October 10, 2008

Google Language Detection Problems

When I was traveling in the UK I had a couple of really interesting experiences using the normal set of online services I use. The Internet really doesn’t have a concept of countries, but I found myself unable to do some things while I was there because various online services made assumptions by mapping my IP address to a country. This is a process called geo targeting and it is used in online advertising almost always. My experience highlighted that you should be careful to use it for account settings or commerce transactions.

For example, when I was in parts of the UK and tried to login to Google Reader I was greeted with this screen.

google-reader-geotarget-language-login-fail

I’m not sure what language that is, but it isn’t one I know. Now, while it wasn’t english it was obvious to me, and I think to most people, that you should just login in the form provided. I figured once I logged in it would then know via my preferences where I live and flip the language back to english. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so smart.

google-reader-geotarget-language-fail-small.png

Another example of this problem popped up when I was trying to renew my Google Earth subscription. Unfortunately I wasn’t even able to do it since it would only allow me to see the UK store and only allow me to buy the one in £’s even though my account is entirely setup in the US.

Good food for thought on how far you should take geo targeting in building out products, versus marketing.

Google Techie Travel
October 10, 2008

Bee Docs’ Timeline 3D: Mac Developer Special Touch

One of the things that makes the Mac so great is the wonderful independent, or indy”, software developers out there. Mac software is typically not just functional, but beautiful. I recently bought Timeline 3D from Bee Docs’ and got this great postcard from the author.

bee-docs-postcard.png

Not only beautiful and functional software, but great customer interaction.

Apple Techie
October 8, 2008

New Kitchen Toys for Applesauce

Norpro-Apple-Peeler.pngTammy and I have both been eating much better the last couple of weeks and we’ve been doing a lot more cooking at home. I like to cook. I find it relaxing and fun. We have also been trying to keep things simpler, less processed things and make more of our own foods with the basics from the co-op. Tammy is going to start baking artisanal bread. I’ve started making applesauce for Mazie here at home. (Yes, baby steps. I was inspired by my sister-in-law who makes her own food for my niece!) Bamix-Stick-Blender.pngI made the first batch last week and it was really easy, except for peeling the apples which took a long time. I also couldn’t get the applesauce as smooth as I really wanted it.

I had never seen an apple peeler. Tammy suggested that we just get one since they make peeling apples a breeze. I got the Norpro Apple Peeler at Kitchen Window and used it for the first time tonight. It is amazing, and its fun! I had 5 pounds of apples ready to boil down for applesauce in no time at all. I have no idea how my mother and grandmother never produced one of these in the kitchen when making an apple pie. I can only assume that there is some big issue where these cannot be exported” to North Dakota. Put down the paring knife, and get one of these things.

The next challenge was making it smoother so we finally picked up a stick blender, something we’ve been thinking we need for a long time. We make a decent number of pureed soups and a stick blender makes that so much easier. We got the Bamix stick blender for its power and durability. It made short work of the boiled down apples and made a great, smooth sauce.

Chill it down with a little brown sugar, high-end cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg. Knocks the socks off of any applesauce you can get in the store.

Mazie Dear Diary
October 8, 2008

Canon Exceeded Download Capacity?

A few days ago I watched this amazing video that was created on the brand new Canon 5D Mark II. I was going to put a link to it on my site, but when I went to found it I was greeted with this screen.

canon-video-overload.png

What? Canon USA has EXCEEDED [THEIR] DOWNLOAD CAPACITY (the all-caps is courtesy of them). Does anyone at Canon realize how ridiculous it makes them look to have this message on their site? I’m wondering if maybe Canon just hosts at Dreamhost or something.

Canon, if you are going to tell people about how serious you are about amazing imaging and beautiful video, the first place to start is by being able to serve that content to the web. And please never use ALL CAPS.

Apparently the video will be back up shortly” and I’ll post a link to it then.

Canon Hobbies
October 7, 2008

Lightroom 2 64-bit Printing

I was doing some printing in Lightroom recently and was struggling. The prints were coming out really badly, and when looking for the quality controls for the Canon S900 I couldn’t find any of the normal settings. This is what it should look like, with options for the type of printing.

lr2-32bit-print-options.png

But instead I was getting this, with a big crossed out option and an incompatibility over architecture”.

lr2-64bit-print-options.png

I was pretty confused why this wasn’t working and figured I needed to reinstall my drivers, but didn’t want to restart at that point so left it. I kept noodling this over and that word architecture” was bugging me. Then it hit me!

I’ve posted before about how great Lightroom is in 64-bit mode. It dawned on me that I was running a 64-bit architecture” and the printer driver was probably only 32-bit. I checked the box for Lightroom to run in 32-bit mode and launched it again and the printer settings worked great! It sure would be nice if the error message just said this doesn’t work in 64-bit mode”.

Lesson learned! Run Lightroom in 64-bit, unless you want to print, then restart in 32-bit. If anyone knows what printers have 64-bit driver support it would be great to have a list.

Lightroom Hobbies Techie
October 3, 2008

Foreclosure Alley

I watched this via apost on my friend Raanan’s blog.

This is an incredibly depressing video of the reality of home foreclosures in southern California.

Amazed to see the guy who paints lawns green.

Dear Diary