This year, the Digital Garage New Context Conference and Ellen Levy's Silicon Valley Connect worked together on a program for visitors from Silicon Valley to Tokyo. Silicon Valley Connect is a program that Ellen runs which brings executives and visionaries from Silicon Valley to various parts of the world. This year, we organized a group to visit Japan.
As part of the "cultural program" we decided to take a tour of Akihabara, the mecca of all things otaku, anime and electronic in Japan. I asked a very special friend, Danny Choo, son of the famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo, to lead the tour. I call Danny "The Prince of Akihabara". He is one of the world's experts on Japan's otaku culture and has one of the most popular English language websites about Japan.
What hath videoblogging wrought? It is my honor and personal shame to present my video review of the Freestyle Audio Soundwave underwater MP3 player. Using the miracle of not showing you my junk, this is my first nude videoblog, but remains safe for work. Except for my dancing, which if everything goes to plan, will induce crippling nausea.
If you'd like a direct download – I'm looking at you, my furry fanbase – then here is a direct MP4 link.
Might I suggest you wander on over to the viewer comment thread on Boing Boing Gadgets blog, where the words "cheapish," "fap," and "natural urge to want to see the entire shot" have recently been typed? And don't worry, I swear the video is totally worksafe. Also, the ending is quite funny, so do stick around for that.
♦ We begin with a video chat about O'Reilly Media cofounder DALE DOUGHERTY's guestblog post on why television networks, including CNN, seem to be struggling to cover "The Economic Panic." Why is the current "this great-or-not-so great depression" such a difficult story for TV? Dale believes part of the challenge is that it's big, slow-moving, and abstract. There are no videogenic focal points, no crash scenes or hurricanes for which to don yellow jumpers, no perp mugshots (well, okay, there was this, video here.). We're also in the middle of "a peculiar period inbetween an election and an inauguration," Dale says -- more from him in today's video review, and don't miss the comment thread on the post, either.
♦ Next, we speak with JULIE AMERO, the 41-year old Connecticut schoolteacher accused of showing porn to students on a classroom computer when a computer with malware displayed popup windows with sexual content.
Last week, she accepted a misdemeanor plea deal to avoid felony charges, despite proof she was innocent, and that her case was mishandled. The deal allows her to avoid a previously-imposed jail sentence, but means she has to surrender her teaching credentials. A forensic report showed Amero was not responsible for the infection of porn pop-up windows on the PC in question. There is also ample proof that the school district's IT manager, detectives and prosecutors misled the court.
♦ And finally in today's episode, eyewitness snapshots from the MUMBAI TERRORIST ATTACKS, shot by 27-year-old amateur photographer Vinu Ranganathan. He lives in the Colaba distict, near the attack sites. WIRED's Threat Level blog has an interview up with him. Snip: "For hours [on the day of the attacks], his graphic photos of the destruction wrought by the terrorists in the Colaba district on the photo-sharing site Flickr seemed to be the only relevant ones available online." Related Boing Boing posts: Mumbai Attacks: Day 1, Mumbai Attacks: Day 2.
Today, the Boing Boing tv crew takes the day off for time with family, friends, and food. We revisit one of our favorite good-vibe animation episodes, a lovely video from Bill Barminski. Perhaps you missed it? Do watch now.
Butterflies, wah-wah pedals, and one-eyed yeti, ahoy! The Boing Boing tv crew is proud to return to the work of one of our favorite multi-media savants, Bill Barminski of Walter Robot Studios. The filmmaker, composer, illustrator and animator shares this new video work, a hypnotic flight of fancy for his music project, the Subatomic Nixons. Enjoy the "Hazy Day," and happy weekend, everyone. Special thanks to Barminski and Christopher Louie, and all of the Walter Robot team. Here are previous BBtv episodes featuring their work.
Over at Offworld.com, Brandon "Shiny-Eyed Death Gnome" Boyer says,
While we here at Offworld gather exclusive content for future editions of Offworld's BBtv transmissions, our second update is a status report, telling the wider world what we've been getting up to over the past week (including the rapid growth of our Boing Boing Steam group, as we all gather for Left 4 Dead extended plays), and a quick rundown of the new things coming to the site in the following weeks.
