December 10, 2010

Twitter Spam

It’s clear to me that spam on Twitter continues to be a growing problem. Tonight I posted a simple question about weather apps on the iPad.

Within seconds I got these really helpful replies from four attractive women that supposedly follow my every message, including one that seemingly has no clothes and only a bra to wear for her avatar.

I reported the accounts as spam. This stuff is so blatant though. You would think that Twitter could be doing a much better job blocking this stuff if they put any thought into it. Too much traffic? Somehow firewalls manage high traffic loads. Too complex of a problem? Don’t buy it.

Maybe they don’t mind it. After all, aren’t each of these yet another Twitter user which increases the theoretical worth of Twitter?

Spam Twitter Web
December 10, 2010

Attract Customers with WiFi Name

A while back we were traveling and I noticed that this coffee shop, Kavarna, didn’t just have its name in its WiFi network as most do. They smartly were telling anyone that could see the WiFi signal to come on in and use the network.

Smart. More places should do this. How about Free Refills” in your WiFi network name?

Business
December 9, 2010

Oatmeal Ratio

Mazie and I enjoy our oatmeal. It is one of our favorite breakfasts. When she was really little I would make 2 servings and she ate about ½ of a serving and I got which was just about right. Now though she wants more, and the oatmeal box only shows water amounts for 1, 2 and 6 servings. We want 3 servings!

Now I realize your probably thinking it’s simple. 1 cup of water for each ½ cup of oatmeal. Done. However, that isn’t right. Note that 6 servings, 3 cups of oatmeal, is 5 cups of water, not 6. Here is the graph.

So it seems if you want to make 3 servings of oatmeal, you need 2 2?3 cups water. 4 servings need 3 1?3 cups and 5 takes cups. Hope this helps everyone with their oatmeal preparation.

Cooking
December 5, 2010

First Photo Book: Stone/Steel/People

A few weeks ago I took a workshop at the Minneapolis Photo Center. The workshop was led by Layne Kennedy. Layne led the Dogsledding Photo Workshop that I took a while back and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Layne as well. He’s a great guy! I saw that he was doing this workshop in town and snapped up the opportunity to spend a weekend shooting.

The focus of the workshop was to spend 72 HOURS focused on a subject and at the end of the project create a book. Putting together a book was what brought me to the workshop. I wanted to get some practice at creating a flow and telling a story through my photography. While digital photos are great, and zipping through 278 photos on a Web site may be preferred by some — I wanted to focus on editorial choice and creating a series of photos that worked together from the first to the last.

It took me a while to finish the book. I found the process interesting. Before I get to some of my lessons learned, take a peek at the book!

Some things that I learned while making this book:

  • Don’t expect to make a completely finished book on the first, or even second, time through. I found that I ended up scraping everything and just starting over a couple of times until I got the right feel. Don’t get focused on details until you are down the road a way.

  • The format of the book informed a lot of decisions. I decided to go with a square book. I also decided to go with a simple layout just putting one image on a page. This meant all my photos would be in a 1x1 format. The book layout and the photos I was working with both worked well there.

  • I let a lot of time pass before I finished the book. That is good and bad. On the bad side some recollections got rusty. On the good side I was able to see my photos with fresh eyes. This confirmed for me that I was making the right editorial decisions.

  • This takes a long time. I’m not sure what the right ratio is to make a book, and I’m sure you get faster with experience. This book has a little over 30 pictures in it. It took me between 10 and 15 hours to complete, I didn’t track it that carefully. The point is, it takes a while.

The book was made using Blurb. They have software you run locally on your Mac and it worked pretty well. I’ll wait until I get my first copy of the printed book before I make a recommendation. Other books I’ve seen off of the service look very good, so I expect it will be very nice.

You should also check out Layne’s book 72HOURS - Stone Steel & People. Layne was obsessed with his Lensbaby. Heidi Neumann also took the class and her book looks great too.

Photography
December 5, 2010

Canon Listened to me!

Just over a year ago I posted my plea to Canon asking that they make it so I can lock the mode dial on my Canon 5D Mark II.

Last week they announced a program to replace your mode dial with a locking one. Apparently it will cost $100. I assume it will involve a visit to an authorized service center. Worth $100? Probably.

Update: I called National Camera today to ask about this program. They haven’t heard a thing. The guy I talked to said that a number of people didn’t like the new locking mode dial on the newest Canon cameras so he wasn’t sure it was really something that people would like.

Canon Photography
November 29, 2010

It’s When You Wake Up?

Why is it so different to go to sleep at 2am and get up at 6am, versus going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 2am? Both are a miserly 4 hours of sleep, but the later is immensely less desirable.

I’ll be doing the later tonight to head into the office for a product release.

Dear Diary