Friday, May 31, 2013

Giraffe escapades

How often haven't you thought to yourself: "I really wish somebody would make a short-film about high-diving giraffes." I know, right!?
Well, now our wishes have come true.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Olympus OMD contrast range

Bert mentioned this image as an example of the great contrast range of the sensor in the Olympus OMD E-M5. And I admit it's a wonderful example. I'm familiar with such a subject with the setting sun mostly from the back, and the contrast is damn high, it has always been virtually impossible to get details in the shadows and keep the sky. But look at this:

After a simple, quick Levels change (on a JPG, not even RAW):

Orig scaled for Blogger:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

tumblr. 1.1 billion (updated)

tumblr. I never really understood what it is. But that may be a matter of temperament/nature. Or age.
But it was developed by two guys who were fanatic. It never really made money.
And now Yahoo has bought it for 1.1 Billion dollars! Billion...
There's so much I don't understand in this world.

One thing I don't understand, by the way, is that this is apparently a "micro-blogging" platform. (What is that, blogging for people who don't write?) And yet when you come to their home page, there are no blogs to be seen. None, nada, zip. Huh? In fact I've messed around in browsers and apps now for ten minutes, and I've yet to see one actual "micro blog". Also when you sign in, there's a form, but it does not tell you if it wants a username or an email address.

Is it that young people think different? Or that usability as Jakob Nielsen and I understand it, is already a dead art and we might as well give it up?

Even after I've (signed up and) signed in, the page I get has a tall column of posts, I guess they are, but I don't understand what most of them are about. Most are just pictures. I don't understand if they are supposed to be funny, or interesting, or connected to other bits of material I'm supposed to have seen before or be familiar with...

One of the things I don't understand is that considering the fantastic amount of work which has gone into developing tumblr, and the high price it sold for... there must be something enormously unique about it, yes? But what is it? Because what is it exactly that it can do that other blogging platforms can't? Anybody can make short posts in a blog. And all of them also can be posted to in a wide variety of ways, and can connect to the Social Spider Web in so many ways that one feels like a fly just waiting for the spider.

I'm trying to set up my own tumblr blog. For some reason, it's called "Untitled"! And I can't find any way to change that!
What's more, you can install Disqus in *some* of their themes, but tumblr does not even have its own commenting system. How on Earth can anybody think this site is worth a billion bucks??

Oh, some of the art I like though, like this one:

James Wyper. Acrylic on birch, 36x36 in.

It has a basis of slickness and order in the composition, but avoids being boring by the distressed colors in the shapes. (It is rare for me to like something which has so many different, strong colors. They usually clash badly. I guess he has done something subtly right with them.)

Good stuff for a modern home.


"You and I are alike. We are independent. We need each other."

I'm much enjoying this sitcom.

I couldn't find a decent image of Chevvy Chase in this show, but he's there, and he is quite funny as the obliviously bigoted but somehow innocent Pierce.

Josh Groban - "Vincent"

[Thanks to Signalroom, who heard this in concert recently]

This is very good. Though I feel he is almost too "fancy" a singer for this song, which I feel is basically a simple thing (though very good) like most things in Vincent's own life.

Original by Don Mclean:

Don by the way once said "Vincent" was the "undervalued little brother to Miss American Pie" or words to that effect.     :-)
To be fair, the songs are very different, and I am not surprised MAP is the more popular, it's a riveting song, and a dance song to boot, when done like it (I really like Madonna's version, which Don did also).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Writing Spot updated

The web and hand-held-device writing app My Writing Spot (once called My Writing Nook, until B&N got proprietary about the word "Nook", which is idiotic, since nobody would confuse the the writing app with the ereader device) has had some nice updates to the web part, including: change of font and text size.

On a computer the lack of this feature was less important, but Safari on iPad/iPhone and the browser on Android can’t change text size. (Which by the way I consider a glaring and shameful flaw, since you need this feature more the smaller the screen is.)

There are many very good writing apps on iOS now, but My Writing Spot were the first and only one (apart from Pages) I found on Day One of the iPad era, so I still have a weak spot for it.  So far as I know, it's also the only one with a simple web browser interface included, so you can write on any web-enabled device or computer in the world, I think that's powerful. 

This is the web interface, but MWS also has dedicated apps for iOS and Android. 
It is text-only, no formatting. But I prefer that when I'm writing, and just to indicate the little formatting I need in Markdown, like one asterisk for italics and two for bold. 

MWS uses Google's authentication system to save the documents, so you need to have a google account (but not necessarily a Google email address).