All posts in photos


All a-glow still from our wedding last week. Couldn’t be happier, Peter!

PS. Some meme-tastic hadouken images as well.

10 Photos

  1. Acropolis.
  2. Lamps in Athens.
  4. Chicago’s river dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.
  5. #freebassel postering in Chicago.
  6. DIY game controller made from old keys.
  7. Ice fishing early in the morning. No filter.
  8. “Mozilla is so good it will literally melt your face.”
  9. Webmaker USB with an offline mentor kit.
  10. Cover story of German WIRED.

10 Photos

Photos: 1. Opera in a former swimming pool. Kiez Oper im Stattbad Wedding, berlin. 2. Floraris Genérica sculpture in Buenos Aires. 3. Community screening of The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard at c-base. 4. Eyewriter at MoMa. 5. Toronto. 6. Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. 7. Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires. 8. Niagara Falls. 9. FirefoxOS Apps Day, Buenos Aires. 10. Drink-up with Iron Blogger Berlin.

Don’t cry for me, Argentina.


Peter & I landed in Buenos Aires, where we’ll spend the next month “travorking”, traveling and working. With the Bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo as our base, we’ll work regularly during the week and then head out to the Pampas and the beaches on the weekend. Not to mention testing local cuisine & red wine in the evenings. I’m excited to try out this kind arrangement — hopefully BA is the first of several travorking destinations. Let me know if you have any good tips. Cafes, books, excursions, meals, walking tours, and the like!

10 Photos

  1. An original Enigma machine at the London Science Museum’s exhibit on Alan Turing.
  2. Damien Hurst’s artwork at Tramshed, London.
  3. Running by Big Ben and Parliament on Guy Fawkes Day. Remember, remember the 5th of November!
  4. Playing with webruette, a cocktail mixer by Mozilla Japan serving up your browsing session at Mozfest.
  5. Mark and Gunner preparing for a 300-person spectrogram with Think Big Schools.
  6. Post-Mozfest cup of tea at the Tate Modern.
  7. A knotty bike in Shoreditch.
  8. The Brighton Pavilion, a landmark in nineteenth century romanticism and exoticism.
  9. An epic Berlin sunset.
  10. Papercraft sleigh and origami reindeer. DIY Xmas FTW.

Poetic Descriptive Camera

Sometimes half the fun of hatching an idea is thinking through all the silly things you’d do, even if you’re ultimately too lazy to dig in and actually do it.

In this spirit, I’d like to share a hack to playfully disrupt the Descriptive Camera, a project by ITP’s Matt Richardson.

@fascinated, @ProfessorPerl and I planned…but didn’t execute…our poetic intervention. But nevertheless, it’s fun to share the idea even if we didn’t do it.

Descriptive Camera

Matt Richardson’s Descriptive Camera looks like a regular camera. But rather than producing an image of the subject, the camera outputs a text description of metadata describing what’s in the scene.

Richardson’s project highlights an important hang up around information retrieval for images. Most metadata about photos focuses on where the images were taken, with what kind of camera, etc., but very little information is available about what’s actually in the photo. If we had more text descriptions of content, it would be much easier to search and parse images.

As Richardson points out, technology at the moment doesn’t offer affordable solutions for routinely-produced text descriptions yet.

(Although I did find an impressive example of a supermarket scanner that recognizes objects by their visible characteristics.)

Mechanical Turk

Alas, until that edgy Japanese technology is pervasive and recognizes objects beyond bananas and beer, we have to rely on human intelligence to provide text descriptions of photos.

The Descriptive Camera uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to process images into text. After the camera takes a photo, it sends the image to Mechanical Turk. Then a task is offered up to people who pseudonymously agree to write a short description of the photo in exchange for a few cents.

| |  Corner of a wood floored   | |
| |   room with a tool chest,   | |
| |  bike, stack of books, box  | |
| |  leaning against the wall,  | |
| |   an open door with a bag   | |
| |  hanging off the doorknob,  | |
| |     and a pair of closed    | |
| |  double doors with cables   | |
| |   hanging on the handles.   | |
| ------------------------------- |
|                                 |
|                                 |

Poetic Camera

But what if instead of these prosaic descriptions, you had poets writing responses on Mechanical Turk?

How fun would it be to gather some critical theorists, some real wordsmiths deep in the aesthetics of description, to sit on the other end of a Turk request.

They would pen beautiful, imaginative texts describing broom closets and discarded toolboxes.

What would it look like to have all these high-brow writers churned through a “dehumanizing” platform such as Mechanical Turk? A service of menial tasks that are cheaper for humans to do instead of machines.

What role would poetry play, and what would the words look like being printed out of that camera, conveying the sense of a human being on the other end, communicating with you.

| | To ponder workmanships      | |
| | In crayon or in wool,       | |
| | With “This was last         | |
| | her fingers did,”           | |
| | Industrious until           | |
| | The thimble weighed heavy,  | |
| | The stitches stopped,       | |
| | And was put among the dust  | |
| | Upon the closet shelves.    | |
| ------------------------------- |
|                                 |
|                                 |

Images: “Descriptive Camera” by Matt Richardson

10 Photos.

Señor Amarillo

Sutro Tower

Stattbad Wedding

Karaoke in my hotel room

Puking Balloon

Iron Blogger Berlin

Event kit sprint. aka Team Mullet.

Bad Ass Facilitator


Low-Fi Communications

  1. Señor Amarillo.
  2. Surto Tower. On an ambitious and sunny day, and I climbed to the top, discovering the even better lookout at Tank Hill along the way.
  3. Stattbad Wedding. Swimming pool turned skating rink turned art space in Berlin Wedding.
  4. Karaoke in my hotel room! An amenity you don’t get every day. Shout out to Mari, who reserved the room at the Gladstone in Toronto.
  5. Puking balloon man at betahaus.
  6. Iron Blogger Berlin 1st drink-up. Blogging our way to beer.
  7. Team Mullet at the Event Kit Sprint in SF.
  8. A badge for Gunner, Bad Ass Facilitator #1.
  9. Scurried up this fire escape with Henrik in Aalborg. Around the corner from Nordkraft, an infamous power plant and backdrop of the drug film with the same name.
  10. Low-Fi Communications. Pneumatic tubes at Bunker Wünsdorf Zepplin.

10 Photos.

Visitors Welcome


Mozfest Website Desigin'


Sylt Sun

Zossen / Wünsdorf

Stop Obesity

20 Years Quatsch Comedy Club

View near party venue for Mozfest 2012

Ukiyoe, the print master

  1. Visitors Welcome. Sign at my grandfather’s house. “Take nothing but pictures and sea grass. Leave nothing but footprints. Enjoy.”
  2. Fuji-San.
  3. Designing the Mozfest 2012 website. All post-it brainstorms look the same from afar.
  4. Inside Platform4, a maker hub and coworking space in Aalborg, Denmark.
  5. Sylt Sunset.
  6. Bunker Wünsdorf Zepplin. Site of one of the largest underground bunkers in Germany during World War II. Housed critical communications infrastructure. Short ride from Berlin.
  7. Stop Obesity.
  8. 20 Years of Quatsch Comedy Club.
  9. View from near our party location for Mozfest 2012 in London.
  10. Ukiyoe Small Museum. “Open when I wake up / and close when I must go / to sleep / when I’ve had enough / the store is closed”