Tag Archives: liveblog

iPad 2 Event: The Liveblog

11:03 — gb will be $4.99 on march 11.

Welcome back steve.

Recaps, and introduces a new video.

(Healthwatchers: Steve still looks fine, his voice is solid at the end if thie event.)

Video.

“technolog isn’t enough (that’s in Apple’s DNA) we are the intersection of technology and liberal arts.”

“these are post-pc devices that need to be even easier to use than a pc, even more intitive. The hardware and applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than on e pc. We think were on the right track.”

“we stand a pretty good chance of being competitive in this market.”

Tradition: he asks everyone who worked on iPad to stand p for a round of applause. They get it.

Also thanks everyone’s families. “because they support us and let us do what we do.”

Thanks and try the hands on area,

10:55 — keyboard has multiple very good modes, including a Hammond b3. Console turns into the controls you’d see on a real b3.

Drum kit is also veloci sensitive. And ig knows where you’re hitting the cymbal and drumhead…makes different sounds depending on where you hit and how hard,

Guitar amp. You can plug a guitar straight in. But also includes a “smart instrument” for guitars, keyboards, bass, drums…let’s people play who can’t play,

(let’s call it American idol mode)

Guitar: just tap on a chord and strum. Or you can tap individual strings, or even dampen strings,

Many smart instruments have an auto play dial. Tao a c chord and it’ll fingerpick that chord. “its like musical training wheels.”

You can record from these intruments to GarageBand, just ap on the record button and youre adding a new track,

Looks like lots of fun. Again i say: this is a big “screw you” to every Google tablet. Nothing made by anybody else can provide this kind of demo, or look THIS cool to consumers.

Track editing looks very much like it does in the desktop. Can edit up to 8 tracks, control the mix levels, cut in and out.

“back when the Beatles recorded sergeant pepper, they only had 4 tracks on a machine the size of a washing machine.”

It’s all swiping and pinching and tapping. It’s also a great demo of how a great iPad app should function.

can export an AAC file right from the app. Can put it ib the iPad itunes library where it’ll be imported like any other new music, or export it as a gb file the usual way.

10:49 — can share directly to YouTube, me, facebook, even CNN and others,

New front facing camera is dead-center in frame, by the way.

Steve returns to the stage.

“it’s awesome. It blows my mind!”

iMovie is $4.99 on the app store, march 11.

Garage Band for iOS. Tuch instruments (piano, organ, guitars, drums, bass)

Amos and effects, 8-track recording, AAC export, can also work with e desktop GarageBand,

Xander Soren (director of music marketing) gives demo.

(IMovie and garage band are a big middle finger to every others tablet on the market. Message “Your so-called ‘tablet’ can’t do anything even marginally as powerful, dynamic, and difficult and cool as this. Screw y’all!!!”)

Keyboard is even velocity sensitive: ioad can tell how much it’s rattling thanks to the accelerometer. Hit it hard, and the keys sound like. Oure. Hitting them hard.

10:45 — precision editing (can cut down to the right frame, it looks like). You can use themes and transitions.

Audio: you see audio waveforms for all of your cli OS (great for precise editing of video) yu can change volume level, add sound effects (over 50 effects included).

Audio clips can overlap…just drag to where you want audio to overlay on other 3 audio tracks. Can also add a voice over right on thhe ipad,

3 new themes for a total of 8.

Does face detection on stills. Ken burns effect keeps faces in frame,

10:42 — two new apps (“we feel that by doing our own apps, we set the bar for independent developers”)

iMovie for iPad. Precision editor, multitrack audio recording, new themes, airplay to AppleTV, share videos in HD.

Universal app…will also work on iPhone 4.

Randy ubillos shows off a demo (chief architect, video apps)

Opens with a view of an old timey theater showing your projects.

It really does look like the desktop iMovie. Makes me want to identify last year’s iMovie as the first example of Apple desktop being influenced by iOS ideas. The demo really does make video editing look like it’s fun.

10:39 — FaceTime, of course. Can video chat between anything and anything (iPad iPhone desktop)

Points out how cool it is to do chat on such a big device. I can definitely see that.

(aside: I am sitting one row away from someone with unfortunate lower-gi disorders. The things i do for you people)

iOS is a free download on March 11.

