Thursday, August 11, 2011

WILT: Going online via mobile devices will overtake traditional methods

I read a crazy post today on . It basically was a rundown of stats about getting online from a mobile device. My dad sent me an e-mail with ten of the most surprising.

1. There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers (that’s 77 percent of the world population).

2. Within 5 years mobile will overtake PC as the most popular way to get on the Web.

3. In 2011 over 85 percent of new handsets will be able to access the mobile Web.

4. 25% of mobile Web users in the US are mobile only.

5. The number of mobile Web searches has quadrupled in the last year.

6. 71 percent of smartphone users that see TV, press or online ad, do a mobile search.

7. Mobile ad spend worldwide is predicted to sky rocket to $20.6 billion in 2015.

8. The most used mobile apps in the US are games; news; maps; social and music.

9. Paying by mobile i.e. m-payments will be worth US$240 billion in 2011

10. M-payments could reach over US$1 trillion by 2015.

These numbers didn't really surprise me all that much. I used to have a really old Nokia flip phone from my freshman year of college until August of 2010. I had a Razr, the worst phone of all-time, and I was on my third. It bit the dust and my mom gave me that phone. Last August, I got a plan with AT&T and got an iPhone. My life is no longer the same.

Now, I can't imagine what I would do if I had a phone without a data plan. Just in the past day I have:

  • Found the closest movie theater to where we were eating (Flixster app). I then looked up reviews for the movies. I picked out a showtime and bought the tickets all within the app.
  • Dad and I were looking for good seafood. I went on UrbanSpoon and read reviews before making my final choice.
  • Won an argument by googling the correct answer.
Those are just a few of the things that I have done that really helped out over the past few days. It's getting to the point that a computer is good for the handful of things that you can't do on a smartphone ... yet. I can do just about anything on my iPhone. I really use my computer to type on Word, edit video in Final Cut, and record music. I blog via computer, but that's just because my fingers are too fat to type very well on the iPhone.

These numbers don't really surprise me, but it does prove how rapidly technology is progressing. Anyway, it's what I learned today.

What I learned today: Within 5 years mobile will overtake PC as the most popular way to get on the Web.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WILT: Women don't just belong in the kitchen anymore

Last night, my family played "Battle of the Sexes". It's a pretty interesting board game, and, yes, my family still digs playing board games on vacation.

The premise is simple: Females answer questions that most males will be more apt to answer correctly and vice versa. The first one to reach the other side by answering the most questions correctly wins.

As soon as the first move is made, the game becomes unfair. A majority of the questions that we asked the ladies were about fishing, power tools, and sports. I have a friend that works at the Florence Tourism Office and she is very involved in fishing. Also, we live in the dang southeast U.S. A lot of women fish. Strike one. The ladies tore these questions up. One said, "What does a fisherman put his lures, hooks and bait in?" Really?

Next major category: power tools. If you've met my mom, you know that's she's got the power tools category on lock. She makes stained glass, works with tile and granite, and does a lot of other artsy projects. A lot of the questions asked, "What tool is good for doing/making ____?" You've got to be kidding me. Ladies are a lot more knowledgeable about this subject now.

Last major category: sports. My sister played tennis. My girlfriend played volleyball, softball, and has been to enough sporting events in our years of dating to trump any other chick out there. My mom had a camera covering up one eye from filming so many of my games over the years that it became a staple like a pirate with an eye patch. How is this fair? "Name the two leagues in Major League Baseball?" "What does WWF stand for?" This is complete and utter crap.

We. Got. Beasted. It wasn't even fair. Dad and I had to answer questions about dinnerware, items that are common on the runway, and makeup.

It's not the 1950's anymore. Women are doing jobs that have been predominately held by males. Many women nowadays are going to know about sports, power tools, and fishing. Most guys are not going to know about sewing or exotic glassware. This game might have been fun 50 years ago, but it was not the slightest bit of fun for us (dudes) now.

