Archive for January, 2014

This is, for me at least, a premiere: I received a spam (scam!) text message on my phone, early on a Sunday morning:

SMS Message reading: 'Your Mobile is a Winner of One Million Euros in the UK/Europe Charity Mobile Lottery Draw.Ref:-UK/55.To Claim send email to:-ukgltd@outlook.com. +447466855612'

Does anyone still fall for these tactics? Better still: why does my “smart (!) phone” accepts to receive such a message ;-?


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Dave Winer just announced “The new look of Scripting News“. Looks nice!


Now we just have to wait for details about his new CMS…

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Is Two Better Than One?

Are two BMW R1100S’s better than one? Of course not – you can only ride one of the time. But it’s nice to see two of them side by side!

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While I’m trying to rescue the data from a computer – a Mac! – that refuses to work correctly when I log in, I’m reminded of the progress made since my birth: Tech Time Warp of the Week: The World’s First Hard Drive, 1956.

(Source: SFGate website)

(Source: SFGate website)

Don’t forget to check out the movie at the end of the article; it takes you back to the 1950 in a way that is hard to describe. And do remember: “Hard drives have never been perfect.”

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Take your time and read a great story about the moon and art and space politics and human emotions: “The Sculpture on the Moon. Scandals and conflicts obscured one of the most extraordinary achievements of the Space Age” (on the Slate website).

"Fallen Astronaut", on the moon (see http://paulvanhoeydonck.com/man-on-the-moon.html for the original picture)

“Fallen Astronaut”, on the moon
(see http://paulvanhoeydonck.com/man-on-the-moon.html for the original picture)

Forty-two years later, van Hoeydonck is still stewing: “That astronaut called me a ‘workman,’ and said to be good and stay quiet. I’m not a workman; I’m an artist. I said, ‘If you are proud to have been on the moon, I’m proud to have a sculpture on the moon. I am the man who made that sculpture, damn it.’ ” In a later conversation, van Hoeydonck tells us that if he was the “workman” behind Fallen Astronaut, then Scott was just “the postman.”

PS. Paul Van Hoeydonck (°1925) was born in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Was it maltreatment, a bit of cold, or just bad luck? I don’t know why it happened just at the moment I needed the machine, while my daughter uses it daily for her home work and her movie viewing. Luckily, the problem turned out to be simple to solve. What problem? Well, when I needed my trusted, 2001 iBook (there aren’t that many Mac’s in the house that still have a FireWire port!) it turned out to be almost impossible to open it up. The hinge seemed blocked, although I could not discern any obstacle.

The apple 2001 iBook (c) Baku13

The apple 2001 iBook
(c) Baku13

I managed to slowly pull and push the screen into an almost vertical position… and then I turned to the Web. Am I really the first one to encounter this situation? Of course not, and the solution is actually very simple: “Silicone spray made my iBook hinge work great“. OK, so I used what I have at hand: WD40, just like MacFixIt recommends. WD40 has no silicone in it, but the end result seems to be the same: an iBook with a smooth hinge.

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The history of photographic technology is illustrated in the extensive article “Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we’ve come“. You can take the word ‘illustrated’ literally: comparative pictures show the road travelled between 2003 and today.

(Picture from the TechGarage.my website)

The author concludes:

The EOS 10D ran rings around the film that we’d been using for 50 years in terms of clarity and freedom from grain.

Yet it’s comprehensively humbled by modern phones. The iPhone out-shoots it, and the Nokia out-resolves it, all by huge margins.

Leo Koo continues the discussion of this progress on his own website, in “An early 2014 look on Smartphones vs DSLR and Cameras“. He concludes that “2014 looks like it will be a defining year for the Japanese Camera Makers and their DSLR / mirrorless systems“. Maybe – predicting the future in high-tech industries isn’t that easy. And one should not forget that some mirrorless system cameras (the Micro Four Thirds system cameras in particular) have made great strides as well during the last years. But all that means that we may be seeing lots of innovations in the still camera industry soon, so who am I to complain?

On a personal note, I would like to add that I am very happy with my Samsung Galaxy S3 – as a smartphone. But its camera is no match for my DSLR, even though some of the pictures I have made with it are not that bad at all…

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