10:34 — Airplay can now use photo transitions if viewing photos. And intent videos can now also airplay video as well as video.

Now there’s a preference for the ipad switch: use it for mute or for orientation lock. (damn right, this should have been the way it worked from day one)

Personal hotspot feature has been enabled for the iPhone 4 (not for the iPad).

New software for the new cameras:

Photobooth on the iPad, live demo.

Nice demo: shows 9 live video views each one with a live preview of a different video effect. Not a single frame drops…man, thats fast graphics.

10:27 —
Video makes this look very slick, commercial just puts the cover off and on, “it reminds me of a pixar short.” says steve.

Magnets in the iPad itself and the cover, available in 10 different colors. $39 for poly, $69 for leather.

New release of iOS: iOS 3. Scott Forestal takes us through.

Improvements:

Safari performance. Runs javascript twice as fast thanks to nitro javasrivt engine.

iTunes home sharing. Can wirelessly stream library right from computer to iPad.

Airplay improvements.

10:26 — ships March 11 in the US.

Two new accessories:

HDMI out…he called out that this is for teachers. Includes mirrored video out! Yay. Up to 1080p. Works with all apps. Supports rotation. No setup or configuration, can rven charge while using (has HDMi anqd dock connector. Just $39.

“something that’s even going to be more popular” — “Smart covers.”

“we made his beautiful iPad design, andq covered it with a case, adds thickness, blocks stuff.

We designed the case alongside e produce. It isnt a case, it’s a cover. It bends around like the covef of s book,

Automatically wakeqs the iPad when you open it, automatically sleeps when you close it. Can fold into an easel Or typingq easel.

Has magnets that grab ipad and auto aligns itself. Microtones linings.

Polyurethane or leather.

(looks very nice…like it’s hard-mounted.)

10:22 — also lighter by .2 ounces.

Available in black and white… “white eill be available from DAY ONE,” he said, to laughter and applause.

Available on both AT&T and Verizon from day one.

“something’s got to give” after all of these improvements. But no: engineers say it gets the same 10 hour battery life, despite hotter processor, new hardware, thinner and lighter.

Steve pointedly compares this new iPad to all of the new Google tabs: thicker, heavier, less battery.

We also presented he price: “same prices across the board,” also note in table: max storage is still 64 gig.

“we have only one model thats more expensive than $799” (the price of the Xoom).

“we think 2011 will be the year of iPad 2”

10:20 — “2011: the year of the copycats.” most of these aren’t even catching up with the firs iPad.

What can we improve?

A completely need design. It’s dramatically faster. A5 CPu. Dial core processors, up to twice as fast ad the a4.

Geine all out on graphics performance: up to 9x faster.

Same low power, don’t want to give up battery life.

“first dual core tablet to ship. In volume.” (what about Xoom?)

Video cameras: bac and front,

Gyroscope.

One of the most startling things about thhe iPad 2 is that it’s dramatically thinner.” 33% thinner: 8.8 mm instead of 13.4.

“actually thinner than the iPhone 4”

“it feels totally different.”

10:11 — Video of “the year of the iPad.” steve stands just offstage.

10:09. — 65,000 apps optimized or made for iPad.

User interface, large canvas, more resources, he cites as reasons for ipad’s success.

“Android has at most…100 tablet apps.”

10:05 — “I didnt want to miss this.”

users have download 100m books in less than a year. And Random house is joining the catalogue.

Just crossed 200 million accounts on the iTunes stores. “Likely the most accounts with credit cards on the Internet.”

“We recently paid out over 2 billion dollars to developers.” yes, let’s flex muscles and explain why publishers and developers aren’t going to leave Apple iTunes marketplace, like, ever.

Just shipped 100m th iPhone.

IPad: “our third post-pc blockbuster product” after iPod, iPhone.

“most of our revenue comes from thee post-pc products.”

Sold 15 million in 2010, more than every tablet pc ever sold, generated 9.5 billion in revenue in just 9 months.

“Competitors were flummoxed!”

10:03 — Steve himself takes the stage, to standing ovation. Looks pretty good!

9:59 — Any second now. “Last call” announcement, please turn all devices to Silent.

