WebEx for iPad 2 with Video

iPad, Mobility, Unified Communications, Video 1 Comment

The new WebEx has two way interactive video on the iPad2. This is exciting stuff! I thought I give it try today. With the help of my three-year-old, Myles, I set up a WebEx meeting to see what the new video interface looks like.

I tried a combination of portrait and landscape modes with video and screen sharing enabled. The first one pictured here is portrait mode plus screen sharing from the host. The host is also sharing video and, as you can see, the WebEx interface shows my local preview video. The video is displayed at the bottom of the screen in kind-of a theater display. The over-all look-and-feel is very Apple-like and stays true to the form and function of the iPad.

In the next screenshot, I turned the iPad2 around into landscape mode. As you can see, the content that is being shared fills more of the screen. The streaming video is overlaid on top of the bottom of the content blocking it somewhat, but not too much.

Using a zoom multi-touch gesture you can quickly and easily make the video full-screen. So, in this last screenshot, you can see the host’s video in full screen mode. My preview video shows up in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and the content being shared is no longer visible. You can switch back to content sharing mode by utilizing a pinch multi-touch gesture

I’m sure there are more modes to explore but in my quick testing this morning, this is all I had time to explore. Overall, the video quality was good and I’m really excited about this functionality inside of WebEx for iPad2. I’m hoping it’s also available in the iPhone version but I haven’t tested that yet. So stay tuned. I hope you enjoy the new WebEx on the iPad2 with two-way streaming high quality video. Thanks.

From the Amateur Video Department: Hulu+

Video No Comments

I just got my invite for Hulu Plus! I excitedly downloaded the app for iPad, started watching Season 2 Ep 2 of “30 Rock” and much to my dismay, it’s encoded with the wrong aspect ratio. Everything is squeezed (or sqozed as they say).

Hulu Plus

Dear Hulu,

Encoding video with the wrong aspect ratio is something amateurs do. I don’t expect this from a company who’s sole business model is video. I hope this is not a consistent problem with the back seasons that are offered on H+. Please fix this. Thanks.

Audible App for iPhone is Buggy

iPhone 5 Comments

This is the review I posted on the App Store:

I hate rating free apps with one star, but this app is a poor reflection of an otherwise good service from Audible.

1. Downloads are slow
I’ve tried for two days to successfully download “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” from my library. First, it takes an hour for a 250MB part 1. The same download on the same broadband from my Mac takes 15 minutes.

2. Downloads are incomplete or corrupt
Three times, the app downloaded an incomplete part 1 and the fourth time the book was corrupt after chapter 30. The app doesn’t seem to support IOS4’s ability to download in the background. Plus, there is no way to resume a failed download! You only have the option of deleting and starting over.

3. Audio playback isn’t implemented correctly
IOS4 apps like Pandora and Podcaster play audio that can be paused with the iPhone headset, even when the phone is locked. This app doesn’t do that, you have to use the play/pause buttons on screen which forces you to unlock the phone just to pause playback. There is an option to force the screen to stay on (never lock), but this drains battery very quickly.

4. Playback controls are inconsistent
Audio scrubbing doesn’t work properly. In one case it brought me back to the beginning of the whole book. Chapter skips are inconsistent as well. I skipped from chapter two and ended up on chapter five. Very frustrating.

5. Bookmarks are local to the device
If you remove the book, you remove the bookmarks. They are not sync’d to the cloud. It sure would be great if I had to delete a book for space reasons. Then, when I was ready to read it again, after downloaded, the bookmarks were there.

Based on these problems, I’m going back to listening to Audible books using the iPod app. Audible, please fix these issues! This app has great potential.

VMware and CUCMBE 7.1.3+

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For those of you wanting to run Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition (CUCMBE) on VMware for lab purposes. You’ll need this tip. As a reminder, VMware is not yet officially supported in production environments.

First of all, you need VMware ESXi 4.0. When you configure your virtual machine settings select Redhat Enterprise 4, 2vCPU, 6GB memory and 250GB drive. When you boot the VM from the CUCMBE ISO, you will then be allowed to install Cisco Unified Communications Manager Business Edition.

If you use the shipping (FCS) version of 7.1.2 or below, VMware works fine with 80GB HDD, 2GB RAM, 1vCPU.

My Fall Line of Geek Tees

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I just completed my fall line of geek t-shirt purchases. This year I’m heavily influenced by Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. If you are a geek and don’t watch that show, what hole have you been living in???

SheldonShirts.com is a great site that tracks the t-shirts Sheldon (Jim Parsons) wears on Big Bang Theory. I bought a couple of those and also bought some others that are influenced by the show. Here’s the fall line:

You can’t go wrong with Batman and Robin

This vintage TRON shirt kicks major butt!

You can’t call yourself a geek without a Japanese Robot Destroyer in your closet.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. Don’t get it? This should clear things up.

Thundercats HO!

Couple these great tees with some comfy long sleeve t-shirts (in assorted colors of course) from Kohls and my fall/winter wardrobe will be mostly complete. Don’t expect any further fashion tips on mike.mylenbusch.org until next year.

Oh and BTW, if you are chomping at the bit for the new season of Big Bang Theory to finally start, this Jim Parsons skit on Funny or Die might help.

This guy is an idiot

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Jon B (slingbox) on Twitter-2.jpg

Twitter-squatting? That’s low. I happen to be a Slingbox fan (although, I refuse to pay $30 for their iPhone app that only works on WiFi). Granted, the fact that it’s restricted to Wifi isn’t Slingmedia‘s fault. But, the app’s usefulness is greatly diminished because I can only use it on Wifi and therefore it’s not worth $30.

