Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Blog Posts

Hypocritical Flickr

I've been putting my photos on flickr for several years now. I joined flickr well before they were absorbed by yahoo. I have a "Pro" account which means I have actually paid money to flickr/yahoo for their services. Until recently I have been very happy with my experiences with flickr.

Earlier this year one of my photos from Coachella made it onto this official flickr blog post. The photo is no longer on that post, and it's not because I asked them to take it down, but because I asked them to credit me properly. I had previously asked the original blog poster several times to update the credit to say my name (Dave Bullock, not eecue) and to link that credit to my website (eecue.com not flickr.com/photos/eecue). After several attempts at contact, I never heard back from the original poster, mbaratz, so I sent in a message to both flickr help and abuse. Here is the response I got:

Hi Dave,

FlickrBlog is part of Flickr and this our standard for accreditation.

If you would prefer, we can remove your content from the post in question.

Regards,

Heather

Hmm, interesting, so basically their policy violates my BY-NC-SA Creative Commons license. Instead of bringing that up I politely responded:

Ok, I understand. I'd really rather not have you delete it, wouldn't it be just as easy to credit me as it would be to delete it? How about you change the accreditation and then everyone is happy. You can keep the photo linking to the flickr page.

=]

-Dave

So I was hoping to get a reasonable and polite response, be it yes or no, but instead Heather responded with this passive aggressive missive:

Dave,

I've removed your content from the post. I think that this is the easiest way to make everybody happy.

Regards,

Heather

I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe that they would just delete my photo instead of working with me and changing a single link in a blog post. Flickr is a huge champion of Creative Commons, I find it ludicrous that they would refuse to practice what they preach. Apart from Creative Commons, flickr requires you to link back whenever you post one of your photos on your site, but now they're refusing to link to me? They even insert rel="nofollow" on any links you put in your photo descriptions, but we're forced to link back when we post those same photos?

I am seriously considering removing all my content (5,976 photos which have received 277,092 views) from flickr. I don't really want to do this, but I feel totally insulted by this interaction I had with Heather.


Here is the photo in question:

Cauac Twins Tesla Coils

UPDATE Not specifically related to this post, but I am no longer using flickr to host photos on this site. I will soon be removing all my photos from flickr once I have fully backed up all comments and data from said images.

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Monday, September 24th, 2007

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Blog Posts

Different Sides of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles has been dry and cloudless all summer. I really love the way clouds look in an HDR photo, and as I'm working on the last few shots I need for my first solo show which is coming up either in November or January, I couldn't resist spending a few hours driving around LA and getting some shots. Here are some photos of LA from a few vantage points I found throughout the city, including Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and Baldwin Hills Estates:

Downtown LA and Truck Yard

Dowtown LA From Lincoln Heights

Downtown LA from Baldwin Hills Estates

You can check out the rest in my Downtown from the Hills gallery.

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Blog Posts

And the Rain Falls

Our vast arid-wasteland-cum-metropolis has been parched past the point of desiccation after our lowest annual rainfall on record this year. Finally our city is breathing a collective, rain-drenched, sigh of relief. The rain is falling right now, the streets are wet and glimmering, if I was outside my nostrils would be filled with the smell of soaked pavement. The thing I miss most about growing up in the Bay Area is the rain... the rain that fell more often than it does here in the desert that Mulholland converted.

Hopefully this next year will be a wet one, like it was in 2005. That was the year the Mojave was carpeted with wildflowers, many of which hadn't bloomed in centuries.

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Friday, September 21st, 2007

Blog Posts

South of Los Angeles, an HDR Excursion

Today the sky in Los Angeles was filled with the most beautiful clouds that we've had in some time now. I couldn't resist driving around my favorite industrial areas South of Los Angeles and shooting some photos. I even got a chance to try out my new Gobi Stealth roof rack, which has a mesh top and can support 300lbs, making it a perfect photographic platform. Here are the results from my excursion:

Bridge Over Los Angeles River

Boilers

Railroad Bridge Over River

Trains Below the 710

All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 5D, through a Canon 24-70 EF f/2.8 L atop my trusty Bogen Manfrotto 3021BN connected to a Arca Swiss B1 Monoball Head triggered using a wired remote. Each photo you see here is a combination of 3 bracketed shots: 0,-,+ 2 EV which were combined with Photomatix. More photos after the jump.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Blog Posts

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Blog Posts

Photo Credit, Creative Commons and Those Who Ignore It

Scott Beale just posted about ZingFu ignoring his CC license and using one of his photos for a promotional card without either asking (which is required for commercial use) or crediting him. This happens to me rather frequently, which is why I've borrowed (with permission) the wording that Scott uses on all his photo on flickr:

This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons license. If you use this photo, please list the photo credit as "Scott Beale (Laughing Squid)" and link credit to laughingsquid.com.

