Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Flickr Meetup - Ohio Theatre Statistics

Apparently a few of you liked the Flickr group meetup stats I posted yesterday (see prior article). So much so that it was requested I run the stat-beast against the second tour, the tour of the Ohio Theatre.

Here's the nitty gritty:

There is a total of 210 images tagged with
flickr tag 'cmhflickrmeet092207', posted by
20 different people (ie flickr accounts). Average ISO Speed was 390.

The distribution of make of Cameras:

What modes were their cameras in?

Was Exposure Bias used?

And the top few Exposures used:

And the top few Apertures used:

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Flickr Meetup - Statehouse Tour Statistics

In May, 2007, our local Flickr group Flickr Meet - Columbus Ohio did a group tour of the Columbus Ohio StateHouse. Then in September we did a Tour of the Ohio Theatre. Now, thanks to croz1007 we are gearing up to do a tour of the Columbus Ohio Southern Theatre.

After seeing many of my photos that did not come out so well, and many more from others that came out great I was wondering what they did differently, that I didn't do?!? Then the thought occurred to me that I could look at the EXIF information from their photos. By looking at the photo to try and determine the circumstances of it's unique situation, and the EXIF, maybe I'd learn something.

And so I began clicking. And clicking. Then realized there's atleast 50 or more photos, and this wasn't going to work. Perl to the rescue! I spent part of yesterday's NFL football games tinkering with code and readin the Flickr and misc documentaiton. I ended up with a small perl script to generate some statistics. Here is what it found:

There is a total of 381 images tagged with
flickr tag 'cmhflickrmeet063007', posted by
17 different people (ie flickr accounts). Average ISO Speed was 550.

The distribution of make of Cameras:

What modes were their cameras in?

Was Exposure Bias used?

And the top few Exposures used:

And the top few Apertures used:

I don't know that this information will help anyone. Hell, I'm not sure it'll help me, since I spent all my time reading the Flickr API Documentation and poking around with a perl script instead of analyzing the pictures/data. Hopefully this week I will find the time to look through all the pictures and compare all the numbers.

Special thanks to the authors of the Flickr API as well as the 100% free-as-in-beer Perl Module Flickr::API and GD::Graph.

If you have any thoughts on whether this would be worthwhile to run after each meetup, or how it could be improved, please post a comment. Thanks!
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Music Labels scream Steal Our Tunes

Ok, I'll admit it. I like iTunes. Infact, I've purchased quite a bit of music from iTunes over the past few years inorder to feed my iPods. Some people, mostly geeks, sometimes ask "Why?" What they are really asking is is "Why would you purchase music from iTunes, that's DRM'd?"

My answer to this is fairly simple:

  1. iTunes is easy.

  2. iTunes is convenient.

  3. iTunes "just works".

  4. I've never been inconvenienced by iTune's DRM.

  5. Unless I've wanted to share music (illegally?), I've not been inconvenienced by iTunes.

Now when I say "illegally share music" it's mainly when one of my kids comes over and says "Oh you have the new Korn CD. Can you burn it for me?".

It was one thing when the kids were younger and living at home. We all shared tapes, cd's, vcr movies, dvd's. 1 But now that they don't live here, I don't think that "sharing" is right. It's a different location (in our case, cities now). If they want a cd, they should purchase it just like everyone else in the world.

Or, when I am listening to something and a friend says "Oh, I love that song. Oh you have the entire CD, can you burn it for me?"

I want to scream "no!". 2

The point that I'm trying to make by all this typing is that the music industry is really screwing themselves by trying to obfuscate iTunes. When I've had friends ask me to burn them something I'd say "Sorry, I bought this from iTunes, it's encrypted, it won't let me share it". 3

That used to be the end of the discussion. Now they follow up with "Well, why didn't you just buy it from Amazon, stuff from there isn't encrypted."

And you know, they're right. The music downloaded from Amazon isn't encrypted. I can burn it, copy it, ftp it, nntp it, scp it, rsync it, share it, copy it to USB keychain devices, etc. Neighbors can come over and grab a copy and I can go over to their house and get a copy of what they just bought.

And the labels are trying to obfuscate iTunes? What complete idiots they are. I'm at the point where I think the labels get what they deserve. They finally had a system where most people using it were not hindered by the DRM. It's a popular online system, there is a lot of people using it. One would think the Music Labels would be extactic about this. People purchasing music that they can't so easily "just share with anyone".

