Go-Pro resolution tips for use with Phantom 2

I was trying to find out what the best setting were to use a Go-Pro with a Phantom 2 quad rotor and I came across some great information at the following link –

http://abekislevitz.com/understanding-your-new-gopro/

Its also worth watching this video which shows you the benefits of each mode when filming with a Phantom 2.

I ended up going with 1440 mode as you can crop the top of the footage off hiding the front rotors which sometimes get in frame when flying forward quickly.

Great cheat sheet to the different GoPro resolutions and what they are best suited for.
go pro resolution guide

My first test shoot in 1440 mode with the top section cropped off in Final Cut

Gardiners Creek flybys with a Phantom 2 and GoPro from Chris Peters on Vimeo.

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Smartphones are the center of the Universe

japan subwayWhether you like it or not smartphone are the central hub of your life. If you can name just one person you know who does not have one (apart from your grandparents) i’ll be surprised.

And it will come as no surprise that we’re not attached to our smartphones purely for communication purposes. The average person would spend more time on Facebook and playing Candy Crush than making actually making phone calls. But for some reason we feel the need to carry these with us 24/7 so we are never out of reach. But with the way technology is heading we’re going to be reliant on our smartphones for a whole lot more than just google.

I recently installed a Kwikset Kevo lock on my house which allows me to lock and unlock the front door via bluetooth using my iPhone. To me this is great because I no longer have to carry a key to get in my house. The downside is if I get home late at night and my phone is flat I’m stuck outside, that and my wife recently discovered it keeps track of all locks and unlocks so she knows what time I really leave for work in the morning. But I am happy to take the chance for the convenience of not having to carry a key.

If I am driving somewhere I have never been before I use my phone to provide directions and traffic updates. I threw out my street directory a long time ago. If I go for a ride I connect my phone to my bike using my Quad Lock bike mount and it monitors my speed and distance travelled. I ditched my Garmin cycling computer in favour of this as its much easier to use and saves me from having to remember to bring another device. Last week I was at Sauced and I was able to pay for my lunch (4p’s pasta is the bomb) via Paypal with my iPhone. Why don’t all stores have this?

The smartphone has replaced a lot of “dedicated devices” and its going to replace a lot more in the future… And its not just devices… credit cards, and cash are two which come to mind… guess I no longer need to carry a wallet.

But can the smartphone be replaced? Wearable technology you say. Well it has been generating a lot of buzz lately but its not going to replace your smartphone, at least not in the near future. Google glass needs to pair with a smartphone to be able to do pretty much anything. A Smart watch isn’t very smart if it can’t connect to your smartphone. Activity trackers can’t tell you much until they sync with your smartphone to diagnose the data.

Until they can figure out how to fit the same amount of technology in your smartphone into something this size of a 20 cent piece, or smaller, and with decent battery life, the Smartphone still reins king.

If you don’t already cherish your smartphone, you better start to, as they are becoming a critical component to interact with the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My interview with Yaro Starak for Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

I met Yaro Starak at a meet-up some time ago. He is a very interesting guy and had just moved to Melbourne at the time so he was keen to meet other people in the startup/entrepreneurial space. Apart from having a pretty interesting journey himself (which I recommend asking him about if you meet him) Yaro interviews entrepreneurs for his website www.entrepreneurs-journey.com

After a bit of time chatting and exchanging stories with Yaro, he asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for his website. Having never really done a one on one interview before I thought why not. Yaro’s website is similar to Andrew Warner’s site Mixergy.com without the courses and subscription fees as all Yaro’s interviews are free.

If you have a spare hour and you don’t mind listening to me ramble about how I ended up making iPhonee cases you can listen to the complete interview here – http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/13316/chris-peters-quadlock-opena-kickstarter-campaigns/

 

 

 

 

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I was recently contacted by a young entrepreneur who was looking for some advice on manufacturing a product. His email title was “Young Entrepreneur NEEDS your help!”which got my attention. This guy was looking to produce a product and by the sounds of his email it was has first time in the game. His email was short and concise and asked one question. It was a simple and to the point and I knew the answer so how could I say no. I sent him a quick response which answered his question and explained the reasoning behind it. He emailed back straight away and was very thankful for the response. Along with his thanks he asked a few more questions, one of which was that he was considering a professional mentor which he would have to pay a decent sum of money in exchange for some of the mentors time each month. He wanted to know if he should spend the money on the mentor or put it towards another critical business costs. The problem was he couldn’t afford to do both. My reply was again very simple. Why pay for advice when he was doing a good job of getting it for free?