Typing on ipad held in my hands, with virtual keyboard. just can’t find a comfortable angle on the Bluetooth keyboard in my lap. Have a snazzy seat with plenty of room and a power strip, though.

9:55 — Now seated, and ready to roll. 6tasteful Beatles music is now ping in, soothing us all. lending credence to the rumors that the Beatles catalogue arrived on the iTunes store late last year.

9:36 — Hooray! My (loaner) T-Mobile 4G works here. Hope to fight against…

Line moving! Doors open!

9:23 — I have eaten a free scone. Now in a big group in the lobby waiting to get in. Trying hard to at best, retain some personal space and at worst, at least get a marriage proposal.

7:03 AM
Ideally, this post will be my iPad 2 event liveblog.

Ideally.

See, I don’t have any fancy-schmancy live coverage app here on my iPad. Instead, I simply paste in the correct CSS code form and then fill it in as necessary.

It’s possible that this might not go well.

I also need to write and post as I listen to what’s going on.

This, too, might not go well.

But it’s worthwhile for me to set everything up here in the hotel room before I hit the mean streets of Slightly South of Market.

Push the button, Frank…

Apple Tablet Week: The Event Liveblog

Hands-on, and Questions.

Screen resolution is 1024×768 at 132 dpi.

Reading books on it: text sure isn’t as crisp as a Kindle. But it’s illuminated and anti-aliased so on the whole, the lower resolution is in many ways more readable than e-ink.

Feels very light in the hand. I’m not as worried about Arm Fatigue as I was.

This thing is FAST. I stretch-zoom a webpage and it keeps up with me now matter how fast I zoom and scroll. When you turn a page in iBook, it’s not “an animation of a page turning”…you are TURNING a freaking PAGE.

iBook will let you read free previews in some fashion. But nobody could give ne specifics. Read a special preview, online only? Download the first couple of chapters to the device, like Kindle?

Keyboard easel accessory is $69. It doesn’t fold for travel. Has special iPad buttons to go Home, etc.

Keyboard can keep up with my 100 WPM easy.

Virtual keyboard is more “tappable” thN “typeable.” you can easily type with all fingers, but you need to be slightly more deliberate than normal.

Same mechanical buttons on the iPad itself as on the iPhone.

Hold the lid of a small MacBook and you’ll get the general effect.

Steve is on the demo floor, being interviewed by Mossberg. I am trying to get a photo without compromising my “Steve doesn’t know my name” status.

OS and UI experience: it IS an iPhone. The OS will probably have to be renamed. Every time the UI confused me, it was because I expected it to work unlike an iPhone in some way.

Some of my early impressions, while the video plays

My firdt chance to breathe since the shows started. Very underwhelnmed by the lack of unexpected fresh new I. But then again, maybe a reinvention of the touch UI would have been gauche. This appears to be a statement that “We developed the iPhone to be a great touch OS that could scale to anything.”

So its all one universe. Yu learned to use the iPhone…goog so you now know how to use an iPad. You shop at the iTunes Store? Good, thats how you buy things for the iPad.

“We were right all along,” I think is their dstatement swith the iPad.

Pricing is KILLER. This thing will moip the floor with just about anything. Its so easy to talk yourself into spending anoter $100 to get an iPad inhstead of a netbooki or even $240 more for this instead of an ebook reader.

And the “pay as you go” is another key to this thing’s success’ I think Apple has worked hard to erase obstacles to purchasing this.

Accessories

A nice little easel.

A dock easel…WITH A KEYBOARD?! Okay, Im an iudiot. I was certain that it wouldnt have any sort of keyboard option.

Also a little leather book cover.

Inspirational little video with Mr. Ive.

AKA “OK, journalists, we’ll let you rest your fingers for a little while.” Thank you, Apple,. yes I need a rest.

Connectivity and Pricing

Very neat: caqn create onscreen forms (like a clipboard) for data entry.

Each app will be $9.99. Compatible with iWork on Mac. Can connect to projectors. Purchase on the App Store.

Steve is back.

Syncs to your mac or PC via iTunes, like an iPhone, via USB. Syncs all data.

Data is synced back to your desktop.

Can have it with or without data plan.

Two plans: 250 megs a month for $14.99. UNlimited plan is $29.99 a month.

