studying for General ham radio exam... passed Tech on Saturday morning! also drinking maker's mark and preparing for tapas and movie [5:34 pm]
waiting for my creds at the rave [2:45 pm]
passed ham test [11:18 am]
studying for my Ham Radio exam tomorrow [10:48 pm]
I've been putting my photos on flickr for several years now. I joined flickr well before they were absorbed by yahoo. I have a "Pro" account which means I have actually paid money to flickr/yahoo for their services. Until recently I have been very happy with my experiences with flickr.
Earlier this year one of my photos from Coachella made it onto this official flickr blog post. The photo is no longer on that post, and it's not because I asked them to take it down, but because I asked them to credit me properly. I had previously asked the original blog poster several times to update the credit to say my name (Dave Bullock, not eecue) and to link that credit to my website (eecue.com not flickr.com/photos/eecue). After several attempts at contact, I never heard back from the original poster, mbaratz, so I sent in a message to both flickr help and abuse. Here is the response I got:
FlickrBlog is part of Flickr and this our standard for accreditation.
If you would prefer, we can remove your content from the post in question.
Hmm, interesting, so basically their policy violates my BY-NC-SA Creative Commons license. Instead of bringing that up I politely responded:
Ok, I understand. I'd really rather not have you delete it, wouldn't it be just as easy to credit me as it would be to delete it? How about you change the accreditation and then everyone is happy. You can keep the photo linking to the flickr page.
So I was hoping to get a reasonable and polite response, be it yes or no, but instead Heather responded with this passive aggressive missive:
I've removed your content from the post. I think that this is the easiest way to make everybody happy.
I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe that they would just delete my photo instead of working with me and changing a single link in a blog post. Flickr is a huge champion of Creative Commons, I find it ludicrous that they would refuse to practice what they preach. Apart from Creative Commons, flickr requires you to link back whenever you post one of your photos on your site, but now they're refusing to link to me? They even insert rel="nofollow" on any links you put in your photo descriptions, but we're forced to link back when we post those same photos?
I am seriously considering removing all my content (5,976 photos which have received 277,092 views) from flickr. I don't really want to do this, but I feel totally insulted by this interaction I had with Heather.
Here is the photo in question:
UPDATE Not specifically related to this post, but I am no longer using flickr to host photos on this site. I will soon be removing all my photos from flickr once I have fully backed up all comments and data from said images.
argh another site stealing my photos... this time no credit or link or anything... and hit digg front page [5:40 pm]
heading to redondo beach lobster festival [3:49 pm]
Los Angeles has been dry and cloudless all summer. I really love the way clouds look in an HDR photo, and as I'm working on the last few shots I need for my first solo show which is coming up either in November or January, I couldn't resist spending a few hours driving around LA and getting some shots. Here are some photos of LA from a few vantage points I found throughout the city, including Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and Baldwin Hills Estates:
You can check out the rest in my Downtown from the Hills gallery.
The clouds yesterday were really amazing. I drove around some of my favorite haunts and shot some photos of the skyward splendor:
You can check out the rest of them here.
did i mention i drove all over la today to shoot photos [7:34 pm]
Baldwin hills estates view with clouds and sunset ftw [7:33 pm]
Lincoln heights view with clouds ftw [6:01 pm]
s/tine/time [3:31 pm]
tine for more photos of the sky and la... clouds = teh love [3:30 pm]
you can never get enough ICS training.... zzzzz [1:13 pm]
gettin coffee and treats for cert class [8:26 am]
Our vast arid-wasteland-cum-metropolis has been parched past the point of desiccation after our lowest annual rainfall on record this year. Finally our city is breathing a collective, rain-drenched, sigh of relief. The rain is falling right now, the streets are wet and glimmering, if I was outside my nostrils would be filled with the smell of soaked pavement. The thing I miss most about growing up in the Bay Area is the rain... the rain that fell more often than it does here in the desert that Mulholland converted.
Hopefully this next year will be a wet one, like it was in 2005. That was the year the Mojave was carpeted with wildflowers, many of which hadn't bloomed in centuries.
Today the sky in Los Angeles was filled with the most beautiful clouds that we've had in some time now. I couldn't resist driving around my favorite industrial areas South of Los Angeles and shooting some photos. I even got a chance to try out my new Gobi Stealth roof rack, which has a mesh top and can support 300lbs, making it a perfect photographic platform. Here are the results from my excursion:
All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 5D, through a Canon 24-70 EF f/2.8 L atop my trusty Bogen Manfrotto 3021BN connected to a Arca Swiss B1 Monoball Head triggered using a wired remote. Each photo you see here is a combination of 3 bracketed shots: 0,-,+ 2 EV which were combined with Photomatix. More photos after the jump.
