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Archive for May, 2010

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-05-31

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| link | trackb | no comments » | May 31, 2010 08:01:00

Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic

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I went to see György Ligeti’s opera, Le Grand Macabre, last night at Avery Fisher hall in Lincoln Center. The New York Philharmonic and a talented cast of singers performed the fully-staged performance, with Alan Gilbert conducting.

My mother told me that the staging was controversial because it was so avant-garde, but I’m not sure an opera completed in the mid 70s and revised in 1996 could be staged in a way that wasn’t avant-garde. (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | no comments » | May 28, 2010 10:59:35

Eric Cheng interview in Giant Robot #65

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I have an interview and shark photography feature called Shooting Sharks in the current shipping issue of Giant Robot Magazine.

Sometimes, you need a bit of serendipity to get what you want.

I had been a fan of the magazine for some time, but Adam Lau first introduced me to GR editors Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong over email after Adam’s Sea Shepherd feature was published in the magazine. Months later, I was accosted randomly by kozyndan at the Manado airport in Indonesia, and while visiting the two of them in Santa Monica, we bumped into Martin in person over a frozen yogurt near GR headquarters.

I said, “Hey, let’s do a feature on sharks!”

Martin responded, “Let’s do it!”

And so, the interview was born. I’m in talks with GR for more features on marine life and underwater photography — hope they happen!

If you want to see the feature, please support Giant Robot and buy the issue!

New York, NY | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 27, 2010 22:09:06

Maker Faire 2010 video

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Short video of Maker Faire 2010 shot with Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR

I was working my underwater photography booth for most of Maker Faire 2010, but I did get to wander around for a bit. Most of this video is actually from a performance by ArcAttack. They use two solid-state tesla coils and a robotic drummer to generate music while a skinny guy in a Faraday cage suit dances around. Fascinating stuff!

New York, NY | link | trackb | no comments » | May 26, 2010 22:59:31

Marta visits San Francisco

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Marta and me

Marta is in San Francisco for her first visit! I saw her briefly last week before Maker Faire madness started, and hope to see her again next week before she leaves. I hadn’t seen her since my visit to Milan nearly 6 years ago.

Time flies… (read more »)

New York, NY | link | trackb | no comments » | May 26, 2010 21:37:08

Maker Faire 2010 booth strike timelapse

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Don Kehoe, Adam Lau and I strike my underwater photography booth at Maker Faire 2010. We were pretty much the last ones there; I’m not sure how people got out of there so quickly!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 24, 2010 15:48:07

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-05-24

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  • I liked a YouTube video — Marie Curie Actions: Chemical Party http://youtu.be/teogpbA5ZoM?a #
  • @manukumar I plan on using Square when I sell my prints at shows. I don't do enough volume to have a dedicated mobile reader. in reply to manukumar #
  • Planning for Maker Faire exhibition. Have to light a 30×30' exhibition space!! http://bit.ly/aOYr0R #
  • @tomcos Congrats, Thomas! Now, we can be Facebook friends. Add me. :) #
  • @adamnash Yeah, 3TB drives means that I can upgrade my NAS (ReadyNAS Pro), too. I still have about 1TB free (x 2 for bckup) on my main box. in reply to adamnash #
  • Kindle for Android page on Amazon.com says "Coming soon!" http://ech.cc/bxanIH #
  • ZenDesk just jacked their rates up by nearly 3X. I am really pissed off. #
  • @manukumar I like square because there is no monthly fee. It's perfect for folks who get out every few months to a tradeshow! in reply to manukumar #
  • In Mountain View, hearing as much Mandarin as I am English. #
  • @pxd hey Peter. I'm headed Livia and Geoff's to pick something up, but dinner should work! I'll call you. in reply to pxd #
  • Oops. I just @ replied instead of DMing. I hate it when I do that. #
  • Suffering from a client sending me a bunch of 8-13MB emails. #
  • Marta is in SF, and she is indeed still terrified of pigeons. #
  • Tomorrow: fly to San Diego in the AM, pack up Kehoe's truck, and drive all my crated prints back up to SF. Going to be a long day. #
  • Arrived 31 mins early on a 100 min flight. New record! #
  • Crazy busy over next few days for/at Maker Faire. Will surface on Monday. See you there! (or, afterwards) #
  • My photography booth is all set up at Maker Faire! Special thanks to Don Kehoe and Adam Lau. It looks great. http://makerfaire.com #
  • I liked a YouTube video — T-REX 450 BLADE 400 ALL OUT WAR MUST SEE VIDEO http://youtu.be/mzVPW81qH_E?a #
  • FYI, #makerfaire is $17 for parking and $25 for admission. #
  • I uploaded a YouTube video — google pacman may22 2010 http://youtu.be/6lOoRwFzNr8?a #
  • @makerfaire parking is insane. There is cheaper or free parking south of the entrance on Saratoga. Otherwise, you have to brave the lines. #
  • Pretty much everyone who comes into the booth thinks my aluminum prints are backlit. #makerfaire #
  • By the way, my booth at #makerfaire is number 188, in the main event hall. See you here! #
  • Mark Liebman from Pictopia came by the booth, and I ran into Meredith carrying her Weta legs (awesome stuff). #makerfaire #
  • NY Times article on Dale Dougherty and the origin of Make Magazine and Maker Faire. http://ech.cc/bLEjeY #
  • Updated timelapse video post with print loading timelapse. Yeah, I know: not so interesting, but it's there. :) http://ech.cc/cdSvYM #
  • Facebook needs a touch interface for its mouse-over interfaces (like "Remove" on updates). #
  • I liked a YouTube video — Tetris God http://youtu.be/8kqKOlcaZuI?a #
  • I liked a YouTube video — The Tetris God http://youtu.be/Alw5hs0chj0?a #
  • I liked a YouTube video — Mortal Kombat Is Not A Tournament http://youtu.be/ASoxIriqJEU?a #
  • Afrin, for me, is "advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (Frank Poole) #
  • A poor spider build a web on one of my halogen exhibition lights. He didn't last very long when we powered on. #
  • My friend @JerryKolber released a star wars documentary, which is free to watch for 3 days at www.dailymotion.com/jedijunkies #
  • Going on Center Stage in 7 minutes to talk about flashlight fish, sperm whales and giant squid. #makerfaire #
  • 2.5 hrs to strike, and we are the last ones at #makerfaire People are fast!! #
  • @theremina I never got to see you on the weta legs! in reply to theremina #
| link | trackb | no comments » | May 24, 2010 08:01:00

