Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Going offline

It has been very quite here lately and will be even more during the next weeks. This blog will be on hiatus until I will be back online in July or August. In the meantime I will be busy with our move to Montreal and will only have access to the Internet from time to time.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Red Bull Air Race

On saturday I went to the Red Bull Air Race here in Barcelona. Very spectacular! An amazingly huge crowd of 1 Million people on the beaches! I'll post some more details later.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Finally old Europe is on the maps


The Official Google Blog just announced Google Maps in Europe. So far beta versions of Google Maps for France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are online. For Barcelona (probably for other European cities as well, didn't check) it even has the metro stations. I have been missing this feature for my soon to be home of Montreal.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Eye-Fi - the revolution that digital cameras need

I have been thinking about this before and hope it will become reality soon:
Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger » More on Eye-Fi
...you'd love this. No buttons to push. Just turn your camera on when you're within your WiFi network at home (or possibly at WiFi hotspots that are open around the world) and everything happens — automatically. When he took my picture my picture appeared on his computer without him touching the camera further. Obviously there's a bit of setup, but that's easy. Anyone who can use a Web browser could setup the system.
...You don't need as much memory if you have an Eye-Fi. Why? Cause your camera's memory is just a cache. As soon as you're within a WiFi hotspot the camera could spit the photos to your favorite photo sharing site (BubbleShare, for instance, lets you upload and download full photo files, so you wouldn't need to store them on the local camera)....


As Scoble says, I want one... that is if they come out with a CF version!

Free Cone Day!... was yesterday


Thanks Metroblogging Los Angeles for having me made aware of Ben&Jerry's free cone day. Yesterday I got three scoops going from one B&J's to the next. Cherry Garcia, Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and Chunky Monkey, mmmmmm, they just make the best ice-cream!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How to switch to the new Yahoo! Mail beta

Even though I only occasionally use my spam-filled Yahoo! Mail account I must say I was a bit jealous when my wife (who has a Yahoo! France account) got the invitation to switch to the new Yahoo! Mail Beta recently. I had to get it too! Well, I am so happy with my Gmail that I more or less forgot about it, but today I found this little hack to get an invitation while surfing some blogs:

Get in on the Yahoo! Mail beta - Lifehacker
- Log in to Yahoo Mail
- click Options
- select Account information from the left panel
- go to Member Information, General Preferences, Preferred Content
- select, for example, Yahoo UK
- click Finished
- go to Yahoo Mail
- you’ll see a page that says “It’s the New Yahoo! Mail Beta… and you’re invited.”
- click on “Try Beta Now”.

In my case I changed the preferences to Yahoo! Canada as I will be moving there soon anyway (see my project) and it worked. However this won't make me go back and use Yahoo as my primary e-mail. The new Yahoo! Mail Beta may be a bit better than the old but my first impression was: sloooooooooow! It doesn't look very good either, sort of like Outlook with ads! Since I have been using Gmail I got so used its thread view and to labels instead of folders that I cannot imagine working with something else.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Now there it is: Google Calendar is live!


A nice gift from the Google folks to start the day: Google Calendar is live as of this morning. I just started up the PC and tried to log on using the known CL2 login page and there it is Google Calendar, yes it's not CL2 as was speculated, this seems to have been an internal name only. First impression after a few minutes of use: blazing fast, no bugs! Probably this day will be dedicated to trying it out from A to Z. So is this good-bye 30Boxes and Kiko? Probably yes, though I have somewhat grown to like their own (still imperfect) calendar implementations they'll have a hard time to make their stand against Google.


