How to watch Veetle channels on your Apple TV

Here is a simple procedure to watch Veetle channels (at least those that have an Apple compatible streaming format) on your Apple TV.

What you need

1) A browser capable of impersonating an iPhone/iPod/iPad and to inspect HTML elements on the page. For the purpose I’m using Safari for Mac (Developer mode must be active – if not, go to Preferences – Advanced and tick “Show Develop menu in menu bar”).
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can also change User Agent and inspect HTML elements on the page through extensions (such as Firebug).
2) Airflick, to send the URL of the streaming channel to your Apple TV
3) Well… an Apple TV! (I tested this one with an Apple TV Gen 3).

Here is how it works

1) Open Safari and change the User Agent to iPhone/iPod/iPad.

2) Go to Veetle (www.veetle.com) and navigate to the channel you want to display on your Apple TV.

3) Right click on the movie that should have started to stream and select Inspect Element.

4) Copy the URL of the streaming movie into Airflick Movie URL, including http:// and all the way to stream.m3u8.
Tip: you can right click and select Edit Attribute, copy the string directly and then paste it into Airflick.

5) Enjoy Veetle on your Apple TV!

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Belkin wireless router frequently disconnecting – SOLVED!

Recently I had been experiencing some issues with my Belkin N1 wireless router, with frequent but random disconnections, especially while using my MacBook Pro and my iPad at the same time.

I really couldn’t figure out why it was happening and whether there was a logic or not behind the problem. The only thing that seemed to be solving it, at least for some time, was a reboot of the router. I had started to think the router was faulty and needed to be replaced, but wait… no so fast!

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Pencil drawing effect in Powerpoint (any version)

I know this is a photography blog and that I’m not blogging often, however today I came up with a cool PowerPoint pencil drawing effect and I thought I will share it here. With this effect, which is very simple to achieve, you can turn a boring presentation into a more spicy one, at least visually!

Once you have gone through all the steps you will be able to turn this:

Into this:

Here is how to do it.

STEP 1

Draw any graphics that you want to turn into a pencil like drawing. In the example above, I used a sample sequence diagram.

STEP 2

Select the Scribble tool (under Autoshapes –> Lines) and start scribbling with it on top of your drawing. Try to keep a constant direction, going back and forth like you are painting inside the forms. The color with which you are scribbling doesn’t metter at this point. Just select one that is visible. Also it doesn’t really metter whether you are staying or not within the contour of the shapes. We will fix it later on.

STEP 3

Select your scribbled artwork (!?) and duplicate it on top of the original one. Offset the copy slightly in a way that does not create too many thick lines. Experiment until you get a nice effect. Use you arrow keys for an easier placement. You should get something like this.

I know that at this point it looks ugly, but bear with me.

STEP 4

This is the finishing step. Change the color of the your scribbled artwork to match the color of the foreground (white in this case). If your PowerPoint allows it, set the transparency to 60% or similar. Experiment with it until you get the desired effect. Duplicate the scribbled artwork to cover all the drawings. For a finishing touch, you can bring the text on top and change its color to one that stands out (darker in my example). You can also duplicate the original drawings, bring them on top and select No Fill, to leave only the border in place. This will visually clip the pencil drawing effect and limit it to the inside of the shapes.

Here is the finished artwork:

Hope you enjoyed it. Happy creative PowerPointing!

Ciao,
Marco.

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YouTube video doesn’t play on iPad

If your YouTube video fails to play on the iPad with the message “This movie format is not supported”, this may depend on its copyright status.

Copyrighted videos, containing for example a copyrighted sound-track, will not play from the iPad YouTube application, popping up the totally misleading message about the unsupported video format.

The truth is the the video format is usually perfectly fine. The problem is more likely related to the fact that YouTube cannot advertise within the iPad application or is unable to respect some contractual obligations toward the copyright owners.

You can check the copyright status of your videos from the “My Account – Videos” page on YouTube. If it says Video blocked in some countries. View Copyright Info. then your video may not play on the iPad, even from those countries for which it doesn’t seem to be blocked.

YouTube alternatives, like Vimeo, do not show the same behavior.

Hope this helps to clarify the issue many of us are having with their YouTube videos on iPad, even within the boundaries of the fair use.

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