I have been playing with -and explaining- my Lytro camera for a week now. I spend more time on the explaining, which is getting repetitive. Better to just focus on shooting. Even though I don’t focus, but there I go explaining again.
My compositions are getting better. Lytro calls them Living Pictures. Getting the hang of doing Lytro-friendly shots means having something in the foreground (for now, anyway). One of my better shots is this one at the water fountain. My personal favorite is this one with the chain link fence, I got lucky with the child framed inside the links.
I have my public Lytro page up and running, I have been sharing them on my Facebook page, (very well received so far) and I have a couple tweets in the bag.
I will be taking a Lytro Photowalk at the Maker Faire, where I’ll get to hang out with their Director of Photography, Eric Cheng.
I have not found anyone selling accessories. I looked for any kind of case, I am paranoid of dropping it, and I am bound to lose the spiffy magnetic lens cap (um, heard of a tether, guys?). Maybe I’ll just fab my own case. I am going to the MakerFaire, after all. I’ll find some new nano-leatherette ultrathin toughskin material. I am handy with tools, I have built cars. At the very least, I am going to get it laser etched with the Epilog over at the TechShop exhibit. Nothing says geek like a gadget tatt.
The anticipation has been building all day. My last bit of obsessive refreshing of the package tracking screen is over. It was ‘on the truck for delivery’ in the wee hours of the morning. However, I know that my house is the last frickin’ stop on this route. My packages arrive after 6pm all the time. Even later during busy times. Continue reading
My Lytro camera is a wonder of modern technology. It allows you to refocus pictures after you take them, just by clicking. That is very cool. Try it out here: https://www.lytro.com/living-pictures/60731
Package tracking is also a wonder of modern technology. I can watch the object of my gadget-lust as it leaves the warehouse, on its way to the distribution center, and on its way to me. That is very cool. And very disturbing. It drives me nuts with anticipation. I keep hitting refresh, hoping something will change, but it doesn’t change fast enough. Continue reading
I have seen a lot of cool tech through the years, and for a long time gadgets had me firmly in their grip. I had the first iPod, and before that the Rio MP3 player. I had a first and second generation iPhone, too. I am a standard-issue Silicon Valley propeller head. Heck, I even repaired my iPhone and made a video about it, I was that into them. (not anymore, though, I’m over it, have a Windows Phone now). Continue reading
It is STAR testing time again. When public schools go into full test-prep mode. Homework stops, and studying test questions take precedence over general instruction. Parents are called upon to volunteer, and bring fresh snacks for peformance improvement of some kind. Like the introduction of healthy food will make a difference in the outcome. If a kid does not have a good blood sugar balance the other parts of the year (or even if they do), and if they don’t know the material by now, what difference does this dollop of nutrients make to actual learning? Is that what fruit does? Continue reading
The first one is funny, the second one is… well, read on.
First the funny one. This happened to me. It was early morning. Our room was hot, it was fall of 2003, Indian Summer in Northern California, and we slept under a thin sheet with little else, on a bed without a box spring, low to the floor. Our son was 2 1/2 or so, and being working parents of a young one, we were always tired. This morning I was exhausted as usual, deep in REM sleep, flat on my back, arms at my side, my wife also peacefully in slumber. Continue reading
Where Would We Find Cat Pictures?
The major TV news outlets do not cover the raging debate about SOPA and PIPA legislation currently being debated in Congress. Perhaps because the major news outlets are owned by media companies in favor of the laws, or perhaps because Internet stories are just too techy and boring. These laws (one for the House and one for the Senate, yay!) purport to protect copyright holders, but they are terribly bad for business and innovation on the Internet.
As Congress debates protecting something or other from someone or other on the intertubes, they seem all too happy to be downloading tons of illegally pirated content all the while (Even porn? why, yes!). When tech leaders are firing with both barrels at how bad this legislation is for business, and when almost 10% of active Senator’s campaign costs were paid by lobbyists for these bills, it prompts some tech companies to consider dramatic action.
Time Magazine openly wonders if Google, Facebook and Twitter were to go offline, on purpose, to protest these laws. You might think, ‘So What?’. But judging by the howls of protest just when Facebook moves a link around, if it were to intentionally go dark it would get some attention. And if Google were to do the same, the outcry would not just be from disgruntled friends missing out on stories of last night’s party antics, or cute cat pictures, or recipes, the roar would be from Fortune 500 companies, and from literally millions of people and businesses who make a living on the internet. Whether directly from advertising, or from the online commerce that is driven by Google Search, the humble looking site is a multi-billion dollar economic juggernaut.
If you think that is not likely, think again. Popular social news site Reddit.com is planning to do just that. On January 18th, Reddit will shutter their site on purpose, and in its place they will be posting information about this legislation, to spur its users to action. You may not know about this site (it is not as mainstream as Digg.com), but it has a very vocal audience. The political theater around this legislation may be routine for Washington, but legions of Internet geeks are awakening as sleeping tigers.
A coterie of geeks (with a lawyer and venture capitalist thrown in for good measure) is off to explain a few technical details to our feckless leaders. A hearing is finally called to find out just how crappy the Twin Terrors of Tech Laws (SOPA and ProtectIP) will be for those who are not Hollywood lobbyists. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of popular social network Reddit (owned by Condé Nast… the irony) will hopefully speak slowly and use friendly words for our less tech-savvy elected officials, and explain that these laws are full of colossall, unswerving dumbassedness of the first order. On a positive note, at least Congress is finally interviewing people from the Internet industry. I guess it has nothing to do with the scathing outrage across the Internet finally bubbling up through the special-interest money.
Read more about Alexis Ohanian going to Washington.
(image courtesy of http://musicians4freedom.com)
With a cool-factor that goes to 11, a group of German hackers have an ambitious plan to create an uncensored, powered-by-the-people satellite network for internet access. According to this article in Popular Science, testing is planned for sometime this year on a few ground stations. The big question is, will it look like a Star Destroyer or Death Star?
(image courtesy of http://www.solarthermalmagazine.com/)
Fox staff in a hurry or just geographically challenged?