What I learned: Women are expanding their knowledge base ... awesome. Dudes still don't care about what dish works best to serve a creme brulee. Don't play this game unless you hop in a time traveling DeLorean because, at the end of the day, one thing has stayed the same with men through the years ... we WANT TO WIN.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

So, by now you all know how I feel about remakes. If you don't, you might want to catch up here. I rarely go to the movies. I'm a complete Netflix junkie, but, in the summer, my movie going is off the charts, mayne.

I have seen tons in theaters this summer. Some have been complete flops in my opinion, others have completely surprised me. I saw the preview for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" a few months ago. I must say, I wasn't very impressed. Then, I read up a little bit about the story and it sounded pretty cool. My family is on a beach trip, and Jessie and I went to see it.

First off, you should probably know that I love just about anything that James Franco is in. I think he is an incredible actor. When I heard about an "Apes" prequel, I remember thinking, "Great, as if Tim Burton and Marky Marky didn't taint the legacy of this franchise enough."

Tim Burton did as much for the "Apes" franchise as Joel Schumacker did for the "Batman" franchise. Anyway, I digress.

The movie revolves around an experimental genetic testing method done on apes by Gene Sys, a genetic pharmaceutical company. Will Rodman (James Franco) is the lead scientist/researcher developing ALZ 112. He hopes to cure Alzheimer's, but has yet to test the "virus" on a human subject. Enter: his father (John Lithgow).

The story moves to the beat of Caesar, the ape that Will Rodman befriends after his mother is killed. He gets progressively more intelligent throughout the movie to the point he begins to question why he obeys humans. At this point things get crazy.

I won't give too much of the plot away, and there are a billion places that you could read all about it online. I walked into the theater fully expecting a CGI-laden travesty, but I left feeling pleasantly surprised. John Lithgow's character must've been extremely hard to portray, but, given how hard he rocked the Trinity Killer in Dexter Season 4, I wouldn't put anything past him. I was very impressed by his performance but ... he isn't the one that stole the show.

As much as I love James Franco, he wasn't even my favorite actor. Andy Serkis owned the role of Caesar. I have never felt so emotionally attached to a character that was CGI. Yeah, Gollum was cool, but he took this character to A WHOLE 'NOTHA LEVEL.

The story was smooth, in my opinion. I've always wondered what happened before Charlton Heston landed on the planet of the apes. Honestly, I'm really hoping that this is the first in a resurrection of the franchise. Just, please, no Tim Burton re-re-make "Planet of the Apes".

Rotten Tomatoes: 81 % (as of 8/9/2011)

Skip-0-meter: A - for the impressiveness of Serkis' performance, and it completely surprising me by not being absolutely horrible. Also, I will never call an ape a "monkey" again.

  • Your girlfriend might even like this one because it's pretty dramatic
  • The CGI looked great. The apes looked incredibly realistic.
  • Serkis and Lithgow provide solid performances.
  • THE BAD :(
  • My ticket was almost $10.00
  • I actually wanted to see how the virus effected the humans

Friday, August 5, 2011

WILT: If Hollywood's creativity isn't dead, it's dying

I worked in the newspaper industry for three years. I use that term loosely because it was on the collegiate level, and my only experience in the "real" world was a few scattered articles in my local paper. The chatter was endless when the subject of print media dying out was brought up. I loved what I did, and I still believe that there are people out there passionate enough about the business to see to it that print media never dies out.

I really like to read and, although e-readers are really attractive, I just can't shake the feel of a book in my hands. Now I said all of that to say this, it seems that cinematography doesn't exist anymore. When I think of great movie, I think of it being original. I want to walk out viewing the world from a new angle, or else feel completely entertained. I feel like cinematography is the art and practice of making a picture.

It seems like EVERY SINGLE MOVIE IS A REMAKE. About two weeks ago I heard that an Evil Dead remake was in the works. I mean, seriously? What could be done to make that movie any better? Does every movie have to be more modern in order to be considered "good"? I really thought about it today when I was trying to decide on a movie to see when I go down to the beach next week. I really wanted to see Tree of Life or Midnight in Paris. Those movies don't play within a two hour radius of my house.

