April 24, 2014
DPReview's First Impressions Of the Leica "T"

From the Leica T first impressions review:

Assessing a camera like the Leica T comes with its own set of problems. The first is suspension of disbelief at the pricing - Leica has become a premium, essentially ‘designer’ brand, but even so the idea of spending £2700 for a mirrorless camera with no built-in EVF and a slow zoom lens is difficult to accept rationally. But exclusivity has become part of Leica’s continued existence, and manufacturing this kind of product in Germany (complete with 45 minutes of hand-finishing each body shell) both contributes to, and helps justify, the high price. The design is - quite deliberately - all about desire over reason.

It is a damn sexy camera, but I couldn’t justify the cost.

Photography - Posted by Arcterex at 03:14 PM
April 23, 2014
OpenSSL Source Code Rampage / Analysis

OpenSSL Valhalla Rampage is a great, uhm, rampage through the OpenSSL source code, and ripping it apart a bit at a time. From their site:

Tearing apart OpenSSL, one arcane VMS hack at a time.

The awareness recently on OpenSSL has been a great catalyst to look at some of the “but it’s there and it works” for some of the most used Open Source software.

Programming , Random Linkage , Security , Software - Posted by Arcterex at 02:41 PM
Twitter New Profiles Available To Everyone

Your new web profile is here says the twitter blog. The new look is facebook / g+ like, and pretty damn sexy.

Remember to follow me at @alanbailward for random photography and geeking out stuff, and @ufies for a feed of stories as well as random announcements and information.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:42 AM
April 22, 2014
TL;DR Wikipedia

TL;DR Wikipedia is my new favorite thing. Example:

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 09:52 AM
Lytro Releases New Camera

Via Engadget: Lytro’s new light-field camera looks like an actual camera, costs $1,599.

“It’s thinner, lighter, and it has a bigger zoom range and a bigger aperture than you could’ve ever gotten conventionally,” said Ng. “We’re doing in software what physical pieces of glass had historically had to do.” Ng added, “To design something like this with a conventional camera would essentially be impossible.”

Looks pretty sexy, and not “OMG WTF is that”. I’m really interested to hear what it does in real life.

Photography - Posted by Arcterex at 09:40 AM
April 17, 2014
How Americans Die

How Americans Die. Amazing visualizations.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:27 PM
Ubuntu 14.04 Released

Yup, it’s finally out, and this time it’s an LTS. Head over and upgrade or read the Release Notes and look at the features. Don’t forget there are a bunch of additional flavors to choose from.

Here’s the start of the release announcement:

The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce our fifth long-term support release, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core, as well as Ubuntu 14.04 for Phone and Tablet products.

Codenamed “Trusty Tahr”, 14.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the first long-term support release with support for the new “arm64” architecture for 64-bit ARM systems, as well as the “ppc64el” architecture for little-endian 64-bit POWER systems. This release also includes several subtle but welcome improvements to Unity, AppArmor, and a host of other great software.

Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS includes the Icehouse release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications - whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:


Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Kylin, Edubuntu, and Kubuntu. All the remaining flavours will be supported for 3 years.

- Posted by Arcterex at 11:53 AM
Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Speaking of bashing Samsung, here’s The Samsung Galaxy S5: When a Committee Builds a Smartphone review of their newest smartphone.

Actually, not like that one. It’s not nearly as good. The iPhone can learn five fingers; the Samsung only three. The iPhone doesn’t care about the angle of your finger; the Samsung requires you to place it perfectly straight every time, aligned with the screen. The iPhone reads your fingerprint with a touch on the Home button; the Samsung requires you to swipe your finger — the full height of your finger across the button.

Not pretty…

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:37 AM
The Pinnacle of Fitness Failure: Samsung's Gear Fit Activity Tracker

While I started reading The Pinnacle of Fitness Failure article via The Verge, I originally figured it was a bit of a hit piece, but as I read more and more, it really sounds like a complete lack of design and set up sense purveyed the entire product.

Here, let me re-word the ludicrous nature of this again: The Gear Fit device can’t actually by default transmit step data to Samsung’s premier fitness app on their premier phone.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 10:56 AM
April 16, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past Final Trailer

New movie trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past is up:

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 09:28 AM
April 14, 2014
15 Amazingly Cool 3D Tattoos

I’m not a fan of top 10 lists, but this top 15 list of 15 Amazingly Cool 3D Tattoos has some pretty incredible examples.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:03 PM
April 11, 2014
Escape From XP - A Game

Ok, Escape From XP is pretty awesome. Kudos to Microsoft for poking fun at themselves.

I got 111,000, how about you?

