All posts in Uncategorized

→ Photofocus releases a free eBook on Lightroom

Photofocus’s coverage of Lightroom is quite good. I have high hopes for this book.

→ Back in the comforts of Reeder for Mac

Last week, Reeder 2 for Mac1 was released. After a week using it, I realize just how much I missed Reeder’s fast, easy to use, interface.

  1. Affiliate Link (as is the post link. 

→ Disney Springs development to bring massive expansion to Buena Vista Drive

To handle the increased amount of traffic in the area, the road will be expanded to 10 lanes and will be equipped with a dedicated bus lane. Two pedestrian bridges will also be built, allowing easy crossing of Buena Vista Drive.

Even before Disney Springs was announced, this was long overdue.

→ Spice Road Table to open on Saturday, January 11

It looks like the Spice Road table is going to be opening quite soon. The menu looks quite good1, and I bet it is going to be a great place to watch Illuminations.2

WDW Magic also has some pictures of the venue itself.

  1. I am particularly interested in the fried calamari and lamb sliders. 

  2. If you can get a spot, of course. 

→ The Top 5 Mistakes that Walt Disney World Guests Make

This list is spot on. As Dutch Lomborowski of Mighty Men of Mouse once said, “rope drop matters people!”

→ Full Video of “Let It Go” from Frozen Now Available on Online

Here I stand, and here I stay.

→ Theme Park Tourist Lists Its The Top 10 Dark Rides in the World

It is sad that nothing at Magic Kingdom makes this list. I am not saying anything deserved to be on it, but I wish there was something I could at least argue belonged on it.

→ Teaser Trailer for Maleficent Released

As I learn more / see more about this movie, the more I think it is going to be really good.

→ ‘One Day at Fenway’: Watch the short film chronicling Game 6 of the World Series

Speaking of remembering the World Series, this short video of what happened before and after Game 6 is definitely worth a watch.

→ The Top 5 Moments of the 2013 Red Sox Postseason

Going back over these makes me so happy. I think my favorite might be Victorino’s grand slam in the ALCS. So much energy and emotion.

→ Touring Plans Recommends Low Cost Restaurants Near Disney World

One of the reason I stay off-site is because of the major cost savings I can get on food. I plan on checking out a couple of these places to see if they deserve a spot in my regular rotation.

→ Keith Hennessey explains how President Obama made another unforced error

Coming off his interview with Chuck Todd in which he said “We’re — we’re looking at — a range of options:”

The problem with the President’s public statement is that he has now frozen the individual insurance market in place until he announces his new solutions. If you are one of the 8-10 million Americans with a canceled insurance policy, President Obama just created an enormous incentive for you to hold off on buying a new policy, to wait for the Administration to offer you a new solution.

Shocking. What a surprise that President Obama said something that turned out to not have a ton of thought behind it.

→ Rush the Court Previews the Tar Heels

Lathan Wells does the honors:

The upside for this team is very high, especially if the starters gain confidence with even one win against any of the three marquee teams they meet prior to conference play. If James and Johnson improve significantly from year one to two and Meeks and Hicks are as good as advertised, the team can move back to playing McAdoo at his preferred power forward position and Hairston (when he returns) can once again roam the wing. Paige’s development, and Britt’s ability to get up to speed quickly, will also be paramount. This is a team with the talent to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, but with enough question marks about players’ development from last season that they could also be looking at another second round or Sweet Sixteen exit.

It should be a really interesting year for the Tar Heels. I normally am really optimistic on teams with good coaches who have a “high upside.” I think Carolina fits the bill, and, assuming P.J. Hairston is not out long, they could be playing long into the tournament.

→ Clemson could still end up in the BCS

Of course, Clemson is going to have to take care of their business if they want any chance of this happening.

→ Top recruits Watson, Kitt, Scott sign ‘financial-aid agreements’ with Tigers

The explanation of the new “financial aid agreement” is pretty interesting:

Last month, the NCAA ruled that a prospect who is on track to graduate early from high school may choose to sign a financial-aid agreement with his or her school of choice, provided that the college confirms that the prospect is enrolled in all courses necessary to graduate from high school at the end of the fall semester.

A financial-aid agreement differs from a national letter-of-intent, which binds a recruit to a college after signing. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the financial-aid agreement “locks the university into providing a scholarship but does nothing to commit the prospect to the university.”

While the prospect would still be fair game to competing recruiters until the NLI is signed, the school would have unrestricted communication access to the prospect during the time between the signing of the two documents.

