Month: September 2011

Video of a man making a vacuum tube

These two videos take some time but if you like this kind of view of fabrication you’re gonna love it. The piano music goes well with it but gets long after a while. Turning sound off helps but then you miss the occassional sound of the fabrication tools.

Note: I originally posted this on January 8, 2008 with a link to video but I’m re-posting today with embedded video.

[via Justin Blanton]

[via Product by Process]

Instagram 2.0 upgrade a downgrade

Instagram 2.0 review: Insta-grumble

I agree, the recent big Instagram upgrade was terrible, images aren’t saved into the main library anymore, the filters suck, and the entire operation of the app has been slowed down and downgraded.

I’m going to go back to using Path a bit more and I’m not crazy about its UI either but at this point its better than Instagram.

For those who don’t know about these iOS Apps they’re iPhone photography apps that allow posting to a mini social network of your friends (limited number, not the whole world). Instagram also allows simultaneous posting to Twitter and Flickr from inside the app which is very convenient.

Both apps will geotag images which is nice and allow a bit of key word tagging as well. While I don’t use my iPhone as a primary camera I do enjoy taking pictures with it and the fact that these apps allow posting pictures instantly (if one has a connection, either wifi or cellular) makes them appealing.

[via Daring Fireball]

NGrams and Culturomics

What we learned from 5 million books

Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel do a talk at TED about what they did with a huge amount of digitized book data from Google. This is a fascinating talk and worth watching.

You can mess with it yourself with Google’s Books Ngram Viewer.

As an example I graphed the use of the term “dyslexia” from 1900 to 2008. Notice that it peaks around 2000 and then starts dropping off. I’m guessing this is because it was replaced by the phrase “auditory processing disorder.” Sure enough it was.

Wow, this is amazing. Give it a go, let me know what you come up with in comments.

[via wimp.com]

Inexpensive DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

For the past year I’ve been using this Rubbermaid Handi-box Snap Case to pack my Canon 5D, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens, Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro lens or a Canon 135mm f/2 lens (either/or), a pouch with extra batteries and CF cards, a blower, and a strap. The only part of the kit that won’t fit in this plastic case are the two lens hoods for the lenses and they go in my LowePro Stealth Reporter 200 bag.

I’d put this stuff in the bag but in fact, it’s better protected in this plastic case and the bag holds battery chargers and computer stuff I don’t need on the plane.

The camera is in a small, padded Eagle Creek pouch and the lenses are in Zing lens pouches.

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

DSLR travel kit

I’ve used this system to pack and check my camera gear on each of my JFK to LAX flights for the past year (7 trips) and it’s worked beautifully. used to carry the Stealth Reporter bag on the plane as a carry on but given that I check a piece of luggage I figured why not check this stuff?

I also check a small Benro travel tripod and head.

I know, many of you are thinking this is a recipe for disaster: TSA will take my gear, it will get broken one of these days, or the bag will get lost. All of these are possible but in fact, I’ve done this numerous times now and nothing has happened except I get to travel lighter on the plane.

I looked into Pelican cases but I don’t need such a high end case, just something that will protect the gear in case of a direct hit. These 5 images show the kit in various states of unpack/pack.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have a soft sided North Face rolling duffel and this case goes on the bottom with clothing on top of it. It has never moved or been compromised in any way and TSA has never opened it (that I know of) so it must look like camera gear in the x-ray image.

Something to consider for those of you who travel with a DSLR kit that you don’t want to lug on the plane.