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Archive for August, 2009

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-08-31

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  • How computer people help “not computer people” http://xkcd.com/627/ #
  • RIM acquires Torch Mobile. Yay! Bring Webkit to Blackberry! http://www.torchmobile.com/ #
  • Photo assignment to Colombia. Great! But 10KG max luggage = deal killer for a underwater photographer. Hope they resolve it… #
  • A single woman is poisoning this entire coffee shop with her perfume. It is actually giving me a headache. Must escape!! #
  • Congratulations to @cindypon for finishing a draft of her second novel! I have yet to read the first one, but it is sitting on my table. :) in reply to cindypon #
  • “Multitasking muddles the brain, even when the computer is off.” Hrm. I multitasked even when reading this article. http://bit.ly/moWW5 #
  • @tigermouse88 hehehe. YES — Cuarteto Colombiano is going native, hopefully. :) in reply to tigermouse88 #
  • I uploaded a YouTube video — Transmit Dashboard Demo http://bit.ly/VZN7z #
  • I uploaded a YouTube video — Transmit Dashboard Demo http://bit.ly/kp42j #
  • Hrm. Bank of America’s new “SafePass” feature doesn’t seem to work with Verizon phones. First time I’ve been happy I have AT&T, too! #
  • The hold music at Bank of America is unfortunately very similar to the “Two Girls One Cup” music. *gag* #
  • Bristol Farms has the tortillas!! Better than the fresh ones from a local Mexicatessen. :) http://yfrog.com/e69z7j #
  • Hanging out with Zandra in her new apartment in the Mission. Welcome to SF! #
  • New Facebook 3.0 iPhone app is out. You have to delete the old one before you can download the new one. http://bit.ly/7JlCV #
  • I added “for the love of God” to my sign to the US Postal Service for scheduled package pickup. Think it will help? What does it take?! #
  • I am full of rage today. #
  • Can someone recommend an inexpensive shredding service in SF close to SOMA (or pick up)? 1 box at a time (not too much stuff). #
  • CrashPlan just updated to support Snow Leopard. They are fast! http://www.crashplan.com #
  • My friend, Andy Biggs, is giving a talk at B&H Photo in New York on Sep 13. Subject: Digital Printing. http://bit.ly/125yXa #
  • Alemany Farmers Market >> Ferry Building market! #
  • Pam just came to the realization that the “pets” at night markets in Taiwan aren’t sold to be pets. #
  • A large number of apps are auto-updating for Snow Leopard compatibility. I’m going to wait a bit to upgrade. #
  • Incompatible software list for Snow Leopard. Wonder if they Apple thinks this is exhaustive?? http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3258 #
  • Big application compatibility list for Snow Leopard. Some bad ones, for me. http://bit.ly/C9PDl (via @jauderho) #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 31, 2009 00:01:00

Medical system fail

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I went in to see a doctor two weeks ago for a weird growth under the skin near my elbow. The general practitioner said, “It seems like you might have hit your elbow on something and chipped off a small bone fragment. Your body is building something around it. I could probably remove it, but I’d feel better if you had a dermatologist take care of it.” He walked me down the hall to a dermatologist’s office, all the while asking me about behind-the-scenes stuff in Whale Wars (he was a fan, and saw a Sea Shepherd patch on the vest I was wearing). After an hour of waiting around, a dermatologist finally saw me, examined my elbow, and said, “Yeah… that’s near a joint. I’m going to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.” 3 minutes of face time. Done.

I just got a bill for $225 from the dermatologist’s office. Haven’t received a bill yet from the GP, but I expect to get one any day. Why didn’t the GP refer me directly to an orthopedic surgeon? I think I just got scammed.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Aug 27, 2009 15:49:11

Ian Provo goes skiing with a 5D Mark II

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Awesome! (via @jauderho)

Great use of the camera. Vote for Ian’s sponsorship entry.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 27, 2009 15:04:04

Yelp for iPhone offers augmented reality

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Monacle, Yelp’s new iPhone AR feature

Augmented Reality is coming. The new Yelp app on iPhone already has it as a hidden feature.

If the Yelp app doesn’t excite you, check this one out: NY Subway map. It’s probably one of the more compelling consumer AR apps out there at the moment, but research previews from universities show that a lot more is coming. This is either really exciting or really scary, depending on who you are. :)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 27, 2009 14:11:31

Think it will work?