Also, the ruling permits “publicity” of a recruit by a college – meaning that the school may announce the prospect who signs a financial-aid agreement as a future signee.

A, shockingly, reasonable move from the NCAA.

→ Pat Forde breaks down college basketball’s most intriguing nonconference games

You might want to take a few minutes and just add all of these to your calendar. The action starts tonight with an amazing double header: Kansas v. Duke and Kentucky v. Michigan State.

Choosing an Everpix Alternative

The shutdown of Everpix has left some people scrambling to find an alternative photo backup service. It appears Apple may have solved part of the problem by removing the limit on the amount of photos you can store in Photostream. As Shawn Blanc points out , howver, it is unclear what this KB and new FAQ page actually means, and, regardless, it does nothing to address the photo re-discovery problem. Furthermore, this solution would only work for iOS photos and the photos that you upload to your photostream from iPhoto or Aperture.1 Consequently, there is still a need for a photo backup solution that both

  1. easily backs up your photos; and
  2. helps you re-discover the photos that you have previously taken.2

Examined Alternatives


I believe I first heard about Loom via a tweet or post from M.G. Siegler, and I am pretty sure that said discovery occurred within the last month. Consequently, I think of Loom as the “new kid on the block,” even if that is not actually the case.

Loom has both an iOS application and a Mac uploader. The iOS application is nicely designed and allows for easy uploading of all the pictures you take on your iOS device. The Mac uploader allows you to specify locations that wish to backup and, as of October 4th, 2013, allows for the uploading of RAW files.3

Loom does not have any direct backup support with any of the photography centric social networks like Facebook or Instagram.

Loom provides a “Timeline” view of your photographs, but does not provide any way to easily see photos from “1 year ago today” or similar such “re-discovery features.”

Pricing for Loom comes in three tiers:

  • Up to 5GB – Free
  • Up to 50 GB – $3.99 per month
  • Up to 250 GB – $9.99

Picture Life

Picture Life is a service I had heard about here and there, but, because I was so happy with Everpix, I never really looked into it.. Obviously, that situation has now changed.

Picture Life has an iOS app4 and a Mac uploader. The iOS app is functional, though it lacks the UI polish of Loom.5 Like Loom, however, Picture Life does automatically upload all of your iOS photos from directly within the iOS app. As with Loom, the Mac uploader allows for the selection of locations from which you wish to backup your photos. It also supports the upload of a ton of RAW photo formats.

Unlike Loom, Picture Life does include direct connection to your various social networks. It includes backup from a number of services, including Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and Tumblr. This is especially nice for seeding your Picture Life account with your most important photos without taxing your personal upload bandwidth.

Picture Life has a “Memories” feature, which is very similar to Everpix’s “Flashback” functionality, and allows you to see photos taken from today’s date in previous years. At this point, however, I am unable to determine if Picture Life is as good at picking out the “best” photos from given date as Everpix was. Instead, it seems like Picture Life just displays all photos from a given day in straight chronological order.

Pricing for Picture Life comes in three tiers:

  • Up to 1,700 Photos or 5GB – Free
  • Up to 34,000 Photos or 100GB – $7
  • Up to 100,000 Photos or 300GB – $15


Mosaic take a different approach to photo backup: it backs up photos by reading your Lightroom catalog. This means, of course, that if you are not a Lightroom user, then Mosaic is not the solution for you.

Because Mosaic is based on backing up photos from Lightroom, there is no direct backup of photos from your iOS devices.6 Instead, all backup to Mosaic occurs on the Mac.7 Though there are obvious disadvantages to only being able to backup photos from your Mac, however, Mosaic leverages the Lightroom catalog to provide some advantages as well. For example, Mosaic allows you to do selective backup based on Lightroom ratings, flags, and collections. This can be especially useful for photographers with extremely large photography libraries and for those who do not care if every shot of his or her palm between HDR sets is backed up to the cloud. Also, since the uploader is based on Lightroom, any file format, RAW or otherwise, that can be processed by Lightroom can be uploaded.

As you would probably expect from my description of Mosaic so far, Mosiac does not feature any direct connection to social networks. Mosaic also does not feature any re-discovery features to help you remember you old photos.

Pricing for Mosaic comes in a number of tiers, including:8

  • 2000 JPG Previews in the IOS app, but no backup of original photos – Free
  • Unlimited JPG Previews in the iOS app, but no backup of original photos – $7
  • Unlimited JPG previews in the iOS app, and 400GB of original photo backups – $12

NOTE: In an earlier version of this post, I incorrectly stated that the free tier allowed 200 JPG Previews instead of the 2000 it actually provides.

