it is a CSS issue. I am truly impressed by the fact that the good people at Bloglines actually found this post on my blog, read it as a bug report and actually fix the problem. Now that is what I call customer support!

Original post
I have quite a bit of readers subscribing to this blog through Bloglines. It seems like Bloglines has a problem when displaying pictures in the PNG format. All the slides in my previous post turns up with a very wrong aspect. I have changed the files to JPG and will keep using JPG in the future to avoid this annoying problem.

And while I am at it. I really recommend you to subscribe to my feed. I am not updating this blog daily, so checking back all the time to look for something new can be a bit boring.

You can sign up for my email update, or use any RSS feed reader to subscribe. You can read more about RSS here and find all links and forms for the subscription alternatives here. Of course I promise that you won’t get any spam!

Problem with Bloglines and PNG

Predicting the future

Whatever happens...

This is my first in a series of posts from my presentation at the Nordic Media Festival. I will tag them all with “NMF”, so that you can easily find all of them through the “Category Cloud” in my right sidebar.

I start the presentation talking briefly about how difficult it is to predict the future of technology. Using an example from the fantastic commercial in an old computer magazine that I found. Saying anything close to “whatever happens in the future, it’ll fit into this space” is bound to look ridiculous after a couple of years.

But is there something that is easy to predict? Something that we can take for granted when we try to figure out what will happen? I think there are.

Better quality

The quality will be better. If you can stream video over the internet today you can stream it with better quality tomorrow. If you can snap pictures with your phone today you can take pictures with a higher quality tomorrow.

Forcing us to think about issues like “what will happen when everybody can record broadcast quality video on their mobile?”. Following this rule, of course “broadcast quality video” will also be better. We will go from standard definition to high definition. But at some point the quality is “good enough”. An important factor to watch as well. Sony and Phillips failed to understand that CD quality is “good enough” when they decided to spend huge amounts on Super Audio CD.

In the quality discussion you should always keep an eye on what people really want. With the audio question they did not want better quality. They wanted higher availability. And started buying MP3-players…

More possibilities

If you can listen to audio on your computer today you can watch video tomorrow. If you can snap pictures with your mobile today you can record video tomorrow. Simple and very obvious. Still quite difficult to predict. Not the technical part, but again – what people really want.

Better knowledge

People will know more. They will demand more. It will be verry difficult to fool your audience. They will redesign your webpage and build services with your content before you can spell greasemonkey.


Region codes for DVDs was a bad idea in 1996. Dividing the internet into different countries is simply ridiculous. Know your audience. Know your local advantage. But don’t try to lock people out. They will break your virtual border.

Next chapter
In my next post from this presentation I will discuss the convergence of devices. The fact that this convergence of devices leads to an abundance of user situations.

Feel free to comment or contact me if you have more factors that you find easy to predict.

Predicting the future

My presentation at the Nordic Media Festival

Bergen, Norway - in May
Photo: Bergen, Norway – in May. Shot outside just before my presentation.

I just did a terrible thing. I promised hundreds of people that I would post my presentation here at

Making a promise in front of hundreds of people while everything is documented on tape is a serious obligation. But hey, a little preassure is good for productivity.

The presentation is obviously finished, so what’s the problem? Can’t you just upload the powerpoint to your website? That will take you a couple of seconds…

About my presentation style

I often get questions from people that wasn’t able to attend my presentations if I could mail them my powerpoint. The obvious problem of the fact that powerpoint is a horrible tool that grows your presentation to hundreds of megabytes if you decide to include some pictures makes things difficult, but that can be solved by making a PDF. Still that is not the real problem.

The real problem is that if I make a set of slides that can be read through and give a person that did not attend the same that the people in the audience got, I have made a really bad set of slides. Why on earth would I bother travelling all the way to the venue and spend my time talking if I could solve this by simply mailing my persentation to the people interested?

