Here’s my morning project… a do-it-yourself semi-portable amplified Bluetooth speaker system made out of my grandfather’s amo box. If you already have a pair of decent speakers, this system will set you back exactly $44.84 and give you sound that competes with a $300 SONOS (although the Sonos software is really cool and Wifi range is much better than 20-25 feet of Bluetooth).
A pair of speakers. I used a pair of Radio Shack Minimus 7 speakers. They don’t make them like this anymore, kids. Before there were websites, the audio mags used to rate these as the best. Again- you can bring whatever nice speakers you already have.
An amplifier. You probably already have one, but I LOVE the sound of this puppy and it’s dirt cheap: “Lepai” LP-2020A Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply (awesome sound for $16.85, and we’re talking 1,500 almost 5-star ratings). I think this is the best tech bargain I’ve seen in my life.
Accessories: The bluetooth receiver and amplifier come with power cords and audio connectors. So all you need is some speaker wire, glue, and an extension cord.
Wish you could hear it. It’s pretty bold. Nice whoop-ass Redneck acoustical system for the pool or home. Another update Jan. 11, 2014: I just cranked it and asked a buddy and his kids to close their eyes. They picked this rig over the Sonos playing the exact same song!
The instructions are simple and, of course, you don’t need the amo box. But it’s nice if you want to move it around.
Plug the speakers into the Lepai amp speaker inputs. Plug the Lepai amp in the wall. You can handle that, right?
Plug the Homespot (or Belkin) Bluetooth receiver into the amplifier photo/audio input. Plug the power in the wall.
Get your iPhone, iPod or laptop and “find” the Homespot or Belkin, then pair them.
Turn on the sound of your device (no special app required) and it comes booming out the speakers like audible love!
Let me know if it works for ya? I can’t believe more people don’t do this!
It looks like a thumb drive and it has the Google Chrome logo on it. What is that thing called the Google Chromecast, and do you need one? If you already have a Roku or AppleTV, does the Chromecast get you anything new?
Well if you’re a YouTube binger, the answer is a certain yes.
This device launched in July, but is probably the least understood product Google has ever made. It’s basically a $35 easy-to-install dongle that plugs into a television’s HDMI input and allows you to stream video and audio via Wifi. The catch is that it only works with select apps like YouTube, Netflix and Google play. By contrast, Roku, TiVo and AppleTV are more full-serviced tools/services for grazing video via select services.
Unlike other streaming-video gadgets (Roku, TiVo, AppleTV), Google Chromecast has a fairly defined use. If you’re watching a YouTube or Netflix video on a computer, phone or pad, you can easily “fling” it to an HDTV to share with others. This is a handy feature if you’d prefer to use a device to control an experience, rather than a remote.
To set it up, you:
Plug in the Chromecast into the back of your television via HDMI input (the packaging is a bit deceptive, because you also need to power it with an additional cord that goes into a wall).
“Find” the Chromecast via your device’s blue tooth, then you connect the Chromecast with your device’s app.
The next time you’re snacking on a video on your device, you can choose to play it on your TV via the Chromecast.
I still like Roku because it gives me easy access to Netflix and Amazon Prime, and the remote makes life fairly simple. But I can see Google Chrome as more than a poor-man’s Roku. If you watch a lot of YouTube, it’s a no-brainer. You get all the benefits of your “lean forward” binging (searching, subscribing, related videos) but via a large-screen “lean back” experience.
I can think of another use that would alone justify its $35 price… if you travel a lot, it’s a nice way to watch Netflix from a hotel room without crowding a laptop. Of course you’ll need wifi.
Bloke named Ben Lehmann turned on his windshield wipers on the viper, but that didn’t work. The snake manages to slither along the driver’s side window, and holds tight even as the car begins to pick up speed.
So that reminds me… a guy was at a movie theater last week to see the Catching Fire debut. He notices what looks like a snake sitting next to him. “Are you a snake?” asked the man, surprised. “Yes.” “What are you doing at the movies?” The snake replied, “Well, mate, I liked the book.”
I didn’t care much when some of the online video sites retired “consumer generated” accounts, and killed my Nalts channels. Metacafe, Revver, Yahoo video, Google video. But I’ve been rooting for the Blip.tv underdog since its infancy. So when I learned today they deleted my account, I felt totally betrayed.
Blip.tv is now owned by Internet studio, Maker. They’ve never much liked me, unfortunately.
