New York

Back in the US

Sunday, July 17, 2011 

Lovely day in Washington Square Park.

Posted at 07:32:32 GMT-0700

Category: placestravel

WTC site being rebuilt

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 

new building rising at the WTC site.

Posted at 13:39:20 GMT-0700

Category: Geopostphotoplaces

New York Views

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 

NEX5 tricks – Panoramas

Auto-HDR images:

more below…
Posted at 23:07:56 GMT-0700

Category: photoplacestechnologytravel

Working Toward Workable Time Zones

Sunday, August 22, 2010 

PIMs (Personal Information Managers, what we used to call things like Outlook, or Sunbird, or Lightning, or Zimbra before they were integrated with email) haven’t progressed much in the last 20 or so years.  Actually, neither have email clients.   Perhaps the most essential of our daily tools, these classes of products have failed to progress much at all over the decades.

Sure, email has styled text now and you can compose a message in Outlook using Word, but these wizzy tricks distract from the function of email–communicating the written word.  There’s rarely any reason to style text in email and HTML mail has only been a boon for spammers and a distraction for users.  One of the few useful enhancements is inline images which I do find useful.

The best email clients ever, Eudora and  Mulberry (the BAT might qualify too, though I haven’t used it) have failed to keep up in OS level support. Thunderbird is OK, and pimped out with extensions to enable proper formatting, forwarding, text wrapping, etc. it is usable, though it still doesn’t handle frequent IMAP disconnections all that gracefully (it pains me to admit it, but only Outlook does this really well).

PIM functionality has actually gone backwards as the years have gone by. Calendar programs have always handled reminders and notifications and scheduled events fairly well.  DateBook was great in 1990 and there’s very little useful that has been added since .  In the mid-90’s Motorola shipped a great little PIM along with their TimePort phones called TrueSync Desktop.  You could create an event in a time zone other than the one you were in.  Wow.  Amazing.  The developers actually considered the possibility that you, the user, might have some business in a time zone other than the one you’re in.  At the time, some people pointed to Outlook’s then “dual time zone” functionality as the be-all end-all.  True, two time zones are better than one, but hardly a solution suitable for the whole of the US, let alone the world and the pixel heavy dual time zone stripe precluded anything more comprehensive.   At the time, the official M$ work-around was to change your computer’s time zone to the time zone you wanted to create the event in, create the event, then change the time zone back.  Brilliant.

Lightning (for Thunderbird) and Sunbird (stand alone) Calendar programs have finally incorporated some timezone functionality, you can at least set the starting and ending time zone of an event independently and differently from the time zone you’re in:


It is a start, but the time zone picker is still pretty much unusable:


This is a huge enhancement though, one I’ve been pushing for a long time:

The right answer is a simple pop-up menu with my favorite time zones in it.  I can use the semi-infinite list of seemingly random city names as a geography quiz along with Wikipedia to figure out what my favorite time zones are as long as I don’t have to spend 10 minutes scrolling through them every time I’m trying to find America/New York for ET or America/Los Angeles for PT (or America/Dawson Creek for MST, no DST).

Oddly, Lightning actually has a half-decent map view that shows you the time zone you’ve selected, but you can’t click on it to pick the time zone you want (!?):


I really like worldtimezone‘s view as a graphical picker:


Something like this, plus a search tool into a database of time zones for cities would be just perfect for creating my list of favorite time zones.  Even the most worldly traveler is unlikely to need more than a dozen time zones in their favorites list and thus a popup would make selecting the start and end time zones very straight-forward.  Way back at the start of 2007 I proposed something like:


Which is pretty much a copy of  Starfish’s TrueSync Desktop (though TSD didn’t support different starting and ending time zones).  Someday… maybe someday I’ll have a calendar program as advanced as they were in 1993.

Posted at 15:58:40 GMT-0700

Category: Linuxtechnology

Best NYT edition ever!

Thursday, November 13, 2008 

Yesterday a “special edition” of the New York Times was handed out around New York. It is absolutely hilarious and I think one of the better pranks I’ve heard of.

Most of the satire is spot on. Of many examples that I found really amazing, the fake “Friedman” piece is one of my favorites. He was on The Daily show recently promoting his book and I couldn’t contain my disdain for his relentless errors and misinformation. Is there any penalty for being completely wrong? About everything? Yes! Perhaps only in satire, but yes.

The Satire is mostly about Friedman’s errors on Iraq, but he’s been wrong about just about everything: economics, social reality, the role of trade, and, of course, the war in Iraq.

I got a note about it from the Yes Men mailing list, the NYT article (real) about the Times (fake) has some details.

Posted at 11:00:13 GMT-0700

Category: funnypolitics

Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 

Dollars Earned Per Stripper Shift by phase of heat

In an article titled “Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus?” in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior 28 (2007) 375-381, Geoffrey Miller, Joshua M. Tybur, & Brent D. Jordan presented the results of an experiment designed to test the correlation of tips earned by lap dancers as a function of fertility as a proxy for sexual desirability.

The study was soundly constructed and enrolled 18 dancers who supplied data on 296 work shifts and approximately 5300 lap dance performed during that period. A lap dance was described as “entail[ing] intense rhythmic contact between the female pelvis and the clothed male penis.” (Barton, 2006; Beasley, 2003).

The results showed that exotic dancers in heat earned approximately $70 per hour, dancers in luteal phase earned about $50 per hour, while dancers “on the rag” earned about $35 per hour. Taking the pill, which induces a state of pseudo-pregnancy, results in an income loss of about 30%, which suggests substantially diminished sexual desirability; a good reason to consider an IUD.

The author’s conclude that:

"In serially monogamous species such as ours, women's estrous signals may have evolved an extra degree of plausible deniability and tactical flexibility to maximize women's ability to attract high-quality extra-pair partners just before ovulation, while minimizing the primary partner's mate guarding and sexual jealousy. For these reasons, we suspect that human estrous cues are likely to be very flexible and stealthy—subtle behavioral signals that fly below the radar of conscious intention or perception, adaptively hugging the cost–benefit contour of opportunistic infidelity."

Perhaps the most interesting revelation of the paper is the number of academic research papers that have been published on exotic dancers including, in addition to this one:

Read more…

Posted at 21:41:47 GMT-0700

Category: oddreviews

JFk flight 14

Thursday, October 4, 2007 

Fog! You’d hardly know you were in new York in the blackness.

Posted at 21:35:16 GMT-0700

Category: photoplanestravel