Of course, I've replaced his name and website with mine, but I am guessing from his results, this will still not be enough.

The last two entities to refuse to properly credit my photos, and thus violate my creative commons license, were NPR and the Flickr Blog. I have also recently been contacted by an editor on Wikipedia, who has asked me to change my license to allow for commercial usage, which I will not do by any means. I find it very unfortunate that Wikipedia forbids -NC CC photos, but here is a page in support of their reasoning.

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Monday, September 17th, 2007

Blog Posts

ISO: Ultimate Ultra-Compact Camera

Over the years I've made my way through various Ultra-Compact digital cameras, the latest being the Canon Powershot SD550. I don't especially like the SD500 for a number of reasons which I don't feel like listing here. What I am going to list, is what I do want in an Ultra-Compact Digital Camera:

Required: Somewhere Between 5 and 10 Megapixels RAW Mode Full Manual Mode Tripod Mount Excellent Low-light Performance Quick or Instant Startup Time ≥ 3" LCD ≥ 2x Optical Zoom At Least 24-50mm Equivalent Zoom Fits Easily in Pocket Macro Mode Video Mode Doesn't Use Obscure Memory Format USB 2.0

Would be Nice: Water-Resistent of Water-Proof Image Stabilization Bluetooth / 802.11x Face Recognition Standard Sized Batteries

Obviously there is currently no camera that meets my required specs, but I'm hoping there will be some time soon. I was considering the Leica D-Lux 3, but because of its poor low-light performance and protruding lens won't work for me. If my SD550 dies before a camera with my required specs comes along, I'll probably go with the Nikon Coolpix S51, although it doesn't have a RAW nor manual modes.... ok so maybe that won't work. For now I'll just make it a point to lug around my 5D as much as possible.

Btw, this post was inspired by Scott Beale's post about his new Fuji Finepix F50.

UPDATE I have created a handy little size guide so you can get a real life idea of the size of the various Ultra-Compact cameras out there. So far I have only done Canon and Nikon, but I plan on adding other manufacturers. You can download the Ultra-Compact Camera Size Comparison Chart [66k PDF].

UPDATE 2 Hmm, I think this might be the perfect camera for me: Canon SD870 IS.

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Photos

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Blog Posts

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Blog Posts

Getting Fresh with Keepon @ Nextfest

Last night I got a chance to get up close and personal with Keepon, the friendly dancing robot, at the WIRED Nextfest Creative Commons Benefit. I was hoping to see him perform live with Spoon, although honestly I'm more of a Keepon fan than a Spoon fan, but Keepon's performance was in the lobby, not on stage:

Keepon

I had a chance to chat with Marek Michalowski and Hideki Kozima a bit about their robot and they even took off Keepon's pants/dress so I could get a shot of his guts which consist of 4 geared DC motors and a RISC processor to control the motors:

Keepon Lower Guts

They didn't take off his skin, but they said they would for me during the press preview on Thursday. The did let me peak behind the curtain at the beautiful rats nest of cables, interfaces and two MacBooks being used to control the quartet of Keepons.

Keepon Brains

Marek Michalowski and Hideki Kozima showed off their robots to an interested crowd:

Marek Michalowski
and Hideki Kozima demo

Evidently girls really, really, really like dancing squishy robots (I mean really):

Keepon Gets Kissed

You can see more in my Nextfest Creative Commons Benefit gallery.

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Monday, September 10th, 2007

Blog Posts

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Blog Posts

Tabletop Electron Microscope... Do Want!

Hitachi TM-1000 Electron Microscope

Dear Santa Claus,

I have been a relatively good boy this year and I would like a shiny new Hitachi TM-100 Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope. I know what you're going to say, "Dave, you already have a microscope and it can easily fit on a tabletop." Yes, that is true, but I have an old optical microscope and if I had an electron microscope just think of the photos I could take! They would by much cooler than these I took last year.


