The Gigapxl Project

I just listened to a great podcast from ITConversations that was a
presentation at Pop!Tech 2005.  It was a wonderful talk by Graham
Flint about the Gigapxl Project
This is some amazing work where they are now taking pictures at extreme
resolutions – close to 4 Gigapixels!  That is close to 4000
Megapixels … a LOT more than the digital cameras that you can buy
today.  They are using some highly custom cameras to be able to
take pictures with incredible resolutions, built out of old U2 spy
plane parts.  These are still “film” cameras, but he also
discusses the work on fully digital versions of these cameras being

In his talk he mentions some interesting things that they find when
they are able to zoom in on these extremely detailed images.  He
talks about this image of paragliders
on the coast of California.  When his wife was reviewing the
image, she found people watching with binoculars and telescopes … but
they were looking down
… not up!  When they followed the track of the people’s vision,
they found that below the paragliders was a nudist beach!  When
they put this particular image in a museum, the resolution was so good
that they had to mask the faces and heads of the nudists!  This
opens a whole new conversation about privacy … and continues to beg
the question “Is there such thing as privacy?”

The site has got a lot of very cool images, and examples of the
abilitty to zoom.  They even had a cityscape of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ll have to check which podcast had the Q&A, however they did
bring up the questions of privacy.  In this image of  PETCO Park
he talks about the fact that they have detailed images of ~15,000
people … and how would you ever get a release from all of these
people?  As a friend and I talked about this, it means that a
single photo of a demonstration or rally might give details images of
the people attending.  Uh … what are you doing in that hotel room on the 15th floor?

It is truly some amazing work, and the podcast was a great
listen.  I’ve attached the link to this post … we’ll see if it
works for you!

You mean what I say publicly can’t be used against me?

I love this article … and I’m almost amused at the perspective presented in this article – Blogger Blocked at U.S. Border
A Canadian citizen was blocked from coming into the U.S. from Toronto
when U.S. border guards found references in his blog to being based in
New York. The blogger seems to be surprised that someone would hold him
accountable for what he wrote!

“One of them, a very sharp guy in fact, started to read every single post on
my blog. And it didn’t take long until he shocked me: ‘So you live in New York,
right? That’s what you’ve written in your [blog].'”

Derakhshan did, in fact, write that he was based out of New York—mostly
because it sounded “sexier” than saying he was based out of Toronto, he said.

But between his offhand blog comment and the fact that he was carrying a
Newsweek magazine sent to him at a New York address, the guards found grounds to
refuse his entry into the United States, for at least the next six months.

According to U.S. policy, as a Canadian citizen Derakhshan may be legally
entitled to stay in the United States for up to six months.

Canadian citizens entering the United States as visitors for business do not
require either a passport or a visa, although visitors are required to satisfy
border guards of their citizenship, according to the U.S. Customs and Border
Protection’s site.

“It was obvious the guy was trying to find an excuse not to let me in, and he
found something,” Derakhshan told Ziff Davis Internet News. “He found that I
said in the blog that I said I’m based in New York now. He said being based in
New York is illegal.”

Uh … excuse me, but it seems to me that Mr. Derakhshan made the
choice to be irresponsible with his writing … he publicly claimed to
be in violation of the law.  The “sharp guy” realized that not
only was this Canadian carrying a magazine with an address to him in
the U.S., but he outright claimed to be “based” in New York … in
direct violation of the law!

So what is the big deal?  You got what you asked for.  You were more interested in “looking good” (“Derakhshan did, in fact, write that he was based out of New York—mostly
because it sounded “sexier” than saying he was based out of Toronto, he said.”) and are now surprised at the consequences of your actions and words.

It is always amazing to me when people want to act surprised when they
get caught in their inauthenticities.  I remember being taught to
be very careful what I say … and to understand the consequences of
telling lies.  It appears that either he really was based in New
York illegally, or that his claims to look good have simply caught up
with him.

In either case, I love the idea of the border guards using Google!

Adding a secondary IP address on Fedora Core

Every now and then I find another thing in Linux – or a particular
distribution – that really impresses me.  Tonight was one of those
times.  My home network is connected through a Fedora Core Linux
box, to a wireless link to my communications shed up on the mountain
above my house.  The shed then has a ~6 mile wireless link to my
office up at the Heber City Airport.