Microsoft - Posted by Arcterex at 03:58 PM
Reeder 2 for Mac Releases Public Beta

Popular RSS client Reeder 2 for Mac hits first public beta. You’ll remember Reeder being a very popular desktop RSS reader in the Google Reader days, and it was shut down at that point. Now it’s back with a free public beta available to test out.

Apple/Mac , Software - Posted by Arcterex at 09:34 AM
April 10, 2014
Firefox OS 2.0 UI Revealed

The Firefox OS 2.0 UI.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 04:39 PM
April 09, 2014
"Lucy" Trailer... Like Limitless, but not

Lucy is a bit like the movie Limitless, but not really. Looks really awesome actually, I can’t wait for this one to come out.

Thanks to Jim for the link.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 04:29 PM
April 08, 2014
Lightroom Releases Mobile App for iPad and Web

Lightroom mobile was released last night. It’s an iPad app and a webapp, which is run through your Adobe CC account (required). It syncs fairly transparently through the cloud and images appear on the web for display or sharing, or on your iPad for an almost full blown editing experience.

Several aspects are missing from the app. No keywording, colors, or metadata editing, but a basically complete editing experience. Very cool. If you need the other side of the coin, PhotoSmith handles image ingesting, selecting, keywording, adding metadata, and sorting really well, but (as of now) has no editing capabilities. A match made in heaven.

Lightroom Mobile was super easy to setup and install, and as long as you have an Adobe CC account (even the $9.99 photographer bundle thankfully!), it’s free and as far as I can tell un-restricted. A great way to have a portfolio setup on the go and doing some quick and dirty editing.

Photography - Posted by Arcterex at 10:01 AM
April 07, 2014
The Fallacy Of Android-First

Very interesting read on The Fallacy Of Android-First, if you’re looking at doing development. This is from guys who abandoned their iPhone prototype and decided to go Android-First, and then some time later went back.

And yet, according to Google Analytics, our app has been installed on over 300 different devices since October. In some cases, those “devices” might be different variants of the same device, but bear in mind that, for instance, the Verizon Galaxy S4, the AT&T Galaxy S4, and the direct-from-Google Galaxy S4 are running at least somewhat different operating systems.

Very good read on some of the challenges of developing for both major platforms, and no, it’s not all about “fragmentation”.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:34 AM
HBO's "Silicon Valley" Premiere Is Streaming Online for Free

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Premiere Is Streaming Online for Free. This looks like a better / more dramatic version of Betas which was produced by Amazon (and in my opinion, quit enjoyable).

TV - Posted by Arcterex at 09:50 AM
April 04, 2014
Great Nikon Video

Dedicated is a behind the scenes view of the making of a video for the Nikon D4s. Regardless of your camera manufacturer affiliation, it’s still a great look at cameras, gear, photographers.

Photography - Posted by Arcterex at 03:32 PM
April 03, 2014
Moon - Typeset In The Future

Moon | Typeset In The Future is a fascinating look at the typography (and some inner details, as well as spoilers) about the movie Moon (2009). Great stuff for you designer types, or anyone who appreciates little details in a great movie.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:39 AM
April 02, 2014
April 01, 2014
Banned for Life From The Play Store

Banned for Life is an interesting story on Medium about an Android app developer who wrote some apps (which wrapped others’ youtube videos in an easy to use app), and got banned for life.

It’s already incredibly difficult to make money on Android. Not having access to the most popular and most easily accessible store would make it impossible to run a successful business. I have used Android since the beginning and I have tried other stores, but no longer use them. It’s just too much trouble for the average user to have to deal with multiple stores. Alternative stores are a good if you are already successful on the Play store and you want to try and supplement your income a bit, but that’s about it.

Interesting commentary about being an Android developer as well. Remember this is someone who chose to develop in Android instead of iOS, so the commentary is a bit damming. Not that you can’t get completely screwed with iOS (app rejections anyone?), and not that he didn’t make apps that were ripe for rejection and just a bad idea. Still, compared to what my “android friends” say (ie: “with Android you make way more money” and “that’s just biased information from apple fanboys” (in regards to pages saying that while Android has a higher marketshare, iOS is kicking ass in the revenue department)), it’s an interesting read.

Android - Posted by Arcterex at 03:39 PM
Reddit Introduce "Headdit" Mode

Normally these april fools jokes fall flat, but when I saw reddit introduce a revolutionary new way to browse reddit, and it actually works, that impresses me.

Not so much with the facebook friends saying “my truck got broken into and I lost all my camera gear” though. That’s not an AFJ, that’s just silly.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:25 AM
March 31, 2014
"Thunderstruck" Covered on Cellos

2 Men With Their Cellos covering one of the greatest rock songs ever.

Things get going around 1:00 in, if you feel the need to fast forward.

