The joy and problems with iCloud Photo library

The first digital picture I have in posession was taken on January 1st 2001 with a FujiFilm FinePix6800 ZOOM. It had a resolution of 3 megapixels and weighed 360 kilobytes.

Yes, my first digital image was of a wooden copy of the TinTin moon rocket.

Since then, I have shot my way through 15 years of life with a small array of cameras, totally adding up to around 160.000 images of different size and quality. Many of them tagged, named and managed with the now defunct (alas!) Aperture.

Consistency hell

Up until recently, I had an unhealthy, unhinged Lightroom library (I never managed to get that program into my fingertips or workflow), an offline Photos library converted from Aperture, and an online Photos library consisting mainly of iPhone pics.

But then I bought a Sony RX-100III as a travel camera, and started transferring pictures to my iPhone via WiFi while on the go. When back at my computer, I imported the remaining pics from because it was easier to manage everything from one location. I also decided to copy some of my more memorable albums from Aperture, as trips and places often pop up in conversations, and that it’s cool to be able to say “Check this out”

So over just a couple of months, inconsistency and redundancy issues arose. Having librarian tendencies, and having tried (and hated) the Adobe / Lightroom cloud, I decided I would — once again — make the leap of faith with Apple. This time more so because of the completely nonsensical Adobe Cloud1 than Apples solution being best. So I started moving all of the photos into the iCloud Photo library.

Enter Magic

My Aperture library alone held over 120.000 images and ticked in at about 800Gb. It was harder than I imagined to get them all into the same library2. Also – with only a 15MB/s uplink it literally took weeks to upload all the data. But little by little, all of my pixelated history — from the wooden rocket image from 2001 until yesterdays street shoot started popping up on all my devices.

And this actually felt just like the kind of “magic” Apple sometimes overuse in their presentations. While this is really easy to understand as a concept, it is hard to explain how incredibly transparent and nice it is when it “just works”. Not only did I now have I access to every photo and video I ever took at an instant (tags and albums help a lot while searching DSLR/P&S pics without GPS), but I was also still be able to shoot images and hours of HD video without ever running out of space.

Seriously — using Dropbox or Google Photos to “empty” your phone for photos from time to time doesn’t even come close, at least not on an iPhone. With iCloud Photo Library, it’s all there and not there at the same time. I could now browse, watch, edit and upload the RAW photo from the Canon 5D 50mm@1.4f image I took in 2012 with nearly as much ease as the one that was taken seconds ago.

In addition to instant access to over a terabyte of images and videos, I always have ±16Gb free space on my iPhone. This really feels magical. Although the transition had a lot was lost moving from Aperture and Photos is lacking several important features — moving my images to iCloud is one of the best “digital decisions” I have made. If that is a thing.

But as the library grew bigger, weird stuff started happening. Or rather — stuff stopped from happening at all.

Exit Magic

I first met the problem with my present go-to photo editor Polarr, that just wouldn’t load at all. I tried reinstalling, but while I could get into the tutorials fine, it wouldn’t let me load any images without crashing. And yet — although the app itself crashed on launch every time, its extension for worked just fine.

But why?

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Mavic Pro

I have never ever wanted to own a drone. Or even control one. I have found them them way too toy-ish, bulky and nerdy. Just look at the Phantom 4. No matter what you try to do to it to make it look cool, it still looks like a toy. And this comes even if I love both photography and helicopters, and have many vivid memories of the times I have been able to merge the two using the old school, and much heavier machines from the olden days!

Enter the Mavic Pro

But this thing is different.

This thing is the first drone I have ever looked upon and thought. “WOW!” Just the industrial design of this… It looks like something coming straight out of an extremely well designed video game with strong ties to Japanese military mecha/anime. It’s really beautiful! So I thought really, really about for at least two days, and then I just bought it! (yeah!).

Delivery isn’t due before a month from now, so now — I believe for the first time since I was waiting for my iPhone in 2007 (and that is saying a lot!) — I am having this kid-before-christmas day both anxiety and anticipation. Its delivery date is pending, but it ought to be here sometime early next month.

I still don’t know what this means, will my life require me to film everything from above now? Will I have to pick up an extreme sport just to make it happy? Will I from now on be that annoying guy with the drone? Have I really really just bought myself the ultimatest selfie-stick? Still don’t know, and it’s a nice feeling.