I have actually overlaid two different IP subnets on the wireless
network, one being the small subnet provided by my DSL provider, and
then other being a 10.x.x.x subnet that I created for a set of hosts
that I use for testing.  When I set up my Fedora Core Linux box as
a home gateway, I gave it a public IP address that is part of the fixed
range through my DSL modem.  So I can get in and out of my house
just fine, but was unable to access anything on the 10.x.x.x network
from my house.

To resolve this, I had to bind a second address to the same NIC card
… something that I had done with other operatings systems in the
past, but never with Linux.  After a quick search on Google, I
found a couple of articles that outlined a manual method of configuring
this, and then realized that I ought to look at the GUI config tools
that are a part of the Fedora distribution.  I opened the Network
Configuration tool, and simply clicked the “add” button … chose the
ethernet card, and provided address information.  I was impressed
that the tool added the new binding perfectly!  I clicked the
“activate” button, and up came the secondary IP address.

In a matter of 10 minutes I had the secondary binding working, and now
have a host that is connected to both the public IP address range, and
my private 10.x.x.x network through the same ethernet card.  Yeah
… I know … simple stuff.  But I had to comment how impressed I
was that the config tools managed this in such an intuitive way!

[tags: ]

Sam and his swimming progress

There are certain skills that I believe can really alter your life
experience.  Swimming is one of them.  I remember learning
how to swim as a child at the Hidden Valley Swimming Pool near our
home.  There were a couple of eventful lessons, but then there was
no looking back.  I love to swim, and it has enabled me to
participate in numerous activities around water.

Over this last summer I have made it a point ot take my son Sam, now
just over three years old, to the local swimming pool one or two times
a week.  Its been fun to be a part of his progress from being
uneasy in the pool, to being ok floating by himself wearing his life
jacket.  Months ago he progressed to kicking and paddling with his
hands, and a month or so ago he started to jump into the pool … not
caring about going under water anymore.

Two nights ago, he amazed me as he demonstrated absolutely no fear
about doing belly-flops in the pool … and intentionally putting his
face into the water while holding his breath.  It was too funny to
watch.  Somehow he got the idea, and then for the next 15 minutes
he would stand … walk forward .. and the dive forward onto his belly
and go underwater.  He repeated this over and over.  And then
it got better.  He suddenly ran towards me and said “I want a

The pool that we go to has all sorts of equipment that is free to use,
and we went and got a mask for him.  As he put it on, he seemed to
question the fit, but then quickly walked forward and dove on his
belly.  He got up smiling and spent the next 30 minutes repeating
this over and over again.  He told me several times that he could
hold his breath.  It was a blast to see.

I again have to admit that having a child, and watching them develop,
has to be one of the most amazing experiences.  I get one set of
feelings watching him learn and accomplish things.  I get another
set of feelings imagining that I too went through this process. 
Its wild what we forget about our own development and learning. 
Its fun thinking about how Sam will enjoy going to Hawaii the next time!

The value of learning multiple languages

Last night I was talking with a 13 year old who is creating some
impressive works in Photoshop.  He created some very cool graphics
for his Counter Strike clan web site.  I have to admit that I was
really blown away by what he created.

As we talked I asked him what he used to create the graphics, and that
is when he told me about using Photoshop.  I asked what else he
was doing on the web and he replied “Some Javascipt … and a little
PHP.”  Wow … I was surprised.  We talked about Javascript,
and although his knowledge was not incredibly deep, he had a good grasp
of the basics of the language.  I showed him some of the stuff
that I have been working on lately and he asked some good
questions.  We then progressed to talking about PHP, and he
explained some of the small things that he is learning there. 

What struck me today is the shift in learning to “speak” different
“languages”.  Decades ago, or even hundreds of years ago, it was
seen as important to learn to speak other languages from around the
globe.  People in non-English speaking countries learned
English.  Most of the schools here in the USA taught middle and
high-school students Spanish, French, German, and other
languages.  (I actually spent years learning Spanish … although
it is very rusty at this point!)  It always seemed to me that the
intent was to give me a leg up on interacting with people of other
countries and origins.  I have, from time to time, found value in
my Spanish learning.

