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Bonus Video: My First Hands-On with a MID (Mobile Internet Device)

A few days before IDF, I met Holly from Intel via an email thread on who was going to Shanghai to blog, etc. She let me know that there was going to be a MID (Mobile Internet Device) photoshoot at some point, and invited me to come, shoot video, and check it out. Well, it turned out that the photoshoot took place at 8 PM the first night after IDF started, and didn’t finish until 8 AM the next morning. These devices are pretty much the only ones in the world right now, and they were needed for the keynote addresses both days of IDF. So the middle of the night was the only time they were available for a photoshoot. I passed.

But! On Day 2 of IDF, Holly came by the Upload Lounge with one of the MIDs – a unit from Gigabyte. She was supposed to do some “man on the street” video, showing people in Shanghai the MID, and asking them to show what they had in their pockets. But her video crew wasn’t available for some reason. SInce I was there with all my gear, and had time before the next session, I happily accompanied her out onto the streets of Shanghai (with Helen, our translator) to do the man on the street video.

But before we hit the streets, I shot this short clip with my Apitek Go-HD, to commemorate my first ever hands-on experience with a real, live MID. Here’s the video – about a minute and a half, not long enough to go into any depth. But it should be enough to give you a glimpse of what they’re like to actually use.


Holly is hard core – she was up all night long for the photoshoot, and still came around to do this. I would have chickened out and hidden in my soft warm bed for a few hours. Hats off to you, Holly! Hope you got some rest! And thank you for letting me touch the MID! :-)

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More Video from Shanghai: Josh’s IDF Video Diary

Here’s another collection of video clips from the two days of IDF Shanghai. Highlights include a look around the IDF venue (Shanghai International Convention Center), the Huangpu riverfront at night (gorgeous!), a peek at Chinese TV in my hotel room, a look at what websites are blocked in China and which aren’t, some “man on the street” video with Intel’s new Mobile Internet Devices, a look at the terrifying chaos that is pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Shanghai, and a cameo appearance by Celene Dion. :-)


Like the walkabout video I posted before, these little clips were all shot in HD on my little Aiptek Go-HD video camera, then pieced together in Quicktime Pro and rendered down to 640×360 on my Elgato Turbo.264. And then converted to low quality Flash by YouTube. :-) The video is about 10 minutes long, and I’ll probably post a higher quality version than what I can get from YouTube when I get home.I’ll probably keep shooting and posting these while I’m in Shanghai. I’m here until next week – going to spend a few days working with some of the Intel Software Network team here at Intel Shanghai. And I kind of like the style/technique of these videos. I’ve had lots of people ask me how I’m doing this. It’s very simple: I turn the screen on the camera so I can see myself, then hold it out at arm’s length, pointed at me, and pivot around in place to show what’s around me, while keeping myself on screen. Kind of fun to shoot, and I like the results.You know the drill – leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Want to see more like this? Hate it? Have something about Shanghai that you want me to shoot? Drop me a line, and let me know. And thanks for watching! :-)

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A few iPhone photos from Shanghai

It’s been a whirlwind two days. IDF just got over, and for the last two days, I’ve been shooting video of keynotes, sessions, demos, and other interesting stuff. Since all my video gear is kinda heavy to lug around, I haven’t bothered taking my Nikon D40 DSLR with my, to take many photos. Now that I’m done with the heavy duty video stuff, I’ll have my camera with me much more while I’m here in Shanghai, and will take and post some more photos.

In the mean time, here are a few that I’ve managed to shoot with my iPhone. Some of these turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. As always, I love it when you comment on my stuff, so let me know what you think, and enjoy! :-)

Shanghai Promenade
Super Brand Mall, Shanghai
Super Brand Mall, interior
My first meal in Shanghai: McDonald's
Intel Developer Forum 2008 Shanghai

You can, as always, see all of the photos I share on Flickr.

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Video: Josh’s Shanghai Walkabout

I’ve been in Shanghai for about a day and a half now, for the Spring 2008 Intel Developer Forum conference. I’m here to shoot video of stuff that’s interesting and useful for software developers and generally cover the event for Intel Software Network.

Yesterday was “Day 0” of the event – badge pickup, etc., but no real events scheduled. I took the opportunity to escape my hotel, and do a little walkabout exploration of my surroundings in Shanghai. I’ve been shooting tons of pictures and video, and I could write thousands and thousands of words about how cool Shanghai is. For now, enjoy this little video I put together of my “walkabout” in Shanghai.

Features include: about 100 people offering to sell me a “Rolex”, some of the great Shanghai architecture, exploration of the “Super Brand Mall”, including the Chinese versions of McDonalds and Toys R Us, a supermarket, and more.

Later that evening, my ISN China colleagues (and Shanghai natives) Richard and Welles basically showed me the town. They took me to PC Mall, which is a 5 story mall full of nothing but computers, electronics, cameras, and games. It’s like Fry’s on crack, and I’m DEFINITELY going back there before I come home. :-) There’s a bonus clip of PC Mall at the end of the video.

I also ran into my first “blocked in China” site while trying to upload this video – blip.tv. I love Blip, for lots of reason – video quality being one of the top. So I was bummed to not be able to use it for this video. Instead, it’s on YouTube (strange that Blip is blocked but YouTube isn’t – what’s up with that?), with the accompanying quality loss. But at least you can see it. And the quality isn’t super high anyway – it was all shot handheld in HD on my Aiptek Go-HD, then reencoded to 640×360 on my trusty Elgato Turbo.264. I’ll put up a high quality version when I get home.