And by the way, I couldn’t find the specs in a handy format anywhere, so I compiled this Mavic Pro specs PDF for all your speccy needs. And I have to give it to Casey. I think this was the moment that had me (pre-forwarded for ya.)

Skype now sucks a little less, but only on mobile

Skype for iOS is now apparently five times faster than the current app. It also looks about three times better, and that’s great. Even if FaceTime and Hangout has taken over for most of my video conferencing needs, Skyping is still the Xerox of video conferencing (my mom still refers to FaceTime as Skyping so there you have it), and everyone has it. Yet no one is online on it. You might have a different experience, but most of my Skype calls often starts with a phone call, SMS or mail.

Skype 2014 06 09 kl 22 05 01I might be reaching here, but it could have something to do with the desktop interface. Skype is hands down one of the most cluttered, noisy and clumsy 2000s app interfaces on my Mac, seemingly lacking any direction of what it’s there for and where it’s going (Microsoft acquisitions rarely do).


Judging just by the main interface – what does this app do? …If you have never used it before, what would you use this app for? Even if you know it has something to do with video conferencing, the design gives no clue of this. Instead, the default screen prompts you to connect to Facebook… to – I guess – update… your Skype status – on Facebook?

The rest of the interface is a mess of small and big buttons, super tiny and enormous typography, and of course the aforementioned noisy social media integration. It’s also impossible to make the window smaller – my main gripe of even having the app open. (I researched this, and tried downloading the Skype Business Edition as some discussion forums suggested this would do away with the social media nagging window, but alas – it’s PC only.)

I won’t go into any more detail, let’s just say that the desktop version of Skype doesn’t feel like the home of the worlds largest video conferencing app, accounting for 70 million+ video conferences per day (numbers from 2013). My first tip would be to do away with the 2000s and start over with a clean slate and a focus of core services. 2003 is 11 years ago these days, and people are starting to notice.

Apple’s new Lightning spec allows for smarter, better-sounding…


Sources for 9to5 Mac understand that Apple has published a new specification that lets headphone makers use an iOS device’s Lightning port for audio instead of the normal 3.5mm jack. On a basic level, this allows headsets to launch apps and carry more than just the usual playback controls. However, there’s reportedly an advanced spec that permits a lot more — headphones could include digital-to-analog converters and other processing that overrides what’s in the device. If you’re not happy with the fidelity of the built-in hardware, a new pair of cans could provide an upgrade.

…and – one might think – really awesome audio peripherals.

Open letter to Apple Mail

Seriously, Apple / iCloud / .Me / .Mac / Proofpoint / whoever is in charge; your spam filters suck so bad.

The algorithm has been drinking

I get these mails with THE SAME SUBJECT AND THE SAME CONTENT all the time from strange foreign domains that I have NEVER EVER recieved a mail from. The emails are transmitted from INSAAAANE subomains like this one I mean REALLY? Doesn’t strings like googlemooglbooblbrobl ring any bells for ya? A five year old idiot would understand that this with 99% probability is spam. (No offense, five year old idiot.) Yet your spam algorithms are all drunk and can’t seem to cope with it.

I even send you almost every single spam mail to your spam account. Can’t you make your servers at least pay attention. This is the third mail with the same content I recieve within two hours. Sometimes there are 10 mails with the same format, content, text and subject, usually all with the same funky attachment with the same filename sent from multiple CRAZY subdomains on the same domain.

The girl from Tokelau

I mean – .tk??! The island of Tokelau? Shouldn’t it be some kind of amobean logic installed on mailservers today? Like when I – for the first time in my life – recieve five mails from five different persons that all live on the same remote island in the middle of the pacific ocean, that all have registered their mail on a subdomain so complex that Steven Hawking would have a hard time remembering its URL?

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Domain Name Scam

I just got contacted today by a ‘chinese gentleman’

…that wanted to confirm with me that a company called Qol asia Investment Ltd had applied for the chinese top domain norwegian domain name. The mail claims they thought this was strange, as there already is a norwegian domain with this name, and that they wanted to give me 7 days to claim this domain name for myself.

