AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

Fraser Speirs on presenting with Apple Watch →

April 27, 2015 |

Never in a million years would it have occurred to me to use Apple Watch as a presenting aid. I mean, you’d think there are enough things distracting you already when you’re on stage.

The funny thing is, apparently it works, and it works well. Although I found it funny that Fraser actually recommends taking the watch off when using it as a remote:

You want to have the face of the watch nestling in your cupped fingers. The same place you’d interact with a TV remote or a more traditional presenter’s remote. I found that taking the watch off, re-closing the sport band and placing three fingers through the band, in the way that you might pick up a watch to look at it, was an effective way to hold it. The most important thing here is that you don’t distract your audience by fiddling to switch slides and you don’t make a mistake when navigating.

I seriously doubt this is the usage pattern Apple had in mind when designing the Keynote watch app but hey, whatever works.

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Jason Snell’s initial reactions to the Apple Watch →

April 27, 2015 |

With the first deliveries of Apple Watch taking place towards the end of last week, it was Apple Watch weekend all over the Internet. Out of the many people who posted their initial thoughts, I particularly enjoyed Jason Snell’s take:

This is a new product. Like, a really new product. It’s not like any product I’ve used before, though it has echoes of my old Pebble and of iOS devices, of course. But my built-up skills in using iOS were no use to me when I started using the Apple Watch. This is not a tiny iPhone on my wrist. This is something new.

It might be good. It’s certainly impressive. But it’s new, and it’s going to take some time to figure out quite what it all means.

I think this is what confuses people the most about Apple Watch. We don’t yet have a way to judge it because it’s so unlike any other product before it — let alone any other Apple product.

Apple Watch will continue to confuse many people, irk quite a few, and hopefully amaze the rest. It may well be the next big thing, but it’s still too soon to tell.

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My high-school years in Internet headlines →

April 24, 2015 |

Sam Apple, The New Yorker:

They Said He Would Never Convince Steve Cooper’s Sister to Go to the Prom With Him; Their Assessment Could Not Possibly Have Been More Accurate

Ouch.

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The “Nail Houses” of China →

April 24, 2015 |

Fantastic photo essay by Alan Taylor for The Atlantic:

Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called “nail houses”. These properties, standing alone amid the ruins of other buildings, belong to owners who have stood their ground and resisted demolition. Defiant property owners say the compensation being offered is too low. Some of them have remained in their homes for years as their court cases drag on and new construction continues all around them. A few homeowners have won their fights, but most have lost. Meanwhile, these nail houses have become powerful symbols of resistance against the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

It’s unreal, but this is how far people are willing to go to protect their homes.

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Waterfall Season →

April 24, 2015 |

Jordan Steele, having lots of fun shooting waterfalls:

Spring is in the air, and the world is turning green once again. Spring is also the time when many waterfalls tend to run at their fullest, so now is an ideal time for photographing waterfalls. I’ve taken advantage of some of the flow already, though a few weeks more will bring brighter and more lush vegetation surrounding these lovely natural features.

If you haven’t tried your hand at shooting waterfalls, or are looking for some help in getting the most out your waterfall photos, here are some important things to keep in mind.

There are some really useful tips in this piece about the proper use of tripods, polarizing and neutral density filters, etc. These are essential tools that can make quite a huge difference in your images, and the gorgeous examples in Jordan’s article make an excellent job of showing their real-world benefits:

Now, take a look at the result with a polarizing filter. The processing on the two images is nearly identical (I did some finer color correction on the one below, since it was the one I finalized for print). The glare on the rocks is gone, showing the texture of the stone. The glare on the water is also gone, allowing the blue color of the water to shine through as well as extra detail in the sandstone gorge bottom. The overall effect is striking.

Striking, indeed. If you enjoy shooting natural landscapes, the polarizing filter should be your best friend.

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Felix and the Danish Cyclist Test →

April 24, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen describes the Cycling Test that kids need to pass in many Danish schools:

The test has been around since 1947. It’s not mandatory but many schools choose to do it. When kids are in the 1st grade they get a week of initial cyclist “how-to” regarding rules of the road, etc. Then, in 6th grade, they rock the test like today. In my opinion, the test is great but it’s also rather symbolic. Most of these kids have been cycling in the city since they were little. Felix has rocked the cycle tracks since he was three and a half. Parents teach them the rules and, most important, give them the practice they need. By the time they get to the 6th grade, the majority have a great deal of on-asphalt experience on their bicycles. Our school chooses to make passing the test a pre-requisite for going on outings by bike when they get older.

It’s such a different story around these parts. I’d love to see my future kids grow up in a bicycle-friendly environment like Copenhagen. But even Copenhagen isn’t perfect:

You can, however, see how the Culture of Fear has influenced things even here in Denmark. In the emails leading up to the day it was stated that helmets had to be worn. I informed the teacher responsible that Felix doesn’t wear a helmet and a longer discussion ensued. It’s clear that the Danish Road Safety Council have influenced a lot of people with their wacko ideology. I was informed that the school’s traffic policy requires helmets. I looked it up - it doesn’t. They merely “urge” students to wear them. I was told he could borrow a helmet. I asked if they were washed and disinfected. They weren’t.

Then I was told it wasn’t up to the school but that I would have to talk to the Danish Road Safety Council or the police. I responded that the Road Safety Council is just an NGO and has no power and the police merely refer to the Danish traffic law which doesn’t require helmets. At the end of the day I was told I could sign a form exempting Felix from wearing a helmet. Fine. Except there is no form and Felix just did as he pleased.

The helmet debate is one of the most annoying, time-consuming “issues” in modern urban cycling, and it’s still far from being resolved.

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