Here are a few photos I shot last night at the Geek Dinner:
The rest of the photos can be found in my Geek Dinner gallery.
Scott Beale just posted about ZingFu ignoring his CC license and using one of his photos for a promotional card without either asking (which is required for commercial use) or crediting him. This happens to me rather frequently, which is why I've borrowed (with permission) the wording that Scott uses on all his photo on flickr:
This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons license. If you use this photo, please list the photo credit as "Scott Beale (Laughing Squid)" and link credit to laughingsquid.com.
Of course, I've replaced his name and website with mine, but I am guessing from his results, this will still not be enough.
The last two entities to refuse to properly credit my photos, and thus violate my creative commons license, were NPR and the Flickr Blog. I have also recently been contacted by an editor on Wikipedia, who has asked me to change my license to allow for commercial usage, which I will not do by any means. I find it very unfortunate that Wikipedia forbids -NC CC photos, but here is a page in support of their reasoning.
Over the years I've made my way through various Ultra-Compact digital cameras, the latest being the Canon Powershot SD550. I don't especially like the SD500 for a number of reasons which I don't feel like listing here. What I am going to list, is what I do want in an Ultra-Compact Digital Camera:
- Somewhere Between 5 and 10 Megapixels
- RAW Mode
- Full Manual Mode
- Tripod Mount
- Excellent Low-light Performance
- Quick or Instant Startup Time
- ≥ 3" LCD
- ≥ 2x Optical Zoom
- At Least 24-50mm Equivalent Zoom
- Fits Easily in Pocket
- Macro Mode
- Video Mode
- Doesn't Use Obscure Memory Format
- USB 2.0
- Water-Resistent of Water-Proof
- Image Stabilization
- Bluetooth / 802.11x
- Face Recognition
- Standard Sized Batteries
Obviously there is currently no camera that meets my required specs, but I'm hoping there will be some time soon. I was considering the Leica D-Lux 3, but because of its poor low-light performance and protruding lens won't work for me. If my SD550 dies before a camera with my required specs comes along, I'll probably go with the Nikon Coolpix S51, although it doesn't have a RAW nor manual modes.... ok so maybe that won't work. For now I'll just make it a point to lug around my 5D as much as possible.
Btw, this post was inspired by Scott Beale's post about his new Fuji Finepix F50.
UPDATE I have created a handy little size guide so you can get a real life idea of the size of the various Ultra-Compact cameras out there. So far I have only done Canon and Nikon, but I plan on adding other manufacturers. You can download the Ultra-Compact Camera Size Comparison Chart [66k PDF].
UPDATE 2 Hmm, I think this might be the perfect camera for me: Canon SD870 IS.
It's been a good run for me over at blogging.la, but I have decided that I no longer have the time to contribute quality, unique content. I have been mulling over this decision for some time now, and I decided to stop putting if off and admit to myself that I'm just too busy to handle all the blogging on my plate. I will now be focusing on writing for eecue.com and blogdowntown. If you're interested you can read through my 283 posts from the 2 years and 2 months I wrote for blogging.la.
Thanks to Scott Beale I now have a Yahoo! Mash profile. I also have invites if you need one. It would be helpful if mash included a way to invite from a vcard file, but otherwise it seems pretty cool.
UPDATE Ok so I know this is still in beta, but the fact that Yahoo's own service flickr's module has now broken my RSS feed link is somehow pleasantly ironic:
Invalid URL: http%3A%2F%2Fapi.flickr.com%2Fservices%2Ffeeds%2Fphotos_public...
I should point out that it did work this morning.
UPDATE 2 I have added a few friends and none of them show up in my friends list, although I show up in theirs. Odd.
UPDATE 3 Ok I get it, the friends don't show up until they've claimed and set up their profiles. There are some pretty cool little modules, I like the twitter feed.
I'm excited. My first WIRED gallery just went online! So far there are 11 images in the gallery, but soon there should be around 20. Checkout my photos in the WIRED Nextfest Gallery. =]
Update The rest of my images, totaling 22, are now up on the gallery. I ended up writing the captions for the remaining 11 images. Unfortunately, WIRED.com's gallery doesn't allow two bylines for a gallery, but Kristen Philipkoski was nice enough to allow my to have the byline even though she wrote the captions on the original 11 images. Thanks Kristen!
Here are a few of my photos from the WIRED Nextfest:
You can see the full gallery here: Nextfest Creative Commons Benefit, Nexfest Day 1 and Nextfest Day 2. If you haven't checked it out, take a look at my Nextfest Robot Roundup, which I just updated with photos. More after the jump.