VERY good pricing.

Says its a breakthrough pan with AT&T which includes hotspot access.

NO CONTRACT. Pay as you go. Pay and activate right on your iPad.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE. Okay, that solves so many of Apples problems.

Breakthrough deals in US, hope to have international deals by June.

All iPad 3G models are unlocked. Uses new GSM Micro cards.

(I might be imagining things, but I think there are people in front row seeded to start applause. I sense a little bit of fatigue among the prtess.)

Price?

When we set out to develop the iPad, we had ambutious tech goals and UI goals…but also a very aggressive price goal: we want to put this in the hands of lots of people. Just as we could jmeet or esxceed other goals…

IU am thrilled to announce that the orice starts at $499.

WHOOOO! Cheers and gebnuine applause.

$699 for 64 gigs, base orice is 16 also 32 valk.

3G adds $129 to the porice of each.

Yes, fuck you, Crunchoad.

Wuill ship WiFi models in 60 days.

Will probably ship 3G models in 90 days.

Accessories

iWork

Steve says that he gave team the task to see what they could do with iWork on the tablet a year ago. Habnds iut off to Schiller.

Keynote. New version of Pages. New version of Numbers. All of them look like documents, very sinple UI

Keynote.

Runs in landscape mode.

Uses multitouch gestures. How to drag multiple slides?> Tap first one to pick it up, then tap others to Pick Them Up so to speak. Uses multiutuoch very well.

Very tactile, obviously. You grab all of your art, and other content.

Much of this is modal…you go into Animation Mode to define how an item will animate or transition. (Tap the Done button when youre done, to return to the main part of the app)

Tap the Play button to presentl.

ASLso includes the Magic Move feature of desktop Keynote. Looks very very pretty, overall. Slick and smooth animation and transitions.

Pages

Uses the sajme gallery motif you see ebverywhere else…like the way you scroll through open webpages in iPhone safari.

Turn horizontal for a fullsize keyboard.

New Page nbavigator tool. Taqp and scroll, manifying glass will show you a preview of the page yu
re scrooling through.==

Demos autowrap around an image. Drag the giraffe and it just keeps dynhaicaly reflowing all of the text around it.

Numbers=

Most impressive. You see folder tabs across the top.

This could be the first Fun spreadsheet app. Its all tactile.

Brings up a custom soft keyboard for each task (numbers, dates, formulas)

Steve comes back to show off books!

You can watch live game videok, as with other app. But this makes me excited about TV on this device…MLB has done a great job with Enhanced Presentation, embroidering video with more stats and content.

Apple comes out to remind us that it also runs all iPhone apps as is.

Steve sounhds a little raspy,.

Apple has done a great job of pioneering dysfunctionality wuith the Kindle or thats what I thought he said.

Shows off a new app called iBooks.

New iBooki Store. Looks like it has the same parity with music and apps.

Five huge publishers aqre already on boardf and it goes live today!

(Okay, I was wrong. I thought Apple would be content to have multiple bookstore apps)

Library flips around like a bookcase in a murder mansion to reveal hidden passage to the store. Looks like a WAY richer experience than Kindle Store. Book downloads directly to the device.

UI is like aq book. Tap anywhere on left or rtight tur pages, or flip graphically.

UI controls fade away when youre reading. Caqn avbe any kinds of photos.

Yay, it uses the epub format.

What kind of DRM, I wonder?

More app demos, starting with EA

EA came onsite, he says. Need For Speed demo looks GREAT. You steer by steerng this steering wheel sized item.

Tap the rearview mirror to look behind you.

Performance looks awesome.

Reminds me that we still dont know what the resoloution of this screen is. How many pixels in each dimension? But this racing game looks fantastic.

Last up is MLB.com. I love their app for the iPhone.

Live Game gameday dispolay is fantastic. Tap anything for details, tap players to gflip out their baseball card. Bideo highlights play while the game is playting live behind the video.

Developers! Dvelopers! Developers!

We gave some developers this SDK just TWO WEEKS ago to see what they could come up with.

Gameloft first up. Has added new controls and hestures…iPad game has thumbpaqds on either side of the screen. Also integrating controls that use twisting and turning the pad.

