Plugging into the brain

5 03 2012

It’s a concept which has been a part of science fiction for a long time, but it has made me wonder lately if it might be possible.

That if there is a place, a port, on the head which might connect with the brain, to input audio or visual data… not only so the blind could see or the deaf might hear, but also for entertainment purposes. Imagine having the purest stereo sound entering your head, which completely bypasses your ears. You could have it as loud as you liked, but nobody would hear it and as a bonus, it would never damage your hearing.

Visually, it could give you direct information such as directions, without the need to operate and look at a screen, You would never need to take your eyes off the road.

And as for movies, it would be like having the biggest screen imaginable.

Fine, it’s a nice dream, but let’s be practical.

The brain is supposed to be highly adaptable, so what if a port could be grown?

What if, for instance, you could wear a device which had a slight charge or vibration, on a particular place on the skull, the charge or vibration would match the frequency of music… and although you couldn’t hear the music now… what if after so many months, your brain began to register the slight buzz or tingle as audio data?

Yes, it probably wouldn’t work, and if it did, what if your brain chose to interpret the input as visual data or pain?

I’m just the dreamer of the dream, but when a scientist starts to consider the possibility too, things can change from dream, into reality.

In the 80’s we didn’t have phones that could slip into our pockets, at the time it was quite impossible, and yet similar devices were seen in Star Trek or 2001 a Space Odyssey.

So is this idea possible?



Hardly HD

15 11 2011

I have a little niggle, which is when I visit YouTube and spot a video which is, for example, from 1983, and the uploader has written…

“Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (HD)”

As the title.

Well sorry, It’s not, and I don’t care if you recorded the thing from some HD channel, The video is from 1983, it will never, ever be, in HD.

Some of you oldies, like myself, remember when we went from black and white tv, to colour, and how black and white movies remained in black and white, even though we watched them on our colour sets, it’s the same principle here.

If the original source was HD… either a film or HD recording, then your upload, should be in HD, provided you followed all the protocols to keep the video as close to the original as possible.

But if the source was in standard definition television format, usually with a 4:3 format, then even if some guy (or you) fiddled with the video in a studio, or someone stretched the video out vertically, making everyone in the video look like Elvis shortly before he kicked the bucket. and then you saved the file in 1080i or 720p format, then mark my words, it will still be a Standard Definition video.

You should note that just because your computer says a video is now 1080i, that doesn’t make it HD, the computer just thinks it is. In much the same way as if you copy a black and white film to videotape the machine will “think” it’s colour, even when you can plainly see that it isn’t.

You cannot, even in this age of computers, add what is missing to make the video HD, any more than you can easily turn a black and white film into colour.

There are lots of people out there working in real video production houses, who know HD when they see it, and think you’re an idiot when they see HD next to a twenty year old music video.

If you’re unsure, just don’t write HD in the title of your upload, it’s not required, after all, nobody says “IN LIVING COLOUR” anymore either.


I have my bingo card ready and waiting for a word, anyone want to say it?

Rotten Apples

3 06 2011

You may have read about my data loss on my iphone, Not only did I lose photos and videos over a month, but also a lot of voice memos, which had been important thoughts, and a few silly ones, from recent times… I really did want to keep these because they were the kinds of things I would one day wish to look back on, and were the kind of thing I’d like to pass onto others.

In general, when we see family trees, we see names and when these people were born, if they married and how many kids they had, and when they died. But a lot of the important stuff, such as what they loved and despised, how they felt, and what made them tick as a person, is lost.

I had been foolishly trusting iTunes to back this data up for me, while having no idea that it was just backing up basics, such as apps, music and phone numbers.

To me, the art I produce myself is of more importance than product I can simply buy again, (though understandably that is a pain too) because our own media is unique, and often the only copy is on the phone or computer.

I have had computers for decades now, and I know full well that backing up is the very best thing to do, and have several backups for my PC in the form of external drives.

When my phone went down, and I found iTunes had only saved rudimentary items, I was shocked and angry, frankly I wanted to beat both my Mac and iPhone to a pulp with a hammer, and to be honest I am considering wiping both and putting them on e-bay.

Apples backup system “Time Machine” failed to help too.

Although I found that I could indeed take a former iTunes from the past and use it’s contents… I could reload my bought apps, but of course there were no voice memos, photos or videos.

