How to Get Hulu Plus in Canada

Welcome! Today I'll be teaching you how to get Hulu plus in Canada with your Canadian credit card!

The first thing you need to do is be able to access Hulu from Canada. To do this download a browser extension called Media Hint. You can quickly find that right here https://mediahint.com/ . Another nifty feature about this plug in is that it will give you American Netflix, as well as access to pandora, spotify, etc. 

Next up head over to Hulu and make yourself an account, do the one week trial for premium to put your information in. This is how I did it but I'm sure at any time you could find a link to hulu plus and try that. 

After you're on the page, simply input your credit card details like normal except for the ZIP code section. This is the next trick we have to use. Take your Canadian postal code and take the numbers from it and simply add two zeros ahead of it or after it. Experiment with both and see which one works. For example if your postal code was R5S 2K4 try 00524 or 52400 . This zip code trick also works at gas pumps in the USA along with other places that only require a zip code and no state. 

Finish up the form and click submit, this worked for me and hopefully it worked for you! 

Enjoy!

Flight Diary

http://flightdiary.net/

As a first post back I'd love to share with you one of my favourite little sites. It's called Flight Diary and it tracks all your flights, right down to the seat number. It also allows you to share reviews of airports and airlines. 

Once you put in all your data it gives you very nice charts and a map with all your past and pending flights on it. The more you fly a route the closer to blue that route turns on the map. 

If you're curious here's my flight diary! http://flightdiary.net/morg

Test Track Grand (Re)Opening

Welcome to another Whatever Wednesday. I was in sunny Orlando, Florida and on Monday, December 3rd, I got the pleasure to be at Disney World for the soft opening of the new Test Track attraction. 

What is Test Track?

Test Track is an attraction at Walt Disney World Orlando that features the "testing" of a new Chevrolet vehicle designed by  you. The redesign features visuals heavily inspired by the new Tron movies, with lots of vibrant blues as well as purple, yellow and green. The ride focuses on developing a vehicle to satisfy four main categories represented by those four colours. Blue is for responsiveness, the handling of the car or truck. Yellow represents capability, green the eco capabilities and purple for power.  

Standby Line

The standby line in my opinion is the best way to ride the new Test Track. As soon as you walk in the door you are greeted with a Chevrolet concept car and video talking about the future of vehicles. As you snake around the line you are shown various crazy little models of cars that are supposed to represent each of the four categories. You are then also shown a two bright yellow concept cars that would work in a networked highway system. One is finished and put together while the other is blown up so you can see it's various components. 

As you turn back on yourself and around a corner you are then shown a blank white model of a car. The car has various things projected on it talking about the design stages of a car and various things that adults and children would like to see in their dream car. It's a really neat section of the attraction and I have a video attached to show it off.

Around that corner the line is split into two allowing up to four people to play on giant touch screens creating a vehicle by modifying the  "line" of the car or truck. It's a pretty neat way to waste time waiting in line and it serves as a warmup for the upcoming design studio. 

Next up you get given a blank RFID card (at least they were blank at the time when I rode it), which is your card to use in the design studio. Your group gets assigned a place in line and you can either each design a car or up to three people can work on the same car. As you get let into the design studio you tap your card on your design station and get to choose between making a car or a truck. After that you draw the initial line of your vehicle. You then mess around with the line to change the four categories of power, capability, eco friendliness and  responsiveness.  You then get to change the colour, add accessories and graphics. 

Fastpass Line

The Disney Fastpass allows you to pretty much cut line. The problem with that on this ride is that if you skip the line you're missing the design studio which is pretty much the best part of the ride. There is still nice themeing a mini design studio, but the design studio in the fast pass line only allows you to select a pre made car or truck. For me, it really took a lot out of the experience, but if you just want to ride the ride section of the attraction then it serves it's purpose. However without making a whole creation it didn't feel the same and the competition parts of the ride were made lame, 

The Ride

Once your finished making or choosing your creation you move forward and get back in line for the actual ride section of Test Track. Once you make it to the front of the line you scan your RFID card into the ride and get seated. The actual path of the ride itself hasn't changed however the attraction sports a new tron inspired look, taking you through various testing points of your created vehicle.  