Killing enemies by dragging a selection rectangle hardly seems sporting, does it?

(game is Nova)

Next up: New York Times.

Martin Nisenholtz gives demo, aided by two people.

Looks a little like Tim Gunn’s brother, which I mean as a compliment.

Finite snapshot of time, superi0or reading experience.

Flip through sections, tap into sections, bruing down a menu to have a list of menus. Can tap to select articles to sunc to your iPhone.

Reading experience looks great…resize things with a pinch, open slideshows.

I dont know if theyve really licked this yet. It looks like theyve just regformatted their articvles for multiple columns to fit the orientation of the screen.

But certainbly not a simple Make It Into ASn Ebook approach. Looks very browsable and discoverable, as a newspaper should be. You know, where you just leaf through pages and encuonter articles.

Brushes

Popular iPhone app, by a one person shop done by Steve Sprang.

Slide through a pretty ghallery. Your paintings can be edited…tap to edit. Layers and brushes. Store your favorite brushes in a waterciolorlike palatte.

Oh, kinow maqny artists who will go NUTS for this.

Can zoom in for finer control. All done via fingers.

Can record the process and play it back. Says its a true portable paint studio.

Very neat demo.

Next: electronic arts. Steady on, pull up your astronaut diapers, this could be great.

Apps

Awesome: runs all iPhone apps. Either in a small TV like window, or tap a 2x button and itll d0ouble the size. And the resolution, I wonder?

Runs these games and things without any modigfication. On the bigscreen here it looks great in fullscreen. Smooth, highly detailed.

Hey, he also has that great Piano Pro qapp

Demo

If the developer spends time modifying it, though…?

Says We modei9fied all of our existing iPhone apps to look great on tyhe iPad. To that end, theyve modded the iPhone SDK and are releasing it TODAY.

Hardware

9.7 inch ips display

1.5 pounds, .5 inches thick–

1 ghz Apple A4 processor

16-64 gigs of storage

WiFi 802.11n BT2.1 + efdr

30pin connectore, speaker, microphone.

Battery – 10 hours of battery.

Month of stabndby time.

Email

How do they solve onewindow UI? By populating dropdown menus as if theyre windows, almost (dropdown list of ihnbox messages, or can open it as a pane in the message w9indow.

Looks like a very unclottered interface.

Onscreen keyboard. He
s typing at what appears to be less than blazing speed but fast enough. It autocorrects like an iPhone.

Photos

(Everything works in portrait or landscape, incidentally)

FLick through photos. Looks like a lightable sort of interface. With albums and stcks.

If your photos are on Mac, itll recognize faces and everything. Locations?

Mostly flicks thro0ugh ijmages.

Yes, places. Big map with phots pinned to it.

Once again we see that tapping a buttobn in the “menubar” drops down a little media-rich window full of content UI.

Music.

Builtin iPod. Looks like iTunes.

BIG album qart is possible. Lots of us are going to have to upgrade our imagery! Mine are all 320p

iTunes Store

Looks hgreat…much better than the desktop edition. I hope this is what well see when we can do this via qany web browser. Very touchable.

Calendar.

Drag your finger over dates to look at content.

Contacts. Looks like an address book.

MAPS

Page curl in cornerk, peel it up to switch views. Looks to be Google Maps (Bing usuqally waterjarks its content)

Works like the iPhone app. Doesnt lok like theyve added much. Aplause for google street view (which oes look good).

Video

YouTube. “Wet And Woofy” is the name of the video hs selects. Its in hi def. I bet some google searches will turn up smutty videos with that name. If not right now, then definitely tonight. :)

Very uncluttered. I might even call it TOO uncluttered, almost stark. Video player also looks exactly like the iPhone video player.

It’s looking as if “A big iPod Touch” is looking like its distressingly spot on as a description.

DEMO

Unblock scrteen like an iPhone.

Demos NYT website. Tqaps for stories. Very pretty screen. Lots of nice scrolling.

Aha: missing pplugin slug for flash content, I think.

Menu titles are little icons; tap to drop down the menu.

TIME website.

Fandango website.

Looks exactly like Safari, with aqdaptati0ons for touch (maqke big targets for touch).

National geographic.

Steve appears to be just ignoring the audience and enjoying browing the web with the iPad. Lots of silence and tappinh.

