Monthly Archives: July 2011

The War in Hipstamatic

The War in Hipstamatic

Spectacular war photography, done on an iPhone.

But in this unique collection of photographs, largely taken on iPhones using an app called Hipstamatic that allows users to digitally manipulate “lenses,” “flashes,” and “film stock,” we found something exceptionally powerful: a record of the lives of U.S. Marines in Helmand province in 2010 and 2011 and of the Afghans they interacted with. It is by no means a comprehensive look at 10 years of war, but it is an evocative and profound slice of life — at the beginning of the end of the longest conflict in U.S. history.

[via Gary Sharp]

Apricots and strawberries

apricots and strawberries

My friend Gary Sharp who used to do a lot of creative photo work with plastic cameras and alternative film processing is having a blast with the iPhone 4 camera and the various photo manipulation apps available. This one is processed using a bleach bypass app which no doubt is mimicking an effect one might get in wet processing. Great stuff.

Lion doesn’t “burp” my MacBook Pro

Lion no longer “burps” the optical drive when you wake your MacBook Pro up from sleep. This makes me very happy.

I’ve also noticed that the Bluetooth control panel’s control for allowing and disallowing bluetooth accessories to wake the computer from sleep is also working as it should. My MacBook Pro can now hibernate and sleep correctly while still using a Magic Mouse.

These are nice details that let me know what Apple kept track of a lot of small sleep issues in Snow Leopard and fixed them.


Google+ comic

Great comic by Randall Munroe over at xkcd.

A number of my friends (both virtual and analog) sent me invites to Google+, Google’s new social tool and I decided to give it a try, mostly because Andy Hertzfeld was the lead designer of it and I have great respect for him (see Switcher).

Just so you know, I tried Facebook for a year and my friend Gary and I decided to kill our accounts on the same day. Social networking for the sake of social networking just doesn’t work for me. I already track hundreds of sites via RSS and use Twitter to track a different set of sources. I use this blog and the comment threads of other blogs and news sites to post my ideas and comment on other people’s ideas. I don’t need a central place to track all of this stuff, I have tools on my computer for that and they work quite well. Hey, it’s a personal thing, no doubt Facebook and Google+ are working for a lot of people and that’s great (I think).

Anyway, it took me 36 hours of non use (but I did poke around) to decided to delete my Google+ account. However, in typical fashion, Google doesn’t make it all that easy to find the way to do that. Even though I’m a Gmail and Google Reader user I use non-Google, third party applications to access mail and RSS feeds. This “trouble fixer” site helped me figure out how to delete my Google+ account without disturbing my other Google accounts: How To Delete Google Plus or Google+ Account Safely Without Deleting Google or Gmail Account.

Okay, back to enjoying Lion’s roar.


Just finished installing Mac OS 10.7 Lion on this machine, will do my wife’s machine tomorrow from DVD. Before installing I did yet another complete backup with SuperDuper just so I’d be able to get back to my last Snow Leopard environment if Lion stubbed its toe on install.

I highly recommend reading this and the linked to posts on making a backup DVD of the Lion installer. I’ve followed the directions in those posts and it’s all worked out well.

The install took about 15 minutes on this computer (current MacBook Pro with SSD). The entire process is so slick, so well designed and thought out it’s just amazing how far we’ve come since the early days of Font/DA mover and such.

The fan is on at the moment as Spotlight re-indexes my hard disk.

A window will appear warning about new scrolling behavior. The new behavior is part of the move to allow Mac OS to mimic a multitouch display. I found the initial setting on scrolling unintuitive so changed it in the Mouse System Preference pane.

Mouse / Point & Click / Scroll Direction Natural checkbox. Uncheck that box and scrolling will return to what you may be used to.

Three finger swipe on the trackpad takes you to the Dashboard which is very nice. There’s a ton more and I plan to explore it all in time. But, the nice thing is there’s no rush to do it because so far everything works just like before.

The fan stopped, indexing done.

I’ve been Lionized.

Installing Lion on multiple Macs

Apple has just released the newest OS upgrade for the Mac: Mac OS 10.7 Lion. Apple is not selling boxes of CD/DVDs however, they are selling Lion through the Mac App Store as a paid download.

We have a few Macs in our house and a single purchase of Lion for $29.95 will cover a licensed version of the OS on all of them.

I’ve been thinking of how to do this without having to buy and download it on each Mac and how to create a backup copy of the clean OS for emergencies.

Egg Freckles (Thomas Brand) has given us a useful post: Burning a Lion Boot Disc. In it he takes us step by step through buying Lion for one computer, then using Disk Utility to make a disk image so that one can then burn a Lion install DVD for use on other machines and as a backup clean install.

Rattlesnake on Schaghticoke Ridge

Dave shooting a rattlesnake

Schaghticoke Ridge, Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut. We’ve been hiking this section of the AT between Bull’s Bridge and Rt. 341 for three years now, done the hike dozens of times all year round and have never seen a single rattlesnake. This ridge is sometimes called “rattlesnake ridge” because of the number of snakes on it. Everyone seems to see snakes but us.

