Two weeks ago I again had the pleasure of photographing Creative Mornings NYC. July’s Creative Mornings global theme was “space”, and all of us attending the event at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO were all treated to a great talk by astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz (@shaka_lulu on Twitter). Here are a few samples…
I’ve been sorta quiet around here lately due to a busy summer work schedule, a book project I’m working on (more on that later!), and attempting to get outside with whatever free time I have.
Something else that’s been filling my time are the great lineup of shows and interviews over at 5by5 Studios. Long time web geek Dan Benjamin has pulled together some excellent cohosts and coverage of the tech business, web development, MongoDB, general geekery and even UFOs.
So while I’m not pushing much content out there head over there to fill your brain. And if you like what you find you can become a member and get a cool t-shirt like I did.
Via Tech Nation comes a nice audio interview with engineer, professor and author Henry Petroski. On the heels of his latest book The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems he discusses the differences between Science and Engineering with Dr. Moira Gunn, how they work together, are viewed differently by the media and the public and how they’re funded differently. The 40 minute conversation ends with a discussion about engineering’s role in our world’s infrastructure and in solving problems from energy to agriculture.
Went though a draft of this in my head as a funny Q&A with myself — 19 questions asking if I’d need the newly announced device to help me get existing work done better or if I could expect to jump in tomorrow helping clients create content for a newly introduced publishing model all answered with a simple “NO”. Followed by question 20 “will I still preorder it?” answered with a “Probably”. What I realized as I typed it up was that it all came down to work value vs. consumer value. As someone who is a somewhat recent iPhone owner and a long time Apple laptop user there was no solid work value I could find in this new type of 3G computing device but there is still plenty of consumer value as a consolidation and update of devices we’ve seen before.
Everyone loves blogs full of lists, amiright? Why not another one? I’ve been carrying around a first gen iPod Touch for a little while now and while I’m not addicted to the app store, I have tried a few games here and there and find most don’t have good mechanics or longevity and get deleted not long after I’ve got my $1.99 worths from them, but these 5 games are the real deal.
In my inbox this morning was an ad by Nikon touting the latest consumer digital cameras from their Coolpix line. While I’m not in the market for a little camera [my Fujifilm F30 is still working like a champ] I thought I’d poke around their web site and see which cameras offered GPS, WiFi and what other wiz bang features were being touted. I was struck by the lengths and features packed into these little machines to try and help your grandmas around the world get the right photo of their grandkids, automatically!
Sitepoint sale helping the Australian Red Cross.
Via Molly comes news that Australian based technical book publisher Sitepoint is raising money for the Australian Red Cross in the name of the disastrous fires in Victoria. The Sale — “For just $29.95 you can get 5 downloadable PDF books“http://5for1.aws.sitepoint.com/ — that’s a great deal for you and a great deal for the Red Cross.
Our ambitious plan is to raise over US$50,000. Every single cent generated from this promotion will go directly to the bushfire relief effort—so if you spend $29.95 purchasing 5 books from SitePoint, the whole $29.95 will go directly to supporting this cause. We feel that’s the least we can do.
If technical books aren’t your thing, donate directly to the Austrailian Red Cross Victorian Brush Fire Appeal 2009.
The Select Series supports The Patrick O’Brien Foundation
The Select Series by Threadless has just launched the “Storytellers Series” a collection of 4 t-shirts, curated by ALS sufferer and filmmaker Patrick O’Brien. All proceeds going towards the PBoF and helping with the production costs of Patrick’s movie about living with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
For more information and direct donations visit the Patrick O’Brien Foundation website.
It was part celebration and exploration of intenet celebrity and part an excuse to let your geek out. Most of all, ROFLThing NYC 2009 was a fun way to spend a cold, wintery Saturday . When else are you going to have the faces of “You Suck at Photoshop”, Sockington, Improv Everywhere, the Tron Guy and a bunch of hackers all in one room? Oh, and the most maligned man in the typography industry — the creator of the Comic Sans font.
I had planned to write up a big review of the event with hReview and all that jazz, but that would have been far to serious for an event like this. Instead I’ve recapped some of the panels and gathered a whole bunch of links for you to to chase and waste time on this week at work.
