The City Manager and The Boss

At the Marshall Plan Symposium on Friday, Stockton City Manager Bob Deis opted for a musical finale.

Record photographer Calixtro Romias shot this video:

What’d you think of the song? Is there another song that you feel represents Stockton?

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Recordnet.com launches tablet site

 

Check out The Record’s new tablet site now!

The new site is designed for ease of use and to better highlight recordnet.com content on your tablet device.

You can browse the stories, photos, videos and other features that matter to you.

On an iPad, the first time you visit the site, you’ll get a prompt telling you how to bookmark the site on your iPad home screen:

    

On Android, there is no immediate prompt. But Android devices allow you to do the same thing.

First, you have to add the site as a bookmark. Then, find the bookmark in your bookmarks and hold your finger down on it.

From there, you’ll see an option to “Add shortcut to home screen.”

The screenshot above is the front page, as viewed on an iPad. At the top, it displays the four top stories of the day, with images and lead paragraphs. Use your finger to scroll through the four stories.

The key icon at the top shows readers how many clicks they’ve used of their monthly limits (3 if you are a non subscriber and not registered).

Click on the key for subscription information.

If you prefer to view the whole site on your tablet device, we also still have that option. Just click on the gear icon and choose your site experience.

If you click on the icon with three horizontal lines, you’ll find many options, including signing up for alerts, visiting our Limelight Deals site and viewing local weather conditions (left).

You can also search the site for previous articles.

Below the four top stories on the homepage are feeds (left) for local news, photo galleries, sports, business, lifestyle and entertainment, videos, user-generated MyRecord content and obituaries.

 

Scroll with your finger to find more content in each of these sections.

At the bottom (above right) are feeds for opinion, popular stories, state and national/world news.

A highlight of the tablet site is the photo display (seen below). Clicking on a photo gallery will take you to a new screen where you can scroll through images using your finger.

You can also share content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email, or choose to buy the photo.

Clicking on a video will take you to a new screen (above) where you can view the YouTube video.

We hope you enjoy the new recordnet.com experience on your tablet device.

Drop us a line and let us know what you think of it, either by commenting here or emailing me at kcombs@recordnet.com.

 

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Clip from Anti-Violence Symposium

Motivational speaker Derek Clark performed Jan. 11 as part of the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Anti-Violence Symposium.

Record photographer Calixtro Romias shot this clip:

 

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Best nerdy gift ever

I got some really nice gift for Christmas, but one of my favorites is one I couldn’t resist buying for myself.

It’s fairly common for our department to have multiple people listening to audio on a computer at any time. We can, in some cases, take the headphones out and listen to the audio through the speakers. But that’s bothersome to some of our coworkers.

So during some of my last minute shopping, I saw a “robot headphone splitter” at Cost Plus World Market in Tracy.

The store also had little heart splitters. I thought that one was cheesy.

The robot is pretty awesome. It’s head comes off and connects into the audio jack on our computer. Then each person can put a pair of headphones into the robot’s eyes. His little body protects the main jack. A little tether keeps the pieces together.

I was excited to try it out today. Then I realized I left it at home. (The photo comes from my iPhone, I sent it to a friend after I bought it.)

Sure, you can buy regular headphone splitters. This one, though, is a conversation piece.

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Election voices

In our election chat on Tuesday night, we posted a few videos in which Record reporter Kevin Parrish spoke with voters about the election.

Here’s a few that didn’t make it into the chat:

Abdurrahman Muhammad, 66, lives in Stockton and is a retired draftsman and a Vietnam War veteran. He worked as a precinct inspector.

Evelyn Ortega, 48, lives in Stockton and voiced her concerns about the White House.

What races – local, state or national – motivated you to head to the polls this year? Were you happy with the outcome?

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Edison coach a ‘Soul Vike’

Here’s an extra from our week one high school football coverage.

Edison High School football coach Andre Horace knows a thing or two about being a Viking — or a Soul Vike, as he put it.

Horace played football himself at Edison, graduating in 1993 and went on to play at Boise State. In the course of the interview, he spoke about coming home to his alma mater.

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Pros of Cons

On Sunday, I was one of thousands of people who turned out for Stockton-Con at University of the Pacific’s Spanos Center.

