Category: Uncategorized

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Flickr a Day 304: ‘Never did the Pumpkin Thing since Childhood!’

I debated long-time about what pic to pick for Halloween. Jack o’ lanterns are cliché, but Cristian Iohan Ştefănescu does them well—and I want to draw attention to his photostream, which is a real treat (no trick, promise). 🙂

One word describes Cristian’s style, whether expressed from the lens or in post-processing: Interesting. He has a terrific eye for composition and perspective. Some of his more recent art I could have featured if not for the holiday: “Study: Cats Understand Humans but don’t Really Care“; “Try walking in My Eyes!“; “Bring the Art Down on the Street and They will Come!“; “Life is a Foreign Country“; or “Hable Con Ella“.

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Flickr a Day 303: ‘Something Fishy’

I can’t get enough of portraits like this, where light pierces darkness to illuminate a child’s face. I would have composed differently until looking longer at self-titled “Something Fishy”. I like. I like. Overall quality is soft, but proves to be effective here. The hues are pleasing.

Caden Crawford captured the moment on Feb. 22, 2013, using Canon EOS Rebel T2i and EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. Oh, baby, what a prime! Vitals: f/18, ISO 100, 1/20 sec, 50mm. From Red Lodge, Montana, he joined Flickr in May 2012. He is most active on Tumblr and keeps an (outdated) Facebook

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Siri Says: ‘Google is Big Brother’

I have some advice for the European Union Competition Commission: Lay off. You don’t need to reign in the Google monopoly. Apple will correct the market around search and mobile. That’s one of two related takeaways from Monday’s WWDC 2015 keynote. iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan up Apple’s push into search and proactively-delivered information in big ways. That is if delivery is as good as the company promises.

The other takeaway harkens back to what I told you last week about Tim Cook’s piracy rant against unnamed Facebook and Google alongside the friggin U.S. government—plural if thinking beyond the Feds: It’s BS marketing. Apple prepares a major competitive assault against Big G, hitting where damage can be severe: Perception and profits. I cannot overstate Google’s vulnerability, which ironically is where the search and information giant exploited Microsoft during this Century. 

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File This Story Under ‘Less is More’

Molly, my daughter is moving home, at least for the summer, and my wife and I are scrambling preparations. One unexpected: Changing Internet Service Providers. Our Cox connection comes into the bedroom where my daughter will go. Access from the main living area would require new wiring that the landlord won’t allow. I can understand why he wouldn’t want the fancy molding drilled up. We already know that AT&T U-verse Internet is live in the living room.

With Cox coming in to a modem connected to a wireless router, location shouldn’t matter. But peace of mind is an intangible, but real, cost. I’m not confident that my 20 year-old wouldn’t somehow take down the service, or, worse, her cat could chew through wiring when left free. Also: We want to create her space, which wouldn’t be with our stuff in the room. Because I mainly work from home, Internet is crucial. There is no compromise. 

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‘Really, Rupert?’ is the Right Question

Today, Rachel Whetstone, Google’s senior vice president of communications and policy, asks what has been on my mind since a stunning scoop set the Wall Street Journal against the Federal Trade Commission and the search and information giant. As I explained in an analysis of the news reporting, the story is flush with insinuation and veiled accusation, bereft of context.

Among my more serious concerns: Journal-parent News Corp’s ongoing tug-a-war with Google’s business model and its impact on paid content. Both entities likely would benefit by any means that trustbusters could crimp Google. The scoop’s timing and tone look like they intend to influence European Union public policy. Rachel’s response is brilliant, because it gets to the point: Conflict of interest taints the Journal’s credibility and impartiality. She rightly observes: “We understand you have a new found love of the regulatory process, especially in Europe”. 

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The Best Phone You Can Buy is the One You can Afford

I can attest firsthand to the rising health-care costs everyone talks about. My mom went to hospital on January 30th for outpatient surgery. Still woozy from anesthesia, she left her Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone in the bed’s blankets. The hospital ships the linens to Canada for cleaning, and, well—cue the violins—that handset is gone to cellphone heaven or into someone’s greedy, grubby hands. Wouldn’t you know, Medicare won’t cover the cost of replacing the phone.

Yeah, I’m being facetious. It helps mellow my frustration buying her a replacement mobile. Mom is done with Windows Phone and must satisfy with an older Android. This post explains why, and how during a big week of new smartphone announcements she gets a—cough, cough—2013 model.