What I Am Doing

Though I prefer the iOS experience in Loom and feel that its $9.99 for 250 GB of storage is the quite reasonable, Loom’s lack of any photo “re-discovery” features keeps me from making it my Everpix replacement of choice. Instead, I have already started uploading my pictures to Picture Life and anticipate that I will soon be using the $15 a month for 300GB tier. Also, between the photos I have uploaded and the photos Picture Life has sucked in from my social networks, I am already starting to see some good results in Picture Life’s “Memories” feature.

I do really like what Mosaic is trying to do with the Lightroom integration, but, at this point, it does not really have any compelling functionality that makes me want to invest in the service. If a new version of the iOS application comes out with two-way sync I definitely give it a shot. Of course, by that point, Adobe might have released Lightroom for iOS and knocked Mosaic completely out of the game.

The loss of Everpix was disappointing. I really enjoyed the service, and its price was unbeatable. Of course, it appears the price was unbeatable because it was too low for what it offered. My hope is that paying the slightly more a month fee to Picture Life will help keep that service alive significantly longer.

  1. This upload process has always been a little clunky, and, more importantly, does not support the upload of the RAW versions of the photos. 

  2. Though this article focuses on photo-specific backup services, that does not mean a general backup service cannot also be used to backup photos. For example, my entire photo library is backed up both to various external disks and to the Crashplan cloud. NOTE: That Crashplan link is one of their “20% of friends and family offers. I don’t think it actually gets me anything, but it is somehow tied to my accounts. 

  3. Well, the release said that during my first revision of this article, but the new version of the release notes seems to have pulled it. 

  4. The iOS Icon is terrible. I bury it in a folder just to avoid having to look it. 

  5. The app was just updated today, however, and does work a little bit better. 

  6. There is an iOS application, but, at the moment, it is just used for viewing photos that are currently backed up. Mosaic has announced plans for some level of two-way sync between the iOS app and Lightroom, but that has not be released yet. Also not released yet is Adobe’s Lightroom for iOS, which was previewed earlier this year. Lightroom for iOS is especially interesting since it would, most likely, leverage Lightroom’s Smart Previews feature and allow for on-the-go editing of photos without having to transfer the large amount of data associated with the original RAW files. UPDATE – 11/11/13 – Mosaic has contacted me and informed me that it intends to submit the iOS App update with 2-way Lightroom sync this week. 

  7. Of course, if you are so inclined, you could setup a workflow to automatically import your iOS Photostream into Lightroom

  8. There are extremely large plans for professional photographers and studios. Those plans are beyond the scope of this review. 

→ Trailer for Ron Moore’s new Show

This looks super creepy.

→ Peter Gammons Recounts Ellsbury’s Time in Boston

But go back and scroll through the first round draft picks in 2005 after the Pirates took Andrew McCutchen at 11—better yet, between McCutchen and Clay Buchholz in the sandwich round—and the fact remains that McLeod, Epstein and Red Sox made one of their best picks ever to get Jacoby Ellsbury at 23. Eight years and $20.8M later, they have two rings and two parades and if he leaves, the expectation that when he returns, he does so to a long, thunderous standing moment of thanks.

It is going to be sad to see Jacoby go, but his time in Boston was pretty awesome.1

  1. It is amazing how quickly a World Series win can wipe away a few years of injuries and other “collapses.” 

→ For Jacoby Ellsbury, it’s a career gone full-circle

Matt Collins at Over the Monster recounts Jacoby’s career with the Red Sox:

When we look back at Ellsbury’s time in Boston, which will more likely than not be coming to an end very soon, the recollection will most likely be highlighted by injury issues. The speedster missed significant time in 2010 and 2012, playing in just 18 and 74 games in those seasons, respectively.

Now, his Red Sox career is likely coming to a close, and it’s happening in the same way it all got started. Unlike 2007, Ellsbury of course has spent the entire season in the majors, but the similarities are still there. Coming into 2007, everyone was excited by the potential of Jacoby Ellsbury, but nobody was totally sure on what they could expect from him. Coming into this 2013 season, the feelings surrounding Boston’s center fielder were very similar. In both seasons, he provided a big spark for a team that was statistically the best in the league for most of the season. And, of course, in both seasons he was a major part of a postseason run that ended in champagne showers in the clubhouse, and a parade through the streets of Boston.

Excellent piece by Collins. I am really going to miss Jacoby, but I also do not think he is worth what he is likely to get on the open market.