At the end of each ride section it displays who in your six person "sim car" made the best car back in the design studio for each section. It's really neat and a fun way to inspire competition. 

The best section of the ride in my opinion is the speed test. It sends you up to 70MPH around an outdoor loop. The moment the car starts accelerating and the doors open just in time for you to launch into the sunlight, it's great. 

After The Ride

Once you finish the ride you are presented with many places to use your car you created. By tapping your RFID card to things you can make a commercial for your car, race it on a virtual figure 8 track or take a photo with it on a green screen type set up. There is also a massive scoreboard that shows the daily best car in each category and for overall design. Also in that area are Chevrolet vehicles you can check out as well as some Chevy reps to help you if you have any questions about the cars and trucks. 

As with almost all Disney rides there is also a small gift shop allowing you to buy Test Track and Chevy related products. It's mostly stuff like shirts, vinylmations and other various knickknacks. On the way out you give back your card and are free to venture the rest of Disney. 

Overall it's one of the newest rides at Disney and a really cool look at automobiles and the future of automobiles. It also has a creative aspect that is pretty fun and competitive. I would highly recommend checking it out if you ever get to go to Disney World Orlando and more specifically the Epcot park.

Star Slinger

Welcome to Music Monday, today I'll be talking about Nottingham born DJ, Star Slinger. 

What Kind of Music Is It? 

Star Slinger takes his cues from the origins of house and hip hop. He samples older hip hop songs that are bursting with soul. Those old classics are great to dance along to and with the added spin Star Slinger adds all his songs are a dance party on a CD.

In other songs he samples new hip hop, mixing and cutting them to create a weird dream scape of music. As dreamy as some of his songs get though they are always danceable.

To get a good comparison of his older and newer style sampling check out my favourite track by him "Gimmy" and then his newest song "Ladies In The Back" . 

If you like those two songs out, please go check him out over on SoundCloud right here: 

https://soundcloud.com/starslingeruk

Enjoy.

XXYYXX

Today is Monday, which means music monday! I'm writing this post from sunny Orlando, Florida. It's a much needed reprieve from work and the cold weather of home. Today I want to talk about the producer XXYYXX.

Who is XXYYXX?

XXYYXX is a 17 year old from Orlando, Florida who goes by the real name Marcel Everett. He works out of his own room producing dreamy beats that can minds to another place far far away. For someone wondering more about who he is, check out the interview done by Vice right here: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/xxyyxx-says-hes-head-of-the--illuminati

What Does XXYYXX Sound Like?

For those like me who would rather just judge with their ears then what kind of person he is, check out the first song I heard when exposed to them. It's still my favourite to this day, and the video is amazing.

Where can I find more XXYYXX? 

If you digged that track, check out more XXYYXX via soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/xxyyxx or via youtube simply by searching XXYYXX. 

He is also on bandcampitunesspotify.

Enjoy.

Where to Find the Best Apps

Welcome to Whatever Wednesday, where I talk about, whatever. Today I want to talk about the top places to find apps, mostly for Apple devices however some of these places also include Android apps, and maybe they will cover Windows RT apps eventually as well. 

Beautiful Pixels

 

This is personally my favourite place to find apps. Beautiful Pixels is a blog run by Preshit Deorukhkar, a technology columnist from Mumbai, India as the about me page states. The site is a clean simple wordpress blog and it features only the best designed iPhone (and recently) Android apps. 

The writing provides mini reviews of each app and explains what it is about that app that makes it so useful and beautiful. Personally this is a huge plus because I love apps that are pretty yet still highly functional. Simply put, if there was a section in the app store that was curated by Beautiful Pixels, that would be my first stop every time. 

Check out Beautiful Pixels yourself at www.beautifulpixels.com 

/r/apphookup 

/r/apphookup is a subsection of the social media site reddit.com. It's main feature is finding apps that are temporarily free. This is great if you want to try a bunch of different apps that usually cost money but are discounted for a limited time by their developers. Many developers are also active users of reddit and as such they post beta codes for their apps on apphookup as well. 

Personally when wading through the content I like to read the comments just to see if the app is considered terrible by other users. However since it's free for a limited time the best part is that you can check it out for yourself instead of having to ask for other peoples opinions on the app. I mean really, what do you have to lose?

