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Archive for December, 2009

Swype, an alternative keyboard for Droid

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One of my friends turned me on to Swype, an alternative virtual keyboard for mobile devices. Although it is not officially out yet for Android, is has been leaked, and works wonderfully on Motorola’s Droid (get it here).

I just installed it, and Swype makes the virtual keyboard on the Droid actually usable! It is a MUST INSTALL on the Droid, and I would never go back to the other keyboard. I might even prefer Swype to the physical keyboard on the Droid, which is atrocious.

If you are trying to install Swype using Mac OS X, you will probably run into the same problem I had, which is that the downloaded zip archive extracts to folder instead of an apk file. I got around this by copying the zip archive to my Droid’s SD card and using AndroZip to unzip it (and install it). Piece of cake.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Dec 31, 2009 01:54:09

Happy Birthday to the ground!

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Segal send me a link to this Saturday Night Live digital short called “On the Ground.” Instant classic!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 30, 2009 22:42:15

I love cabling

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Purrrty cabling…

I’m having new DSL installed today (30/2 ADSL2) and was pleased to find awesome cabling in my wiring closet. Special thanks to John Wiley of Sensory Dynamics down in San Jose. I highly recommend John for home theater and digital media solutions for homes. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Dec 30, 2009 12:32:30

Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino, California

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Bowling Ball Beach, just south of Mendocino, CA

Bowling Ball Beach is located approximately 30 miles south of Mendocino on the northern California coastline. The beach is characterized by dozens of round “bowling ball” like rocks that are visible and accessible at low tide. Bowling Ball Beach isn’t on any maps, but you can get to it by driving on Highway 1 to mile marker 11.5, just 3 miles south of Point Arena. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 29, 2009 00:17:20

RSS to Twitter: Hello, Twitterfeed. Goodbye, Hootsuite.

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For a long time, I used Hootsuite to automatically post to Twitter whenever a new Wetpixel front-page article was posted. At some point, Hootsuite’s broke when posting Wetpixel tweets; when readers clicked on the post URL, ow.ly would display an error page instead of going to the actual post (“Invalid GET Data”). Here are two examples. The first time this happened, I tracked the problem down to the way Hootsuite works with Google’s Feedburner (which Wetpixel uses). Someone posted a fix on a forum involving customizing the way Feedburner inserts Google Analytics tags. I can’t find the forum thread right now, but it was a simple fix and seemed to work… until it stopped working. At the moment, some combination of Wetpixel and Feedburner and Hootsuite breaks the shortened URLs that Hootsuite produces (via ow.ly). As a sidenote, I hate that ow.ly links load into an iframe. There is code to prevent that, but I’d rather add code just to deal with ow.ly.

I’ve just suspended Hootsuite’s RSS to Twitter service and have signed up for Twitterfeed (@twfeed), which seems to be reviewed favorably. If Twitterfeed doesn’t work, I’ll give this Expression Engine plugin a try.

Thanks, Giles, for helping with the service and plugin research!

