Tag Archives: Photo

Found the Limitations of Tumblr

In my never ending quest to explore, experiment and gain experience with getting my content in front of users on their favorite social media platforms, you may recall that I created a Tumblr blog. The initial account, and the main blog, started out as a blog about sports, which quickly got moved over to what is now my WordPress Sports blog.

The rationale behind going to my own blog was the desire to do more than I could with just Tumblr, especially since Tumblr does not really appear to be a platform that many people not using Tumblr ever, ever look at. I created a sub blog for photography at the time, that also became my photo blog, for the same reason.

I did, however, decide to leave those blogs intact, and push out the WordPress posts to them, based on my comments at the beginning of this post. If you’re a Tumblr user, I want you to be able to see and interact with me on your chosen social network.

Unfortunately, one of the limitations of Tumblr is how it works with sub-blogs, or secondary blogs. My main account was the sports blog, but the photo blog was my sub, or secondary blog, for that account. That works out well enough when you are publishing, but it can be very limiting from an interactions stand point. The problem is that when you “follow” or like anything from other Tumblrs, only your main blog profile shows up. That made it really difficult to interact with the photographer community over there, and Tumblr does not support switching your secondary blog into a main blog, or handing it over to another user as anything but their secondary blog. This didn’t really work as I had hoped.

So, after some research, I created a whole new profile, with a new photo blog on Tumblr. Continue reading

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Driving Across the Country

So this is just a stupid beautiful drive along the Columbia River this morning!

 

A few thoughts after driving all the way from South Carolina to our new home in Oregon last week.

  • This is such a big country. It’s impossible to imagine that anyone living on a coast has any idea about what it’s like to live in Idaho, or Wyoming. There are huge implications for that in regards to Federal laws IMHO.
  • I did the whole trip sans a GPS device. I used my iPhone when I needed directions but mostly just planned out my route the day before using major highways.
  • I also made good use of AroundMe and iExit on the iPhone.
  • Laws in most places prohibit picking up your phone while driving, thus I had to stop to use those apps. One place where a passenger might come in handy!
  • While I understand the reason for the laws, I still resent the fact that looking at my phone for a second to see if the next right is the one on the map is illegal, spending 30 seconds fumbling around for a CD or to connect an iPod to the radio isn’t. They are all distracted driving, why can’t we just have a law that says you have to control your vehicle? Oh wait, we already do!
  • The iPhone should send it’s audio directions to the bluetooth headset when it is connected. Why it doesn’t is beyond me.
  • Using Instagram with IFTTT to post to my photo blog was a great way to update people on the progress of the trip. Now that it’s over, I can use the blog to share photos I actually took with my DSLR instead of my iPhone.
  • Photos on the iPhone 5s were pretty good regardless. See above, for example.
  • Did I mention it’s a really big country? I drove over 3000 miles in 6 days. Oregon is also a much bigger state than any other I’ve lived in during my driving years.
  • I’m not as young as I used to be. After 6 days of driving and one day of setting up and wiring up the new office, I spent Friday night with ice on my knees. lol
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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Every Journey Starts With A Single Step

I wonder if whoever said that included all the steps involved in packing the car? Nevertheless, the journey to Oregon begins, so pardon me if I’m a little slow responding to anything or sharing articles, etc.

Not that you all shouldn’t be out enjoying the holiday weekend anyway!

If you’re interested, I’ll probably be posting some photos of the journey on the photo blog.

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Places to See Before You Die, Or Not

BW Ice

Robert Reid has a problem with the idea of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

 

Awhile ago, I floated the question on Twitter about what it takes to say you’ve “been” to a place. Does walking across a border or an hour in an airport terminal “count”? Where’s the line?

Someone suggested using this definition: that you’ve only “been” somewhere if you had some experience there worth sharing. That, to me, seems like the ultimate point of travel. But too rarely do we hear of such experiences from bucket-listers’ jet-set cousins, what I call the country collectors.

Many of these folks wear the tally of the countries they’ve visited as badges of honor. Adding to the total in as little time as possible often means horribly ill-timed flight connections and a couple of hours spent outside the terminal, before moving on to the next destination. Guinea-Bissau? Check!

Continue reading

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Sci Fi Architecture

I’ve been sharing photos from our recent vacation over on my photo blog, so if you follow that, this might be a bit of a repeat. However, purely as a geeky interest, I wanted to also share photos of an area of Valencia, Spain known as the City of Arts and Sciences.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a unique complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination which is made up of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which takes care of the operatic programme). The Ágora gives the complex a multifunctional space.