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We’ll see.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 26, 2009 09:48:17

Automatically backup WordPress using Transmit

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My web host’s backup server died recently, and I needed to hack something together to keep my websites backed up. I’ll probably end up using [BackupMoxie][moxie] by my friends at [CrowdFavorite][cf] for [Wetpixel][wp], but it isn’t appropriate for my personal websites because it’s expensive. Also, the database and files at my personal websites don’t change as much as they do on Wetpixel.

I ended up hacking together a solution to automatically backup the databases to a Mac Mini here at my home using mysqldump, Transmit, AppleScript, and a cron job. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 26, 2009 01:28:54

Let yourself feel

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San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 24, 2009 17:26:19

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-08-24

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  • TomTom iPhone app — how can this work well, given the iPhone 3GS’ terrible GPS accuracy? http://bit.ly/sTCou #
  • Fun evening! Jinwha in town, plus dessert and slideshow with Pam, Dave, Jan and Peter. Have to be up in 4.5 hrs. #
  • I’m sore from bowling. #
  • I’m glad I didn’t have one of these when I was a kid. http://bit.ly/804Sz #
  • Understanding automatic door http://bit.ly/yhOmv (via failblog) #
  • Installing Windows 7 RC in VMWare Fusion. #
  • The Blackberry Bold’s keyboard is so much better than the Tour’s soggy keyboard. I’ll miss the Bold… #
  • Evernote for Mac update improves text handling. YAY! http://bit.ly/1abAZA #
  • Shortly after this photo was taken, I was sprayed with breast milk. http://yfrog.com/5b62vefdj #
  • I’m telling you now: no guy wants to be at a baby shower. #
  • Someone just sent me a 50MB email message. Where’s the respect?? #
  • I am going to meet someone named Lothlorien. If she doesn’t have pointy ears, I’m going to be disappointed. #
  • It is gloomy in San Francisco today. Gloom gloom gloom. #
  • As an online shopper, I often feel guilty about carbon footprint. But it could be worse, if you buy from HP! http://bit.ly/3XRmSV #
  • Logitech upgrades mice to track on glass using darkfield tech. Nice upgrade! http://bit.ly/BRoU7 #
  • With Patchen at UPS, past closing time. Wonder if the long line is because all the staff went home. http://yfrog.com/0tri9j #
  • Making encrypted backup drive using PGP WDE on Mac. Had this in Antarctica; need to set up again for upcoming travel. #
  • I just ate mold. #
  • @cindypon by accident. It hides well in cheese! in reply to cindypon #
  • So… about District 9… HOLY SHIT!! GO SEE IT! #
  • It looks like a tour bus just unloaded into Taqueria Cancun in the Mission. I am so confused. #
  • I am here at this little cafe to work, and tourists with two little kids just happen to choose the table next to me to have a drink. ARGH. #
  • @johnolilly just gave a talk to high schoolers. Worth reading, even if you aren’t in high school! http://bit.ly/10WZCS #
  • OK, I’ve settled on what I believed before. I am second generation. http://bit.ly/ND74r #
  • Why can I still not play flash movies smoothly on my powerful Mac Pro? (flash plugin #fail) #
  • Photography Pet Peeve #11: bad photography articles that try too hard. http://bit.ly/ikupa #
  • A good wrap-up of current SSD drives. Intel X25-M still strong. http://bit.ly/EFi6g #
  • Writing feverishly for a chapter in an upcoming book. Deadline coming soon, and leaving at 4am for a weekend of rafting… #
  • I AM AT MCDONALDS!! #
  • @johnolilly cool article on Ben. I haven’t seen him since internship at Trilogy in 1996! in reply to johnolilly #
  • Pardon the McDonalds excitement. I *never* go. For example, I go to Indonesia more than I go to McDonalds! #
  • Drew of AO Rafting — awesome rafting guide. Highly recommended! http://aorafting.com #
  • Danger! Danger! Photo is blurry cuz I was scared. http://yfrog.com/5kbb8hj #
  • What’s the PC term for “hillbilly”? #
  • @alexkingorg don’t do it! Think about actually being to make phone calls. Connectivity and network access trump good hardware. in reply to alexkingorg #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 24, 2009 00:01:00

Shepard Fairey does portrait of Paul Watson

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Shepard Fairey recently did a portrait of Paul Watson, which will be available as a fine-art piece and screen-printed photo.1 It will be on display at the Sea No Evil Art Show 2009 on Saturday, August 29, 2009 in Riverside, CA.

Shepard’s portrait of Paul was done using one of my photographic portraits of Paul as a model.


Portrait of Paul Watson, by Eric Cheng

I took the photo on January 6, 2009, while on campaign with Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean. The Japanese whaling spotter vessel, the Kyoshin Maru No. 2, is in the background.


