Tag: tech

RIP @man; fingerprint security

Ray Tomlinson, inventor of email, has passed;

Trust your fingerprint security? think again says BoingBoing

Drone Racing and Privacy Protection

The latest sport, via Make magazine web site

PYFP day, privacy protection 4u, from EFF

Cars that know you

Joy of Tech… “Our journey with cars”

Linx for some day or other

Faking It: A Visual History of 150 Years of Image Manipulation Before Photoshop” from Brain Pickings. Hey, guess what! there have been photographic tricks in play for… quite a while! Highlights the need for all of us to have some visual savvy!

From NPR Music, “First Listen: ‘REWORK_Philip Glass Remixed‘”. You can stream the hour-plus album, an exercise in remixing by contemporary musicians, of works by Philip Glass, on the occasion of his 75th birthday year. One can, of course, also buy the music.

Around the world in five minutes, viewed from space, with scientist narration, at The Chive (requires Flash).

Links for lunch: science, animals, history! Get down!

Early adopter blues

Right, so as soon as the S110 Canon camera came out, I pounced, stayed up late reading the manual and fiddling plenty. In some ways better, some ways not vs. the S100.

But as it goes, a digital photographer’s software of choice usually takes a while to catch up to the RAW formats of new cameras. So for now all I can use are jpgs from the S110. Alas. Sigh.

Some initial thoughts, S110 vs. S100 and G11:

  • wi-fi is a good feature, remains to be seen if it eats battery like GPS did
  • so I bought a spare battery just in case
  • if user has to have GPS, the 110 is not for them (location metadata can be added in many ways later, though)
  • buttons are flatter than the S100, not as easy to find by feel
  • especially the on/off and movie shooting buttons, which I’d like to use without looking; other buttons looking is more reasonable expectation
  • lack of a grip on the front is a minus-S100 was better that way
  • main control knob on top sticks up higher with sharper knurls; could be a plus
  • touch Screen! Yes! as a long time iphone user it makes perfect sense
  • LCD resolution not so hot (G15 about twice pixel density)
  • S110 compared by specs side by side nearly matches the new G15, a much bulkier camera
  • no ttl using slaved flashes
  • improved video quality, up to full HD
  • high speed video at twice the resolution! ( I have a nice ‘slo-mo’ video of my brother’s dog grabbing a dog biscuit off its snout, but only 320×480 size or so)
  • easier (or maybe I just finally learned it) to move focus/exposure point (G series has a dedicated button, then you just scroll the point around)

Once Aperture is updated to handle Canon’s .cr2 raw files, I’ll be able to post even nicer images; for now just the jpgs.

Things that make me wish I was a developer

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Safari (Mac web browser) plug-in or preference that allowed you to automatically uncheck those “keep me logged in” boxes for web site logins!

Make way, Maker Faire is on the way!

I posted a set of 21 snaps from my awesome visit to the second day of Maker Faire NYC 2012, held in Corona, Queens  9/29-9/30:

dnpixl’s Maker Faire set on Flickr

It was a pretty amazing event, with science, crafts, displays, talks, wild stuff, serious stuff, funny stuff. Just wildly inspiring and that over 50,000 people attended over the weekend is also… as the kids used to say… “rad”.

If you like creativity, inquiring minds, this is your kind of event. They have mini versions all over the place, just go to the Maker Faire Locator.

Now with extra ad-free goodness

With the price reduction and new apps calling to me from the blogosphere, I have joined App.net, (“a real-time social feed without the ads”) to check it out.

So far, so good. Found many of the Mac/tech related bloggers I follow on there quite easily through a third-party app for finding Twitter follows who are also on app.net.

I’m using multiple pseudo-desktops (forget the right term just now) on my Mac, so I keep Twitter and this and related apps on one screen together, a simple couple of swipes or keyboard shortcut to get to them.

Copy a document name in Mountain Lion

There might be plenty of occasions when you want to copy a document name in Mac OS X Mountain Lion to the clipboard for use elsewhere without navigating to the file itself where it lives using Finder. Here are some techniques.

From the document’s title bar

  1. mouse over the title until you see the down-pointing triangle right of the title
  2. click on the title or arrow and choose Rename…; document title is selected
  3. select Copy from the Edit menu OR keyboard ⌘C

From an icon on the Desktop

  1. click the icon or its name to select it
  2. keyboard the return (enter) key to select the document title
  3. select Copy from the Edit menu OR keyboard ⌘C

Note of caution

Once you’ve copied the file name, remember to click away elsewhere before doing anything else, lest you risk accidentally changing the file name.


I saw these guys from Eepybird do their coke and mentos demo on Sunday at MakerFaire NYC Fun! but I stayed way at the back and did not get wet!:

MakerFaire NYC totals are in, I was among over 55,000 attendees for the weekend event:

On a Maker-related note, via the iFixIt blog,

Art with a cycling focus:

Perspective illusion! from xkcd:

Can one ever know enough about eggcorns?

iOS Maps, schmapps… problem?… issue?… thinger?…

See aurorae from home

You can leave your bunny slippers on! with thanks to Canada Space Agency!  AuroraMAX

Dutch dime and Symphony 9; Bans; etc

The audio CD is more or less 30 years of age, depending on how you mark the timeline:

Ikea is 25 years of age.

