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Check out this Parmesan wheel!

Parmasan wheel at the super market

A whole, real wheel down at the local IGA supermarket. Foto is a bit blurry—I sometimes feel a bit weird taking fotos of things like that, expecially when I’m wearing my tracksuit. I remember seeing a doco about someone travelling around northern Italy and whole, good quality Parmesan cheese wheels like this are treated like currency there. They were keeping them in the bank vault.

As an adjunctive sidenote, I lost all my Hipstamatic iphone camera presets. One of the hidden pain-in-the-arses of moving countries is that if you have an iphone then you pretty much need to change to the new country’s appstore, but to keep getting updates for apps, you then need to delete and re-download them from the current appstore. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday doing that.

, , , , , — YS @ 10:18 am, April 12, 2013

lacerate your brain

And so, unpopular as it may be, I wanted to mention a few apps of note that I’ve come across lately.

First one, just yesterday, is google translate which could potentially be a game changer in that it will change the game I play weekly to get money. The one called teaching english as a second language. I just speak right into the phone and it uses voice/word recognition, then via the internet connection translates up to a whole sentence into the 2nd language and shows it on the screen in that language, but you can also click to have it come out of the speaker as a computer voice.

I may need to practice and adjust how I talk when I talk to it because when I said ‘people in this country are idiots’ it thought I said ‘people in the country of India’.

Second is, as recently mentioned, Angry Birds, which only just recently became available to buy in korea. I know I’m wasting time with it but in any given day there are minutes which if they are not wasted in one way, will surely be wasted in another. There’s not much to say about angry birds. It’d be a challenge to write an essay on the narrative underpinning angry birds, but I’m sure someone will try. One thing I did find interesting was that a couple of the green pigs’ structures were adorned with a little swedish flag and I thought it might be a sign of some light ribbing toward their scandanavian neighbours, but then there was also a finnish flag in the same place in one screen as well.

Third is an iPad app, put out by the people who run the Ultimateguitar.com website. Very crafty on their part. The app itself is free, and you buy a subscription (8 bucks for a year) and it serves up the data from the website in the form of guitar chords and tabs. They have thousands and thousands of songs on there. Again, crafty because all of those song chords were submitted by people ‘the community’ and now the website is making a pretty penny from it. And of course you don’t really have to pay—you can still use a web browser and see the songs that way. One neat thing the app can do is transpose chords up or down however many keys you need.

I figured it was worth paying for because sitting around learning and playing songs is infinitely more constructive than playing computer games. We were playing Ziggy’s Rock And Roll Suicide last night.

 

, , , , — YS @ 9:56 am, December 4, 2011

like dolphins can swim

Update- (7/8/11) For all the Singapore, Malaysian and even Brunei people coming here looking for the oksu station ghost comic, the one you are looking for is here.

If you don’t read hangeul and are interested in what it says, I’m told it’s basically, the boy says on his phone, check out the drunk girl. Takes a foto and sends it to his friend. The girl is swaying around but she’s not drunk! She’s being guided by a poltergeist, that throws her on the tracks.


Halftone eg

Been having mild amounts of fun with an iphone app called Halftone. It takes an existing foto and adds newsprint style ink dots, then you can add captions and whatnot. It has a lot of potential but the more I think about it, cartoons don’t really look like that. Maybe it’s not supposed to be a straight out comic strip thing.

Please excuse the lashings of Marvel-standard story device cliches.

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I didn’t use all of the features in these. You can also put things like “Mint!” over the image.

The funny thing is, Jongers told me later that there is actually a korean comic about a ghost at oksu station. She says she hasn’t read it because it’s too freaky. Little things they could do to improve this thing are: being able to switch to bold within a sentence. You’re stuck with the one style of typeface within each text bubble. I would’ve liked the above to read, ”…wreak havoc on our world!”

Also, I’m a bit fed up with how upload facilities are so proprietary and cliquey. What these foto-adjunct apps needs is a standard format of address string that the user can input to be their nominated place to upload to rather than favouring the one or two mega-big “social networking” sites. For eg, halftone gives me the choice of upping to facebook, twitter or emailing it—no flickr, so it’s a pain in the arse for me. Similarly, hipstamatic, with each new update, is making it more and more difficult for me to send my fotos to flickr.


I’ve never really understood how wrapped up some people can get in comics. I had a couple of The Phantom comics I got in a showbag once as a kid but that’s it. But after my lame-arse attempt above, I can appreciate the techniques involved in telling a story with both words and pictures and not having any redundancy take practice.