I am covering the WIRED Nextfest for Wired.com. Here are some of the photos they aren't using on their site:
Here are the Nextfest stories that are using my photos:
- Buzz Aldrin Beats WIRED Mag Publisher at BrainBall
- Buzz Aldrin Hearts NextFest, X Prize
- Lunar Rover Makes Appearance at NextFest
- Larry Page: Science Has a Serious Marketing Problem
- Lunar Legacy Program: Send Your Photos to the Moon
- SpaceX Will Sell Launch Vehicles at Cost to Lunar X-Prize Competitors
More of my photos can be found in my gallery.
Last night I got a chance to get up close and personal with Keepon, the friendly dancing robot, at the WIRED Nextfest Creative Commons Benefit. I was hoping to see him perform live with Spoon, although honestly I'm more of a Keepon fan than a Spoon fan, but Keepon's performance was in the lobby, not on stage:
I had a chance to chat with Marek Michalowski and Hideki Kozima a bit about their robot and they even took off Keepon's pants/dress so I could get a shot of his guts which consist of 4 geared DC motors and a RISC processor to control the motors:
They didn't take off his skin, but they said they would for me during the press preview on Thursday. The did let me peak behind the curtain at the beautiful rats nest of cables, interfaces and two MacBooks being used to control the quartet of Keepons.
Marek Michalowski and Hideki Kozima showed off their robots to an interested crowd:
Evidently girls really, really, really like dancing squishy robots (I mean really):
You can see more in my Nextfest Creative Commons Benefit gallery.
I was watching the most recent episode of The IT Crowd, and I thought I spotted a copy of MAKE sitting on the desk in Roy's flat. I grabbed a screenshot and then compared it to my complete MAKE collection and it is clearly Volume 02 ofMAKE.
Of course, I wasn't the first or only person to shoot the temporarily lit sign, Jim Winstead, Bert Green and Sha In LA also shot and blogged about the sign. You can see more of the photos I took in my gallery.
Dear Santa Claus,
I have been a relatively good boy this year and I would like a shiny new Hitachi TM-100 Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope. I know what you're going to say, "Dave, you already have a microscope and it can easily fit on a tabletop." Yes, that is true, but I have an old optical microscope and if I had an electron microscope just think of the photos I could take! They would by much cooler than these I took last year.
The TM-100 will be on display (hopefully a hands on display!) at the 2007 WIRED Nextfest.
The WIRED Nextfest is coming up next week here in Downtown Los Angeles. I am really excited about many of the exhibitions. It's one thing to read about a cool robot online, but to actually see one in real life is even better, as long as it doesn't try and chop off your arm with its sword. I have compiled a list of what I think will be some of the more interesting robots at Nextfest:
- Keepon: This cute, yellow, dancing robot is currently my favorite robot. His little eyes are two cameras and his nose is a microphone. His mastery of expressive head bobbing is quite impressive. I want to get a close-up shot of his insides which are actually quite complex. He will also be making an appearance with Spoon on the 10th
- Chroino: This little robot is totally bad-ass. Check out his strut and watch him stand up, like a person would, unlike a Robosapien 2. This will be one of my next robot purchases!
- Kiyomori[Warning Flash + Music]: Personally I've always thought that the world needed more robots wearing traditional samurai armor replete with swords. I hope that nobody pisses off Kyomori and loses an arm.
- Hubo FX-1: Holy smokes, the alpa stages of mech warriors are upon us! In Korea, "human-riding robot" doesn't ride you, you ride robot.
- HumanKind: Hanson Robotics has endeavored to create expressive robot heads that appear to be human. I don't know if I'm the only person who is creeped out by this, but I'm guessing that I'm not. Their new head, Joey Chaos, is a "one of a kind humanoid rock star is known for his attitude and smart remarks," I guess that could be fairly entertaining.
- Zou Ren Ti: What's creepier than an expressive robotic head? How about creating your twin in robot form. Yep, Xi'an wins.
- Takanishi Bots: There is something really retro about the assorted robots from Takanishi. The WL-16RIII looks pretty original though and the WABIAN-2R looks more modern than their other offerings.
- REEM-A: Pal Technology's REEM-A robot has a sense of equilibrium and if you try and push him over he will regain his balance. I wonder what happens if you push him too hard?
- Juke Bots: My German isn't so great, but from what I can tell from the pictures, the Juke Bots are a pair of what look like industrial welding robots that dance to music. Dancing robots are always crowd pleasers, and oddly enough dancing is a common robot design feature.
- Shadow Hand: This robotic hand is supposedly "the most advanced Dexterous Hand in the world." It looks pretty complicated, containing 40 air muscles.
- BodyBug: I'm not really sure what the point of this robot is, and the demo video, which was clearly inspired by, if not blatantly stolen from, Apple, confuses me even more. I guess it's a robot for playing a dancing game with your friends? I have no idea, but I suppose I'll find out more at Nextfest.
