Giant Lego Man Found in Sea

Giant Lego man on the beach

Giant Lego Man Found in Sea

“Staff at a drinks stand in the Netherlands resort of Zandvoort were amazed to find a 2.5-meter (8-foot) Lego man washed up on the beach Tuesday. It was rescued from the water and placed upright on the beach, to the delight of children. Nobody had any idea where the smiling Lego figure had come from, but there was speculation it might have come over from England, while suspicious pundits on the Web site Reddit feared it might be a Trojan horse “full of small Lego people about to attack Holland.” However the ungrammatical slogan on the figure’s chest, “No real than you are,” led via a Google search to, a Dutch Web site which appears to belong to an artist or art collective. Perhaps the mysterious figure is just another work of environmental art.”

via Swissmiss

iMovie ’08… same name, totally different application

iMovie 08 and iMovie HD

On Tuesday Apple introduced a brand new, completely revamped version of iMovie, part of iLife ’08. It replaces iMovie HD ’06.

While the new iMovie has some interesting features, to me it seems like a totally different application. I would go as far as to say that it is no longer a video editing application. Instead, I would call it a video library application, with some limited built-in editing tools. It’s now actually more like iPhoto, for video.

If you’re planning on upgrading to iMovie ’08, there are a few things to be aware of…

First, and possibly most important, is iMovie ’08 will NOT open your iMovie HD projects. But, it will import them. What’s the difference you ask? When you import your old projects, all transitions, titles, effects, and music will NOT come in to the new iMovie. It ONLY brings in the video clips, with all transitions replaced with simple cross-disolves. This is a pretty big deal if you’ve ever made anything in iMovie HD that you hope to update.

Second, iMovie ’08 does NOT support third party plugins, themes, or effects. So, if you’ve bought any software that enhanced iMovie HD, you’re SOL for using it in the new iMovie.

Third, there are a lot of functional changes in iMovie ’08. Primarily, it no longer uses a timeline, so you can’t have multiple video or audio tracks overlapping, which makes it a pretty limited editing tool.

Personally, I would say that iMovie ’08 is NOT an upgrade at all. I would say Apple has discontinued iMovie, and replaced it with a brand new, different kind of application. To some degree Apple must think of it this way as well, as they obviously recognize that these are two different products. I say this for two reasons… one, installing iMovie ’08 doesn’t overwrite iMovie HD (if you have it installed), allowing you to use both. And two, if you buy iLife ’08, they’ll give you iMovie HD ’06 as a free download. They clearly recognize that iMovie HD is a more powerful editing tool.

For me, this change isn’t that big of a deal, as I use Final Cut Pro. In fact, I may find the new iMovie is more useful for cataloging my video. But for people who use iMovie as a video editor, you may want to take a long look at Final Cut Express. Who knows, maybe that’s why Apple did what they did?

Apple’s new Keyboard

Apple's new slim keyboard

As mentioned yesterday, Apple has a brand new super-slim keyboard. Do you notice anything unusual about the command key? Go ahead, look down at your keyboard, and then look back at this image. Do you see it? That’s right, there is no Apple symbol on it.

For as long as I can remember Apple has put their logo on that key, prompting many people to inaccurately say things like, hit Apple + c to copy, or Apple + z to undo. Now all those people are going to have to learn to say it the proper way. Yes, I’m a bit snobby about it… it’s the Command key, dammit… not the Apple key.

Also, has anyone looked closely at the differences between the wired and wireless versions of the keyboard? On the wireless version, Apple has chosen to get rid of the number pad and compacted all the keys into a smaller form factor. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s a deal breaker for me. I can totally understand why Apple wants to offer this layout as an option… but that’s exactly what it should be… an option. They should offer a full-size version of the wireless keyboard too.

New iMac, iLife, iWork, and .Mac

The new iMac

Well, we didn’t see a new sub-notebook, but this morning Apple did announce some cool new stuff at their media event in Cupertino.

The new (thinner) iMac now more resembles the cinema displays. They’re offered in 20″ and 24″ models. More power, more ports, and a slim new keyboard. Available today. LINK

The super-thin keyboard that comes with the new iMac is also available in wired ($49) and wireless ($79) versions as a stand-alone purchase. Available today. LINK

iLife ’08
Lots of new iPhoto features, completely redesigned iMovie, and updated versions of Garage Band, iWeb, and iDVD. Available today. LINK

iWork ’08
A brand new spreadsheet application called, what else… Numbers. Updated versions of Keynote and Pages. Available today. LINK

Cool new ways of sharing your media, storage raised to 10GB, and you can now use your own domain name. Available today. LINK

As usual, Engadget live blogged the whole event, complete with pictures, and a Q&A session afterwards.

