Photo Sync: Figuring Out Lightroom Mobile and iCloud Photo Library [en]

[fr] En train de me dépatouiller avec la nouvelle application Photos d'Apple et la version mobile de Lightroom. Pas encore tout à fait là (la connexion internet un peu lente et le grand nombre de photos n'aident pas).

In the background of my many days of “doing nothing” here in Kolkata, I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around how sync works for both iCloud Photo Library and Lightroom for mobile, particularly as I’m in the process of giving up on Google Photos. Agreed, it’s not exactly the same part of the workflow (getting photos onto my computer archive vs. getting them online/backing them up). But you know how my thought processes work by now, don’t you? 😉

Apple’s iCloud Photo Library seems to be working pretty well. The photos and videos sync, deleting one somewhere deletes copies elsewhere. It’s really clear they are “stored in the cloud” and you can download the full versions if you want. The copies are stored in one of these “Document Packages” which you can open like a folder (right-click!) — I’ve even created a shortcut to the 2015 folder in “Masters” so I can access the photos through Finder if needed. Added advantage, as it’s the native OSX way of doing things, photos show up in the “Photos category” when browsing for files to import into Lightroom, for example.

No Parking

So, simply using iCloud Photo Library would be a way to get my photos into Lightroom without having to physically connect my devices to the computer.

But… Lightroom has its own system for this, so if it works, wouldn’t it be even better? So far, it’s not working as seamlessly as the Apple system. First of all, because I sync everything on my iDevices with iCloud photo library, Lightroom for mobile seems to import a copy of each photo from each device. Although there is an OK plugin to find duplicates in your Lightroom library, wouldn’t a workflow that doesn’t create them in the first place be better?

Two things that I wasn’t sure about, but I now know:

  • photos from your iPad/iPhone are added to the Creative Cloud and Lightroom Desktop full-sized; photos from Lightroom Desktop shared to iPad/iPhone through Creative Cloud are shared through their smart previews
  • the photos synced from your iDevices are made available in a folder on your hard drive, so you can easily drag-and-drop them into your normal archive folders.

I’m running a few tests to see what happens to photos I delete. The photos app seems the best place for quick-and-dirty sorting (if only because when taking photos I’m directly in that app). What I am thinking of doing is turning on Lightroom syncing only from either the iPad or the iPhone, to avoid duplicates. The iPad, probably.

But does that mean I need to open Photos, wait for everything to sync, and then open Lightroom mobile to do it? So far it seems that it’s the way it works — Photos doesn’t seem to be uploading anything in the background from my iDevices, and Lightroom definitely isn’t. This is good when you want to save bandwidth, but less good when your various photo containers are up-to-date and you want things to “just work” invisibly, behind the scenes.

As I’ve been saying for a while, I’m really looking for the day this stuff “just works”.

LIft13, Mobile Stories: Christopher Kirkley, Sahel Sounds [en]

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Mobile Stories.” Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Christopher Kirkley: Sahel Sounds

Camera and other functions supersede making calls. How technology has been adopted in a different culture challenges some of our ideas.

Initially thought the cellphone would interfere with his field work and recordings. Started to realize that the cellphones were also a tool (e.g. people recording local music productions).

The cellphone in West Africa is a little different from in the West. Cheap alternative phone market, converging technologies into one device. Memory card as personal storage space of all digital media. Photos reworked and passed from person to person.

People spend a lot of time sitting around and drinking tea, context where file-sharing can happen. So cellphone adapted as a sharing device. Bluetooth for direct file transfers. Browsing each other’s collections. This is how most media is traded. Emergent network: cellphones and people traveling from city to city. steph-note: back to a “slow” network with spatial highways

Metaphor for the internet. Has evolved differently from “our internet”. Most frequently shared data on mobiles is music. Soundscape has been transformed. Tinny cellphone music being played all the time, headphones pretty much inexistent. Home-made creations found only on the bluetooth exchange network. Most interesting music! Music would not be distributed without the cellphones (cheap!) About 15$ to record a song in a cheap studio (don’t need the best microphone…). You can walk out of the studio and immediately start sharing your song. Great method of distribution for music of ethnic minorities.

Shops which are physical versions of iTunes: you go and buy an MP3 song. Of course paying for the service and not the music (which isn’t perceived as having an inherent value). For artists: mp3 trading as a way of free promotion. A lot of artists are actually going to the mp3 vendors with their new songs so they will distribute them, sometimes even paying them to promote them.

