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Archive for June, 2005

Spoiled

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I’m sitting in the hallway outside of Lesley’s studio in Braun Music Building listening to the St. Lawrence String Quartet rehearse Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Kwang-Wu Kim (a great way to help time pass as I identify reef fish and critters from ID books).

The week so far has been insanely busy because I’m participating in the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s Summer Chamber Music Festival. There are lots of familiar faces, and the musical instruction and immersion has been quite intense.

Living in Oakland does not make full days at Stanford easy. Some of the others seem to be bonding well because they are living on campus and have been spending late evenings reading music and hanging out (while I’ve been going home to do work). It’s been a vastly different experience than in years past, but I’m still having a great time. There’s a BBQ-dinner/music-reading party tomorrow night that has always been a lot of fun, so at least I’ll get to socialize a bit. :)

Back to real life on Monday. Apologies if I’ve been hard to contact.

Stanford, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 30, 2005 18:29:49

Light Field Photography Demo, Ren Ng

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ren ng w/camera

Last week, Ren Ng came over to give me a demo of the culmination of his PhD work in the computer graphics lab at Stanford University. Ren and his team have produced a prototype, hand-held, light field plenoptic camera, which is capable of extending the depth of field of the camera without reducing the aperture. It can also produce perspective and focal-length shifts by simulating images that would be produced by pin-hole cameras between the camera’s aperture and sensor. All of this happens from data collected in a single exposure!

The prototype uses a Contax medium-format camera and 16-megapixel sensor with a microlens array placed in between the aperture and sensor. You should totally check out the tech report and sample videos Ren has posted on the web. The technology is really cool; I hope it makes it into consumer products, eventually. (read more »)

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Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Jun 28, 2005 01:35:37

Stanford Jewelry Class Exhibition

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redstart design girls

Mandy and her co-conspirator at Redstart Design, Sara Shaughnessy, taught a jewelry class at Stanford University last quarter. They have taught this class in the past, but this was the first time I was able to attend their end-of-quarter exhibition on Stanford Campus. I was impressed at the quality of the jewelry design and prototypes the students were able to produce in just three months!

At the show, I bumped into Kendrick Kwok, who originally wrote to me three years ago while looking for underwater photography gear. He’s now a photo researcher at Time Magazine in Hong Kong.

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Oakland, CA | link | trackb | buy/see all | 3 comments » | Jun 28, 2005 01:22:14

Disney ditches shark fin

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Disney has decided to remove shark fin soup from its menu! I wrote about the problem earlier this month.

The press release states, “After careful consideration and a thorough review process, we were not able to identify an environmental sustainable fishing source, leaving us no alternative except to remove shark’s fin soup from our wedding banquet menu.”

Great job, everyone. (protesters, media, and everyone who sent letters)

Milwaukee, WI | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Jun 25, 2005 13:13:28

Magic de-megapixelling of cameras

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My camera has an amazing magical property: when I give it away, it loses half of its pixels. It’s true! Somehow, the resulting photos contain half the pixel rating of the camera.

Can anyone guess why? (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 23, 2005 21:49:12

Kenny, Mandy/Elliot, Cindy

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kenny & korean food

Grenada was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed getting to know the island and her waters. Met some nice writers on the trip, as well, and hope to establish a relationship with some of them over the coming years. Photos probably have to wait until the project is done before they can be shown. :)

I returned to a mountain of unfinished business and social activities. Kenny Liu and associated med school friends were in town for John Louie’s wedding. Even though Kenny and I only spent a few hours hanging out, it was really nice to see him. Once junior pops out, it’s going to be even harder to get him to come out to the Bay Area… (if that’s possible).

On the same day, Mandy and Elliot threw a party on the roof of their building; it was a beautiful day — perfect for rooftop party. The local hippy musician even came up to play drums and strange instruments for awhile. (read more »)

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Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 23, 2005 00:13:04

BoxTop ProJPEG 6.0 – Photoshop Action Problems

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I recently upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS2, which seems to work properly with all of my old filters except for BoxTop‘s ProJPEG 5.2, which causes Photoshop to throw away color profile information when opening JPG images (super lame). I really like ProJPEG because the files it produces are smaller than Photoshop’s built-in JPG routines.

Anyway, so I noticed that BoxTop has released ProJPEG 6.0, which I have downloaded and am trying out. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jun 18, 2005 10:25:43

Always back up!

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Man. I use iView Media Pro to organize my images. 5 minutes ago, it crashed and CORRUPTED MY DATABASE.

Luckily, I frequently back up. Back up, guys, especially if you are my friend and use me as a computer consultant. It will make life easier for the both of us.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 10, 2005 18:05:55

Microsoft Acrylic Preview

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Yesterday, Microsoft announced the beta of an image editing program (codename: Acrylic). It’s about time Adobe got some competition for Photoshop — although it could be some time before the product is mature.

Combined with native Microsoft RAW support, Acrylic might eventually be serious competition for Photoshop. But again, who knows. (The market seems to think so — Adobe’s stock fell today…)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 10, 2005 17:37:48

0 of 118

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Of the 118 folks on my buddy list, I am only one online and not idle.