  1. Sea Shepherd asked permission to provide Fairey with the photo, and I agreed. 

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 21, 2009 13:51:59

PGP 9.9.1 for Mac disables Mail bundles in Leopard

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I just reinstalled PGP Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) on my MacBook Pro 17″ running Mac OS 10.5.8. I’m not using it to encrypt my entire drive, but I used to use it to encrypt entire backup volumes so the data on them cannot be used if the drive itself is stolen (when traveling, mostly).

I’m embarrassed to be a FileVault user, but I don’t see any other way to have certain parts of my disk remain fast, while keeping other parts encrypted (and slow). (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 19, 2009 23:16:53

Paypal is the vehicle for scams on Craigslist

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I’d like to state first that I use and rely on Paypal for many different kinds of transactions. Used between people I know (who have existing, stable accounts) and through eBay, it has been a convenient and consistently-useful tool.

However, I just sold two cameras and a Blackberry using Craigslist, and the experience was a bad one. For every solid lead, I received at least ten emails from scammers who wanted me to mail the phone / cameras overseas, often including large sums of additional payment for shipping. All of them offered to pay via Paypal. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 113 comments » | Aug 19, 2009 12:52:33

Antarctica: ‘Hell yeah you go’, by Adam Lau

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Animal Planet film team on the bow of the Steve Irwin. Photo: Adam Lau

My co-photographer Adam Lau has an article out at Sports Shooter about our trip to Antarctica to document Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling campaign. It captures what we went through very well, and there’s even a photo of me in the mix. Worth the read. Congrats, Adam!

Also, here’s a link to the discussion thread at SportsShooter. I think someone should ask Adam for a tutorial on SuperClamp usage. ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 18, 2009 10:33:35

Close-ups of tubarões garner page hits

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I checked Google Analytics today to try to figure out why echeng.com’s traffic skyrocketed 350% on July 20. It turns out that the extra traffic was all from Brazilians! (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 17, 2009 17:59:58

Photos from H2O show reception @ G2 Gallery

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My work @ the G2 Gallery

I really enjoyed hanging out at the G2 Gallery (Venice Beach, Los Angeles) last Friday at the H2O reception, which ran from 6:30-9pm. H2O is a print exhibition of underwater photography that is running from now until September 20, 2009.

My friends Don Kehoe, Matt Segal, Adam Lau, and Bill and Nanette van Antwerp came to see the show, as did new friends Sue Chen, President and Board Chair of Reef Check, Steven Werner and Debra Levine of Werner Publishing, photographers Carl Richards and J.J. L’Heureux, James Lau and his wife, and many others.

Special thanks to the G2 Gallery owners, Daniel and Susan Gottleib, as well as Jolene Hanson, the two Sarahs, and the rest of the staff, who were the most welcoming hosts I could imagine! The show looks great, and I am proud and grateful to have my prints included. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Aug 17, 2009 15:49:53

Freaking out for sharks

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More below. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Aug 17, 2009 12:53:20