The TM-100 will be on display (hopefully a hands on display!) at the 2007 WIRED Nextfest.

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Blog Posts

DLANC CERT Training Session 1 of 3 : This Saturday: September 8th!

The time has come for the first of the three Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council's (DLANC) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training sessions! The training will begin this Saturday, September 8th, starting at 8:30am and running to 4:30pm at the Los Angeles Theatre, located at 615 S Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. DLANC is sponsoring the training and is providing delicious lunches from the Corner Bakery.

There is no charge for the training or the meals, the only thing you need to bring is your thinking cap and note-taking supplies.

Please be sure to RSVP to [email protected] with your full name and phone number if you are planning on coming.

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Blog Posts

The Black Hole : Los Alamos Laboratory Salvage Yard

The Black Hole

Every teenager dreams of working in a giant warehouse full of discarded nuclear test equipment, well used high-pressure vacuum fittings and an endless assortment of puzzling devices which may or may not have any value in the modern era. Ok, so maybe not every teenager has this dream, I was and still am somewhat of a strange person, but in High School in New Mexico, this particular dream of mine came true.

After tooling around the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Library and the Bradbury Museum for the better part of a day, my father took a break from coding the labs IBM AS/400 systems he was responsible for and took me to The Black Hole, also known as the Los Alamos Sales Company. He introduced me to Ed Grothus (photo below), an eccentric old fellow who had worked for the lab (what the locals call LANL) until being let go after marching in a peace protest in the '60s.Ed offered me a job, which paid minimum wage, which I believe was about $4.25 in New Mexico. He didn't really tell me what the job would entail, and honestly I didn't care. I had fallen in love with the endless piles of mysterious equipment that filled the former supermarket that had become The Black Hole. As it turned out my job description was quite eclectic and covered everything from taking apart electronic assemblies to recover whatever was valuable inside to helping customers find that centrifuge they were looking for to tearing old lockers out of High Schools.

I worked for Ed for 3 or 4 summers and I really enjoyed my time there. It was an amazing experience and I learned about all types of scientific laboratory equipment, how it worked, and what it was worth second hand. I had been meaning to visit the Black Hole and Ed for almost a decade, and I did just that on my recent vacation to New Mexico. Here are some photos with short captions covering what I saw:

Ed Grothus shows off his Peace Obelisk, one of two identical 3 ton marble obelisks. Ed traveled to China to have the massive monuments hewn from quarried marble and then polished and inscribed. The obelisks will have a message in fifteen languages inscribed in the hematite spheres that the obelisks will rest on. He is still searching for a location to place the monuments, I recommended the Trinity Site.

Ed Grothus and his Peace Obelisks

Except for the rusted sculptures and the "Military Surplus" sign, the front entrance to the Black Hole hasn't changed much in the decade and a half since I worked there. The former supermarket, it's parking lot and the church next door no longer sell groceries or facilitate worship, but instead provide cover to millions of salvaged scientific apparatuses. His frequent customers include LANL employees who are ironically buying back the same equipment the lab sold to salvage for pennies on the dollar over the years.

High Vacuum Equipment

Ultra High vacuum equipment is some of the most high-tech looking hardware in the world. Comprised of thick walled stainless steel and machined with great precision for even greater amounts of money, HVac or UHV fittings are designed to withstand extremely high levels of vacuum. They are used for thin-film and spectroscopy research applications which require insane levels of negative pressure.

Marley High Speed Camera

This large device is a Marley High Speed Camera built in England in 1944. The camera is capable of taking 100,000 photos per second. It was most likely used to photograph nuclear or other explosions.

The Yard

To the left of the parking lot in the photo above you can see the A-frame church. When I worked at the Black Hole, it was filled with especially old, and possibly valuable equipment. The parking lot has been a source of trouble for Ed through the years, after neighbors complained the city of Los Alamos ordered Ed to clean up the lot. He ended up refusing to do so, being arrested, and while he was in jail the city hired a private firm to clean up the Black Hole. Instead of cleaning the parking lot out, they sold most all of Ed's most valuable items and pocketed the profit. As you can clearly see, the yard is still not clean.

