Category Archives: iPad

Social Media Matters: Maritime baby announcement video goes viral

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
Metro section

Maritime baby announcement video goes viral

Nova Scotia grandmother-to-be Shirley Brown is the unintentional star of her own viral video on YouTube.

This past Christmas, her daughter Jocelyn (the mother-to-be) recorded Shirley opening her gift. The plan was to get her to open four lettered wooden blocks to spell B-A-B-Y. Well, grandmothers have pretty good intuition about these things, I guess!

The minute Shirley opened the first block (a “B”), her jaw dropped open and she tossed the block in the air, screaming, “We’re having a baby! Are we having a baby?” Upon confirmation, more screaming and then tears… lots of them!

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Jan. 17, and went viral, so far accumulating more than 135,000 views (as of Jan. 22.). In fact, the video was featured on CTV News, CTV’s Canada AM and even NBC’s Today Show.

New Brunswick-created photography iPad app now available

Photography Assignment GeneratorIn my Nov. 9, 2012, column, I told you about photographer and educator Noel Chenier’s new Photography Assignment Generator App for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Good news for iPad fans, Noel announced on Jan. 13 that the iPad version of the app has been released under the title Photography Assignment Generator App for iPad. The app costs $2.99 and is available on iTunes. For more information, visit Noel’s website at learnphoto.ca. Oh, and Android fans shouldn’t fret because versions of the apps for them are currently under development.

It’s great to see New Brunswickers designing apps for the rest of the world!

Train buffs will love these websites

Start planning for spring: Every week, I take a look at the top 10 sites in categories among Alexa.com’s website rankings. Moncton has a long railroad history, so I imagine there are many train fans around the area. This week’s rankings, therefore, have to do with trains! Statistics are current to Jan. 22.

Top 10 train and railroad websites: 1) Train Orders (railroad fan site featuring discussion forums, multimedia clips, etc.); 2) Railpictures.net (historical and modern railroad photos, discussion forums, etc.); 3) Railroad Picture Archives (large collection of railroad photos from around the world); 4) Railroad.net (forums, articles, etc., for rail fans); 5) TrainBoard (rail fan message forums, photos, store, etc.); 6) The American Railroads (resource guide covering the American railroad industry); 7) Rail-Videos.net (online railroad video database); 8) Amtrak Unlimited (unofficial information, photos and news related to Amtrak); 9) Discover Live Steam (live steam and diesel model railroading); 10) The Corris Railway Society (according to its description on Alexa.com, “Official site of the Corris Railway Society giving the history, current position and future aspirations of a Narrow Gauge Steam Railway that last saw passenger carrying services on Aug. 20, 1948.”

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Jan. 22. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Cello, Improv, Covers and more! (897 subscribers): This is a great YouTube channel hosted by 18-year-old Jaeyoung Chong of Riverview. A Grade 12 student at Bernice MacNaughton High School, he creates videos featuring himself playing the cello in pieces ranging from covers, improvisations and even original compositions. With nearly 150,000 total video views, people are definitely watching! Thanks for letting me know you had a channel, Jaeyoung! I really enjoy featuring local YouTubers. (Most popular video: Rolling in The Deep (JaeChongcover) — Adele — 62,389 views.)

2) UKSupremeCourt (229 subscribers): It’s pretty difficult to find televised Canadian court proceedings, but the UK Supreme Court is allowing access with its recently established YouTube channel. “The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance,” the channel states in its description. Bizarrely, though, the channel allows embedding of its videos and shows public links but then posts the following warning, “All footage is ©UK Supreme Court and may not be recorded, published or redistributed without permission.” With all due respect, the Court needs realize that if you allow video embedding and linking, policing that “warning” will be pretty much impossible. It’s YouTube. It’s public. Either deal with it or reconsider even being on YouTube! (Most popular video: UK Supreme Court Judgments 19th December 2012 – Part 1 — 93 views.) (Editor’s note: Out of respect for the copyright notice, I’ll simply link to the video rather than embed it, however it’s a completely ridiculous “warning”, in my opinion.)

3) Kipkays Hacks, Pranks & How-to (1,224,543 subscribers): Also known as Kip Kedersha, Kipkay’s channel is true to its title and features hacks, pranks and how-to videos. The channel is very popular and has more than 380 million total views. Impressive! Playlists include Easy Projects, Smokin’ Videos, Home Security Gadgets, Hacks and Mods, Pranks and Jokes, Battery Hacks, and Laser Videos. (Most popular video: Amazing Lasers! – Cheapy Lighter Laser Burner! — 20,778,690.)

