Saturday, April 02, 2011


Test shot from my new GoPro Hero HD. It's a fun little camera, if you take it out of the rain-proof case, it's so small you could hold it in your mouth.

There's no screen, but it's so wide-angly that you pretty much get everything in front of it, so that's no matter. It's a lotta fun to use, takes the pressure off all those technical consideration. Last time I had that was with disposable cameras in the nineties. And this one makes much better quality pics.

Without the case, it looks like a little, anonymous, unfinished box of plastic, you hardly think "camera" when you see it. When the box is on, though, it looks very hardcore, like an underwater camera (which I don't think it is, it's just splash-proof).

And then of course it can take HD video at 60 frames per second and be mounted on helmets and such.

Friday, April 01, 2011

4.1.2011 announcement

I've gotten so depressed by continuing nasty comments from "Josy", the Anon guy, that I've decided to delete the blog.
I considered suicide, but then I thought: "hell, they won't get me that easy."
See ya, it's been fun.


Does anybody have any solid data about just how careful one should be about taking the tape off cardboard boxes for the recycle bin? Some of them can have quite a lot of tape on.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"US only" again and again and again...

Here I am, getting all excited about using Amazon's new Cloud service, "free for all customers"... and like usual, when you're halfway through proceedings, then it comes: "This service is intended for US customers only".

I've seen this three times in the past day or so. Has the Internet made us more territorial instead of less? Back when I bought paper books and CDs there were never any problems buying in whatever country I friggin liked. But try buying ebooks in a US store if you're not in the US. Nooooo. Try watching a streamed TV show across the Atlantic, either way. Noooooo. Depressing.

Hero videocam for stills

Andy Ihnatko uses the go-action tiny video camera GoPro Hero HD for still shots. The quality is surprisingly good, especially considering it's marketed only for strapping on ya when doing extreme sports.
(Dang, the thing weighs less than 100 grams too!)

Hmmm, it just occurs to me that I don't know of any other super-wide-angle cameras which are not much, much larger and heavier than this thing. Interesting. Might even be interesting for candid street photography. 

I got this via Andy's twitter stream. I've bitched much about Twitter, but I have to admit when used right it has some good uses. He said, hanging his head in shame, thoroughly chastised. 

Electra, electric plane

If they can make flying cars as quiet as this one day, I'll be a lot happier about having them around!

Browser battle history

Here's an interesting graphic which shows browser dominance over time.

Dodocase "bookback"

I've ordered a Dodocase "bookback" for iPhone 4. It seems very nice, and the price is very reasonable.
I like that it lets you lie the phone flat on a table without worries about scratching the lens of the camera, which is normally flush with the glass back.

I only regret that I can't use my Glif with it on. I guess I'll have to find another way to prop up my phone when watching vids on it over lunch.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Soldiers kill, it's what they do

The Kill Team, Rolling Stone article.
But a review of internal Army records and investigative files obtained by Rolling Stone, including dozens of interviews with members of Bravo Company compiled by military investigators, indicates that the dozen infantrymen being portrayed as members of a secretive "kill team" were operating out in the open, in plain view of the rest of the company. Far from being clandestine, as the Pentagon has implied, the murders of civilians were common knowledge among the unit and understood to be illegal by "pretty much the whole platoon," according to one soldier who complained about them. Staged killings were an open topic of conversation...

These are ugly truths. But I don't think they are ugly truths just about the American army, I think they are ugly truths about, well, us.

Fancy books

I really prefer e-reading these days. It actually surprised me how soon I not only got used to it, but came to prefer it over paper. But still: if a book is a work of art, it can't be resisted. Like books with "inlaid leather" for example. Very cool. Unfortunately some of the prices are "very cool" too, like three thousand pounds sterling (nearly 5k dollars)! Hhhhhhhhh! That's like a punch in the stomach.

Or how about this (admittedly lovely) Tennyson volume, 1st edition, for 11,000 Pounds? I'm thinking "serious collector"...

Some are only in the hundreds of pounds, but still I guess most of them will not be read, so much as kept. 
Also interesting: "Cosway bindings" and "fore-edge paintings". 