Student who publicly shames a director for abusing students in exchange for grades, through a rap song. Song goes viral. Student expelled until he deletes the song, so he deletes it. But it’s already on the network, out of control.

Rise of the cyborg esthetic in Mali.

LIft13, Mobile Stories: Geoffrey Dorne [en]

Here are my live notes of the Lift Conference session “Mobile Stories.” Keep an eye open for mistakes, inaccuracies, and other flakiness due to live-blogging.
Geoffrey Dorne

Créativité mobile et évolutions sociales que ça engendre. Technologies de plus en plus intimes (on dort, mange avec son téléphone). Proximité et individualisation. Jeux et applications qui n’existent que dans le téléphone.

“There’s an app for that.” Il y a toujours une application pour répondre à un besoin.

Applications comme signaux faibles, signaux faibles comme applications. Photos dans les musées. Parents qui photographient leurs enfants pendant le concert scolaire. Filmer et enregistrer les concerts auxquels on assiste. Belkin qui a sorti un grip pour tenir son iPhone pendant les concerts. Outlisten (montage d’un concert via tous les enregistrements crowdsourcés).

Retour à l’animisme, au côté sensible et émotionnel. Applications vivantes: calendrier avec animations, magazine complètement interactif (au sens fort du mot). Il est une expérience tactile également. Plutôt qu’un album, Philip Glass fait une application qui permet presque de toucher la musique à travers les visualisations graphiques qui l’accompagnent. OKO, application où il faut manipuler des photos de la NASA mouvantes pour reconstituer le puzzle. Application qui envoie des messages/photos via un son audible que n’importe quel autre téléphone peut capter (avec la même app).

Retour à la matérialité. Au revoir le skeuomorphisme. Boujour tangibilité! On envoi une vraie carte postale à travers une app. steph-note: love what has to do with binding together the online and the offline worlds

Ouvrir les frontières de l’écran, faire glisser quelque chose d’un devise à l’autre. Social mirror: le téléphone comme réceptacle (LiquiData) — on le pose sur une grande table dont il devient un élément.

Popslate. Ecran e-ink derrière son téléphone (coque qui change tout le temps). Objet plutôt que l’écran. Jeu avec de vrais pions qui utilise l’iPad comme plateau de jeu (social).

Dématérialisation du téléphone. Il existe encore, capteurs embarqués, mais on le voit plus. iPad caché sous un plateau de jeu qu’il rend vivant. Un élément de l’ensemble, ce n’est plus “un iPad”. Petit théâtre 3D dans lequel on place son iPhone pour voir un film en 3D. Impression de tous ces objets numériques, retour au support papier.

Jeu de rôle où le téléphone nous dicte l’espace de jeu, on le dessine, et ensuite le téléphone nous fait jouer dedans.

– de plus en plus de proximité entre l’objet téléphone et l’intimité
– on observe dans les apps les signaux faibles des évolutions sociales
– s’oublier et regarder les usages alternatifs et les gens

Demain le téléphone restera dans la poche et on regardera autour de soi.

Lift12 Mobile: Nick Heller [en]

[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces prochains jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.

Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of Nick Heller’s session — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!

Moore’s Law.

lift12 1100306.jpg

Survey: who has one mobile phone? two? two without an iPhone?

Exponential growth. What do we need for computing?

Singularity: prediction that computing/computers will become more intelligent than humans, which means we cannot predict the future.

What does this mean? The robots are coming!

They have a bit of a bad name (SF movies… scary technological beasts). But they’re not all scary.

iPhone: brought about significant change, and it was only 5 years ago. Switzerland and Singapore have the highest per capita penetration of iPhones.

5 billion mobile phones in the world. 1.2 billion or so people on the mobile web.

More and more mobile internet users start with a search (50%).

Something that wasn’t easily predicted was the growth of applications (apps). 2010 to 2011, 3 times growth for Apple, 10 times for Android.

steph-note: lots of numbers, can’t catch them all

People don’t just interact with their mobile. Desktop, television, tablet…

Defining mobile trends of our time: Social, Local, Commerce.

Tremendous opportunities around aggregating and making sense of data (big data).

Mobile device features: sensors! What differentiates the phone from the desktop computer. steph-note: think “robot”!

The camera acts as eyes, the skin is the touchscreen, speaker = voice, gps = location, cloud = brain.

Where is it going from here? Are we approaching the technological singularity? Nick predicts that we’re going to see real-time translation in the coming years. steph-note: I don’t think so, see how crappy automated written translation still is, after all those years we’ve been saying “it’s going to be here soon”. Oral won’t work before written works, right?