This has only happened once before, probably because I have various international people on my list who are usually online when I am awake late at night. But through some miraculous alignment of sleep, social schedules, and sanity (i.e. time away from the computer), only six people are even connected, and none of them are active.

Living alone is great, but it’s been a little lonely (despite my fairly social schedule). It’s strange to say this, but my IM buddy list helps me not to feel alone when I’m sitting here at my desk. Those little green spheres sitting next to just a few names establish imagined connections from me to you through my trusty little Thinkpad and hundreds/thousands of miles of fiber.

So I could interact, if I wanted to. Except now, that is, because no one else is active.

Perhaps it’s time for bed.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jun 10, 2005 01:23:11

FeedLounge Alpha Announced

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Alex King and Scott Sanders have announced the alpha release of FeedLounge, a web-based feed reader designed to be as functional as a desktop application. It looks really, really nice, and I can’t wait to try it out. [FeedLounge]

I currently use FeedDemon on the PC, which I really like — except that I can’t see all of my groups/categories on one page. It will be great to have one place I can go to while on the road to get an update of what my web world is doing.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 9, 2005 23:19:47

USPS Print Shipping Labels no longer works

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Recently, the USPS changed something in their online Print Shipping Labels area — and now, it’s broken. I’ve tried two different computers using both FireFox and Internet Explorer, and neither of them have successfully been able to print. The new version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader — which I have, but I still can’t get it to work. I’m reminded of the time they rolled out their fancy new “Point of Sale” systems, which had in large lettering on the front, “P.O.S.”. It is indeed a P.O.S. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 21 comments » | Jun 9, 2005 13:00:55

Grenada, June

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Grenada: X marks the spot (Google Maps)

Google satellite imagery is very cool. On Friday night, I’m off to Grenada to collect images and a story. Any tips on what I should try to see, besides the wreck of the Bianca C? (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jun 9, 2005 03:24:04

Livia Sohn flips an egg

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livia sohn + egg

I had to share this cute video of Livia trying to flip an egg on a frying pan. She had successfully done it just the day before, so we put her to the test. :) My voice is the super-loud one that sounds like shit. I should remember not to make any noise when my mouth is next to the mic. ;) [12 megabyte .avi]

Livia is in Spain, and Geoff is at the Spoleto Festival, where he was force to play the Four Seasons arranged for flute soloist. I think I would probably kill myself if I was put in that situation. (I miss their company.)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jun 7, 2005 01:16:26

No trackbacks for you!

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Bastard spammers. They finally found my trackbacks, and left like 50 of them, one after another. I shut the entire thing down. No trackbacks for you. (sad)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 7, 2005 01:03:54

Disney Hong Kong planning to serve shark fin soup

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dead blue sharks

I assumed that most people would know about this by now, but I forgot that most people don’t care.

Disney is planning to serve shark fin soup at Disneyland Hong Kong when it opens on September 12, 2005. Virtually every environmental group on the planet has urged them not to do so, because it’s stupid — and hypocritical. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 14 comments » | Jun 6, 2005 16:37:53

Fix: recent pop-ups in Mozilla Firefox

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The annoying web marketing folk have recently discovered a way to circumvent Mozilla Firefox’s pop-up blocking mechanisms. The exploit seems to use Macromedia Flash, and can be blocked with the FlashBlock extension, which will allow you to play selective Flash animations when arriving at a website that tries to use this trick.

I’ve just installed FlashBlock, and it has worked for at least one site that has started delivering pop-ups in Mozilla.

It’s too bad the extension doesn’t allow you to also deliver electric shocks to the authors of the ads.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jun 2, 2005 03:12:56

Todd Essick Visits

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dinner party @ my loft

Todd Essick dropped by yesterday for a day in Oakland. We hung out for awhile in my loft, talking about naked women underwater photography, an’ den spent the evening enjoying home-cooked pizzas whipped up by Vienna Teng and Male Hotness. Mandy and Elliot came over to eat, too; it was a fun little party.

We also watched Star Wars: Episode IV, (read more »)

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Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jun 1, 2005 02:02:05

Exhibit Photography for Dummies

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did you use a flash? if so, this is what you’re going to get.

If you are photographing something behind glass, turn off the flash and press your lens against the glass. Exposures may be really long if the room is dark, and you’re going to need all the stability you can get. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Jun 1, 2005 01:44:53

Andi Voeltz, Teutonic Visitor

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kelp forest @ monterey

Andi Voeltz is currently visiting California for the first time. Over the weekend, he rented a car and drove up from Los Angeles for a visit. And so, I tried my best to keep him entertained by dragging him all over town. We had dinner with Sarah in Japantown before her departure for Hawaii, and then wandered over to visit Mandy and Elliot in their Mission-district loft. Andi had asked explicitly to meet Mandy, presumably because she is so darned cute! ;) (read more »)

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Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jun 1, 2005 01:29:15
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