Visually Making Music on an iDevice with Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers via TUAW

Hey, ‘Banned Book Week’ is upon us:

Internet Voter Reg Day was 9/25

Sorry about being late!


Monday linx

Animated tv program The Jetsons turned 50 on Sunday!

Time Lapse photography of the Irish countryside

Yo-yos in spaaaace!

You know, the toys, yo-yos, not the people.

In this case, “astronaut and chemist Don Pettit” demos a bit, thanks to the wonder of YouTube and Explore web site. Enjoy.

Little window on a big world +

Today’s cartoon at xkcd.com, “Click and Drag”, is pretty interesting. There’s a window about the size of the photos on this blog, with a couple of panels above it. You scroll in all directions to explore and discover. Lots of metaphor potential there.

While you’re at the site, don’t forget to also check out the very interesting “What If?” site also by the artist.

The only caveat if you continue to follow the site by RSS or regular visits is that sometimes the content is, ahem, for adults with open minds.

How to easily export Mail photo attachments by importing to Aperture

The Issue

Apple has failed to provide an “Export to Aperture” equivalent contextual menu item to “Export to iPhoto” in Mail. As if Aperture users do not use email!

This failure has led to various workarounds by creative people with time on their hands or too much frustration and impatience waiting for Apple to fix what is a years-long head-slapping oversight.

One Solution

A bit of online searching results in references to setting up Rules in mail to invoke an AppleScript, or using Automator. I tried out Automator and made a very simple Automator Application that simply imports the selected photo(s) into a specified Aperture Project. One could get more organized and set up Applications for several projects to handle different destinations in Aperture, and other fancy footwork available in Automators Action Library for Aperture. But for my workflow, I am putting emailed photos into one Project, and from there I will further organize the photos within Aperture.

If you are using Aperture with referenced images, you could use Automator to set up a Folder Action so that once you send the photo to the destination folder, it triggers an Aperture import, etc etc.

The simple basic import I’ver just created involves a few easy steps to set up the process, but thereafter it’s only a couple of clicks and you’re done with the import, and then you switch over to Aperture and further manage the photo(s) just imported, ie placing in appropriate Projects, tagging, etc.

(Automator can be found in the Applications folder, or by using Spotlight if you’ve selected Applications in Spotlight’s System Preferences).

The Step by Step

  1. Set up a new Project in Aperture called “imported from Mail” (or whatever you like)
  2. Open Automator, and from the intro screen, click Application, then the Choose button
  3. Click Photos in the Library in the far left pane
  4. Drag Import Photos from the middle pane to the pane on the right
  5. From the Choose Project pop-up menu in the Import Photos action, select the Project you created in step one
  6. Save this Automator Application somewhere you will be able to find it (perhaps in the Documents folder)
  7. In Mail, select the photo(s) you want in Aperture, select Open With > Other… and choose the Application you created in step 6, then enjoy as you glide over to Aperture and see the photo in the Project!

In Future, repeat step 7.

The Wrap

Automator has a lot of potential that you can explore. This exercise does one simple thing. Feel free to expand on this to meet your needs, or create multiple similar Automator Applications.

[Update Jan 11: More suggestions were added to the Apple Discussions thread by other users]

Essential Geography of the USA map

Wonderfully done award-winning US map, produced by actual human at a computer, instead of automated production:

https://imusgeographics.com/ by David Imus.

First noted at Kottke’s blog.

Own your online work with embedded metadata

If you publish media content online, like posting photos, videos, graphics, music, you should be concerned about losing control of your intellectual property, your creativity. If you create for a living, you should be even more concerned.

We do live, these days, in an online ‘sharing’, or ‘social’ environment, which sometimes means instead, you give me a piece of your creativity or personal information so I can profit from it without compensating you. It’s an aging adage of the online world that if something is ‘free’, you are the product.

Sometimes the terms and conditions of a site or service allow them to strip the metadata and use your work without compensation. There are tools to check on the survival of your metadata after an image has been published. Try Jeffrey’s Exif viewer or search online for terms like ‘exif viewer’ or ‘metadata viewer’. If you find some good ones, add a comment or email me.

Give these things a thought next time an application or online service wants to have your information. They’re asking you to give them, free of charge, raw material that they can sell and profit from. Not fair, right? Do you care about fairness?

Certainly there are times when we post images or creative works online which we think have little commercial value. Well, that’s fine as far as it goes. But think about the bigger picture. Unrestrained ‘sharing’ is actually killing the concept the you own what you create, the fundamental basis of copyright. Once every member of a society no longer owns their creations (their intellectual property), then what do you have left? The door is left wide open for the thought police for instance, or the degradation of privacy principles we in the US take as a right.

(Whenever I post images, I mark them as copyrighted, include metadata, and when posting to third party sites I do so with the knowledge the work can easily be stolen, but at least I’ve asserted ownership; I don’t earn my living from photography; it’s not an easy balance for me and I am struggling with what is the right thing to do if I want friends and family to be able to view my images).

Creative Commons has taken interesting steps in the direction of giving creators finer control of their copyrights, but as a movement it is based, in my experience, on a rather extreme view of ‘fair use’, too extreme for my taste.

Have a look then, at the Embedded Metadata Initiative, supported by some rather significant tech and media entities. Their linked logo is in the sidebar as well.

[Disclosure: no financial interest, full support of the idea]