Salt Lake City Will Have First Protected Bike Intersection in the U.S. →

June 01, 2015 |

Jenn Stanley, writing for Next City:

Unlike other cities that currently have or are building protected bike lanes, this is the first time a city in the U.S. is building a fully protected intersection.

The city hopes that in addition to aiding cyclists, the new lane will increase local commerce. The area will also feature murals by local artists.

Sounds like a very smart move. Check this video detailing the intersection:

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Respect for your subjects in street photography →

May 29, 2015 |

Good advice by Julius Motal at The Phoblographer:

Belligerence towards an unwilling subject in street photography is at the very least unwarranted and deeply disrespectful. It signifies a disconnect, a lack of empathy, which ultimately affects the image and the photographer. Frustration is a very real and natural thing to feel, but when a photograph goes untaken, it’s gone. Nothing can really be done about it, and when someone signals that they want no part of it, it’s best to let it go.

Good photography is predicated on respect for your craft, for your peers, and most importantly for your subject. How you carry yourself and your camera on the street ultimately affects each image you try to make. If you’re aggressive with your camera, people will be inclined to defend themselves. Aggressiveness doesn’t necessarily mean exaggerated actions. It can be subtle. How you react to someone who objects will determine how the rest of the interaction goes.

I never feel anger towards my subjects, but I’m no stranger to feeling frustrated with myself. In my case, it’s often due to me hesitating a split second too long before pressing the shutter release. By the time I muster up the courage to take the picture, the moment is usually gone. The feeling of knowing you could have taken a great image but you were too indecisive to go for it is very real and can frustrate the hell out of many budding photographers. I suppose I’ll get better at judging these situations and going for more shots as I spend more and more time shooting in the streets but for now, when in doubt, I still prefer to err on the side of caution.

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Ben Brooks on Jony Ive’s retirement →

May 29, 2015 |

Another great piece by Ben. The Brooks family is on fire lately:

How is that not retirement?

If Ive is a driven man — meaning he is not content to sit on a beach everyday — and I have every reason to believe that he is certainly not that person, then is that not retirement to be able to design anything you want at the world’s biggest company?

Is it not retirement for him to step away from his duties, travel when, and for as long as, he wants, and still come back to design whatever he wants? If he so feels the need, or urge, to make a phone he still can. If he wants to make that chair, or mug, he now can.

It hadn’t occurred to me to look at the announcement this way, but it makes perfect sense. Ive is dictating his own terms now, and it will be incredibly interesting to see where this newfound freedom takes him.

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Dan Moren travels with the Apple Watch →

May 29, 2015 |

Interesting observation by Dan Moren, writing at Six Colors:

But more to the point, not a single person on my trip commented on the Apple Watch. Despite my generally wearing short-sleeved shirts, which left the Watch clearly visible, I’ve concluded that most people’s brains simply register something worn on the wrist as a watch, and don’t bother giving it much further attention. (I’d also guess that as the Apple Watch isn’t on sale in Portugal—a country which doesn’t have any Apple Stores—there just isn’t much awareness of it as a product.)

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the Apple Watch wasn’t really any more of an opportunity theft than your average nice wristwatch. In fact, it’s arguably less attractive in many cases, given that mine is not made from gold, and is far less valuable—and, to be honest, once parted with me, less usable—than an expensive luxury watch.

One of the worst parts of being an early adopter of Apple devices is that you can get a lot of unwanted attention in the first few months and judging by what other reviewers have said, the Apple Watch appeared to be no different in that regard. I’m happy to see that this is not the case for everyone, or perhaps not the case everywhere.

However, there’s one caveat to this: the Apple Watch hasn’t been released in Portugal yet, so there’s no reason for people to be on the lookout for it. The real question is whether this apparent lack of interest will still be the norm after the watch hits Portuguese stores.

