Click Bits!

2 minutes of fame :-)

Pilot show Click Bits - Episode 2!

(RSS/Can’t see the link? here you go: http://bit.ly/clickbits002 )

This is what I’ve been up to the last month, as well as doing quite a bit for bbc click recently… including working with the marvellous Maggie Philbin on our futurology piece. She’s done such a brilliant post here about our visit to Kingswood Warren that I don’t need to add anything…

OK, I will add that we both turned up on the ShiftRunStop podcast last week.

Here are some behind-the-scenes pics of the birthing of ClickBits.

My bag with script in - and an impressive amount of useless stuff

– yes I did eat that twirl. And I didn’t bother taking pics of the usual tv stuff including filming pieces to camera, script wrangling and finding pictures to fit. Unless you want me to next time?

Also the madness of only having a finite amount of time to do an infinite amount of work is the sort of thing is familiar to techies everywhere. Editors, I’m thinking of YOU when I type this.

tape of episode 1 ! yes, tape! Click on this if you want to see episode 1, but episode 2 is better ūüôā Click on the top pic for that.

The grown-up edit suite was double booked for our first episode, but it didn’t stop us – we squeezed into a small office and crowded around a desk and computer meant for 1 person. ¬†Final Cut Pro, in case you were wondering. And yes, we ate a LOT of choccy in ¬†a room so cramped all our knees were touching.

on its way into the BBC system?

This was our 2nd attempt to ingest 3 mins of video into the BBC, we were thwarted by technology many times! It’s always worse when a BIG machine borks – I always (illogically, irrationally and incorrectly) expect computers with 4 screens to be, I don’t know, cleverer.

Ingest point

Humans 3, Machines 2

Finally, the wondrous Zoe (who is producing this with me and is the illustrious @zsk on twitter) came across this hidden terminal and executed some kind of Harry Potter spell that meant the machines had to obey her – and they did.

As I’m off to CES Las Vegas 2010 next week, Zoe and I will be attempting to make the 3rd Click bits episode a few thousand miles apart… we’ll be using yousendit and psychic powers to make that work, but if anyone can do it, it will be the 2 most stubborn people at the Beeb – us!

CES 2009 – more pictures

A few pics from the last few days at CES – I’ve got a couple of great interviews in the can including one from a guy at Microsoft who was on the development team for Windows 7, and Akon – although I’ll edit these on the plane home tomorrow (if I don’t sleep, that is).

fatal1ty at the creative stand ces 2009

Fatal1ty kicking butt at the Creative Stand CES 2009

 

look at the thickness of those babies!

Said like Comic Book Man from the Simpsons: thickest.... cables.... ever!!!!!

 

where all the proper work gets done

CES 2009 Networking centre

 

ces 2009 - after closing!

Emptying the floor at the end of the day, CES 2009

 

bbc click shoot the stevie wonder interview at ces 2009

Stevie Wonder and the BBC Click team - shooting the interview

 

diana ross singing at the monster party ces 2009

Diana Ross singing at the Monster Party, CES 2009 - I'm at the front!

 

lamborghini on a stand at ces 2009

Lamborghini at CES 2009

Las Vegas CES 09

Good morning¬† – at least, it’s morning here in Las Vegas.¬† It’s the day before CES 2009, the world’s largest trade show for Consumer Technology, and the largest annual trade show in the USA according to the data sheet next to me.¬†

070120091224 by LJRich

Las Vegas CES 2009

Apparently, people from over 140 countries attend the show, and its popularity is reflected by the packed plane I arrived on yesterday, where, believe it or not, the person sitting in the seat next to me ate my food whilst I was asleep – why? Because apparently, she didn’t like the chicken.¬†

here comes the monorail! Las vegas

Las Vegas Monorail - $5 a ride

CES debuts from years past include the VCR in 1970, the Camcorder in 1981, HDTV in 1998, Microsoft’s XBox in 2001 and OLED TV in 2008.¬† Consequently, this morning I awoke with 2 intentions – 1) get up early and have a look round and 2) hit the all-you-can-eat buffet with a vengeance.

all you can eat at las vegas buffet - 1st one to explode wins by LJRich

There are more stations behind me - a shrine to gluttony. Yippee!