Check out /r/apphookup yourself at  www.reddit.com/r/apphookup 

App Store

This last one is pretty obvious but I always find myself browsing through the app store to see what's new or trending. The featured page is great and the editors choice is almost always a home run. The "New and Noteworthy" section provides interesting apps that are up and coming and generating a lot of buzz. Browsing through the "Top Charts" section is interesting too, as most apps don't generally get downloaded millions of times for no reason.

Check out the app store on your device or on iTunes. 

What About Google?

I'm sure some of you at this point may be asking "Why not just use google?". Sure you can Google "Top 10 iPhone apps" and get hundreds of lists of "Top 10 iPhone apps for 2012" but these places always seem to list the same few apps that many people already know about. If you know absolutely nothing about apps and smartphones/tablets then it may be a good approach. However it doesn't take long to find out that "The skype app is an essential" or "Instagram is a popular service for photos". When finding new and interesting apps, Google is not the way I like to go. 

General Advice

On a closing note, some general advice when finding apps is to always check out a few main categories: downloads, ratings and comments. I like to check downloads because for the most part if an app has been downloaded over and over by thousands of people, it usually has to be doing something right. Ratings and comments are also crucial to me, comments more so then ratings however. Comment sections let you quickly figure out quarks, bugs, and top features within most apps. If my an app is going to get stuck in some sort of crash cycle I'm sure there will be a comment about it upfront and center in the comments section. 

With all that said, go out there and find some cool new apps! If there is an app you're dying to let me and everyone else know about it, write about it in the comments section! 


Enjoy

 

 

 

iPhone 5!

So I got an iPhone 5 in today, I feel like I should give some sort of mini review at the very least. As a forewarning I'm coming from an iPhone 3GS so you can potentially imagine how big of a difference this phone is for me. If you want to skip straight to the pictures they are at the bottom of the post! The phone arrived in typical apple packaging, simple and beautiful. The front of the box is just a picture of the phone, that's it. The side has iPhone 5 written on it and apple logos on their respective sides. All the phone information is on the bottom of the box. It's not about the information though it's about the phone and Apple makes that apparent because as soon as you slide off the lid of the box, there it is, just the phone staring you in right in the face.

When I first saw it all I could think of was how beautiful the phone was. This is literally the nicest phone I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, using or let alone owning. I almost dropped it pulling it out of the box due to how lite the phone is. Coming in at just 112 grams, it's much much lighter then my 3GS in an otter box. The square shape is nice to hold in my hand and doesn't feel like a bar of soap like the 3GS did. No expense is spared on the small details of this phone, from the lovely chamfered edges to the beautiful 4 inch display, I love every inch of it. Also it's hard to really describe just how tiny the new lightning connector is without seeing it in person. It's smaller then a dime, and I think it's smaller then Micro USB, but I could be wrong on that one.

The A6 processor makes this phone scream when it comes to performance. Everything loads almost instantly and paired with LTE data, it's possible to go through a lot of information quickly. Apps load instantly, twitter updates instantly, photos upload instantly. Everything is done in an instant, except for Siri. It could just be my connection or the fact that Siri is still in "beta" but sometimes she takes a while to respond to my requests. I can't complain too much though because the level of technology involved in Siri and with how accurate the voice recognition is, colour me impressed.

Turn by Turn navigation works well, however as some of you might know by now Apple maps need some serious improving. In my experience it tried to lead me through a bus trap that hasn't even been used by busses for over 10 years, yet alone cars. Reporting my issue was quick though and hopefully I can report back later when it gets fixed just to see how long that process takes. Calgary is also one of the few cities that has been 3D mapped. The suburbs are hit and miss but downtown is beautifully rendered in full 3D. Pair that with the amazing satellite imagery and you have a stunning new feature. It isn't reallllly useful for navigation in my opinion, and something like street view is sorely missed, but flyover is a neat new feature none the less.

Hopefully I can write about some new little tips and tricks I find within iOS6 on the iPhone 5, but for now I'll just leave my short review as just that, a short review.

Here are some photos of my new phone and the packaging it came in as a bonus

Enjoy! 

