I couldn’t resist the call of the Jobs and went and purchased Aperture!

I did a computation at work today and decided that Aperture must have hit the shelves today and a quick call to Apple Store proved me correct. Apple Store Palo Alto had already run out, but there were a number of copies available at the Mini Apple Store in Stanford Mall. (Yes, living in the Bay Area does have its advantages…)

I never purchased at a Mini Apple Store before. They don’t even have a cash register there, just a hole in the wall with a bunch of drawers. They actually took my credit card using a Symbol PDA and e-mailed me my receipt (because they had my name and dotMac account on record in the central computer).

Since we were in Palo Alto, I had to make the required stop for Caitlin for dinner at Patxi’s. We opened the box there while waiting 40 minutes for our pizza to cook. Someone from the 14-person long table came up to Caitlin, who was reading the box, and said, “Excuse me, I want to thank you—half the Apple Aperture team is sitting over there.” We turned around and got an ovation as their first real-live customer.

I should carry my camera around more often.

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Interesting new scam

Caitlin points out a new scam job. The idea is to scrape various classified sites for services (like Craigslist) and then offer them money in return for a check (a la Nigerian 419 scam). The new ideas here are the fact that it is specifically targeting an interest (in this case, wedding photographers and videographers) and that I think the scam may operate along a variant of check fraud where one uses the routing number off of your check in order to drain the account.

These scams are getting increasingly more sophisticated. No wonder one person claims that internet crime may be more lucrative than drugs.

I was surprised that the two people I mentioned this to at work were unaware of how the check system works in regards to the magnetic ink at the bottom of their checks.

I’m curious how this stuff can be reported. I don’t think individual action, besides being a complete waste of time, would be of any use here—any initial funds provided by them for the con are probably funneled through previously compromised bank accounts. Any suggestions for her?

Cat eyes (and flash)

First picture of Pounce

First picture of Pounce” by tychay
( Olympus C-2500L ) ƒ3.1, 1/60sec, iso 100, 18.6mm (56mm), built-in flash

Anyone who has taken a flash photo of their cat is aware of the cloudy yellow/green reflection in their eyes. Such was a topic of discussion on Flickr Technique.

The reason for this is that cat eyes have a reflective coating in the back of their eyes called the tapetum. Nocturnal animals have this so that light passes twice through the transparent rods/cones of their eyes creating a second opportunity to absorb the photos and resulting in better night vision—at the price of some acuity of vision because of the folded optical path. Light comes from two distances and cats are far-sighted anyways.

Pretty neat piece of evolutionary engineering. Continue reading about red eye in photography after the jump. →

Real live Julie Keatons…

The future Marketing division of Sirius Cybernetics corporation or proof that one industry has just too much money? Yet again, the pharmaceutical industry puts us horny computer nerds to shame.

You decide.

(A major difference is you can ignore my advice on what computer to buy, but You can’t be so cavalier with your doctor’s prescription.)

In related news… Scrubs Season 2 is out on DVD. As Dru would say, “So good.”

Relationships and Politics

A friend of mine went out on a date with a SUV-driving, Fox News-watching conservative Republican. I wonder if he shouts at his television set or gets angry when people impugn his man?

I made the mistake of commenting:

Reminds me of an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm which I never saw because the last time I had television was when a room mate would watch Fox News on it. With a name like “GB”, I guess his political leanings are understandable. Does he go by his middle initial, “W”?

My brother once told me that he thought young Republicans were pathetic because as you got older you can always get more conservative—I blew that idea out of the water by getting more liberal…

You should’ve taken a picture of him for posterity before his species becomes extinct.

Bad Terry, never comment your political leanings on someone else’s blog! Bad! Bad! Continue reading

What I’m having for Thanksgiving

If anything should be indicative of a my right-wing gen-x background, it should be this simple fact: I did cross-ex debate in high school. One result of that is my Thanksgiving meal: a burger at Jack-In-The-Box.

The University of Pittsburgh tournament is held on Thanksgiving weekend. This is not a big deal normally for a Pittsburgher such as myself, except that for those last three years in high school, my family shared Thanksgiving with my relatives in Chester, New Jersey. I have nothing to show for this except a bad junk food Thanksgiving habit. Continue reading

The two wings of American political discourse

I was reading the latest two entries in the Letters To The New York Times blog written by someone under the pseudonym Kilgore Trout and I was struck again by how well-written they are. While the articles have the very liberal bent, most such left-wing blogs have too much MacBethian defeatism that is missing here. The precision of language and the ability to “stay the course” during the entire essay puts my random meanderings to shame. I wish I could write so well.

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You tell that other boy, not to touch the woodwork