More after the jump, and the whole archive can be found in my gallery

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Friday, August 31st, 2007

Blog Posts

Defcon 15 : Photo Essay

As I mentioned in my previous blog posts, I attended my 6th Defcon this year. I had a great time and actually ended up getting hired by Wired Blog to shoot photos of the event, many of which can be found here. A few of them also made it onto the main Wired website. Of course I took hundreds of photos and only a handful were used by Wired, so here are some highlights from my collection:

Glowing DC Badges

Hacked Badge

OLPC

Uncle Ira Junk

Black Badges

More after the jump, and the whole archive can be found in my Defcon 15 gallery.

Read more...

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Photos

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Blog Posts

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Photos

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Blog Posts

Santa Fe Proper

Surprisingly enough, I only took a few photos of Santa Fe itself during our vacation there. Here they are:

El Portal and Crane with Clounds

Santa Fe Plaza Monument Topped with Pige

East Palace Avenue and Clouds

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Monday, August 13th, 2007

Blog Posts

Elk Mountain in New Mexico

Today Penelope and I drove up past Pecos to dig through some mine tailings for interesting rocks. Yeah we're rockhounds, so what? After finding some good specimens we decided to take a 4WD trail up to the top of Elk Mountain. It was a great drive, about 20 miles each way. Once again, the FJ totally kicked ass, this time getting totally covered with mud. I didn't even have to put it in to 4 low for the trail. Here are some photos from the top of Elk Mountain:

Penelope, Dave and Blue-J on Elk Mountai

FJ Cruiser atop Elk Mountain

View from Elk Mountain

FJ Cruiser and Repeater atop Elk Mountai

View from Elk Mountain

You can find the rest in my gallery.

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Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Blog Posts

New Mexico in an FJ Cruiser

My lovely wife, Penelope, and I are vacationing in New Mexico. We just got in last night and today was our first road trip. We drove down to the former ghost town of Madrid. We took back roads most of the way, and of course the FJ Cruiser, which we have named "Blue-J", performed beautifully.

I just drove by memory from my High School days in Santa Fe, and Penelope was a bit concerned we would get lost, driving on random poorly maintained dirt roads, but we did just fine. When we got back to Santa Fe, we picked up a road and recreation atlas that has much finer detail than our AAA maps. Tomorrow I think we're going to go to Tesuque and Las Vegas... New Mexico, not Nevada!

Here are some photos from today:

Dave and Penelope with Clouds and Blue-J

New Mexico Sky

Dave and Penelope in Blue-J

New Mexico Sky and Blue-J

You can check out the rest here in my photo gallery.

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Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Blog Posts

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

Blog Posts

Hacking the Defcon Badge

Defcon Badge with Soldered on Connector

Yesterday at Defcon I went to the vendor area to pick up the Zigbee and accelerometer chips for my awesome Defcon badge. Unfortunately they were out of both chips, but they did let me borrow their soldering iron and gave me some leads to solder onto my badge. I soldered these leads on in a minute or two and then attached my badge to their laptop which had the freescale programming software on it. I modified the source code, which is actually in C, simply changing the hard coded message from "I <3 DEFCON" to "eecue.com." Changing this, meant that as soon as I powered up the badge it displayed that instead of the default message, and also changed the POV message. After modifying the code, I recompiled the firmware and flashed it to the badge.

Programming the Defcon Badge

The hack was simple and in total took me about 10 minutes. According to the guys at the booth and Joe Grand (the badge's designer) I was the first person at the con to hack a badge. Today I am planning on picking up my own Freescale programmer and the accelerometer chips which should be in stock, and hopefully I'll find some time to modify the badge in more interesting ways. This simple hack has been written up on Wired's 27bstroke6 blog (whom I have been employed by for the duration of the convention as their staff photog), Gizmodo and several other places.

Hacked Defcon Badge

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Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Blog Posts

Defcon 15 : Badge Radness

Defcon 15 Badge

I just got my wife's badge for Defcon (they're not giving out press badges 'till tomorrow) and it is totally and completely awesome. At first when I put the batteries in, the LEDs lit up and then nothing happened. I tried shorting a few pins together on the back to no avail and then by accident I figured out that the front has two buttons, which are the smiley skull and the dial. After pressing the buttons it scrolled some text about Defcon, and then I hit the buttons a few more times and saw POV, which stands for persistence of vision. I swung the badge around and saw the word defcon, just like the cool spoke POV kits. Then I pushed the buttons a few more times and it displayed: TEXT. I held both buttons at once and I was able to program in 15 characters of text using the buttons to navigate and pressing them both at once to select a letter. I choose: "EECUE[HEART]PENELOPER^" with the heart being an actual heart symbol. The badge offers a full upper and lowercase alphabet along with an assortment of symbols and punctuation. After adding the 15 characters the text began to scroll in a marquee fashion. This is the dopest badge ever. Hell yeah and way to go Defcon!

