Archive for March, 2006

Black and White Conversion 101

March 16, 2006

I’ve been keen lately on learning to do a better B/W conversion of my images. And up to this point it’s been really hit or miss. Some results have been better than others.

Normally, I’m the type that really likes to understand what it is I’m doing. I don’t like recipes for a solution, I want to know the principles – or at least some of them – behind the solution. That way I can adapt that solution to suit my needs better. Good engineering depends on this.

By chance tonight I came across a post by Tony Federna that does just that. He explains quite lucidly, the principles behind a good colour to B/W conversion. If you’ve ever wondered why some B/W conversions are better than others, this is a good starting point. I will be staying tuned for more.

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Winer vs Cadenhead – This time it’s personal..

March 16, 2006

First it was the fight over the future of RSS, then the admission to wanting “to matter less“, and now, just when you thought things would wind down, it’s now time to air dirty legal laundry. Rogers Cadenhead posts a letter he received from Dave Winer’s lawyers and Dave responds with his side of the story.

A business deal gone south would, in any other form, remain just that. However, in this environment you get opinions from everyone and their grandma. Here’s a typically subtle post on the subject.

Was Rogers correct in posting it? Some would argue maybe not. I’m more the private type myself. I don’t want to hang my dirty underoos out for all to see, that’s just me. But was he smart to post it? Most definitely in my opinion. It takes a whole heck of a lot of the wind out of Dave’s sails. It’s bad enough to come off as a boorish bully, but at the hands of your own lawyer’s letter makes it even more sour.

Sometimes reading things like this are like watching a train wreck. Nothing good can come of it, but you can’t take your eyes off the damn thing. Ah yes, the power of personal publishing.

If Dave were really looking forward to a time to quit blogging, and a time to ‘matter less’, this would be it.

Expand My Horizons

March 11, 2006

Reading this recent post at Newsome.org, it really got me to thinking about why it is I read blogs. By the way, the hallmark of a good blog post in my mind, is that it got me thinking in the first place.

I read blogs to expand my horizons. I read blogs to educate myself; to satiate my interests and my quest for knowledge. Consequently, I value bloggers who help me do those things. It doesn’t matter whether they’re ‘web-celebrities’ (??) or not, I value them. I want people’s views on things I’m interested in. I want them to point me to others who do the same.

I don’t want to be reading the same 10 blogs to get all my knowledge on any given topic all year long. I want fresh opinions. Kent’s point about Dave Winer’s suggesting to eliminate the left column at Memeorandum is a good one. Don’t get rid of the new voices, that defeats the whole purpose of the blogosphere.

The portion of Dave’s entry about ‘before the newbies arrived and arrived and on and on’ leads me to believe that Kent is probably correct in his assertion that people like Dave are getting pissed about having to share their bully pulpit with others. This goes against the whole notion of the blogosphere. Self publishing is about everyone having a voice. Dude, it’s all about the grassroots man.. (excuse my bad hipster imitation). But it is… Man.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all of the big bloggers are pissed about newbies, but some seem to be definitely getting a bit nervous.

Besides, the whole A-level tech blogging thing is reading more and more like a dungeons-and-dragons themed circle-jerk lately. There are barbecues and parties, mashup-camps, barcamps, breakfast meetups and let’s not forget the wild philosophical differences between the conferences and the Un-conferences. Pretty soon they’re going to have barcamps solely for the purpose of designing the next un-conference. Sheesh.

Then again, there are guys like Doc Searls who seem to thrive on the idea of disseminating actual knowledge irrespective of the ‘status’ of the people he points to. But even he sometimes gets bogged down in the orgy of jargon-filled metaphors that seem to pervade the Gillmor Gang as of late. – Interesting that Jon Udell has recently withdrawn from the Gang due to a seeming lack of interest in ‘Vendor Sports‘.. ahh, another lovely term..

The whole thing is getting a little tiresome actually. Hence the need for fresh voices.

So fellow bloggers, share your knowledge if you’ve got it. If you have it and you don’t share it, you become less valuable to me. And I’m not talking about NDA protected knowledge and industry insider crap. I’m talking about real knowledge, concrete useful knowledge, and pointers to other people who provide this knowledge. Dave’s got a wealth of it, I don’t doubt it for a second, it just seems that lately he’s less interested in sharing that knowledge and more interested in limiting the spread of it.

Windows Live – One Important Thing F#$*!#! Forgotten!!

March 8, 2006

Checking out the Windows Live site, it actually looks *very* nice. (Google..you will only get by on ‘ugly but ultra-simple’ for so long..beware..)

After only a minute of looking around, I run a quick search and I’m impressed with the speed, the results and how they’re presented. But then I realize that clicking the scroll wheel to open a link in a new Firefox tab DOES NOT WORK!! Something this basic, and this important should not be forgotten. I don’t know and don’t care if it works in IE.

If there was one feature that I would make sure not to forget when launching a product, it would be this one!

I am going to assume it will be fixed, and check back tomorrow. Microsoft, you have about 24 hours until you lose me on this one.

It’s so true…

March 6, 2006

As the classic line goes…it’s funny because it’s true..

Check this out.

A Tip From The Top Floor…

March 4, 2006

At the expense of not posting anything here, I’ve been absorbed in photography as of late. Well, not only making photographs, but getting back into the learning and experimentation parts of it. One thing that has kept me intrigued and motivated is the Tips From The Top Floor podcast. Chris Marquardt does a great job with the shows and he’s built quite a knowledgeable and friendly forum on his site to go along with it. This is such a smart use of the medium. The show provides great information in a very enjoyable form, and the forums on his site provide a way for listeners to actively participate and develop their skills. It makes the whole thing much more involving and participative. Which then builds listeners, reputation, respect and, without a doubt, success. It appears that nice guys can succeed. Chris and his helpers are proving it.