365 and out

It is now complete. My 365 project has ended. A year ago I made a commitment to generate one image a day for the next year.

I took a lot of abuse because of this project. My kids thought some of my pictures were uninspired or just generic. No argument from me. It is difficult just remembering to take a picture each day. What do you do when it is 11 PM and you have yet to take a picture. Once I drove to the parking garage on campus and took a picture of part of the campus. My collection of pictures is a pretty good account of my life. Most of which is probably not that interesting. The final picture is a good example. We are spending time with relatives in Northern Minnesota and Scott is a great breakfast cook.


I decided this should be the picture of the year. Cindy had an angiogram and asked for data. Good heart.

So, now is the time for you to think about next year. I probably took more pictures with my phone than with the 7D. Remember, the best camera is the one you have with you. You might want to consider how you will organize and share your collection (e.g., Wes Fryer will use Tumblr for 2011). Several photographers have made the commitment to take a picture of a door each day. For me, this was as much an exercise in commitment as anything. Next year, I plan to focus on quality.

Snow puppy

Sitting Bull Statue - UND

Copyright responsibility

There was a time when the tools and blank media for copying records – blank tapes and tape recorder – were assumed as tools to violate copyright. The argument that the tools and media could be used for something else, e.g., recording your own voice, seem to relieve the pressure on those selling to products.

There several tools for “saving” web content and “making web content easier to read” that pose a similar ethical challenge. Evernote, an app I really like, comes to mind. Do I as a consumer have the right to subvert the format intended by the author? The most obvious intention might be to avoid viewing ads. A second intention might be to avoid the time limit the original is available to encourage a purchase of a subscription allowing long term access.

I am not certain about these concerns and admit I save resources. An option in such services that must be a copyright violation according to my interpretation is the sharing of content via RSS or some form of granting access to a specified group. If someone else gets content from me that I did not create, this seems pretty obvious. I am not arguing whether such a feature has value, I am just wondering how the practice could be considered legal.

2010 Top 10

It is time for top 10 lists. Here are the top ten posts from this blog for the past year. The list includes 12 entries, but I am discounting the home page and the aboutme page.

This blog generates most of its traffic via web searches rather than RSS feeds. The most frequent hits appear to be for tutorial-like posts – e,g., how to write to Google apps from the ipad, how to do text to speech in snow leopard. Perhaps people search for tutorials and read opinion posts via RSS.

BTW – these data were generated with mybloglogone of those services Yahoo is eliminating.

Yahoo readies to jettison services

It appears that Yahoo! plans to shut down several services. I happen to make use of one of the more obscure services – mybloglog. Many who read this blog will likely be more interested in the predicted demise of Delicious.

I am guessing Delicious is the most popular social bookmarking site. It allows users to store, tag and annotate links to web sites. It also allowed access to the link collections of others who had stored the same link and were willing to share their resources. In this way, users have the opportunities to discover some of the “finds” of others with related interests. The Delicious approach was simple and while not as powerful as similar services that followed it had the advantage `of being on the scene at an early point and it engaged a large number of users who invested enough time they were likely reluctant to give up on the service. I guess there was simply no way to monetize the service. Too bad it is not being given/sold to some other company. There would seem to be a base of users worth acquiring.

Delicious would not be my first choice, but I use it because it seems tied in with iPad apps I use to read my RSS feeds (e.g., NewsRack). I can add to my bookmarks as I go through the feeds. If Delicious is not saved, there were will be repercussions for other products.

If you have invested a lot of time in Delicious, you should export your bookmarks. Shutting down Delicious is not a certainty, but it appears many are concerned. The link at the beginning of this post contains information about how to export the resources you have accumulated. Exporting Delicious links and then inputting them to Diigo was easy to do.

P.S. – Within a day or so of this Yahoo! news, Yahoo indicated that it did not intend to shut down Delicious, but rather to abandon it  (find a new home). As I originally noted, this makes sense and it would seem to be a valuable resource because of the user base. However, the clumsiness with which this was handled probably has done a lot to erode this base. I have already moved on to Pinboard which was promoted by a number of prominent bloggers. It appears that this was a fairly common response, but Pinboard was struggling to keep up.

I am hedging my bets at present. Anything I send to Delicious automatically gets forwarded to Pinboard. I guess we will see what happens.

Night Photography

I enjoy taking photographs late at night. Must be a personality flaw.

Many folks find night photography to be very difficult. Don’t use flash. The key, of course, is to use longer exposures and a wide aperture setting. A tripod (actually a monopod for this photograph) is also pretty much mandatory.

See my post on “fireworks photography” for information on a similar topic.

The iPad and new opportunities for new age groups

We decided to give the iPad as a family gift to each of our three children. Writing about this decision here will not spoil the surprise because we told them to prevent them from making the same purchase for a spouse.

We decided to purchase this gift after watching the young children in two of the families interact with one of our iPads. If you have an iPad and doubt the persuasiveness of such experiences, find a young child, purchase a few appropriate apps and just watch. There is something about how the intuitiveness of the interface encourages exploration that is difficult to describe. I am not certain how young this goes, but preschool children seem to know what to do – touch stuff and see what happens.

I know not everyone agrees with involving you children with technology. I wrote about this years ago because a close high school friend of mine wrote a book arguing against technology for young children. I wonder what he would think watching kids exploring an iPad. When you manipulate something with your hands does that make a difference?

Others are commenting on iPads and different age groups. Here is an article on young children on iPads and here is another I encountered focused on centenarians on iPads (iPhone). Quite an age difference but the functionality seems to be obvious in both cases.

BTW – I don’t claim to have a professional opinion on this issue and I realize that the attentiveness of young children does not guarantee that the experiences to which they are attending are good for them. I am guessing there are PhD students working as I write to understand this phenomenon.

We gave the newly married daughter an iPad too. We are equal opportunity tech providers.

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