UPDATE: The Gmail integration is still missing, I cannot see any "add event", "add to calendar" or other links to Google Calendar in my Gmail account, even in e-mails containing event-specific data.
UPDATE II: It seems they will roll out Gmail integration during the next days, some users already reported having it. Just a few minutes ago the official announcement came in:

It's about time

...we invite you to try Google Calendar -- a tool that simplifies keeping track of events, special occasions, and appointments -- whether they’re on your own agenda or on the calendars of contacts who opt to share their schedules with you...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New Version of Kiko Calendar


Right when I was about to forget about Kiko Calendar I received this announcement in my inbox yesterday:

We've spent the last few months with our heads down, and we've finally released the new Kiko. We're sporting a brand new, much cleaner tabbed interface and a whole host of new features:

  • Appointment reminders via email, text messages, and AIM
  • RSS feed for upcoming events
  • Natural language appointment creation
  • Import appointments and contacts via iCal and vCard
  • Sharable URLs for your calendar
Check out the new site at http://kiko.com/. You can sign up with a new login or migrate your old account by signing in with this email.
Cheers,
The Kiko Team
Just by curiosity I signed back into my Kiko account to check it out and I must say the new version doesn't seem that bad. Overall the look and feel is better than before and reminds me a lot the screenshots of the upcoming Google CL2 calendar. Even a few CL2-like features for example drag-to-create are nicely implemented in Kiko and the whole thing is a bit more stable than before.
So will I switch back from
30Boxes to Kiko? I don't know yet, 30Boxes is very easy to use and has some nice features but Kiko is catching up and I haven't used both calendars enough to say that I couldn't live without them as I am still waiting for Google to get their thing going. Even if Google is a bit late to this race they will probably end up winning it because of full Gmail integration and their large user base. What the heck, they should just buy both Kiko and 30Boxes!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Listen to Dani California online!

I am really looking forward to the RHCP's new album "Stadium Arcadium" due out on May 9th. Since yesterday I have been listening their new single "Dani California" and I must say that Anthony Kiedis' singing becomes better with every new album and John Frusciante's guitar play is outstanding! You can now listen to Dani California online at the Chili Pepper's site.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Walk / Don't Walk


Walk / Don't Walk
Originally uploaded by oHoTos.
Saw this while walking around in Barcelona on saturday - pretty confusing!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Writely now part of Google

Well, when this day started I thought this was a nice rumour, I didn't expect this to happen that fast. Google announced on their official blog that they have just acquired Writely, my favorite online word processor:
Official Google Blog: Writely so
For the last five months, I've been part of a Silicon Valley startup called Upstartle, which makes Writely, a collaborative word processor that runs in a web browser. Well, as of Monday, I'm happy to say that I, and the rest of the Writely team, are now part of Google.
...
To be clear, Writely is still in beta, and it's far from perfect. Upholding our great user experience means everything to us, so we're not accepting new registrations until we've moved Writely to Google's software architecture. If you're interested in giving us a try, we hope you'll get on the waitlist so we can let you know when you'll be able to try out Writely.

Google, Writely In Talks?

A nice rumor to start the day. Hopefully this will turn out to be true, I would prefer to have more of the services I regularly use under my Google account and Writely is one of them:
Google, Writely In Talks?: So you all know that Google’s got designs for a G:Drive and doing an end run around Microsoft? Now what if you can simply store and save data on that drive, but that’s not clearly as much fun. What if you could write a document in a browser, much like you write on Microsoft Word, but then save it directly to the G:Drive? That would increase the utility of G:Drive tremendously. Maybe that explains why Google is rumored to be in talks with Writely, a browser-based document processing application, for a possible acqusition. Writely, is the first product of Upstartle, LLC. (More on them here.) Writely is one of the Business 2.0 Next Net 25 companies. The pending deal has been making the rounds in the Valley today. I picked up this very strong rumor from fairly reliable sources, when visiting the money corridor (aka Sand Hill Road) this morning. Now I am still waiting to hear from Google and Writely about the rumors, and will treat this chatter as just that, unless of course I hear otherwise from the two companies. Now buying Writely is in line with Google thinking of using browser for everything. I mean an online word processor, and online excel spread sheet make a lot more sense than making people switch to OpenOffice. Anyway will update the story later when I hear from the two respective companies.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Now is the Google calendar coming or not?

TechCrunch has some exclusive screenshots of Google Calendar . I really hope that I won't be disappointed and that "CL2" will be available soon (...April 1st???). Currently I am still using 30Boxes but I am missing the tight Gmail integration that Google will probably offer.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Theee Simpsooons... dü dü dü di dü...