Here’s the video – enjoy! :-)

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Gearing up for Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in China next week

Getting Geared Up for China

Some of the stuff I’m getting ready for my trip to IDF Shanghai (no, my drink and my Nerf gun aren’t going – they live on my desk 😉 ). Most, if not all, of this stuff will be on my person in my cargo pants pockets for the duration, ready to capture audio and video on the spur of the moment:

Of course, this isn’t all I’m taking. The “big” stuff not pictured includes my Canon XH A1 HDV video camera (with the accompanying mic, light, tripod, etc.) and my Nikon D40 DSLR camera. (Those are all affiliate links.)

I’ll be shooting video of some of the keynote and demos at IDF – the Intel Developer Forum – in Shanghai next week. I’ll also be spending some time with the Intel Software Network team there.

This is my first time to China, and I’m excited and nervous. Mainly because I always get nervous/anxious before a trip. I worry that something will go wrong, I won’t have the right gear/paperwork/etc. I’m sure it will all be fine, though.

I may not have very good Internet access (I know a lot of services I use are blocked in China, but I will have VPN access back through Intel’s proxies), and I know I’m going to be really busy, so updates might be sporadic. But I’ll definitely be posting stuff to Twitter, etc. So if you want to follow me on my trip use Twitter, and watch my blog (www.tinyscreenfuls.com) and my lifestream (www.joshbancroft.com).

Shanghai here I come! :-)

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InstaResearch: What the heck IS a MID anyway?

Had an interesting conversation today in a meeting with some of Intel’s web marketing folks – the people who run blogs.intel.com/mobility, to be precise. We were talking about who actually had hands on experience with a “MID”, and that quickly moved on to the question of defining what, exactly, a MID is. And perhaps more importantly, what it is not.

So what did I do? I took advantage of the 1200+ people who follow me on Twitter, and did some “InstaResearch”. In other words, I asked my Twitter network:

What the heck do YOU think a MID is? Not just defining the acronym, but what IS it? What is it NOT?

Within minutes, the answers came pouring in. Here’s what people had to say:

@sunraven01 – It is NOT a device that only provides connectivity inside a provider’s walled garden.

@sharong – as close to omniscience as humans will ever get

@psteinb – Something that fits in my pocket and can give me access to ALL aspects of net platform

@Jerry_Makare – MID, Meat-In-Dumpster: An acronym used to tell dumpster divers that meat products are located within garbage receptacles. Yum.

@clint – Midi file!

@sharong – MID to me is more than just browser-its integrated feeds, its connectedness.M is also more than handheld-could be clothing

Update: a late(r) entry from Tablet PC guru Loren Heiny:

@LorenHeiny – “What’s a MID?” To me: The iPhone & iPod Touch are MIDs, though the iPhone is more a phone and the Touch needs more connectivity

@LorenHeiny – Why r the iPhone & iPod Touch MIDs? Because they provide some of the best browser experiences. Something I think is key to a MID

It’s interesting to note that everyone besides @clint, @sunraven01, and @LorenHeiny are people with whom I work at Intel. 😉

I’m going to withhold my own opinion/definition of “MID” for a little while, but I’ll blog it soon. Instead, I want to gather more opinions, and extend my InstaResearch. So I’m going to ask YOU – What the heck is a “MID” anyway? Is a UMPC a MID? Is a MID a UMPC? Is the iPhone a MID? What about the Nokia internet tablets like the N800 and N810? What about Tablet PCs? Smartphones and PDA phones and BlackBerries?

Post a comment and let me know what you think. I’d offer a prize for the person who gets the “correct” answer, but I’m afraid the whole point of the exercise is to illustrate how broad the definition for MID really is. So no prizes, but bonus points for creativity. 😉

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I’m on Sabbatical from Intel for two months

Well, the time is upon me. My cube is packed, and the clock is ticking towards 5:00 PM. After that, I’m officially on sabbatical, and won’t be back at Intel until December.

What is sabbatical you ask? Well, at Intel, every seven years you’re employed there, you get 8 weeks paid time off in the form of a sabbatical, to do with as you please. You can’t break it up, but you can combine it with vacation time to extend it (I’m not). It’s a great benefit – one of the perks that Intel offers that not many other companies do. They do it to let you recharge and refocus and reinvigorate yourself, which is exactly what I’m going to do.

What are my plans?

First, I’m organizing an event – Ignite Portland. It’s a fun cool kind of techie event where people get 20 slides for 15 seconds each to present a really cool idea, on any topic. Free to attend, free to present. It’s on Oct. 25 downtown at Wieden+Kennedy. Details are on the site, and if you’re in Portland, I’d love to see you there. There will be free (sponsored) food and drinks, and maybe even schwag! Check it out and RSVP if you can come. We’re already over 150 people attending, so this party is much larger than I imagined when I conceived of the idea. Let’s blow it all the way out.

After that, we’re taking a road trip to Idaho and Utah to see family. We’ll be gone about two weeks, and I’m making plans to stay as connected as possible the whole way (3G modem card + portable wifi router + battery pack. Seriously.)

When we get home, I have a bunch of web/hacking projects I want to work on. Haven’t decided which ones, yet. And I plan to play lots of videogames, and hang around the house, driving Rachel crazy.

People have been asking me if I’m going to take a break from blogging/twitter/etc. I dont’ know why, but I find it amusing. :-) Since I’m a blogger, all the way down to the core, I’ll be posting constant updates on what I’m doing here at www.tinyscreenfuls.com and in my lifestream, www.joshbancroft.com. Follow me on Twitter, subscribe to those sites, and it will be just like you’re there on sabbatical with me! 😉

I’m officially back at work on December 10. I have some vacation left to use before the end of the year, so I’ll be in and out until January, when I plan to jump back in with both feet, and start rocking some cool ideas at Intel! :-)

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