2011-06-14_07-18-24_454
Computer Batteries

Image by ProfMKD
What’s in my bag…

Iced tea at Georgia’s, version 2
Computer Batteries

Image by Ed Yourdon
This is an edited version of the original photo, which you can see here. I wanted to reduce the dark shadows on the woman’s pants, so you could see more detail there … but I may have taken away too much of the shadow on her face. I’ll let you be the judge…

This was taken at the deli/bakery (Georgia’s, click here for details) on the southwest corner of 89th & Broadway. This woman was sitting alone, staring into space with a dreamy look on her face, and she would have appeared much more photogenic if I could have moved my camera a little faster and snapped the picture. But then a waiter appeared, bring what turned out to be a glass of ice tea; and he obscured my view of her for a couple moments while he was setting it down. But the time he got out of camera range, she had picked up her cell phone, and was calling someone … perhaps to report on the arrival of her ice tea…

This is an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.

I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

For the most part, I’ve deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …

The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, *far* more people who are *not* so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them.

Note: for some reason, this photo was published as part of the illustrations for a Jun 2009 Squidoo blog titled Foot Tattoo Pics www.squidoo.com/foot-tattoo-pics I have no idea why — after all, you can’t even see this woman’s feet! It was also published as part of the illustrations for a Jun 2009 Squidoo blog titled Tattoos of Girls. It was also published in a June 2009 "Istanbul Trails" blog titled "See How Easily You Can Get My Personal Guidance during Your Stay in Istanbul." And it was published in a blog titled "Things to Do During a Heat Wave."

Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a May 25, 2010 blog whose title, when translated from the Italian, is "I suspect betrayal: women spy more than men, with the help of new technologies." It was also published in an Oct 27, 2010 blog titled "Top 5 Location-Based Services [Mashable Awards]." And a tightly-cropped version of the photo was published in a Nov 6, 2010 blog titled "Distraction."

Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a May 17, 2011 PunchCut blog titled "Uncovering Context With Mobile Diary Studies." And it was published in an Oct 6, 2011 Great Cell Cellphone Circumstance pictures blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written here on this Flickr page. It was also published in an Oct 6, 2011 Tolle Crazy Computer blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written here on this Flickr page. And a tightly cropped version of the photo was published in an Oct 20, 2011 blog titled "Social Networking on Mobile Devices Skyrockets." It was also published in a Nov 17, 2011 Getting a Tattoo blog.

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Feb 20, 2012 blog titled " [Infographic] More than 50% of Connected Consumers Are Females in Their 40s." It was also published in a Feb 17, 2012 blog titled "Sweet Mobile! Now What? Part 4 — User Context." And a heavily cropped version of the photo (showing only the subject’s hand, smartphone, and glass of iced tea) was published in a Mar 13,2012 blog titled "Social Web sollte auch social seine!" It was also published in a Mar 22, 2012 blog titled "Relationships Trump Google." And it was published in a May 29, 2012 blog titled "The Best Apps to Help you Balance Your Home and Work Life." It was also published in a Jun 15, 2012 blog titled "Direct voordeel, vertrouwen en context bepalen succes van mobile marketing." And it was published in a Jun 20, 2012 blog titled "Nice Advantages Of Mobile Marketing Photos."

Moving into the second half of 2012, the photo was published in a Jul 16, 2012 blog titled "Meaningful Communication in a Disconnected World." It was also published in an Aug 27, 2012 blog titled "Yelp Better: Local Search App To Find Retail Social Enterprises." And it was published in an Oct 16, 2012 blog titled "Best Way to Keep App Users Engaged: Build a Good One." It was also published in a Nov 16, 2012 blog titled "Using Images to Shape Online Identity."

E- Rex: X Prize Entry
Computer Batteries

Image by drona
By sheer chance I met the VP of marketing of the E-Rex team — Dr. Barbara Hibino, last weekend. The E-Rex remains the last standing entry for the Alternative Vehicles category of the X-Prize from the Bay Area. The race will be run in June, 2010. I was thrilled to get a 0-illegal-speedmph ride on the streets of Campbell CA, and thankful that the brakes worked just fine!

Two key innovations by this team were:
A. used off-the-shelf parts for their single dashboard computer which manages in real-time drive-train performance, parts monitoring and battery efficiency, allowing them the equivalent of 100mpg performance
B. used a unique technique to solve battery management problems — they can daisy chain 12 batteries instead of the usual 4. This allows them to use 1/3 the parts used in your standard EVs (such as Tesla) thus creating a very simple easy-to-maintain power-source, and also reduce the points of failure by 1/3 of conventional batteries used in EVs .

Barbara told me that the software that runs this car is so well designed that it can be managed over-the-air, just like a cell phone, via a central office console. Speaking of cell-phones, the car also has several chips that include GPS, accelerometers, etc…

This team created the Ziggy Robot which has won 1st place in the RoboGames Championship for the last 4 years.

Brian Worry, seated in the driver seat, is the CEO of Optamotive — the maker of E-Rex (and in his day job is also the CEO of Nuvation). This car was built in a year after office-hours — a true labor of passion!

A write-up of this car will appear in WIRED magazine on April 20th, 2010


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