Music - Posted by Arcterex at 03:03 PM
Mysterious Fluid Appears to Freeze and Boil at the Same Time

We all learned in elementary school about how water has three states, solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (boiling). How about this Mysterious Fluid that Appears to Freeze and Boil at the Same Time?

Witchcraft I say!

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:50 PM
March 28, 2014
Crazy and Dangerous Australia

37 Pictures That Prove Australia Is The Craziest over on buzzfeed.

I think I’ll just hide at home.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:49 PM
March 27, 2014
Microsoft Office for iPad

Microsoft Office for iPad Review from Paul Thurrott.

The rumors are true: By the time you read this you should be able to download Office for iPad, the first full-featured version of Microsoft Office for a mobile platform. As I had expected, Office for iPad fills a useful niche between Office Mobile for smart phone handsets and the more full-featured Office we see in Windows and on the Mac. But Office for iPad has been written from the ground up for Apple’s device. And the only thing holding it back, really, is Apple’s antiquated mobile OS.


iPad - Posted by Arcterex at 10:59 AM
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Trailer

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES - Official Trailer (2014):

Now there’s a lot to think about here. I don’t like that it looks like it’s an origin story, and how (I’m guessing) they’re going to explain the turtles. They don’t need explaining. They’re teenage mutant ninja turtles. Nothing more needed. Then there’s Michael Bay. I see lensflare in the future. Though I see some good here.

If you’re looking for more, check out the reddit discussion thread.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 09:51 AM
March 26, 2014
Twitter Updates Mobile Apps, Adds Tagging and Multiple Image Display

Twitter introduces photo tagging, multiple photos in a single tweet, without affecting your character count.

Interesting to see how this will change things (I can’t wait for the twitter image tag spam to start). Wonder if other apps will follow suit with similar updates and support (I’m looking at you Tweetbot).

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 04:09 PM
GNOME 3.12 Changes in Video

GNOME 3.12 video changelog.

GNOME - Posted by Arcterex at 01:10 PM
Amazing Video of A Rescue From a Fire Near AIG Campus

Jim at Loop Insight calls it a Harrowing rescue. I call it an OMGWTFHSOMGOMG rescue. Make sure you watch it to the end, it’s not over when you think it’s over.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 10:47 AM
March 25, 2014
Microsoft open-sources MS-DOS

Microsoft open-sources MS-DOS. Wow.

You can grab the code and re-live the world of single user, single tasking, not having to worry about shutting your computer down, rebooting to “fix” things, or just search through the source code comments for naughty words.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 12:22 PM
Gulf Photo Plus 2014 Shootout Video is Live

Gulf Photo Plus 2014 Shootout Video is Live. I wish I could express how excited I am that this is posted.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:35 AM
GNOME Software 3.12.0 Released

GNOME Software 3.12.0 Released!

Not a huge number of improvements it seems, some nice tweaks and under-the-hood improvements it looks like though.

GNOME - Posted by Arcterex at 09:45 AM
March 24, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past Second Trailer

A second trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past was released this morning.

Looking forward to this…

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 02:18 PM
How to Build a Maze

How to Build a Maze:

Our objective here is to create a perfect maze, the simplest type of maze for a computer to generate and solve. A perfect maze is defined as a maze which has one and only one path from any point in the maze to any other point. This means that the maze has no inaccessible sections, no circular paths, no open areas. 

If you’re bored today, here’s something to pass the time.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 02:17 PM
March 20, 2014
My Experience using a Bitcoin ATM

My Experience using a Bitcoin ATM:

In my opinion, the current state of Bitcoin ATM machines are a stark reminder of how raw bitcoin is at the moment. It is simply not ready for normal consumer use yet.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:58 AM
March 19, 2014
March 17, 2014
Microsoft Announces Surface 2 LTE

Microsoft Surface 2 LTE is out and is the next logical step for mobile computing. Kinda. Tablets have had LTE for a couple of years now, but the Surface 2 (being a bit of an odd duck stuck between tablet and laptop) is getting it now.

Microsoft announced today that a long-expected new Surface model, the Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE), will be available for purchase starting to tomorrow. This LTE-equipped version of the Windows RT 8.1-powered Surface 2 device commands a $130 premium over a similarly equipped Surface 2, and will retail for $679. Whether this new model is worth such a heady sum is of course up to the buyer.

