I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas (or a Happy Holiday if you don't celebrate Christmas) and a Happy New Year. I hope you have had a great year and I wish you the best for 2008. Enjoy your holiday and don't forget to send joy and best wishes to your friends and family.
Recent Posts, Photos and Links | Page 24
Monday, December 24th, 2007
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007
- People More Likely To Google Themselves This Year I regularly google myself. It's a really dorky and self-absorbed thing to do, but I still do it. So does 3% of the internet-using population. (tags: 'self google slashdot)
- WALL-E Trailer in HD I'm really really really looking forward to seeing this movie. (tags: walle disney trailer apple hd)
Friday, December 21st, 2007
- Year of the LED Holidays Just like we've done with our Christmas decorations, many large public trees are now being lit with LEDs instead of wasteful incandescent bulbs. (tags: wired LED xmas christmas tech green)
- Twelve Essential Photographic Rules I am actually about to let my Popular Photography sub lapse, I really only flip through it. I prefer Shutterbug. Link via hexod.us (tags: photography rules)
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
Two weeks ago I shot the DV Expo in Downtown Los Angeles for WIRED News. The gallery went live on the front door of wired.com today. This is the first time I've had two pieces on the front door of WIRED News at the same time. I'm really really really looking forward to my first magazine assignment, if I ever get one!
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
Like most people, I've been writing since I was a kid. Unlike most professional writers I never went to college. I guess that makes me somewhat of a hack. I have been blogging for roughly 5 years now. In that time I've gone from writing on my personal blog, to writing for LAist, to writing for blogging.la, to blogdowntown and now to WIRED News.
When I first started writing for LAist, I was excited. For some reason I thought my stories were going to be edited by an editor. As it turns out, the editors at LAist, don't actually do any editing. At blogging.la, the editorial policy is clear: there is no editorial policy. When I started writing for Eric Richardson on blogdowntown, he did edit my work, which I found helpful.
When I first approached WIRED about running some of my photo galleries, they turned down my pitches by said they would keep me in mind. At DEFCON this year they contacted me and paired me with their reporter, Kim Zetter. The next time WIRED got in touch with me was to cover their NextFest show.
I ended up writing captions on a little over half of the photos that ended up in the NextFest gallery. After Nextfest I covered the ASTRO show and that time I wrote the intro as well as the captions for the entire gallery. Since then I've been doing roughly 1 or 2 galleries a week for WIRED.
Being edited is a great learning experience for me. I like to compare what I wrote to what the editor and the copy-editor end up posting as the final piece. I haven't had any humorous interaction with the copy-editors like Siel had, but I'm guessing that the WIRED copy-editors are a little more hip than the folks editing the LA Times blog.
The more I write, the easier it becomes. I've also been reading Daily Writing Tips. Today's post was a collaborative piece consisting of 34 tips from various writers. I found many of them very helpful and I hope you do too.
Monday, December 10th, 2007
Saturday, December 8th, 2007
Thursday, December 6th, 2007
Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
UPDATE: 545 W 127th St Unknown liquid leak from cargo container in vacant lot; @ 50 gallons on ground; NFD - Brian Humphrey###
LA Fire Department (LAFD) via TwitterMail at 21:11
Hazardous Material Investigation 545 W 127th St; TG 734-B1; FS 64, No injury; No evacuation; No further details; Ch:7,13 @8:39 PM -Bri ...
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/eecue/407199210/ "6th Street Bridge and Downtown Los Angeles by eecue, on Flickr")
Today's digital cameras have a limited dynamic range compared to film. If you shoot a photo of a landscape with a beautiful cloudy sky, your landscape will be properly exposed, but your clouds will be washed out or vice-versa. High-Dynamic Range photography allows you to circumvent your sensor's limitations by taking multiple photos with different exposures and combining them on your computer. All you need is a camera capable of manual exposure settings, a tripod and a computer and you'll be on your way to HDR mastery. Presented by Dave Bullock.
I'll be showing (for the first time) the individual RAW files that I combine to create some of my favorite HDR shots.
Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
Dorkbot Socal, an eclectic group of nerds, geeks, hackers, makers, builders and breakers, arranged a tour of Mister Jalopy's secret laboratory / garage / headquarters: Hooptyrides, Inc. Mister Jalopy is featured on the cover of the current Make magazine, sitting atop his "Urban Guerrilla Movie House". His Giant iPod, a wooden entertainment console containing a Mac Mini and utilizing the original controls of the console, previously appeared in Make.
Hoopytyrides HQ is located in an old, dual-bay auto shop, with many of the original accouterments still intact, including the pinups that adorn the walls of the basement machine shop, old-school hydraulic lifts and a Clayton dynamometer. Mister Jalopy describes himself as more of an assembler than a engineer, pointing out that he simply takes apart existing technology and puts it back together to better suit his needs. Either way about it, Mister Jalopy's creations are fun, functional and attainable by interested makers who want to create their own repurposed entertainment equipment.