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Water: the weirdest liquid on the planet →

May 29, 2015 |

Great piece by Alok Jha for The Guardian:

Water breaks all the rules. Since the 19th century, chemists have developed a robust framework to describe what liquids are and what they can do. Those ideas are almost useless at explaining the weird behaviour of water. Its strangeness underlies what happens every time you drop an ice cube into a drink. Think about it for a moment: in front of you is a solid, floating on its liquid. Solid wax doesn’t float on melted wax; solid butter doesn’t float on melted butter in a hot saucepan; rocks don’t float on lava when it spews out of a volcano.

Via Tools & Toys.

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Hurricane Ridge →

May 29, 2015 |

Beautiful post by Erin Brooks:

Having a 1 and a 3 year old at home means we aren’t doing as much travel as we’d like these days, although we do try to get out for quick local trips in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A couple of weekends ago, we took our girls and went on a day trip to the Olympic National Park, and spent some time hiking Hurricane Ridge.

I love Erin’s eye for photography. The way she captures the natural beauty of the landscape — and her family — is amazing.

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More on Google Photos →

May 28, 2015 |

Google has released more details about the upcoming Google Photos on their official blog:

Google Photos gives you a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device. They’re automatically backed up and synced, so you can have peace of mind that your photos are safe, available across all your devices.

And when we say a lifetime of memories, we really mean it. With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution. For all the storage details, visit our help center.

And also:

If you want to give Google Photos a whirl, it will be available later today across Android, iOS and the web. With this launch we’ve made a lot of progress towards eliminating many of the frustrations involved in storing, editing and sharing your memories. But we have a lot more in store—so as you keep snapping photos and capturing videos, we’ll keep working on making them even easier to store, share and bring to life.

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Google makes Photos a standalone product →

May 28, 2015 |

Ron Amadeo, covering Google’s I/O conference for Ars Technica:

At its I/O keynote, Google announced that Google Photos is now a standalone product. The service has officially been spun off from Google+ and is being billed as a brand new product, according to Google’s Anil Sabharwal, and Google hopes the revamp will enable it to better take on the likes of Flickr and Facebook Photos. The new service will be available at

Google Photos looks a lot like Google plus Photos, just without the Google+ part. There is still tons of cloud storage; pictures are still automatically backed up to the cloud, and Auto-Awesome (though it has been renamed to “Assistant”) is still here. That feature still automatically surprises the user by adding funky effects, making panoramas, and creating album slideshows using copies of your pictures.

It looks interesting, no doubt. And in typical Google fashion, the best of all seems to be the pricing:

Google Photos also allows you to backup and store “unlimited, high-quality” photos and videos for free. For images, this means a resolution of up to 16 megapixels (which Sabharwal called “print quality”), and 1080p for videos.

That will have most people covered, but if you’d like to store full resolution images, there is also a $10/month for 1TB plan where Google won’t recompress your files.

I still don’t know if I would trust Google with my entire photo library, but they certainly took a step in the right direction today.

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This is why you shouldn’t call people at work →

May 28, 2015 |

Sofia Quintero:

An unexpected phone call can be a huge distraction, especially if it happens at the wrong time. The act of recovering from an interruption can cost you a big part of your working day. In fact, most of us lose 28 percent (or 2.1 hours a day) of our productivity to constant interruptions and recovery time.

When people call me out of the blue it feels to me like they are saying in their most macabre voice: “I own your time now, my life and my priorities are more important than yours so now proceed and surrender to my communications needs.

This is especially uncomfortable when we are talking about sales calls. In that case is more like this: “Hello, let me interrupt your day now because I really want to sell you something and I am sure you have nothing better to do with your time than talking to me.

Agreed. This is exactly right and it really, really pisses me off. In my eyes, there’s nothing more disrespectful towards your customers than invading their personal space like this.

The good news is, we can fight back. A couple years ago I left my bank after more than a decade with them because they wouldn’t stop calling me during office hours. And more recently I switched Internet providers simply because they wouldn’t stop trying to upsell me to a “better” plan, despite me having told then repeatedly that I wasn’t interested.

Was it a pain to switch? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Hell, yes.

See also: why sometimes I can be an ass.

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