Update 2/1/2010: I’ve written a new post about my current workflow for geotagging photos based on information from my iPhone
While some cameras and camera phones have the ability to geotag digital photos as they’re taken, most still don’t. However you can still geotag your photographs accurately and automatically with the use of an external GPS enabled device like a cell phone, navigation device, or a dedicated GPS logger. Any device that can record a “GPS track” that can be transfered to your computer can be used to tag photos. And photos taken with any digital camera can be tagged in this manner.
Here I’ll explain how I use GPSPhotoLinker on OS X to batch tag many photos from a day’s photo shoot with GPS tracks recorded on either a Sony GPS-CS1 or a Nokia N95 cell phone in order to create mapped photo galleries, like this one on Flickr.
...to answer the most important question of the day?
breathes sigh of relief
...which almost took a spill this afternoon when one of the non-magnetic other cords got caught in the arm of my chair as I rolled away from my desk.
Time to look for a bluetooth USB hub, and wireless ethernet cable. Wish me luck.
Threadless Spring Broke Sale now until March 12th.
And I do need some new shirts.
[But GAH! Jakes, do you need the auto start sound on the homepage?]
Californian, friend, fellow WaSP member, and “Web Geek” Dori Smith has recently had her personalized license plate stolen. Have you seen this plate hanging in someone’s cubicle? Someone’s dorm room?
If you have, please contact Dori.
Cause hey, that’s what blogs are for, right?
So I was going through some storage boxes earlier today and came across an extraordinary find—a few old computer manuals including the manual to the first computer my family owned. The Apple IIc personal computer.
The site has been around for a few months now, but tonight it registered that FeedIcons.com, a site dedicated to spreading a “standard” icon, based on the Firefox feed icon for identifying feeds in a web page doesn’t actually use a feed for news, but instead asks for your email. In fact the only feed on the page is the release notes update and that isn’t setup to autodetect in browsers that do such a thing. When you go there in Firefox you get the extra special UI treat of having a “feed” icon, that is normally clickable, show up on the wrong side of the location bar!
So in honor of Feed Icons not having a feed that gets autodetected Place Name Here has a new favicon!
Hope I don’t confuse to many or cause too many INVALID bugzilla entries.
There has been a ton of chatter this week over the DOJ’s request for search engine records, what they asked for, and who gave them what.
- Search Engine Watch has had great coverage of the happenings, along with some analysis.
- For those looking for just some background info see Boing Boing’s Archive or Wired.
- And Robert Accettura has one angle for the civil disobedient types – introduce noise into the system by searching for “George Bush Rapes America Porn”.
I’ve seen a number of initial reactions to the new “Mini Store” window in yesterday’s iTunes updates—most being quite alarmist and accusatory.
This post at BoingBoing raised the issue quickly, but through updates has become quite informative both on what is actually happening, what info might be passed and when, etc. And Forwarding Address OS X tells us that you can just hit cmd-shift-m to hide the window.
As for the underlying concern and privacy issues, I understand the gut reactions of most—and agree with the take that Apple should have been more upfront about the change, but in a world where many choose to pass information on habits around freely and within an apps that’s been associated with other information passing such as CDDB forever the hard fact is that this case didn’t turn out to be a real worry.
... has to buy me one!
Among this year’s Christmas and birthday related booty there are a few new books on my shelves:
- Donald Norman’s Emotional Design
- The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved by Mario Livio
- Burning Chrome by William Gibson
- The Areas Of My Expertise by John Hodgeman
If I can ever finish the Baroque Cycle I’ve now got plenty of other reading waiting for me.
FirstAidPod is a new site that delivers enhanced audio downloads of first aid instructions for quick access on the go. Files are complete with instructive cover art that can be viewed in an iPod as you listen. Its an interesting premise, if a bit scary… “Don’t worry man, give me 2 minutes and i’ll learn CPR from my mp3 player”... but the idea of storing this type of information that can be easily retrieved and kinda just goes with you without thinking is interesting.
To steal a question from WorldChanging on this topic:
Regardless of the success or failure of this particular group—and I do hope they do well—this strikes me as a harbinger of a new use for digital players. iPods and similar devices may not have the immediacy of SMS or mobile phones, but they can usually store and play/display much more information. Emergency information that doesn’t need to be updated instantly, but tends to change over time, such as evacuation routes, what to do in case of a tornado/earthquake/hurricane/terrorist attack/etc., or even how to perform basic roadside repairs seem obvious candidates for this kind of treatment.
What kinds of emergency information would you like to see as a podcast?