Defcon 15 Badge

Defcon 15 Badge

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Blog Posts

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Blog Posts

Happy Anniversary to My Lovely Wife

Penelope

My beautiful, sweet wife and I had a beautiful wedding 1 year ago today. We've had an amazing array of fun adventures since then, starting with our honeymoon in Fiji, and continuing with trips to the zoo, the desert, San Francisco, Huntington Gardens, DEFCON, Santa Barbara, San Diego and many more. Our special day every week is Sunday and we try and do something fun and different every time.

Penelope is the sweetest woman I've ever met, and her charm and charisma is readily evident to everyone who meets her. I couldn't have asked for a better person to share my life with. Thanks to her compassion and love for humanity, she will be the best nurse ever.

My only gift to her today is dinner at the Water Grill, plus some hiking / scrabble action. The real gift will come next month in the form of a vacation to Santa Fe, Taos and Sedona. Sweet sweet Penelope, you are perfect for me. I'm looking forward to the next 50+ years with you.

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Photos

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Photos

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Photos

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Blog Posts

The Edison in Downtown Los Angeles

A few weeks ago at the CPAB meeting I met one of the managers of The Edison. I asked him if I could come down during their off-hours and take some HDR photos. He agreed and here is the result:

Generator and pressure tank

Pressure Tank

Edison Furnace

The building that The Edison is in was the first building in Los Angeles with electricity. The power came from a very large oil furnace that is now a room in the lounge. As you can see from the photos above, the generators are still in the basement, although obviously they are no longer in operation.

You can see some more photos on blogging.la and in the Edison Bar photo gallery here on eecue.com.

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accessories
accessories
urban
urban
outdoor
outdoor
crowd
crowd
outdoors
outdoors
sky
sky
building
building
electronics
electronics
hat
hat
part
part
architecture
architecture
lighting
lighting
art
art
nature
nature
concert
concert
night
night
plant
plant
coachella
coachella
glasses
glasses
recreation
recreation
land
land
footwear
footwear
jewelry
jewelry
shoe
shoe
photography
photography
indoors
indoors
furniture
furniture
performance
performance
light
light
vehicle
vehicle
transportation
transportation
machine
machine
city
city
device
device
portrait
portrait
club
club
electrical
electrical
blue
blue
stage
stage
room
room
rekognition c
rekognition c
life
life
bag
bag
animal
animal
microphone
microphone
interior
interior
audience
audience
handbag
handbag
rock
rock
cap
cap
car
car
computer
computer
music
music
metropolis
metropolis
musical
musical
road
road
performer
performer
instrument
instrument
headgear
headgear
activities
activities
leisure
leisure
baseball
baseball
tree
tree
shirt
shirt
hardware
hardware
necklace
necklace
wood
wood
entertainer
entertainer
water
water
pants
pants
cloudy
cloudy
wristwatch
wristwatch
table
table
screen
screen
chair
chair
coat
coat
fun
fun
grass
grass
monitor
monitor
musician
musician
bracelet
bracelet
mammal
mammal
floor
floor
party
party
arts
arts
speaker
speaker
performing
performing
baby
baby
flooring
flooring
flare
flare
pub
pub
cup
cup
pet
pet
scenery
scenery
food
food
jeans
jeans
wheel
wheel
path
path
spotlight
spotlight
junglescene
junglescene
housing
housing
beverage
beverage
couch
couch
weekend
weekend
design
design
jacket
jacket
plywood
plywood
alcohol
alcohol
office
office
nightclub
nightclub
container
container
flower
flower
canine
canine
hill
hill
child
child
dog
dog
cord
cord
darkness
darkness
summer
summer
pc
pc
area
area
boy
boy
laptop
laptop
street
street
park
park
happy
happy
glove
glove
equipment
equipment
cityscape
cityscape
desk
desk
landscape
landscape
singer
singer
shelter
shelter
sport
sport
wear
wear
formal
formal
phone
phone
smile
smile
sea
sea
guitar
guitar