Saturday, January 21, 2012

Limit search to one site

Here's a really useful Google trick which many people still don't know about, how to limit a Google search to one site.
Today I got an email:

I am looking for some of my favorite stories from many years ago, but am not finding them. One was of a group skinny dipping in moonlight when one lost a watch or something. The author had a flashlight, which he shined near, but not on, the girls who were looking. Do you remember the story, or know which newsletter it is in?

I answered:

No, actually I don’t. But Google is my friend! Here it is: 
http://www.domai.com/news/2004/04april-23/index.html


The way I found it was, I put into google: 
site:domai.com flashlight
(No space after the colon.)
This limits the search to the given domain. 


---
There is another good trick: say somebody sends you a good article in email, but there's no clue where to find it on the web. Then you take a phrase from the article, and put in into google, in quotes (which tells Google to keep the phrase whole), for example:
"Then Daniel remembered about the flashlight"
... which finds the same old newsletter, and no other page.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pixar, Brave

They say the next Pixar movie, June 22, 2012, is Brave.

The story and look is a bit more traditional Disney than it is Pixar. Which immediately is not the greatest impression I could get. But some details seem promising, for example lookit the screenshot. I like that the her hair looks more hand-drawn than it looks rendered. It adds a bit of the abstraction I'm missing in the trailer otherwise.
Ah yes, lack of abstraction, that's what felt weak to me. And of course, I'm not crazy about pre-industrial stories or fantasy in general, paradoxically most of it seems to lack the very imagination which the genre by definition allows so much of.



And there's rumors that the next-next Pixar movie will be quite abstract, taking place in a girl's mind with personified emotions, sounds interesting.

I have read that when Pixar was little and unproven, they had to resist a lot of pressure from Disney to make Toy Story a musical. For one, I'm happy they did!

Not that I dislike Disney, I usually enjoy their films. For example Hercules and The Emperor's New Grove are very funny (and lovably abstract, especially the latter), good, and seminal.

Update:
Alex mentioned ParaNorman. That looks like fun. And the light in it is beautiful, see for example the short clips neat the beginning of the trailer, of the sunrise-lit street and the hero seen through a window. It seems to be a stop-motion movie, I wonder how they make such beautiful lighting.

90210?

I just noticed there's a 90210 show on TV. I could'na believe it, my sister was a fan of that show over 20 years ago!
But apparently it is the forth series in the "franchise".

Now like then, the actors seem too old to be in high school. And now, man, how thin are some of those girls!? (One of them shown on the right.) Damn, they're barely even attractive. It seems like the bigger the obesity percentage grows, the more people over-compensate in the fashion- and now the entertainment-business.
While I'm being gratuitously critical, none of the actors are exactly overflowing with personality either. But maybe it goes with the bubble-gum tween-twit TV show genre. The characters they portray are the rich and popular kids, and if one of them were to be burdened by a personality, he would be out in the cold faster than you can say "fake tan".

I have seen one show in the genre which I liked though, I wish I could remember the title, but it had ironic distance and was funny, because it was a parody of the culture and intrigue which goes on behind the scenes of a TV show like it.
Update: it was Grosse Point.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Silicon fires

Recommended books about the computer revolution:

Fire in the Valley

Insanely Great

Hackers

Accidental Empires

Jayne Mansfield

Bought this postcard recently, I think it's very funny.
You certainly can't accuse Jayne of not knowing what to do with what she had! That may be the most daring dress I've seen. And anything which can make Sophia Loren cast jealous glances askance is something else.


Mmm, I actually recall very little I've seen with either of the ladies. Any recommendations?

I Dream About You - Yuka Honda

Aurasma Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, post/video.

It is surely in its infancy yet, since somebody has to code in an object before the app will do anything with it. But it seems quite promising if the tech catches on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lady Gaga unveils a Polaroid photo sunglasses

Lady Gaga is creative director for Polaroid? This world is so dang weird. How about David Beckham becoming CEO of IBM?

Next gen cameras

I posted this about next generation cameras on my tech/tablet blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Small cameras and shake

I've had a realization: admittedly I love a quality pocket camera like the Canon S90 (S95/S100), simply because you can bring it and forget it until you need it. But of course there are disadvantages. One of them I've called "handling", because there's less room on a tiny camera for real buttons/dials and for your fingers.

But one aspect of this struck me today: shooting indoors with the S90, I felt less than confident that I could do it without shaking the picture. On the contrary, going one step up in size to a Panasonic GF2 or a Fuji X10, I have surprised at just how confident I feel in taking low-light photos with a steady hand. It just feels dead-easy to squeeeeaze a steady shot of on those ones.

It seems the better grip on such a camera, combined with the bigger and better shutter button, makes a big difference in steadiness. And it's not just a feeling, I've surprised myself that with such a camera I can take tack sharp pictures on 1/15th second with a mild wideangle, and that's even with the GF2 which doesn't have stabilization if one uses prime lenses.

Going up to a DSLR, I feel less confident again, I think this is due to the mirror smash which accompanies an exposure on these cameras. But I'm not sure if this is followed by fewer sharp shots in practice though. I have a feeling it does, if nothing else then because less confidence makes the hand less steady.


Two pub pics and more

I tried a pub for lunch today where I haven't been in a while. They have new owners and they do food all day, which is great.
Also it turned out that the burger I got was really excellent, a nice surprise, I have been wanting more choice for lunch. Heck, even the corner sofa seat I got was the most comfortable I've sat in for a while. Good lunch time.
There was this great low January sunlight, so I took these pics. (Canon S90, "you don't need to know you got it with you".)


(Clickable.)

While walking and eating I listened to David Pogue's recent novel. I used an iPod Nano in a Lunatik Lynk wrist chain. It's a pretty geeky item one might think, but it looks nice, and it works well both as a watch and an iPod.


On the way home I walked past a watch shop. Most men's watches seemed to be around 5,000 pounds sterling ($8,000). And I guess that now everybody has the time on their "moby", we can no longer pretend that pricey watches are not, well, jewelry. I wonder how such a shop survives in a working class town.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You never know what you have

I just found out I can watch Lovefilm films over my bluray box. Kewl. I watched Gran Torino last week over that service on my iPad, lovely movie. (It's a limited range of movies, of course.)

Imagine it, I've had that box for well over a year, but I never tried the Internet services on it before today! I only tried it now because I wanted to check a thing (X-Pro1) on youtoobs, but it was also dinner time, so it would be handy if it could be seen in the living room.

Leonard Cohen - Alexandra Leaving

Repost.

BW film photo

Our friend EmptySpaces took this lovely photo. Unlike me he likes working with film, this was taken on Fuji Neopan 400. And on a "Black Slim Devil", though I confess ignorance as to what that is. Aha, here we go. Surprisingly not a nickname. Looks kool, and I like the rubber grip and the super-wide lens, that's rare in affordable cameras, probably because they are tough to make with good corner-quality. Which you can't say the BSD has, but I like the look. It's out of stock, but seems to have been reincarnated as the Blue Ribbon.


Coolpix 600, 1998 Lyngby, Denmark

I just came across these couple of pics, I don't believe I've ever posted them before. They were taken in 1998 or 1999 with my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 600, where I lived in Lyngby, Denmark, near Copenhagen.
Believe it or not, the linked files at 768x1024 pixels are the full camera resolution... How times have changed. I bough the camera for about $600, just marked down from over a thousand. But even at such basic quality, the immediacy of a digital camera was exciting.



(Clickable pics)