Pacifica, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 28, 2009 21:47:09

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-12-27

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  • Went through all snail mail. Catching up slowly. Hope my bags make it here soon — I’m told by United that they are in SF somewhere. #
  • Mac development of VLC nearly dead (?) http://bit.ly/6Ty6YT #
  • Meeting up with @viennateng. Has been months since I’ve seen her! #
  • @alexkingorg omg can I have a job lol! in reply to alexkingorg #
  • My MacBook Pro is about 4x faster than my Mac Pro is at running Photoshop actions to produce progressive flashlight fish frames. *confused* #
  • @RogierDiver I have SSD on my Mac Pro, and source and dest on MBP was spinning drive. It was because Mac Pro was doing a backup… in reply to RogierDiver #
  • @choccobo Pam hates your Twitter profile photo. She demands that you change it! in reply to choccobo #
  • @jauderho Thanks, Jauder. Will fix link now. in reply to jauderho #
  • @enjelani I miss the days of 2am scones. in reply to enjelani #
  • Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) photo page, starring Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace: http://icrwhale.org/gpandsea-img.htm #
  • The images, video, and video manipulation files from the last trip total nearly 300GB. This is not a good trend! #
  • @choccobo I think it would only be OK if it were your nipple. Let’s see it!! ;) in reply to choccobo #
  • Upgrading to Final Cut Studio 3 ($150 @ Apple Company Store, with employee — thanks, Victor!) #
  • I can’t drag 14,000 files into R-Name (Mac OS X) for batch renaming; luckily, I can shift-select / open them all in the app. #
  • My Blue Shield health plan has gone up 40% per month over the past couple of years. Changing the plan to a cheaper one now. #
  • Hrm. My keyboard has started NOT working intermittently, after installing Final Cut Studio 3 upgrade. How can they be related?? #
  • OK, it was a problem with Spaces and Snow Leopard. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1…..9-263.html #
  • @gilesshaxted There’s also Synergy, which is cross platform. in reply to gilesshaxted #
  • @adamnash re: #givechrome Check your email, Adam. ;) in reply to adamnash #
  • For those who are wondering, my bags were delivered late last night (about 32 hours after I landed). #
  • Off to Mendocino. I will be semi-available through Dec 26. #
  • Just bumped into @chester on the street. We talked about mySQL. #
  • I will have no mobile phone service until Dec 25/26. Please use email or Skype to contact me, if you need to. Happy holidays! #
  • I am terrible for laughing at this. http://bit.ly/90ua1s #
  • RT @sterlingz: This is so worth it: 70-Minute Video Review of ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace http://bit.ly/5LFjJf /via @DaringFirefeed #
  • Went to bowling ball beach per @jauderho’s suggestion — bowling balls gone!! #
  • re: Went to bowling ball beach per @jauderho’s suggestion — bowling balls gone!! — or maybe we just missed them? grrr. #
  • OK. We arrived at bowling ball beach just before high tide. That’s why we didn’t see them. :( #
  • Dinner at Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino. Fantastic food, but poor service. No eye contact, no smiles, no attempt at anything. #
  • @jauderho Need ND filter for those bowling balls!! in reply to jauderho #
  • Offline notebooks in Evernote iPhone. I want for Droid! http://bit.ly/6tQ7Xx #
  • Be sure to dispose of your Christmas trees properly! http://bit.ly/4XPeY3 #
  • $3.09/gal in Healdsburg vs $4.60 in Mendocino. I only got what I needed in Mendocino. #
  • Drove past the Independent and saw @viennateng and Alex Wong’s name prominently on the sign! Was excited. :) #
  • Just watched “The Great Tide” from BBC’s Nature’s Great Events (AKA Nature’s Most Amazing Events). It’s the definitive sardine run doco! #
  • @cindypon I’m waiting for your next 3-book deal! (Was confused by the retweet momentarily) :) in reply to cindypon #
  • It’s a good thing astrology validates my relationship. Otherwise, what would I do? #
  • WHOAH. Avatar in IMAX 3D. If you only saw it in 2D, you deserve to see it again in 3D. Fantastic movie. #
  • I’ve seen some of the things in Avatar while underwater. Hello, Christmas tree worms! #
  • @RogierDiver Those didn’t fit in my 140 character message. in reply to RogierDiver #
  • Shepard Fairey’s prints of Paul Watson are for sale (they are based on a photo I took). http://obeygiant.com/prints/paul-waston-print #
  • Matt S just pointed me to this website. I love it. http://thedailywtf.com/ #
  • RT @adamnash Here is difference between 3D technologies (IMAX, Dolby, RealD). http://bit.ly/6EGGzv – Find one near you: http://bit.ly/84SYs #
  • From Livia: “Mommy, why does Santa have claws?”-Jack, 3 #
  • Excerpt from my latest email: “I’ll meet you in the north parking lot, next to the motel.” I look forward to it! #
  • Errands day. Pam just picked out a dress to try on that I think would really confuse predators. #
  • @cindypon as an author of books for young people, you owe it to yourself to see Avatar in 3D! It will stimulate the imagination. in reply to cindypon #
  • Poor guys! http://yfrog.com/4anz9fj #
  • @gilesshaxted must… not… made… pederast… joke. in reply to gilesshaxted #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 27, 2009 23:01:00

Keyboard stops working after switching Spaces in Mac OS X

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This was driving me crazy because I’m 100% a keyboard shortcuts person. After switching Spaces using the keyboard in Mac OS X Snow Leopard (I have my shortcuts set to Control-Left Arrow and Control-Right Arrow), my keyboard might stop working. I knew it was a software issue because I use Teleport to control another machine from my main machine; during keyboard outages, if I moved the mouse over to the other machine, the keyboard would work over there.

