Two random findings on the internet

I spent quite a lot of time today browsing the internet and I bumped into two strange interesting things: the Hipster Dust and the Shippo Tail.

The first one is a mix of “vegan spices mixture” created by someone, somewhere in New York.

                                              Image from http://www.coolmaterial.com

Now, in all honesty I think this is nothing so incredibly innovative, but just a smart and catchy name to market a product that probably already exists. Plus, maybe I am wrong, and if I am please correct me, but what does it mean exactly “vegan spices”? I know what vegan means, and I know what spices are…but my question is: can spices be not vegan? Anyway, as I mentioned before, I honestly think that this is a smart name for a product, especially considering how “cool and trendy” is being a hipster these days, and anyone that comes up with an original idea definitely deserves the success that comes from it, so I am not moving any critic at all…and anyway…who am I to judge? 🙂

The second finding is this new “device” (the brackets are simply because I find it hard to use this word for a furry tail! 🙂 ) called Shippo (= tail in Japanese) produced by the Japanese company Neurowear. At a first glance you might frown and think: “why should I want to stuck a furry tail to my back!?”,  but if you think about the technology behind it, let alone the tail itself, I think it is actually a cool idea.

Here you have the advert which, as most of the thing made in Japan, is extremely cute!

How does it work anyway? The tail reads electrical waves emitted by the brain through an electroencephalography apparatus and manifests them as wagging. The device is also linked to a smartphone which records a mood map. Of course it might sound odd, but I could really see how something like this might be used in certain situations or with people with certain health condition (of course not under the shape of a tail, that’s obvious), and I really like this “moving things with my mind” concept.

Unfortunately Shippo is still at concept stage and despite there are some working models it is still unsure whether it will reach or not the manufacturing stage.

How to save a wet smartphone and iPad!

First of all, you should never ever put a bottle of water in the same bag as your smartphone and iPad! Even worse if it’s a water resistant leather bag, as the water will never get in, but will never completely go out either and your beloved electronic devices will start swimming…then eventually drowning! 😦

If you are in a hurry and want to know how I saved them, scroll down towards the end of the post…if you have time and you are up for some drama…keep reading! 🙂

I was in a shop, trying to decide what to buy…at some point I saw the floor a bit wet and some drops falling down. “What kind of shop is this? There is water dropping from the ceiling…and what’s even worse is that the staff seems not to care about it”…I was a bit confused but I kept looking around (ehm..I was in  a bakery and was totally carried away by all those cakes!).

I eventually made my choice, opened my bag to take my purse and…OMG there was water everywhere! At that point I understood where that water was coming from…not from the ceiling, but from my bag!!! Sh*t!

I was panicking, especially because right before leaving home my boyfriend warned me: “careful, you shouldn’t put that bottle of water in the bag”…and the idea of having to face the “I told you so” look was making me panic even more!

So basically I came back, made the quickest run ever to the bathroom, locked the door and started removing the cover, the battery and the sim card from the phone, and the cover from the iPad, and tried to dry them with a towel.

There was water everywhere, it seemed like the more I was drying them, the more they were getting wet. Alas, there was only one thing left to do: tell the truth and ask for help!

Fortunately the reaction was much better than what I was expecting and here it is how we saved both the phone and the iPad:

  • we took a big bowl, poured in around two kilos of uncooked rice and left the devices there, all covered by the rice, for about 24 hrs.

Easy as it sounds! The rice will absorb all the humidity and your devices will start working properly again!  It is really important that you remove the battery and the sim card (you can keep the sim in a safe place, but the battery needs to go in the rice as well), and most of all that you don’t try to turn the device on or to use it when it is still wet, as this might cause a short circuit.

So don’t panic, 90% of the times the damage is not that big as you can think and you can easily sort it out!

Good luck! 🙂

 

 

OpenShot and how to add text balloons to a video

The weather is being miserable these days, so what’s better than some video editing to feed my geek-wannabe side? 🙂
I am so attracted by technology, in all forms and shapes…I would love to be able to code! I have tried to read something, but even just trying to understand where to start is too difficult!  So after a few, unsuccessful attempts to figure out how to start learning to code, I have decided that for the time being this is a too big step for me…so I decided to learn something about video editing instead!

I am a Ubuntu user, so the editor choice was quite easy: OpenShot!
I am starting to move my first steps in this world, and I am still far far far away from being a pro, so if you think that my videos suck…try to say that nicely and at least appreciate my willing to learn! 🙂

I think it is great, especially if you are a self taught like me: it is easy to use and very straightforward, so once you learn to do something, it will also be very easy to remember how to do it.

The other day I was reading something about Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe” video and all its parodies and re-makes that have turned viral in the last weeks and I thought: “it would be great to add one more video to that long list!”…I suddenly remembered that I had a video of three pigeons running after each others (don’t ask me why I recorded it…I probably thought it was funny at that time!), and of course the idea of editing the video on the notes of “Call me maybe” came shortly after! I know it’s not a genius idea, and probably it’s not even funny, but at least it was a good excuse to do some practice with OpenShot.

Cutting the video and adding the music was easy, but I really wanted to add some balloons with some lyrics.
I had no idea how to do that, but this is what I have figured out:

  1. Open Gimp (or any other photo editor) and create a new image. As far as the size is concerned, you have to check what is your video resolution. If you don’t know about it, just google: “NameOfYourPhone video resolution” and you will find it out.
  2. Go to color -> color to alfa -> translucid to your entire image.
  3. Draw your text balloon with some drawing software (I used LibreOffice Draw) and paste it on Gimp.
  4. Save the image as png format.
  5. Go to OpenShot -> create a new track -> add the png image in the new track and adjust the duration as you like (to adjust the duration: right click on the file -> properties -> duration)

Now the thing is…I have learnt to add text balloons, but I still can’t figure out how to position them in different places on the screen. How can I do this? Any tips would be very very much welcomed!

Ah! Btw this is the result:

Android app for graffiti lovers!

So far I have shared with you my passion for food and cooking…today I introduce you my geeky side! 🙂

I am not a real geek, but I still love technology and partly due to my job I also love mobile phone apps!
I am both an Android and iOS user, I love my HTC (most of this blog’s pics are taken with it) but at the same time I also enjoy exploring the web with my iPad.

Anyway…today I would like to talk to you about a cool Android app I have just recently found: AirPainter.
It’s not a new app, but I still think it’s worth to dedicate a post to it.

Air Painter

An example of air painting!

It’s an Augmented Reality app (if you want to know more about this, you can click here) which allows you to literally paint a message in the air and then let other users read it.

You can have a look at this video to get a better idea of how it works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBjmtXuorjA&feature=related (unfortunately it’s not in English, but it will still be useful!)

I have already written a few messages around the city…can you find them?

How cool would be to organise a scavenger hunt using this app?

🙂