Looiks very, very fast.

iPad is shown off

SO much typing…sounds like qa house being consumed by termites in here.

We see an onscreen keybvoard 9in qa screenshot of the mil app.

Calendar looks pretty. All of these apps tke full advantage of the screen.

The Engaqdget shot of the mqap app was spot on.

iTunes looks like desktop itunes.

I
m a little disappointed; this does look like a big iPhone, UI and everything.

“Awesome to watch TV and movies on.”

Now he shows the demo.

The Main Event!

Steve starts with a tease. Apple inbvented the laptop, he says, at least in the form we know it.

Then Apple reinvented the phone.

We all use laptops and smartphones now. The question: Is there room fort a third category of device in the middle?

Device must be far better at key things. Like:

Browsing

Email

Enjoying and sharing phots
Watching videos
Music
Games
eBooks.

Must be better at these sorts of tasks than a laptop of smartphone.

Netbook? No, thy arebnt better at anyth9ing (laughter applause). Smaller and slower, poorer displays; theyre just cheap laptops.

We thu

Yes, its calloed the iPad.

Looks a lot like a big iphone with a macstyle dock.

And we’re off!

Steve takes stage without intro. Embarrassing when press and analysts iissue a standing ovation. I think it’s just the front section of Special Guests.

Kicks off. He has something special to show, but first, some updates: sold a stupid number of ipods.

3 billionth app doqanloaded. Gee, theyre not telling us what it was. A little embarrassing? :)

15.6 billion dollqrs in q1 revenue this year. An army of gold robots to execute the unwilling can only be a year off.

Most Macs sold are MacBooks.
By revenue, Apple is the largest mobile tech company in the world.

In!

Settled into my seat. The room is about the size of a medium movie theater. I’ve chosen a seat on the aisle about halfway up, selecting a good view of the stage. Sharing a row with the Macworld folks, Gruber, and Jaqui of Ars.

It’s a sea of screens. Everybody is liveblogging or taking notes. It’s almost as if we’re watching a live livestream or something.

I am struggling not to hum a quiet Dylan impression as “Like A Rolling Stone” pumps through speakers.

Lights are dimming slightly.

Second post!

Wait, I’ve just figured out who we’re going to blame for all this: people in the room playing Warcraft on the cell network and killing all of the bandwidth.

Good. Picking a scapegoat is the most important part of event preparation, you know.

First Post! Awzorrr!

Greetings!

Okay. So here’s how I hope this is going to work: I’ll have my MiFi, my Hackintosh, and my Nikon pocket camera with an EyeFi card in its SD slot. In a perfect world, this would mean that instead of flooding Twitter with an endless series of observations, thoughts, and bitchy comments, I can do a real liveblog — complete with photos as-we-go — just like I’m some sort of modern tech journalist or something.

Keep refreshing this page for updates. And if it doesn’t work…

Damn.

No, we mustn’t think that way. It will work. It will work.

(Shut up!!!!)

Apple Tablet Week: Tech Rehearsal

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Pardon me a moment, folks. Just doing a little bit of tech rehearsal for tomorrow.

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I bet you can tell from all of this that I did indeed finally get into San Francisco safely. Late, but safely. My hotel is in the financial district and I’m sorry to say that the only viable option for dinner was this:

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Yes, I know. But I didn’t have dinner and I was pretty famished. Chiefly, I just wanted to two-liter Coke for tonight and tomorrow morning:

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You know. Just Daddy’s Morning Medicine.

Ah.

Great! The system seems to be working fine. The system in question is the combination of hardware, software, and meatware that I’ll be relying on to liveblog from the Apple Event.

I’ll have my Dell Mini 9 hackintosh in my lap, running MarsEdit:

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…And my MiFi in my pocket:

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…And my Nikon Coolpix with an EyeFi card in its SD slot:

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…Which means that I can be adding stuff to a blog post and every time I think I have another good chunk of information and thoughts, I can click the “Update” button and it’ll be added to what I’ve already got.

And every time I take a photo that seems useful for the narrative, I can just press two buttons on the Nikon and it’ll be sent to my Flickr account. MarsEdit has seamless Flickr integration so it’ll be a snap to have live-ish photos in this bloggy thingy as well.