So, after a filling meal of pancakes, french toast, potatoes, eggs, fruit and a cinnamon bun, I’m ready for some serious gadget input.¬†

lj rich blogging in the press room at ces 2009, las vegas¬† blogging this¬†in the Press Room!Tonight’s party is the Pepcom Digital Experience, where many exhibitors are showing off their new stuff. I shall be bringing my trusty camcorder with me to record anything utterly bonkers or incredibly useful.

 

Please let me know if you’d like me to look up something for you.

Digital Winter 2008

I just realised I haven’t blogged for ages, mainly due to the fact that my feet haven’t touched the ground in the last week and a bit.

So what follows is a very, very brief digest of what I’ve been up to, one post at a time:

DIGITAL WINTER 2008 TECH EVENT

This is basically where a bunch of companies have stalls which show you their latest gadgets, and sometimes their flagship products as well.  Siemens showed their new concept solar-powered dect phone too.

151020081052 new sansa fuze and sansa clip from sandisk

Sandisk's new Sansa Fuse at the top, and its mini cousin, bottom

There was so much¬†food and cake available, but I’d stuffed myself with sushi on the way there, annoyingly.¬† Secretly I was dying for a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit – but this was no time for confectionery or patisserie, it was time for some serious gadget-hunting.

The technology was suitably diverse, so here are a few highlights of the event.¬† Have a look at Sandisk’s Sansa Fuse (at the top) which has 4GB inbuilt memory, and a slot for a micro SD card for future expansion.¬†

… and the red ones have a great Ferrari-style paint job, which doesn’t have any bearing on the performance of the product, but looks nice.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Next up…

151020081048 solar gorilla laptop charges next to macbook pro for scale

Power Traveller's Solar Gorilla Laptop Charger

…a look at the Solar Gorilla from PowerTraveller, a gigantic solar panel which you can use alongside their battery to charge up your laptop¬†– you can also use a¬†mains adaptor with the battery if you’re stuck in the¬†dark, and get about 6 hours’ worth¬†of laptop¬†life from a full charge.¬† The MacBook Pro is there for scale.

In fact, I have the miniature one of these, the powermonkey which I use for charging my mobile Рalthough the larger product on display is probably better suited for use in remote areas that catch a lot of sun, i.e. anywhere except London.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† And Finally….

151020081047 new usb microscope 200x magnification vms-001 from veho

Veho 200x USB Microscope with 2p coin on screen

…the USB microscope from Veho, one of the more amusing products on display.¬† You can see on the screen a 2p coin magnified 200 times from the coin underneath the microscope.¬† Yes, *of course* I stuck my fingers underneath, you can see the ridges and everything.¬†
For one secret and hideous moment I wondered whether this would be a useful beauty accessory for facial excavation and then decided against pointing the device at a particularly good spot on¬†my cheek in public, what with wanting to look like a serious technology journalist and all, although I can’t resist adding that you’re either a squeezer or a leaver in this particular field.
So Digital Winter was quite fun.¬† If you want to see these pics a few minutes after I’ve taken them, then please feel free to subscribe to my Flickr Stream, where I’ll upload them from my N95.¬† I promise not to upload any pictures from the microscope.
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Virgin Gadget Spy Episode 2 Now Released!

Gadget Spy Episode 2!
Gadget Spy Episode 2!

Yes, after all that hard work, we’ve done it, it’s been edited, and this is Episode 2 of Gadget Spy

 
Gadgets featured are:
 
 
And if you’re wondering what the Bunny Rabbit was at the beginning of the video, it’s the Nabaztag Internet Bunny¬†¬†which will tell you what the weather’s like and¬†pull stockmarket and news data¬†from the internet.¬†
 
…and for those of you who read my blog, here is a secret for you – hear the background music?¬† That’s mine, that is !!¬†
 
 
 

Virgin Gadget Spy Filming PhotoBlog

Watching the footage back

Filming Gadget Spy II

Yesterday was spent at Virgin Towers filming the second Gadget Spy – this was all done in a bit of a hurry,Virgin are keen to get this up and live on the web by next week – Eeeeek!

So we collected together an array of gadgets (and had some help from www.firebox.com – thankyou!) and hopefully got enough material together for our 3-minute webcast.

The gadgets include a few of the things I’ve been impressed enough to blog about or take flickr pics of, including the Cisco/Linksys Router , the Archos TV+ and the Jawbone noise-cancelling headset.

