January 31st, 2013

Exploring the Grand Canyon on Google Maps

Way cool

Today, we’re releasing panoramic imagery of one of the world’s most spectacular national monuments: the Grand Canyon. These beautiful, interactive images cover more than 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads, making our map of this area even more comprehensive, accurate and easy to use than ever before.

December 10th, 2012

A Short history of nearly everything

I am reading this kinda sorta scientific book written by Bill Bryson. In my country it is published in a format not larger than a pack of cigarettes, on ultra-thin paper. 100o pages mind you. The quote starting part one, lost in the cosmos

And lastly, just consider our universe for a minute. Astronomer Geoffrey Marcy said, “They’re all on the same plane. They’re all going around in the same direction…It’s perfect you know. It’s gorgeous. It’s almost uncanny.

June 19th, 2012

STEAL THIS – digital blues and angst

A thread has popped up on The Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) listserv with the subject line “Conflict over file sharing.” It’s got me thinking about digital again in a very negative way. Digital imagining has decimated the marketplace and workplace for photographers – no income (CityKid made his living as a photographer for 30+ years). The Internet has trashed news outlets – especially local venues. Musician’s are loosing their shirts. All the while – big corporations are cashing in. The original post read as follows and provided a link to a post by David Lowery on The Trichordist: Artists For An Ethical Internet:

> http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/
>
> I’m not crazy about the term “Free Culture Movement” and David’s arguments
> do not make me love the major music companies again. But this comes from a
> different side of the tracks
> from what we are used to seeing, and for that reason, is quite interesting.
>
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> dlewis@gmail.com
> Lebanon, OH

Later after some commentary on the list by some folks I have a great deal of respect for this post appears which links to an earlier post by Lowery at The Trichordist. Food for thought, leading to more angst:

> In case anyone’s interested, David’s extensive post from April
> [http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/meet-the-new-boss-worse-than-the-old-boss-full-post/]
> really gets into how musicians are losing out, and not just from illegal
> downloading.
>
> Chris

The problem is where money from the marketplace is going and who has the voice to convince “the users” what is really going on. This all leads me back to wondering if the problem is technological or if it comes from the businesses that own and produce digital products? I suspect the answer is complicated. More to come no doubt.

Have a nice day (Solictace – daylight in ANC today: 4:21 AM – 11:42 PM)

April 21st, 2012

Google Sync on Blackberry

Things are going downhill fast now. Google will sunset Google Sync for Blackberry. Support & Downloads will cease June 1st. Seems like they keep it operation after that.

*note*: In all fairness, there is a gcal sync option build into BIS, and I only ran into it now examining my options.

April 17th, 2012

The ahem gesturing

Oh god. After having to endure all those idiots “gesturing” at their “look how cool I am and I can afford it” iWhats looking like wannabe Harry Potters with a handicap, we soon will have a crammed in crowd of wavers, touchers and worse at 35.000 ft soon.

http://thedesignair.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/and-the-eyes-have-it/

*shrug*

April 10th, 2012

Google Talk on Blackberry (don’t update to 3.0.0.19!)

Short blurb to get the warning word out. If you have a blackberyy and hapen to run Google Talk (by RIM!!) on it, do NOT upgrade, as App World would like you too. You will probably loose the presence status of all your contacts. As I did :(

March 31st, 2012

The birth of a book

Unfortunately not embeddable: http://vimeo.com/38681202. Beautiful!

March 31st, 2012

The Score Editor

Score editors have been around for ages. From what I’ve heard from my music teacher Encore is the editor, but for the occasional user it is a bit expensive with it’s $399 price tag. Then there is Overture, Finale, Sibelius, etcetera. And there is of course open source projects like MuseScore and NtEd, which you need if you’d happen to run i.e. Ubuntu.

Then I thought it should not be that insanely difficult to do score editing “google docs” style, web based, and with funky sharing options. Well, of course smarter people came up with that idea long ago. Noteflight is an online score editor, written in Flash. I’ve tried it a bit and it is pretty easy to get the hang of, especially once you get a grip of the keyboard shortcuts, which is true for all score editors. For me as a lousy student, the free version, limited to 10 scores and a few other limitations is fine, and for somebody who’d like to build a private or shared library the yearly $49 seems not entirely unreasonable to me.

February 10th, 2012

What’s your browser “fingerprint”

Mad Magazine‘s Alfred E. Neuman’s mantra was “What me worry?” Well, yes – you should. Peter Eckersley has written an interesting paper for the Electronic Frontier Foundation that is available as a PDF file, “How Unique Is Your Web Browser?”

Today I was fiddling around with a search engine that incorporates a proxy server, and the test results at EFF’s site using “Test ME” http://panopticlick.eff.org were eye opening. Of course I have to take privacy promises from the folks at IXQuick at their word (I don’t) – but still it’s an interesting approach bundling a proxy server into a search engine that promisses privacy. If 5% of the folks using search engines switch over because they think that IXQuick offers privacy that Google and others obviously do not this will be a big shake-up in the way The Internet works. FWIW, I’ll buy into what IXQuick is offering after their technology has been reviewed by 3 or 4 independent experts that are granted all privileges to see what IXQuick has implemented; at present all the assurances of privacy come from IXQuick “corporate.” If IXQuick is on the up-and-up that should all happen very soon.

December 15th, 2011

The cloud services

British BAE (a defense contractor), on the brink of contracting Microsoft for their Office365 services, bailed out. Although MS had promised their data would be stored in the UK (Dublin data center), they could not exempt BAE, or actually themselves from the US Patriot Act, which basically forces any US based company, or any foreign company with a US office, to hand over any data about any client also forbidding to inform the client this information has been requested and turned over. No thanks, up yours.

And yes, of course this also holds for me writing this on a US based hosting service, my gmail, etc etc. And yours.

Added December 16: Europe is working Data Protection Directive, which seems to be a head-to-head with the US government, actually forbidding companies to share data about EU citizens. One rules seems to be that a company cannot requested directly to hand over data about a EU citizen, but that such a request should always be funneled through national law enforcement. My opinion: utter window dressing BS. 1) US law enforcement will easily arm twist the Microsofts and Googles of this world, especially when it’s about non US citizens. 2) National governments will easily be arm twisted to comply. In politics, everything is merchandise,