Music To Sleep To - Imprintafter

Hey all, sorry for the hiatus, I was off in the Sunshine State, Florida! I had a great time in Orlando and will hopefully make a post about it real soon, I'm thinking tomorrow! However for now here is another volume of Music To Sleep To. Today I'm featuring an album by Juan Avila aka Imprintafter called Kat Seckz. Juan uses smooth electro beats from hip hop and chill wave causing a dreamy melody that makes it impossible to frown. Her beats make me so terribly relaxed and happy that I can't help but drop what I'm doing and listen to the full track when the mood strikes me. The best part for my readers is that this album is pay what you want, which includes an option of zero dollars. If you like it I encourage you to donate, but for now check it out on bandcamp right here.

Enjoy!

Music To Sleep To - Del Barber

This week I want to talk about Del Barber. I saw him this past weekend at the Calgary Folk Festival in-between two larger sets (Bettye LaVette and Dan Mangan) and he played only 3 songs but he was easily one of the highlights of the night for me. Del is a folk/country singer that provides a perfect blend of country guitar work and indie folk vocal styling. His songs are all small stories from his life carefully crafted into vivid ballads which are easy to relate to. Check out one of his songs right here

 

 

And check him out on itunes, amazonspotify , or of course his website http://www.delbarber.com/

Enjoy!

Calgary Folk Fest Photos - Friday

Folk Fest is on once again in Calgary and they are really cool about bringing DSLR's into the venue. So far I have seen some great acts like Beirut, Chris Isaak, Del Barber, Bettye LaVette, Dan Mangam, Jeff Mangum and Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires. I plan on doing some music to sleep to posts about some of these artists but as a quick throw out my favourites so far have been Beirut, Del Barber and Dan Mangam.  Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires is also a group I have never head of before but Charles has soul, it's good ol fashion funky, soul music.

Without further adue though here are some photos I have from Friday, I hope to get more on Sunday including the lantern parade!

 

Del Barber

Bettye LaVette

Dan Mangan

The Modern Concert Goer

River Side Relaxation

Music To Sleep To - Fiona Apple

Hello again, as you can see my bit of a hiatus is over! I'v been really bogged down with work and social stuff however it's time to get posting again! My first post back is actually the start of a series of posts I want to make called "Music to Sleep To". This does not imply that I think the songs are bad, quite the opposite actually. Personally I like to fall asleep to music every night and I usually look for new songs, albums and artists that produce music that I enjoy falling asleep to. I almost always accompany these albums with the lovely sounds provided by http://rainymood.com so you can keep that in mind. The sound of rain is fantastic for sleeping.

So without any further preamble the first post I'm going to make in this series is dedicated to Fiona Apple. Her newest album titled (deep breath) "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do" is a fantastic mix of dreamy melodies and intriguing vocals. Her lyrics explore some darker sides of the human psyche including feelings of loneliness and regret however the way they are adressed is oddly beautiful. Her voice flows between different emotions and odd vocal styling however it is all wrapped up perfectly and when mixed with the sounds of rain, it's fantastic to drift off into your dreams.

Check out the album on Amazon, iTunes or Spotify

Use Phrases To Keep Your iPhone Professional

According to an Angus Reid online poll from 2010, Canadian swear more then any other country in the world. Normally this isn't too much of an issue however when posting things on your professional twitter, facebook, emails and the like it usually isn't the best idea to start throwing around too many curse words. Most people can usually control themselves pretty well but if you want to add an another layer of anti curse protection follow this tutorial on how to use iOS's new phrase system to keep your messages professional. Step one is to go into the ever familiar settings menu and find general settings

After that we are going to go into the Keyboard options

Once inside the keyboard options scroll down a bit to "Shortcuts"

As you can see I already have a few set up, omw is a default one that changes the text to on my way. We are going to press new short cut and create our own. The phrase is what you want to pop up and the shortcut is what triggers the phrase to pop up. In this example whenever we type "nuaghtyword" the word "nincompoop" will come up in the autocorrect window. Once you have replaced whatever word you want press save and it should now show up in your "Shortcut" list.

Feel free to test it out on your notepad or twitter account, whatever you feel comfortable with. Here is our word replacement in action!

