Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Street view on google maps

Not sure how many of you use Google Maps, but it's the best mapping tool in my opinion. They have really good natural language interpretation as well as high quality satellite imagery. The service is constantly updated, and today I just noticed a new feature called Street view. This allows one to click on a street and then you can see a 3D view of the surrounding area. The quality is amazing, and I have no idea how this is accomplished. Anyway, here is a link to the Denver Art museum.

As a note, it seems that the service is only available in bigger cities.

Friday, May 25, 2007

20 Worst named cities

I came across this earlier today and it's pretty funny. I knew about a few of these, but some of them are just like "What? Are you kidding?" wierd...



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Online photo storage/sharing

Alas, I bring you the first part of the photo sharing tutorial I spoke of a few weeks back. Today, I'd like to focus on online photo sharing services and in particular the one I use: Flickr.com.

To be fare, there are plenty of other photo sharing sites out there including, but not limited to: Picasa, Heypix, SmugMug, and Photobucket just to name a few.

You can read an article at Wired.com comparing a few of these sites. Here is a small excerpt from the article explaining Flickr:

"Flickr members can upload, store and organize photos. They can also use their camera phones to post photos automatically to their blogs.

Most photos and albums on the service are public, and users can post tags, comments and descriptions on any public photo. By tagging photos, anyone can create groups of photos that share common tags, such as "San Francisco" or "bridges." Those groups can then be designated public or private.

Now that you have a little idea of what I'm talking about, let's actually do some stuff with Flickr.

I. Searching Flickr for stock photography

There is a lot of great photography that can be found on Flickr for use in your blog or website, just be sure that it's under the proper license. For a complete rundown on what you can and can't use go check out Flickrs Creative Commons page and check out Creative Commons by going to Creativecommons.org.

To start searching, go to the Flickr home page and type in some search terms or search the popular photo tags (see image)

II. Using Flickr to host photos

Flickr is a great resource for web developers and bloggers alike. By storing your photos on Flickr and then hotlinking back to them, you save yourself a lot of money in bandwidth charges if you run your own website and pay for hosting. You also, rely on Flickrs infrastructure which is a lot larger and more stable than even your hosting company's. In the end this means more uptime for your site and a lot of saved money in your pocket. To hotlink a picture, you select the picture you want, and then from there you select "All sizes". The next page will provide you with some code to paste into your page and a direct link to the picture if you prefer to just put a link on your page. See the picture below:

Select your picture. In this case I'll be using my avatar.

Click the all sizes button at the top of the photo (circled in red in the picture).

Copy the given code and past it into your site. You'll see the code under the picture.

III. Using Flickr groups

Flickr has a group concept that allows any number of people to get together and share photos amongst the group. You can find existing groups by going to Flickr.com/groups. These can be very useful for families, clubs, or just a group of friends looking to put together a collection of photos. You need to be a member of flickr to join a group, but you can view group pictures without signing up. If anyone is interested in starting a flickr group, let me know and I'll kick it off. I was thinking of starting one for the family, but I'd rather not unless interest was high enough.

IV. Uploading directly from your cell phone

One of my favorite things to do with flickr is take pictures with my cell phone and then upload them directly from the phone. This allows me to send pictures on the fly from where ever I'm at. You can use this feature to take pictures along the way on a trip and let your family/friends view them as you go. So just how do you do this?

Click on the drop down at the top of the page that says "You" and then click on "Your Account" in the menu.

Click the "email" tab on the next page.

You will then see an email a little way down the page under "Your Flickr upload email" (I blacked mine out so you can upload to my Flickr, but I can easily change the email by clicking edit had I forgotten to do this).

By clicking on edit, you can change the email and also add default tags that will be added to every pictured submitted through this email.

Now all you need to do from here is send a picture text from your phone to the email provided and presto! You can add tags in the subject/body of the text, but you can find more instructions by going to the Flickr FAQ

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sucker fish

Today a cute little email landed in my inbox. It was from Paypal (what is paypal?)!! It said I needed to update my account information and provided a link so that I could go directly to Paypal.com and update my information. How convenient...In fact, the email wasn't from Paypal.com, it was from a scamer trying to get my personal information. My point here is be suspicious of every email you get and never click on links in an email. If you want to go to the link in the email, type it in. Your bank/ebay/paypal/etc... will never ask you to update your info through an email or ask you for personal information. I took a screen shot of the email and posted a few comments on the pictures to help you spot a scam. The second picture shows the status bar at the bottom of my browser when I floated my mouse over the link that was suppose to go to paypal.com. Check out the pictures below, and be careful when you check your email.