I was there shooting video for our website. But, in truth, as a die-hard geek, I would’ve been there regardless.

Just a few weeks earlier, I made the trek down to San Diego for Comic-Con.

If you’ve never been to Comic-Con, it’s massive. There were roughly 130,000 attendees this year. And it’s no longer restricted to comics and science-fiction. “Glee” has a panel.

The San Diego Convention Center

I first attended Comic-Con in 2004. It was big then, but it’s exhausting now. Lines are ridiculous. It’s hard to get around in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter. I camped out all night to get a seat for the panel about the first “Hobbit” film. But there’s a certain camaraderie at 2 a.m. when you’re parked in the grass next to a like-minded fan sharing snacks.

I was really impressed with Stockton-Con’s first year. More than 3,000 people came – with lines that did Stockton proud!

There were dozens of vendors and artists with a variety of wares – comics, video games, card and board games, toys, prints and more.

Growing up in Calaveras County and even now living in Stockton, it can sometimes seem difficult to find geeks of similar interests. When I spotted a woman dressed in a “Doctor Who” costume at the Stockton Library and Literacy Foundation’s Trivia Bee this year, I got a bit overexcited.

But Sunday showed there are plenty of passionate, creative fans here.

The line for Stockton-Con on Sunday. Photo by Calixtro Romias.

As Lori Gilbert touched on in her column today, Stockton-Con could have a great future ahead of it.

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Getting up close and personal

It’s no secret that I’m kind of a geek. It’s kind of what my job is all about really. I get to seek out and test new technology. Web Content Producer Katie Combs and myself are always looking for new ways to tell stories on recordnet.com. We’re always looking for something else to give us an edge, whether it be in design, multimedia or video.

But I can’t take credit for one of our recent equipment additions. I have Record Photo Editor Craig Sanders to thank for it in fact.

Introducing, the GoPro HDHero 2.


We acquired two of these little cameras recently. One for the online department, one for photo.  You wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve said to ourselves “I wish we could do helmet cam video for that!” Seriously. Because that’s what geeks often think about. At least I do.

We’ve tried other ways to get similar footage, including the use of a pocket-type camera.

The video for that is from Lathrop at Dell’Osso Family Farm. I took a trip down the snow tube mountain in 2009.

The GoPro, though, elevates what we can do. It comes equipped with head-band style contraption that secures it, nicely, to a source. It’s pretty snug too. I can shake my head back and forth and it won’t flinch.


Thanks to Roger Phillips for getting a shot of me with it on. I’ve been wearing it around the newsroom a little lately as I test some things.

The best part of the GoPro is that it really gets our viewers a birds-eye view of what some of our video sources are actually doing. We were able to use the camera for the first time on July 14 when sports reporter Scott Linesburgh, Sanders and I ventured to Stockton Indoor Sports Complex for the Port City Roller Girls recent home bout.

Marcella McCraw, also known as Marcella Masticate, donned the head gear for two jams during the event.

What I love about the footage here is that you really get a sense of what she’s going through in a bout. She grunts after the hits. When she falls, you see the after effects. Plus, you can see how she kind of took a beating when the camera gets adjusted. And the camera doesn’t move easily. She took a pretty hard hit.

The best part is when you see her eyes toward the end of the video. You can read her face.

You’ll also notice an increase in resolution and playback from one camera, for the snow tube mountain, to the next.

Since we began shooting video for recordnet.com in 2007, we’ve striven to give our readers “more online.” The “more” changes constantly as we explore new technology and reinvent the way we do things every couple months. When we hired on Combs in early 2011, I told her there was no definitive training guide for her position because technology moves so quickly we’d have to update it constantly.

The GoPro is a nice addition to our stock of equipment in fulfilling the aforementioned mission.


It’s also made for some awkward, yet awesome, photos of us doing our jobs. We have to cue up the camera and start it before the footage we want to get.  That’s my head at the top of a shot when I started the camera. The GoPro is so small that it doesn’t have a screen showing what we’re shooting. So it’s a lot of guesswork to mount and make it right.

That leads to looks of confusion too.


