Saturday, July 30, 2005

Flickr Montages Made Easy

Here's another great trick for your online photos. Just like those cool photo montages they used to sell at kiosks in the mall, the Montager takes all of the pictures sharing a particular Flickr tag and then creates a mosaic of those photos. It's way easier to look at than explain. At the right is a montager creation using the tag DoYourWorst.

NB: Flickr Montager is CPU intensive. Old, weak, frail browsers need not apply.

qv: Montager

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I'm keeping an eye on you...

A Photo Tour of Falls Park on the Reedy

Welcome to Falls Park on the Reedy
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

Last month I posted some photos of downtown Greenville, but never really blogged them. They form a bit of a tribute to our lovely downtown and the beautiful new park.

The set:

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ashley Miller - Jason Griffin Wedding Photos

I gave the new digital point and shoot a workout at Ashley and Jason's wedding yesterday. I liked being able to post the pictures to Flickr before I went to bed.

qv: View the Photos at Flickr

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

One Small Step for a Googler - Google goes to the moon

I am guessing it was a lot less expensive for Google to get some of NASA's maps to the moon than it was for NASA to send guys up there to map it in the first place.

Check out the FREE PRIZE -- Zooming too close to the map will confirm a suspicion you have had since childhood.

qv: Google the moon

Technorati Tags: ,

Monday, July 18, 2005

Baby Yanov Countdown Clock...

Baby Yanov (temporary) websiteSome weeks ago I took my nerd watches with the countdown clock feature and set them to count down the days to the expected blessed arrival of Baby Yanov. This allows me to answer the question of "How are you doing?" with the exact number of days to our very inexact due date. Friends and work associates take delight in my precision. I delight in my ability to surprise them.

How could I take my game to the next level? The Baby Yanov web page now has a count down clock. Woohoo!

While I was adding the clock, I also added a couple of handy links for those out of towners who have asked if we are registered. Mounting a clock on a web page is so much faster than painting an actual room.

qv: Watch the clock

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Amazon!

Amazon celebrates its tenth birthday today. I logged onto the site and found that my entire purchase history since 1998 is available for review. (I may have changed accounts in 98, so any purchases before that are probably logged somewhere else.)

Keeping track of all of my purchases is just one of the many things Amazon does right.

qv: Amazon's 10th Anniversary

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Story behind "American Gothic"

McCall_Gothic by Phil YanovNo one has ever asked me the story behind the not so famous "McCall Gothic photo" on the right. Well, if they ever did, I would probably explain that I was shooting pictures of a handsome wedding couple and they asked if I could shoot a few pictures of them kissing in the green grass of a country field. As I accomodated them, I noticed a weathered barn and with a few hand implements leaning against it.American Gothic by Grant WoodI apparently had been awake in some college art class and remembered how the famous "American Gothic" was composed and even remembered the name of the photo. I suggested the setup and the couple complied. The rest is history. I'll be expecting best-selling author Thomas Hoving to give me a call for his next book.

qv: NPR: The Story Behind Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'

Monday, July 11, 2005

Friends: Evelyn's Visit

Evelyn came up to visit us this weekend. It has been quite a while since we have seen her. (Years?) She and Linda got time to catch up on their lives, eat a few great meals, tour the Falls Park on the Reedy River and relax in the sun. I got to take pictures, make photo CDs using Picasa, and post selected photos to a new Flickr photo set.

View: Selected Photos from Evelyn's Visit

Friday, July 08, 2005

Man Faints, Dies after seeing epidural

From Reuters:
Man faints, dies after seeing epidural

I was already planning to wear earplugs into the delivery room, now I am planning to wear a helmet as well.

Flame Off! Fanstastic Four...fizzles.

Apparently an established set of Marvel Characters, the very attractive Jessica Alba, and a mind boggling special effects budget are enough to save the world, but not enough to save Fantastic Four from middling reviews.

Roger Ebert says the movie should almost be ashamed to show itself in the same theaters as better super hero films like Superman, Batman Begins, and SpiderMan 2.

Although James Berardinelli spends the last few sentences of his review attempting to enumerate the movies good points, they feel like a tacked on apology. The real message in his review, the one he spent the previous full page presenting is -- Fantastic Four feels small.

Bruce Kirkland muses in his review that perhaps they should rename the movie to the "Okay Quartet" saying that Fantastic Four falls too far short of the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises to be called fantastic.

It's too bad. I was in the mood for a "super" movie. Thankfully, Batman Begins delivered the goods. I guess I'll go see it again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Remember Filmstrips?

Filmstrip thumbnailsBefore DVDs, before VHS, and even before 16mm film projectors appeared in the classroom, schools instructed bright-eyed youngsters in the secrets of hygiene, social graces, and the hazards of drinking via projectors. These portable oracles, accompanied by either a 45 RPM record or a cassette tape, produced the effect of low tech, but professionally narrated slideshows.

