Category: Videos

Video of Earth at night is better than any movie

It’s not clear to me why NASA doesn’t create videos like these themselves, but whatever the reason, dedicated space fans aren’t allowing the video vacuum to exist for long. This gorgeous timelapse video of the Earth at night as seen from the ISS, is proof that reality can be every bit as breathtaking as what Hollywood can dream up. Do yourself a favour and watch it in fullscreen mode – you’ll be glad you did.

From the creator, Knate Myers:

Every frame in this video is a photograph taken from the International Space Station. All credit goes to the crews on board the ISS.
I removed noise and edited some shots in photoshop. Compiled and arranged in Sony Vegas.

Music by John Murphy – Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor)

Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,
NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

For more great NASA-resourced timelaspe videos, check out the NASA timelapse club on Vimeo.


Cellphones are terrible for… what?


For the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to appear on a weekly tech segment on CTV News Channel. It’s affectionately called Sync Up in honour of the site that serves as its inspiration.

It has been an amazing experience and though I sweat bullets before every taping, somehow it all comes together. That’s thanks to the talented production team at CTV News Channel who, against all odds, manage to make me look good.

But every now and then, the nerves associated with being on-the-spot get the better of me and I say something that doesn’t come out right at all. Take a look at last night’s segment and see if you can guess where I make my blunder:




I didn’t even hear the problematic statement after watching it twice over, but a few loyal watchers caught it.

Yup, it’s right there at the :40 second mark: “They’re really terrible for high-quality video.”

I’m referring to shooting video with a cellphone. I say they’re really terrible. For video. Wow.

If I had been watching another tech presenter as those word were uttered, I probably would labeled the person a putz and promptly changed the channel. Sigh.

So, just for the record, let me now tell you what I was trying to say but was apparently too dazzled by the studio lights to articulate properly:

Today’s smartphones have amazing video and photo capabilities – some of them can record at 1080p which is high-quality no matter how you look at it. But they don’t have optical zooms, they possess virtually no image stabilization, and their audio capturing is basic. None of which is a problem when you want to do spur-of-the-moment video under good lighting conditions and with a subject that is only a few feet away. But in scenarios like the one I go on to describe (recording a child’s play in a darkened gymnasium from 40 feet away) cellphones just don’t cut it. For these types of events, you really need a dedicated camcorder like the Sony model I show in the video.

Thanks for your ongoing support – I value all of your feedback as I continue to hone my TV skills.

Sync Up: Fun with iOS Maps, browser study a hoax

Before you watch, allow me to drop a few notes about this segment:

First, I’ve discovered it’s a pretty good idea to fully rehearse a demo before going on live TV (Duh, I know). Turns out that the “Share Location” ¬†feature in the image above only works when you’ve enabled the Mail client on your iOS device, something which Marcia had yet to do on her iPad. Lesson learned.

Another somewhat embarrassing moment came seconds later when we discuss that so-called study that claims IE users aren’t as smart as those who use Opera or other browsers. This morning, the BBC is reporting that the whole thing was a hoax, perpetrated by an as-yet undiscovered source. I guess we were fooled!

Here’s the clip:

Sync Up: What is a 'super phone?'

In this week’s Sync Up segment, we try to define what a “superphone” is and why you should care. We also review Pick & Zip, a new tool that lets you download entire photo albums from Facebook directly to your PC. Finally we discuss an app launching later this month called “SceneTap” that promises to give bar-goers the inside-track on which establishments have the male-to-female ratio that they’re looking for.

Sync Up: Options for data back-up and a baby monitor app

On this segment I talk about the need for a back-up solution whether online or offline. ioSafe’s Rugged Portable Harddrive is a solid choice if you’ve got the extra cash.

We also chat about Baby Monitor, a $4.99 App Store purchase for your iPhone or other iDevice. If you have an iPhone, it can place a call to any phone number you like so you can listen to what’s going on in the room. One thing to keep in mind though: You need to reset the app after every “call”.

Finally we describe Google’s social network ambitions with their just-released Google + product.

Sync Up:, Staples caught being bad and lets users figure out if now is a good time to buy TVs, computers or cameras. Credit: lets users figure out if now is a good time to buy TVs, computers or cameras. Credit:

Here’s the latest Sync Up segment from CTV News Channel. In this week’s show, Marcia Macmillan and I chat about Canada Post’s which might just be the only way to guarantee you’ll receive your credit card statement while the strike/lockout drags on. We also get into the minor tempest that is the Ontario Privacy Commissioner’s stern warning to Staples over the fact that some re-sold computers contained confidential personal information on them despite having been supposedly “wiped” – I offer some tips on what to do if you’re passing along your old gear or returning it to a store. And we take a look at, a brand new U.S. site that aims to help people understand when it’s the right time to buy different tech gadgets.

Catch previous Sync Up segments here