I try my best to follow the rules from Seth Godin’s excellent little eBook called Really Bad Powerpoint and from what I learn through the fantastic blog called Presentation Zen.

The rule that makes my presentations completely useless as documentation is: No more than six words on each slide

Yes, you will find more than six words on some of my slides. But setting ambitious goals forces you to think through things that extra time and helps you making things as simple as possible.

The obligation

Yes, I will post my presentation here. During the next days and weeks I will divide it into smaller chapters and make one article on each chapter. Posting the slides as illustrations and writing my thoughts on the issues. To make a document that makes sense both as notes for the people that attended and as interesting information for the readers of my blog.

You can read more about my thoughts on doing presentations here: how to avoid making boring presentations

The content

What can you expect? Articles on the challenges of the television inustry, about home entertainment, business models that change, how media centers change the way we use our TV, about how we should change the way we work with television programs and about the fact that the internet is a huge possibility for the media industry, not a threat.

Until then, please feel free to comment here or send me an email if you attended the presentation and have questions or feedback on how it worked out. Did I talk too fast? Are my slides stupid? Do you miss the bulletpoints?

(A note for my regular readers. How was the competition from Matt Stone and Trey Parker? Well, our hall was completely full. People sitting by the wall in the back of the room. I don’t think the South Park guys had any problems filling their hall either, but I am honoured by the fact that so many people chose our session.)

I have started to post the presentation. You will find the posts here.

My presentation at the Nordic Media Festival

Pandora plugin for Meedio

Screenshot - Pandora plugin for Meedio
…or should I say “Pandora plugin for Yahoo GO TV”?

Anyway, it looks like an excellent plugin. It gives you the Pandora music recommendation engine directly in your media center. Unlike the Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center Edition this one also gives you a bit of control over the Pandora player from your remote.

When will the Pandora guys allow scaling of their player so it will be possible to make it fit better into the big screen user interface? Or even better, make full support for media centers?

(Thanks, Trond and Maarten)

Pandora plugin for Meedio

Eirikso at the Nordic Media Festival

Nordiske Mediedager

I am going to speak at the Nordic Media Festival in Bergen next week. About the future of home entertainment, the new media consumer and the challenges for the television industry. The presentation will be in Norwegian and you find the details here. You can also have a look at the other speakers here.

I was looking forward to listen to Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The creators of South Park. Unfortunately they are speaking at a session that is parallel to mine. Meaning that I can’t listen to them and my session just got the worst competition possible at this event. I better be good. People opting out from Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker because they want to listen to me should really get an interesting presentation!

If I find the time for it I’ll post the presentation here using the format I did for my presentation at the Norwegian Computer Society.

Eirikso at the Nordic Media Festival

Thomas Hawk’s 10 Tips for the New Digital SLR Photographer

After writing this article I have invested in a Canon EOS400D with some nice optics. So now I guess I have to make an illustration to tips number 7 as well… 🙂

Original article:
You don’t find many articles in this blog that is simply a link to a post in another blog. I try to add something when I write about interesting content from other blogs and web sites. Thomas Hawk had an excellent article about digital photography a while ago. And if I am going to link to it I also want to add something. The thing that I immediately missed when reading the article on Thomas Hawk’s blog was the illustrations. I know that Thomas has a huge archive of excellent pictures that could illustrate many of the 10 points. But I also know how much time it takes to find and include the illustrations. When Thomas has spent the time writing the excellent article I can spend a couple of minutes digging for some illustrations. Read the article over at Thomas Hawk’s digital connection and use this post for some illustrations. All the pictures can be clicked to bring up a larger version.