Also, the architecture looks like something out of Aliens, which is very cool!
The Hemispheric and Palau de les Arts

Hemispheric

Palau de les Arts

Hemispheric and Museu de las Ciencias

Of course, the other cool, geeky, thing we found in Valencia was this bit of graffiti art. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it.

The Simpsons are Everywhere

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Vacations are a Good Thing

Sunset boating

Not that anyone in the US actually takes theirs, right? After being gone from work for these last two weeks, not to mention being without any internet access for 10 days, I’m beginning to see why that is such a huge mistake. We need the break. Not only that, but I think we’d all do well to have a part of our life that has nothing at all to do with our chosen profession. Life is about more than what you do for work, and we should probably remember that occasionally. ;-)

During the break, I’ve had a few thoughts about work life balance, and what working in a service industry really means. I’m planning some blog posts along those lines in the next week or so. I will also be posting many, many photos from the trip as well, in fact you can see the first of such posts over on the photo blog, with a link to the Flickr set with the handful of photos taken from our departing port in Barcelona. Give that site a follow, either by RSS, Facebook or email if you’re interested in seeing those.

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Beach Trip

Waves with a Flock On the Horizon

Just wanted to pass along that I’ve got a couple of pages worth of photos over at the photo blog from our recent trip to Myrtle Beach.

While you’re over there, check out the different ways you can follow that site and see new photos as they are posted, by email, RSS, Tumblr or with it’s very own Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/mikemcbridephotos

Looking forward to sharing more photos with you all!

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Could Facebook Be Creating a Facial Recognition Tool to be Used by the Government

NPR has a story this morning talking about Facebook’s facial recognition tools and the potential risk to our privacy that comes along with it.

One of the things I like about this story is the explanation of modeling, and how without a model, facial scanning doesn’t really work. It’s comparable to the conversations I’ve had about using eDiscovery software to do Optical Character Recognition. Typically, when I explain that running OCR on handwriting is not really going to be useful. People want to know why, when they “write” on their tablet device, it can translate that into text, but OCR software cannot. It’s because you’ve already modeled what your individual handwriting looks like for the tablet device. It is not trying to identify some random person’s handwriting. If I can, I’ll also drive home that point by picking up their tablet device and show them how terribly it recognizes my handwriting, because that’s not the model it is comparing from.

Facial recognition, as of right now, works very similarly. It’s great when you know who you are looking for, but horrible at identifying a random person, because we don’t have a full model of photos for that person for the software to compare. But, along comes Facebook with their photo tagging feature, and suddenly, is there the possibility of getting a model based on a large number of different photos from your FB profile, to be shared with law enforcement? Yes, there is that possibility. But, if I were in law enforcement, while I might be interested in having access to FB’s photo modeling, I’d also have to be somewhat wary of using it. It relies on Facebook users to actually tag photos of the actual people in the photo, or someone to go through that multitude of photos to correct for all of those cases where people have posted a picture of a baby, and tagged the parents, or of a pet, and tagged the owner, and so on and so on. Of course, we know those things happen, so the risk here is not so much that law enforcement would use FB photos and compare them to surveillance video in order to capture wrongdoers. The real risk is the chance that the inaccurate models will cause mistaken identifications, and lead to harassment and investigation into completely innocent people.

That’s also the risk of all government surveillance programs. When the NSA gathers as much data as Edward Snowden claims that they have, the risk is not that they are reading your emails. It’s almost impossible to imagine that someone is sitting and looking at the billions of messages and phone records they are collecting. No, it’s the collection and storage of that data, because if and when you are identified as a suspect, based on some random algorithm based on the “big data” collection they have, they will now have all of that information and start drawing conclusions based on things you’ve said in emails, or who you’ve talked to on the phone. They’ll start investigating the people you communicate with, talking to the people you work with, and so on.

When you have that much data it’s useless until you know what you’re looking for, (If you work with eDiscovery, you know this fact well), but once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to find data that conforms to your theory if you have enough of it, even if your theory is completely wrong.

When you are actually innocent, that kind of investigation doesn’t go away in terms of how people think about you. False accusations ruin lives. With that much data about you living in one place, the potential for this to happen to you, rises.

In the end, I’m not worried about Facebook recognizing my face, because if it gets it wrong, it’s mostly just funny and correctable. But I am definitely concerned about the government using that same technology, because when they get it wrong, I can’t correct it, and it is most definitely not funny.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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