No, instead the Music Labels are once again showing their greed. They want to distrubute the music on their own and garner all the profits from that. I cannot blame them from wanting to maximize profit from the content they own. However, it took them so many years before they finally had a system like iTunes. And now they are screwing with it.

I think the Music Labels are idiots.

  • 1 When the kids were in middle-school and high school, cd's were easy gifts for them. And they'd listen to them for hours, and hours. Sometimes (dreadedly) the same cd over, and over, and over. But if they both wanted some CD by {insert artist here} there's no reason for us to buy two of them. It's simply unaffordable, and to be honest ridiculous to think we'd do otherwise.

  • 2 Some of have said that though it's technically illegal to share music, the labels are such asses that, well, go ahead and do it anyway. I dislike the idea of that way of thinking. I try not to use that way of thinking to justify sharing anything. However, with each bone-headed decision by the big-4 Music Labels, it seems more and more difficult to not think like that.

  • 3 Yes, I know this isn't exactly true. Yes, you can burn any purchased music to CD. However, you are burning an MP3 to CD, not the Audio track back to another CD. The quality of the CD would be, in my opininon, 'lame'. Rather then try to explain this (to some that will just look back with a glassy-eyed-stare) I just lie. It's easier that way.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hayden Falls Photos

For those of you who are always saying "I should stop at Hayden Falls" and never have, here's a picture of it for you:

Hayden Falls, Columbus OH

I've been in Columbus for a number of years, kept telling my self I'd go there. And never did. The falls are smack in the middle of suburbia and easy to get to. When it was in the 60's earlier this week I couldn't resist finally going. It was late in the day so I had to be careful trying to pick an aperture/shutter/iso to get enough light at the bottom of the canyon. I treated the whole thing like an exercise from my new book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.

I also attempted to "stop motion" of water:

Stopping Water at Hayden Falls, Columbus OH

Though that didn't come out so well. >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Richardson calls it quits?!?

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson quits his Presidential Bid. His campaign didn't do all that well in Iowa nor New Hampshire.

I first heard mention of this while listening to the local NPR station on the way home from my CMH Digital Photography and Photoshop Meetup Group meeting at a local coffee place. It wasn't suprising, considering he'd not done that well in the primaries.

Earlier, before I left for the meeting, during Hardball someone piped up that Richardson was never in it to be the President - instead his goal was the vice-presidency. I'd never heard that before. I don't know whether to chaulk it up to Hardball BS or what. Who knows. I guess time will tell.

I had always assumed that there'd be a large part of the population that won't vote for a black man. Then another large part that won't vote for a woman. (Note: I'm not advocating either way of thinking, but I've travelled the US and though no one seems to want to say it, those two Democratic front-runners have an uphill battle in parts of the US, misguided the reasoning may be). Therefore this situation would leave Richardson set for the position (besides the fact that he seemed to have a lot of experience and knowledge w/ foreign policy).

With Richardson out, maybe Edwards will be in this so-called pole-position in waiting out the struggle between Obama and Clinton.

Oh, CNN is running similar so it must be true. ;)
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Real Life Mobile Penryn vs Merom Benchmarks

Mac Rumors has an article saying there will be new MacBook Pro's with the just-released Penryn processors. According to Anandtech this will yield up to a 40 % increase in some applications.

This all figures, seeing as I just received my new 17" MacBook Pro 2 weeks ago. >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Poor Hugo Chavez

Poor Hugo Chavez. He just can't win. He tried to use a hostage situation to embarass Columbia. Even Oliver Stone joined in the frey, hoping to embarass the Bush Administration. It turns out it was a setup - he was totally played by the jungle rebels.

But ya know what? When you go to bed with dogs, you generally wake up with fleas.

And that's exactly what happened. Chavez has to feel like he was played the fool - because he was.

The true winner in the whole ordeal was Oliver Stone - he walks away with a Movie deal.

Political hostage's son found in Bogota >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Battle-Tested and the NFL?

I think the NFL should ban the word "Battle Tested" from all game announcements and broadcasts.

  • they aren't fighting in a battle (infact most of the current players probably never have)

  • they aren't having things shot at them

  • they aren't fighting (for democracy)

Maybe, just maybe, if a player is playing in Cleveland, they are battle-tested. Afterall, they do on occasion have illegally-smuggled-contraband thrown at them.

Oh, and Andrea Kremer's nose and mouth look exactly like Edie Falco's. >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Brandweek and Chevy Malibu

Brandweek says "GM Can't Stock Malibus".