I think that movieline described it perfectly in a previous article:

"In fact, according to research conducted by Box Office Mojo, Hollywood will release an all-time record number of sequels in 2011: 27, beating the previous high of 24 set in 2003. But it isn't just sequels that are clogging the multiplexes. A look at this year's release calendar -- which includes titles like Conan the Barbarian, Arthur, The Thing, Fright Night, Footloose, and a Muppet movie -- is enough to make a movie fan wonder if he accidentally slipped into a hot tub time machine and landed in the 1980s. (At least the Total Recall remake is still a year away.)"

I decided to make a list of movies that have been remakes in just the past year and movies that are in production right now that are remakes. Actually, I'm going to take it a step further. I'm going to add movies based on cartoons, superheroes, etc. to this list. Heck, I'm throwing in sequels, too. I'm curious to see how much original content is being shown in theaters.

The Unoriginal List
  • Cars 2
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2
  • The Hangover Part 2
  • Happy Feet 2
  • Hoodwinked Too!
  • Johnny English Reborn
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Piranha 3D
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel
  • Big Momma's sequel
  • Madea's sequel (i think the 26th in the series)
  • Paranormal Activity 3
  • Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
  • New Mission Impossible
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Dark Knight Rises
  • Amazing Spider-Man
  • Superman
  • Green Lantern
  • Thor
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man 2
  • Fast Five
  • Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 and 2
  • Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1
  • Scream 4
  • Spy Kids 4
  • Final Destination 5
And I'm just going to stop there because I'm sick of typing. It's funny how you watch something and then you IMDB it, only to find that it's a remake. And sometimes of a remake of a remake!
Either way, I was started today to find some of the numbers that I did.

It's 2011. DSLRs are in the hands of aspiring movie makers everywhere. I'm shocked that the only things most people are subjected to are crapfest remakes. There is hope. There are people passionate enough with brilliant minds to keep the movie business' creativity from drying up.

What I learned: A generation of free-thinking, original, cinematographers must rise from the ash to bring the movie world back to prominence. Sequels (including prequels and spin-offs) comprise over a fifth of the currently scheduled nationwide releases, tallying 27 (according to data from Box Office Mojo). Snap!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WILT: iDVD '11 Troubleshooting- 'Error during rendering/encoding menu"

So, I normally want to keep this down to a post per day, but this issue was about to drive me insane. I read a million (exaggeration, but it was close) posts on macrumors and apple help to figure out what my problem was.

I was asked to make 10 DVD's of a project I had recently completed from a polo match/birthday party. The first DVD was delivered nearly a month ago. I was contacted this week with the new assignment. I assured them it would be no problem. I always keep one hard drive full of any projects I've done for at least 2 years. I knew I had the footage, I knew it would be okay. It wasn't.

I popped in a DVD fresh out of the pack and, after about 15 minutes of rendering menus and such, it gave me an error message. The message said, "Error during rendering/encoding menus". It then recognized my disc as a blank disk and started me back over in the burning process from scratch.

I felt alone and helpless sorting through tons of posts on the subject, but none really made sense. Only Chris Carraba could make me feel less emo. Then, I found the fix on my own. Several posts described "muting the menu." I knew that my sound was fine when I previewed it, but it took some time to figure out what was up because most of these posts weren't for iDVD '11. I'm hoping to make this a simple fix.

Step 1: Go to the menu. It can be any of them, so you might want to check out all of them just to be on the safe side.

Step 2: Click the button on the right ( I assume it's for a drop down menu to add content, not sure of the exact name).

Step 3
: The small photo on the left is titled "menu". There will be a small speaker icon, it's very similar to the one that pops up when you change your volume on your Mac. It should have "waves" coming out of it. If you do not see it, or are unsure, click the icon and you'll see what I'm talking about. It basically toggles the mute function.
That should fix it!

I honestly have no idea how I muted it, but the DVD's have burned successfully after I made that small change. I spent around an hour and a half trying to get it down. I feel like this is probably the easiest post you'll find on fixing it.