Social Media Matters: Sales of 3G-enabled tablets in the toilet

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 22, 2011
Metro section

Sales of 3G-enabled tablets in the toilet

If you’ve purchased a new iPad or other brand of tablet device recently, chances are you bought the Wi-Fi version without investing in a 3G version that would allow you to surf the Internet from anywhere. This, of course, would also mean you would incur extra charges from your telecom provider since data-sharing plans with cell phones are pretty much non-existent.

If so, you’re not alone. Apparently, there are warehouses full of 3G-enabled tablets that no one wants to buy for that very reason: they don’t want to pay for another data plan. If they want to surf the Internet on their tablet, they’ll do so from home or elsewhere where there’s a Wi-Fi connection. In a July 11th article by Matt Hamblen posted to ComputerWorld (www.computeroworld.com), analyst Bob O’Donnell of IDG suggests that U.S. carriers will end up having to change their data plans so that various devices can share one plan, i.e. a smartphone and a tablet.

Personally, I find no reason for carriers to do this. Why should they? It will only allow customers to max out plans that aren’t already at their limit, something that will only cost carriers money. Also, carriers will likely have many angry customers on their hands because some of them won’t change their data plans at first, only to receive monumental bills in the mail before having a chance to change their data plan.

In these days of social media and extreme levels of competition between carriers, this could actually turn into a public relations disaster for carriers. Besides, what’s it to Bell Aliant or Rogers if Apple, Samsung or Blackberry have warehouses full of unsold 3G-enabled tablets? Consumers don’t want them and aren’t willing to pay for another data plan. Isn’t that the manufacturers’ problem?

It’s clear that consumers have spoken. They want to use tablets like laptops. They’ll access the Internet where there’s Wi-Fi – either at home or in a coffee shop – but they aren’t willing to dish out another $30 (or however how much) just so their tablet can access the Internet when the smartphone they have with them can do the same thing on a plan for which they’re already paying.

This problem is clearly with the manufacturers, not the carriers.

Bass players upset

I’m hearing rumblings that bass players are upset that a favourite resource website is no more. It appears that Bassmasta (www.bassmasta.net) has been taken over by Songsterr (www.songsterr.com).

Bass guitar players used Bassmasta as their niche online resource for researching tabs for them to use for playing various songs. (Tabs are basically the notes they need to play to accompany a certain song.) While there are various sites and resources for guitar players, the niche market for bass guitar players was being pretty much being served by only one website – Bassmasta – and now that’s gone.

If you were a fan of Bassmasta and want to mourn with your fellow bass guitar players, there’s a Facebook group you can join to share your grief called R.I.P. Bassmasta.

Facebook group honours Pete King

Local music fans were left shocked and saddened recently by the untimely death of popular bass guitarist Pete King in a tragic motorcycle-moose collision.

A Facebook group has been set up to honour King called “RIP Pete King of Neon Highway.” So far the group has more than 400 members. That will likely only grow over time. If you were a fan of Rik Reese and Neon Highway – the country band for which King played bass – or are just a lover of music in general, be sure to visit the group to read some of the heartwarming messages left by King’s friends and fans.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I feature three YouTube channels that you may want to check out.

1) Sesame Street (128,000 subscribers): Whether you grew up with Sesame Street or saw snippets of the show while your children or grandchildren were enthralled with the antics of Bert and Ernie, Elmo and Big Bird, you’ll love the recent and retro clips found on this fun and family-friendly channel.

2) AbbaVEVO (unknown number of subscribers): If you’re a fan of Swedish music superstars Abba and want to see some of their old videos, this is the channel for you! For some reason, the channel’s creators have hidden the number of subscribers, which is odd. With that said, however, several of the videos have millions of views each, with Dancing Queen having more than 10 million.

3) Bank of Canada (300 subscribers): There aren’t many government organizations with YouTube accounts, so it’s nice to see that the Bank of Canada has opted to spread the word about our money via video. Particularly enthralling is a video with nearly 325,000 views describing the new $100 bill made out of polymer. Fascinating!

On Google+?

Let me know how you like it. I’m still not biting.