Photos from Maker Faire 2010

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Tesla coils are modulated to produce music (Maker Faire 2010)

I am sitting in my booth (#188) at Maker Faire. It’s Sunday morning, and people are just starting to wander into the grounds from the parking lot. Things seem to be a lot quieter today (so far); yesterday morning, it was so crowded that it took 30 minutes just to get into the parking lot, and I had to wade through crowds of people to get to the booth. Still, there is a lot of energy in the air, and I am excited for my talk on Center Stage at 1pm.

Quite a few people I know dropped by yesterday to say hi and to see my 48″ aluminum marine life prints. Being Maker Faire, most people seemed to be really interested in what equipment is used to take underwater photos and what process was used to print them onto aluminum.

Special thanks to the folks at Backscatter, Gates Housings, Reef Photo & Video and Dive Chronicles for lending me their exhibition lighting, and to Don Kehoe, Adam Lau, Laurel Stewart, Zandra Lee and Pam for helping to set up and work the booth. I couldn’t have done it without all of you!

I’ve posted a bunch of photos here, and will be updating this entry with images as the day goes on. (read more »)

San Mateo, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | May 23, 2010 10:13:56

Infrastructures (xkcd)

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I love this comic because I am totally the guy on the right — except for the beard thing. ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | May 23, 2010 00:18:04

Maker Faire booth setup, timelapse

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Don Kehoe, Adam Lau and I set up my Maker Faire booth yesterday morning here at the San Mateo Event Center. I’ve never set up an exhibit using cyclone fencing nor had to put up my own lighting, but with the help of friends like Don and Adam (and Backscatter, Reef Photo/Video, Gates Housings, and Dive Chronicles for lights), we set up an exhibit that doesn’t look half bad!

People seem to be confused when they see the booth (we are not the typical exhibitor), but the folks who have come in for a look have been appreciative of the work.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, come in for a look! Information about Maker Faire can be found at their website. Also, I’m speaking on center stage tomorrow at 1pm. (read more »)

San Mateo, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 22, 2010 11:22:03

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-05-17

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| link | trackb | no comments » | May 17, 2010 08:01:00

Vienna Teng / Alex Wong @ Yoshi’s SF

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Pam, Vienna Teng and Me

Pam, Laurel, Zandra and I went to see Vienna Teng and Alex Wong at Yoshi’s SF, and the show was absolutely fantastic! (“I concur,” Pam says)

I love the entire show, but two things stood out, in particular:

  1. Star Wars cantina theme song, snuck into In Another Life by Alex Wong on melodica
  2. A powerful performance of Radio, which had the perfect introductory anecdote about the inspiration of the song

Photos follow… (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | May 16, 2010 23:49:00

Photos from Stanford Chamber Chorale concert

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Here are some photos from tonight’s Stanford Chamber Chorale concert. Had a great time up there! Special thanks to Brad and Susan (and parents!), Tiffany Shih, Scott St. John, Geoff Nuttall, and Pam, for coming. :)


Andrew Lan and me. We’ve been playing together for 17 years!