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-08-17

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  • SSD garbage collection scheme — all SSDs need this! http://bit.ly/pSqh1 #
  • Fantastic shark conservation art prints (super stylized). http://bit.ly/URHjW #
  • Just signed up for HTH Worldwide Travel Gap Multi-Trip insurance. Looks good. http://bit.ly/JnpTj #
  • Facebook acquires FriendFeed. http://bit.ly/WNdaP #
  • Long overdue: dental appt, doctor’s appt, car service appt. I’m getting stuff fixed. #
  • Photos from typhoon Morakot in Taiwan. http://bit.ly/vAvGi #
  • I wonder if Blue Shield of Californa has *any* in-network doctors or dentists I actually want to use! #
  • Doctor wanted Whale Wars stories. Should have offered trade for his services. #
  • Crap. I think I’m in the wrong kind of office. http://yfrog.com/0tkfnxj #
  • All of Mason St in downtown San Francisco smells like urine and B.O. #
  • Managing UI Complexity, Brandon Walkin http://bit.ly/105nj9 #
  • Off in search of some Perseids! Not looking good, with Bay Area cloud cover. #
  • Moonrise over a mountain = breathtaking! And, Pam the chicken, scared of a deer. :) #
  • Sold Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 1Ds Mark III bodies. That was easy! #
  • @jauderho Smaller, cheaper, has video. UW housing a lot smaller, too. Lose sync speed, weather seal, focus track, focus speed, vert grip… in reply to jauderho #
  • @gilesshaxted 5D2 movies: change live view button to Stills + Movie. Hit live view button, then SET to start/stop recording. in reply to gilesshaxted #
  • Pam’s iPhone just dropped a call… while she was on the phone with the (an?) iPhone product manager at Apple. HAHAHAHAAHA! #
  • @enjelani … And especially funny cuz you just dropped a call with me, as well! :) in reply to enjelani #
  • Saw “The Cove” tonight: story about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. Touching and infuriating. Go see it! http://bit.ly/OuXKH #
  • Is smugmug down? Or is it something on my end? #
  • Ahhh, I see. Smugmug is down for scheduled maintenance. http://bit.ly/72RYC #
  • Headed to Los Angeles tonight for the G2 Gallery reception, featuring my work! See you there. :) http://bit.ly/1WWxl #
  • I seem to have lost my ironing board and iron. #
  • Every time I see how foreign visitors are treated at domestic airports, I am embarrassed by my country. #
  • I am getting depressed as I read Song for the Blue Ocean, by Carl Safina. #
  • Had a great time @ the G2 gallery reception. The security line at LAX is outside on a bridge over the parking lot. Hope I make the flight! #
  • @dolphintrainer1 I am a few episodes behind, but I can’t wait to catch up #whalewars in reply to dolphintrainer1 #
  • Kehoe finished my 3D FLIP camera rig modifications! Thanks, Don… #
  • @viennateng No hash tags in every tweet unless you want to be utterly incomprehensible to most people! :) in reply to viennateng #
  • Birthday bowling with #davidpatchen, the birthday boy (who hasn’t been on twitter for more than a year). Happy birthday!! #
  • I uploaded a YouTube video — Timelapse assembly of a Seacam Canon 5D Mark II underwater housing http://bit.ly/t5jJM #
  • I uploaded a YouTube video — Birthday Bowling http://bit.ly/ubefl #
  • Lucien said the coffee I made him was the best coffee he had ever had, in the States! High praise from a European! #
  • Errands day, it seems. Laundry, dishes, accounting, misc shopping. So late, already! #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Aug 17, 2009 00:01:00

TapDefense v2.2′s unlock “offers” are a bad idea

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I’m a big fan of the iPhone game by TapJoy, TapDefense. It’s the only game I play these days, and I use it to pass the time when I’m waiting for something else to happen. TapDefense is a fantastic iPhone implementation of a variation of Tower Defense. It’s free, and the ads are really unobtrusive, which always impressed me.

However, the creators updated TapDefense recently with a new version (2.2), advertising the inclusion of 2 new tower types. Excited, I updated the app. Upon running the new version, I discovered that the new towers were unlock-able features. To unlock a tower, you must install an iPhone app (one is free; the rest cost money) or complete one of many free “offers” via web browser. I installed the free iPhone app and tried to complete two of the offers. The offers are terrible, and the creators of TapDefense should be embarrassed for associating themselves with overt data harvesting services. Page after page of advertising are presented to you until, after 20 pages or more, you finally simply close the application out of frustration. The offers try to extract your name, address, email address, mobile phone provider, mobile phone number, birth city, birthday, and more — enough to try to perpetrate identity theft, if they really wanted to do so. I felt dirty and cheated for even having seen the so-called “offer.”

I don’t mind being shown a few inconspicuous ads when I’m using a free app, but this is ridiculous. TapDefense fans like me are obviously going to be interested in content updates; in my case, I would rather have paid $0.99 than to come out feeling cheated after having their “offers” try to harvest my personal data. There is no option to simply pay for the updated app; instead, you have to buy a third app or attempt to complete one of those terrible offers.

I left a message on their Facebook fan page wall, but it was deleted within 30 seconds.

It feels strange to voice feedback about free software, but these guys are going to lose a lot of fans if they continue to try to extract personal information from their players.

If you’re a fan of the game, head over to the TapDefense iTunes app page and leave feedback!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Aug 16, 2009 19:11:48

Bowling at Dave Patchen’s 21st birthday party

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Birthday bowling with Dave and company

I’ve been bowling twice this year! I bowled a 124 and a 149 — pretty typical, for me. Good times.

Happy birthday, Dave! It was great to see you today.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Aug 16, 2009 03:00:19

Seacam Canon 5D Mark II underwater housing assembly / disassembly

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I spent two hours today helping a friend learn how to set up his brand-new Seacam underwater housing for the Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR. At the end, I took a timelapse video of him assembling and disassembling the housing.

Video created from stills taken with a Canon 5D Mark II — one every 2 seconds, played back at 30fps.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Aug 16, 2009 02:47:13

Sharks, a slideshow by Eric Cheng

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More information… (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Aug 16, 2009 01:33:54
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