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October 2009 Archives

Saturday, 3 October 2009


It’s like 1998 caught up with me (or vice versa), now that I have a place to share photographs. I’ve started stitching together some of the pictures I had shot with the intention of later producing panoramas. I knew softwares that simplify the process of stitching photos into panoramas existed and decided to evaluate a few of them the other day.

There are several expensive packages available for generating Flash-driven VR files that provide interactive navigation. I think the whole VR image thing is great but I’m don’t think the ability to generate such files is worth the better part of $200 (US).

On the less expensive other hand, Hugin is an open-source free-of-charge panorama photo stitcher which has its infelicities (one of these would be installation) but works fairly well. The affordable and easier-to-install DoubleTake costs a quarter of a hundred dollars (US) and implements a drag-and-drop approach. Hugin takes less time to stich together many photos, but fine control is difficult for mere mortals. DoubleTake is easier to use but drag-and-dropping more than a few files gets to be a chore.

Between these two pieces of software, I generated the following images (thumbnails link to their gallery counterparts).

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Portland Panorama

I was in town for the 2007 Cultural Studies Association conference. and (I believe) took these photos at 5:30 am Pacific on my way to coffee.

Living Room

Living Room Panorama

Family of a former colleague.

Fillmore Moonlight

This is outside my window at 5:30 am Pacific this morning.

Speaking of Portland, I really like this picture.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


EEL SLAP in process

Mesmerizing, satisfying.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Thursday, 8 October 2009

I don't claim to know the truth, but I think these allegations need to be investigated fully.

It’s like I live in the United States of America again.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Characterizes Bukowski as a willing and enthusiasitic digital immigrant, one for whom the computer can be read as a metonymic counterpart for the writer himself.

In poems, letters, and in The Captain, Bukowski chronicled his struggles with the computer. The shutdowns, the lost poems, the time at the shop for repairs. This mirrored Bukowski’s own health problems and trips to the hospital. The computer represented the writer in old age. The computer and the digital revolution also suggest the end of the book and of print. As a result, the computer spelled the death of the traditional author, a fact that must have struck Bukowski as he faced death himself.

On the other and opposite hand, Burroughs never warmed to the flicker of the digital display. According to Birmingham, Burroughs

Burroughs sought to detourn mass print culture and turn it back on itself. How mass print culture operated, disseminated, and influenced public opinion intrigued Burroughs. He was also intensely involved with the materiality of print.

remarks which ring true considering Burroughs’s dedication to the cut-up method and the themes present in Naked Lunch and The Soft Machine.

As an aside, I was intrigued by Burroughs’s bad experience teaching, one which led Burroughs to say

The teaching gig was a lesson in never again. You were giving out all this energy and nothing was coming back.

Literary Outlaw
Ted Morgan

Not my own experience, but I can see why Burroughs might have felt that way. Teaching requires one to work with students who by definition are less accomplished and, in most cases, less capable than you.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The New York Times eBook Stories Roundup

Something at the New York Times loves reports about digital print. I don’t have much to say regarding any of these links except that Liu’s remark that we need a whole new guiding metaphor for describing engagement with networked digital media seems to me a solution looking for a problem. I can’t understand what such a guiding metaphor would do except restrict innovation by measuring it against an inexact metaphor whose imprecision would render it useless as a guide.

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be one of the largest-ever social change events on the web.

This year Blog Action Day concerns climate change, raising awareness about it and encouraging action to reduce human contributions to global warming. Avoiding runaway global warming and the following climate catastrophe may be the greatest challenge humans have ever faced and it deserves more thought and space than I can give it right now.

My action today is to talk to you about Climate of Change: 74 Days of Action, a blog whose mission is to inspire readers to urge their representatives to craft and ratify a climate change treaty during the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15), taking place 7-18 December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Climate of Change is written by my partner, Pamela Snyder, who has also published a great write-up on what COP15 is all about.

Take action today.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Industry representatives argue that getting rid of it [federal anti-trust exemption] would make it harder for smaller insurers and inevitably raise costs and reduce choices for consumers.

Shameless and shameful.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

At the beginning of last week, a MacBook Air I was selling sold for nearly two hundred dollars below what similar items had been selling for. I could see the trainwreck coming in the first few days of bidding: zero-rated buyers battling for dominance.

Now, I’m selling my 2005 Toyota Camry LE which has 20,400 miles on it and I figured I’d make the announcement to my faithful readers who are looking for a bargain from a blogger they trust. The car is cherry and given my asking price is fair given its excellent condition. But if you have an offer you think I can’t refuse or questions about the sale, by all means get in touch (contact info in craigslist ad).

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Thursday, 29 October 2009

red weather balloon

DARPA is marking the 40th anniversary of the Internet by announcing the DARPA Network Challenge

a competition that will explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems.

The challenge? Be the first to locate ten red weather balloons, each moored in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roadways.

The Internet is fun again.