Anyway, the idea is not bad, and nice and collectable books can be made for prices ordinary mortals can confront also, although higher than present mass-produced hardbacks. I think this is where the paper-book market goes eventually. 

A likkle doctor joke

A doctor was sitting in the living room of his home reading the paper one weekend day when his four-year-old son walked in. The man had left a few of his instruments on the couch. The child picked up his stethoscope and was examining it.

The man put down the paper and watched his son with much interest. "Look at that!" he thought to himself. "He wants to follow in my footsteps!"

The child put the stethoscope around his neck. "Look at that little doctor!" the man thought, beaming with pride and thinking whatever a child pretends to be, that's what he'll often grow up to be.

The child held the device to his mouth and spoke into it. "Welcome to McDonald's," he announced. "May I take your order?"

More Twitter confusion

I still don't understand why conversations between two or a few people are publicly displayed on Twitter. It just lowers the signal/noise ratio, which doesn't need any help in my opinion.  It is true for fewer people now though, but it's still true for William Gibson.

Anyway, what are people doing when they do this, below? Is this some sort of spam or what?

Twitter gives me a headache, and I probably wouldn't use it at all, except 1) it's good for notifications about new works for me, and 2) some people never respond to an email, but they *will* respond to a twitter message. (This is a mystery to me, but so is much of the world.) 
I guess it's just a social issue. There are a few people whose work I enjoy, and I'd like to exchange words with them occasionally, but they tend to only be available standing in noisy clubs, and I just can't handle it, I am very hyper-sensitive. But this is not uncommon. 

Amazon Unveils Cloud Drive Online Media Storage

Amazon Unveils Cloud Drive Online Media Storage, article.

5GB for free for all customers, not bad.

I love Dropbox, though. A smoother and easier interface for file storage and file sharing I have not seen.  I use it all the time for sharing files between my devices, and for sending and receiving files professionally, which can often be gigabytes.
I wonder how they prevent it for being used for heavy-traffic porn promotion? Even with Net traffic having fallen dramatically in price, that's still not trivial traffic. Perhaps they just keep an eye on heavy use and close down offending accounts?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sales tax/Amazon

Apparently in the US, when you buy things from Amazon, you don't pay sales tax. But can this be right? Don't you technically have to pay it in the state you're in, even if you buy it from a different state?

Another thing: the big supermarkets in the UK all have online shopping and delivery. Isn't that so in the states?

"Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You"

Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You, NYT article.
Gotta love that. A ringing phone is by definition one of the rudest things in the world, to the recipient, like a toddler it just keeps making noise until it gets attention. But this is going away.

Unusual camera reviews book

Alex wrote:

I picked up this book when I was on my Asian travels.  
Every other page is a review of a camera, and facing it is a beautiful manga drawing of a girl using said camera.  Thought this may appeal to you as a camera collector.

Indeed. Cute idea, and very Japanese.

(The pics are available as a high-rez collection in one big download at the bottom of the page.)

Ooh, my white Pentax K-x!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Missing comma

Poor family and dog.
(Though I guess some might find inspiration to "eat Ray", despite the doubtful word play on a book title.)

Update: Steven found this, apparently the missing commas were removed by an unconscientious fiend!

Time-Lapse Auroras Over Norway

Time-Lapse Auroras Over Norway, stunning photo/video, thanks to Adam.

Art glove tip

Tip for artists who use a stylus with a multi-touch device, like iPad.

... Talk about styluses, these guys know how to make money! I responded to their email about their new project (after the Glif), and about $130 had been pledged. I reloaded the page maybe two hours later, and it was up to $11,000! Holy moley!

Oh, and Kickstarter itself is just a brilliant way of funding projects. It's one of those things that could only happen with the Net. So many odd-ball but nice projects have been successfully funded by this site.

Mixed funpics

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some things are just rare

eBay easily gives one the impression that one can find and buy pretty much anything ever made on the planet, given the means. But some things are just nigh-lost cases. For example, I have had auto-searches set up for several years now for a silver Pentax LX and a Minolta XK Motor camera. Not a hint of one, not even a bad sample. All I get are cases and user guides for them.

A writer's cottage

Talking about woods cottages, TCGirl found this video. The cottage is really cool. Although I think I'd go batshit trying to live off-grid.