I remember many fond hours spent in a corner cubicle of my school library with a small white screen and a borrowed projector watching film strips from the library collection. The strip itself was a sturdy piece of 35mm film and was fed into the projector and advanced a single frame at a time. For a country kid in a backwoods school, it was both an escape to adventure and an early indication that I would be a life-long learner.

Want to see some of those filmstrips again, but don't have a projector? Never fear.

The have begun scanning historic filmstrips and placing them in the Internet Archive. You can once again overcome your fear of swimming, learn to get along with your siblings, or teach yourself to share with others.

qv: Filmstrips at the Internet Archive

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Podcast: Antique Roses and more of the bug guys

This Tuesday's Your Day show had an interesting interview with a rose historian who discusses the antique roses that have had success in South Carolina. The second half of the show features some "off the air" calls taken by the bug guys.

qv: Your Day - Week of July 4th Archives

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Attack of the Zombie Dogs

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

Yipes! Why do they bring them back? Will this be an alternative to kennelling? Is this Flatliners meets Scooby-Doo?

via: Boffins create zombie dogs

The Problem of Friendflation

In a previous entry about the problems of social networks I pondered but never explicitly discussed one of the more serious issues confronting the members of any of the social networks. The problem is...

Friendflation -- a persistently increasing surfeit of acquaintances and strangers errantly labeled as friends in any of your online social networks such as LinkedIn, Friendster, etc. Friendflation is caused by failing to tell strangers "no" when they ask to join your online social network.

Years of playground conditioning have taught us that it is rude to deny requests to join our social networks. If a kid comes up to us and asks "Wanna be friends?" The answer is "yes" even if they are covered with bugs and smell like they just rolled out of a dumpster. We say "yes" because we don't want to hurt their feelings. Are are also buttressed by the fact that we know that if we are careful, we can make sure that we never encounter our new friend again.

Online networks present the problem with a new level of persistence. Once you accept this new friend in the online world you can't really avoid them. The internet is a big place and an instantly connected place. Every time you log on, your new "friend" knows you are there. Denying the original request wasn't much of an option. Who wants to see the frowny character :( on their screen?

Finding ourselves without options, we exhale deeply and then press the ACCEPT button.

Friendflation shares a nasty attribute with real world inflation -- without proper management, it naturally tends to escalate. The more people you know, the cooler it is to know you. The cooler it is to know you, the more people will send you requests to join your network. If you don't take steps to limit the problem, you will soon have full blown friendflation and dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of online strangers labeled as friends.

So, what to do? Enjoy it -- I guess. Personally I never ask anyone to join my network unless I have had sufficient contact with them to think that they will understand why we might want to join networks. If someone asks to join my network, I rely on my "be nice to the other kids at school" training and accept the request.

I do draw some definitive boundaries around my professional network, however, and those rules have served me well. If someone in my professional network wants to meet someone else in that network, as often happens via LinkedIn, I do not allow those connections willy-nilly. I either vet the connection or offer to facilitate it. This usually means that I do not pass along rough-hewn sales pitches, and to those requests for introductions that I think might have merit, I respond with something like "let's all meet for coffee one day." This makes sure that only the serious requesters make the connection, and I do not end up wasting valuable time for my valued fellow professionals and work associates. The system works for me.

Next Steps:

  • Evaluate the available online social networks. Join the ones that are right for you.

  • Formulate your own personal policy on how to handle network requests before the problem resents itself.

  • Join one of Phil's networks. (You needn't fear rejection.)

Networks I find valuable:

Professional: LinkedIn, Plaxo
Personal: Yahoo 360 (evaluating)

Friendflation: @

Will people be bothered with Yahoo's MyWeb 2.0?

For many technologies I become an early adopter.
My evaluation of Yahoo's MyWeb 2.0, however, forces me to leave it an orphan...

Yahoo has launched a new Social Search program entitled My Web 2.0. Their stated thinking is this: The stuff I am looking for on the web may be the very same stuff my friends are looking for. Having them able to essentially look over my shoulder and look at the same sites I might reference should be a big help to them. I wish it were that easy. More...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Nothing of importance happened today...

American TinMan
Even though King George noted in his diary on July 4, 1776 that "nothing of importance happened today" we still observe the holiday with fireworks and bratwurst.
You never sausage a thing!

Make your own Flickr Photo Geek Credential

Flickr Photo ID Badge
If having a neck full of cameras is not sufficient credential to claim the coveted role of designated photog at your family gatherings, now you can flash them this -- a very official looking (but unofficial nonetheless) Flickr Photographer ID Badge!

qv: unofficial Flickr Badge Maker