Monthly Archives: March 2005

Best Photo Hosting Site

Readers of this blog know that I have been debating which photo hosting sites deserved my subscription dollars. I finally decided to buy a subscription to pBase ($23 per year for
200MB), primarily because pBase allows me to (i) create subsets (for instance, I am able to create separate subfolders for "Positano" and "Pompei" within my "Italy" folder), (ii) create
password(s) for each of my set(s)/subset(s) and (iii) batch upload my images within a zip file. I also like the way pBase has a camera
database that arranges images by camera model.

I am also considering a subscription to Flickr (about $42 per year to upload up to
1 gigabytes per month but with unlimited storage space). Flickr does not yet have subset or password functionality (which is why I gave the first nod to pBase), but I like the way (i) Flickr protects images from unauthorized downloading (yes, I know it is
not that big a deal for someone like me who does not shoot great
images–who would want to steal my photos, afterall–but it gives me
comfort), (ii) Flickr’s "organizer" make arranging photos within its portfolio easy. Flickr was just
bought by Yahoo, so it is not going to disappear any time soon.
might be worth supporting ($25 per year), because it has so many great tutorials and articles (written by both professionals and serious amateurs), including this one about concert photography. Also, many of the users are highly serious photographers and enthusiasts. An email inquiry I sent went unanswered, though, so I am going to hold off on for now.

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The Art of Money

I have heard of at least one distressed investor (or "vulture investor") who collected depictions of the Garuda, a Hindu figure who is half-man and half-vulture. I wonder how many Wall Street professionals collect the art of Victor Debreuil, a French American painter, who, along with other 19th century American trompe l’oeil still-life painters (including William Harnett and John Haberle), became fixated with drawing and painting money." They had several aims: to show off their replicative skills, to confound federal counterfeiting laws, and, perhaps most importantly, to join in the then – highly- emotional debates over American monetary policy," says The Butler Institute of American Art. Debreuil was known to paint both single bills as well as "barrels" of money. The Federal Reserve Board owns one such painting. (See also the virtual exhibits at The Museum of Money & Financial Institutions.)

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MGM vs. Grokster: Cuban Supports Small Firm Innovation

Mark Cuban explains why he is supporting Grokster in the MGM Studios versus Grokster legal case.

We are a digital company that is platform agnostic. Bits are bits. We dont care how they are distributed, just
  that they are. We want our content to get to the customer in the way the customer wants to receive it, when they want
  to receive it, at a price that is of value to them. Simple business. Unless Grokster loses to MGM in front of the Supreme Court. If Grokster loses, technological innovation might not
  die, but it will have such a significant price tag associated with it, it will be the domain of the big corporations
  only. It wont be a good day when high school entrepreneurs have to get a fairness opinion from a technology oriented law
  firm to confirm that big music or movie studios wont sue you because they can come up with an angle that makes a
  judge believe the technology might impact the music business. It will be a sad day when American corporations start
  to hold their US digital innovations and inventions overseas to protect them from the RIAA, moving important jobs
  overseas with them. Thats what is ahead of us if Grokster loses.

Thanks to Fred Wilson for posting a pointer to the post. The Supreme Court will hear the case Tuesday.

A Quarrel and New Dumas Novel

Speaking of Mark Sarvas (and his literary blog The Elegant Variation): he points us to news of the immiment publication of a new Alexander Dumas novel. (Great news, since I am a fan of Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo.)

A quarrel about who killed Admiral Nelson is
about to be revived with the first publication of the lost final novel
of Alexandre Dumas.The French marksman who shot the British commander at Trafalgar is the hero of Le Chevalier de Saint Hermine, a 900-page work that Dumas was turning out for serial publication in the months before his death in 1870. Dumas appears to have exploited uncertainty over the identity of
the marksmen to put his hero’s finger on the trigger. By weaving
historic fact with swashbuckling fiction, the author of The Three Musketeers was pursuing his life’s mission of bringing French history to the masses through fiction.

Books to Burn and a Deserted Island

This is quite funny. Writer friend Jai Claire has passed me the "stick" on a parlor-game type chain letter. Let me tackle the questions.

1. You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, what book would you like to be?
Looks like you can buy an inflammable ("gag’) book from the magic
stores, but failing that, probably an ebook. Let Guy Montag and his
keorsene try to burn that!

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character.

course, wouldn’t you pick Buttercup from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride? Because, as Goldman says,
she is the most beautiful woman in the world (although she cannot tell
the difference between her beloved Wesley and the Dread Pirate Roberts).

3. The last book you read.
Candian short story writer
Alice Munro’s Runaway, because it was in the collection left by other
travelers in the library of our hotel in Sorrento during our recent trip to Italy. Unfortunately, my Canadian wife was not that impressed by my attempt to get smarter on her national literature.

4. What are you currently reading?
I am yet another person who dips in and out of several books at a time. Continuing the Italian theme, Italo Svevo’s Confessions of Zeno and D.H. Lawrence’s Twilight in Italy.
Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) and Food for Fitness (Chris Carmichael,
trainer to cyclist Lance Armstrong). Gödel, Escher, Bach (Douglas

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island.
The first four books for sustenance of the soul: Shakespeare’s
Complete Works, Cao Xueqin’s The Story of the Stone (aka The Dream of
Red Chambers),  Dylan Thomas’ Collected Poems and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. And since I would be on a deserted island, the SAS Survival Guide.

6. Who are you going to pass the stick to (3 persons) and why?
This is the toughest question. Since I cannot pass this back to Jai… let me try to pass this to Daphne Buter, Mark Sarvas and Paul Toth, because their answers should be interesting. (I would have named Michael Standaert, but he is on his honeymoon and his head is high in the clouds.)

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Writing Photos

Flickr photos that have been tagged under "writing."

More Small Screen Readers

I missed this Associated Press article about cell phone fiction when it came out a few days ago. Like other articles on the topic, it plays up the growing popularity of cell phone books in Japan, mentioning the popularity of the novel Deep Love among teenage girls. (See also Brian Ashcraft’s interview of Deep Love author Yoshi.) AP also points to the Random House’s acquisition of Vocel as a sign of the inevitable rise of this market, despite the fact that Random House Ventures Richard Sarnoff, has said that cell phones are still inadequate for "sustained reading." One company that is trying to cash in is Bandai Networks.

The Tokyo-based wireless service provider offers 150 books on its site, called Bunko Yomihodai,
or All You Can Read Paperbacks. It began the service in 2003 and saw
interest grow last year. There are now about 50,000 subscribers. […] Users can search by author, title and genre, and readers can write
reviews, send fan mail to authors and request what they want to read,
all from their phones.

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