Well, today we saw one and not anywhere near where we thought we’d see one. Dave came close to walking into it and backed off as it rattled. We took some pictures and it crossed the trail and went into the woods. I’d say it was between 3 and 4 feet, Dave thinks maybe a two year old animal.

It scared the shit out of both of us.


Tinnitus and other ear problems

Tinnitus: Why Won’t My Ears Stop Ringing?

NPR’s Nancy Shute describes tinnitus and the current state of work on getting rid of it.

For the past eight months I’ve had ear problems that are similar although more vexing because various doctors can’t figure out what it is.

One morning I woke up with an allergy-caused runny nose. It went away quickly but my ears felt clogged like I had some water in them from a shower. That clogged feeling changed in small ways, one ear feeling more clogged than the other but it never went away. This problem makes it quite difficult to know where a sound is coming from because my stereo hearing is now un-calibrated. It also makes hearing a phone conversation tougher because high end noise is breaking up, like distortion from a cheap speaker.

I eventually went to our doctor because I had to fly and I was scared I’d rupture an ear drum. We tried a steroid to kill what might have been a sinus infection fast for the flight but the ear problems remained and I cancelled the flight. Went to an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) and had my hearing tested and my ears examined further. No recommendation except time. Two months passed and no change and it was really driving me nuts and I decided to go to another ENT who happens to be an old friend of ours. This ENT told me authoritatively that I could fly because the problem wasn’t causing my eustachian tubes to close. I did fly and had no problem except the plane’s engine noise was more annoying than usual and I used noise canceling headphones to drown it out.

My doctor ordered a CAT scan of my sinus which showed nothing wrong. The second ENT thinks it might be a problem with my cochlea but he’s not sure. So, three doctors visits and an expensive CAT scan later the only thing I’ve learned is that I can fly, but the problem persists.

Since then I’ve flown numerous times and the pressurization has never bothered my ears. The problem remains and at times it drives me crazy. While this probably isn’t tinnitus (I don’t hear ringing) I have empathy for anyone suffering from that problem. The part of this NPR piece that piques my interest is the idea that an initial problem can leave an imprint on a brain and even though the problem is gone one might continue to suffer with it because the brain attempts to adapt to it. Whether this is true in my case or not my guess is that this happens with many physiological problems.

Line2 and the sea of communications apps

Line2 is an app for the iPad that offers voice over IP and other integrated communications for $10 a month.

Whether this particular application does well or not this class of application coupled with the explosion in smart cell phone use is putting even more pressure on land lines. Skype, FaceTime , iChat, iMessage, and no doubt many more communications tools running on IP including those from Google will make the breakup of AT&T seem like a non-event. May the best one win and may there continue to be plenty of competition. So far competition isn’t keeping prices down anywhere but maybe we’ll all live long enough to see inexpensive or even free ad-supported communication over IP.

I continue to use and love iChat for text chatting and video but am using FaceTime as well. And, yes, I do text on my iPhone although I’d prefer texting and chatting merged at some point.

[via endgadget]

Beware internet lynch mobs

The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob

Jeremy Nicholl has written an amazing commentary on a fascinating and controversial series of events.

A quick backstory:

The photographer Jay Maisel took a picture of Miles Davis for the cover of the famous album Kind of Blue. Maisel owns the copyright to the image.

Many years later Andy Baio decided to use the image as the basis for the graphic design for the cover of a new album, Kind of Bloop. The new image is highly pixelated but the original image can be made out.

Maisel sued Baio for copyright infringement. Baio, who is well known on the web posted Kind of Screwed describing what happened to him and his feelings about fair use. Baio’s post is well worth reading just for his history of the fair use issue no matter how you feel about this particular incident.

Then things got ugly as people who had no idea who Jay Maisel was formed a lynch mob and went after him both on the internet and at his studio. The most vocal of these people was/is a guy named Thomas Hawk (a pseudonym for Andrew Peterson) who my friend Dale and I have been disgusted with since from the early days of flickr. Hawk/Peterson is a professional victim and ambulance chaser, wherever there’s controversy there’s Thomas Hawk, usually claiming victimhood for himself or someone else.

Now that you have a bit of backstory and the names of the major players, read Jeremy’s commentary and don’t forget the comment thread under it, some great posts there.

You may wonder how I feel about this and the truth is, I have mixed feelings about the gray area where copying collides with standing on another person’s shoulders and taking an idea further. The aspect of this that most infuriates me has nothing to do with copyright or fair use, it has to do with internet lynch mobs who can do serious damage to a person without having to take responsibility for it.

The downside of the social internet is that it gives people tools to spread an idea around the world in minutes with no vetting on the accuracy of the idea. As the idea is telephoned through Twitter, Facebook, blogs (like this one) and more it becomes decontextualized or re-contextualized and warped, usually leaving an over-simplified story that is ripe for the likes of Thomas Hawk and his tribe of ambulance chasers.