Esa foto desde otra perspectiva

Esa foto, la salida de la tierra (Earthrise), esta entre las más famosas de la historia y fue fotografiada en 1.968 por el astronauta William Anders, tripulante en la misión Apolo 8.

Apolo 8 fue el primer viaje espacial tripulado en entrar en el campo gravitacional de otro cuerpo celeste y tuvo gran éxito científica.

Aún asi, quizás la foto más transcendente de la misión fue la captura de esa imagen de la tierra en un momento de pura espontaneidad entre los tripulantes durante su órbita de la luna.

El comandante de Apolo 8, Frank Borman, tomo la primeras dos fotos de la tierra en blanco y negro, siempre presentandolas con la superficie de la luna de forma horizontal.

Sin embargo, tal como se aprecio y fue fotografiada por Bill Anders, con la superficie de la luna a la derecha de la imagen y la tierra al fondo, pocas veces la vemos así, sino que se orienta la foto como si fuese una puesta o más bien una salida de la tierra sobre el horizonte de la luna.

En realidad a veces tienes que alejarte de algo para realmente apreciarlo como sintieron los astronautas, y aún asi tendemos entre nosotros mismos a ver la cosas desde otra perspectiva.

Recuerdo que la fotografía no es una pura reproducción de la realidad sino un arte abierto a la interpretación humana que hasta un mismo científico pueda ejercer.

¿Manipulación o interpretación?

¿Tú cómo lo ves?
English speakers: read this fine account of Earthrise

El español peor pagado de la historia

¿Te suena su cara?

Quizá no, pero la melodía:

Se estima que el Gran Vals del compositor y guitarrista de Castellón, Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), se reproduce unos 20.000 veces por segundo en todo el mundo que yo calculo ser unos 657 billiones de veces al año.

Más o menos.

No obstante Nokia reclamarón la melodía como su soundmark en 1993.

Entonces, ampliando un poquito el ancho de la columna por defecto en la hoja de calculo, yo cuento que trás unos 17 años, estamos barajando unos 11,169,000,000,000,000 veces que hemos oido al querido Paco de Villarreal.

La comunidad científica entiendo que lo llamarían 11 cuatrillónes (quadrillion en EEUU)

Yo lo llamo bastante.

y la SGAE

¿Llamarán a Nokia?

iPad reveals a Bing monkey weakness

When Bing came on the scene I was quite lifted. Secretly chuffed.

Here was a contender to Google for search, that somehow had less of a Mircosoft edge than before, and despite a starting share of the search market at around 8% there were plenty of early indicators it was quite promising. Despite being wedded to Google for search and ever more activities, I felt compelled to try Bing for a variety of reasons, and I really wanted it to succeed.

After all, this is the operator who gazumped Google to the announcement of inclusion of the blended search results that were to include tweets on the page of results.

Wow, they are on the ball. I thought they really meant business.

And so every now and then I would Bing it instead of Google it, willing on the david v the goliath, always supporting the underdog, and increasingly often being genuinely satisfied with the experience.

I even began to warm to the whole onomatopoeic allusion that Steve Ballmer planted in my memory somewhere in 2009, when he explained that the search engine was named as such because that is the sound associated with finding something. A sort of eureka moment.

Then tonight I realised that all that was just an allusion.
What happened? - iPad happened Steve, that´s what happened. - iPad -  you hear me?

Like a few others I indulged in the online mobbing of the coverage of the iPad and swarmed over Twitter in the quest for information emanating from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater somewhere in San Francisco (what a cool name, eh? - it almost translates as good grass)

The Apple hype machine had been in overload for weeks leading up today, and tellingly, Twitter´s service degraded for a period under probable weight of related activity - as they deactivated the lists function for a period. Reporters on the scene complained of jammed networks, slow wifi in the hall, and online streaming sites buckled under the weight of the thirst for information from an eager worldwide crowd desperate to get in on the act.

So a few hours later, once the frenzy had settled down a little and bloggers continued to exchange thoughts and write up the features of the device, I thought I would Bing once again.

Now, many a more authorativive author has indulged in laborious comparisons of Bing v Google in the past, and I know there are more rigourous ways of A/B testing search results - nonetheless the snapshot results as displayed in this image gallery are shocking., (both non personalised results) show a good dose of iPad related results with tweets, news and blogs. Even Yahoo does an OK job, and to be fair Bing is not entirely blank on the subject.

However shuffle through these screenshots taken only a 120 minutes after the event ended with all the content being created by pros and amateurs alike, and you may see in my case for the Bing results,  Australian, even New Zealand based results that are entirely irrelevant. Incidentally, I´m sat the other side of the world to those countries, in Spain. Most of the returned Bing results are abysmal.

Instead of possibly relevant tweets results in my Bing search page I got served links for the internet Primate Aging Database (iPAD) - a  multi-centered, relational database of biological variables in aging, captive nonhuman primates.

