Tuesday
Mar202012

'4G' indicator in iPhone 4S status bar for AT&T

AT&T had said back around the release of the iPhone 4S that it'd be "working with Apple" to show "4G" in the phone's status bar in place of "3G"

— a testament to the fact that the 4S meets its minimum speed requirements for what it considers to be 4G service with 14.4Mbps downlink capability. That change is now live with the release of iOS 5.1.

Though it still seems disingenuous to refer to pre-LTE network technologies as "4G," AT&T does have one logical defense: the network on which its iPhone 4S operates is theoretically capable of far higher speeds than the EV-DO Rev. A network that Verizon and Sprint use; until now, all three carriers showed "3G" up top. Of course, with LTE making its grand entrance on the new iPad and presumably on a new iPhone later this year, the 3G / 4G labeling will be just as confusing as ever.

 

It really is just a deeply misleading labeling change — our network speeds here in New York remain just as sadly not-LTE as ever.

Saturday
Mar102012

Travel

So, I've been traveling a lot over the past two years. Mainly, I've been doing comedy shows for Royal Caribbean on board their two new ships ... The Oasis of the Seas, and the Allure of the Seas. 

The ships go to the Eastern Caribbean and the Western Caribbean. 

I have a lot of people ask me ... Where are the best places to shop. 

In Jamaica, my favorite store is called "Jewels In Time". 

In St Thomas, I like Klassique. 

In St Marteen, I always go to Chulani's. 

 

Here are some other stores that I can personally recommend. 

Shop for Diamonds, Jewelry, and Watches at Diamonds International.
Tuesday
Jan312012

Final Cut Pro X ... Finally!


Apple just released an update to its professional-level video editor, Final Cut Pro X, which brings back a major feature to the program: multicam editing. The feature, which had been in versions of the software since 2005, was conspicuously absent when Apple launched the latest version of Final Cut last summer.
“At the time we introduced it, it was a revolution,” says Richard Townhill, Apple’s senior director of applications marketing. “One of the things we said at the time was that we were going to change the way we introduced software. Long gone would the days of 18-month to two-year release cycles. In about seven months we’ve released four updates.”

The highlight of this update is clearly multicam editing. The feature can automatically sync up to 64 angles in your video. It doesn’t just do it by looking at timecodes either — the software can also analyze audio waveforms in the footage to find how multiple clips sync together. Those clips can use different formats, frame rates and even aspect ratios.

Plainly, if you’re shooting a scene with several cameras, the software does the heavy lifting of figuring out exactly how your footage from one camera lines up with material from the others. The multicam tool can include still cameras, too.

“If you’re a professional on a mulitcam shoot, most of the time you spend making sure your cameras have the same timecode,” says Townhill. “But sometimes that’s not always done perfectly, and in many cases you’re supplementing your cameras with stuff that doesn’t have timecode on it, like digital SLRs.”

When Apple launched Final Cut Pro X last June, it was intended as a major overhaul to the software. Many professionals were taken aback by the changes, though, which took away some pro tools — like the multicam editor and DVD authoring software — in favor of a more streamlined interface and a much lower price: $300 instead of the previous $1,000. In response to complaints, Apple eventually put the old version back on sale.

With the multicam tool, the version 10.0.3 update addresses at least one of the many professional complaints about the latest version. Earlier this month, another got ticked off the list: being able to import projects created in Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X. A third-party app, called 7toX, now handles that, though it costs $9.99.

“They’ve done a really fantastic job of preserving the fidelity of one XML format to another,” Townhill says. “We mentioned when we released Final Cut Pro X that because of the magnetic timeline and the visual effects stack that it would be impossible to do perfect project import from old versions. But what [the developer] has done is used the the XML as a translation between the two applications.”

Besides the multicam editor, the update brings advanced chroma-key controls, XML 1.1 support, manual re-linking of media, and the ability to import layered Photoshop files. There’s also support for connecting your computer to broadcast monitors via Thunderbolt, though that feature is in beta. The update is a free download for current Final Cut Pro X owners.

Are you Final Cut Pro X user, current or former? What do you think of the update? Tell me in the comments