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Archive for July, 2009
I just switched from AT&T to Verizon (oh my god — I can make calls now!!), and noted that Google Maps was using Skyhook WPS as its location finder instead of using the GPS. It turns out that Verizon ships with the GPS off. I went to Options -> Advanced Options -> GPS and set GPS Services to “Location On”. Google Maps now tracks my location accurately (using GPS).
I did some research yesterday on website password managers for Mac OS X. A good place to start is Alex King’s blog; he has written two thought-provoking articles about why you shouldn’t use the same password for everything, and how software can help your password / login workflow (Passwords, More on Passwords).
Really, it should just be common sense to not use the same password for everything; after all, you have no idea how a particular website is going to store your super-secret password. What if your password is stored in plain-text on a server with a gaping security hole? What if the website likes to email you a password reminder — in plain text — every month? I’ve seen sites that do all sorts of bad things, and if you use the same password at an insecure site as you do at your bank’s website, you’re asking for trouble. And even if you use different passwords, you need a secure way to store them all. The worst I’ve seen is someone who kept all of their passwords and financial account numbers in an Excel document on their notebook computer’s desktop. I suspect that sort of thing isn’t as rare as it might seem to be. (read more »)
An astronaut is prepped for a flight in the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab
I went to visit the NASA NBL (Neutral Buoyancy Lab) today for an unscheduled, last-minute, behind-the-scenes tour, thanks to Joe Holley, who worked there for nearly ten years. It was funny because everywhere we went, his old work buddies made “HEY, get that guy out of here!” gestures before then inviting us over for a closer look. (read more »)
hanging out at the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab
Special thanks to Joe Holley, for arranging the tour, and to James Wiseman for the loan of a nice camera to document the tour. I’ll post more photos soon!
Joon-Mo enjoys a dip in the pool
I’m sure Adam will post the rest of the underwater photos soon. :)
Those of you who follow my posts know that I complain about AT&T at least a few times a week. I finally called them up today to have a chat about the deteriorating service in San Francisco, threatening to terminate my account, and was informed by the retention department that a tower a 4th and Howard stopped working some time ago. This may be one of the main reasons I’m getting such terrible service because it’s the closest tower to me; however, it does not explain failed calls in other parts of the Bay Area. The retention specialist told me that two new towers would be going in at 5th and Shipley on July 31st. She then credited my account $30 for my troubles.
If I turn off 3G on the iPhone, I can often make calls without getting the dreaded “Call Failed” screen. Since the Blackberry Bold on AT&T doesn’t have a feature disable 3G, I’m out of luck unless I de-brand the device, which seems a bit risky.
If AT&T service is still bad after the new towers go up on July 31st, I’m switching my Blackberry plan over to Verizon1
(I’ll probably get the Blackberry Tour, since works overseas with its support for CDMA/EVâ€“DO, 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA). It will be worth the $175 termination fee to have a phone that can do things like making and sustaining calls without failing. The iPhone will stay on an AT&T plan, but I won’t be using it for voice anymore.
UPDATE, August 3, 2009: I switched my Blackberry over to Verizon and am loving the call quality and ability to make a phone call. My iPhone is still on AT&T. The new towers are supposed to be up less than a block from me. I am getting 3 bars on 3G instead of 1 bar, but I’ve already dropped one call this morning. I’ll write another update after more testing.
UPDATE, August 3, 2009: I am actually fluctuating between 1 bar and 3 bars, even when the phone is stationary. Whatever.
I just came across a particularly disturbing article about Facebook’s ad policy, which by default allows the use of your face in advertisements targeted at your Facebook friends (via @johnolilly).
Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules.
To turn this off, go to Settings -> Privacy -> News Feed and Wall -> Facebook Ads -> Appearance in Facebook Ads and select “no one.”
Note that this privacy page doesn’t appear in Firefox 3.5 if you use AdBlock Plus extension. Even selecting “disable on this page only” in AdBlock Plus and refreshing the page won’t make the controls appear. I had to completely disable AdBlock Plus and refresh to the page in order to see them. Alternatively, you could use another browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome).
Sometimes, newspapers confuse me (my photo)
My swimming pig photos are making the rounds in papers now. Um… do editors think when they pair photos with stories??
Elephant seals on Guadalupe Island, Mexico
Ugly little buggers, aren’t they? I took this photo a few years ago while visiting Guadalupe to photograph great white sharks.