Today it now appears that the future is more in “talking” to computers
and the Internet.  And so now it seems there is more value in
learning “computer” languages … then “foriegn” langauges.  As I
thought about this today, I realized that this is probably true. 
More and more people from around the globe are learning English, and
much of the Internet – and computer technology in general – is based on
English.  So where do children turn?  To “interacting” with
computers.  And so understanding the languages used by computers
is becoming more and more important.

Its fun to think about the evolution of computer langauges, and to see
the various roots of the popular langauges.  In addition, most of
the scripting languages are becoming so high-level, and the component
libraries so rich, that even a beginner at programming can create
powerful applications.  With the Internet as a platform, Web
Services, XML, RSS, and many other standards are emerging as the APIs
independent of operating system … or programming “langauge”.  I
can only imagine what a 13 year old, who today is learning Javascript
and PHP, might be developing in 5 or 10 years.  I know that it
will be fun to see!

New version of the RadioAtomBridge tool – v3.2!

Tonight I posted the lastest version (v3.2) of my RadioAtomBridge tool for
Radio Userland
. This tool is a way to mirror blog posts from Radio Userland
blogs that are hosted at The tool has been working
great over the last year, but recently changed their API
(wisely!) to require the use of SSL. I discovered this when my
tool failed and stopped working.

I spent the last several weeks making a number of changes, and cleaning
up the tool in general. There were several fixes that I wanted to
get in place, and I think that I have covered the majority of
them. The primary change was to allow you to specify using
SSL/TLS for the ATOM posts. This does require a download from
Userland of the Radio Userland TLS module … but it’s a free download.

I’ve done a good bit of testing, and have actually posted this article
with the tool. I believe that I have things working well enough
to release a build as v3.2 … so go and grab a copy and give it a
try! If you have problems, please post comments on the
RadioAtomBridge blog … I’ll look for them there!

Installing the RadioAtomBridge Tool v3.2

The Radio Userland Atom
Bridge Tool
is designed to allow anyone using Radio Userland an easy way to
mirror posts to any or blog, using the Atom API. This
tool is based on prior work from other developers – Dave Winer and Steve Hooker
– who wrote the ManilaBloggerBridge and xManilaBloggerBridge respectively.

The installation is straight forward and should require very little
effort overall. There are a few key points to understand about how this tool

  • has recently started to use SSL for all ATOM API
    access. With v3.2 of the RadioAtomBridge tool, you will have to
    download and install the Radio Userland TLS module. Make sure to download and install this before proceeding!
  • Once it is installed, you will configure the tool using the Radio Userland
    Tools link on the Home Page.
  • The tool will not mirror posts from
    your blog home page to Blogger … only posts to categories are mirrored. This
    is on purpose so that you can selectively post to your Blogger blog by using
    categories. If you want a post to go to your home page, and to a Blogger blog,
    then simply create a category and always check both your home page and that
    category when posting.
  • This tool ought to work with any other Atom API compliant server. Give it a
    try, if it fails then come back here and comment or complain. If you provide
    enough information I’ll see if I can take a look at it and get it

Ok … so how to get started. First, make sure to go and get the Radio Userland TLS module and install it.  Second, go and download the RadioAtomBridge
. Once you have it downloaded, copy it into the Radio UserlandTools
folder on your computer. On Windows systems, this is usually the Program
FilesRadio UserlandTools. I’m not real sure where this folder is on a Mac. When
you copy the tool into this directory, give it a minute or so and the tool will
be installed.

Next, you’ll want to go to the Radio Userland Home Page, and then click the Tools menu. You ought to see
a new tool called the RadioAtomBridge. Make sure that the checkbox to the left
of the name is checked. If it is not, then check the box to enable the tool and
Submit the page. If the tool is enabled then the name RadioAtomBridge will be a
highlighted link … click

You will now be presented with the configuration page. You will
see each category and a checkbox where you can enable that category to be
mirrored. The first three configuration fields are already configured for, so you only need to update the Blog ID, your Blogger username, and

To get your Blogger Blog ID, go to and log in. On
the Dashboard, click on the name of the blog that you want to configure in
Radio. If you now look at the URL in the address bar of your browser you will
see a URL like:

… your Blog ID is the number at the end . Your Blogger username and
password ought to be obvious.

Lastly … do not check the box about
Manila sites. I’m probably going to remove this option as it is an older feature
of the ManilaBloggerBridge.