Mister Jalopy perched on his Urban Guerrilla Movie House, a mobile pedal powered projector build from a mixture of old furniture, vintage cans, salvaged optics, an LCD monitor and a bicycle.
You can check out the rest of the photos after the jump.
Monday, November 19th, 2007
A few months ago, before the iPhone was released, I put my email address into an AT&T/Cingular form so I could be notified when it was available for purchase. I later decided that AT&T's horribly privacy (NSA) track record was enough reason not to switch to their service so I'm sticking with T-Mobile for now. I just got an email from them, trying to get me to buy some random crap, and I decided to click on the "Remove Me" link at the bottom of the page. That link brought me to the following page:
It appears that they want your address, cell phone number, landline number, name and email address to remove you from their email list. It turns out that they just want your first and last name and your email address for the removal to work, but the form is certainly not clear about that and I'm sure plenty of folks fill out the whole thing. I didn't put my actual name into the fields, but added something a bit more colorful that I'm sure nobody will actually read. Anyhow, the mass email should really just have a link that removes you, instead of taking you to this horrid form.
Sunday, November 11th, 2007
I just landed in Reno, NV for the Super Computing '07 (SC07) conference. I am here on assignment for WIRED News. Keep an eye out here and on wired.com for photos of clusters, supercomputers and various other cool and interesting toys from assorted government and industry nerderies.
Friday, November 9th, 2007
So I won a Basic Stamp kit from ebay last week. Last night I had a chance to play with it. I went through the included book, and got through most of it. In the end I built the following:
That is a servo on the left, the basic stamp has some code in it that detects the position of the potentiometer in the lower center of the breadboard using capacitor discharge timing and then moves the servo to match the pot's position. The 7 segment display lists a number between 1 and 10 depending upon the servo's position. The white colored LED actually flashes either red or green depending on if you're rotating the pot clockwise our counter-clockwise. It was fun to build and actually not that hard.
I am really excited about programming microcontrollers and I'm looking forward to my next projects. At some point soon I feel like I'll be able to finally hack the Furby. You can check out the code I wrote here.
**Update for Riyad:**I made the thing on the left spin when I turned the little white knob on the right. I did this using magic.
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
I was just getting used to my randomly assigned callsign: KI6LZK, and I just noticed that my vanity call has been approved: N3CUE. It's sort of a play on eecue, obviously. I guess it won't matter in a few weeks when I pass my Extra exam and I can get a 2x1 or 2x2 call. =]
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
I'm an early adopter. When the OS X Beta came out in 1999 I jumped right on it, being a FreeBSD user I was right at home with the BSD subsystem and command line. When Leopard arrived via FedEx at my office yesterday I hesitated only slightly before installing it.
I asked some of my other nerd friends if they had encountered any problems, and I took at look at Apple's discussion forums, paying particular notice to this issue, which currently has over 350 replies and 25,000 views. One of my friends said that if I ran the disk utility from the Leopard install disk before I upgraded it would solve that problem. I ran disk utility, it found a problem and fixed it and I had no trouble upgrading.
Once my system booted up I went through all my applications and checked to see if they functioned properly, and everything did until I got to Zend Development Engine, which opened up fine, but my project had no files in it! I try to add them back to the project, but when I went to /home I noticed that it was totally empty! I thought that the upgrade had delete my web development files, and I was pissed, but luckily I had a backup that wasn't too old, and most all of my projects are in CVS, SVN or git repositories. I posted this thread on the Apple discussion forums and the next day I got the following response which restored my /home directory and all its contents!:
The good news is that your files are still on the drive. This is because 10.5 is now a real, certified Unix OS. However, I think that the default setting should have been to preserve the /home as a local directory. See the explanation here.
That worked, my files in /home were unharmed, Apple's new "real UNIX" features caused an invisible volume to be mounted using /home as the mount point.
My next problem came when I tried to print to my Epson 3800, I downloaded the new drivers from Epson's website (they have a 10.5 driver) and installed it. Now when I tried to print to the 3800 the printer was auto-detected but I still couldn't print. I'm sure this will be fixed shortly and it's not an emergency for me.
The third issue I noticed this morning was that ATSServer was using 185% of my processing power (I have a Core Duo MacBook Pro). Right now it's not a huge deal as I'm about to go out to take some photos anyhow, but this could put a damper on activities that do require my processors full attention like working with RAW files in Lightroom.
All in all, I'm very happy with Leopard's new features. The system is actually faster, if you can believe that! Moving around windows, loading websites and opening applications seem to work much more smoothly than before. This is a great update from Apple, I'm sure they'll work out the kinks soon. They did just release a Software Update to fix the login problems and the 802.11 issues, none of which affected me.
Update: I forgot to mention, I check my mail through an ssh tunnel to my IMAP server and I've been getting server timeout warnings. My server isn't actually timing out though, and this was never an issue in Tiger... I'm guessing Leopard's Mail.app is just more sensitive. It actually hasn't been a problem this weekend, only on Friday.
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
As I mentioned on Tuesday, my Search and Rescue team got called out. I am a member of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Cave Rescue Team, although we don't put out fires we have assisted with evacuations and security during fires in the past, notably the large fires 4 years ago, a year before I joined the team.
Yesterday at about 0400 I hit the road and drove out to the shipping container that is our gear storage shed, where I met Sonny Lawerence. We picked up the Sheriff's vehicle and headed up to the operation center in Twin Peaks where we were briefed and given our mission.
Our assigned task was to patrol the commercial districts of Crestline and Rim Forest looking for looters. If we saw anything odd happening we were instructed to call in to the command post on the 800MHz radio. We were issued Nomex shirts and rubber goggles, along with an 800MHz HT to compliment our 800MHz mobile in the truck.
We began our mission after a eating a county-catered breakfast. I spent the day driving around slowly between the two tiny commercial strips of Crestline and Rim Forest. In Rim Forest we saw a guy with his pickup trucked backed up to a hardware store and another guy inside. We called it in, and as we were waiting for the Sheriff's Deputies to come the guy in the pickup took off. One of the Deputies knew that guy inside who was the owner. Other than that our day was uneventful, although I did get some cool shots of Tanker Helicopters sucking up water from Lake Gregory:
We didn't get too close to the fire, here is a photo of the Grass Valley fire:
And here is a photo of the Slide Fire:
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
I just got paged. Tomorrow at 0600 I'll be at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station. I'm not a firefighter, I do Search and Rescue, so obviously I won't be putting out any fires. I will most likely be doing evacuations. I'll post an update tomorrow when I get back, and I may also be twittering. I'm also going to try and get some photos of the action.
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
I just want to congratulate my beautiful, sweet, wonderful, caring, intelligent, inspiring, empathetic, hot and sexy wife, Penelope, on passing her Nursing 200 final today with flying colors. You did a great job baby, and now you just have a little over a year to go! You're going to be the best nurse ever! You are the world to me sweetie pie. I love you!
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
A short bit I wrote about a life sized version of Bumblebee in Hollywood just went up on the Wired News Underwire Blog. I'm looking forward to doing more writing and photography for Wired News, and hopefully for the actual magazine as well at some point.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Last weekend I went on a hike up in Altadena with an Urban Exploration group known as Urban Adventures. I've done a good deal of UE in my days and I am excited to be part of a group dedicated to said adventures. Here are some photos I took of the dam:
You can check out the rest here in my Arroyo Seco Dam gallery.
Thursday, October 4th, 2007
When I was 10 years old, my Dad bought me a used ham radio. It was consisted of two large stereo console sized boxes, one being a receiver and the other a transmitter. I used to love listening to the conversations in far off places on the HF bands. I never did get to use the transmitter, as I never learned Morse code or took the Ham test.
Last week I was at my Father-in-law's house installing some skid plates on my FJ Cruiser. He was showing off some cool electron tubes to me and offhandedly mentioned that he would probably never fire up the radios in his ham shack again. I didn't tell him about it, but this inspired me to get my license. I looked up the next testing location and found one last Saturday at the Northrop Grumman complex in Redondo Beach, which also happens to have an awesome electronics swap meet which I need to go back and photograph.
After studying the material for a few days and taking a bunch of practice exams, I felt I was ready for the test. I passed the Tech Class test on the first try, and since I had already paid my $14, I went ahead and took the General Class test as well. I ended up failing the General by 1 question.
After failing the General Class test, I made myself a study guide, and learned all the material. Last night I went to a Ham test in Torrance and this time I passed the General Class! It takes up to 10 days for the FCC to assign you a call-sign and put you in their license database, and I'm still not showing up yet.
I can't wait to work the HF bands, I'm planning on picking up my first HF radio in a few days. I really want the ICOM IC-7000, it's an amazing radio in a compact package. The IC-7000 fits what once filled a whole work bench into a tiny package roughly 6.5" x 2.25" x 7" and has a removable faceplate for remote mounting in a vehicle.
Now if only I can convince Yay, my lovely, beautiful, wonderful, hardworking, intelligent, sweet wife to let is letting me drop $1500 on this amazing radio! Maybe if I remind her that And it could save our lives in an emergency.
UPDATE: My callsign now shows up in the FCC's database: KI6LZK.
UPDATE 2 Yay, my wife has given me the go-ahead to go and purchase the IC-7000... I'm excited. Heading to pick it up in a bit and then off to the Mojave to hang out with my father-in-law.