He approached me with a cold email, having no previous introduction and I answered his question.  The answer I provided could potential have saved him ten’s of thousands of dollars. I was the right person to ask the question because I have been through what he is going through and he knew that.

In my time I have found that most people are happy to share advice, especially if its an area they are very familiar with and you approach them in the right way. I’m not against paying for advice but before you do there are a lot of other ways of learning from peoples experience and are willing to share their stories…and all you need to do is ask.

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Want to start your own business? Quit your job.

I was at an event the other night at Depo8 and was chatting to a group of people about business and how I got started in my own business. When I asked them what they do I found out that they each worked for a company doing a job that they don’t really like. Each had an idea for a business but none of them had any idea about how to start.

I’m a pretty straight up kind of person so I told them – Quit you job. The answer got mixed results but most looked taken back by my simple answer. One by one they respond with reasons why they can’t quit their jobs. “What if my idea doesn’t work?” “I’ve got bills to pay?”  “I don’t know how to do A or B so how can I start a business?”

Stop making excuses and do it! Nothing makes you more committed to an idea than if it’s your sole focus. And nothing makes you more committed to making an idea work than if your depending on it to put food on the table.

Sounds scary right? But it doesn’t have to be. When I say quit your job, I don’t mean right there and then. You need to have a plan and a set of goals which will allow you to quit your job and survive for 6-12 months. This gives you a buffer zone if your business doesn’t bring in the bacon straight away.

Before I quit my job I saved up enough money to keep me afloat for six months, 12 if I could handle living on a tight budget. I had to be able to pay rent and buy food for long enough to get my business to a point where it was providing enough income to pay the bills.

A friend of mine, Steve Sammartino, once told me that everyone can work 6 months of the year and take the other 6 off. All you need to do is save 50% of what you get paid in the first 6 months! Simple.

I also had a look at my personal skill set and had a think about what skills I would need to run my own business. The skill I was lacking and was most critical to running a business was sales. I had dealt with clients directly in my pervious jobs but only once the job had been won, I was never out on the front line trying to woo new clients. Not being one to sit around, I got busy learning about sales. I did the obvious things like reading sales books and went to a few sales seminars but quickly I figured the best way to learn was through experience. The next day I started looking around for sales jobs. As luck would have a sales job opening came up at a company which sold CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. Not just any CAD software but the package that I had been using in my profession for 5-6 years so knew it inside and out, plus I knew the industry and the types of companies they would be selling to. I meet with the sales manager and convinced him to give me a shot in a sales role. After a few interviews and a technical tests to prove I knew my stuff, the sales manager was convinced enough to offer me a sales position, with a shitty base wage. Getting paid a crappy wage to learn is a lot better then having to pay for a training course and 100 times more effective in my books. I accepted the position, quit my previous job and started my journey into sales.

I spent almost 12 months in that sales role. I hated it at first but kept tacking away, and eventually managed to start landing sales. By the end of the year I was pretty good at it, sure there were a lot of things I didn’t agree with but none the less I earn’t my sales stripes and got paid to do it!

Now with some sales skills covered, enough coin in the bank to keep me going for six months, I pulled the pin, quit working for a boss and started on my journey to running my own business.

It doesn’t have to be scary and its not a massive leap of faith. Worse case scenario, at the end of your six months if your business idea isn’t working as well as you had hoped, all you need to do it find a job, work for six months, save up some money, and try it all over again with a new idea. You’ll learn more in six months running your own business than you ever will working in a job you don’t like for six years! Get and plan and have a crack. You will never look back.

 

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Consistency is key, so why doesn’t Apple follow suit?

ipad-mute-sound

I was reading an article the other day about building a strong brand and the one message that they harped on about was to be consistent. If you want more followers on Instagram then keep posting the images of the same stuff, if you want more follows on Twitter then keep tweeting about similar things. This really only applies if what your doing is actually working and engaging your audience but it got me thinking about consistency. I for one don’t mind a bit of change but my wife is not a fan.