This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published July 15, 2011)

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 15, 2011
Metro section

Klout measures your online influence

Those of you who wonder how influential you are online may want to check out Klout. By registering your social networks with the service, Klout then analyzes your activity, including comments on your posts, retweets, numbers of friends and followers, etc., and assigns you a Klout score between 0 and 100. Social networks scanned are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

While Klout may give you a general overview of how influential you are, it’s certainly not perfect. For instance, it assumes that one popular post means you’re pretty much “permanently” influential in that area. As an example, I posted a comment about circumcision last year that happened to get retweeted by a few people. According to Klout, I was now influential about circumcision. Really? I hardly think so – and it’s certainly nothing that I would put on a resume, let’s just say.

I also tweeted recently about wanting the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup and the subsequent riots after they lost to the Boston Bruins. All of a sudden, I’m influential about Vancouver. I’ve never even been to Vancouver. Luckily, you have the ability to edit these lists on Klout to make them more accurately reflect what you think you’re influential on. It goes without saying that circumcision and Vancouver got deleted.

Another weakness is the fact that your Klout score drops if you’re away from the computer for as little as a day. Your influence in the world doesn’t drop if you’re sick for a day. Your Klout score shouldn’t either!

For an interesting take on Klout, check out social web consultant Dave Gallant’s article Why Klout Would Make a Terrible Boss.

Hoax overview

Who says summer is downtime for many people? Tricksters are certainly out in full force this month with hoaxes – old and new – spreading like wildfire.

If you hear that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been charges with child molestation, the vicious story is false. The made-up item was submitted to a “news” website that is maintained by users, not mainstream media. It has since been removed. With that said, I’m sure I’ll be seeing this posted to Facebook at some point.

Should you receive a link to a video reportedly of Casey Anthony confessing to killing her daughter, just delete it and move on. Another hoax. If it were true, don’t you think you would have heard it on the news?

Has a worried and well-meaning friend sent you an urgent message telling you not to open an e-mail message from Simon Ashton (simon_25_@hotmail.co.uk) because your e-mail will be hacked simply by “accepting” the message? (E-mail messages aren’t “accepted”. Perhaps the hoax should have read “clicking on”?) Again, don’t worry about it. Hoax!

You won’t be receiving an e-mail from him and – even if you did – simply receiving an e-mail won’t infect your computer. This is just another version of a hoax that’s been around for years, i.e. opening an e-mail from a certain person will basically make your computer melt down or explode like an angry volcano.

If you’re on Facebook and receive a message that you’ve been made an administrator on the “iPad 2 Market Research” page, don’t get too excited. The fact is, you probably have been an administrator, but only long enough for you to receive the notification from the scammers who want to entice you to provide personal information.

By the time you visit the page to find out what’s going on, the scammers have removed you as an administrator and are hoping you’ll fill out their surveys and provide your cell telephone number and e-mail address, both of which will lead to a deluge of scam e-mails and – possibly – suspicious charges on your telephone bill. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you want an iPad 2, it’s best to simply go out and purchase one.

And finally for this week, if you receive an e-mail supposedly from McDonald’s telling you that you’ve won a free meal, delete the e-mail or risk having your computer infected with malware. The e-mail asks you to print a “card” to present to your local McDonald’s manager to redeem your free meal. Clicking on the attachment is not a good idea. Just say no! The latest version stated that the free meals would be given out on June 26, but it’s bound to make a resurgence, so be on the lookout!

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Kevjumba (1.7 million subscribers): Kevjumba is really Kevin Wu, an American college student who’s become one of YouTube’s most popular vloggers (vlogger = video blogger). His father appears in many of his videos and usually ends up stealing the show. Kevin and his father appeared on the 17th season of The Amazing Race and placed seventh in a field of 11 teams.

The Philip DeFranco Show (1.7 million subscribers): DeFranco offers blunt and often sarcastic commentaries on popular news items from Monday to Friday. More often than not, he’s pretty much bang on.

The Rick Mercer Report (16,300 subscribers): Popular Canadian comedian Rick Mercer’s official YouTube channel. There aren’t many updates during the show’s hiatus, but if you’re looking for your Rick Mercer fix this summer, this is a good place to start!

iPad 2 unboxing, review and comparison videos

iPad 2

The new iPad 2 was revealed with great fanfare on March 2 and arrives in Canada on March 25! Here are a few unboxing, comparison and review videos in case you’re thinking of getting one. I have to say, it’s mighty tempting!

Unboxing video by Zach King of Final Cut King

Unboxing video by John Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo

Comparison video of iPad and iPad 2 by John Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo

Are iPad 2 Smart Covers worth it? Video review by John Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo

And finally, a general overview of the iPad 2 by John Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo