Understandable navigation

Me (as navigator): Okay go right here and then turn left onto Mission.

… (later)

Me: Are you sure you are going the right direction?

[Her][thesimplist]: I got it under control.

Me: I think you must have gone the wrong direction earlier.

Her: I turned onto Mission like you said.

Me: Oh! I should have told you that the turn was more like a hairpin left.

Her: You give terrible directions.

Me: Well don’t blame me, blame Google. See?

Flip a bitch

Her: Those directions are terrible, it should have said, “Flip a bitch onto Mission Street.”

Are you listening, Siri?

[thesimplist]: http://thesimpli.st/ “The Simplist: Being. Doing. Enjoying”

Gordy's Camera Straps

Somewhere along the way, I ran into [Gordy's Camera Straps][gordyscamerastraps].

Gordon Coale is a guy out in Washington state who hand makes leather camera straps. Last year it occurred to me that one of his straps would perfectly match my [Hirano case][hirano japanexposures] (which you [may have seen before][live view]). Hand straps are simply a good idea for nearly any camera, because they’re the most minimal safety leash for photography: you don’t really need a one normally; but if something bad happens, you’ll be glad you have one around your wrist. Plus, when you do it right, they look gorgeous:

The food camera and Gordy’s strap
The food camera and Gordy’s strap
Barracuda Sushi, Castro, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, 24mm f/1.4G, SB-900
1/50 sec @ ƒ2, iso 800, 24mm

I bought this Gordy’s strap almost exactly one year ago.

[gordyscamerastraps]: http://www.gordyscamerastraps.com/ “gordy’s camera straps”
[hirano japanexposures]: http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/index.php?manufacturers_id=36 “Camera Hirano—JapanExposures. These English speakers will get import Hirano cases for you.”
[live view]: http://terrychay.com/article/live-view-aperture-on-the-e-p2.shtml “Live view aperture on the E-P2″

Continue reading about camera straps and cases after the jump→

Office Porn

A few weeks ago, there was a thread on on of our internal blogs [at work][automattic] concerning our home office setup for productivity and comfort. One of them mentioned [an old blog post of mine][the open office], and it occurred to me that it’s been five years since I’ve shared my office.

Here is what it looks like today:

My home office (HDR)
My home office (HDR)
The Richmond, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G
36 exposures (0+/-3ev), 1/15sec @ ƒ8, ISO200, 14mm

[automattic]: http://automattic.com/ “Automattic”
[the open office]: http://terrychay.com/article/open-office-whats-on-my-desk.shtml “The Open Office”

Continue reading about my office and HDR panoramic photography after the jump→

Marie at my desk

There is some sensor dust that is wedged in there, but I was worried that my Adorama order wouldn’t arrive before I had to leave. Since, I am “a customer support person’s worst nightmare,” Marie decided to call them for me to confirm the order.

While waiting, I put the Heliar on my Leica and snapped some photos.

Marie at my desk
50 F5.3 Heliar on M8
South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
1/60sec @ ƒ1.7, iso 1250, 20mm (50mm)

The [heliar][heliar] is about as plane-jane lens as you can put on a camera: a normal lens with modest apertures. About the only thing it has going for it is that it is the sharpest lens Popular Photography has ever tested. Well, that and [its nickel plating][50mm heliar] looks gorgeous when collapsed into a Leica digital body.

50 F5.3 Heliar on M8
50 F5.3 Heliar on M8
South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
1/60sec @ ƒ1.7, iso 1250, 20mm (50mm)

In the days of super-wides and full-frame, sometimes it’s fun to shoot normal. Take out your 50mm and shoot a portrait today, you might be surprised at the result.

[heliar]: http://www.antiquecameras.net/heliarlenses.html “A Short History of the Heliar Lens—Angique & Classic Cameras”
[50mm heliar]: http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt_5035N.htm “New Nickel 50/3.5 Voigtlander Heliar—Cameraquest”

In with a bang, and out with a burrito

In the crossfire between the landlord and the city, Automattic got [evicted][evicted] from their home on Pier 38 on Friday.

At the end of every week, some of the [Automatticians][automatticians] have been having #burittofridays, so they made one last burrito run before closing the doors. As Beau, put it, “We came in with a bang, and out with a burrito.”

In with a bang…and out with a burrito
Pier 38, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G HD 14-14 f/4-5.8 OIS
1/320s @ ƒ9, iso 200, 19mm (38mm)

One of the advantages of working for a distributed company is that now that we are homeless, we’ll simply be working from home. The Bay Area crew won’t get to see each other each week though. :-(

And here is one last parting shot from [our fearless leader][matt]:

Our fearless leader
Our fearless leader
Pier 38, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G HD 14-14 f/4-5.8 OIS
1/400sec @ ƒ8, iso 200, 103mm (206mm)

He leaves us with a bit of= T.S. Eliot:

> We shall not cease from exploration
> And the end of all our exploring
> Will be to arrive where we started
> And know the place for the first time.

I’ll miss you guys.

[matt]: http://ma.tt “Matthew Mullenweg”
[evicted]: http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-09-09/business/30133602_1_evictions-tenants-carl-ernst “Pier 38 deemed unsafe; tech tenants evicted—SFGate”
[automatticians]: http://automattic.com/about/ “About Us—Automattic”

Nikon gets EVIL

That’s “**E**lectronic **V**iewfinder, **I**nterchangeable **L**ens,” or a SLR without the “R”eflex mirror. And here is how Nikon got EVIL:

The Nikon 1 system. Press image, relayed via NikonRumors.

[Nikon 1]: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/acil/index.htm “Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens—Nikon Imaging”

This is the [Nikon 1][Nikon 1]. For obvious reasons, Nikon is not calling it EVIL, but instead A-CIL (Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses). Call it what you like, I’m a big fan of the EVIL camera, and this is the first of this type introduced from the “big two” (Canon or Nikon).

The new camera will debut in October with two body types (J1 and V1), with four lenses and three accessories..

Continue reading about the Nikon 1 and other compact system cameras after the jump→

Tilting the Netflix windmill

My friend, [Andrei][Andrei], [points out][Andrei link dump] [an article][abovethecrowd article] as possible counter point to my [observation][first article] and [ridicule][second article].

It is [an interesting article][abovethecrowd article] for those not familiar with the legal basis created by the Right of First Sale or the Betamax case (though the application is not **literally** true in the case of Netflix. [Netflix revenue shares][hacking netflix], and has used similar deals [to bargain with in early streaming contracts][netflix warner]).

But, despite those good points, here is why this article is actually pretty terrible…

[hacking netflix]: http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2009/09/netflix-pays-a-revenue-share-on-about-half-of-rentals.html “Netflix Pays a Revenue Share on About Half of Rentals—Hacking Netflix.com”
[netflix warner]: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/07/business/la-fi-ct-netflix7-2010jan07 “Netflix agrees to delay in renting out Warner movies—LA Times”
[abovethecrowd article]: http://abovethecrowd.com/2011/09/18/understanding-why-netflix-changed-pricing/ “Understanding Why Netflix Changed Pricing—AboveTheCrowd”
[Andrei]: http://zmievski.org/
[Andrei link dump]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml/comment-page-1#comment-682857
[first article]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml “DVDs By Mail”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”
[second article]: http://terrychay.com/article/translation-from-asshole-speak-to-english-of-selected-portions-of-netflix-ceo-reed-hastingss-e-mail-to-netflixs-entire-customer-base.shtml “Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’s E-Mail to Netflix’s Entire Customer Base”

Continue reading about my critique of the defense after the jump→

Translation from PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings's E-Mail to Netflix's Entire Customer Base

( Spun off from my [previous post][last post]. [Hat tip to diveintothemark][translate]. )

> I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

“I’m going to continue to confuse a great business pivot (Netflix streaming) with a small business mistake (hamfisted way we bundled a streaming subscription separation with a price increase), and then compound it with a terrible business decision (splitting a company in two).”

> It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.

“I’m shocked some of you didn’t like the shit sandwich I gave you…”

> Let me explain what we are doing.

“…So I’m going to take a bigger crap on it and give it back.”

> For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do

“Now I’m going to make up some [bullshit analogies][last post] to distract [from][netflix loses subscribers] [the][streaming prices] [real][netflix loses starz] [reasons][usps in trouble]. Hey, did you notice how I referred to AOL ‘dialup’ when you and I know I really mean AOL, the entire company? ;-) Heck, they should renamed themselves [Huff][Huffington Post]-O-[LOL][atrios tweet]!”

> So here is what we are doing and why.

“Double the Benjamins, only half the tedious bullshit of running a business.”

> Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

“Like you, I stopped with the rentals when I found that every title we can’t stream can be downloaded in an hour using [BitTorrent][bittorrent].”

> I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

“I got Apple to let me put out the Netflix App with nary a peep from them because they thought my main business was going to be this archaic DVD-by-mail. Heck, I even got them to bundle my shit into their Apple TV and do all the work. [Amazon][kindle app store] and [Conde Nast][wired app store] can eat my farts! Lolz!”

> So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

“I want to play with the cool new toy. DVDs-by-Mail was a pain in the ass. I’m going to spin it off into some worthless business that is going to die.”

> It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

“I picked a name that sounds like it came from 1999 so you know where Qwikster [is going to be][dead pool] long before the **next** 10 years are up.”

> Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies.

“Can you imagine telling your friends that ‘I’m using Qwikster?’ You might as well be saying, ‘In my day, we got DVDs by mail and [WE LIKED IT][grumpy old man]!’”

> One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow.

“We’re going to put all the money-losing ideas that we knew better than to do into Qwikster in the hope that Qwikster can take down [Gamefly][Gamefly] along with it.

> A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

“You’re going to love having to rate every movie twice on two separate websites. Also, you know all those times when you went to rent something and realized you could stream it, or those times we couldn’t stream stuff and you just added it to your queue? Say ‘Buh-bye’ to that, bitches!”

> There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges.

“Instead of punishing just the 1% of you who whined about new pricing, I’m going to punish the other 99% also with new pricing, separate billing, **and** a new company.”