Annnnnyway….I digress. This guy is an idiot. Jon B, do you own any trademarks to Slingbox? hint: owning a sling blade (some people call it a kaiser blade) doesn’t count. I hope you get what you deserve, jondoeb83@yahoo.com for your clever registration-squatting on Twitter: absolutely nothing.

Our New Podcast

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Jason Shaffer and I launched a new podcast this week. It’s called Buzzword Bingo and will focus mainly on enterprise-slanted technology trends. But we’ll also cover other Internet-related news and products that we like.


What’s most interesting about this podcast is that we’re releasing it in video and audio forms. I’ll save the details about the show production for a later post, but the video portion is being hosted on blip.tv and the audio portion is hosted on our own server at buzzwordbingo.tv. Both versions are accessible through iTunes as well.

So, check it out, If you like it, please leave comments so that we can make it better.

The Mother of all Mash-ups

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In the year 2525, people will look back at the music of the 2010’s and know that it all started here. I know that is a bold statement, but I haven’t seen anything so revolutionary in technology since iPhone launched almost two years ago. Nobody would argue that the iPhone hasn’t changed mobile computing forever. Likewise, I believe there will be little arguing that Kutiman hasn’t changed music for at least the next ten years.

The Mother of all Mash-ups

Kutiman took seemingly unrelated Youtube videos of people playing musical instruments and mixed them together to form songs. He didn’t just use the audio, though. That would have been kewl on its own, but not necessarily revolutionary. He also used the video.

If you are familiar with audio sampling techniques, you can apply to same logic to the process. But Kutiman added the synchronized video to the sample. In some cases the samples are very short, like a single note or tap. He used these samples to develop melodies and rhythms that weren’t in the original videos. In other cases, he used long clips of singing, rapping, talking, etc as primary vocal tracks.

The result is a menagerie of sensory disbelief, where amazing songs flow with skips of video from normal people doing normal things together making extraordinary music.

Legal Eagle

I hope he has a good lawyer, though. Like many before him, he is pushing the limits of copyright “fair use”. That might be why his album is free and there isn’t even one ad on his web site. Big media is desperately trying to force consumers into the traditional models of media consumption in order to preserve their dwindling revenue streams. This strong-arm tactic is necessary because they have yet to figure out a business model for this generation of content distribution.

Enjoy it While it Lasts

So, before the cease and desist notices start flying, Go out and enjoy the best example of art and technology that we’ve seen so far this century. Even better, fire up your favorite video editor and do something amazing yourself.

“Remember, the only person who can sit on your ass, is you.” —merlin mann

Boxee: This Isn’t You Father’s Home Theater PC (or Mac)

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Next in my iRecommend series is something free (as in beer). I’ve been using Boxee in private alpha for two months now. Boxee turns my Mac Mini and HDTV into a home theater powerhouse without the fuss of many alternate platforms out there.


When I launch Boxee, my Mac Mini transforms into a remote-friendly media center with access to all of my movies, pictures and music without the need for a keyboard or mouse. The content available isn’t limited to just my own digital media. Boxee’s slick interface alows you to play movies and music from many of the popoular online companies like Hulu, CBS, MTV and even….drum role please…Netflix. Yes, if you are a Netflix subscriber (and why aren’t you at a measly $9.95 per month) you can stream any of their 12,000+ titles through Boxee on your TV.

“Look Ma, no computer!”


Before the purists chime in, yes, I know that there are other devices that stream Netflix to your TV without a computer. But Boxee does so much more. Think of Boxee as modern-day “rabbit ears” that are capable of tuning into lots of TV “stations” on the Internet for free! (note: if you are younger than 25, you probably don’t know what rabbit ears are anyway, I apologize for the inconvenience).


But wait, there’s more! In addition to Boxee’s media features, it adds social networking to it’s already impressive line up. Now you can easily share and recommend what you are watching to your friends without leaving the comfort of your couch. Your viewing and listening habits are only shared with those that you have “friended” through the boxee.tv web interface. This of course, is an optional feature that can be disabled in the Boxee settings.

Consumers are quickly embracing on-demand programming on the Internet. Boxee not only makes that easier, but it converges social networking and TV which is the future of consumer entertainment. Enjoy!

Rolando on iPhone

iRecommend, Mobility 1 Comment

This the first post in a new series that I’m calling iRecommend (rss). These posts will have their own category (and therefore a unique RSS feed). The inspiration for this stems from a few of my friends who told me that they would subscribe to an RSS feed of stuff that I thought was kewl. This “stuff” may be software or hardware. It might also be music, books, movies or TV (but book recommendations are very unlikely since I rarely read anymore – sad, i know).

My first installment in this series is an iPhone game called Rolando (App Store link). This was a highly anticipated title that was announced around the time that the iPhone SDK was announced last March. It was finally released last month and it certainly lives up to the hype.


I’m not planning to provide a full review of items in these posts, but the gameplay is simple and uses the iPhone accelerometer effectively. If you are new to iPhone gaming, this title is a great example of the “input via movement” that the iPhone accelerometer provides.

The story isn’t complex, yet fun and you can play this game in short spurts, which is a must these days for me. I don’t have time to immerse myself in a 75-hour game. There are people who like those titles, but I’m not one of them. I want to get into a game, get out when I’m interrupted and resume when I’m ready.


The price is $9.99 which is on the high side for iPhone applications, but it’s a relative steal when you compare that to the price of games on other mobile consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. Plus, this game is every bit as good (if not better).

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