I used to blog

I don’t really do much blogging anymore. 2013 was sparse. 15 posts. I use Twitter and Flickr more than anything else. I archive all that here too, via the Lifestream section of the site, so if Twitter dies, I still have a copy of all the ephemera I’ve tweeted.UPDATE: Well, turds. It appears my tweets stopped being archived in here in early June. That. Sucks. ANOTHER UPDATE: Whew! Duplicate tweets stored here.

I used to be a professional blogger. Now I’m a professional who only occasionally blogs. Odd.

Anyway, it’s just something I’ve thought about a few times today on this first day of 2014.

Happy New Year!

Posted in Blogging, Personal | 1 Comment

Innotech 2013: Resetting Your Mobile Strategy for Convergence in 2014 #mobilesociety

I just finished giving a presentation to a room of about 30 people at Innotech 2013. The slideshow for the presentation are above, and we shot video of the event, which I will post later after it is edited, uploaded etc.

UPDATE: Here’s some video of my talk:

Posted in Apple, Chaotic Moon, iPhone Development, Online Media, Steve Jobs, Tech | 1 Comment

Baby Girl Sample 12 weeks 3 days Sonogram

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Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2
Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2Baby #2
Baby #2Baby #2

Here’s a set of pictures and videos from our sonogram this past week on Thursday. We know she’s a girl and not at risk for various genetic abnormalities thanks to a new blood test that Kristin took before the sonogram. The videos are great, as she’s moving and kicking around. She’s currently the size of one of the small action figures that Jackson plays with.

It’s crazy how much more detailed these things are just about 4 years after when we had all this done for Jackson.

We have some names in the works, but we haven’t locked them in. More on that later. It’s still extremely early but since everything looks good and healthy, we decided to share. Please keep wishing and praying for a continued healthy pregnancy.

Posted in Personal | 29 Comments

New Cameras: Ricoh GR & Canon EOS M

I’ve been happily shooting Micro Four-Thirds with my OM-D E-M5 for a while now and sold all my Nikon gear to fund making the switch, but I’ve continued to lust after a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sized sensor (and I really dream of someday getting my hands on the ridiculously-priced full frame Sony RX1R) About a month ago, I decided to sell all my MFT lenses in the 20-45mm range (including my Leica 25mm). I used the money from that sale to fund purchasing the Ricoh GR, which is an absolutely amazingly small camera. I picked mine up from Precision Camera here in Austin, and actually grabbed a Nikon Coolpix A at first, but…

Cacti by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
The Ricoh GR literally fits in my pocket, has all kinds of nice manual controls that all can be accessed via one hand, and has a nifty little toggle to let you switch between the actual 28mm of the lens and an in-camera crop to 35mm for a slightly tighter shot. I love it. It’s a great little camera that I can carry with me anywhere. You have to like shooting wide though to use it. There’s no zoom. There’s no lens but the built in lens. Wide is all there is and it’s beautiful.
Photographer by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
The in-camera JPEGs are great, although I shoot in RAW+JPEG just in case I need to tweak the image a bit. Also, the camera has built in support for my Eye-Fi card, and is actually the first camera I’ve owned that works nicely with the card, provides you with a way of sending a particular image off, shows you when an image is transferring, and let’s you know when a transfer is complete with a little additional icon. It’s great.
Jackson and Kristin in the backyard (Jackson stomping away) by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
The one downside to the GR is that there’s no built in viewfinder, electronic or otherwise, so you’re forced to either use the screen on the back to structure your shots, holding the camera at a distance in front of your face, or you have to just sort of use the force to frame your shots. Because of this, and since I had a little money left over from my lens sales (plus a nice little bit of leftover Father’s Day budget to spend), I decided to order the Ricoh GV-2 External Mini Viewfinder for the GR. However, in the wait for it to arrive, I got used to shooting without a viewfinder, so I sent it back a few days after I received it.

