A Few Videos and Films about ‘Home’

In anticipation of building our first home, I’ve been quite interested in some of others’ interpretations of what home means. To me, moving pictures mixed with the right sound always seem to have the ability to move me. One day, while watching HGTV, a commercial for Home Goods came on that made me smile.

I later learned that the soundtrack was “Home” by Dan Croll and since then, I haven’t been able to shake the tune from my head or my playlist.

The pleasure I get from watching these old television clips and hearing the wall of sound brought me to search for other stories of home. I found a few while enjoying a cup of coffee this morning and I hope you’ll find to enjoy them too.

This is My Home is a film I found on Vimeo that reminded me a lot of the sense of curiosity I had when exploring my grandparents house. While we, as a society, may be trending towards valuing experiences and minimalism, I think it is important that we keep a space for these artifacts of our past as they have the ability to help us enjoy memories and have a window into our past. I’m not sure if this gentleman is still around, but if he is, I would love to go and see his home in Manhattan.

Continuing on the theme of curiosity, I found another home that reflected another one of my passions: airplanes. Here’s a man that decided to make a retired passenger aircraft his home. In the middle of the woods.

Now, here’s another. The home itself isn’t particularly remarkable. Maybe curious to some by its small size, but what is remarkable to me is the number of people that found this so interesting. Why would over 90,000 people want to watch a man put together his home in a time lapse video? Are we looking to learn the most efficient way to unpack and set things up, or are we all just curious what home means and looks like to others?

What does home mean to you?

Flying My First Drone

[metaslider id=2611]

For my 30th birthday, my parents decided to tap into the joy of childhood by purchasing me something that has been nothing but pure fun: my first drone.

This Chinese quadcopter packs a ton of technology into an incredibly small package at an alarmingly reasonable price. This Hubsan x4 Quadcopter includes a 480p digital video camera, 6-axis control and enough battery power for approximately 7 minutes of flight on each charge. The included wireless controller offers a “Playstation-esque” feel but offers superb control of the aircraft.

It is absolutely amazing to me that this aircraft, which weighs 0.98 oz (28g), can pack a payload of 16GB of memory. The pace in which technology has improved in my short lifetime is unbelievable. When I was 10 years old, it would take a shoulder-mounted VHS camcorder and a stack of VHS tapes to record this much video.

Today, while my wife and her friend took our dog to the park, I decided to take to the skies for my first outdoor flight session. Living in Dallas, wind is always an issue, so today my focus was on controlling the aircraft under steady winds, and I must say that it takes an incredible amount of focus just to keep the drone aloft.

With about 45 minutes of flying time under some moderate wind conditions I’m definitely glad that I am starting with such a small and inexpensive aircraft. This drone has taken a beating. Falling from 100 ft in the sky to the ground with not even a bent prop, this drone is prefect for the curious or novice pilot (like me).

If you’re curious about the world of unmanned aircraft and want to try your hand at piloting a drone, definitely start small, but with a high quality aircraft. Get used to adjusting the trim, calibrating the gimbals and keeping the aircraft oriented with your controls. Try to practice “hovering” and keeping the aircraft as steady as possible before you learn to zip it across the sky.

As you learn, you will undoubtedly “over-control” as you panic when the aircraft does the opposite of what you intend. These over corrections will likely cause for an abrupt crash landing making you glad you decided to start the hobby with an inexpensive aircraft.

After a few more months of mastering this quadcopter, I think I might be interested in investing in a more sturdy aircraft that will be less affected by the wind with a sharper camera and more precise controls. Until then, I’m going to work on getting my unmanned wings and snagging some great grainy video in the process.

Next time you’re bored, go fly a kite drone. It’s great to feel like a kid again.

Top 5 Videos Making Fun of Google Glass

It’s no secret that the jokes are abound when it comes to Google Glass. From late night television to some YouTube sensations, lots of celebrities have taken their turn at taking a jab at Google’s newest product. (If you haven’t seen the original Google promotional video, check it out here.)

Here’s a collection of five of my favorite videos which make fun of Google Glass:

5. Google Glasses Warfare

4. St Patrick’s Day [through Google Glass] (Warning: NSFW)

3. ADmented Reality

2. How Guys Will Use Google Glass

1. Saturday Night Live Weekend Update

The White House is Hanging Out Tomorrow

Image via Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon

No word yet from +The White House, +Barack Obama or +Steve Grove as to whether or not my question made it into the queue or if I’ll be part of tomorrow’s hangout. But, nonetheless, it should be great to see the President using this incredible technology and platform to interact with some of our country’s citizens.

I really hope that politicians start to embrace and understand the power of connecting with their citizens and constituents using social media and things like hangouts that allows them to connect with people in their congressional districts while they’re busy working in Washington. Continue reading The White House is Hanging Out Tomorrow

How You can Help Block SOPA (Detailed Instructions)

In this video, Peter G McDermott shows you what steps you need to take to help block SOPA from passing into law. Please listen carefully and follow the detailed instructions.

Continue reading How You can Help Block SOPA (Detailed Instructions)

12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts

Over the last few weeks I have started a number of pages on Google+ to test out different things and try to connect different types of niche audiences. I have enjoyed the opportunity to bring others together and watch some great things happen.

Over the course of the last few months I have been paying particular attention to the way that people use certain features of Google+. One of those all-important features in the Hangout feature. Yes, we have had Skype, Facetime, MSN and even NetMeeting to do face-to-face conversations from around the globe, but traditionally these were only done with people we had already established relationships with. Google has given the online world the opportunity to connect with virtually anyone with a webcam and a microphone and the results have been simply amazing.

In an effort to learn more about how users utilize this component and the features within it, I set out to conduct a survey much like the one I did previously (see Google+ in Numbers) to find out exactly what users are doing. I want to extend a very personal thank you to all of the users that participated in the survey. Without your valuable time, there would be no results to publish. So without further adieu…

12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts
You can find the original survey by clicking here. Click the image after each question to see the full breakdown of results for that question.

Continue reading 12+ Questions about how people use Google+ Hangouts