Now this is really, really cool. The Simpsons intro as live action recreation, they must have put a lot of work into this, it's so true to the original! Found this through one of the better blogs out there WWdN

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Speed limit

This experiment with the speed limit makes a good point, see for yourself:

What if Microsoft designed the iPod's packaging?

Yesterday I watched this cool video:

Schmap city guides

Schmap, apparently a new online city guide service just contacted me through Flickr because one of my CC-licensed photos was shortlisted for inclusion in one of their guides. I previewed their San Francisco guide after downloading their small viewer and it doesn't look bad but if Google would come up with something similar integrated into Google Earth it would beat them. Their service is going live by the end of March it seems.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google Pages

Google Pages is another new Beta from Google. It's an ajax WYSIWYG-editor and you can host a whole site on Google's servers. I just tried it and it's very easy, here my first try at a Google page: oHoTos' stuff

Thursday, February 16, 2006

3GSM Congress in Barcelona


Chocolate fountain
Originally uploaded by ohotos.

Yesterday I dropped by the 3GSM Congress for two hours, my employer kindly offered me a pass. If you're not interested at checking out the gazillions of new mobile phones it's actually quite boring. This chocolate fountain at the Oracle booth was quite a success it seems.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers or Stones?


I just wanted to look up some tour information from the Red Hot Chili Pepper's site and the result that came up from my search Google Search: red hot chili peppers was somewhat weird. They are both great bands but I already have tickets to one of the next Stones shows. Did the Stones hijack these search results or what?

Monday, February 06, 2006

New online calendar

30 Boxes , a new online calendar is starting to open to the puplic now. I have been toying around quite a bit with Kiko Calendar lately and liked it so far, but 30 Boxes is likely to make me switch for now. After five minutes of use I already prefer it over Kiko, it is way faster and less bugged. Now where is my Google Calendar ?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Changes

So I finally took some time to change the design of this blog, the colors are not definitive yet and some more CSS and graphics stuff have to be changed. But at least it's starting to look better.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nice weather today!

Cleaning up!

My BlogOhotos became a bit cluttered and out of control with too much code that I added to the template. For now I have cleaned it up - back to default. Hope to get some time to set up everything again soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Great Flickr Tools Collection

I just upgraded to a Flickr pro account. I've had an account for quite a while now but only started really using it a few days ago and was quickly reaching the upload limit.
Now I have to check out this Great Flickr Tools Collection

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ohotos'Photos - a photoset on Flickr

pic'oHoTos - a photoset on Flickr- some of the first photos I took with my new Olympus E-500.    

How to fold a shirt in japan - Google Video

Now this t-shirt folding video is resurfacing again. I 've been using this method eversince I saw it for the first time about a year or two ago.
how to fold a shirt in japan - Google Video

Friday, January 13, 2006

About that pixel problem...

The problem I (thought) I had with my Olympus E-500 has disappeared! First I though that the sensor had a hot pixel but after looking more closely I ultimately found out that it seemed to be on the LCD viewer, not in the photos themselves when looking at them on the PC. But now the problem just went away, I never saw that red pixel again. Is it possible that a pixel gets stuck on a LCD and repairs itself after a while? I'll do some research on that and hope it won't reappear.

Nice housing concept - the Loftcube


I read about the Loftcube in a local paper and it would be great to have one of those and just put it on top of a building in a city like Barcelona where real estate is getting more and more expensive. They are only something like 35 square meters but are affordable, ready built, and can be deposited on a building by crane or helicopter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Review of the RIU Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen Mexico


I was quite busy/jetlagged/lazy after coming back from a great week in Playa del Carmen, but finally I decided to attack my review of the RIU Yucatan Resort I stayed at with my wife from December 12th to the 20th.