Yesterday, I found myself needing to copy over 40,000 files spread across hundreds of directories into a single target directory. (read more »)
an article today in the sun featured some of my images
I had three articles come out today in the U.K. about some lemon shark images I took in the Bahamas:
- Telegraph: Lemon sharks feeding frenzy in Bahamas captured on camera
- The Sun: Shark photos are jaw-some
- Mail Online: Open wide! The extraordinary pictures inside the mouths of sharks at feeding time
Some wildlife photographers and conservationists out there are very much against images of sharks with jaws agape being shown in the media. Whenever I’m providing images of sharks with jaws open to stock agencies, I worry that the images will be used for sensationalist pieces that fuel the typical person’s media-driven fear of sharks.
In the interview for the articles linked above, I wrote this:
Shark photographers who are also conservationists exist in a strange area — we have both protective and sensationalist attitudes toward sharks. On the one hand, we hate to see so-called “sell-out” television programs who only serve to exploit sharks as being dangerous predators who may bite humans. At the same time, we love to capture images of sharks that show their power and predatory skill. If you look at the statistics, very few humans are killed by sharks each year. Given the actual numbers, it’s pretty ridiculous that people are afraid of sharks. I hope to use my shark imagery to start a dialog that will help to dispel common misperceptions about sharks.
Obviously, my quote didn’t make it into any of the articles. One even decided to include “feeding frenzy” in the title even though I made it clear in the interview that sharks were baited to the boat using fish scraps (i.e. there was no feeding frenzy). Still, the text of the articles are pretty neutral, and the comments in the Daily Mail article are all civil and respectful of sharks.
There is no doubt that some people in the shark “conservation” industry, a group of people who seem to be best at fighting with each other rather than focusing on protecting sharks, will not be so happy to see shark teeth in these articles. I did convince the same press agency that supplied these articles do an article about the evils of shark-finning, so using sensationalist images to open dialogs about conservation issues can be effective.
sperm whale from the ogasawara islands (photo: tony wu)
Wetpixel has just had a cancellation and is looking for 1-3 more photographers to join us in the Ogasawara Islands in Japan this coming October, 2009 to photograph sperm whales. We leave Tokyo by ferry on October 8, and return on the 20th. Sperm whales are the largest carnivores on the planet, and can be inquisitive, allowing photographers to approach very closely.
The trip will be led by Tony Wu and Eric Cheng. Full details can be found on our sperm whale expedition page:
Bringing s’mores to the Dutch
Ever roasted s’mores inside? Neither had I. Thanks, Antoni, for hosting! (read more »)
I met Lachy in French Polynesia in 2005 when he was just a teenager. It wasn’t until this past January that I had the pleasure of seeing him again at his family’s house in Sydney.
He and Katie were in San Francisco for a few days last week, and although I was pretty busy with the chamber music seminar at Stanford, I managed to get away to have a single meal with them at Chez Panisse cafe. Hope to get to see them again sometime soon! (read more »)
I’ve only found two ways to successfully use Mac OS X’s crippled (but built-in) internet sharing with client machines running Windows XP. The first is to set up an open network, but that is unacceptable. To set up a network that supports Windoze machines, here’s what you have to do:
- In Mac OS X, enable Internet Sharing to computers using Airport
- In AirPort Options, select 128-bit WEP encryption and enter a 13-character password
- In Windows, add a new wireless network
- Enter the SSID and select WEP encryption with Shared Network Authentication (not Open)
- Uncheck “The key is provided automatically” and enter the 13-character password
- In the Authentication tab, be sure that “Enable IEEE 802.1x authentication” is unchecked
The Taiwanese American Community Center of San Diego has just moved to a new location and is proud to present an exhibition of underwater imagery by photographer Eric Cheng (http://echeng.com). The exhibit includes 14 vibrant, aluminum prints of marine wildlife including sharks, whales, waves, jellyfish, and corals. The show opens on Tuesday, July 7, 2009, and runs through August 8, 2009.
Meet Eric at an open reception on Saturday, July 11, 2009 between 1PM-5PM.
Taiwanese American Community Center
7838 Wilkerson Ct., San Diego, CA 92111
July 7 through August 8, 2009
After the San Diego show, Eric’s prints will be on display at The G2 Gallery (http://theg2gallery.com) in Venice, Los Angeles from August 11 – September 20, 2009.
NOTE: You can see a preview of Eric’s show. Please come see the aluminum prints in person — photos of the space do not do them justice!
Eric’s AluminArte aluminum prints were created by the wonderful folks at Image Wizards.