Canon EOS M

Mulch by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
Sometime in the midst of all this, it was July 4th weekend, and something odd happened. The Canon EOS M mirrorless APS-C camera with included 22mm lens went on sale all of a sudden for an incredibly low $299. So I grabbed it too. It came in on Friday. It’s another APS-C chipped mirrorless that has no viewfinder, but unlike the Ricoh GR, it actually has removable lenses and via an adapter you can suddenly have pro Canon lenses on it. That’s cool. So I’m shooting with it a bunch and debating selling my OM-D E-M5 and all it’s accoutrements to stock up on Canon glass. However, the camera is odd. It relies much too heavily on its touchscreen display for the vast majority of its controls. It’s definitely heavier than the Ricoh GR, and even with the new firmware it’s not a super-fast focusing camera. But the 22mm lens’s glass is nice and the image quality of these 18MP pics are top notch.
Pug by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
Jackson by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
Kristin by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com
Pug and two chairs by C.K. Sample III (cksample)) on 500px.com

Posted in Art, Photography | Comments Off

A Curated Public Self vs Privacy Concerns

Over a decade ago, I realized what was happening. All those message boards and web postings of the early internet were starting to be very visible and very tied to my name and what would become “My Online Identity.” I had some aliases at the time in addition to my own name. And I eradicated all traces of all of them. Because at that time in the evolution of the Internet, before the all seeing eye of search engines and bots crawling every link they could reach, you still could make all these online bits disappear.

Now, that’s impossible. And I’m quite surprised that most people don’t realize one simple fact of online living: Online is a public space.

There is no real privacy in this public space, just as walking through the streets of most largely populated cities means not only are you being seen by other people and your actions are being recorded by their consciousnesses, but more likely than not, you’re actually being recorded by a traffic signal camera, a security camera inside a department store that has visibility into the sidewalk in front of it, or other public-facing security cameras that are everywhere. Unless you are a hermit, you are living publicly. If you are online, you are living publicly and digitally.

The potential for witnesses to you standing up on a digital soap box and expressing your views is potentially much much larger than doing the same on any street corner can be, simply because there are no logistical space concerns to deal with. The only determining limitation to how many people can see what you do online is how much traffic can your site withstand.

This is a double-edged sword. It’s why blogs & Twitter became popular. It’s revolutionized communications and connectivity and the way we work. We can have tightly integrated teams that are spread across the globe, but communicating nicely thanks to email, IM, chatrooms, and video chats and video conferences.

What most people don’t realize is that just as you put on clothing before you walk out the front door of your home each day in meatspace, it’s important to curate your appearance online as well. The more effort you put into having your own voice—in a blog or on Twitter or via the pictures you share on Flickr or Instagram or in deciding what places you’ve visited that you actually want to share via Foursquare or any of the dozens of mobile social apps that now share where along with when along with what—the more success you’ll have at having some form of privacy online. It’s important to cover your privates.

Most people over the years, when they have met me in person, make remarks about all the pictures I post of my son, all the things I’ve blogged about, and all the things I tweet. These comments are usually a much more polite version of an accusation that I am over-sharing. Sometimes, they’re not polite and they’re very “Oh you’re one of those people that posts a picture of their kid every day” or “You share way too much.”

However, I think quite a bit about what I share and all of it is nicely curated. The me you see here is what I want you to see. There are reasons for the parts that I overshare: namely that my family and friends are spread far and wide from where I live and have been for years. People who really know me get more from what I post than people who don’t. Because they know me. They all see Jackson and have experienced him growing up to a certain degree due to the daily pictures. Some strangers have done the same, but most people don’t care and so filter it out.

But online, believe it or not, despite my “over-sharing,” I keep my privates private. Everything that should be hidden and encrypted is. I never send any email or DM that I wouldn’t expect some unintended audience to read.

We are all being watched all the time. Privacy is for the most part an illusion and has been for quite some time. No reason to panic about it. Just keep your privates private, present a nicely curated public self like you should, knowing that almost everywhere and especially everything you do online is public, and embrace one last truth: there’s too much data out there to process well and no one cares about what you’re doing more than you unless you give them reason to care.

You can hide what’s private within the confines of those truths. But it takes attention and care. Pay attention. Care.

NOTE: This post has been cross-posted on Medium.

Posted in General | 5 Comments