Morning Cup O' Joe

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iPhone Quick-Draw System

Best promotional video ever. EVER.

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Humor, iphone, Video | , , , | Comments Off

Transporter – An alternative to cloud storage

I qualify as a heavy user of cloud storage. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive are essential to my collaborative workflow. There are certain caveats to this, though:

  1. As a photographer, sharing 20GB of photos (from a single wedding shoot, for example) through Dropbox is cost-prohibitive. Collaborating on multiple wedding shoots will cost a pretty penny. Videographers have it worse.
  2. Companies require certain rights to your files in order to provide the “sharing” portion of their service, since your files will be living on their servers. As such, you are subject to their whims. (In general, you should be wary of any free service you make use of. Facebook, for example, just released new “functionality” in their mobile apps that automatically uploads ALL photos you take into a private album onto your account. It sounds convenient, but realize that once your files are on their servers, Facebook has certain rights over them.)
  3. My particular cable internet provider has a data cap of 250GB/month for my service tier (30Mbps). Once we hit that limit, we get throttled down to around 1.5Mbps (which is still preferable to getting overage charges). When I was experimenting with online backup solutions, I hit that data cap in half a month.

Enter Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Connected Data (and former CEO and founder of Drobo, Inc.). He is aiming directly at users like myself with a new product called Transporter. In a nutshell, it is a non-RAID NAS that provides Dropbox-like sharing. The kicker is how it works with other Transporter devices. If, let’s say, my photo business partner had a Transporter, we can have a synced folder for wedding photo shoots. Our Transporters will sync with each other automatically. The only “cloud” element is in the hand-shaking protocol between Transporters so that they can find each other. None of your data passes through their servers. This seems like a near-perfect win to me. It takes care of caveats 1 and 2 above.

Transporter has a KickStarter if you want to get in on the action early (and get a discount). According to an interview with Geoff Barrall, the Transporter will go on sale in 2013.

Transporter [website] [kickstarter] [video]

Interview with Geoff Barrall (starts at 1:07:00) – This Week in Photo

December 24, 2012 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Photography, Science and Technology | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

xkcd Password Generator

It may seem counter-intuitive to have a plain English passphrase instead of a t0tta11y l337 password, but what it comes down to is how many bits of entropy you can generate while not following any predictable patterns.

Lifehacker has a great article explaining why old password tricks aren’t working anymore with the amount of raw computing power available today.

If you’re lazy and you want to make use of the XKCD passphrase method above, you can always lean on a passphrase generator.

My favorite combination is using LastPass along with its support for two-factor authentication. For those of you unfamiliar with two-factor authentication, the way it’s implemented with LastPass (and Google, if you enable it), is that a random number is generated that needs to be entered in after you provide your passphrase. This random number can either be SMS’ed to you or you can view it using the Google Authenticator app. That random number rotates every 15 or so seconds. It’s a little cumbersome, but in order for somebody to gain access to websites I use, they would need to know my LastPass passphrase AND physically have my iPhone.

Be safe, everyone!

Lifehacker – Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers

XKCD Password Generator

LastPass

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, How-To, Science and Technology, Software | , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Artemis | Spaceship Bridge Simulator

Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator

This is extremely nerdy, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t want to get some friends together and play this simulator.

From the website:

What is Artemis?

Artemis is a multiplayer, multi-computer networked game for Windows computers.

Artemis simulates a spaceship bridge by networking several computers together. One computer runs the simulation and the "main screen", while the others serve as workstations for the normal jobs a bridge officer might do, like Helm, Communication, Engineering, and Weapon Control.

Artemis is a social game where several players are together in one room ("bridge") , and while they all work together, one player plays the Captain, a person who sits in the middle, doesn’t have a workstation, and tells everyone what to do.

Artemis is a software game for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

 

My favorite bit from the FAQs:

Q: Why can’t my crew play over the internet, using some voice chat software?

A: I always wanted the players to be in one room together, just like a spaceship bridge. I want the captain to be able to push the helmsman aside and shout "Full power, DAMN you!!!" BUT, as a veteran game developer, I recognize that players play my game the way THEY like, not the way I like. V1.1 optimized the network code, and a server option that lets you adjust the network update speed, so Artemis plays across the internet just fine.

Artemis | Spaceship Bridge Simulator

via @pomorales

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Geeks and Gadgetry, Software, Television, Windows | , , | 2 Comments

World’s Smallest V-12 Engine

World’s Smallest V-12 Engine

What an amazing feat of handcraftsmanship!

via BoingBoing

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Video | , , , | Comments Off

Photography Themed Rube Goldberg

2D Photography Rube Goldberg

I’m a sucker for elaborate contraptions—especially ones that involve themes that are near and dear to my heart.

Enjoy!

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Photography, Video | , , , , , | 2 Comments

iSleight of iHand

iPod Magic–Deceptions

Great use of technology, timing, and sleight of hand, though I wouldn’t exactly label it as “magic.”

via Woot

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Science and Technology, Video | , , , | Comments Off

Leica Lenses Sliced in Half For Science!

Pictured above is a Leica Tri-Elmar-M 28-35-50mm lens cut neatly in half. Call it death of a lens. I call it an interesting display on the intricate mechanical workings of a camera lens.

These were actually made by Leica students as a graduation project and boxed as a “cutaway model” of the lens.

This also gives you a good mental image of what you can potentially break if/when you drop your lens.

Thanks for the link, David!

via PetaPixel

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Photography, Science and Technology | , , , | 1 Comment

Doodling Infinity Elephants

Doodling Infinity Elephants–Vi Hart

Vi Hart is my hero. This is how you make math fun to learn.

Her YouTube videos went viral and now she is being featured in the New York Times.

Bravo, Vi… Bravo.

via Vi Hart

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, General, News, Science and Technology, Video | , , , , | Comments Off

A Practical Flying Car

The Maverick Flying Car

This is the most feasible implementation of a flying car that I’ve seen to date. I’d say this might be of practical use in the bay area or down in the Los Angeles area, but only if I was the only one to have it. Most drivers have a hard enough time with the XY-axis… adding a Z-axis is potentially disastrous. Smile

Nice find, Tim!

via EAA

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Science and Technology | , | Comments Off

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