More photos follow… (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 16, 2010 01:22:56

See my prints at Maker Faire, May 22-23, 2010

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If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, come see 14 of my large aluminum marine-life prints on Sat/Sun, May 22-23, 2010. I’ll be exhibiting at Maker Faire (the ultimate do-it-yourself gathering) at the San Mateo County Event Center. My 30′ x 30′ exhibition space will be inside somewhere, so come find me!

These are the same prints I showed at G2 Gallery in Venice Beach last year; if you missed them there, come see them in San Mateo!

I’m also giving a talk about sperm whales and flashlight fish on center stage at 1pm Sunday, May 23.


photo from the G2 Gallery show last year

See you there! (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 16, 2010 01:04:34

Evil tri-wing screw in MacBook Pro Core iX machines

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It looks like I need to purchase a tri-wing screwdriver just so I can temporarily unplug batteries in the new Core iX MacBook Pros. I was able to remove the battery connector — without removing the battery — on a 17″ MBP, but couldn’t get to it on a 15″.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | May 15, 2010 01:04:15

Sony Cybershot TX7 mini-review (and low light performance)

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Rudy (Mandy and Elliot’s cat) @ ISO 3200 using optical zoom on camera

I never thought I’d end up with Sony point & shoot, but I did. While I like the idea of compact cameras that allow complete manual override, in practice, I really use compact cameras as point & shoots, relying on my larger cameras for (real) work.

I’m now using a Sony Cybershot TX7, which I purchased to replace my lost Panasonic DMC-LX3. So far, I’m really enjoying it, and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the images I’m getting out of it, especially in low light.

100% crop, 1/30s @ f/4.5, ISO 3200

The TX7 is pretty much an auto-everything camera. It doesn’t have manual modes, but I’m finding that it does just fine in its plethora of auto modes. I thought I’d miss the f2.0 lens of the Panny LX3, but the Sony’s anti-blur mode makes up for its slow f3.5 (max) lens by taking a bunch of photos in rapid succession and keeping the sharpest one (a la Nikon Coolpix’s “Best Shot Selector” mode from 1999). It features a 25mm (equivalent) lens, which is fantastically wide (like the 24mm-equiv of my old LX3). It will also shoot 10 full-resolution frames in 1 second, and will auto-stitch panoramas if you sweep the camera from one side to another.

The TX7 is also tiny, and definitely fits in pretty much any pocket. There is no lens cap to lose. The form factor is right, and I don’t have to think about whether I have an appropriate pocket when I’m running out the door. I just grab it and go.

Why not the waterproof TX5?

I purchased the TX7 over the TX5 because the TX7 features 1080/60i AVCHD video @ ~17Mbps versus the weak 720p @ 6Mbps in the TX5. 1080i AVCHD @ 17Mbps is pretty damned good for a point & shoot. I wish the TX7 shot H.264 MP4 at the same resolution and bitrate (to avoid the awkward Final Cut Pro log & transfer step), but it doesn’t.

Maybe the successor to the Canon S90 will have it all. I really like the idea of the S90, but in practice, I think the TX7 is better.

My wish list for a compact camera includes the picture quality of the S90 combined with the advanced software features, wide lens, and video resolution of the TX7. Oh, a big sensor, pre-roll and RAW video would be nice, too. ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | May 11, 2010 01:23:14

I’m performing this Sat, May 15, 2010

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I’m performing (on the cello) with the Stanford Chamber Chorale this coming Saturday, May 15, 2010 at Stanford Memorial Church:

8:00 P.M. Stanford Memorial Church
Admission: general $10 | senior $9 | student $5

The Chorale closes its formal 2009-2010 season with Poulenc’s Mass, and Fauré’s beloved Requiem.

Fauré Requiem is super moody and dark because it forgoes violins for violas. If for no other reason, you should come to the show to celebrate the viola! ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | May 10, 2010 17:15:47

MacBook Pro dual hard drive install (timelapse)

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Timelapse: installing a Crucial 256GB C300 SSD and Western Digital 1TB drive (yes, it fits) into a friend’s brand-new 17″ Core i7 MacBook Pro.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | May 10, 2010 16:58:07