Changing ISO changes the time of the exposure and the amount of noise in the picture. The two pictures below are taken at the same time, in the same lightning conditions but the one to the left is ISO 50 and the one to the right is ISO 400. At ISO 50 the exposure time was simply too long to give me a sharp shot with a hand held camera.
ISO 50 and ISO 400
Now if we go in a bit closer we can also reveal the other factor. Noise.
Noise at high ISO
Steady shot2. Find something to brace the camera on.
Use your creativity. When using a digital compact camera you also have the possibility of not having to look into the viewfinder. When using the LCD on the camera you have very good possibilities of holding the camera against something when shooting.
3. Don’t cheap out on a tripod.
I am not fortunate enough to own a Manfrotto, so I don’t have an illustration for this one… 🙂

4. It’s all about the glass.
Revealing bad optics are best done when examining the edges of a picture or sharp contrasts. Bad optics to the left and better optics to the right. An obvious difference in sharpness.
Going into some more detail it is easy to see some of the other problems with bad optics. The green colour along the sharp contrast between the sky and the metal angle.
Optics detail

5. Join Flickr.
I could add a screenshot from Flickr. But really. Just go there.

6. Know your rights.
This can only be illustrated by Thomas himself. Whit this story and this photo:
Know your rights

7. Shoot in RAW.
Photo. Video. Audio. Always obtain the best quality possible when out in the field. The better the original is the more you can do with it. Personally that means full resolution, higest quality JPG because I don’t own a camera that can shoot in RAW format. Something I would consider the biggest drawback with my Canon S2 IS. That’s why I could not make a nice illustration to show how flexible and sharp an uncompressed RAW picture really is.

8. Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop.
I have used Photoshop since version 2.5 It was truly amazing back then and is even more amazing now.

I really hate el-cheapo crippeled scaled down versions of professional software. With one exception. Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is really amazing value and contains all the functions that you really need. I wouldn’t bother considering anything else if you want a relatively cheap but extremely powerful way to organize and edit your pictures.

So for the illustration. Original to the left and slightly photoshopped image to the right.
And some serious Photoshop magic here and here.

9. Take lots and lots and lots of photos when you shoot.
Could have illustrated this with lots and lots of photos. But I won’t. Just follow the advice.

10. Change your perspective.

Boring perspective Better perspective

Simple as that.

Thomas Hawk’s 10 Tips for the New Digital SLR Photographer

Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center

Pandora Playing in MCE
I have written about Pandora before. It is the first music recommendation engine that I actually like and find useful. When I tried it for the first time I instantly wanted a plugin for my Media Center that would let me open Pandora.

I guess I wasn’t the only one. Colin Savage has made a little plugin that not only let you open and start Pandora in your media center, but it let you start Pandora on basis of music from your local collection.

The links are dead and unfortunately I don’t know where this project is now.

The plugin is a little web application hosted on Colin’s page. It seems like he has some performance issues, so my friend Jahn-Tore has kindly offered a mirror. He has also done some minor changes to the plugin to make it look slightly better in MCE. You find the modified version here.

Screenshot More Music Like This

Then what?

You can go to your artist listing, select an artist and hit the Info-button on your remote. Now select “More…”. That will let you start Pandora playing similar music to the artist or track you have selected.

In other words, I am listening to Tom Waits in my Media Center. Two clicks and Pandora streams similar artists choosen from the very detailed Music Genome Database that is the basis of the recommendation engine in Pandora.

The main problem with the plugin is the fact that the Flash based Pandora player does not scale and is not designed for navigation with a remote.

If now only the Pandora guys get the message, talk to Colin and implements a version that is tailored for MCE. Until then, this solution works fine. The fact that the Pandora interface looks like crap on your 40 inch LCD as long as it doesn’t scale does not destroy the good recommendations and acceptable sound quality from Pandora.

The installation of the plugin from Colin’s page is not 100% straight forward. It includes saving a file to the right directory on your media center and register the plugin. For the people that is afraid of starting that dangerous black command line window and write strange commands in there I have made a simple BAT-script that will register the plugin for you. Just right-click this link and select “Save as”. Save it to a place where you find it and double click it after you have saved the plugin from Colin’s or Jahn-Tore’s page in your eHome directory.

Pandora plugin for Windows Media Center