As you can see it's fairly simple and it's a good way to catch yourself and make sure you aren't going to say anything too offensive in a situation. You can obviously also use this feature for it's intended purposes like changing idk to I don't know, and making yourself seem generally more intelligent by using whole words and phrases.

Enjoy

Morgan Garvin

Automate Your Social Life With Ifitt

If you're like me your life is busy. You enjoy contributing to multiple social networks, staying up on the news and watching cool videos on YouTube and Vimeo. Sometimes this digital life can get overwhelming and you start to fall behind on the things you love. Wouldn't it be great if there was something that could automate parts of these services to better suit your needs? Well luckily there is, and it's name is Ifttt. Ifttt gets it's name from the simple programming concept of "If this, then that", a concept of having one event trigger another.    You can combine different services and use them to trigger each other resulting in anything from a simple weather report to bouncing messages through multiple services. I personally use Ifttt to post pictures from my instagram to my blog, tumblr and twitter all at once as well as have text messages sent to me when it's going to snow (Calgary is rather unpredictable with it's weather).

Ifttt uses a simple interface that allows users to quickly make powerful "recipes" with their various online accounts. It also provides a list of common recipes for users to check out and get ideas for how they can use Ifttt in their daily lives. These recipes range from thanking people when they retweet you on Twitter, saving important emails to Evernote, or having a weather report texted to you each morning. Lets walk through making a recipe to show you how easy it is to start automating your digital life. Get started by heading on over to ifttt.com and making an account. You will also have to link your social networks as you go along, something I have done before making this post.

For this example I want to create a recipe that will make a blog post every time someone @replies me on Twitter. This could be useful for a customer testimonial site on twitter or something along those lines, if you're really passionate about saving those moments people reply to you then I'm not going to judge you.

Step One:

Go to your recipes pannel and create a new task.

Step Two:

Click "this" to pick your first service in the task.

Step Three:

Choose the trigger within that service. For this example we will choose "New mention of you"

Step Four:

Sometimes in this section you are allowed to set conditions, we will see this with the Wordpress part of the task, if there is nothing to select then continue onward!

Step Five:

Click "that" to select your second service, in this example we will use Wordpress.

Step Six:

Choose how you want Wordpress to react when the first half the task is complete.

Step Seven:

Complete the action field that informs what you want Wordpress to do with the incoming information. Click the drop down menu that appears where the dark gray text window is to see different pieces of information you can insert these are called Addins. This part can be a little confusing with some tasks however Twitter addins are pretty self explanatory.

Step Eight:

Review and name your new task, once your done you just have to click "Create task" and you're finished. Congrats you made your very own recipe! It does take a few minutes to register your task sometimes so be patient.

This is just a simple example, there are some set ups far more complex that allow for much powerful utilities but starting simple is always a good idea. Eventually you will be coming up with recipes that you never would have dreamed possible to begin with. Hopefully this blog post helps you understand the basic idea of Ifttt and allows you to start simplifying your digital space.

Morgan G

How to get your photos from photo stream to lightroom.

I came across this super useful tutorial on how to set up a folder action that takes your photos from your photo stream account on iCloud and allows you to consolidate them into a singular folder. You can then use that folder to export your photo stream to something like light room. A big thank you to Adam Portilla for sharing this little tip.

How to integrate iCloud Photo Stream with Adobe Lightroom 4 by using Automator in OSX:

Step 1: Create an Automator folder action to copy all files added to your hidden Photo Stream folder to a folder elsewhere on your computer.

Start in Automator by creating a 'Folder Action' workflow. Click 'Choose folder', then press SHIFT-COMMAND-PERIOD while the Automator folder picker is open so that you can browse hidden folders. Choose the iCloud Photo Stream folder here: {USERNAME}/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub

Add a 'Get Folder Contents' action to your workflow, being sure to check the 'Repeat for each subfolder found' option.

Add a 'Copy Finder Items' action to your workflow, selecting a folder where you'd like Lightroom to import from. Something like "/Pictures/Lightroom Import" might be a good idea.

Save your workflow. You've just activated an Automator action that copies new Photo Stream images to a folder of your choosing.  

Visit the source to continue reading for steps two and three: https://plus.google.com/101906353514641308377/posts/e1K1iZZFVbD