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2010-05-10

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  • Playing music to drown out the loud Cantonese coming from the hallway (through 2 doors). #
  • Apple iPad 3G data plan notes and more AT&T #fail (read before you choose!) http://ech.cc/am6RmS #
  • Jewish Federation honors Bacon. http://failblog.org/2010/05/03…..er-fail-3/ #
  • Harpooned, Japanese Cetacean Research Simulator http://harpooned.org/ (via Paul Watson) #
  • Anyone know if there are replacement MAC OS X dashboard widgets for Transmit 4? #
  • Funny: JuneCloud's Deliveries iPad app pinged me about a package being delivered, so I went out to the garage to pick it up. #
  • Tea with Ross Evans at Samovar in Yerba Buena. Holy Shift! #
  • Save the date: Maker Faire, May 22-23, 2010 (San Mateo). I'll be giving a talk and showing off my aluminum prints! http://makerfaire.com/ #
  • Flash on Firefox just took down my entire Mac. Logged me out completely and left me on the login screen. #
  • Just got offered "a beer allowance" as compensation for a speaking gig. Insulted! #
  • @cindypon Download what? in reply to cindypon #
  • @cindypon Flash doesn't work on iPhone or iPad. If you do a search, there are about a million articles about the current Adobe vs Apple war. in reply to cindypon #
  • @johnolilly Yeah — Flash on Mac is really annoying. I can't wait until Flash disappears from the web. in reply to johnolilly #
  • I am firmly in the Sans-Serif camp. http://xkcd.com/736/ #
  • "Oceans" — incredible visual feast of underwater imagery. Highly recommended. http://disney.go.com/disneynature/oceans/ #
  • New York Times does a great list of Chinglish: http://nyti.ms/cnI4cb (thanks, Wendy) #
  • Hey, does a lighting / product design person have a few minutes to chat? I have a DIY photo exhibit project, and would love to brainstorm. #
  • DPReview loves Canon's 70-200/2.8L IS II. I still have the old version, but new version supposed to be much better. http://bit.ly/dfNTbK #
  • Photographer documenting graffiti artists charged with a crime. http://bit.ly/9BspIM #
  • 3D geekout session with Mark Blum, in Monterey! #
  • Breakfast w/Norb Wu, then hung out at Backscatter in Monterey. Dave & Terry from ULCS came in, and Rick & Robbie. Small world here! #
  • @pyknosis I just missed you at Apple, I'm told! #
  • In SF: called AT&T 3G from Verizon during rush hour . 6 attempts, 0 successful rings (all went to voicemail). Outgoing: 2 of 3 failed. #
  • @viennateng MiFi? Welcome to the world of productivity anywhere! ;) in reply to viennateng #
  • Rehearsal at Stanford. Students are so optimistic and bright-eyed! Love the energy. #
  • Affogato at Caffe Trieste (Berkeley) is fantastic! (Had to stop for emergency coffee for Pam) #
  • Watching Pam trying to use iPhone for voice in SF would be funny if she weren't getting so upset. #
  • @tomcos Thanks for the offer! What's an auto adapter for MiFi? A cig lighter charger that outputs to micro-USB? in reply to tomcos #
  • "The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything" = sheer brilliance. http://bit.ly/b9luFa #
| link | trackb | no comments » | May 10, 2010 08:01:00

Warning: Firefox stores passwords in plain text

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This is an security problem that has been rehashed numerous times, but I’ve found that none of my friends seem to know that it is an issue. Note that if you’re someone who keeps all of your passwords on a sticky attached to your monitor, you probably won’t care about any of this.

I love Firefox and rely on it heavily, but one thing that has always bothered me is that its password manager stores passwords in plain text and by default, allows anyone at your computer to see them. You can see this for yourself, and if you’re like me, it will probably freak you out to actually see your password written out.

In Firefox, go to Preferences->Security:

Click on Saved Passwords, and then Show Passwords. Firefox will ask you if you’re sure. Click Yes, because that’s what someone snooping around on your machine would do.

Surprise! All of your passwords are there, in plain text.

Note that Firefox does offer a “Use a master password” option in its security dialog. This does prevent the casual snooper from seeing your passwords, but it also prompts you for a password every time a webpage wants to auto-fill a password field once per session. In my world, that happens 20-30 times a day (if not more). Unacceptable. [Corrected: John Lilly wrote me to let me know that Firefox only asks once per session. This behavior is totally usable, but there are still some issues. When I launched Firefox with more than one tab open, it prompted me once for each tab.]

Solutions:

  1. Uncheck Remember passwords for sites and use 1Password. I swear by 1Password, and everyone I’ve demoed it for starts to use it.

  2. Switch to Safari, Chrome, or Camino, all of which use Mac OS X’s Keychain to store passwords securely.

I’m going to stick to Firefox — for now — but it is a huge convenience FAIL that I have to turn off the feature to save passwords. As more plugins start to appear in Chrome, I’m more and more tempted to Switch; this security issue is the number 1 reason.

San Francisco, CA | link | 13 comments » | May 4, 2010 10:32:24
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