Month: July 2010

Microsoft’s Street Slide

A Must-See Video of Microsoft’s Street Slide, Better Than Google Street View

Microsoft Research has come up with a fantastic way to use street view images in panoramic form, including the use of the unused screen area above and below images. Watch the video, it’s quite good.

Couple this with their very useful Bing maps (try birdseye view of your area) and I’d say Microsoft is giving Google a run for their money. Good.

[via Jon Moss]

Solar roadways: The prototype

The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon. The idea is to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collect energy to be used by our homes and businesses. Our ultimate goal is to be able to store excess energy in or alongside the Solar Roadways. This renewable energy replaces the need for the current fossil fuels used for the generation of electricity. This, in turn, cuts greenhouse gases literally in half.

Solar Roadways

[via Dale Allyn]

America in Color from 1939-1943

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943

These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.

Absolutely incredible collection: the US after the Great Depression, before World War II.

An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

Jeffrey Friedle on how Lightroom’s JPEG settings differ from other applications that can convert RAW and TIFF images to JPEGs and how to think about evaluating each image being converted to JPEG so as to get the most compression with the least loss of image quality.

This is an extremely well written and useful.

[via Daring Fireball]

Flipboard

Flipboard may very well be the killer app for the iPad. It’s the ultimate aggregator and content presenter for everything you track: The New York Times, Facebook, Twitter, blogs with RSS feeds, everything with a feed.

Robert Scoble interviews Fliboard CEO, Mike McCue and once they get into the meat of the app it’s worth watching to get a better handle on what Flipboard is: First look at “revolutionary” social news iPad app: Flipboard.

[via Jon Moss]

iPhone4 cable issue with bumper

Let me preface this by saying I love my iPhone4 and no doubt Apple is going to give me a credit for the bumper I bought for it.

Apple iPhone connector cables

The Apple USB charging cable on the left is the older one although still sold by Apple to work with iPhone4 (see blow), the Apple USB charging cable on the right came with the iPhone4.

With the Apple bumper installed on iPhone4 the newer cable works fine but the older Apple cable doesn’t fit into the phone. Take the bumper off and the older cable works fine.

Apple Dock Connector to USB Cable

This USB 2.0 cable connects your iPod, iPhone, or iPad — directly or through a Dock — to your computer’s USB port for efficient syncing and charging or to the Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging from a wall outlet.

As if Apple didn’t have enough public relations problems with the iPhone4… and now everyone will have a bumper.

I don’t know about you but I have a few of these cables I bought as extras and it would be a shame to have to replace them with new ones that Apple doesn’t seem to sell as accessories.

Addendum: After talking with a friend who’s had a 3G, a 3Gs and now an iPhone4, we’ve come to the conclusion that Apple changed the cable when the iPhone 3Gs came out but they’ve failed to update the picture on their store. If you buy that cable from the Apple store you get the newer (smaller) one, not the one pictured. The extra cables he bought from Apple for his 3Gs are the same cable that comes with the iPhone4 and work fine with the bumper.

So, this problem only affects people who bought iPhone charging cables pre-iPhone 3Gs.

Bloodhound

Bloodhound

Bear Mountain, Salisbury, Connecticut. We met "Bloodhound" (his trail name) on the top of Bear Mountain yesterday. Since early June we’ve seen dozens of "thru-hikers" on the Appalachian Trail; hikers who are doing the entire 2175 mile Appalachian Trail hike from Georgia to Maine (map).

I had a plan to take a picture of each of the thru-hikers we’ve met over the past few months but felt odd about it (like street photography on a wilderness "street") and didn’t do it. I asked Bloodhound and he was fine with it.

I’m less interested in doing portraits of this group of people, more interested in illustrating my awe at meeting a variety of people who plan and execute a 4-6 month hike along a difficult trail. Some people do it in sections over many years, others, like Bloodhound attempt to do it all in one continuous hike. This is serious stuff. Some thru-hikers are young (we’ve met high schoolers) and some are older than 63 year old Bloodhound. Some hike it solo, some as couples and some in small groups. We met a father and son team two days ago, very nice people. There is a trail culture (including trail names) that we get glimpses of from the various hikers we meet. There are people in towns along the way that put thru-hikers up, help them clean clothes and restock their food and more. All of this is impressive to me and I have no doubt that doing something like this is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Bloodhound (from North Carolina) started in February which is very early but he’s been taking his time and enjoying the hike. He’s an incredibly nice guy who we talked with for quite some time as he rested and ate his candy bar.

New MacBook Air

Digitimes reports: Apple readies 11.6-inch MacBook Air and new iPod touch.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if this new version of the MacBook Air was an iPad with a folding keyboard. Run iOS and put a multi-touch screen on it and lose the trackpad and you have it. Sell it for under $1000.

Better yet, allow it to run both Mac OS and iOS in spaces.

Now that’s something I’d love.

Actually, more seriously, it’ll no doubt be a bow to netbooks and will run various applications off the cloud.

Randy Kearse selling his books on the subway

Author Whose Bookstore Is the No. 2 (or 4, or 5)

“Excuse me, ladies and gentleman,” he called out.

“I am not begging, borrowing or asking for your food. I don’t represent the homeless, I’m not selling candy or selling bootleg DVDs,” he said, then paused. “I write books.”

This story made my morning. If I run into Randy on a train I’ll buy his book and get it signed. I’ll buy two and donate one to our local library.

One person selling books on a train doesn’t sound like it could have the leverage of social networking on the web but in fact, those of us who see things like this can help amplify them by acknowledgement.

Go Randy.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ 50th Anniversary

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Anniversary: Anna Quindlen On The Greatness Of Scout

The book To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, this is its 50th year in print. The film was made in 1962.

Every kid has had that house in the neighborhood that your friends would dare you to knock at on Halloween. The idea that the person in that house is not a monster but a prisoner is so beautifully wrought in this book that I think you’re just totally present in it the whole time you are reading it. At that moment when she says “Hey, Boo” and her father says, “Jean Louise, this is Mr. Arthur Radley”–it doesn’t get any better than that.

That scene in the movie makes me cry every time. Reading about that scene is making me tear up. It was toward the beginning of Robert Duvall’s incredible career.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an incredible book and an incredible film. If you never saw the film I highly recommend it.

Susan Burnstine Photography

Susan Burnstine Photography

Susan’s images are shot on film with homemade medium format cameras and homemade lenses, primarily made out of plastic, vintage camera parts and random household objects. Effects are created entirely IN-camera. No photoshop post-processing techniques are used to achieve effects.

This is spectacular work, both surrealistic and impressionistic at the same time. It would be wonderful to see this work in fine art print form. Might have to get to one of the galleries representing her (there’s one in Greenwich, Connecticut).