Unfortunately many of my Blip.tv videos are gone for good… not uploaded to other video-sharing sites and not backed up. Whey they began killing some accounts I wasn’t surprised. I expected some of my secondary “staging” accounts at Blip.tv to go away, so I backed them up. But didn’t expect they’d kill my Nalts one.
Part of my Internet youth died today. Not since Revver closed shop has the internet made me so sad.
The creators of Walhub, an electrical switch cover that has storage features, snuck a batch of products into Ikea to demonstrate demand. It’s a clever way to put a new product on a radar, and connect it with an existing brand (Ikea) without, of course, permission. I proclaim “Hacking Ikea,” featured in Adage, the best guerilla campaign of 2013. If you know of something more clever, let me know!
I can only suggest 3 things to improve it:
I wanted to know the people behind the stunt. Text overlay in introductions are cold, people. How about hearing briefly from the creators? Make us care about their plight. Make us believe they’re creative artists who built something cool but don’t have the retail muscle of the big boys. And be sure that the average video grazer knows that many of the “victims” got free products (which is only obvious when watching most of the video).
Team should focus viral-video seeding on the YouTube version not the Vimeo one. The latter may be for groovy artists, but YouTube views beget views. In general, if you can get people viewing a YouTube video, it will produce more downstream views for two reasons: first, it will SEO optimize. Second, it will show up as a “related” video when YouTube’s algorithm senses it’s being shared. I’m still perplexed as why anyone would ever seed a video that’s not on YouTube.
Laughter behind the camera. This is something I discovered accidentally when creating Farting in Public because I didn’t have hidden mics and fancy equipment. We want to hear the crew laughing. It’s an authentic laugh track.
Surprising news from NPR about the implication of AOL buying Adap.tv.
AOL is now above Google/YouTube in online-video advertising views. In ComScore’s Web video rankings for September, AOL topped Google as the property with the most video ads watched last month, with 3.7 billion views compared to the YouTube parent’s 3.2 billion.
This is a bit misleading, however. Google/YouTube’s income and profit from video ads is likely far higher than Adap.tv and some AOL ads. Adap.tv is an intermediary, and much of the revenue from its advertising income is shared with both the creator of the video or the site where the video appears.
Here’s an example. AOL sealed a partnership with ESPN to syndicate ESPND clips on AOL Web sites, including owned sites like Huffington Post, and onto connected devices through its AOL On app. That means when advertisers pay AOL, much of that revenue is shared with ESPN and some would be shared with non-AOL sites where the videos are further syndicated.
Of course Google/YouTube also pays its content creator a portion of the revenue. But when you buy an ad with Google/YouTube, there’s no ad network involved to take a split. And because Google/YouTube hosts its own videos, they don’t need to share with another site or syndicator.
This explains why AOL is partnering with A-list celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jonathan Adler to either host or star in original Web series for its AOL On Network, the company’s video platform. Ads around these types of program deals don’t have to be shared with anyone except the creators and AOL. Advertisers will pay far more to be a part of custom programing if it gets decent views. AOL can snatch even more if it can get a sponsor or exclusive advertiser.
Internet ad revenues grew to a unprecedented $20.1 billion in the first half of 2013. That’s an 18 percent increase over 2012’s first-half ad revenues of $17 billion.
Mobile revenues soared to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, representing triple-digit growth at 145 percent, from $1.2 billion in the same period in 2012.
Search revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $8.7 billion, up 7 percent from $8.1 billion in the first half of 2012.
Display-related advertising revenues (the category that includes online-video ad spending) in the first half of 2013 totaled $6.1 billion, accounting for 30 percent of revenues in the time period. That’s up 9 percent from $5.6 billion in the first half of 2012 — but as mentioned the video portion of this is up 24 percent.
The top three advertising verticals accounted for 46 percent of advertising revenue, including Retail at 20 percent, Financial Services at 14 percent and Automotive at 12 percent
A man spills his coffee. A woman gets angry. Using telekinetic power, she sends him flying upward against a wall. Then she sends coffee tables sliding away with the wave of her hand. Finally she screams, and pictures fly off the wall and books fly to the ground.
This is one of the best pranks I’ve seen, and it’s also a masterful promotion for Carrie, the new movie adaptation of Stephen King’s classic. So it wins the official 2013 WillVideoForFood Best Viral Video Promotion award.