While this is awfully considerate of the chinese registrar, it is – of course – a scam. And a pretty legal one too. While it might have been interesting to get a chinese top level domain name if I was planning on doing business in China, I would no doubt have considered this myself a long time ago. This scare tactic should alert no one.

Here are some more articles about the same scam tactics.

And here is the mail in full:

(Letter to the President or Brand Owner, thanks)

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on May 2,2013 that a company which self-styled”Qol asia Investment Ltd”were applying to register”bareform”as their Brand Name and some domain names through our firm.

Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for”Qol asia Investment Ltd”.Looking forward to your prompt reply.

Best Regards,

David Zhao
Address:No.650 HuiZhou Ave,Hefei,Anhui,China

Is it live or is it Memorex?

Nice videomix from the people behind Skinemax.


Memorex is the advertising industry’s collective wet dream. The sequel to Smash TV’s critically acclaimed “Skinemax”, Memorex is a 50 minute VJ odyssey, a tribute to an entire generation who grew up with only a TV and a VCR for a babysitter.

Sourced from over forty hours of 80s commercials pulled from warped VHS tapes, Memorex is a deep exploration of nostalgia and the fading cultural values of an era of excess. It’s a re-contextualization of ads – cultural detritus, the lowest of the low – into something altogether more profound, humorous, and at times, even beautiful.

Digging up long forgotten memories for a generation who spent their formative years glued to the boob tube, Memorex is a veritable nostalgia nuke for children of the 80s. Endless beach parties, Saturday morning cartoons, claymation everything, sleek cars, sexy babes, toys you forgot existed, station idents, primitive computer animation, all your favorite sugary cereal mascots, and so much more. An ode to the hyper consumerism and sleek veneer of a simpler time.

Memorex from Smash TV on Vimeo.

Upstream Color

9 år etter at den tidligere matematikkstudenten og programmereren Shane Garuth regisserte, skrev manus og musikk, fotograferte, produserte og spilte en av hovedrollene i indiejuvelen Primer, er han nå (endelig) ute med ny film.


Aldri hørt om Primer? Det er ikke så rart. Filmen har knapt hatt distribusjon, og jeg snublet over den ved en tilfeldighet da jeg så XKCD’s nydelige Movie Narrative Charts (anbefales i sin fulle form) og lot meg fascinere av dens åpenbart noe ukonvensjonelle struktur.

Filmens handling tar utgangspunkt i den tilfeldige oppdagelsen av tidsreiser og denne oppfinnelsens paradokser og utfordringer. Men der filmer med denne tematikken gjerne omringes av utgåtte kjedelige touchpaneler i glass (Når skal Hollywood komme opp med et nytt fremtidskonsept – Minority Report er 11 år gammel – mer om dette senere), flyvende biler, revyaktige forviklinger og latterfremkallende forvekslingskomikk, gjengir Primer tidsreiser på en så dekonstruert og nøktern måte at det nesten virker plausibelt.

…it’s too important to use only for money, but to dangerous to use for anything else.
Chuck Klosterman

Hele filmen ble produsert for 7000$ og vant hovedprisen på Sundance Filmfestival i 2004. (Filmen kan lastes ned i HD for 15$ på Shane Carruth sin hjemmeside.)

Ny film!

I går meldte Comoyo at hans nye film debuterer på Sundance om få dager. Og selv om tittelen faktisk er hakket mer ubegripelig enn forgjengeren – og selv om traileren ikke gir seg ut for å være særlig mye tydeligere, uttaler han til LA Times:

“What I don’t want is this whole concept of it being a puzzle movie or ‘Primer’ being a puzzle movie. That’s not a fun little box to be in.”
– Sean Carruth (LA Times, 14th of January, 2013)

Forventningene er kanskje skrudd noe høyere i taket enn når jeg snublet over XKCD for noen år siden, men om alt går bra kommer det mer. Sundance er ferdig i slutten av januar, og siden regissøren siden sist også har tilegnet seg ansvaret for distribusjon, vil Downstream Color kunne lastes ned fra

Upstream Color – Theatrical Trailer from erbp on Vimeo.


Upstream Color lanseres rundt 7. mai på iTunes Music store. I mellomtiden er filmmusikken blitt lagt ut på Soundcloud.

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