Death and Taxes 2014: US Federal Budget Infographic

I received an email today from the good folks over at Visual.ly. One of the charts they sent, really an infographic, is one depicting the United States Federal Budget as proposed by President Obama. There has been a good bit of controversy on the 2014 budget. Not just because of the content of the budget but because of how late it was.

Obama presented his first budget on May 11, 2009, a month and two days longer than President George W. Bush’s budget was released during his first year in office. However, every year after that his budget was delivered in February, just like George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. This year, on the other hand, Obama was two months late. Not the end of the world but this was the latest submission by an incumbent president as far as I could go back, 1923. Continue reading

I’m 28 and Going to Summer Camp

WeWork-Summer-Camp-2013I swear this isn’t a call for help. I’m not trying to relive my childhood. I’m actually going to the WeWork Summer Camp at the Raquette Lake Camp located in the center of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it?

I’ve never been anywhere near the Adirondack Mountains but the images that popped up on Google and Flickr look amazing! I’m as excited about getting to camp as I am getting a change to take pictures of the 6.1 million acres of stunning scenery!

I’m even tempted to rent some video equipment but I’ll just have to deal with whatever I can get from my iPhone 4S. At this point you’d think I’d either have the Nikon D800 or some other camera capable of recording HD video. I need to start seriously raising money for a new camera huh?

I’ll be flying into New York City August 14th and heading to Camp the next morning. I cannot wait to experience this amazing event with hundreds of other WeWorkers. An extended weekend in the mountains of New York with hundreds of strangers is something I could really use right now.

haven’t put myself into an adventure like this in long time; going somewhere I’ve never been, and basically with total strangers. In fact the only people I’ll know are a handful of WeWork employees and I’m pretty sure they’ll be busy making this all go smoothly. Continue reading

Nokia is at it Again Misleading Consumers

Remember last year when Nokia released the Lumia 920 and they just wouldn’t shut up about the new PureView camera? They even put out a video to show off how good it was at optical image stabilization and wow, was it good!

Oh yeah, it was also faked. If you look closely at 27 seconds in, not only is this video being shot from a box van driving next to the girl, shot by someone else from a bicycle, as it implies, it is also being shot with a full DSLR video rig. Turns out the Nokia Lumia 920 video was actually shot with a DSLR, not with the PureView camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). Continue reading

Rethinking the Ike’s Place iPhone Application

If you were to ask ten San Franciscans for the best sandwich shop in town I wouldn’t be surprised if they all exclaimed Ike’s Place as the best sandwiches. Ike’s menu is absolutely astoundingly huge with eighty listed sandwiches and many more secret sandwiches that only the cool kids know about.

Ike_s_Place-3

I’m a bit spoiled to be honest as I live just one block away from an Ike’s. I found myself tempted to eat one of their gargantuan sandwiches just about everyday back when I worked from home. Thankfully I had the willpower to know better. Their sandwiches range in price from $10 all the way up to $20 (though the average price is $10.60) and they’re famously large with The Kryptonite sandwich clocking in at 5,700 calories!

Those same San Franciscans that would have suggested Ike’s Place would also add the caveat “But be ready to wait in a long line or order ahead.” Ike’s Place is so popular that they’ve been kicked out of their shops at least twice (?) since I moved to San Francisco. Neighbors pushed them out due to the extremely high traffic. Ordering ahead of time is absolutely essential with some wait times exceeding an hour!

Thankfully Ike’s Place has an iPhone app for ordering ahead of time (no online ordering through their website which bewilders me). It’s made by mCommerce Innovations Group and it’s pretty horrible. Look Ike Shehadeh, I LOVE your sandwiches. I just want the best for you guys which is why I wrote up this post. It’s full of criticisms, corrections and the like but it’s also full of solutions and love.

Disclaimer: I’m not a real designer, I’m not a UX/UI expert for some big dev company, I’m not a real programmer or a guru at any of this stuff. This just what a casual user, who has a touch of OCD, observed when trying to order a sandwich from his favorite sandwich shop.

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Learn How to Make a Perfect Negroni

A lot of you know that I’m obsessed with wine. A handful of you know that my love of wine extends into my love of craft beers. A tiny number of you know of my love for old world cocktails. Recently I discovered a cocktail called a “Negroni” and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

How to Make a Negroni

Not just with this cocktail but with cocktails in general. I’m thinking about starting a YouTube channel where I teach people how to make amazing, old world cocktails and complete each one in under 60 seconds. There isn’t really anyone on YouTube doing something like this. There really aren’t any people doing reliably decent and regular cocktail videos which boggles my mind.

I decided to give this a go and make a pilot video. This was built from start to finish in Adobe Photoshop CS6. That’s a first for me, never thought about doing a video in Photoshop but since this was an experiment and since I only shot photos I figured why not? Any who, here goes!

The Perfect Negroni

  • 1.5 ounces Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 1.5 ounces Tanqueray gin
  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • 1 orange

Fill an Old Fashioned glass with cracked ice. Pour on top of it each of the liquors. Zest an orange over the glass. Express the orange peel (inverted pinch to release the orange oils across the glass) and drop into the glass. Do a gentle stir and enjoy!

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Chill Out Y’all, it’s Just Instagram “Ruining” Itself Again

All this talk today about Instagram adding video and how that is going to ruin it reminded me of all the talk about Facebook acquiring Instagram and how that was going to ruin it. It didn’t just in case you were wondering. Also it reminds me of that Instagram added Android devices and how that was going to ruin it. Hell, remember when people remarked that Instagram changed some filters and how it was going to ruin it?

justex07 Justin Scott on Instagram

Let’s go over that again.

  • Did filter changes ruined Instagram? — No
  • Did adding Android ruin Instagram? — No
  • Did Facebook’s acquisition ruin Instagram? — No
  • Will the addition of video ruin Instagram? — No

Instagram adding video is not an Instagram decision. It isn’t about expanding features within the app answering a feature request from its 100 million users. It’s simply about Facebook’s continued battle with Twitter as the dominant social network.

Instagram-Is-Not-VineThey battled over acquiring Instagram, Twitter lost. Twitter births Vine as a response (6 seconds long video service, no filters) so Facebook’s natural response is to add video to Instagram (3 to 15 seconds long video with filters). This just a week after Facebook added hashtags, a Twitter staple, to their network. Don’t even get me started on URL shorteners, Google+ and “firehoses.” Continue reading