I wonder if the thought "A good product sells itself" ever crossed their minds. Or here's another: "Gee, a link to the product we're referring to would be great". Maybe Chevy told them not to link directly to the Malibu, fearing even more backorders for the vehicle.

Did you get that not linking to the product you're discussing annoys the crap out of me?

The funny thing is, I saw an add for the car yesterday and I thought "Now that's a sharp car. I wonder how Chevy came up with it?". Then today I saw the article in Brandweek's RSS feed.

It's ironic how a branding website would determine GM can't stock the car because of Marketing success.

Links: Motortrends Malibu 2008 pictures and Google Image Search. >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Realtime wildlife watching (deer/turkey)

Today I first read about "The Bug" over at Engadget's CES coverage website. Their article about The Bug's Announcement got my curiosity going. They didn't have a link to The Bug's website in the article, so I found it.

All I can say is this thing looks cool! My first thought when I read this was "I could build a realtime deer/turkey watching device!" I couldn't find the exact specs for the camera on their website. I don't know if that's because there aren't any specifications online yet, or the fact that I gave up looking fairly quickly because I can smell the food my wife's preparing for dinner.

But the bug's apparently got it's own rechargable battery. If it's waterproof, and the battery is big enough (your you can wire it to a big d++ battery(ies)) then you could leave it broadcasting to your wifi unit and pickup relatively live camera feed from it. Toss in some motion detection analysis of every-few-frames and it would be very cool. On one of the pages they advertise a developer-kit. I think I read it's free. Well, if they have any common sense it'd be free. Oh, and work on OSX, too :)

Concerns for now: waterproofedness, battery life, cost, developer tools and framework, convincing my wife this is worth shelling out large cash for it

Update: Subversion checkout: svn://bugcommunity.com/ >>Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments

Everyone's leaving Ohio!

Our local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch, has an article titled "More people leaving Ohio". Basically, the article is stating that more people are leaving Ohio then coming here. This claim is based on the fact that United Van Lines says for the 15th consecutive year, 57% percent of the moves they have made are out of Ohio.

No one should be suprised hearing this news. That's right, absolutely no one.

Ohio's Economy sucks. We have auto plants closing, or near-closing every year. Many of those who worked in the manufacturing industry that we've known over years, are gone, retired (not by choice) or are working in jobs that are no where near as advanced (nor well paying) as what they were doing in the steel and auto industries. Some of our cities don't rank well. Topics of discussion with family members are often dominated with the debate of whether to accept the then-current early retirement package being offered by insert manufacturing company with a union here.

We in Ohio cannot seem to keep religious matters from imposing upon everyone in the state. We seem to have religious wacko's coming out of the wood work (ahem, from the Cincinati area) working to tell everyone how to act. Will the young people in our state stay in such an environment? No, they won't. Look at the populations of some states out west. They are closing grade schools because there is no young population base that's marrying and having kids to supply the schools. They're all leaving or already left (we have family in Oklahoma, someday I'll write about that).

The higher-education situation in Ohio sucks too. For a few years now, there've been a lot Ohioans going to North Carolina (and obviously other states). Why? Because it's cheaper to go there in-order to send their kids to college. Yes, for a few years they are paying NC's out-of-state tuition rate, but it's far cheaper to do so then stay in Ohio and pay Ohio's in-state rates. Obviously, after you've moved down south to educate your family, and enjoyed the warmer temperatures, why would you move back to Ohio? Answer: you won't.

The last 15 years of "Republican Control" have stagnated Ohio's Economy. The decision to cut higher education funding (hence force the Colleges to significantly increase their rates) immediately started killing Ohio's economy because it's becoming near impossible for many people to send their kids to state schools. Prior to this, in-state schools were always the cheaper schools to send your children to. Another boneheaded cut - From 2001 to 2003 Ohio cut $268 million out of their child care assistance fund. If you have a part of our population who aren't making squat, have children, want to goto college and will eventually have a decent income from having gone to college why would you cut their knees out from underneath them? If they cannot afford childcare, they won't attend college. It's that simple; Help them help themselves to earn a decent income and fuel that tax base.

Thankfully Ken Blackwell didn't win the election. We'd already discussed how soon we could relocate out of the state if he'd won.

This all lends itself to a higher-education brain-drain throughout the state. Who thinks that will help attract industry? (I will admit the decision to drop Ohio's Tangible Personal Property Tax was a smart, belated, move).

If you have no people, you have no tax base. That's a brow-raising thought isn't it? Look out west for what Ohio could easily become.
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