Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday thoughts

Ok, it's Sunday afternoon. I've had my breakfast, read the newspapers and even had a nap. I photographed the Daffodil Parade in Tacoma yesterday, and did a lot of walking for the nearly four-plus hours I was there. I downloaded the images and they're sitting in Adobe Bridge for now. I'm not a good judge of my images immediately afterward, and usually let them sit a day or more, longer if a quick review showed problems with the subject, exposure, etc.

In this case, like the St. Patrick's Day parade photos, I didn't have my brain fully plugged in during the shoot, and found I kept changing the EV (exposure value) control on the camera. It's the big thumbwheel knob on the back. I often rest my thumb against the back of the camera and during the parade found the images suddenly showing darker than I expected, which not paying attention, showed the EV set to the negative side.

Anyway, it's a simple adjustment in Photoshop, but since I pride myself on the best images from the camera, to minimize the basic corrections in Photoshop, it's angering to see underexposed images in the gallery. And there is a problem with exposure metering where shooting in changing light conditions, overcast, sunlight, buildings shadows, etc. makes the right expousre a little difficult. And yes, I could shoot raw and have more latittude in the post-processing, but that's a huge waste of flash cards when you can get the image 95+% right in the camera. Or so I keep saying but learning to the contrary.

Anyway, that's the story so far. And the news?

Well, for one, a question. Why in the world does company charge for a Web browser? And why does one charge for updates? I don't get this logic. I like to have a bunch of different browsers to see how the Web pages on my Website look, to see the differences, however small. I don't design Web pages for or with Microsoft's Internet Explorer because you can't account for all the flavors, plugins, and user settings.

Microsoft set the market standard by providing the browser for free which Netscape had to follow to continue to exist. All of them followed except a few smaller companies who somehow think they can sell a better product. Ok, I bought OmniWeb on the recommendation of someone, for $15 no less. But then they announced an update, for $5. Not an upgrade but an update no less. And now I see a company sells Prairirefire for $6.

Both are these are really big, "Huh?" to me. Do they really make enough to charge for their browser? Ok, maybe a first time buyer like me, but still it's a question of why when there are good browsers available free. But then for updates? We're not talking selling a whole new upgrade, such as version 9 to 10, but an update, version 9.26 to 9.27, and to fix some problems in the older version.

I already pay for some updates and upgrades with some software package I routinely use, and yes, I'm mad at those companies too which charge for routine updates or upgrades. It's one thing when it's a huge photo editing or similar package and another when 95+% of the package functions and features didn't change. The former I can understand and the latter seems counterproductive for marketing, unless they think if you're stupid enough to buy their first version, you'll buy the updates and upgrades.

Oh well, sorry OmniWeb, I paid once to learn how stupid I was, and while your browser is good, it's not worth the continual paying for normal updates. Apple gives Safari away for free, as does Mozilla, Firefox and Opera.

Iraq? I couldn't say it any better than today's New York Times editorial about Bush's War. And? How about the fact the Iraqi government contracted to buy arms, including helicopters, missiles, jets, etc. from Serbia for $833 Million.

Our military won't provide more than small (handheld) arms and weapons to the Iraqi forces, partly because we don't yet fully trust them and fear many of them will be sold to or stolen for the insurgents, militias and other forces fighting us. Like Duh, they already have to the tune of 200,000. And now we discover the Iraqi government is cash rich with oil money and US aid. How many Billions of dollars in cash have been given Iraqis? At last count, upwards of $15-20 Billion so far, much of which hasn't been accounted.

And now the Iraqis don't trust the US to supply the arms and weapons they want so they're using their own and our money to buy that and more from lesser nations and arms dealers willing to sell arms to anyone. So what kind of nation are we trying to build? Or more so, do we really understand the nation we're working with as a partner?

Maybe it's time to take our checkbook and go home?

Other news? The Olympics. I won't touch the Olympic torch issue, because people, to me, seem to mistake the symbolism of the torch to China. The torch is about the Olympics. We can't compress the entire political problems of China in a athletic event. Remember the IOC gave the Olympics to China, it's up to them to explain why and what failed. And it's up to the leaders of nations to explain their diplomacy with China over the last decade or two.

Don't make the torch the symbol for everything. Focus on the real issue than a symbol.

Climate change. I was listening to the stories about "less water" everywhere. No. They don't get it. There won't be less water, only the planetary spatial rearrangement of it. We, or nature, can't lose water, only change the distribution of it over the earth and change the forms in solid, liquid or gas. Any loses of water over land or any increases from glacial melting will be taken up by the oceans.

We may lose fresh water but we'll gain sea water. And we haven't determined in the models the changes the increased ocearn size and water may have on evaporation patterns and in turn precipitation patterns. There are huge feedback effects in the global climate processes that the models can't fully predict. There won't be runaway climate warming because history has shown the feedback at some point will create a cooling pattern.

Stay tuned, if you're still here.

Parting jesture? Interesting photo gallery.

Parting jesture?

No comments: