Category

gear

My Social Media Costume

A few weeks ago I was packing for my trip to SXSW. As I gathered my clothes Tara asked me if I was going to bring my “social media costume”. I laughed…she had totallySocial Media Costumecaught on to me. Over the past few months I have been making a point of wearing the exact same outfit to any event where I would be seeing a lot of social media types.

My hat, Twitter shirt and crazy red running shoes have all become part of my personal brand. I wear this outfit to events because it enables people to easily recognize and remember me. It also creates a consist image when people take photos of me and post them on the interwebs.

I have a red and blue version of the “costume”, allowing me to switch things up if the event is multiple days. The red version is my primary pick because it matches the colors of this blog.

If you want to build a personal brand you need to constantly reinforce it, whatever it is. Are you the guy who always dresses in black? Hawaiian shirts? Has crazy hair? Wears sunglasses inside? Define your visual image and make a conscious effort to embrace it, particularly at social events.

Helmet Cam

Review of the Tachyon XC Helmet Cam

Last weekend I went on a camping trip with my brothers to Carolina Adventure World, a place that is nothing short of heaven on earth for those that enjoy dirt bikes and ATVS. Prior to the trip I decided I wanted to document it all on video, so I set out to purchase a helmet cam that could withstand the abuse of water, mud and violent movement of the ATV. After extensive research I found the Tachyon XC, a shock-proof video camera designed specifically for mounting on helmets, handle bars and anything else you can think of. I purchased two of the $149 helmet cams and brought them with me on my trip.

Helmet CamMounting the Tachyon XC on my helmet was a piece of cake. You simply slide the camera on to any set of goggles and you are good to go. Mounting the second camera to my ATV proved to be a little more difficult. The Tachyon is designed to take a beating so they have minimized the moving pieces. None of the three supplied brackets allow for vertical adjustment, so I had to use a little Murphy ingenuity to make sure it was properly pointed at my face. It was nothing some zip ties and gaffing tape couldn’t handle.

Camping Weekend

Operation of the camera is very straight forward. There are only three buttons on the unit, but it is still easy to configure the camera to do what you want it to. Once you get it setup it is simply a matter of turning it off and on and starting or stopping recording. The buttons are really, really stiff and difficult to push, but with good reason. You don’t want the camera to start or stop because of the shock it is receiving.

One Tough Video Camera

I beat the crap out of both of these cameras. I completely covered them in thick, gritty mud. I submerged them. I bounced them around for 12 hours on an ATV and they took it all beautifully. I don’t think a standard video camera in a waterproof case would have made it out alive. I managed to capture all the video I needed with a single set of AA lithium batteries and a 16GB SDHC Card in each unit (the cameras require 4GB of storage per 1 HR of footage).

Camping Weekend

While I was extremely impressed with the quality construction and all the accessories provided for $149 I was a little disappointed with the picture quality. I have been using my Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS to shoot all my video and I love it. In contrast the video produced by the Tachyon XC seems to have less detail and is often over saturated. To be fair my Canon was more expensive, came with no mounting accessories and could never in a million years take the beating my Tachyon XC helmet cam did.

Helmet Camera Photo Comparison

Still frame taken from the video of each camera

The good folks at Tachyon emailed me not once, but three times to make sure I was happy with my order. The customer service is outstanding and they are very eager to help.

Overall I would give this product 4 out of 5 tongues. It is an incredible value for $149 and the company stands by their product. I look forward to a future version of the Tachyon with higher quality video (or perhaps an HD option).

You may be thinking where is the video?!?! Well… you will just have to wait until I am done editing the whole camping trip together.

ZipIt XSP iPod & iPhone Case

The $.10 iPod / iPhone Case and Headband

zipit xsp ipod case

Are you tired of buying $30.00 iPhone cases and arm bands? I have discovered an innovative new product called the ZipIt XSP iPod Case. Save your cash, protect your iPhone or iPod and be the envy of your friends and family. The ZipIt XSP Case features:

  • Stylish looks
  • Compatible with all generations of the iPod and iPhone
  • Works with other music players including Zune
  • Waterproof technology makes it great for workouts
  • Supports Nike+ adapter
  • Protects your screen from scratches
  • Ability to use all buttons while in case
  • Optional armband, thighband and headband included

This product is available exclusively at yourmommashouse.com and is the least expensive iPod case on the market. If you get one please share your photo, I will be sure to post it and link back to you.

zipit xsp iphone case

Take a Screenshot with Your iPhone

This past week I posted a screenshot from my iPhone to my twitpic account. I immediately had people ask me how I did it, obviously tech nerds don’t read manuals (just like me). I didn’t know it was possible to take iPhone screenshots until my younger sister, an Apple employee, showed me how to do it a few months ago.

To take a screenshot with an iPhone simply press the sleep and home buttons at the same time. The screen with briefly flash and a screenshot will be saved to your iPhone’s camera roll as a PNG. You can get the screen shot off your phone just like any other photo. You will need an iPhone running firmware 2.0 or greater in order to use this feature.