During the Q&A, Apple suggested we may see updates to Apple TV sometime soon, and also said the Mac mini line will be updated today as well, but since they didn’t make much mention of it I image it’s just a small speed bump.

Media Temple’s iPhone Account Center

Media Temple Account Center on iPhone

If you use Media Temple as your web host, you’ve probably already heard about this. But, just incase you haven’t, Media Temple has announced a version of their account center formatted specifically for the iPhone.

It’s not as full-featured as the regular account center, but it’s still pretty cool. You can find more info here.

Transformers: Less than meets the eye.

Transformers the Movie

1.5 Star

We went to see Transformers last night. We purposely waited a few weeks since it’s opening to avoid the crouds. With all the hype that preceeded the opening, I was a bit surprised that I haven’t heard anything about it since it opened. Last night I found out why.

My first question for anyone who is still planning on seeing this is… is 23 minutes of over-the-top action and eye-candy worth 2 hours of being bored to tears? If the answer is no, then you should skip Transformers.

I think I went to this movie with reasonable expectations. I assumed the story wouldn’t be much to speak of, but it would be an action-packed, visually stunning ride. I would have been correct… if we were running so late that we missed the first 2 hours of the movie.

Let me break down the movie a little to give you an idea of what to expect. In the first hour there are a couple of good scenes, but for the most part nothing all that exciting, or of any relavance happens. At about one hour and fifteen minutes in, Optimus Prime and the other Autobots finally make an appearance. They spend 15 minutes on Autobot introductions, and then another 15 minutes hanging out in the main characters back yard in a scene that is stricktly comic-relief. After that we get a 15 minute scene that sets the stage for the finale. At this point we’re almost 2 hours into the movie, and not much has happened. I’m so bored that I’m ready to leave. Finally, Megatron and the other Decepticons are introduced, and the action begins. The remaining 23 minutes of the movie are pretty cool, visually speaking.

I won’t even bother telling you about the many side-stories that were thrown in for no good reason, like the Chihuahua with a cast on it’s leg, or the mandatory hot, young, female “hacker” that doesn’t actually do anything important.

So, I give transformers 1.5 stars. Keep in mind you get 1 star just for going through the trouble of making a movie.

Pictures of Collapsed Bridge in Minneapolis

Collapsed bridge over Mississippi River in Minneapolis
Photo: Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times

On the radio yesterday I heard about the bridge over the Mississippi River, in Minneapolis, that collapsed. I didn’t realize the scope until I saw it on the news last night. It’s pretty horrendous. If you haven’t seen it, check out the photo gallery on the New York Times site.

GPS Cell Phone for Dogs

Dog collar GPS Cell Phone

Whenever we take Maggie Moo (our dog) to the beach she inevitably runs around like a crazy dog and strays pretty far away… out of shouting distance. Anne Marie and I have joked about getting a cell phone for her so we could call her back to us.

Guess the folks over at Pets Mobility had the same idea because they’ve built a dog collar that incorporates an auto-answer cell phone with GPS tracking called, PetsCell. The unit also has buttons on it that someone who finds your dog can push to call you.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you can actually buy this just yet, but the site does mention that it will be released “mid 2007”. They don’t have pricing on their site, but a linked news clip says it will run U.S. $400 for the phone, plus a monthly service fee (ouch!).

Check out this post on Product Dose for other great doggie products.

Easy Product Mockups with LiveSurface Image Library

LiveSurface image library

If you’ve ever had to do product mockups you know it can sometimes be a real bitch to find / create the right container image as the base for your design, not to mention the time it takes to mask-off the individual surfaces to apply your mock label.

That’s where LiveSurface can save the day. It’s a high-res, layered Photoshop image library, complete with masks, alpha channels, and embedded 3-D surfaces. The library includes product containers, common items, and scenes (signs, billboards, etc…).

The images aren’t free, but they are very reasonable. The box above will cost U.S. $29 for a high-res print file, or $14 for an image suitable for web or on-screen presentations.

If you go to the site and enter your email address, you can get this box image as a free sample. It comes with a demo movie giving a brief overview.

via Core77