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Exhibition: Scene Unseen

rayko scene195 Exhibition: Scene Unseen

Scene Unseen, a group show at Rayko Photo Center
November 11 – December 12, 2010
reception: November 11, 6-8pm, Free

Photographed or created spaces and places that haven’t been seen like this before. I’ll have 4 large panoramic images from Kyoto and elsewhere in southern Japan.

View reception and installation photos on Flickr
Read review in SFWeekly

11 artists: Erik Auerbach, Adam Ekberg, Lee Fenyves, Christine Laptuta, Daniel Marchand, Mary Parisi, Ari Salomon, Philipp Striebe, David Wasserman, Lane Wilson, and Eric Zeigler. Also on view are images by Marna Clarke, Victoria Heilweil, Una Hayes Ingram and Richard Man from our Photographer’s Marketplace.

Reception: I’ll be there. Come have a glass of wine, and listen to some live music between 6-8pm. RayKo is located at 428 Third Street close to Giants’ Stadium…and now that baseball season is over, you can find a parking spot! Street parking is free after 6.


jp10 3912 Kyoto Station 350x850 123x300 Exhibition: Scene Unseenjp10 3412 Teramachi Arcade 313x850 110x300 Exhibition: Scene Unseen


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vdonovan2000 5170932564 910107cef9 o 363x600 Exhibition: Scene Unseen

Posted in Fine Art Photography | Leave a comment

Cool Tools: The Best Magazine Articles Ever

This is a great collection of articles covering a wide range of topics. I’ve made my way through half of them and have not been disappointed.

ct08 logo b Cool Tools: The Best Magazine Articles Ever

The following are suggestions for the best magazine articles in English ever.  Stars denote how many times a correspondent has suggested it.

This is a work in progress. It is a on-going list of suggestions collectively made by readers of this post. At this point the list has not been vetted or selected by me. In fact, other than the original five items I suggested, all of the articles mentioned here have been recommended by someone other than me.

via Cool Tools: The Best Magazine Articles Ever.

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Plugin notes: Riffly video comments

It’s a module/plugin that integrates with an online service that will host video and audio comments. It lets you add video or audio to a comment or to a blog post – or any node. It uses a flash interface that looks for a mic or webcam attached to your computer.

But this plugin is pretty old and seems to not be updated. Might be another case of a company that could not deliver on the fremuim model. Anyone know of something similar?

WordPress plugin is here.
Drupal module is here.

Demo was here – but not working now so i removed the link:


Note there are ads on the video. Not very intrusive, though.For users who get a premium account advertising is removed (up to the limit of the chosen plan) as well as additional features.

Drupal development notes: you might need to “switch to plain text editor” when leaving multimedia comments.

Posted in Drupal, Web Design, WordPress | Leave a comment

Drupal vs. WordPress – designers take note

Screen shot 2010 10 30 at 2.29.24 AM Drupal vs. WordPress   designers take note
I hope to attend this (sarcastically named) session at the upcoming Drupal camp: WordPress is better than Drupal, developers take note. Drupal is far behind WordPress in terms of number of users and that’s a cause for concern in the Drupal community. I am straddling both the Drupal and WP communities and it has been interesting to see how the two products have matured. They are both much better than they were just a couple years ago.

WordPress is much easier to set up and use than Drupal, if your web site fits the WordPress model (which you can read about below). However, Drupal is much more flexible than WordPress, so some projects will benefit from Drupal.

As a developer, i find it helpful to be mentally flexible about the overall options for how to structure a site. But also to learn what is best about both systems and push the core developers to improve the UI.

see also: Drupal vs. WordPress | Poplar ProductivityWare

Posted in Drupal, WordPress | Leave a comment

WordPress com-vs-org

wp com org WordPress com vs org

The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can cause some confusion. Overall WordPress.org allows for complete customization of display/design/branding and also full control over  functionality.

.com has limited number of themes to start with. every theme has some customizations like header/logo and bg color. paying for css upgrade gives another layer of possible customizations.
.org allows virtually any kind of look – complete branding and customization. 1000s of themes to start or build one from scratch.

Functionality: wordpress.com

  • Basic posts, pages and categories. generally there is 1 sidebar and that’s it. So even if you find one theme with a look you like and another theme with useful sidebars that organize your featured content the way you like you can’t combine aspects of different themes.
  • .com will put ads on your pages sometimes—and you are not allowed to put your own ads. (The ads only display to logged out users who are not regular visitors—there is an upgrade to control this feature.)

Functionality: wordpress.org

  • Complex homepage options with sliders and other ways to highlight content
  • multiple sidebars for different sections of a site
  • multiple customizable menus
  • sidebar items that are only active on certain pages/categories/logged in users (Widget Logic)

Most important are plugins that add all kinds of neat features. Here’s some examples of common functions I add for my clients via free plugins:

  • flash based mp3 player and video players
  • flash and non-flash savvy image gallery tool (nextgen gallery just upgraded itself to be savvy about iPad/iPhones that don’t support flash)
  • more SEO options (search engine optimization)
  • powerful form building for contacts and other info (gravity forms)
  • google analytics (detailed stats on who visits your site and how they find out about it; integrates adwords ads.)
  • many options for twitter/facebook/flickr integration (and when the next web service comes up a plugin will appear for it too)
  • zemanta and other tools to help generate content/images
  • custom fonts via typekit or cufon
  • maintenance mode
  • quotes collection (for a page or a sidebar)
  • page navigation (for a view of posts the bottom of the page will say how many pages worth of older posts are available.)

