Missing the point

Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov muses about chess and computers:

The moment I became the youngest world chess champion in history at the age of twenty-two in 1985, I began receiving endless questions about the secret of my success and the nature of my talent. Instead of asking about Sicilian Defenses, journalists wanted to know about my diet, my personal life, how many moves ahead I saw, and how many games I held in my memory. I soon realized that my answers were disappointing. I didn’t eat anything special. I worked hard because my mother had taught me to. My memory was good, but hardly photographic… It’s the equivalent of asking Lance Armstrong how many times he shifts gears during the Tour de France.

Garry’s comments resonated strongly with me as I recall how many beginning photographers would obsess themselves over what f/stop, which lens, what camera model, what lighting setup was used to achieve a great photograph. More often than not, these factors have little to do with what made the photograph great in the first place.

A Classroom Divided

Watch A Classroom Divided

Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and gave them a daring lesson in discrimination.

Every student should go through this lesson.

Aperture 3: I’ll Pass

No tethering support for Canon 5D2, or for that matter, any Canon cameras newer than the 350D.

Even the inelegant workaround, the Hot Folder Import Script doesn’t work. And even when it does, it is still more clumsy than Lightroom 2 or Lightroom 3’s implementation of Auto Import, requiring an additional script to work.

As much as I want to like using Aperture (hell, it’s almost S$200 cheaper than Lightroom 3), I’m going to have to pass.

An undesirable feature

So the UOB guy calls and tells me that not having monthly statements sent to me is a feature of Campus accounts; you’re suppose to check your statements online, which only shows you the current and previous month statements.

But I’ll give it to them for giving me a checking account with interest (however pathetic) and no minimum balance or service fees. Take that OCBC and your bloodsucking $10,000 minimum balance.

COM402 Media Law Notes

Update: notes updated Sep 19, 2009

Singapore Media Regulation (Updated Sep 17, 2009)

Singapore Media Regulation (Updated Sep 19, 2009)

Defamation (Updated Sep 17, 2009)

Defamation (Updated Sep 19, 2009)

Compiled with notes taken by Miak, Khaiyan, Ting Yi.

Safari: Open all “new window” links in tabs, and other tips to replace Saft

Predictably, my Leopard copy of Saft no longer works on Snow Leopard. A new version was released today but it does not support native 64-bit mode Safari under Snow Leopard. There’s currently no upgrade option for Leopard users to Snow Leopard versions of Saft, and I’m not keen on paying the full US$15 for a version that does not work with 64-bit Safari in Snow Leopard.

This is not the same as making links that opens a new window to open in a tab

This is not the same as making links that opens a new window to open in a tab

There are a few things I truly missed from Saft, including making those pesky links that force open in new windows to open in tabs instead. Note that this is different from the option under Safari’s Preferences > General to “Open links from applications: in a new tab in the current window”.

For example, my university’s (NTU) website has a habit of irritating the hell out of us by opening just about everything in a new window. Try it, search for something, boom, a new window appears. Click on the link to the library’s page, and boom, a new window opens.

Fortunately, this can be dealt with without paying for or installing any additional software. You just need to quit Safari totally (Cmd+Q), open up Terminal from Appplications/Utilities, and key in the following:

defaults write com.apple.Safari TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

Launch Safari again, and no new windows shall ever bother you again. Meanwhile, I’m still missing the following features that I’ve grown to depend on from Saft:

  1. autosave-last-viewed-websites-on-quit-and-restore-on-startup. To be fair, you can get around this by going to History menu > Reopen All Windows from Last Session, though you would have to do this every time you launch Safari,
  2. undo when you accidentally closed a tab or page (no workaround now),
  3. drag scroll a page by holding down the Control key and flicking the mouse (something I got too used to and it’s bugging me that I can’t do it now).
  4. type ahead search

Angry photographer rants

Microstock on Time cover

An angry, traditional photographer rants about how microstock photographers stole his big, fat pay cheque away, calls microstock low quality, and Robert—whose shot was bought by Time—a pervert:

Congratulations Robert, you’ve just become the poster-boy for exactly what is wrong about iStockphoto. A stock rate previously known to be $3,000 for the cover of Time Magazine you just sold for $30 – a 99% discount. After all big “wins”, the winner usually gets asked where they’ll go to celebrate. I’d ask you where you’re going with that dough, but you can’t even go to Disneyland, like winners in the past.

Signs of bad Mac software

Follow up to my previous post on tell-tale signs of bad Mac software before you even use it.

Five minutes into using Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP), converting some RAW files into JPEGs and TIFFs, I saw this dialog that I had no idea how to close.


On most sane Mac software, I could have just clicked on the red button on the top left to close this box. But not in DPP because the developers have disabled the close button.

I had to pick up quite a bit of courage to try the “Terminate” button.