Health diagnostics built directly into the device. steph-note: think Up by Jawbone even if it was a disaster.

Dime-sized silicon chips that detect gasses. Most sales to the military, but how about fitting a chip like that into a mobile device? Detection is limited only by what is in the database. Imagine a phone that would notify you that the pollen count is high where you are.

Democracy. Aiding the electoral process. Nick things we’re very close to getting there.

Automated apps. Why can’t my coffee maker start when I get up, why can’t the bus ticket be automatically purchased as I’m walking towards the stop? It’s about the internet more than the mobile device. => The Internet of Things

Nick would argue that the robots have already arrived, but they’re friendly.



Lift12 Mobile: Fabian Hemmert [en]

[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces prochains jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.

Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of Fabian Hemmert‘s session — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!

lift12 1100305.jpg

Technological innovation is often about more Mpx, more Mb, but what about social innovation? Uses, habits?

Example: the telephone is now everywhere; new habits: checking it all the time.

The comfort zone of innovation is the average people. Why not find an extreme tiny niche? Example, women and mobile phones. steph-note: women are a tiny niche??

Maybe women’s phones are more than pink. What should it look like, what should it feel like? Cultural probes. Gave women kits for self-observation to document their communication habits. 12 months (long project) — wide age range, also included men. 100+ prototypes.


What they wanted was “less”: politeness, privacy, communication time-outs => prototyping.


Example: you’re with somebody, the phone rings, and you look at the caller, and you’re not sure if you should take the call or not (be polite to the one you’re with or to the one who is calling?) => conflict. Your mother calling might be really important or… not at all.

“Tactful calling”: a way to express the urgency of a phone call in advance. Is it urgent? Is it just to chat? Is a decision pending upon the response to the phone?

Pressure on the phone (physical pressure) controls the emergency/importance of the call.

What about people who think they’re important? It’s a social problem, not a technical problem.

steph-note: some video issues slightly disrupting the call.

Idea: delete yourself from somebody else’s contacts (some guy keeps calling you… you’d rather he didn’t…)

Tactful calling: you can set it to urgent but short, and you can also reject a call with a reason — tactfully.

If you meet the expectations of women, you might exceed the expectations of men. (Marti Barletta)

They moved a little more to the edges, out of the comfort zone of innovation.

Another case: 100 low-income etc. kids in the streets. Street Lab. Also, Deaf Street Lab.

But… at the end of the Street Lab (4 weeks) they had to leave. Not very sustainable.

Networked neighbourhoods, connecting various spaces.

So: embrace niches, find diverse users (average users will get you to average products). Base innovation on participation.

WPtouch iPhone Plugin Now on CTTS [en]

[fr] Le plugin WPtouch iPhone permet maintenant aux lecteurs de CTTS munis d'un iPhone de voir une mise en page adaptée à leur petit écran. Profitez!

Some time back I noticed that sites on were sporting a fancy iPhone-compatible theme, like this one:

Xavier put me on the scent of the WPtouch iPhone plugin, which I have just installed on CTTS — should make getting your daily (hrmm… almost) dose on your favorite phone a more pleasant experience!

WordPress Mobile Edition is another plugin which lets you customize your mobile theme more finely.

FOWA: What is the Future of Web Apps? (Ryan Carson, Om Malik, Michael Arrington) [en]

[fr] Notes prises à l'occasion de la conférence Future of Web Apps (FOWA) à Londres.

Here are my live notes of this Future of Web Apps (FOWA) session with Om Malik, Michael Arrington, and Ryan Carson. They are probably incomplete and may contain mistakes, though I do my best to be accurate. Chances are I’ll be adding links to extra material later on, so don’t hesitate to come back and check.

steph-note: arrived really late to this session (not quite as late as Arrington, though), so vaguely trying to pick up a few snippets here and there as I get organized for the day.

FOWA 2007 3

Gphone. Gphone. Gphone. steph-note: as I was entering the room.

Launching a DRM-free music store would be a good business idea right now. But please, says Om, not another Office clone. We have enough.

Plugins. Facebook. Organizing the buddy-list. Facebook Appls: we haven’t seen that many game-changing apps (besides Scrabble, says Om).

Om: Facebook as directory service. Ryan: critical mass. BBC/Radio4 talk about Facebook.

Arrington thinks there is a chance that Facebook will go the portable social network way. (Ryan seemed skeptical.)

Arrington: more mobile stuff, and more “virtual reality” — using your body to interact with the computer.

Om loves his Crackberry.

