Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Art of Photography Show

The Art Of Photography Show 2007 is a major international exhibition of photographic art taking place April 14 - May 28 at the two-level Lyceum Theatre Gallery.

Window Clippings 1.5

Window Clippings 1.5 is now available for download. There are a number of new features that I’m sure you’ll appreciate. Read on to learn more!

Top-selling Blu-Ray discs sells 830 copies

Blu-Ray and DVD-HD -- the two new high-def video formats that have been crippled into uselessness through ridiculous anti-copying measures -- are selling so poorly that a new disc can get on the weekly top ten by selling as few as 880 copies.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Focal Length and Aperture Explained for the Photography Novice

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection

Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”, typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.

NPR: Elizabeth Warren On The Credit Card Industry

In the interview Harvard Law Professor and credit card industry expert Elizabeth Warren dishes on abusive lending practices, the ever-malleable interest rate, universal default and all that fun stuff.

Google Suggests You Swim Across The Atlantic Ocean

You can't always rely on the advice of computers, especially when it comes to transoceanic driving directions.

Most Likely Site of Credit Card Theft: Restaurants

Visa reports that more credit card information is stolen at restaurants than at any other type of business. 40% of all credit card information theft is traced back to restaurants. But don't blame your waiter!

File format/codec support very important in convergence devices

This is a huge problem! People don’t care how the video is encoded, they just want to play it. Right now, they can’t do this. The Xbox 360 supports limited formats. TiVo (HMO) supports limited formats. Apple TV supports limited formats. Despite these companies’ ideas and concepts that limited codec support is all people need, it is the first way to kill your product from ever being popular (v1 Extenders would have been a hell of a lot more popular had they supported other formats, I guarantee it).

CrazyEgg - Measuring Web Site Usability

Getting advice from the book is great, but how can you measure the usability of your site? A number of new tools for tracking site visitors are raising the bar for website statistics tools. Particularly, instead of tracking the flat lists of usage and showing you illegible user paths, the next generation of site trackers is focused on giving you the insights on how people use a site. In this post we discuss CrazyEgg, which offers innovative ways of doing just that.

Friday, March 30, 2007

How to photograph smoke

n general this looks like a relatively simple process. The post details how to get the smoke just right, how to set up your light and exposure, and finally how to process your finished image in your image editor of choice. If you're a budding a photographer looking to boost your repertoire, this could be a fun project.

How to create smoke in Photoshop

The Abduzeedo weblog has a detailed guide for achieving an attractive smoke effect using Photoshop.

New California e-voting measure uses hackers to test voting machine security

New voting machine review standards (PDF) proposed by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen would require independent code audits, extensive Red Team security testing, and support for paper records. Bowen's proposed standards, which have met with widespread approval from electronic voting reform advocates and computer security experts, could lead to the decertification of practically all the voting machines currently in use in the state of California.

Goldfish live in a deep-fat fryer

A Japanese restaurant has combined a deep-fat fryer with a functional goldfish tank -- the boiling oil floats on the surface of the cool water, and the fish get to eat all the crumbs of batter that dribble down.

Sony VPL-VW50 (Pearl) Review

Wow this is one stylish piece of equipment; I have to say that Sony really did their homework and covered all the bases with regard to fit, finish and perceived build quality. From an industrial design standpoint the Pearl is nearly flawless, it’s stylish enough to cater to those of us who care about such things yet not so far removed from typical front projection designs; to turn off those who prefer simple unobtrusive designs.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jet passengers may not get to chat on cellphones after all

The once-highflying idea of letting passengers use their wireless phones on airplanes is about to be grounded.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is recommending the FCC drop its tentative plan to lift its ban on in-flight cellphone use, three agency officials say. They asked to remain anonymous because the proposal is still being considered.

RIAA University Campaign Sputters: Group Asked To Pay Up For Wasting School's Time

[T]he University of Nebraska has told the RIAA that it can't help them identify many of the students accused of file trading. The school's system changes a computer's IP address each time its turned on, and it only keeps this information for month. After that month, the school has no way of associating an IP address with a computer or its user. The RIAA is angry about this, and a spokesman for the group criticized the university for not understanding "the need to retain these records". This is a ridiculous complaint. The university doesn't have a need to retain these records, and there's no reason it should do so out of some obligation to the RIAA. If there were any doubt that the university is really irritated by the RIAA's requests, it has requested that the RIAA pay the university to reimburse its expenses from dealing with this (good luck with that).