> We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

“The rest of you, don’t look into [Hulu Plus][hulu plus] or [Amazon Prime][amazon prime], until one of them has bought us out, K?”

> For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

“The sock puppet grew on me also…right until the moment Pets.com went out of business and it became a meme for FAIL. I hope [this meme][qwikster cancel tweet] for FAIL will top that.”

> I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

“Fuck you, loyal customers.”

> Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

“If you’ve been assigned to the Qwikster team, just know that all of us never liked you in the first place, but we couldn’t justify shitcanning you.”

> Respectfully yours,

“No matter what happens, I’m rich, bitch!”

> -Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

“If you haven’t gathered it by now, this signature shows I don’t give a shit about ‘Shitster‘. Oops! I mean ‘Qwikster.’ Also, if your name is Jeff Bezos, you now know who to call for a M&A.”

[Gamefly]: http://www.gamefly.com/ “Gamefly: Video Game Rentals”

[dead pool]: http://www.fuckedcompany.com/ “Fucked Company is Fucked. The dead pool”

[Huffington Post]: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/07/aol-huffington-post_n_819375.html “AOL Acquires Huffington Post”

[john cole]: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/09/19/odd-man-out-again/ “Odd Man Out Again—Balloon Juice”

[Windows XP]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP “Windows XP—Wikipedia. While Windows still has a DOS prompt, the first Windows not built on top of DOS was Windows NT. The first consumer Windows built on that kernel was Windows XP, which succeeded Windows ME which succeeded Windows 2000.”

[art of the parlay]: http://daringfireball.net/2004/08/parlay “The Art of the Parlay, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Platform Licensing and Market Share—Daring Fireball.”

[the music subscription model]: http://terrychay.com/article/the-music-subscription-model.shtml “The music subscription model. Here was an argument from the same time period with a different co-worker. This one felt that Virgin Music would kill off Apple iTunes. I disagreed. :-)”

[bittorrent]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_(protocol) “BitTorrent (protocol)—Wikipedia”

[hulu plus]: http://www.hulu.com/plus “Hulu Plus”
[translate]: http://diveintomark.org/archives/2007/04/16/dhh-translation “Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Rails Developer David Heinemeier Hansson’s Response to Alex Payne’s Interview—Dive into the Mark”

[kindle app store]: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/amazon-kindle-cloud-reader_n_923573.html “Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader Sidesteps Apple App Store Restrictions—Huffinton Post”

[wired app store]: http://paidcontent.org/article/419-conde-nast-does-last-minute-pivot-on-wired-app-pricing/ “Conde Nast Does Last-Minute Pivot On Wired App Pricing—paidContent”

[last post]: http://terrychay.com/article/dvds-by-mail.shtml “DVDs By Mail”

[netflix loses starz]: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/blogs/gear-up/netflix-loses-huge-library-of-movies-from-starz-20110902 “Netflix Loses Huge Library of Movies from Starz—Rolling Stone”

[usps in trouble]: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/07/postal-service-pushes-to-end-saturday-delivery/ “Postal Service Pushes To End Saturday Delivery—ABC News”

[grumpy old man]: http://www.hulu.com/watch/4303/saturday-night-live-grumpy-old-man “Grumpy Old Man—Hulu”

[atrios tweet]: https://twitter.com/#!/Atrios/status/115781657377767425 ““quixster’s dvd library will consist only of aol free trial discs’ —@Atrios on Twitter”

[amazon prime]:bhttp://www.pcworld.com/article/220399/amazon_prime_vs_netflix_video_streaming_feature_showdown.html “Amazon Prime vs. Netflix: Video Streaming Feature Showdown—PCWorld”

[qwikster cancel tweet]: http://twitter.com/#!/jeremybowers/status/115788501030682625 ““Qwikster, noun: The sound of several million Netflix subscribers clicking on their mice to access the “cancel my account” page” —@jeremybowers on Twitter”

[streaming prices]: http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/08/technology/netflix_starz_contract/index.htm “Netflix’s vanished Sony films are an ominous sign—CNN Money”

[netflix loses subscribers]: http://techland.time.com/2011/09/16/netflix-loses-1m-subscribers-because-of-price-hike/ “Netflix Loses 1M Subscribers Because of Price Hike—Techland @ Time”

DVDs By Mail

The big news today is Netflix spinning off their core DVDs-by-mail business into a company called qwikster.com.

[Click here to jump to the "Translation" article (separated from this one)].

I was late to the Netflix party. While my friends raved about it back at the height of the dotCom boom, I didn’t join until late 2000. Continue reading about the Netflix spinoff after the jump→

Cheering for the death of others

I find the [cheering of 234 executions][cheering executions] extremely odd for supposed supporters of the death penalty.

[cheering executions]: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/they-messed-with-texas/ “They Messed With Texas—Opinionator”
Rick Perry’s success in the primary hinges on being the daddy-figure posture with the right wing bedwetters. Given that he’s on record as having [executed an innocent man][new yorker death penalty], he has to double down to cover his mistake. So, I understand Rick Perry’s political strategy here.

But why cheer executions? Have we as a country sunk so low?
Continue reading about the economics, statistics, and morals of the death penalty after the jump→

You tell that other boy, not to touch the woodwork