Screenshot of the photography is magic home page. A group of people are looking in many directions. Photo by John Freyer.

Photography is Magic

I’m co-teaching a class this semester on digital photography with John Freyer. It’s aimed at undergraduate non-art majors and it’s blended. There will be lots of field trips and a chunk of online work. There is no particular camera required. Many of the students will be using phones but some have DSLRs. I’m building the companion site as we go but you can see it at http://photographyismagic.com/ and the work is out there on instagram under #phomag and the various challenge hashtags (#phomag_eat and #phomag_hunt so far). The work aggregates to challenge pages where the challenge is described. This is the #phomag_eats page. In the week one post, I make an attempt to show some of the value I find in online photography communities and at least sketch out a bit of the diversity you can find there. I highlight Flickr, Wikipedia, and National Geographic’s Your Shot. With Flickr, I do a bit better job showing how the data provided by their interface might help you figure out technical things about your camera and the photos you want to shoot. I’ve always found Flickr’s ability to make exif data public to be a really nice feature that may be passed over if you’re not looking for it. It’s been an educational resource for me as I moved from automatic settings […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-08-19

Could ‘explorable explanations’ help tell a new kind of story? – Columbia Journalism Review “I’m a bee,” says Case. “I cross-pollinate fields.”

A drawing of a small terrier dog jumping through a hoop held by a monkey.

Google Sheets Meets Digital Humanities

Jeff and I are doing a THAT Camp workshop that’s trying to talk about the scale/scope/potential of Google Sheets in the big box of Digital Humanities related options. Depending on how the workshop goes, I’ll revise this post to be more useful. Getting Data In There are quite a few ways to pull data into Google Sheets. In addition to uploading or converting csv, Excel or other fairly standard options you have a variety of internal Google Functions that will let you pull stuff in that might be useful. The sheet below demonstrates one built in import function on each sheet tab. The function is delineated in cell A1 of each sheet. These are all built in functions that are pretty straight forward. At the other end of the spectrum, you can write your own Google Scripts to import data from APIs. Below is an example that uses the YouTube API to gather data on a variety of videos every hour. Publishing Data Obvious publishing formats for your spreadsheets include PDF, CSV, webpage, Excel, etc. But there are also additional options like JSON which are not seen in the GUI interface. The JSON endpoint is patterned like https://spreadsheets.google.com/feeds/list/12WsyLvtfIPJkCXgEXsRkrI6dS0_K6brJikZqzkQa8TU/1/public/values?alt=json Displaying Data At the most basic level you have the option to create charts and graphs that are live linked to the […]

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Change New Site Comments Settings in Multisite

This little function in a network activated plugin on WordPress multisite will require comment users to be a member of the multisite to comment. The setting can be changed by the blog admin but it makes the default setting a bit more restrictive. It’s changing the value in Dashboard>Settings>Discussion.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-08-12

We took a tour of the abandoned college campuses of Second LifeColleges were among those that bought the hype of the Linden Lab-developed virtual world. Many universities set up their own private islands to engage students; some even held classes within Second Life. Most of these virtual universities are gone –– it costs almost $300 per month to host your own island –– but it turns out a handful remain as ghost towns. I decided to travel through several of the campuses, to see what’s happening in Second Life college-world in 2015 First, I didn’t see a a single other user during my tour. They are all truly abandoned.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-08-05

When You Hear _______, Pay Attention – Hacker Noon… you’re about to fall into a trap and need to pay attention): Might as well do [some extra thing] while we [do the original thing] Fallout 76’s Downright Exciting Plan to Deal With Griefing and Trolls :: Games :: Features :: Fallout 76 :: PasteHoward says they wanted the game to have an element of danger without griefing, which is a tall order in an open world online game. To achieve this, they implemented features that will greatly reduce any incentive to grief other players, and turn those that do into the villains. For example, when you shoot another player, your character only does a small amount of damage, with more damage awarded if you continue and engage and enter into PvP. Players who die may seek revenge for their deaths, gaining double reward of caps and XP. Players that kill those who didn’t want to be engaged are labeled a “wanted murderer” and have a bounty placed on their head. If you are labeled a wanted murderer, you will receive no reward for those kills. Wanted murderers will also appear on your map as a red star denoting the bounty on their head, and the bounty comes out of their personal stash of caps. They also cannot see the other […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-07-29

Fostering focus for small screens – Dropbox Design – MediumA nice before/after redesign post with a focus on mobile and simplicity. Hack The Box :: Penetration Testing Labsinteractive learning media

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Super Cleansing Cut/Paste into Tiny MCE in WordPress

Had someone cut/pasting from Google Docs into WordPress and it was ending up littered with internal style elements and super irritating span classes. I found this post which got me 95% of the way there and just added .removeAttr(‘style’) to get rid of the inline styles. Now I can just re-cut/paste and get a clean chunk of text.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-07-22

Logging Activity With The Web Beacon API — Smashing MagazineThe Beacon API is used for sending small amounts of data to a server without waiting for a response. That last part is critical and is the key to why Beacon is so useful — our code never even gets to see a response, even if the server sends one. Beacons are specifically for sending data and then forgetting about it. We don’t expect a response and we don’t get a response. Did you know that style and script tags can be set to display: block? | CSS-TricksThe other night, Amit Patel mentioned that you can set script tags in HTML to display: block with CSS and then edit that code inline with the contentEditable attribute. This means that you can then see it all update live in the browser as you type. Shortly after, Marius Gundersen replied that you can do this with the style tag as well. A pre-history of weeknotes, plus why I write them and perhaps why you should too (Week 16)Writing: I know from experience that naming and recording these wobbly feelings is valuable because, at some point in the not-too-distant, you come back to your own work and say, “holy shit, that’s amazing, how was I capable of that,” and then you read the historic […]