Monkey business?

OK, to be fair by the time you read this, those results for the term iPAD of Apple fame - which has already attracted the disdain of the general public in many anglo-saxon cultures - will have almost definitely changed for the better and Apple will squeeze out the test tube primates back into their lab and happily allow everyone to Bing away and thus conflab about tech specs on the latest latest.

And so whilst in SEO terms, recency may not always mean relevancy, in this case Bing just went totally flat on me, and completely shattered any trust it might have earnt from me in the last year.

It just goes to show who in search engine terms is still very much on top of their game despite having two syllables and still sounding like a laryngeal disorder.

On reflection, I don´t know if I´ll ever recover that sonic joy I had cultivated in my primary auditory cortex, somewhere in my temporal lobe, since Bing took a welcome bow on the stage last decade.

Unfortunately Bing sort of rings hollow now, and perhaps explains why this video rings such a loud bell instead. Maybe it resonates with you too.

Still curious about the other iPAD?

What about you - ever felt chronically let down by a search engine?

Blogging gets easier, choosing where to blog gets harder.

The announcement of the Posterous themes directory is a welcome part of the evolution of their excellent service, one that does simplicity really well.

I must admit when I opted for using Posterous as a blog platform for this adventure, like may other people, the ease factor really swayed me. That and the email thing. I know it´s not cool to admit it, but I do use email still. Don´t you?

And let´s be clear, sometimes the choice that come with total publishing control can be overwhelming.

© hawklord007 on Flickr

Yes, I maybe able to do so much more on a hosted Wordpress blog, I hear you - pimp it out to the nth degree, adsense here and there, feeds of every flavour, and an array of embedding and mashups galore, hey even get under the hood as a wannabe php ninja, but at the end of the day all the effort of perpertual configuration, modding, widegitising and tweaking a hosted blog just detracts from the core purpose of blogging in itself - that of devising and publishing your thoughts.

There is so much choice of blogging platforms these days, and especially given the ability to use domain aliasing on so many of them, that it´s worth considering if the gain of all that finite control and fiddling from a self hosted setup is really worth it, even if you depend on a developer, a webmaster dare I say it. It´s got to be quick and easy. Some say, they are even more easy options to blog than Posterous.

After all this is the attention deficit decade right, and if you are still reading this far, you are probably among the few - thank you for your attention so far, hear me out.

There is a trend towards simplification, at least in presentation, in many web services, and it´s noticeable how many of the leading web apps themselves genuflect to 3rd party blog services, in recognition of the single track mind brilliance of these platforms.

I´ve heard these platforms being labelled as mini-blogs, however the flexibility of this evolved breed of blog platforms allows easier integration with your social presence with autoposting left, right and centre with a one-time click of a tick box. And that same flexibility allows people to produce more creative ways to harness them. Can you use them to compliment your hub? Of course, but maybe they are your hub.

The chief social media officer at Mullen, Edward Boches, ingeniously uses the mini blog approach here to contain his comments which merit more than 140 words and those expanded comments as mini blog entries earn a short url reference which is then sent out via his twitter stream. That´s big thinking in a so called mini platform.

So you want total control your blog and don´t want to get sucked in to the fremium thing with monthly subscriptions? OK, just make sure when you do your ROI calculations, you include all those hours of impossible to predict upgrade headaches, plugin conflicts, security patching, server this and thats etc. It´s not about cost, it´s about value, and your time is valuable right?

It evokes memories of yesteryear for me of hearing those yearnings of "I want to run my own email server.." - sure go ahead, I´ll stick to Gmail or whatever and get on with emailing while you toil away in your vortex of spam. Horses for courses, swings and roundabouts, yada yada yada.

Next time you need to select a blogging platform, be it for you or your client, bear in mind this core tenet of blogging as reinforced in this video.

And that is from a respected Wordpress theme framework developer wearing the scars of tweak fatigue.

So you are still thinking through the options for your next blog setup? Just think it through carefully: that´s free to do, but by not doing it, it could cost you.

Of course, there is a nuanced counter argument to this, and I´m all up for hearing your take on it.

What do you think? Easy choice?

Evocative Summer 2009 Memories

It seems no part of the northern hemisphere escapes the cold at this time of year. Furthermore, the tourist industry goes into overdrive in January enticing us to select our next summer holiday or winter break.

This summer holiday video brings back lots of memories of yesteryear and also elicits mixed emotions for me.

It was filmed at the island location of Formentera, where a Spanish advertising companion from here in Murcia, with a promising future ahead of him, was tragically killed in August 2009. R.I.P. Álvaro Abadía

Y aquí está la versión subtitulada en español. Verás que no encaja nada si intentas seguir la canción, pero por lo menos la letra te explica algo - a no sea que te sirva lo visual y el buen feeling que tiene el video.

Dedicado al compañero murciano de publicidad, Álvaro Abadía, quien falleció en Formentera, augusto 2009.