- Salamandra robotica: Ok so this isn't the most interesting robot ever, but the page has some neat motion graphs.
- The LEMUR Robots: NASA's multi-limbed bots look like a cross between robotic insects and big-eyed lemurs. Apparently they can climb walls.
- Outerspace: This robot looks like your average desk lamp, but comes alive and responds to your input as you can see in this video.
- Recon Scout - Reconnaissance Robot: This little dumbbell shaped robot is remote controlled and made for military work. You can toss the Recon Scout into a battle zone and drive it around to get an idea of what lies ahead.
- SRR: Sample-Return Rover: These venerable robots created in 1997 and 2000 may be old, but they're still useful. They can even work together to retrieve samples in hazardous environments.
- Glowbots: These intercommunicating, interactive, LED-encrusted robots remind me of a physical version of Conway's Game of Life. You can watch some videos of the Glowbots here.
Wired Nextfest takes place September 13th through the 16th in the South Hall of the LA Convention Center. Tickets will run you $20 if you're and adult, $15 with a student ID, and kids 2-12 are $5.
The time has come for the first of the three Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council's (DLANC) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training sessions! The training will begin this Saturday, September 8th, starting at 8:30am and running to 4:30pm at the Los Angeles Theatre, located at 615 S Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. DLANC is sponsoring the training and is providing delicious lunches from the Corner Bakery.
There is no charge for the training or the meals, the only thing you need to bring is your thinking cap and note-taking supplies.
Please be sure to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and phone number if you are planning on coming.
Every teenager dreams of working in a giant warehouse full of discarded nuclear test equipment, well used high-pressure vacuum fittings and an endless assortment of puzzling devices which may or may not have any value in the modern era. Ok, so maybe not every teenager has this dream, I was and still am somewhat of a strange person, but in High School in New Mexico, this particular dream of mine came true.After tooling around the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Library and the Bradbury Museum for the better part of a day, my father took a break from coding the labs IBM AS/400 systems he was responsible for and took me to The Black Hole, also known as the Los Alamos Sales Company. He introduced me to Ed Grothus (photo below), an eccentric old fellow who had worked for the lab (what the locals call LANL) until being let go after marching in a peace protest in the '60s.
Ed offered me a job, which paid minimum wage, which I believe was about $4.25 in New Mexico. He didn't really tell me what the job would entail, and honestly I didn't care. I had fallen in love with the endless piles of mysterious equipment that filled the former supermarket that had become The Black Hole. As it turned out my job description was quite eclectic and covered everything from taking apart electronic assemblies to recover whatever was valuable inside to helping customers find that centrifuge they were looking for to tearing old lockers out of High Schools.
I worked for Ed for 3 or 4 summers and I really enjoyed my time there. It was an amazing experience and I learned about all types of scientific laboratory equipment, how it worked, and what it was worth second hand. I had been meaning to visit the Black Hole and Ed for almost a decade, and I did just that on my recent vacation to New Mexico. Here are some photos with short captions covering what I saw:
Ed Grothus shows off his Peace Obelisk, one of two identical 3 ton marble obelisks. Ed traveled to China to have the massive monuments hewn from quarried marble and then polished and inscribed. The obelisks will have a message in fifteen languages inscribed in the hematite spheres that the obelisks will rest on. He is still searching for a location to place the monuments, I recommended the Trinity Site.
Except for the rusted sculptures and the "Military Surplus" sign, the front entrance to the Black Hole hasn't changed much in the decade and a half since I worked there. The former supermarket, it's parking lot and the church next door no longer sell groceries or facilitate worship, but instead provide cover to millions of salvaged scientific apparatuses. His frequent customers include LANL employees who are ironically buying back the same equipment the lab sold to salvage for pennies on the dollar over the years.
Ultra High vacuum equipment is some of the most high-tech looking hardware in the world. Comprised of thick walled stainless steel and machined with great precision for even greater amounts of money, HVac or UHV fittings are designed to withstand extremely high levels of vacuum. They are used for thin-film and spectroscopy research applications which require insane levels of negative pressure.
This large device is a Marley High Speed Camera built in England in 1944. The camera is capable of taking 100,000 photos per second. It was most likely used to photograph nuclear or other explosions.
To the left of the parking lot in the photo above you can see the A-frame church. When I worked at the Black Hole, it was filled with especially old, and possibly valuable equipment. The parking lot has been a source of trouble for Ed through the years, after neighbors complained the city of Los Alamos ordered Ed to clean up the lot. He ended up refusing to do so, being arrested, and while he was in jail the city hired a private firm to clean up the Black Hole. Instead of cleaning the parking lot out, they sold most all of Ed's most valuable items and pocketed the profit. As you can clearly see, the yard is still not clean.More after the jump, and the whole archive can be found in my gallery