Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sun + Ice = Power

I hope I live long enough to see a moon base.



Saturday, October 03, 2009

Library of Congress Photos

I am totally addicted to the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. The excellent site Shorpy.com started my addiction.

Here are a few of the photos I liked from today.

Here's a nice one from 1906 of Luray, Virginia. All of these are converted from a TIFF to JPEG and possibly adjusted a bit in Lightroom.

Aerial view of Luray, Virginia
View in High Definition.

TITLE: [Aerial view of Luray, Virginia]
CALL NUMBER: U.S. GEOG FILE -Virginia--Luray [item] [P&P]
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-137039 (b&w film copy neg.)
RIGHTS INFORMATION: No known restrictions on publication.
MEDIUM: 1 photographic print.
H78518 U.S. Copyright Office.
Title devised by Library staff.

There are tons of pictures of Atlantic City, NJ.

Crowd on beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey
View in High Definition.

TITLE: [Crowd on beach at Atlantic City, New Jersey]
CALL NUMBER: U.S. GEOG FILE - New Jersey--Atlantic City--Seashore [P&P]
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-105986 (b&w film copy neg.)
MEDIUM: 1 photographic print.
J144330 U.S. Copyright Office.

Then there are the seemingly endless number of Lewis Wickes Hine photos to examine. From what I've looked at, Lewis always looked for the sad ones, but somehow they seemed to smile and spoil his plan.

Three Families in a Shack in Maryland
View in high definition.

TITLE: Name: Three families is the rule in these shacks, one room above and one below, but sometimes four families crowd in. Outdoor dining room at side[?] Maryland. Location: Maryland.
CALL NUMBER: LOT 7475, v. 1, no. 0852[P&P]
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-nclc-00028 (color digital file from b&w original print)
LC-USZ62-29135 (b&w film copy negative)
RIGHTS INFORMATION: No known restrictions on publication.
MEDIUM: 1 photographic print.
Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer.

In the spirit of the upcoming baseball playoffs, this one says it all.

Huge crowd of baseball fans watching baseball scoreboard during World Series game in New York City
View in High Definition.

TITLE: [Huge crowd of baseball fans watching baseball scoreboard during World Series game in New York City]
CALL NUMBER: LOT 11147-3 [item] [P&P]
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ppmsca-18452 (digital file from original photograph)
LC-USZ62-105852 (b&w film copy neg.)
RIGHTS INFORMATION: No known restrictions on publication.
MEDIUM: 1 photographic print.
Title devised by Library staff.
Bain News Service photograph.
Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. This is planned to be an ongoing series.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Colorado Rules

We just got back from Colorado and had a great time.

This was a sunrise, not a sunset. (Blue Mesa Reservoir)

Gotta love the cabin wildlife.

I am Blue for Colorado.

Mine Shitter...

and the most photographed waterfall in Colorado.

The full set is here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P. William F. Buckley Jr.

The associated press is reporting that William F. Buckley Jr. died this morning. Makes me pretty sad. Last August I was wondering about him.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Babbleknot New Features

This was originally posted on the babbleknot.com blog.

The babbleknot.com team has been gulping diet rockstar & busy adding new forums and features. Currently the board is loading at the rate of about 4,000 new forums per day, with a goal of 150,000 boards during the beta. Just now over half-way there with 78,184 forums loaded.

I continue to be amazed at the variety of boards out there, and the activity that still occurs, even with the popular web 2.0 destinations. I was a fan of King of Queens, but below is a thumbgraph of an entire board dedicated to Leah Remini. Anything is there. You just have to look. In the graph below, the "green" lines are indications of direct replies in threads, which is a clue to relationships between members.

We'll crank up the search & daily indexing rates in the future. Right now, many graphs are done on demand or at the rate of 2,000 per day in a background job. Babbleknot is running on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2, with plans to add servers for spiders, large graph layout, and other types of large scale analysis as demand increases.

The new features are key milestones that I am happy to finally check off. Here they are in my perceived order of significance.

The biggest new feature in my opinion is background generation of graphs. Before, if you clicked a forum link & the data was unavailable, the board was parsed while you waited, hourglass clocking, driving you crazy. Now if the data isn't on hand, the generation is pushed to the background. Most complete in 30 seconds or so, but a large board with lots of content & posts will obviously take longer. The forum names appear on the right sidebar immediately & will change to a hyperlink once complete. Sending the generation the background is good for both usability & the overall performance of the site. Right now the requests are persisted for the current web session, but the thought is we will keep that history for a short time so you can go back a bit.

Second new feature is an RSS feed of the recent graphs page.

Finally, image flagging is now in with very basic functionality. Clicking the red flag next to content image will remove the image from view on subsequent retrieves of that graph. It's possible entire forums should be flagged. To me, flagging isn't necessarily bad. I believe there is a large segment of the population that would probably like to surf only the flagged content & boards. This will eventually become part of the Safe Search feature, which I think I'll brand as an opposite, like Wreckless Search.

More updates coming soon. Please post questions and comments if you love or hate babbleknot.com.

Social Graph Visualization with Babbleknot.com

This item originally ran on the babbleknot.com blog.

Babbleknot.com is now open for a public beta.

Babbleknot scans the index pages of over 70,000 message boards to generate thread / topic metrics. Things such as velocity, mass, acceleration to name a few. These metrics are used to generate input to a spider that indexes the content and generates graphs of the hot threads.

Below is a sample graph which is part of this flickr set.


On the graph above, you see people, threads, and images, with lines representing relationships between objects with a "circular" layout.

Graphs? Why? The graphs provide a top-down view of the content, people and their relationships. You can see 10s, 100s of threads & topics at once. More coming hopefully as we learn to scale. In the future you'll also be able to generate graphs that span boards & forums. The best part of these graphs are that they aren't just static images. You can zoom & pan (screencam), and all the embedded content images are wrapped in a lightbox for easy display and perusal. You have quick access to the thread & user profiles with links representing post responsibility and direct quoting. More coming.

Privacy? Yep, there will be complaints. I expect some push back. I'll be happy to pull any board that doesn't want to be indexed. We'll be respecting robots.txt soon to make that easy.

What else is coming? Identity claiming so you can link your babbleknot.com identity to individual board identities, and delve deeper into your own social graph. Tagging of all kinds is 99% complete & will be on the home page soon. Full content indexing, thread tracking, alerts, content recognition beyond images, more board types, and maybe even posting capability.

Watch this blog for more information and give babbleknot.com a try today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Where is Billy Bob Bain?

I've been busy working on this... babbleknot.


It is now up on Amazon EC2. I still have lots of work to do, but it's fun and keeps me out of bars.

I need an artist / partner. I'm great at the back-end stuff, but lousy at the front-end. (or so I'm told)

The easiest way to explain it is that
1) it crawls message boards
2) draws pretty pictures
3) figures out "who is who", and their relationships
4) is great for looking at porn
5) and is a privacy nightmare if you use it right

I've talked about this here, and here.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Where is William F. Buckley Jr.?

Has anyone seen William F. Buckley Jr. post anything lately?

National Review Archive

I hope he's just taking an extra long holiday.