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If It Looks Like Bias, Walks Like Bias, Is It Bias?

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Oh PLEASE! What is the New York Times doing? This morning, I clicked on a story by reporter Todd Purdum headlined, “Best Defense: More Offense”; I had been reading different stories around the Web about the second presidential debate. Before I could get to the story, a banner ad touting John Kerry’s success in the debate filled a separate page; the Democratic National Committee had paid for the ad.

Now as a former journalist, I do know something about boundaries between editorial and advertising content. In print, placement of an ad next to a related news story is a big no-no. Reputable newspapers or magazines would never place, say, an ad about Microsoft Windows in the same spread—or two-page layout—as a positive review of the product. In politics, this rule is typically more strictly followed in the United States. In broadcast journalism, the now defunct “Fairness Doctrine” helped ensure political fair play.  Read More


The 20D Delivers

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This afternoon, I put the 20D to the test during a visit to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. The SmugMug photo album shows off some of I snapped today. These were all taken without flash in automatic mode and have been posted with no adjustment or cropping. I shot all images at fine-quality JPEG, or about 8.2 megapixels. Detail on the Capitol building, shot a good half a mile or more away, is excellent. Warning this is a hefty, 3MB-plus image.


My First Canon EOS 20D Tests

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I am working with my new Canon EOS 20D digital SLR, which I bought after a buddy snatched up my Nikon D70 for his dad. I highly recommend the camera to anyone who can afford it and either takes pictures professionally or, like me, is moving into serious amateur photography. Warning: This camera could easily be more than what most people need.

For me, the 20D is a rude indictment about how ill-prepared I am to move to digital SLRs. My problem isn’t so much photo basics but understanding lenses, their idiosyncrasies, and what might be right for this camera and my shooting needs.  Read More


Toidy Bowl Packing

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They say that kids do the darnest things or that kids growing up with newfangled technology take to it differently than do adults. These two pictures are evidence of both.

Looks like a toilet boil, doesn’t it? Turns out this Styrofoam wonder is from a first-generation, flat-panel iMac box. Flip the toidy boil over and it fits over the iMac’s lamp-like base. I must have no imagination, because I had unpacked a couple iMacs without seeing the resemblance, flipped over, of course.  Read More

Culture Politics Pulp Media

Law and Disorder

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Good thing I was interested in live TV last night rather than using the DVR. Disappointing would have been the recording. I turned off the TV about half way through the first of two “Law and Order” episodes, disgusted how one-sidedly political the show has become. Naively, I had hoped for respite with the cast change. No such luck.

Episode one sought to put alleged Iraqi prisoner abuses on trial. The timing and context had to be deliberate given the election year. As if we hadn’t watched or read enough already about the prisoners’ treatment for it to be repackaged as entertainment. Geez. I tuned into episode two during the last 20 minutes, which made nonsense out of people devastated by the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers.  Read More


More Fun than It Looks

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Vacation last month in San Diego took the family to Sea World. Where else? My wife Annie can be seen here on one of the water rides. She’s not perfectly focused, but that doesn’t diminish the pic’s impact, particularly considering the camera—a Nikon D70 digital SLR, outfitted with Nikon ED 70-300mm lens.

We also traveled with the Canon S500 (used by my wife) and Canon S410 (used by my daughter). But these more typical digital cameras—and most others—couldn’t have captured this image as well. Auto focus and shutter response typically is too slow. Nor could I have achieved the reach with the built-in zoom lens.

Apple Gear Microsoft

A Switcher Recants

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Earlier this year, I blogged about my troubled switch back and forth between PCs and Macs, eventually moving to the Mac for good. Not so. A good buddy bought the PowerBook I purchased back in March, and I put that money into buying a Sony S150, which is a Windows notebook that I’ll blog about sometime soon.

The switch came for many reasons. For one, my boss expressed concerns about a difference in the quality of analyst my reports. I attributed the problem to my working on a Mac fulltime and becoming too distanced from the Windows world; of course, I used a Windows machine everyday, too, but the Mac proved a distraction. I saw the same problem back when I worked as a reporter covering Microsoft. The problem: I like my Mac and didn’t want to switch.  Read More


Sorry, Folks

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It’s disturbing how quickly a month can go by. That’s how long since my last post. I don’t want to make a habit of that behavior. I am prolific blogger, at my two work blogs. Summer should be a slow work time, but I’ve been busy.

I won’t make a habit of this bloglessness.


Porch Light Stays Off Tonight

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I am so work-stuff busy today I have no free time. But something happened in the backyard that warranted my taking a camera break and later a posting break. My daughter brought out her sled for some odd reason (hey, it is like a million degrees here) and left it outside.

Apparently, the purple and bright green attracted bright green and purple mates. Luna moths are a rare treat. I snapped these images with a Canon Digital Rebel SLR, using the default lens or telephoto. Click pic for bigger view. More images are available at the Luna Moth photo album.

Digital Lifestyle Web

It’s Not Your Spam, Ma`am, But His

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Reducing spam is painful. I sent a friend e-mail at the domain she owns. She didn’t get the message, because she changed her e-mail handle off her domain. The reason isn’t rocket science: spam.

I feel her pain. I recently sold a domain I owned since 1995. In parting with the domain, I relinquished an e-mail addressed used for almost nine years. The e-mail change is liberating, because of the greatly diminished amount of spam.  Read More


For the Gipper

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Washington mourned the death of Ronald Reagan this week. While sentimental and opportunity for people to pay last respects, the mourning struck me, as it always does, somewhat misplaced. Why show so much respect for the dead when the living could use it more?

I understand that Alzheimer’s gripped the former president and that maybe he couldn’t appreciate friends or fellowship the way he used to. What about the family? Particularly considering the seriousness of his illness?  Read More