iphone4-volume-button1

However a few nights ago while I was sitting in bed browsing the internet on my iPad I hit the play button on a video and then instinctively went to hit the volume button to turn the sound down so as to not wake the misses. Being half awake and also being used to the location of the volume buttons on my iPhone, as I use that a lot more than my iPad, I slid my hand up the left hand side of the iPad expecting to feel the volume buttons and quickly realized they were not there. A sharp jam to my ribs from the misses quickly sparked my memory to recall that Apple put them on the right hand side of the iPad, not the left. This is not the first time this had happened to me while using my iPad, yes both the volume and the rib jabbing, and it got me thinking. Why would a company who seems to do their absolute best to create a seamless experience between all their devices put the buttons in different locations on different devices. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out why they are on the right hand side of the iPad (if you haven’t figured it out, its because the iPad cover hinges from the left like a book so Apple put the buttons on the right) and its also makes sense that the iPhone volume buttons are on the left as you can hit them with you thumb when you hold the device with your left hand. I assume most people would hold the phone with their left hand as this keeps their right hand free for other uses such as hanging on to the rail while on a tram etc. Steve Jobs right handed yeah? So, if the buttons are on the left on an iPhone wouldn’t it make a more consistent experience to put the iPad buttons on the left as well. If this was the case the smart cover would have to hinge from the right which would be the opposite of what more people expect, except if your from Japan as their books have the spine on the right hand side… If only Apple had taken more influence from Japan I would not have any problem locating the volume buttons.

book-jpn2

 

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Form1 3D Printer Review from Australia

 

 

 

Update – 20th May 2015: Having spent a good 18 months using a Form1/ 1+ I thought it’s about time I updated my thoughts on the device. In the 18 months we have been using a Form1 we have had the machine replaced twice. Our original Form1 developed issues where the parts had rough surfaces and what appeared to be thin fins growing on the part. From what I read this was related to Laser issues, even though FormLabs.

The machine was eventually replaced after months of trouble shooting. We wasted considerable time and resin going through the various tests and eventually FormLabs agreed to replace the machine, as long as we would pay for shipping it to and and from America. The replacement Form1+ was a much better machine but within four months the same problems appeared. Again the trouble shooting process started and after months of no improvements after checking, cleaning and even replacing a mirror that appeared to have absolutely nothing wrong with it FormLabs agreed to replace the machine, again as long as we paid the very expensive shipping bill. Everything I read pointed to a laser issue however FormLabs insisted it was an optical path problem.

Would I recommend this machine? When it is working it prints great parts but unless you’re prepared to have it replaced every 6 months its a tough sell unless you are located in the USA so return shipments don’t cost a small fortune.

a3be49e0cab6c7d9aa5e292171f8201f_largeThe Form1 has to be the most anticipated product I have back on kickstarter to date. I don’t think I even let the video finish before I was punching in my (well works really) credit card details. And as it turns out it’s also one of the most awesome things that I have backed from kickstarter and we’ve back quite a few projects! We actually have a whole shelf filled with stuff from Kickstarter that we never use… so its great to get something in the mail that I can see myself using on a regular basis.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, here’s a quick run down. The Form1 is a low cost high resolution 3d printer that was launched on Kickstarter back in November 2012. It smashed its funding goal by raising almost three million dollars. Well above the target of 200k.

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Kickstarter Available for Australian Based Projects from November 13th!

kickstarter-australia-640x360

It’s been months since we went to a presentation put on by Kickstarter at York Butter Factory informing us that Kickstarter would be opening to Australian based projects. And now finally they have put a date on it. In an email update this morning Kickstarter announced that from November 13th Kickstarter is open to Australian based projects. From what we were told, Kickstarter will process all the payments directly on their site so project champions won’t need to set up an Amazon payments account and backers will be able to back projects directly on the site using their credit cards, in AUD mind you.

This is great news for Aussie creatives and we can’t wait to see the flood of Aussie projects hit the crowdfunding scene. The official word on Kickstarters blog can be found here.

 

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BRD Motorcycles

I love to see a start up producing a product. And when I say product I mean a real physical, something you can touch, can hold, can ride and can become very passionate about. BRD Motorcycles are a start up based in the San Francisco Valley and are producing one mean looking electric motorbike. Their innovative chassis design also allows them to manufacture the bike in San Fran too!

I have never owned a motorbike (through the fear instilled in my by my mother that if I ever owned a bike she would kill me if the bike didn’t first) but after checking out what goes into this thing… I wanna one…

Here’s a great talk by Marc Fenigstein, COO and co-founder of BRD talking about why they built the BRD and where they see the market for it.

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