Podcast - Professional Melancholy | Monday, February 25th, 2008

Just because it's still that time of year.

If I had eyes in the back of my head, I would have told you that you looked good as I walked away.

Jack Johnson - If I Had Eyes

Blank stares at blank pages. No easy way to say this. You mean well, but you make this hard on me.

Sara Bareilles - Love Song

Gilberto Gil @ McGIll today and tomorrow | Friday, February 15th, 2008

This is just a reblog from the Media McGill page that Gilberto Gil will be presenting today at 6pm, at the Omni Hotel.

There will also be a follow-up presentation tomorrow morning at the SAT on St-Laurent, which I expect to be more intimate (hopefully) than today's talk.

If any of my readers have any questions about community networking, technologies and culture, Internet governance, cultural development or anything else that they would like me to ask Mr. Gil tomorrow, leave it in a comment here and I will do my darndest.

More info on the Media@Mcgill page...

Bibble 4.9 Raw conversion filters | Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Since my last dozen posts or so have been about either Facebook or Medellin, I figured that I should post something completely unrelated.

So, I'm loving the filter settings in Bibble 4.9 workflow software. For non-photographers, RAW conversion software is a program that takes your RAW images from your camera (any camera worth its salt can shoot in RAW; check your settings) and processes them from a 'digital negative' to a high-quality, print-ready image file.

I used to shoot with an old, beat-up Leica on black and white 125 ISO Ilford film during my high-school photography courses. We'd then print on Agfa Multicontrast Premium photo paper, and the results were always stunning. Even photos that didn't seem like they would come out, ended up being oddly captivating with this process.

Also, all the hottest chicks in Grade 11 were in photo class, so that made it a no-brainer.

Anyways, fast forward 11 years and here I am using Bibble to manage my RAW photo workflow. It's available for Linux, Windows and Mac - in that order ;) - and it's by far the best software of its kind that I've used. I use Adobe Lightroom on my Vista PC when I need to, but on my Linux laptop all my RAW management is done through Bibble. Compared to Lightroom, Bibble seems to be more flexible, though they both provide ample options for pre-printing support (which is mostly what I use them for). I've also used Apple Aperture on my friend's Macbook Pro, but it doesn't hold a candle to either program. It's also far too slow to be of any real use to me; it was chugging on RAW files from my 10+MP Pentax for some odd reason, even though the machine is brand new. Its RAW output is also slightly less impressive than either Bibble or Lightroom. Maybe they'll fix things in the 2nd version, who knows.

So, playing around with some of the tucked-away options in Bibble, I came across film and photo paper simulators, where I found Ilford Plus FP4 125 film and Agfa Multicontrast Photo paper. And guess what? They make photos turn out just like my old Leica photos from high school - hot grade 11 chicks notwithstanding.

The real Pilsen billboard. | Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

This was the original Pilsen ad in the Medellín metro stations, until they pulled it when girls started falling over into the train tracks, mesmerized by the men in the advertisement. Especially the second one from the left.

Every hero deserves a Pilsen - some of us deserve seven.

Medellin-The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful | Friday, February 1st, 2008

As per my usual modus operandi, I'm writing about Medellin after I've been back in Montreal for a few days. The various memories in the 16 or so months I spent on and off in The City Of Eternal Spring have had enough time to soak amongst the various synapses that connect them to each other. I'm going to write about some random, disjointed events I happen to remember from my trip, and then some overall impressions on the city and the country. I will limit my thoughts to those lucid enough to make sense when written down. This generally - but not always - excludes those wherein I'd already consumed a certain amount of Club Colombia or, more unfortunately, aguardiente.

Microsoft offers bid for Yahoo, web sucks less. | Friday, February 1st, 2008

Microsoft has offered to buy the search engine company Yahoo for $44.6bn in cash and shares.

The offer, contained in a letter to Yahoo's board, is 62% above Yahoo's closing share price on Thursday.

Yahoo cut its revenue forecasts earlier this week and said it would have to spend an additional $300m this year trying to revive the company.

It has been struggling in recent years to compete with Google, which has also been a competitor to Microsoft.

If you would've asked me how I felt about this a couple years ago, I would've jumped on the anti-MS bandwagon with everyone else and worried that Microsoft would ruin Yahoo and her spin-offs, but today, Yahoo is the company that needs to be saved - and why not by Microsoft?

When Podcasting Stops Being Lame | Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I don't listen to podcasts much. I don't feel like I can make time to listen to any of them. Both Amarok and Banshee have very solid podcasting clients, but when will I listen to them? I listen to MP3s when I'm working because I can't focus on anything else, since my multitasking abilities are limited to chewing bubble gum and kicking ass. At the gym I need my angry angsty pop-metal or 2Pac to keep me motivated, and in the car I only listen to CKOI because the hosts are awesomely hilarious, they play the best new francophone music, and anglophone radio sucks the big one in Montreal.

Sometimes I'll visit a site with a podcasting section and play something that looks interesting through the flash player in the browser, but I'm not "subscribed" to any podcasts. Well, I wasn't until I found the Free Library of Philadelphia Podcast:

I was actually trying to make it to Yunus' talk at the Free Library in Philly last week (for free!), but it didn't work out. Then, poking around a little, I found that the library records most of the talks and puts them up on their podcast for anyone to download. I've been hooked on these for the past week - Anthony Bourdain's and J. Craig Venter's are particularly fantastic.

I've only listened to about half of them so far, but I'm definitely going to work my way down the list.

Ok, fine, podcasting doesn't always suck - when I can sit still for long enough to listen to them.