Top 10 Tuesday: Toughest Games to Beat

Across the history of gaming there have been numerous titles that have knocked players on their collective butts. Narrowing down the ten most difficult was a tricky task in itself, since the challenge of a game can be very subjective. In gathering our top ten, we gave favor to titles widely considered difficult by both IGN editors and readers and that derived that challenge through game design.

Zero ounces to freedom

Scientists have identified the No. 1 virus that infects San Diegans. It’s not AIDS, nor herpes, nor whatever fecal particle that has a history of sneaking into Jack in the Box’s tasty burgers.

The scientific nomenclature of the leading virus is called Santerium Sublimum—commonly referred to on “the streets” as Sublime. There are many negative ways the virus affects its victims, including, but not limited to, wearing “wife beater” tank-tops, driving large trucks, referring to strangers as “bro” and becoming the only known humans with the ability to smoke marijuana prior to getting in a bar fight.

Vista vs. Leopard in perspective

So ... Apple will sell in one year what Microsoft sells ... in its first month. Sure, that's great, I guess. But Vista will just keep selling. And selling. And selling. And after the initial Leopard upgrade boom ends quickly, Apple is pretty much back to its million Macs a quarter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Carlos Mencia Stealing Jokes from Cosby

More creepy Russian playgrounds

Russian Kids Playgrounds

Strange Russian kids playgrounds.

The Marriage

The Marriage is intended to be art. No excuses or ducking. As such its certainly meant to be enjoyable but not entertaining in the traditional sense most games are. This means I am certain to be perceived as being pretentious by some who read this, my apologies. This is also a very difficult game to understand, again my apologies, I have tried to assist those who are interested but frustrated with the rules summary below.

The game came out of my explorations into games as art. This thinking started a few years ago out of a series of discussions with Raph Koster when we both worked at Sony Online Entertainment. While we ended up taking different approaches to it, the aim of pushing out the edges of games as art in our spare time was a common goal. I was also very taken with Jonathan Blow’s “Raspberry” which seemed to me to start to push towards expression through gameplay.

'Yahoo Betrayed My Husband'

Five years later, Yu, 55, sits in the dining room of a small house in Fairfax and weeps softly. She is a slight woman -- 100 pounds and barely 5 feet tall in slippers. Her eyes betray her exhaustion; but she is determined, too. She carries a thick stack of notes with her, and she has scrawled more on her left hand.

"Yahoo betrayed my husband and deprived him of freedom," Yu says through a translator, her voice trembling. "Yahoo must learn its lesson."

Orwell: Politics and the English Language

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Guerilla RSS feeds for Daily Show and Colbert

Jeff sez, "When Viacom pulled Daily and Colbert Report clips from YouTube, they began posting them on Viacom-owned iFilm. While iFilm has a comprehensive set of clips from each episode of both shows, they incredulously don't provide RSS feeds. I used Dapper and Feedburner to create the follwoing [sic] RSS feeds for both shows. Enjoy!"

Use Windows Vista Reliability Monitor to Troubleshoot Crashes

Your computer has been crashing for at least a few weeks now, but you aren't sure what you did to make it start crashing. You go to the Reliability Monitor and discover that there were no crashes before 2 weeks ago, and the day before the crashes started, you installed some shareware software. Now we know that the shareware software is what probably caused the application crashes, and we can just uninstall that.

Windows Vista: more than just a pretty face

Windows Vista has had something of a troubled birth. Hyped features were pulled, and the project as a whole took far longer to complete than expected, partly due to standing still while MS dropped everything to work on Windows XP Service Pack 2, but in part also due to a decision to "reset" and scrap much of the new development. This has led some commentators to dub the project a "train wreck."

But is it?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Save the Internet

Together we won the first round in the battle for Net freedom. But the phone and cable giants are launching a counterattack. We need to raise the alarm and send a clear message to our new Congress: Make Net Neutrality the Law in 2007!

OFFICIAL: Sirius and XM Announce Merger

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement to combine the two companies - in an all-stock merger - with a combined enterprise value of $13 billion.

Sony Blackballs Kotaku

Sony's decision is disappointing, not because of what it means to Kotaku, but because of what it means to the industry.