Once you have entered all of these settings,
Submit the page and your changes will be recorded … and you’ll be ready to
start posting. Go back to your home page … write a post … check the category
that you configured. After you have posted, go to the Radio Userland Events page and look for
the indication that the post to Blogger occurred. You can also go back to the RadioAtomBridge page and
scroll down to your category. There should now be some statistics about the
post, and possibly an error message if there are problems.

have now been using this tool for a number of months, and I am
currently mirroring five different categories to five different weblogs.  I’m very happy with how this tool is now
working … I hope that someone else finds this valuable!

What is the true cost?

I am always a bit skeptical when I read articles like this.  Yes
… it’s all marketing speak.  How can anyone know until they
actually experience the migration/upgrade process?  I’m not being
“pro-Vista”, nor “anti-Linux” … I’m working to be
“pro-realistic”.  I believe that there are multiple points that
Jack is not addressing here.

First, I am curious about the “in-place” migration to Vista, vs. the
“in-place” migration to Linux?  Is there even an “in-place”
migration to Linux?  I have to admit that I have not looked into
this in detail, however I can almost promise you that we will see an
in-place migration tool, that will allow any user or company to migrate
to Vista with minimal (yes – minimal!) pain.  Will there be some
problems?  Of course.  But lets now compare that to a
migration to Linux from Windows.  Could I go to a Windows user,
and perform a clean “in-place” migration, and have them productive when
it completes?  I have my doubts here.

Second, I have to admit that hardware evolution is against Jack and
Novell.  As people upgrade hardware – which they will – they are
going to get that Windows Vista license, instead of the older Windows
XP license … and they will migrate.  And it will be almost
painless.  The cost of the “upgrade” of the OS will be hidden in
the cost of the new hardware.

To me, the mentality is still all wrong.  To continue to fight
against something only continues to strengthen it.  Even Novell
employees heard the old saying “embrace, extend, extinguish”. 
Its all about creating more powerful abstractions … there is much
more value in Mono, then Linux … IMHO.  There is much more value
in the applications then the OS.  There is even more value in the
services hosted in the Internet … enabling the use of the Internet Platform for business.

To fight these fights, and make these claims, is just old school
thinking and behavior.  Microsoft knows this, and the real Open
Source community knows this.

Novell: Vista will drive users to Linux. Jack Messman claims that the cost of moving to Windows Vista will prompt users to consider moving to desktop Linux. [CNET]

Will it make a difference?

I missed this announcement, and although I applaud the efforts of
Honda, I really have to wonder if it will make much of a
difference? Airbags for motorcycles? The two points that
caught my attention is that it is intended from accidents up to 31 mph
… and that really is not too fast. Remember that if you are
hitting a moving object, and it is coming towards you, then you have to
add the two speeds of the
vehicles together. So in a head-on collision, if you are going 25
mph, then the other vehicle can not be going over 6 mph? And the
article also mention that this solution is intended for straight-angle
– or head-on – collisions. Again … I like the idea and applaud
the efforts … I’m just not sure that it will assist much in teh
majority of accidents. I know that the one person it saves will
make the whole thing worth it.

Honda debuts motorcycle airbag.
Blog: Honda Motor on Thursday took the wraps off its first airbag
designed to protect motorcyclists in the event of a crash. … [CNET]

Mother, Father … and other mother?

So as the world evolves, so will the requirements for tracking identity
and digital identity. It’s no longer enough to have attributes
for “mother” and “father” … now we have to account for the
possibility of multiple parents! This article talks about some
research going on where an embryo will be created with genes from two
mothers. So a child born of this type of research will have to be
able to list their mother and father … and other mother. As we
continue to explore digital identity, I hope that people realize that
the old ways of thinking about identity are long gone.

This reminds be of some foresight used by the authors of HumanML
… the Human Markup Language. When I was reading through their
schema I was surprised to see that they have already accounted for the
possibility that someone has had a gender-change operation! They
already define the attributes for ‘gender’, along with ‘gender at
birth’! Yep … they might not be the same.

The ironic issue is that this might not be enough … what if they
change their gender numerous times? May we live in interesting
times. The world of identity is going to be rocked.

The cloned baby with two mothers. Daily Mail Sep 9 2005 8:10AM GMT [Moreover Technologies – moreover…]