, , , , , — YS @ 1:39 pm, July 24, 2011

photography pt 2

I haven’t talked about the little computer programs, called ‘apps’ for the iphone, mainly because it seems like such a boring, nerdy thing to do. And I should probably just write and post an entry as soon as I think about it rather than deliberating for weeks. Deliberating, indeed. If you don’t have an iphone this is going to be useless, so click away, now!

I’m mildly amused with retro-style camera apps. It’s pathetic really, isn’t it? You’d think that someone like me would see a name like ‘Hipstamatic’ and steer well clear of it. My only defence it that I am getting into this with my eyes open, and accused of being a hipster, falsely or not, all I know it I don’t feel like one and I don’t think they would wear an addidas top every day they’re not at work.

And ‘Hipstamatic’ is relatively expensive too. Some of the others (I’ll get to them later) are givin’ it away for free. The hipstamatic app is $2 american (that’s less than $2 Australian (LOL!)). And if you want extra lenses/film/flashes, which are all essentially filters, they come in packs of two or three and cost an extra 99c each. I was really surprised with myself that I bought them—bought them all (about 5 packs in total). But did so under the reasoning that almost everyday I end up wasting some smallish amount of money, like I’ll buy something to eat for five bucks and get halfway through and think, well that was a mistake wasn’t it.

I think the thing that gets the hipstamatic app out in front is the nice packaging. It looks nice and it looks fun. Fun is at the heart of this retro-foto mini-veer, veering away from the 40,000 megapixel ultra-HighDef telephoto lens stuff. Here’s what it looks like:

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It’s skinnable in the way mp3 players or browsers are. This is the ‘Mr.Blingy’ skin that comes with one of the packs. It looks nice but actually is hard to see if standing in sunlight.

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This is the back, the ‘Cowgirl’ skin, released as a freebie during the recent SXSW thingo. As you can see the view-finder is rather small, which is part of the whole analog thing. If you want to square up exact dimensions when you’re shooting, then the standard camera app on the phone is obviously better. Sometimes the little viewfinder has resulted in wonky shots but sometimes the unpredictability has added nice touches, like here with ancient krean cybermen:

Ancient Cyberman

I like how the wheel is partially seen in background.

At present there’s 12 film types and 9 lenses when fully decked out. There’s also 7 flash types. The iphone camera flash is fairly poxy and eats up the battery like all get out. I guess the flash would be good if you were at a party and taking fotos of your friends. I’ve no friends and go not to parties, so haven’t found the flashes very useful. Anyway, there’s a lot of combinations of look that can be cooked up, and I’ve had a jolly old time messing about in that way. From the really hot:

Maintenance

to cool:

Oksu Stn

One of the really neat things about it is now that these kind of phones are internet capable is that you can take a foto and upload it straight to the internet. With hipstamatic there’s the choice of sending it to Flickr, fuzzbook, tumblr or an email address. This eliminates the whole process of having to wait until you get home, plugging the camera in to the computer, transferring, transferring again to internet. Who can be bothered with that now? Not me. Small conventional cameras like cannon Ixus, take note. Similarly, the hipstamatic filter sets are good, and good enough, because with time literally speeding up during the last twenty years, who’s got time to be messing about with GIMP or photoshop? I don’t even know how to use photoshop.

It would be good if hipstamatic had a zoom function, but this is not their fault, there is no zoom on the normal iphone camera, and I guess it goes against the whole retro ethos. Also, when I’m sending fotos to flickr, and typing a title for the foto, hipstamatic wants me to start Every Word With A Capital Letter, which is Dippy. Also, all the foto formats are square. It’d be good to have a few rectangle. There’s no good postcards in Korea so I make my own and rectangle works best for that. The square format seems to work best for small things and intimate settings. Expansive, landscape shots look boxed in.

Once or twice I’ve wondered if I will look back at some of these shots in 10 or twenty years and think, I wonder what colour that really was, and perhaps wish I’d just taken a normal foto.

For a minimum or two and up to 7$ it’s been fun, and has got me enthused about taking fotos again—something I’ve done little of in the last two years (barring special occasions). I even took a USB stick down to the printer the other day and had some printed.

, , , , , — YS @ 11:25 am, March 31, 2011

minor raant

1. If first-world teenage girls want to go sail around the world, fine, let them. But when shit fucks up, they’re on their own. Don’t waste tens of thousands of dollars trying to find them. Spend it on people who need it.

2. Why are car colours so boring these days? I know that Korean car manufacturers are just mindlessly following the international trends but when I’m in the bus on the freeway I literally see 95% black, white and ‘silver’ (aka plastic grey).

3. Taken from the hankoreh here.

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Typical Korean spelling fail. It’s not even funny-bad, it’s just bad.

, , , , , , , , — YS @ 10:14 am, June 13, 2010

Sunny Breaks -> what your mother is reading.


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