Director of narrative, commercial, and virtual reality

Film Portfolio

Project Greenlight finalist | Short about sex, death, existence, time

Lily in the Grinder

Shabbat Dinner

Comedy short about coming out | Featured in 55+ festivals

Search is Back

Featured on TechCrunch | 7k users per day

Global event handing out nametags on first Sat in June

Nametag Day

Uber Forecast

Tracking Uber's surge pricing to guess what the weather might be

Archive for July, 2010

Music video: 2-3 weeks out

This music video thing is really happening! Mark is fully on board, we have an incredible DP (Vadim Putimtsev) and I am meeting with costume / set designers tomorrow. All we are missing is camera equipment, and I have been upturning every rock I know to find a RED or HVX camera for the 3-day shoot. On Thursday we will hold auditions for three male and one female roles, and in about two weeks we will shoot this thing!

Do you know any, or are you a good-looking actresses who would like to be in a music video? Email us!

An idea of the tasks on my plate now as a Director/Producer on a tiny no-budget shoot:

  • choose from among a number of talented costume designers and work on the individual wacky elements we want to include
  • work with the DP to draw a storyboard, shot by shot
  • find 3 good-looking men, one good-looking female, and a PA to help out on days of the shoot
  • get a cheap or free camera
  • ensure that we have everything we need: a laptop to download footage as we shoot it, a stabilization system for smooth shots, and a dozen other things
  • schedule it all to be in the right place at the right time

Below is a gallery of the photos I just sent to Vadim to get the juices flowing on the look of the video. It’s helpful to start with collages and images to get on the same page with things, and I thought you dear readers might want to dig the images.

Stay tuned for more. We’re planning on a release party in late August.

Triptrop NYC: heatmaps heating up

I’ve been looking for a tool to generate a heatmap of transit times from any point in Manhattan, and just discovered the awesome triptrop NYC.

For any address in New York, it displays a map of transit times to the rest of the city. Very useful for sussing out potential places to live. It even has a feature to compare two maps side by side. Check it out!

It looks like the author has done a lot of work just to get this running  Maybe they will do a bit more work and consider building a few more features or releasing an API for this so anyone can build off of it. My big feature requests:

1. Enter two addresses and get a single heatmap showing which is closer to all locations. Green areas mean one address is closer, red areas mean the other address is closer. Lighter areas mean less of a difference.

2. Enter multiple addresses with weights (for example, work and friends’ addresses, with a frequency per week they are visited) and create a map of best places to live based on a weighted average of transit times to those places.

3. A clearer color scheme.

"Race Conditions" in security dialogs

I don't know why it's called a "race" dialog but it is.

Ever wonder why you have to wait three seconds to install a Firefox add-on? I’ve always thought the delay was to make sure that I read the security box. Turns out it’s more inspired than that: a hack can be created that preys on human reaction time to get them to push the button. Imagine a website that asks you to type the word “only.” When you type the “n” it tries to install the add-on, and when you type the “y” you accept the add-on’s installation in the Firefox dialog. Nefarious…

Another example and a demo of this attack at Jesse Ruderman’s blog.

Before the tea party

Remember the old days, before everyone went bonkers?

In mourning of data

Data on the New York City subway system

The great trickser himself, satan?

The great trickster himself, SATAN? Or just his unwitting ally?

About a year ago a magnificent thought occurred to me. I had previously thought that it would be impossible for the MTA to determine what level of subway cheating there is. It would be an important statistic, useful for police departments and general knowledge. But there are not enough cameras and security guards…

Then I realized this: while someone jumping a subway turnstile is not counted electronically, they aren’t going to jump the turnstile on exit. Simply by subtracting the number of entrances from the number of exits over the course of a year, the MTA could determine how many people cheat and how much money they are losing on it. The subway became a closed system, a data laboratory!

Until a few days later, when I observed a massive crowd trying to get out of the turnstiles. Some data-insensitive bozo popped open the Emergency Exit door and the flood exited through there. In the anarchy and chaos, a few people jumped in through the door. I cried a little inside, watching these data points hop off of my perfect cheating metric.

I still cry a little inside when I see those Emergency gates open, filled with longing for what could be.

(By the way, if you’re thinking about using those exits know that you can get in trouble. Also be aware that they cost three dollars and eighty cents to install.)