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Thomas Tuttle
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Hey, do you (or anyone you know) have internet through Mediacom?
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Thomas Tuttle

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This is pretty.
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Tamara Temple's profile photo
 
just a bit hypnotic :)
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Thomas Tuttle

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Random shapes + face detection + evolutionary algorithms.
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Thomas Tuttle

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Thomas Tuttle

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Second day with my Chromecast

(See https://plus.google.com/u/0/109461712074145888663/posts/a4opcDLT1Hp for my initial experiences.)

Tried a few more things:

Youtube in Chrome works okay, but you can't manage an arbitrary queue like you can on Android.  You can play playlists, and that playlist will show up on the phone, but you can't add items in Chrome like you can on Android.

Play Movies works great -- we rented The Incredibles, and the video quality was fine.  (It took maybe half a minute to settle on a happy bandwidth, but did fine, save for a couple brief rebuffers, for the rest of the entire movie.)

Tab mirroring from my housemate's Macbook Air works great, since it's got the CPU horsepower to do it.  It's a little awkward when sites open links in new windows, since you have to manually switch to mirroring the new tab.
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Erin Cowden's profile photo
 
it seems to have some trouble with tabcasting, especially with still images, but that might also just be our projector
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Thomas Tuttle

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First day with my Chromecast

Packaging is cute.  It comes in a tiny box with the Chromecast, an HDMI extender cable (about three inches, and not super-flexible), and a USB power adapter (AC to microUSB) that you'll probably need.  (Most TVs and receivers don't provide enough USB power.)  *Setup is incredibly easy.*  Don't bother with the browser-based setup -- just grab the Android app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app) and it will find the Chromecast, let you configure it, and point you to Android apps to use.

I tried Youtube, Play Music, and Netflix on my Android phone, and the integration is pretty slick.  All of the apps now have a "Cast" button; you tap it, then tap the Chromecast in the list, and your media shows up on the big screen.

Behind the scenes, when you select a Chromecast in a compatible Android app, the Android app asks the Chromecast to launch the corresponding Chromecast app, and then the two apps talk to each other.  (This is coordinated using a protocol called DIAL, created by Netflix and Youtube.)  The upside of this arrangement is that the apps are seamlessly integrated, and don't require content providers to switch to some common media/playlist format; the downside is that there is no cross-app integration, so there's no way to, say, enqueue a Youtube video to play after a Play Music song finishes -- opening Youtube immediately stops the Play Music app.

I should note that the Chromecast itself has no user interface -- it is controlled entirely from the device you are casting from.  (Technically, it has a single LED and button, but I've had no need to figure out what they do.)  This is a clever design decision compared to devices like the Roku; your Android phone is a much nicer remote control than anything Roku could include.

On to individual apps:

Youtube: Integration is great -- multiple devices can connect, and they share a "TV Queue" that they can all manipulate.  Video quality is a mixed bag, though: on a 1080p TV at work, low-motion scenes were crystal clear and smooth, but blocky artifacts and/or occasional dropped frames show up in faster-moving scenes.

Netflix: Redeeming the three free months was easy, although if you didn't buy a Chromecast yet, the offer ran out two days ago.  I haven't played with the Android app much yet, but casting a video is straightforward.  Video quality here, at least on a 720p projector, is excellent -- no blocky artifacts or dropped frames here.

Youtube and Netflix both display a notification while they're casting video (which, luckily, doesn't actually involve the phone relaying any media), and let you keep using your phone for other things.

Play Music: Happily streams any music that it can play to the Chromecast.  I believe it actually streams the music directly from the phone, which is not great for battery life, but does let you play local files.  It's a little flaky if the Chromecast disappears (e.g., if you switch networks); Music can get into a state where it keeps trying to output to the Chromecast, but has hidden the output switcher since the Chromecast is no longer reachable.  Usually, opening the Now Playing screen fixes this.

Tab mirroring from a laptop: Technically, works great; practically, the Samsung Chromebook does not have anywhere near the CPU power needed to cast a tab at a reasonable framerate.  720p can take seconds between frames, and at best gets a few frames a second; 480p gets what looks like 10-15 frames a second, which is pretty distracting.  Unfortunately, tab mirroring doesn't work on Ubuntu (or any Linux that isn't Chrome OS), so I can't try it with my beefier Thinkpad.

Things I haven't tried yet: Play Movies; tab mirroring from a computer capable of encoding the video stream well; any sort of developer integration.
Chromecast is the easiest way to enjoy online video and anything from the w...
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Erin Cowden's profile photoJosh Zimmerman's profile photo
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no, its really, really sucky framerate with the tabcasting,  I'll try again on SUPER EXTREME QUALITY, but I think thats screen quality, not update rate
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Thomas Tuttle

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Costs $50 (if you pre-order now), replaces all (up to 8 of) your payment cards with a single, switchable device.
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Michael Leuchtenburg's profile photoThomas Tuttle's profile photoReilly Grant's profile photo
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I don't think Visa can stop them from making it. They can prohibit merchants from accepting it, but plenty of merchants are self-swipe.
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A little late to the game, but it's #nationalcomingoutday , so:

I'm #genderqueer  -- I don't identify within either of the two traditional categories of gender.
I'm #pansexual  -- gender affects, but does not limit, whom I'm attracted to.
I'm #polyamorous  -- I have multiple romantic relationships, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
I'm #kinky  -- I enjoy some practices (some sexual, some not) that many people consider deviant.

I recognize and appreciate the privilege that I have that lets me post this so openly.

I will also point you to +Fizz's post, which articulates far better than I could how you can help make it safer for others to come out: https://plus.google.com/102395887363056961112/posts/E5P2wUpWpN4
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Thomas Tuttle

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This lets you remotely locate, ring, or wipe your Android devices through your Google account.  (Hasn't shipped yet; "will be available later this month".)
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Dan Boger's profile photoD. Luria's profile photoDavid Winters's profile photoAmber Yust's profile photo
 
Good news, as I'm considering a possible switch to Android sometime in the future. It's comforting to have these on iOS.
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