Here fishy fishy..

And one more

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This is just funny

I found this story today, and it's funny as hell. I guess it's so funny because my girlfriend has a roommate who has a couple of these dogs and I guess I never thought I could make money off them....ha ha ha.

Read the story

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Botched promotion

Not sure if many of you know, but I recently applied for an new position internally with in the company I work for (Spatial Corp.). It was a close call, but I finished second to someone outside of the company. Seems she had a little more industry experience. It turns out, however, that the job I'm in now is probably going to allow me a few more opportunities anyway, so I'm not really that bummed. Only part that sucks, is I won't be able to travel, which is something I was looking forward to doing with the other job. I guess, you win some, you loose some.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Local news

Not sure if you guys heard, but they closed a school today in Boulder, CO. I guess a few suspicious looking men were spotted on campus (Rocky Mountain News covered the story). I'm getting tired of hearing about this sort of thing. I was in high school when the Columbine tragedy took place and that was the first of it's kind that I knew of. It seems like this type of thing is becoming all too common and I can think of at least three school shootings in the last year or so (VTech,Baily, CO, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania). What is it about modern society that perpetuates this type of behavior? I don't buy the video games or music cop out. Kids/teens have been exposed to violence long before video games and the internet and think about some of the music you listen to: your parents probably thought it was bad for you when you were a teen. You didn't go on a killing spree because of some satanic Ozzy lyrics. There is a cultural change that is bringing this on. A universal break down in the way people treat each other. Morals are a thing of the past. Being in my 20's I can say from experience that this age group has a lack of respect for people that is unbelievable.

I'm not trying to preach, or maybe I am, but something has to change. I am tired of hearing about kids who think the only option is killing/hurting those who they view as a threat.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A few good links

I know I said I'd have the first part of the photo tutorial up today, but the truth is I lied. I'm working on it, and I'll have it up sooner than later. In the meantime, I wanted to share a few links with you guys. Most of these are a little on the "techy" side, but they won't always be like that. Anyway, the first link is a site called MAKE. I like to tinker with thinks and occasionally, I like to build stuff and this site helps me fill that need. The site has DIY projects ranging from very difficult to very easy and they consist of such topics as converting your diesel truck to run off of vegetable oil to building your own open source MP3 player to building a potato cannon.

Next is a site called Lifehacker. This site is geared towards software that can help you be more productive. You can find useful tips and downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Not everything I find here I use, but every once in awhile, I come across a must have app.

There you go, chew on those for awhile.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Let's talk howto

In addition to posting daily chronicles, I would like to try creating mini tutorials/howto's on various applications/web services and/or any other thing I feel I may be able to shed a little light on. Please provide your feedback as to whether or not you like what I'm doing or feel free to suggest something (computer/software related or not) that you would like me to try and explain.

So, I thought I would start with a photo series. This will be comprised of 3 parts and I will have the first part up in the next day or two. Let me know if you feel this is comprehensive enough:

I. Online photo storage
- Sharing
- Free hosting
- Groups
- Various choices

II. Batch photo editing
- Windows Powertoys
- Imagemagick

III. Photo editing with The Gimp

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Take a look at my girlfriend

I've got a pretty sweet girlfriend named Kim. Things started off a little slow between us, but that's probably mainly due to me. Anyway, she's a pretty cool chick (not to mention hot), and I'm teaching her how to ride motorcycles. She's already negotiated the motocross track and she's tackling the street now. Below is a video of her riding my new supermoto. She can barely touch the ground and the bike is pretty rare, so needless to say, I was nervous as hell. Anyway, she ended up doing really well, and I think she's going to get her license pretty soon. I can't wait...I've always wanted a girl that kind ride with me.

What's this all about?

Welcome to my blog. I'm not really sure what I want this to be, so bare with me while I experiment a little. For now I hope you can get an idea of what's going on in my life, check out some pictures, and maybe stumble upon a few cool links while you're here.

At this point anyone can post comments and I hope I can leave it as such. If you have something to say, then shoot. Please try to be creative, and remember don't post anything you wouldn't say to my face. If I start to get too much spam or too many negative comments, I'll have to go to a registered user only system. I'd hate to do that, because I want to keep communication between my family and I as simple as possible.

Well hope you enjoy, and I'll do my best to keep you entertained.