Happy burning!

WILT: Planking Owling Batting

Oh, you kids and your fads. Have you heard of planking? Meh, lame. Have you heard of owling? Ah, it's too outdated. Heard of batting? Well it's the next step in the evolution of planking. If planking is Ardipithicus ramidus, then batting is Homo sapiens sapiens. I love how quickly one trend can take off and suddenly drop off the map. As soon as you hop onto the trend bandwagon, the trend has already moved on to a trend jet pack.

I first heard about planking three months ago or so, maybe longer, when Dwight Howard posted pictures on his Twitter of him planking at random locations. I thought it was hysterical. I had no idea it could bring me so much joy. The wikipedia page for planking slays me.


It describes it as a fad and defines planking as "an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location." I love hearing a scientific-type description of something that's really taken off in pop culture, it almost makes it not even cool. That's what makes fads interesting, though. They are born and die off at an insanely paced rate.

So, anyway. We'll move on to "owling." Owls are the latest fad for hipsters and girls that want to show off their keen sense of fashion (I like them because of Jeff Tweedy's guitar strap). Planking was fairly popular, but I don't know how many people have seen this owling thing.

Urban dictionary defines this as "evolved from planking, owling is the sitting on a random object/surface in a perched position, taking a picture of oneself and posting in on the internet."

Check out this gem:

That's owling on top of someone planking. >>>>>>

So as soon as people start owling the fad has evolved like a Level 36 Charmeleon. Batting is the Charizard in this craze.

Batting is my personal favorite. I think everyone that knows me well knows that I love superhero movies. I've always been obsessed with Batman. Batting is epic to me because it has the word "bat" in it and Jessie and I can re-enact that kiss scene from Spider-Man now. Just kidding.

Anyway, batting is basically where you hang upside down on random objects. I don't think that can be explained in a scientific manner. It just can't. I tried. Twice.
This one is my favorite:

The greatest thing about that site is the fact that all it does is compile photos of people batting. So what did I learn today? I learned about batting. Am I behind? Proabably. Do I give a bat's ... never mind.

What I learned? Planking is fading, owling is creeping its way out, and batting is the new thing. Also, never make a joke about re-enacting a movie kiss with your significant other. It will get you in trouble.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WILT: Real life vampires

The student that I tutor checked out a book about vampires at our public library yesterday. He loves reading books about scary things and watching horror movies. Every day when we take a break, he gets on my computer and watches Are You Afraid of the Dark or Goosebumps. He's practically obsessed with that kind of thing.

As he was reading, I was more sucked into that book than any other he's read all summer (lame joke). It told about mass hysteria and true accounts of vampirism in the world for the past 250 years or so. One account told of Arnold Paole from way back in 1727. He had fought in the army in Serbia. While serving, he claimed to have tracked down a vampire and killed it. He then ate some blood off the dirt from the grave to lift the curse. Why? Oh yeah, he'd claimed to have been bitten by the vampire.

A week later, he died by accident. Within a month of his burial, people reported seeing visions of him. Four of the people that made claims actually died soon after seeing him. The townspeople dug up Paole's body and noticed some creepy things. The body had little decay, and it had fresh blood around it's mouth. They decided to take precautions and drove a steak into the corpse's heart. Thus, the legends of vampires was born. It happens to be one of the earliest accounts on record.

This really got me thinking ... I remember a CSI episode a few years ago where the entire plot revolved around a cult of "real life vampires." I couldn't believe it then, and I can't believe it now; however, it seems like this is a legit thing in our society today.

Links: Yeah, I know. It's Tyra Bank's show, but this video is nuts.

There are legitimately people that believe they are vampires. That's insane!

This one talks about teens that have apparently taken the whole "Twilight" fandom a bit too far.

Anyway, I just find all of this insane. And to think you and I learned about all of this because my student checked out a vampire book.

What you learned: The origin of one of the earliest vampire cases. A real vampire subculture exists.