I did some Googling and discovered that it is the Dock process that is causing the problem. Go to Applications->Utilities->Activity Monitor (you’ll have to use the mouse, unfortunately) and quit the “Dock” process. The Dock will relaunch itself and your keyboard will be working again.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Dec 22, 2009 17:23:48

Diving the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea, a trip report

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Magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei), bigeye jacks and other kinds of fish above a Gorgonian sea fan. Carl’s Ultimate, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

Many seasoned scuba divers have heard about the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea, but only a handful will be able to tell you how to get there and what sort of diving you might expect to find there. Most, however, will probably tell you that they’ve heard great things about it. The Eastern Fields are shrouded in a mystique that is hard to describe; it even affected me — prior to booking back-to-back charters aboard the M/V Golden Dawn, I didn’t even know where exactly where the Eastern Fields were in relation to Port Moresby. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 22, 2009 01:40:33

Mushroom leather coral abstract, Eastern Fields PNG

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Mushroom leather coral (Sarcophyton sp.) and sunball abstract. Taken in Ashmore Atoll, Australia on December 1, 2009. echeng091201_0243422

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 21, 2009 13:01:35

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-12-20

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  • Steamed to Port Moresby overnight. Doing more local diving today (last day of diving). #
  • Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes! Much appreciated from remote Eastern Fields. :) #
  • The world is not ready for 1080p. Save yourself the headache and output 720p. #
  • Why do I even bother shark diving in the Indo-Pacific? #
  • Embedding 1080p video from 5D2 into slideshows = encoding and viewing fail. Need faster computers, more storage!! #
  • Really missing ProShow Gold on Windoze. FotoMagico on Mac is OK but has serious playback and export issues, esp mixing photo and video. #
  • @alexkingorg I love Blackberry’s intermediary email service. It makes email in remote areas on crappy networks usable! in reply to alexkingorg #
  • Another successful flashlight fish dive. I love the little guys! #
  • Newest flashlight fish photo is 15,000 frames (about 7 minutes worth). Took 5 hrs on MBP to process a combined image of all of the frames!! #
  • @jauderho I disagree re: matte vs glossy. If you end up having to work in super bright environments, glossy is the only option. in reply to jauderho #
  • At Port Moresby airport waiting for flight. POM – Honiara – Fiji – LAX – SFO. Only dreading the LAX part. #
  • @tonywu We went out to Asia Aromas again last night in Port Moresby and had a feast. Missed you! in reply to tonywu #
  • I knew something was missing from my travel day. Screaming baby? Check. #
  • On 747 in Fiji bound for LAX. Smooth, so far! But 4 of our group are missing bags from yesterday’s Air Niugini flight. Hope they get them :( #
  • LAX customs: “why you comin’ here?” I was tempted to say, “I come to America to pursue dream! To start dry clean store!” #
  • @andybiggs same issue with the saltwater croc shot that won this year, I’ll bet. in reply to andybiggs #
  • And the easy travel day ends with me… not getting any of my bags. Yippee. #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 20, 2009 23:01:00

Millions of anthias swarm over rebreather diver, Eastern Fields, PNG

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Millions of anthias swarm over rebreather diver, Eastern Fields, PNG, originally uploaded by echeng.

Millions of magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei) stream across the reef in strong current. Underwater photographer Tony Wu, on rebreather, is in the middle of it all. Best birthday dive ever. Carl’s Ultimate, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea. echeng091216_0247042

Eastern Fields, PNG | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 16, 2009 01:38:42

Skeleton shrimp on a sea fan, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

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Skeleton shrimp on a sea fan, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea, originally uploaded by echeng.

A skeleton shrimp (Caprella sp.) on a Gorgonian. There were tens of thousands — or more — of these guys on this particular gorgonian. Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea. echeng091213_0246220

Apologies for the lack of updates; I’ve been shooting mostly video on the second leg of this trip, and video is quite impossible to share from satellite!

Eastern Fields, PNG | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Dec 14, 2009 01:41:51

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-12-13

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  • I’m disappointed that my satellite email -> Twitter bridge didn’t work while I was on the boat. #
  • I dreamed of taking care of baby Jack for a night. Then, I dreamed of sailfish. #
  • Can someone help me get this illegal ebay item shut down? It is my photo they are using. I have no internet here… :( http://bit.ly/7F7Lwg #
  • Re: illegal ebay item. SRI is selling prints I donated 7 years ago (they didn’t notify me). Thanks for taking action – I’m in touch directly #
  • @tonywu is obsessed with Beang Abang. Mention it to him as often as possible. #
  • Disregard that post on real-time RGB histograms. It puts the 5D Mark II into auto movie exposure. :( #
  • Off to do some local diving in Port Moresby, and then to the Eastern Fields! Back in 11 days. Will be updating my journal with photos. #
  • God rays from a Blackberry (in cabin 3 of the MV Golden Dawn) http://tweetphoto.com/6042975 #
  • View from porthole, en route http://tweetphoto.com/6045739 #
  • Video view from porthole (testing Blackberry Tour video upload to Twitter) http://twitvid.com/48B6E #
  • Flashlight fish by the hundreds coming out of a hole in the Pacific Gas wreck outside of Port Moresby! Incredible! #
  • Awesome! Canon 5D Mark II captured flashlight fish at night. Can’t wait to share the video!! #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 13, 2009 23:01:00

Large frogfish, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

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Large frogfish, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea, originally uploaded by echeng.