This was an incredibly fun day, it was tiring but very rewarding, as we’ve been working flat out since last week getting everything together for the magic day of filming.

10mins after arriving

We're in the studio area and setting up - within about 10 minutes, most floor space is covered with tech. There is a general need for tea. We've also realised that it's going to be boiling in here.

Phil checks everything is OK

Phil from Virgin checks the gadgets - we have to work out which order to put them in right at the start of the show, so we can get the camera to pan across at the beginning and match our working script.

Guitar Rockstar sample

We like to have a few quirky, bonkers products in "Gadget Spy" - last time it was the Bubble Wrap Keychain. This time it's the Guitar Rockstar.

firebox.com sent over some stuff - thanks!

Thanks to http://www.firebox.com, who provided us with a few gadget loans for the pilot, and kindly let us borrow a few more for episode 2. Everything is boxed back up and sent back to Firebox HQ, so they'll lend us stuff again!

Archos, Pinnacle, Linksys samples

More tech ready for filming: you can see the top of the Pinnacle PVT Video Transfer, the Linksys Router, and the Archos TV+ as well as a few bits poking out of the case.

Dan checks the footage

Dan, camera operator, checks the footage. Anyone doing any filming knows to check as soon as you do the first take, just to make sure video is actually recorded.

LJ Rich sitting in

Here I am, "sitting in" - we're testing the shot before filming properly, we need to make sure the lighting works for the camera, and I've put a mark on the desk so I always sit in the same place!

LJ's suitcase - Kit 'n' Heels

My suitcase: Kit 'n' Heels, har har. This case got really battered when I took it to China and Dubai, and it's held a lot of tech in its time. On the way to and from Virgin Towers it's bulging with strange and wonderful stuff.

LJ Rich, looking short (!) take 1...

Behind the camera, filming the intro! We steam through the voiceover, the outro and each gadget, doing a couple of takes for each one - the basic rule is when you do a "good one", you do one more for safety. Normally, I'm pretty good at this, because I'm used to live TV and one chance to say something. However, by the end of the day, saying "Port Cool Fan Laptop Stand" took me about 6 tries. We got it all in the can though, and the next thing is editing it up for release - Working date : 10th September 2008

What follows is a quick look at what went on in the day.¬† If you want to see the Flickr Gallery, please feel free to click here.¬† I’m really looking forward to seeing the final cut, hope you like the pics!

Virgin Gadget Spy Webcast Out!!

Hello Michael...Wow! Remember I did some filming about 3 weeks ago for a pilot called “Gadget Spy” at Virgin Media?¬† I went off to visit Firebox¬†a while ago¬†to scope out some¬†quirky¬†electronic gizmos for this, pulled in some cool stuff from my industry mates at Archos and the like, then (and¬†after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing),¬†we managed to get a filming date in the diary.¬† I just got an email this morning saying that they’ve completed the edit!

So this is the Inaugural Gadget Spy mini-cast! It’s the first time¬†the VirginMedia web¬†chaps¬†and I have ever done anything like this – the idea certainly comes across, and if¬†the powers that be like it, then who knows, they might put a budget behind it, and we can do it again in a month or so, As far as I know, the more clicks they get, the more likely that is – so do please add yours ūüôā

Gadget Spy Pilot show: www.virginmedia.com/digital/gadgetspy

Nice to meet you.

Hello… this is me, LJ Rich. Gadget fanatic, music/technology anorak, and chocolate addict…

I’m so excited about joining the blogging community properly, it’s one of those things that I thought about for a while, and failed impressively to execute until today, where I finally have no excuses left.

You see, I’m a proper online journalist now (see www.virginmedia.com/asklj) and I think it’s about time I got this gaping hole in my tech-life well and truly filled. After all, where else can I chat about Life, the Universe and Everything? (OK, I tend to digress on the telly quite a lot… )

So if you haven’t read the “about me” paragraph above – in short, I’m the one that everyone comes to when they have burning questions like “what camcorder/laptop do I need?” or “what is an MP3?” It’s my duty (and pleasure) to provide sensible answers that apply to the real world. I also get “pub quiz” phone calls as I’m known to have a penchant for strange and wonderful trivia. You should hear me shouting at the telly when quiz shows are on. By the way, regarding burning questions, I’m not counting the “LJ, do you know the chords to [insert tune]?” or “Do you know where the teabags are?” ones by the way, I do have some restraint.