Lonely man brought donkey to hotel room, court told

A man who was found dressed in latex and handcuffs brought a donkey to his room in a Galway city centre hotel, because he was advised “to get out and meet people,” the local court heard last week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gene Ray's Time Cube Theory

No human or god can match Nature's simultaneous 4 day rotation in 1 Earth rotation.

No human has a right to believe wrong - for that would be evil thinking.

Ignorance of 4 days is evil, Evil educators teach 1 day. 1 day will destroy humans.

OPPOSITES CREATE. Mother and father gave me birth, not a queer jew god.

Singularity god is EVIL as Creation reigns as Opposites. Educators, and You - ought to be killed for ignoring the fact that "Earth is Cubed".

Steve Jobs' iTunes dance

In early February, Apple CEO Steve Jobs published an extraordinary memo about the music industry, iTunes and DRM (digital rights management), the technology used to lock iTunes Store music to Apple's iPod and iTunes Player. In the memo, Jobs said that "DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy," and offered to embrace a DRM-free music-sales environment "in a heartbeat," if only the big four music companies would let him.

I doubt Jobs' sincerity.

Best muscle-rub ever

Sports Akileine Start Cream is the best muscle-rub I've ever tried -- even better than my beloved Tiger Balm, which I adore so deeply that I have often considered brushing my teeth with it.

Two-Phased Approach to photo-sharing/licensing model

Photo licensing is currently done using a traditional model where buyers go to online agencies or directly to photographers. However, as per my previous posting, I believe that it is inevitable for other photo-related sites to get into the licensing business, which will change the fundamental landscape for how licensing is done. Because I have always believed that the photo industry has vastly underestimated how much consumers really participate in both the photo buying and selling economy, the migration of consumer-oriented photo sites toward a licensing model is a perfect fit.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Making telemarketers pay -- in cash

When André-Tascha Lammé was granted a judgment of $3,500 last month in a Sacramento, Calif., small claims court, he heard gasps.

“You could hear people in the courtroom saying, ‘You can sue telemarketers?’” he said. You can. In fact, you can make some decent cash for your trouble.

Why Sprint's Customer Service Sucks: They Only Let Reps Adjust Billing Up To $3 Per Call

Sprint has such shitty customer service because they don't give customer service reps enough leeway to disburse billing adjustments, nor do they provide enough support, asserts our inside source.

Ewa sucked into storm and lives to tell

A German paraglider survived lightning, pounding hail, minus 40-degree temperatures and oxygen deprivation after a storm system sucked her to an altitude higher than Mount Everest.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bruce Campbell "Old Spice" commercial

Socialising with sea lions

Wisdom is an illusory concept. More often than not, we’re not aware of the wisdom we lack until we reflect on situations in hindsight. As such, the quantum of wisdom we possess often falls short of the level we actually require. It seems the fate of humanity to profit from experience mostly in retrospect, and to acquire wisdom as a consequence of folly. As Leonardo da Vinci put it, “Wisdom is the daughter of experience.”

I’d like you to keep this thought in mind as I tell you about my recent trip to learn about Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) at Carnac Island, Western Australia.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Missourian News: Cycling race through Columbia contingent on sufficient funding

Columbia will host a leg of the first Tour of Missouri cycling race if the City Council appropriates up to $60,000 to the Convention and Visitors Bureau this month.

Pujols officially becomes U.S. citizen

Albert Pujols became a United States citizen on Wednesday, a representative for the slugger confirmed.

How to organize all your rewards cards

Is your wallet overstuffed with rewards cards? To slim down your wallet and keep those cards organized, check out this fantabulous tip from LifeClever reader, Michael Willits.

Fidelity myPlan retirement calculator

If you want to get a ballpark estimate of how much you need to save monthly to meet your retirement goals, and want a friendly painless internetty wayt to do it, Fidelity has the myPlan snapshot. It's very Fisher-Price basic, but might be good for people who are terrified of the topic.

Elements of a whole-home audio system

Imagine music that follows you from room to room in your house, playing the soundtrack of your home life. Using an unobtrusive system of amplifiers, in-wall speakers, and control devices, you can enjoy your music anywhere in the home.

All this is possible with distributed audio, allowing you to play and control music from a centralized system. You can listen to the radio in the bedroom while someone else listens to the CD player in another part of the house.