How does one make a chair out of cardboard that is strong and table enough to use?
designboom has a few interesting prototypes including diagrams and models.
Its not a new idea, or even a new idea to get passed around blogs. Earlier this year there was some chatter about an artist making FedEx Furniture and FedEx not being happy about it. (and unfortunately, the site seems to be down now). Bad lawyers, bad.
design a cart that can provide shelter and storage.
urban homeless use carts to carry their possessions and to collect goods (like bottles, cardboard, etc.) that they then return to various recyclers in exchange for cash. this provides a small and valuable income. it is essential that your cart design not only accommodates all these functions but that it is affordable (for production and for private parties or charity organisations who wish to donate them).
I’m looking forward to the results, should be interesting.
You know its the first of the month when you open your inbox and see half a dozen automated messages reminding you of the mailman mailing lists you’ve subscried to.
Allow me to think out loud for a few…
iTunes is a great app, but one feature I really think is missing is some sensible method of archiving songs onto other disks or removable media. Not backup, thats easy both inside of iTunes and out, but instead archiving of tracks out of the current “rotation” and off your main drive.
To do this right the interface would have to include:
- The ability to archive selected tracks (or playlists) to removable media or other location on your drive, keeping all iTunes data like play counts, last played and ratings intact. When archived the tracks would be removed from your main playlist and the files out of your main library.
- iTunes would then have a way to keep track of extended library (perhaps just second XML file), including Volume information, and provide a browseable interface of that information so you can track down songs later without having to resort to looking through 20 backup disks that may or may not be labeled well.
- Once the Volume is found with the tracks you’re looking for provide seamless import of tracks back into the main library like they never were removed.
Sure, hard drives are cheap, and I could just load every track I have into one giant Volume and playlist, but call me strange in that I really don’t see a need to have all those files in one place and as my mood changes I find myself burning a disk or two of stuff I may not want to listen to and putting it on a shelf for some other time.
And the management of Volumes isn’t limited to archiving either. It would be a great feature for people with a laptop + external storage, or a network share that they’re not always connected to or other setup where they may not want to have tracks in their “main” library, but want to connect and disconnect to other libraries depending where they are.
Any Apple UI folks listening?
After all of the uses of Google Maps that I’ve seen in the last few months the Gmaps Pedometer, though simple, seems the most useful to me.
Plan a walk around town, a run, skate or bike ride for some exercise, or as Peter did, retrace your steps and figure out just how much walking you did the other day.
Its Nifty™! (or should I say OMGOMGOMG!)
If any authors of either RSS readers or mail clients are listening heres a suggestion for you – where you allow flagging of messages it would seem to be to also all allow some form of note, label or tagging to be attached to that flag. Particularly with web feeds, or incoming mail from mailing lists I find that I pick messages to because they contains some useful information, a link I want to refer to later or other piece of information that I think I may want to follow up with.
But what I seem to end up with in the end is an overwhelming jumble of flagged messages (either in Mail.app or NetNewsWire). Sure, each app then allows for searching or sorting of some kind, but I find I rarely simply browse the pile and rarely end up revisiting those messages unless I’m looking for something highly specific.
Now, I’m not huge into the tagging phenomenon (though useful, I don’t feel the urge to tag everything I ever look at) but some method of tagging or simple comment system (“this is a really good solution to that problem you had on site xyz”) would be more then welcome in these type of apps.
Alternatively, does anyone out there have any Mac solutions, different apps that would allow me to flag messages (or entries) and tack on some additional information to go back later? Mailing myself messages from lists is just so much of a kludge.
Smaller then a pack of gum and much more fun.
Do not eat iPod Shuffle.
Two lines directly from Apple that inspired Mike Davidson to run a online contest for best edible iPod shuffle look alike.
A winner was announced a few days ago but I missed it, but thanks to a mention in the New York Times? flying around I see that a friend Davin has won the competition with his goat butter shuffle! Grats man!
There should be an award for tastiest too, which must go to the Rice Krispie treat shuffle.
Lets start the new year off by giving away some free (to me) things…
For you Netflix subscribers out there there is a new service called Netflix Friends where you can create a group of “friends” and share your movie ratings and recommendations with others. Or if you’re already in friends and want me on your list let me know.
I also have 6 gmail invites up for grabs. First come first served.
For either mail me your name & email address to firstname.lastname@example.org