Monthly archives of “September 2007

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Uploading Keynote presentations to YouTube WITH TRANSITIONS!

If you’re like me, you occasionally like using the 3-D and other transition effects in Apple’s Keynote software. However, if you try exporting these videos to YouTube, you’ll find that they just don’t work. Between Apple’s exporting and YouTube’s importing, enough data is lost and/or compressed that the final result looks like crap. (While the slides and audio are fine, the transitions are horrible.)

I found a workaround to this problem, and have used it to successfully upload Keynote presentations to YouTube with the 3-D and other transitions working beautifully. While there may certainly be better ways of doing this, the way I’ve found works and is detailed below:

First, within Keynote, export your completed presentation as a Quicktime movie, but with a custom format:

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Next, for your custom format, choose a custom size:

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Select 320 x 240 as your custom size; it’s the YouTube size. If it doesn’t show a frame rate of between 24 and 30, click the “Settings” button to change this:

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Once you’ve finished these selections, export your presentation as a Quicktime movie.

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t like videos that have been exported this way, so I use iMovie as a quick and painless work-around.

Open iMovie and drag the recently-exported Quicktime movie into the new movie project:

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Next, export your iMovie project as a Quicktime file, but select “Expert Settings”:

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When the Save box comes up, select “Options”, highlighted here:

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This next screen finally lets you get your presentation into a format that YouTube likes. Make sure the file format is MPEG-4 (Improved), the Image Size is still 320×240 QVGA, and that the frame rate is 24 or higher.

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Click OK to export, and you’ll have an MP4 file that will export nicely into YouTube with all of your audio and transitions fully intact.

I hope this is useful for you!

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“Fractal” brands – insightful description!

Recently I happened to read some of Diego Rodriguez’s old blog posts, where he talks about fractal brands. Specifically, the best brands are fractal. Here’s a quote from his post:

Definition of fractal, from Hyperdictionary:

A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a smaller copy of the whole. Fractals are generally self-similar (bits look like the whole) and independent of scale (they look similar, no matter how close you zoom in)

Good brands are fractal. Every interaction you have reflects the interaction you’ll have with every other piece of the whole, as well as the whole itself. Since “brand” is shorthand for the total experience you get from buying, using, servicing, and disposing of a product, creating a great brand requires taking a fractal point of view to the process of designing total experiences where everything — large and small — is consistent and mutually self-reinforcing.

(Emphasis is mine)

To understand his background, Diego is a partner at IDEO and teaches at the d.school (Design School) at Stanford. He’s been on the forefront of innovation his entire career.

This is a very insightful view on good branding. He later follows it up with this post on Apple Stores, remarking that even three-year olds recognise them as a place to buy an iPod, because they have the same design sense as an iPod. And of course, there are also some bad governmental examples.

Everything you do in a company is part of the brand, but to a geek like me, describing it this way is so simple to understand. What do you think?

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Colin Powell shows that he’s smarter than the administration

From the GQ interview,

What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it’s terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?

I would approach this differently, in almost Marshall-like terms. What are the great opportunities out there—ones that we can take advantage of? It should not be just about creating alliances to deal with a guy in a cave in Pakistan. It should be about how do we create institutions that keep the world moving down a path of wealth creation, of increasing respect for human rights, creating democratic institutions, and increasing the efficiency and power of market economies? This is perhaps the most effective way to go after terrorists.

and

Q: So you think we are getting too hunkered down and scared?
A: Yes! We are taking too much counsel of our fears.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t a terrorist threat. There is a threat. And we should send in military forces when we have a target to deal with. We should also secure our airports, if that makes us safer. But let’s welcome every foreign student we can get our hands on. Let’s make sure that foreigners come to the Mayo Clinic here, and not the Mayo facility in Dubai or somewhere else. Let’s make sure people come to Disney World and not throw them up against the wall in Orlando simply because they have a Muslim name. Let’s also remember that this country was created by immigrants and thrives as a result of immigration, and we need a sound immigration policy.

Let’s show the world a face of openness and what a democratic system can do. That’s why I want to see Guantánamo closed. It’s so harmful to what we stand for. We literally bang ourselves in the head by having that place. What are we doing this to ourselves for? Because we’re worried about the 380 guys there? Bring them here! Give them lawyers and habeas corpus. We can deal with them. We are paying a price when the rest of the world sees an America that seems to be afraid and is not the America they remember.

You can drive up the road from here and come to a spot where there is a megachurch over here, a little Episcopal church over there, a Catholic church around the corner that’s almost cathedral-size, and between them is a huge Hindu temple. There are no police needed to guard any of this. There are not many places in the world where you would see that. Yes, there are a few dangerous nuts in Brooklyn and New Jersey who want to blow up Kennedy Airport and Fort Dix. These are dangerous criminals, and we must deal with them. But come on, this is not a threat to our survival! The only thing that can really destroy us is us. We shouldn’t do it to ourselves, and we shouldn’t use fear for political purposes—scaring people to death so they will vote for you, or scaring people to death so that we create a terror-industrial complex.

Why aren’t there more people speaking sensibly in US policy circles? The idea that some Republican presidential candidates have of expanding(!) Guantánamo is just so pig-headed…. ugh.