-more control over what urls look like and other subtle things like that
-multiple users. fora big staff or for building a social network or private content.
-ability to sell ads

See also the WordPress.com explanation.

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Google AdWords beta testing (Feature X) (Google Boost)

I am under a NDA so I can’t give many details but I wanted to share that I am currently beta testing a new Google AdWords feature/service that has to do with a new, simplified system for businesses to buy ads and manage campaigns.

I know enough about Adwords to know that although the interface is very logical it’s too geeky for many people to deal with. A simplified version may be perfect for many small businesses to take the plunge.

I will share my experiences in more detail when the beta testing is finished.

tags Google AdWords beta testing (Feature X) (Google Boost)

Meanwhile check out the new Google Tags – it’s live now. I was testing it recently and found it to be dead simple to set up and seems very effective in searches where a business needs to stand out from the crowd. If google coupons curently help your listing then this would be the perfect way to amplify an existing marketing strategy.


UPDATE: well, it was called GOOGLE BOOST but now it’s being launched as GOOGLE ADWORDS EXPRESS. Let me know what you think of it….

Posted in Web Design | Leave a comment

Register.com’s sinking prices: try coupon “RENEW77″

I have worked with a number of registrars over the years and they’re all bad. Bad  UI design, constant upsells and confusing policies. On top of that they make it so annoyingly hard to transfer from one bad option to another.

But when they start charging exorbitant rates that is going too far! Register.com seems to be one of the big providers out there (probably just because of their perfect domain name – a lesson in SEO for WordPress) and they always want to charge $35/year for a basic .com domain. My preferance is for godaddy.com – not because they have a good interface (and their hosting is problematic – especially for WordPress hosting) but because they don’t ever raise their prices (@$8/year) and I’m simply accustomed to their version of interface hell.

What Register.com does is force you to renew your domain for two years at $35 and if you unlock your domain and request an authorization to transfer it then they give you a coupon for @$20/year.

Then if you take the time to enter access codes back and forth they will send an even better coupon. Here’s one I got today for a client that i migrated to godaddy.com:

Register.com received notification on 10/29/2010 that you have requested a transfer of (domain) to another domain name registrar.

We are saddened to see you go and would like to offer you an exciting offer to remain a Register.com customer. Renew for only $15.95 when you use Invitation Code: RENEW77 today. Doing so will provide you with peace of mind that your domain name is safe with a company that offers free live phone support 24/7 and is here to help you build your business online.

If you still wish to proceed with this transfer, you do not need to respond to this message.

So try that coupon and let me know if it works.

Note that I have no affiliation with godaddy and I don’t like their branding anyway.

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged | 2 Comments

Joby Gorillamobile 3G – iPhone case and stand

My review for : Joby Gorillamobile 3G – Premium iPhone 3G/3Gs case and stand

gm2 details laptop 278x300 Joby Gorillamobile 3G   iPhone case and stand

It’s a tripod for an iPhone. I have used mine for a while with my 3g and now that i can’t use the case with integrated mount i just use the stick-on mount onto a simple clear case and that slips onto the tripod when needed.

So of course it’s great for using the iPhone as a camera – for video and stills. but it’s also great for using as a laptop replacement. I use Apple’s great wireless bluetooth keyboard and use this tripod as a stand to get the screen in a more comfortable position. Also a great option when using the WordPress for iPhone mobile app when blogging “on the go”.

I have also used it as a bike handlebar mount although i have a dedicated mount for that which works a bit better. See photo below.

Finally, I often use this tripod just as a more comfortable way to hold my iPhone when using it for extended lengths of time – like reading a book via Kindle app for example. This has also been useful recently when testing out Facetime. wrapping my hand around the phone gets uncomfortable over time and this gives me a wide variety of grips to keep my hands happy.

gm2 stroller new mh Joby Gorillamobile 3G   iPhone case and stand

Posted in Design, Inventions, Product Reviews | Leave a comment

Enhance usability: Footer design for web sites

I was reconsidering how to reorganize the large quantity of date on the TCHO footer:

tcho footer 2010 300x178 Enhance usability:  Footer design for web sites

I found some inspitation at designshack.co.uk as well as webdesignerwall.com. And this useful review of 20 websites (from big corporation to small portfolio sites) who organized their footer cleverly to enhance usability.:Webdesigner Depot.

TCHO doesn’t use WordPress so it takes more of an expert to edit the footer but that’s why I put the “sign” in “design”.

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Best Stevia you can buy

I have used this product for a long time and just wanted to let people know that they can order it online now and according to the research done by WFM sales tax is NOT to be applied to stevia anymore since FDA changed its status from “Supplement” to Food (additive). (Disclosure: I’ve done design work for this company but I don’t get a cut of sales or anything like that).

order both Best Stevia you can buy

SUPER STEVIA Liquid & Powder: $23.99

via Order SUPER STEVIA: buy stevia online, by phone or email.

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