Take an iPhone Screen Shot

Take an iPhone Screen Shot

Directional Sound

Last night I watched the TED video below and was blown away by inventor Woody Norris. I had heard about sound cannons being used to thwart pirates on the news, but never understood the genesis of the technology. Woody is man behind the concept and this video explains how it works.

The second I was done with this video I set out to purchase a directional sound speaker for my office. I want to set one up in my cube so I can jam out without bothering others or wearing headphones. I also thought directional sound speakers would be great for keeping the noise complaints to a minimum at my lake parties.

Woody’s company is American Technology Coproration. ATC doesn’t sell product on thier site so I had to dig around a bit. Unfortunately the prices haven’t come down very much since this video was made in 2004. The lowest price is $663.47 as of today and the speakers are only available through one distributor (which doesn’t seem to have any in stock). I tried eBay, no such luck. I am still going to try and get one, I am fascinated by directional sound techology. I will let you know how it works.

Camera On A Stick

I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend with bloggers at SeaWorld in Orlando. In addition to falling in love with Shamu and dolphins (I am going to buy one), I fell in love with my X-Shot all over again. I am an X-Shot affiliate and a HUGE HUGE fan of the product. I like it so much that Friday night I gave one to Lucretia Pruitt, Julia Roy and Alex Schek to film our SeaWorld escapades (I was one short and still owe Sarah Austin hers).

xshot_pixI took over 10Gb of photos and video in 30 hours, almost all of it with my camera attached to an X-Shot. An X-Shot is an expandable pole you can screw your video or still camera to. You can see an example of me using it in my side bar. I like to call the combined rig my “camera on a stick“, mostly because it reminds me of meat on a stick and that makes me happy.

My camera on a stick lets me grab shots I simply couldn’t get without it. Below is one of my favorite videos from this weekend, filmed with an X-Shot at SeaWorld.

If you don’t believe me just ask Alex, Julia or Drew how awesome the X-Shot is on Twitter. Go ahead. I dare you ; )

Alex Schek and Julia Roy

You can get your own X-Shot here.

Twitter T-Shirts Start Popping Up

It appears that the very first person (that I know of anyway) has downloaded the template I provided for custom Twitter T-Shirts. Cara Couture of North Carolina grabbed the design and showed it off at BarcampCLT.

Twitter T-Shirt

Twitter T-Shirt

I was happy to see the shirt, but bummed I never got a mention on Twitter : ( I was all for sharing my idea but I thought people would at least give me a shoutout for providing everything. Oh well, high expectations I guess. I am still happy I shared and would do it again.

No Love

No Love

Customize Your Shoes with NikeID

My running shoes are starting to show some wear so I have decided to order some new shoes from NikeID. This will be my 4th pair of running shoes from Nike and I have got to say I love the shoes almost as much as the customization process. Nike gives you the ability to create your own shoes, complete with your name¬†embroidered¬†on them. If you have odd size feet (which I don’t) you can even order different sizes for your left and right foot as well as different widths. There are tons of shoe styles to choose from for men, women and children.

NikeID is totally cool and I am a huge fan. The only thing that sucks is the 4 week delivery cycle, but it’s worth the wait.

My Current Running Shoes from Nike

The Design Process

My New Running Shoes

My New Running Shoes

Show Me Your Intel!

Like many of you I am a fan of Intel. I am running Intel processors in my laptop and desktop and I love the Intel brand. I may not have a Intel processor mini-museum in my basement like my buddy Shoemoney, but I do proudly sport the Intel logo on shirts and stickers as a smaller symbol of nerdism. When my friend Brito (who works at Intel) told me he was coming to visit I asked him to drop by the Intel company store and pick me up some swag. He totally hooked me up, so much so that I have decided to share some of this hard to get Intel gear with my readers.

Intel Swag Giveaway

Computer nerds of the world unite! I am giving away an awesome OGIO laptop bag, a basic notepad, a really nice leather notepad and an oversized pen…. all branded with the Intel logo. This is some high quality gear and would make a cool gift for the computer nerd in your family. As far as I know you can only get this stuff from the company store in Silicon Valley.

Intel Swag

Intel Swag

How to Enter

You can enter up to three ways. Each type of entry gets you a certain amount of chances to win.

1. POST (10 entries) : Show me your Intel! Write a post on your blog linking back to this post with a picture of you and your Intel powered computer. I want your nerdom to be glowing.

2. COMMENT (2 entries) : Leave a comment on this blog with the type of Intel chip(s) you are running and what type of computer.

3. TWEET it out (1 entry) : Tweet the phrase “RT @tedmurphy is giving away awesome swag from #Intel on his blog http://urlbrief.com/93c309

You can have up to 13 entries per person if you do all three. The winner will be chosen at random. Contest cIoses at midnight EST December 17th, 2008. Iam going to announce the winner on December 18th and will ship it to you in time for Christmas as long as you get back to me with your address by the 19th. This is a personal contest, not sponsored by any company.