I noticed that some of my notes were from the much older PC sync, with iTunes (iTunes on PC appears to be the safer bet), so I thought I’d re-sync with the Mac version.

However, none of the backups worked anymore, each time I tried to run iTunes, I was greeted with an Apple Agreement and a fresh program… completely empty, no apps or anything.

I completely erased iTunes from my Mac and went back into Time Machine, dug out the old iTunes and ran it again, only to be greeted by the same Apple Agreement again, and a fresh, apparently unused iTunes.

Where was my stuff?

I’m feeling really burned by this, and really just want to leave this stuff in the corner to rot.

I will never buy another Apple product ever again, I’ve had enough. For all the sparkly glamour of the company, what has happened over the last week is far worse than anything the PC has ever done to me in over twenty years of use.

If anything has gone wrong on the pc, nine times out of ten I have managed to recover most of my files with relative ease, but with the Mac it’s just complete frustration.


Getting a Job

8 10 2010

My dream job is to work with the ABC, but there are complications, firstly I’ve never had a paying job, so I really don’t know what to expect. The idea of going for a payed job feels something like being lead to a cliff, blindfolded and asked to take a “leap of faith” (and as I’m an atheist, that’s a hard ask).

I have filled my time either with education or voluntary jobs.

What I wanted to do most of all at high-school was to work in radio, and I did get to act out my wish at a community station in Melton, Victoria called RIM-FM (now 979FM). I was there for three years, I ran a two hour music program twice a week and also did some background work, such as writing CSAs or any material which needed to be scripted. I also edited lots of tape. A skill I learnt from a small amount of time at the School of Audio Engineering at St. Kilda.

Illness stopped me from going further, so I dropped out and waited a few years, and found that I felt better… so I decided to do a course in Shiatsu Massage which lasted two years, this was my new age hippy stage, which I can’t knock because I needed something at a relaxed pace which I could handle.

After this I took on another voluntary position with Friends of the (Melbourne) zoo, and liked this, but my health took another dive a few months later.

People who know me would know of my battle with cancer, in myself and with family members.

So I have been on the disability pension for some time, I don’t go out much, just to shop and walk my dog, then I come home and rest.

So the internet has become very important for me as a way to socialise and be involved with things.

I began using it in the 90’s via my Amiga computer, so have seen a lot of changes from then till now.

In the last few years I have been assisting ABC on a voluntary basis on their Secondlife island, acting as a greeter to the public, building it’s structure, producing a live game show for the visitors, and making sure that it runs smoothly from a technical perspective.

The island is a project of ABC Innovation in Sydney, Abigail E. Thomas is in charge there.

I am also a very keen Facebook user, My page almost resembles an online newspaper as I like to add links to the important stories of the day, and to interesting videos or images (photos and comics). However I don’t play facebook games.

Twitter is something I have also found worthwhile, I enjoy reading tweets from the people I follow, who are usually media people. Often this is where I discover links to the news stories which I use on Facebook, Crediting the finder or writer of the story as I add the links.

My technical skills include:

Basic computer use: PC, Mac and iPhone, I can also do some limited maintenance.

Basic Photoshop skills, which I’ve used for Secondlife, Various blogs and Twitter.

Basic Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas skills (Video Editing) the results can be viewed at my Youtube page.

I recommend watching the “Win a Secondlife Avatar” promotional video, Featuring use of a virtual world, Filming of a virtual world, Video Editing, Video Effects and Soundtrack editing.

And also “Step out of the Shade” A music video I made, using the same techniques as mentioned above.

I can edit sound recordings in various sound editing programs and produce and publish a podcast.

I also have reasonable photography skills, I’m familiar with DSLR use and HDV camcorder use.

I have completed a documentary with December Films called “Alter Ego” about users of Secondlife which was produced for SBS, and Have a very small credit in the Australian Feature Film, “Beautiful Kate”.

My limitations mean that although I could occasionally make it to a location, I would far rather work from home if possible and e-mail in any work which needs doing.

I am exceedingly comfortable using the internet, and not quite as comfortable with the real world.

I am an unusual but friendly character, who has a loyal and caring nature, if you can take my oddity, I consider myself a furry, then perhaps we can come up with a plan?

Now, I don’t have the highest opinion of myself, however, if you think that by looking at what I’ve written here, that I may be capable of what you require, then just send a tweet to @Wolfie_Rankin.

Also, I’m pretty broke, My house is falling to bits and I need some help to get out of this hole.