Yes, this whole post has been a “live fire” test, to see how quickly I can write, take a photo, embed it from Flickr, and keep going. Also, to start training my fingers to press the Play, then Menu buttons on the camera…then Up, then OK to set the “protect” flag on the shot I want. This is what cues the Eye-Fi to upload that specific image to Flickr.

Looks good, so far.

One last test upload, and then I’ll click “Send to Weblog” and see if this all worked:

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Push the button, Frank…

OscarBlog 2009 – Stave 4

Ben Stiller as Joachin Phoenix! Oh, man. The entire audience is acknowledging and endorsing the fact that Phoenix acted like a colossal ass on the Letterman Show and can happily be mocked. Before that appearance, his retirement was a personal choice. After it…well, the decision left his hands entirely. “When Cortez reached the New World, he set fire to his ships. This left his men very well motivated!”

Great bit. Stiller is committing to it completely.

Nominees for cinematography. Another win for “Slumdog.” Suffice to say that when you shoot in a location like that, you have plenty of opportunities for interesting, dusty lighting.

Wow! Short bit.

Back from commercial with a recap of the Sci-tech awards. Quick shout-out to Jerry Lewis for his invention of the video tap (though that’s been disputed). Ed Catmull got the shout-out…awesome.

Wow again! And we’re off for another commercial. Hmm. Is something going wrong backstage? Or are they running behind on their commercial airings? Are they trying to make sure they can tighten up the show at the end if they need to?

You hate snakes, don’t you? Do you want to tell every snake “My house is OFF LIMITS to you limbless flicky-tongue bastards?” Well, say it in the only language that snakes understand: the Cahaba Small Snake Trap.

On the off-chance that you’re trying to entice lots and lots of snakes in your house so you can reproduce the “Well Of Souls” scene from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” for your next Christmas video, click the link anyway and buy something you were planning to buy. I’ll get a small kickback from Amazon which I promise to spend on something foolish. And I wont give a single penny to any pro-snake group.

OscarBlog 2009 – Stave 0

Greetings, from an undisclosed location. In Queens. A walk from the Jefferson stop on the “L.” Up the street a bit. On the right. Past the post office. But I’m really not allowed to make it any more specific than that.

A bit of drama here, sensation-seekers: I happily came out to NYC to do a spot on the CBS Saturday Early Show, and was deep into prep for the show before I figured out that this was Oscar Weekend! So I had to weigh some options, including coming home Saturday night (and giving up a free weekend in a fabulous city, hanging out with fabulouser friends), coming home Saturday night and watching and blogging via Slingbox and a Sprint cellular modem as I speed down the Northeast Corridor on Amtrak…

…Or sleep way the hell in on Sunday, stay put, watch television, go home on Monday instead of Sunday.

So! Welcome to the liveblog. I wish I’d started counting up how many years I’ve been doing this. I imagine that once I’m looking forward to the tenth one, I can get sponsorship from Motorola and various makers of lotions, fragrances, and bright shiny objects and have gift bags for all 53 to 3.4 million people reading this.

I suppose if I don’t count them up, I could just sort of declare that 2010 is the tenth anniversary.

So! If you’re the maker or promoter of a good, product or service whose mere existence demonstrates the fundamental problems that bring us down as a society, and you’d like to give away anywhere from 53 to 3.4 million of them, be sure to get right in touch.

(Actually, make it 54 to 3,400,001; if people are getting free Emmanuel Ax “Forte” Body Spray For Men Gift Packs, I’m going to be first in line.)

One little extra selfish twist: I’m slugging in an Associates link to Amazon somewhere in every one of these liveblog posts. Are you enjoying this liveblog? Were you planning on buying something on Amazon later? Cool. Click this link to get there. It doesn’t matter what you buy. I’ll get a little bonus from Amazon merely for having reminded you that you were meaning to buy a Havahart Easy Set/Release One-Door Raccon Trap.

(Or whatever. I’m really not here to judge. I just want the referral.)

It won’t cost you anything and it’ll put me a few pennies closer to the purchase price of something fun that I probably wouldn’t have bought myself otherwise.

To keep reloads short, I’ll be updating the blog at every commercial. Onward!