Category: Media

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Yahu!

About a year ago, I had dinner with some guys from Microsoft before they headed out to a local concert by an artist doing Jewish reggae. Huh? They tried to explain about this Orthodox Jewish singer who did reggae. I couldn’t get his name right. Matsimoto Yahoo? Yabba Dabba Doo? Totally intrigued and completely exhausted, I asked about the artist but didn’t join them for the show.

Too bad. 

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The Weatherman

Today, my daughter and I hauled off to the University of Maryland, College Park, for a Storm Watchers presentation. The NOAA meteorologist making the presentation grew up in Southern Maine—Biddeford, to be exact.

Mmmm, I wonder how many meteorologists are from Maine. It’s hard to grow up there and not be interested in weather. With no exaggeration, weather changes about every 15 minutes in the summer, from clear skies to breezy and cloudy skies to tree-ripping thunderstorms. Upways in Northern Maine, rapid winter temperature shifts are common. I’ve seen 45-degree Celsius shifts (that’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit) from plus five to minus 40 in less than 12 hours. That’s no exaggeration. 

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Canon EOS 20D, 30D, or Nikon D200?

I am contemplating digital cameras this week, following Canon’s pre-PMA announcement of the EOS 30D. I had expected a 10-megapixel honker to match the Nikon D200. Instead, the Canon EOS 30D is a marginal upgrade to the 20D, similar to the Nikon 70s compared to the Nikon 70. My initial reaction: Why didn’t Canon do more? I already had compared the D200 and 20D before the announcement. My conclusion: Canon doesn’t need to.

For some time, I’ve griped about the Canon EOS 20D compared to the Nikon D70 (at one time, I owned both cameras and now have only the 20D). I often found the photos taken with the D70 came out as I expected, which wasn’t always the case with the 20D. The camera acted more like an extension of my eye. 

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‘Live 8’ or Death

Two Saturdays ago, the family hauled off to Tysons Corner Center, so that my wife could shop at the New Balance store and my daughter at the Sketchers there. On a giant flat-panel monitor at the back of the Sketchers played Live 8, particularly Richard Ashcroft’s performance, with Coldplay, of The Verve staple “Bittersweet Symphony”.

The performance stuck with me, as did vague memories of Live 8, which I mostly missed. I certainly shouldn’t have overlooked the concert as much as I did. During summer 2005, I struggled through some logistical problems at work, which greatly distracted from many things that should have been greater priority. Events like Live 8 come `round maybe once in 20 years, if Live AID is any indication. 

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Throttle Me, I Throttle You

Uh-oh. Netflix throttling is in the news this week, and I’m steamed about the tactic. I am so mad that service cancellation is one option. More likely, I will, eh, throttle down my number of rentals.

Throttling is a strategy whereby heavy users are penalized for using the service. Netflix reasons it loses money on these customers, so they get lower shipping priority. 

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And Fish can Fly

Scientists force evolution? Maybe the folks over at LiveScience need to evolve their reporting. Adaptation isn’t evolution. Polypheniesm is typically environmentally caused; color change induced by environmental variations is to be expected.

Let’s look at ourselves, as example of where LiveScience falters. Homo Sapiens is considered to be one species, right? But there are different races, which, to my understanding aren’t considered subspecies. Racial variations would appear to have derived from environmental causes long ago. 

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Look Smug in the Mug

One of the great benefits of my job is opportunity to speak to people running some really cool companies. Today I got the grand tour of photo-sharing site SmugMug. I had strongly considered setting up shop at Flickr, for which I had already plunked down $24.95 for a year’s Pro service. I probably will upload some stuff to Flickr, mainly stock images for my blog posts. Externally hosted images would make for less work should I ever move my blog to a new host. Looks like SmugMug will become my main photo flat. I’ve already started moving in.

SmugMug is one of the best photo-sharing sites I have seen. Tools are excellent for amateur or pro photographers. Technology is modern, fresh, and easy. SmugMug also is a successful family business, something you don’t see much in high-techdom. My temporary SmugMug site is up and running. I plan to use a domain, if I grow to like the service as much as I expect to. 

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More Battles Than Stars

From the critics corner: “Battlestar Galactica.” To recap, the last half-season concluded with some wicked female violence and an attempted rape (all in the name of killing the evil Cylons). Two weeks ago, the show opened with more violence against women and the young male fantasy catfight, where one woman (OK, robot) shoots the other woman (and evil authority figure) in the head. Maybe the presumably young-male audience appreciates the the show’s assault on women.

This week’s episode, “Epiphanies,” took position on some of the most fiercely-debated philosophical and moral issues dividing U.S. liberals and conservatives. 

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’24’

Jack’s back, and I’m waiting for my daughter to turn over the Windows Media Center PC. I watched 17 nail-biting minutes of “24” before relinquishing the Media Center so that she could watch (again) movie “Castle in the Sky“, which I recorded the other night on Turner Movie Classics. I’ve got to say that a Xbox 360 would come in handy right about now to stream her movie to the TV in her bedroom.

Best running commentary on “24” episodes goes to Dave Barry. And his humor is sharp as tacks tonight as in real time he pokes at every nail-biting twist and turn. I highly recommend Dave’s blog. By the way, Internet Explorer 7’s security features warn that Dave Barry’s blog is a “Suspicious Website”. Ha. How true! 

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Whew, a Breather

I am on vacation this week—well, mostly—and have used some of the time to play with a few my tech toys. It’s a relief to actually enjoy some of the technology available to me. The tech toying means more time with the Canon EOS 20D and real chance to tinker with this blogsite. I also plan to overhaul the look of my blogsite, hopefully over the next month (fingers crossed).

Back in 1996, I bought some great Image Club clipart that I used for my first website. I still have the original floppy disks, but no floppy drive to use them, assuming the installer would even load under Windows XP (installer doesn’t work on Macs). I recall backing up the lot of images to CD ages ago. If so, extracted artwork available for the blogsite redesign (fingers crossed, again). 

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‘Pride and Prejudice’

Last Thursday night, my daughter did a sleepover, and I used the occasion to go out on a date. My wife and I watched “Pride and Prejudice” at the AFI theatre in Silver Spring, Md. Movies in this genre generally appeal to her. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, which I highly recommend.

But the plot moved too slowly for Anne, who found some of the dialogue to be too accented and archaic to follow. She is right on both counts, but, still, I really got into the movie. Strange, because I don’t much espouse to, uh, love stories.