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Archive for June, 2007

160gb hybrid drives available today

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Samsung hybrid 160gb drives (w/256mb flash memory onboard) with Windows Readydrive are now available for sale. My understanding is that Apple rejected the Samsung hybrid drives in favor of future Intel technology. I assume that this means that the Samsung 2.5″ hybrid drives will not work when plugged into a MacBook Pro.

Does anyone out there know more about this?

Bonaire | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 20, 2007 12:07:49

Tarpon portrait, Bonaire

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big-ass tarpon at town pier, bonaire

It can be quite a surprise to see these suckers sneak up on you at night. At night, they hunt via our dive lights, and there is an audible “WHUMP” when they shoot forward and hit a small fish. This guy cruised with us for a full hour as we explored the town pier at Bonaire. A tug boat was waiting for us to finish our dive before it was allowed to dock (and it was LOUD!).

I shot this photo with a Canon 400D in a Seatool housing, which is on loan to me from Ryan @ Reef, Photo & Video. It’s a sweet little housing. There are a few trade-offs at the moment — a sacrifice between ergonomics and size, but I hear they’re stilt tweaking it. Using TTL flash exposure (actually, INON’s S-TTL via fiber sync) was perfect for such a reflective animal.

Also, I’ve been posting daily updates for the Digital Shootout over at Wetpixel.com.

Bonaire | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 18, 2007 23:51:27

Live manta ray birth in captivity

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Tony Wu just posted a link to a video of a manta ray giving birth to a 1.8m baby in captivity at the Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan. It’s like she produces a huge turd while swimming, except that the turd then wakes up and swims away.

UPDATEBaby manta died. :(

Bonaire | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 17, 2007 13:06:53

Adobe Updater for Mac OS X – excessive CPU usage

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this sort of thing pisses me off

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jun 16, 2007 14:28:38

Celebrating transience

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I have a circle of a few friends who frequently shuttle me to and from the airport. Ironically, these folks are also the most transient (geographically) of all my friends, and I often drive them to the airport as well. When our schedules overlap (often, only by a day or two at a time), we look upon these airport experiences as an opportunity to spend time with each other. (read more »)

SFO Airport | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 14, 2007 23:51:21

Backup, kids!

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I had a backup 500GB drive die on me today — the thing doesn’t even spin up when power is applied. ARGH. It sucks to have a drive die 3 hours before an international trip. I’m backing up that volume over the network now. I’ve griped endlessly in the past about the poor network performance of Mac backup apps. While I can get 30+ MB/s over gigabit when copying a file over the network, I’ve been unable to get more than 4-6MB/s while using a backup app, and believe me — I’ve tried quite a few.

At 6MB/s, the backup will take 23 hours. Yippee.

So be sure to back up regularly, readers. Drives die all the time, and it’s just a matter of time before yours does!

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 14, 2007 21:00:00

Automatic geotagging with Downloader Pro

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My favorite image downloading application, Downloader Pro, has recently been upgraded to support automated geotagging during the download of images from a media card or camera. Using standard track logs from a GPS device like the Sony GPS-CS1, it will merge GPS log data with images based on image date and time.

Although geotagging/geocoding applications exist on the Mac, there is nothing that blends a great downloader tool with automatic tagging. I remember this feeling well — the feeling of waiting hopelessly for functionality, I mean.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Jun 14, 2007 17:01:42

Bronze vessel for bathroom sink

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I’ve been slowly making all the necessary decisions for the SF remodel (natural strandwoven bamboo flooring, color of bathroom tiles, light fixtures, kitchen crap, blah blah blah), and have decided to use a white-bronze square vessel as the bathroom sink. It’s the shape of the vessel in the lower-right, but the color/finish of the one on the upper-right. It looks slightly (and softly) beaten, and has a satin finish to it. The plan is to have a faucet come out of the wall with a single knob/lever for water pressure and temperature (I hate two-knobbed controls). Obviously, the countertop would be lower so that the sink would be at the proper height.

I’ve been looking at kitchens by Poliform/Varenna. They’re purrrty.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 13, 2007 18:10:19

Making Twitter Tools for WordPress long-url friendly

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I just hacked Alex’s wonderful Twitter Tools plug-in with the (also wonderful) wp-chunk plug-in because long URLs in tweets were breaking my layout.

If you need this as well, you can download the hacked Twitter Tools v1.0 plug-in here and replace the one you’re currently using. Be sure to check Alex’s site to make sure there aren’t any more recent versions of Twitter Tools (> 1.0). If one exists, you should probably use it instead of this one.

UPDATE: Alex fixed the problem in an unreleased version that is currently checked into SVN. Download that version instead. Note that Alex’s version requires wp-chunk to be installed.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Jun 13, 2007 03:31:10

Hong Kong underwater photographers unite!

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underwater photographers in hong kong
(photo by paul ng + camera timer)

Photo of: Paul Ng, Lena Goh, Dave Patchen, Stephen Wong, Takako Uno, Eric Cheng (me!), Adam Minu and Bonnie. Taken on June 8, 2007. We were all crammed into our little hotel room in Hong Kong.