The RIU Yucatan is located in the Playacar urbanisation which is just south of Playa
del Carmen which can be reached in 50 minutes driving south from the Cancun airport. After arriving shortly after 9.30 pm along with about 30 other guests we were brought to a room (apparently some dance club that was never open during our whole stay) above the reception. Once there our tour operator rep and someone from the hotel explained us a few things and handed us envelopes with the room keys, the lock for the safe and towel cards. We were assigned to a ground floor room in building #8, which is on the back of the resort, a two minute walk to the reception and about 4 minutes walk down to the beach. At first we thought about asking to change for a room closer to the beach but the building was really quiet as opposed to the ones closer to the beach and the restaurants so we finally decided to stay. Our luggage arrived in our room only a few minutes after we had arrived and we were ready to get a late meal at the Steak Restaurant that had been arranged for our group.


Rooms: The room was very nice, standard size and amenities like TV, Minibar, alcohol dispenser with rum, gin, wiskey and vodka. The minibar always contained enough water, beer (local Corona), Pepsi, 7up and some local soft drinks. The beds were a bit hard but we still managed to sleep comfortably. The bathroom area was separated from the room with a curtain and had a nice large sink area, a closet, a nice shower and a seperated WC. What we didn't like is that the safe was not a combination safe but worked with a key that you always had to carry around with you, same with the room keys that were not cards but actual keys so it was not that convenient to take those two keys to the beach everyday, I would have preferred to slip a card-key in my shorts. All in all the room was very clean and no complaints regarding the daily room cleaning, new sheets and towels every day.


Grounds: The resort grounds were very nice and clean, beautiful landscaping and not much visible damage from Wilma. Lots of birds, some exotic rodents I don't know the name of and even iguanas can be found while walking through the resort.


Pool: The pool was OK, clean but very crowded most of the time so we mostly avoided it.

Beach: However the beach was very beautiful. Powdery white sand, turquoise-blue water... this is what we had come for and we got it! Finding a beach chair was no problem here as opposed to the pool even if in the afternoons it was quite crowded as well. A few rocks in the water but not too much. Walking to the south there were only two other resorts and then just the beautiful almost empty beach. The water is very nice but there is not much to see for those who want to snorkel. Lots of fish but the visibility is not that good if you stay close to the shore where the fish are. I highly recommend taking the snorkel tour that is about 30$/person. After a 15 minute boat trip you get to a secluded beach with a very nice reef and lots of fishes and marine life.


Food: Right next to the reception and lobby area was the main restaurant (I think the name was Hacienda). Breakfast, lunch and dinner consisted of a buffet with a very wide choice of different food. I didn't miss anything... oh yes, actually I did miss some more Mexican food like burritos, they could be found but only one day or two during our stay. For lunch we were allowed to go to the other RIU resort's restaurants as well and the buffet at the Tequila was very good whereas the one at the Playacar was a bit disappointing. For dinner there were three other reservation only restaurants. Next to the buffet was the Asian restaurant. We tried it twice and the selection of sushi and other "Asian inspired" food was excellent. The Steak Restaurant close to the beach and pool had very good meat and we didn't get to try the Mediterranean Restaurant - coming from Spain we have enough Mediterranean cuisine here! Overall the service was very good in all places. The bars drinks where somewhat inconsistant but we still enjoyed our Pina Coladas and Daiquiris.

The RIU Yucatan is sold as a five star resort but compared to other ones I have visited I would give it a low four star rating.Would I come back? Maybe. But I think I would rather go a bit more to the south on the coast where the beaches seem to be even nicer and more secluded. It would have been a bit more relaxing vacation if it were less crowded. In the next days I will try to update the post with a few photos.

Monday, January 02, 2006

First hot pixel on my E-500

So this last week-end I took my new E-500 with me whenever I went outside and while I start to get the basics now I am still far from mastering the advanced possibilities that a DSLR offers. I have read the advanced manual but it's quite a challenge to memorise everything, anyways, everything comes with experience so I'll just shoot and shoot and shoot.
While shooting at night I noticed what I thought was a dead pixel, after some research I found that it's rather a "hot pixel". See: De Pixeles Muertos (dead pixels) y Pixeles Caliente (hot pixels) backfocus for those of you who understand spanish. Just found a quick definition in english as well: Dead pixel/hot pixel
And it seems I am not alone with this problem: New E-500 with possible dead pixels.