That’s Sanders, getting ready to mount the GoPro on a referee for the bout. We got video of that too, but due to the production turnaround of five videos and a project, I couldn’t get the sixth video finished.

And then there’s me.


My preferred shooting camera, the Canon XHA1s, is over my left shoulder in this shot. It’s the first screen of the 24-plus minutes that Marcella Masticate wore the camera. I edited that to under three minutes, our standard.

The GoPro shoots in high definition. It will go widescreen 1080, which fits with our HDV video format in our larger cameras. It comes with a sturdy protective body too, which means it can take a roller derby hit pretty well. It also has a waterproof backing we’re hoping to experiment with too.

The only downside is not so great sound. But the picture quality is awesome enough to add it in to other footage.

We’re looking for chances to use the GoPro more in the future. Maybe you have some ideas? Let us know at tcuslidge@recordnet.com or kcombs@recordnet.com.

The possibilities with this camera are limitless in many ways. That makes this geek pretty happy.

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Read the small print

On Saturday, I went down to the Waterfront Warehouse for a miniatures show.

You can view the video on recordnet.com.

One of the vendors, Don Hawke of Janadon Miniatures, approached me and asked about my media affiliation.

When I told him I was with The Record, he presented me with this:

Photo by Michael McCollum

Cool!

Don and his wife, Jan, are based in West Point but frequently travel for events. They often try to make miniature newspapers for the towns they visit.

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Recordnet.com debuts new mobile site

You may have noticed a drastic change in The Record’s mobile site over the past 24 hours. Gone is the basic white background and article-only format.

We replaced our original mobile site, built in 2009, with a new version on Tuesday.

From a user standpoint, the new site is more appealing, easier to use and – best of all – includes more of the content you find daily on recordnet.com.

The above screenshot is of the front page, as viewed on an iPhone. It displays the top story of the day from recordnet.com with an image and the lead paragraph.

You’ll also notice the little key icon next to the story. That indicates the article requires a subscription to recordnet.com to read.

A status bar on the front page also tells readers how many clicks they’ve used during a month of their limits (3 if you are a non subscriber and not registered).

When you log in, the name associated with your recordnet.com account will appear on top.

You’ll notice a little “+” icon at the top. It’s a new navigation menu that includes a place to check the weather, search the archives, sign up for text alerts and also login to recordnet.com using your subscription account.

The login screen redirects registered users and paid subscribers to a screen to access their recordnet.com accounts.

A new weather screen pulls up the current conditions, the overall forecast for the day and allows you to search for weather forecasts for other locations as well.

Also new are the way articles are displayed. The sectioning on the mobile site is much more distinct. Before all news-related articles were gathered together under the same heading.

Now, local news is listed first. Categories for “national and world” and “state” news will appear also if we have items fitting those descriptions posted to recordnet.com.

The lists will pull the top three stories, usually most recent, for each of the sections on the site. A small number near the top of the list will indicate how many stories are avaliable.

The “+” icon will expand the lists to see other headlines for the day.

In addition to articles, which have always been included on our mobile site, the move to the new format allows us to also post photo galleries and video avaliable on recordnet.com.

Both categories are listed near the bottom of the news lists, underneath the articles.

The galleries will list similar to the articles, but also include the number of photos you’ll be able to see.

  
Clicking on a gallery will take you into a new screen where you can scan through images using the “prev” and “next” buttons. You’ll also noticed new social media functionality that allows for sharing of the photos on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and through email.

While viewing photos, you’ll also see a button saying “more photo galleries” where you can view more recent galleries.

Our new video setup is very similar.

  
Our videos will play in YouTube on your smartphone or other mobile device.

Overall, the bottom line is an easier to use, more attractive site.

We recommend downloading our GetJar App that takes you directly to our mobile site.

The new mobile site will prompt you to download it as you browse. The icon will appear on your phone’s screen to give you one-click access to recordnet.com.

Of course, if you prefer to view the whole site on your phone, we also still have that option. In both the top drop down navigation and the bottom bar, there’s an option to use “full site.”

We’d like to know what you think of the new mobile site. Leave us a comment here or contact me directly at tcuslidge@recordnet.com.

Happy browsing!

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