Monday, August 11, 2008

Candian Cell Phone monopoly must die.

It is absolutely no secret that I am not a huge fan of the Canadian telcos who control the wireless and cell phone biz up here in Canada. The contempt they have for the customers is astounding and how they get away with extortionate data charges on cell phones is a mystery to me. I once got billed $600 for a 6 Gigabyte download over the space of three hours.

My carrier, Rogers, was a bit taken aback when they actually confronted someone who wasn’t going to roll over and let them scratch my stomach. I asked them to explain clearly to me how it is that I was able to download that amount of data into a phone that couldn’t hold that amount of data over a network the could not possibly download that much data in such a short time. Also could they p[lease explain to me how that data got downloaded because the phone was off due to the fact I was delivering a 3-hour lesson at the time.

Rogers is the exclusive iPhone carrier in Canada and they are sliding activation fees and all sorts of extras into the “deal” to the point where I suspect a lot of people are going to be coming down on them in a rather nasty manner within the next 12 months. When I can get unlimited data from Cingulair for $30 per month but up here I have to pay $70 for a few gig then there is a bit of gouging going on.

This past week really sealed my beefs with Rogers.

I was up North and on a back road when a lady in pickup stopped in the middle of the road, reversed, gunned the engine and smacked into me. Upshot is I have radiator leaking all over a dirt road. Naturally my cell phone doesn’t work because Rogers’ “network” doesn’t include that neck of the woods even though they claim their network covers 94% of the Canadian population. Here’s the thing…. I don’t care. I need to contact police while in the middle of nowhere and my being in the 6% “bubble” is irrelevant when my rad is leaking and I need help.

Turns out that Bell is the major carrier in that neck of the woods. Whoopee!!!

What I don’t understand is how it is that I can be anywhere in the world – Just in the past six months I have been in Beijing,Paris, Basel, Zurich, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York – and be able to use my phone. Put me between White River, Ontario and Wawa, Ontario in my own country and I am helpless.

Would it kill Rogers, Telus, Bell and whomever else is in the game to get together and allow “in country” roaming on rival networks? Would it kill the Canadian government to put these sharks in a room and essentially tell them that they need to work together or face the loss of their monopoly?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Teaching Freaks and Geeks

For those of you who are interested ... I wonder why Post Secondary education isn't paying attention to changes in our industry. It is here at .

Monday, June 02, 2008

Flash Video book excerpts

New Flash Media Server 3 article

Part 3 of my "Beginner's" series around the Flash Media Server just went up. It shows how to use ActionScript 3.0 to stream a video.

Check it out.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Just a quick note that I will be speaking on the subject of :

Code-free Flash Video ... sort of

at TODCON in Orlando this week.

Have done this one a couple of times since I unveiled it at FITC in April. For some odd reason, audiences get a real kick out of the "sort of " portion of the presentation.

Flash Media Server 3

Have had a couple of Beginner pieces up at the Dev Center. You can see them here:

Beginner's guide to installing Flash Media Server 3


Beginner's guide to streaming video with Flash Media Server 3

Three more in the series are done and will be up over the next couple of weeks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The book is out

My new book - Foundation Flash CS3 Video -is out. I know this because a box of them were left on my doorstep the other day. This one was an absolute blast to work on and it covers everything from Encodng to deploying HD video to your site.

As the title says, it is a Foundation book.It is designed to give the basic skills and, if you are currently using video, to bring those skills up to an intermediate level. If you are interested you can pick it up at Amazon or you can try and find it at your local bookstore.

BTW, if you do pick it up and find an error, please let me know and I'll have it fixed immediately.

Monday, March 17, 2008

ActionScript and Flash Media Server 3.

Not hard to do at all. If you have an FMS3 account, toss a video object on the stage and give it the instance name of myVideo. Place the video in the vod folder and use this code:

var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection(); nc.connect("rtmpe://localhost/vod"); var ns:NetStream = new NetStream(nc); nc.onStatus = function(ncObj:Object) { trace(ncObj.code); if (ncObj.code == "NetConnection.Connect.Success") { ns.setBufferTime(2); myVideo.attachVideo(ns);"mp4:Vultures"); } };

Just be sure to replace localhost with your RTMP address. If you are streamin out an FLV the play method would be:"Vultures");

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

One-Key Video Encryption

If you are a security freak and don't want anybody grabbing your video, the Flash Media Server 3 has a rather nifty feature built in to it. The feature? Stream encryption. Herre's how you enable it:

  1. Toss your video into either the application folder you have created for the project or into the vod folder.

  2. Open Flash CS3 and, when it opens, whip an FLVPlayback component on to the stage.

This is where it gets really neat:

When you set the content path you usually use the following address:

rtmp://localhost/app/instance/myVideo or, if you are using a Streaming version of the server you would enter rtmp://localhost/vod/myVideo.

To encrypt the video stream you change the address to rtmpe://localhost/vod/myVideo.

Simply adding the letter "e" turns on the encryption feature of FMS3.