Microsoft - Posted by Arcterex at 09:11 AM
March 14, 2014
More About the Pono Player

Read about the Pono player from Neil Young and think there’s something suspicious about it but don’t have any references to convince your audiophile friends chomping at the bit (pardon the pun) for this? Check out the great collection of reading material on Pono that @marcoarment put together.

Music - Posted by Arcterex at 12:07 PM
March 13, 2014
March 12, 2014
Behind the Scenes of Obama's "Between Two Ferns"

Behind the Scenes of Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” is a great look at how they got the president to play along and really embrace doing the show. Pretty amazing.

To find out exactly how it happened and what it was like to work with the Commander-in-Chief, we spoke with Scott Aukerman, host of IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! (the third season premieres on IFC on May 8) and executive producer and director of “Between Two Ferns.” He talks about how the White House let them get away with basically everything, how the president was easier to work with than some celebrities, and what it was like to give notes to the most powerful man on earth.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 02:10 PM
Bad Words Official Red Band

Pretty sure I’ve posted the Bad Words Official Red Band Trailer before, but listening to Jason Bateman being interviewed on the Howards Stern show made me watch it again. And share it again. Oooh yea.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 01:53 PM
Neil Young's New Music Player Pono Kickstarter

Neil Young’s Pono kickstarter crushes fundraising goal.

If all I did was listen to what the critics were saying, I would have assumed that Neil Young would have difficulty raising money for his new Pono Player. But contrary to expectations, Mr. Young is crushing it, at least financially.

Currently over $1,000,000 of the $800,000 goal with 34 days to go. However, from what I can tell it’s going to be a bust (outside of the kickstarter backers).

It is an odd shaped (triangles?), FLAC playing (don’t most android phones play FLAC already?), device that will cost $400, and have it’s own store. So you end up having to re-buy all the music you already have from iTunes / Google / CDs again, and hope that the music listening experience is as mindblowingly different than your 320kb ripped MP3s, without having to spend $900 on a pair of audiophile-approved headphones.

Honestly I don’t think that this will be a blip on the radar of anyone outside the audiophile community, who pay $200 for gold plated connectors anyway. Honestly even if it is mindblowingly different, is that enough for the common man to put another device in his pocket, just when he’s gotten rid of his iPod and replaced it with a smartphone?

Guess we’ll see.

The linked critique is indeed fairly scathing, and honestly, not unexpected based on where it’s coming from.

Pono Music was launched by Neil Young and its easy to see that this device was created by old school music big wigs with very little knowledge about technology or design.

Hardware - Posted by Arcterex at 11:38 AM
March 11, 2014
Kevin Bacon on 80s Awareness

Kevin Bacon shares hilarious message for millennials: You don’t know the ’80s

Check out his hilarious PSA below, in which he calls the under-30 crowd out for not truly understanding how hard life was back then. At least he doesn’t mention having to walk to school in the snow uphill both ways.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 01:49 PM
March 10, 2014
Synology Releases DiskStation Manager 5.0

Any Synology users in the crowd? You’ll be happy to hear that DSM 5.0 is out.

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Synology® today announced the availability of the official version of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0, the latest NAS operating system that runs on DiskStations and RackStations. “Designed with an entirely new interface and loaded with a myriad of new features, DSM 5.0 is built to redefine how people think about NAS,” said Alex Wang, CEO of Synology Inc. DSM 5.0 offers: [….]

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 04:47 PM
What to do in Canada

What to do in Canada

Looks like a standard day for me….

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 11:26 AM
Facebook Revamps Pages

The Next Web: Facebook revamps Pages on the desktop with new one-column Timeline design to match user profiles

The biggest change is that the Timeline for Pages now puts all posts into one column, just like on user profiles. As a result, posts will appear the same on your Page as they do in the News Feed.

Looking forward to this. I’m still waiting for the March 2013 announced new timeline look though too.

Remember you can follow UFies over on Facebook as well, if you’re interested in that.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 10:55 AM
Apple releases iOS 7.1

Well, I’ve been checking all week, and today Apple releases iOS 7.1. Lots of fun stuff and improvements.

As we previously reported to expect in March, Apple has released its iOS 7.1 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users. The software update delivers a number of user interface tweaks and much needed bug improvements and dramatically faster animations and transitions.

As with most things, I’m upgrading without even looking to see if people are having problems first. That’s the sort of daredevil that I am :)

iPhone - Posted by Arcterex at 10:33 AM
Bill Gates's Accomplishemnts

Most of what I know about Bill Gates is from the Dark Days of the Linux / Windows battles of the late 90’s and early ’00s. Reading through the list of stuff he’s done I have to say he sounds like a pretty kick ass guy. Though I don’t know about his kids ‘making their own way’ with only the $10m…..

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:59 AM