Swimming with the Razorfishes

Friday, October 21, 2005

Went over to the Photo Plus Expo at the Javits Center today. Good fun.

Sensual Silver
click for high-res

Apparently someone at SanDisk thinks having these sexless, featureless things writhe around the exhibition floor will help them sell compact flash cards. Or maybe they just enjoy humiliating out of work actors. I would love to have been in the marketing meeting when they came up with this idea.

All the usual characters were exhibiting: Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Adobe, Epson, Kodak, HP, Konica Minolta. The Nikon booth was crowded, but the Canon area was positively packed; people seem rather excited about the 5D and the new 24-105 IS L. There were a few interesting things at the show:

  • With very little arm-twisting, A Leica rep committed to a September 2006 delivery date for a digital M Series body, at which point I became visibly excited and had to cover my nether region with my 24-70mm zoom, for modesty's sake. This is the first time I have heard anyone official commit to a date for a digital M; I'm really quite excited.
  • Leica's new D-LUX 2 is actually quite a nice little camera. Smaller than I thought it was.
  • The editor of View Camera was there. It was nice to say hello and tell him how much I like his magazine.
  • Lensbabies had a relatively large booth. I was surprised to see them there in force. They must be selling a lot of those things.
  • Apple's Aperture looks pretty cool, particularly on dual 30-inch displays. Apple also had a surprisingly huge booth with a nice 50-workstation tutorial area. The seats were filled and the tutorials were all booked; it looks like people are interested in Aperture.
  • Lots of paper vendors were there. People must be making quite a few ink jet prints.
  • The Stock Artists Allicance was there. Interesting organization. One of the reasons I got the 5D was so I could get serious about shooting some stock photos. I'll certainly give the SAA a closer look.
  • White House Custom Color was there, but I missed their booth. I'm sorry I didn't see them; I'd like to see some good samples of their printing.
  • Hasselblad's H2 is a nice piece of equipment. And those lenses are no joke. Arca-Swiss cameras are also quite nice.

Lots of good stuff.

Here is one for the geeks.

I just had to throw together a JSP that serves as kind of a proofing report for a publishing function. The dynamic information in the JSP is coming from a database; the source of the data is human beings typing into an application.

The JSP is creating a UTF-8 encoded validated XHTML page.

Because it is valid XHTML, I have to be careful with the dynamic content. People may be typing in things like & or < -- these characters obviously need to be encoded as entities.

Is there some utility in the standard JSP library, J2EE, or the Struts distribution that does this? This is page content that needs to be encoded, not a URL. I feel like a dumbass for not knowing this.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The next time I have the brilliant idea to write a custom language parser for a project, would someone please remind me what a pain in the ass it is to handle all the corner cases and keyword escaping?


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Asked to comment on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Joshua B. Bolten, whom Ms. Miers succeeded as director of the Office of Management and Budget came up with high praise, indeed:

"I was racking my brain trying to think of something specific. [...] She is a very good bowler," he said. "For someone her size, she actually gets a lot of action out of the pins."

This nomination is its own punchline.

The weather is really nice here tonight. Cool, dry, breezy. Loving it.

Apple announces Aperture, a digital photo workflow tool.

I think I might have a stiffy.

Did they write this, or is it something they acquired?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Graf Door
click for high-res

As far as I concerned buyers are just waiting for the drop. The game of chicken is still on. Sellers. Start blinking. [via PropertyGrunt]

I'm waiting! Lets go hand out heroin on the Lower East Side to scare away the yuppies and stop the gentrification. Start blinking, bitches!

S.Z.: What about the trial of Saddam Hussein?

M.H.: It is the exact opposite. The trial focuses on a small part of the criminal record of the Iraqi regime, and the Iraqi population feels highly emotional about it.

But it is not possible to perceive the dimensions of the Iraqi rule of terror in the trial.

I think it is all about justifying the United States' invasion of Iraq and to string Saddam Hussein up sooner rather than later without asking too many questions.

From an interview with Marc Henzelin, a Swiss lawyer who declined to represent Saddam Hussein in his upcoming trial.

This is a test for all of us. The strength of Saddam Hussein's defense and the fairness of his trail will be a measure of our civilization. Are we humans standing behind the rule of law, or are we blood thirsty animals howling for revenge?

Caitilin Clonan [...] proceeded to explain how she and her boyfriend were caught kinda naked on First Street near Sixth Avenue by a police officer last Thursday. Clonan says it was a mistake, and she and boyfriend Philip Conlan were charged with public lewdness (she was naked from the waist down, Conlan had his clothes on, though the "status of his zipper was unclear") and will have to do some community service. Clonan tells the Post, "We were walking down a dark street in Brooklyn. I didn't think it was a big deal." [via Gothamist]

Wouldn't honesty be the best policy here? It certainly wasn't a mistake, nor were you walking down the street. Your coochie was showing. That very rarely happens by mistake, particularly in Park Slope.

What is wrong with flashing a smile and saying, "I was getting a good Rogering, and I didn't appreciate the interruption, thank you very much."

The Washington Post has obtained some FEMA e-mail messages sent during Katrina.

Monday, October 17, 2005


click for high-res

It was 8:45 AM. I walked past this guy. Stopped and walked back to take another look, make sure he was breathing. Walked across the street, framed the shot, and snapped a dozen frames. He never stirred. Now that is a hard night.

It must be a tough life for recruiters working in the tech industry. Always trying to ingratiate themselves, they often send little gifts. I suppose these missives are intended to keep themselves on my mind, should I wake up wondering, "where can I find a .Net developer today?"

The latest gift arriving in my in-box, from a headhunter whom I will not name, struck me as terribly odd.

He sent me a watermelon-sized plastic barrel filled with pretzels.

I suppose the sentiment was nice, but the pretzel barrel left me wondering what this particular recruiter thought of me. A barrel of pretzels says something about its owner. It says you like cheap, salty food. It says you prefer quantity of food above all else. And it says that you are willing to eat directly out of a barrel.

A barrel of pretzels is not a flattering gift to give.

Send a little box of chocolates. Send a snappy pen. Think of something useful that suggests you respect the recipients and want them to have something nice. But don't send junk. Rather than keeping you in mind for future placements, I'll be wondering what kind of tasteless slob you are, office strewn with barrels of pretzels.

A new news website is launching. This from their front page.

IE Required

Uh, fuck you, and fuck you.