Not shown: numerous large (empty) bottles of beer + bags of shrimp chips (unopened)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Jun 13, 2007 03:05:31

Photosynth/Seadragon demo, Microsoft Live Labs

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As a media guy and computer scientist, this video demo of Blaise Aguera y Arcas showing off Seadragon and Photosynth had me drooling for more. If you’re at all interested in photography or the presentation of imagery, you absolutely must see this demo.

I wonder when technology like this will make it into real-world products? And how much privacy is going to be violated when Flickr images can be identified and placed geographically via image matching instead of explicit metadata? There are going to be a lot more nose-picking shots out there. :) [also, check out the live preview]

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 13, 2007 02:50:47

How to install Parallels Tools with no Superdrive attached

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Two months ago, I removed the SuperDrive from my MacBook Pro in order to installed a striped RAID. Today, I upgraded Parallels to version 3.0. The new version automatically converted my virtual disk and booted up with no problems, but upon starting up, Parallels Tools refused to install, citing the lack of presence of a CD-ROM/DVD drive as the reason for its failure. I plugged in my external SuperDrive (which is supposed to do All Things SuperDrive), but the VM editor couldn’t find it. Lame.

The solution was to edit the VM and point the CD/DVD-ROM drive to the disk image /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools.iso. Problem solved.

Also, I have never been able to have ||s reanimate a suspended virtual machine withing having my install of Windows XP bluescreen. Maybe this version will fix the problem. :) (update: NOPE!)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 12, 2007 22:36:22

Being shocked by notebook computers

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I mentioned to Cindy yesterday that I am frequently shocked by my notebook computers, and she was incredulous. When plugged into wall power, both my old Thinkpads (T series) and my current MacBook Pro produce streams of electricity that feel like constant needle pricks (not jolts, but a sustained pinprick). The shocks usually come from the corners of the top cover (LCD area), and along the front edge of the bottom of the notebook (in front of the keyboard). Having your forearm shocked as you type is not a pleasant user experience! I only feel the shocks when I’m plugged into 240V, but my Mac is currently shocking me when plugged into 110V as well.

Has anyone else experienced this? I’ve spoken to at least two people who have reported similar experiences, but it seems that most people haven’t ever had this happen. It’s happened to me on more than three separate notebook computers, so I have concluded that it can’t be specific to just my machine.

Maybe my skin is extra-conductive.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 29 comments » | Jun 11, 2007 13:54:20

Robert Accetura’s AbsoluteRSS WordPress plug-in

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I love responsive developers. On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I wrote to Robert Accetura, author of the AbsoluteRSS WordPress plug-in, about an issue with WordPress installs that are not in a site’s root directory. Robert wrote back within an hour, attaching an updated version with a fix (which has also been posted to the plug-in’s website). Thanks, Robert, for a great plug-in!

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 10, 2007 18:08:29

Google Street View demo

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I leave town for a couple of weeks, and all sorts of new stuff happens! Caltrans re-opens the 880/580 connector, Apple sticks an LED display into the new 15.4″ MacBook Pro, and Google shows off their new Street View feature in Maps. Here’s a shot of where I used to live in San Francisco (Noe & 29th) — you can barely see the fascade sticking out, 4 houses up the street:


I used to live in the fourth house up with Mandy and Elliot

I’ve been working nearly non-stop since returning home from Indonesia (thanks, Vienna, for the ride!). To preserve what is left of my sanity, I’m going to force myself to stop. Good night…

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 9, 2007 21:19:47

Hairy Octopus in Satonda, Indonesia

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Hairy octopus. Less than 1 inch long, and apparently, extremely rare! Satonda, Indonesia.

While at a sandy dive site at Satonda, Indonesia, boat manager and dive guide Kerri found a small, hairy octopus, which was no more than 2cm long.

Last night, Stephen Wong, Takako Uno, Paul Ng, Lena Goh, and two local photographers (Adam and Bonnie) came to visit Dave and me at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Hong Kong (we all crammed into our room, ordered room service, and drank beer until after 3am). I happened to mention that we saw a hairy octopus during our time in Indonesia, and Stephen, Takako, Adam, and Bonnie basically started to freak out.

“The small, purple one?!” they asked, excitedly. (read more »)

Hong Kong | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Jun 8, 2007 21:57:36

Phyllodesmium, bevy of maidens

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what’s the difference between these two animals?

Sometimes, I can’t believe the things I’m seeing underwater. Yesterday, we dropped down onto volcanic, black sand at a site called Black Magic, South Sangean, Indonesia. Julie Edwards was checking out a black coral bush, and as I drifted by, she indicated that there was something ahead that I should photograph. I swam over to the area she pointed to, but didn’t see anything on the sand other than a few clumps of Xenia sp. octocorals. But upon closer inspection, I discovered something much more interesting. (read more »)

Komodo, Indonesia | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jun 4, 2007 19:08:02
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