Below, a slide show of images submitted by Boing Boing Gadgets readers to Joel, for use in preparing this video review of the Cameo Picture Frame.
Update: Joel here. One correction from what I said in the video. There is a way to copy all the images off of the device onto an SD card at once. It didn't work for me the first time, but I then I tried it again later and it did. Don't know what I did differently, but it makes a big difference in how easy it is to get images from the Cameo to your computer.
* VIRGIN AMERICA LAUNCHES IN-FLIGHT WIRELESS: Our wireless tech reporter pal Glenn Fleishman was on the first Virgin America flight with airborne WiFi service. BBtv caught up with him over video chat from a Virgin America Airbus A320 aircraft (named "My Other Ride Is A Spaceship") 35,000 feet above San Francisco. Also joining us: Jack Blumenstein, the CEO of Aircell, the company providing the "GoGo" air/ground 3G connectivity. The bottom line: no content filtering on Virgin, so you can visit any blogs you like, and they will not block streaming content or video. But, voice over IP will be blocked because the general consensus among airlines and travelers in the US seems to be that nobody wants other people on the plane to be talking on the phone when you're all confined to close quarters. Disclaimer: we really like Virgin America, in part because they carry Boing Boing tv in their in-flight entertainment system.
SPECIAL THANKS to our sponsor Toshiba for making this week's programming possible. Go have a look at laptopexperts.net, where Toshiba and various assembled experts will answer all your questions on gaming, hardware, buying, troubleshooting, the inner life of laptops, and why unicorns make us happy.
They're in Dharamsala, India, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government In Exile, and they're attending an historic week-long meeting taking place this week to determine the future of the Tibetan independence movement.
The conclave is the first of its kind since 1991. The Dalai Lama has called for hundreds of Tibetans to gather in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, to help decide on a new strategy for Tibet.
In a statement released Monday, the government in exile sought to play down speculation that a significant shift in its approach to the issue of Tibetan independence might be near.
“A change in policy need not come from this meeting,” the statement said, according to Reuters. “If a change in basic policy is considered necessary, there is a way that is democratic and which has the mandate of the Tibetan people.”
Here's the debut episode of our regular video updates from OFFWORLD, Boing Boing's new gaming blog. Editor Brandon Boyer says:
After an oxygen fire knocked our interstellar video link temporarily out of commission, we bring you our Boing Boing TV premiere via Azeroth, where my spiritual Death Knight equal gives you a little background on where we're is coming from and where I hope to steer the ship. As usual, here's the direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable rather than the Flash.
Offworld bonus fact: in real life, my eyes and sword glow a much more vivid shade of blue. That is indeed, though, almost exactly how I shake a tail feather.
This week, Boing Boing tv is debuting regular product reviews produced with Joel and the crew, and we'll blog 'em here on Gadgets first. What better way to kick the series off than a lulz-filled analysis of the Lippi Selk Bag, a sleeping bag with arms and legs that makes our Joel look like a bespectacled Gumby? The funky-chunky "sleepwear system" ranges in price from $169 to $399. I imagine they'd really come in handy at one of those outdoor all-nighter raves, unless you get lucky -- interpersonal intra-bag intercourse might be logistically difficult in these.
We speak to three of the guys who made this event possible over a multi-channel iChat session that gets kind of melty sometimes. They are: Steve Lambert from the ANTI ADVERTISING AGENCY, Andy Bichlbaum from the YES MEN, and Scott Beibin from THE LOST FILM FEST. Some of those names might be aliases, who knows, caveat lector.
They say they received a cease and desist over email from HSBC over a parody HSBC ad that appears in both the print and online editions of their Faux NYT, but oddly, the C&D (they showed us a copy) is addressed to the REAL New York Times. We have not yet been able to confirm the lawyergram's validity with HSBC, but the email headers suggest it's legit.