A large frogfish in the Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea. echeng091210_0245471

Craig, the captain of the M/V Golden Dawn, went crazy when he saw this frogfish on one of our dives yesterday. Apparently, large frogfish are rare in the Eastern Fields. We’ve also been enjoying the company of quite a few lacey scorpionfish (Rhinopias aphanes). For some reason we have been finding them on nearly every dive site.

Eastern Fields, PNG | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Dec 10, 2009 20:03:15

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2009-12-06

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| link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 6, 2009 23:01:00

Topside view of Carl’s Ultimate, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

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Topside view of Carl’s Ultimate, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea, originally uploaded by echeng.

Carl’s Ultimate dive site isn’t much to look at from above the surface of the water. There is no land here, which means that it can be difficult to hide from rough weather.

Carl’s Ultimate dive site, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea. echeng091204_0244373

See my Eastern Fields trip journal for underwater photos from the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea.

Port Moresby, PNG | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 6, 2009 22:04:06

The pump is the path to a manly camera

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The pump is the path to a manly camera, originally uploaded by echeng.

The thing in the middle belongs to underwater photographer Tony Wu.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 6, 2009 22:04:06

Coral sea fan silhouette, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

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Coral sea fan silhouette, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea, originally uploaded by echeng.

The veiny silhouette of a huge Gorgonian sp. coral sea fan. Eastern Fields atoll, Papua New Guinea. echeng092202_0243694

Sent from mobile device. Apologies for brevity and/or typos.

Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea | link | trackb | no comments » | Dec 5, 2009 02:09:35

Carl’s Ultimate dive site, Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea

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We’ve been parked for two days at site in the Eastern Fields Atoll of Papua New Guinea called “Carl’s Ultimate,” and I am not sure I’ll be able to dive again anywhere else. Most of Carl’s Ultimate is shallow, but a point extends out and drops off into the deep; along the slope and wall is one of the richest coral reefs I’ve ever seen. A dense collection of sea fans, soft corals, and other reef animals line the entire reef slope from 35 meters to 5 meters in depth, providing underwater photographers with an unlimited number of wide-angle and macro subjects. Anthias and small fish cluster above the coral just below a tangle of parrotfish, wrasses, lionfish, trumpetfish, snappers and angelfish, while jacks, barracuda, and dogtooth tuna hunt from the blue. Jacks hunt the reef with all sorts of partners: barracuda, snappers, Napoleon wrasses, trumpetfish, and others. Three large potato cods hang out in a cave at 30 meters and are so friendly that they allow divers to pet them. The big groupers are incredibly picturesque as they meander amongst colorful soft corals and schools of bannerfish and jacks.

There are small and rare animals as well: pygmy seahorses, Rhinopias, intricately-patterned wrasses, Phyllodesmium nudibranches — and we’re not even really looking for macro subjects (yet).

The reef is fantastic all the time, but when the current picks up, diving Carl’s Ultimate becomes an altogether different experience. The reef almost literally explodes with life. Millions of magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei) appear from nowhere and swim up-current over staghorn coral in dense lines by the tens of thousands. They are the lifeblood of the reef, thick piscine rivulets ever streaming and branching and merging. When the current becomes too strong, the purple nuggets shoot up into the water column and drift back, flashing this way and that way as they feed on plankton and other nutrients. Every once in awhile, a predatory squadron of jacks shoots into a rivulet, creating an streaking explosion of purple fish.

I have never seen anything like it. I’ve been trying to capture the moment using video, but it will surely prove to be an impossible task.

Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Dec 4, 2009 21:32:36

Soft coral forest, Ashmore Atoll, Australia

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Soft coral forest, Ashmore Atoll, Australia, originally uploaded by echeng.

A commensal goby in a forest of soft corals (Nepthea sp.). Ashmore Atoll, Australia. echeng091128-0242497

Sent from mobile device. Apologies for brevity and/or typos.

Eastern Fields, Papua New Guinea | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Dec 4, 2009 18:02:32
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