Dolphins are smart...very smart

[N]ot only has Kelly the dolphin been trained to keep her pool clean, she's also figured out that a big piece of trash gets the same reward as a small piece of trash. Naturally, she's learned to deliver only small pieces of waste to her trainers in order to keep the snacks coming. Moreover, she's discovered that by saving some of her fish-treats, she can lure gulls to her tank, catch them, and receive even more fish from her trainers. She's taught this trick to several of her pool-mates, as well, and now they're all doing it.

The Case of Mistaken Gamedenity

I walked into my previous place of retail enjoyment in the mall in which it was situated, punched in and had a normal day until she arrived.

Questions for a potential real estate agent

Recently, my wife got the bug to move just because her brother was (I quickly killed that bug - we are NOT moving). I did however have a chance to interview 4 Real Estate agents. I quickly learned that they are not all created equal.

I took some notes specifically for Dumb Little Man. Here are the questions I asked, the answers I got, and the answers I wanted to hear.

Top 7 Credit Score Secrets

As a former credit counselor, I know that most individuals have a misguided perception of credit and I am here to debunk some common credit myths and provide you with some free information about how to improve your score. Since it is an absolute fact that a higher credit score means better interest rates for car loans, mortgages, and other debts, these tips can translate into a few extra dollars in your wallet each month.

Help Find Jim Gray With Web 2.0

When famous computer scientist Jim Gray went missing a few days ago, the coast guard launched a large scale search that found absolutely nothing. On Thursday, they gave up.

Then Amazon stepped in. They arranged for a satellite sweep of the area and stored the images on their S3 storage service. They then created a task on their Mechanical Turk service to allow volunteers to scan the images to look for the boat. It’s a tough task - the boat would only be about six pixels in size in an image, and there was a lot of cloud cover obscuring large parts of the area scanned. But volunteers are pouring in to help out.

What is the difference between a HDTV and a monitor?

We have seen this questions a few times in the comments and it's time we addressed it. What is the difference between a computer monitor and an HDTV? While it is true that the line between the two is narrowing there is a difference.

The future of photo sharing sites and agencies

Where I have a lot more to discuss is how this is only the beginning of what is going to be much bigger stuff to come, and most of it isn't what people expect: that stock photo agencies will move into the consumer arena. There are stumbling blocks though, and how photo company executives overcome them will determine who comes out ahead.

New bill to keep XM, Sirius from offering local news and alerts

The foes of satellite radio are marshaling their forces again, as a bill introduced to Congress this week would bar XM Radio and Sirius from broadcasting "locally differentiated services" such as traffic, weather, and emergency information.

Consumerist.com Using Flickr images without attribution?

Looks like the fine folks over at the Consumerist.com are using images from Flickr without attribution as spots for their articles.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns...to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap

Get it together: every single one of these consumer electronics companies should be approached as the enemy. They work for us. Hold their feet to the fire when they say their product is going to change even a small part of our lives. Circle back again in six months when they're shilling the incremental upgrade and ask them why the last version didn't cut the mustard. Step out of your blogging trench and ask yourself what your responsibility is to the tens of thousands of idiots who are reading this site right now to determine what they should spend their next paycheck on.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

FBI lost 160 laptops in last 44 months

How many laptops does the FBI lose? The Office of the Inspector General (or OIG; it's a part of the Department of Justice) sought to find out back in 2001, when it did an initial audit of the Bureau's losses of both weapons and laptops. The findings of that first audit were bad enough that the OIG began a follow-up on it, the results of which have just been released. The good news is that losses are dropping. The bad news is that they're still happening, and the FBI doesn't know if secure information is entering the wild.

Skydiver survives 12,000 foot fall

It shows him plummeting 12,000ft to earth after both his parachutes failed, saying goodbye to the world... and hitting the ground with a sickening thud at 80mph.

Osama Teen Hunger Force

Deciding Which Financial Records to Keep

This list will tell you at a glance which financial records you should retain and which ones you can dump.

How to Kill a Lobster, Redux

[I]n the name of treating lobsters humanely, Whole Foods has discontinued the sale of live lobsters. Instead, the gourmet food chain will sell processed lobster meat. That, of course, begs the question: what technology will be used to kill and process these lobsters behind the scenes? Will it be humane?

Here are the new death machines.