Teenagers and Spelling [en]

[fr] Pour moi, la dégradation constatée de l'orthographe des jeunes a principalement à voir avec le fait que leur pratique d'écriture a maintenant le plus souvent lieu dans des espaces "non normés" (c'est-à-dire en-dehors du milieu scolaire et "des adultes", où "écrire juste" est important). Les SMS font bien entendu partie de ces pratiques d'écriture, mais son caractère "court" a plutôt comme conséquence l'apparition d'abbréviations très tôt dans l'écriture des jeunes, plus que la "perte" (!) de notions grammaticales ou orthographiques.

Here’s a case of “comment or post?” where I first commented, but now am thinking that I would rather have posted. So I’m reproducing my comment to danah’s post titled dystruktshun of inglesh as we no (I know it’s in my comments page and embedded in the sidebar of the blog, but I need to remember that many of you read this blog through RSS):

As a French teacher, I was asked this question (are blogs destroying our children’s spelling?) a couple of years back. My take on it is that compared to 15-20 years ago, most of the kids’ “writing activity” goes on in uncontrolled environments. When I was at school, if I wrote, it was usually at school. With pressure to have correct spelling, or I’d have to correct it / get a bad mark. Or I’d be writing a letter to my Grandma (better check the spelling there too).

Today’s teen spends most of his/her writing time on IM, in e-mails or text messages, or in blogs/SN. Peer pressure to “write correctly” can’t really be said to exist.

Text messaging has brought to them abbreviations. I remember discovering (stupefied!) that one could abbreviate words when I was in 9th grade (tjs=toujours, bcp=beaucoup). Now, kids know all these — and many more “bastard abbreviations” (jta=je t’adore) that might make our older skin crawl.

I’d say that there are two ways in which teens’ writing today is “modified” by their writing habits:

  • peer spaces (“uncontrolled” regarding “proper writing”) => funky spelling and disregard for “grammatical rules”
  • length limitation (SMS) => abbreviations

One thing I wanted to add, which is “somewhat related”, is that historically, spelling stabilised when the printing press came into use. That explains why in French (and English too, for that matter) written spelling can be so widely different from pronunciation: the oral language has continued to shift, but our spelling has remained frozen. (If I’m saying stupid things here and you know better, let me know — but as far as I remember my linguistic courses from university this is how things happened.)

Twitter, c'est quoi? Explications… [fr]

Cet après-midi, je ramasse 20minutes dans le bus, et je vois qu’on y parle de Twitter. Bon sang, il est grand temps que j’écrive le fichu billet en français que je mijote depuis des semaines au sujet de ce service que j’adore (après l’avoir mentionné en anglais il y a plusieurs mois). Allons-y, donc: une explication de Twitter, pour vous qui n’avez pas la moindre idée de ce que c’est — et à quoi ça sert.

“Twitter” signifie “gazouillis” en anglais. Ce nom reflète bien le contenu relativement anodin qu’il se propose de véhiculer: des réponses à la question “que faites-vous?”.

Ça n’a pas l’air fascinant, a première vue, un service dont l’objet est d’étaler sur internet les réponses somme toute souvent très banales à cette question. “Est-ce que ça intéresse le monde entier, le fait que je sois confortablement installée dans mon canapé?” Certes non. Par contre, cela intéresse peut-être mes amis.

Oh, très clairement pas dans le sens “tiens, je me demandais justement ce que Stephanie était en train de faire maintenant, ça tombe à pic!” Mais plutôt dans un état d’esprit “radar”: avoir une vague idée du genre de journée que mène son entourage. En fait, ce mode “radar” est tellement omniprésent dans nos vies qu’on ne le remarque même plus, et qu’on n’a pas conscience de son importance.

Pensez aux gens que vous fréquentez régulièrement, ou à vos proches. Une partie de vos intéractions consiste en échanges de cet ordre: “je t’appelle après la danse”, “je dois rentrer, là, parce qu’on a des invités”, “je suis crevé, j’ai mal dormi” ou encore “tu vas regarder le match, ce soir?”

Sans y faire vraiment attention, on se retrouve ainsi au courant de certaines “petites choses” de la vie de l’autre — et cela vient nourrir la relation. Plus on est proche, en général, plus on est en contact avec le quotidien de l’autre. Et corrolairement, être en contact avec le quotidien d’autrui nous en rapproche. (Vivre ensemble, que cela soit pour quelques jours ou à long terme, ce n’est pour cette raison pas anodin.)

On a tous fait l’expérience qu’il est plus difficile de garder vivante une relation lorque nos occupations respectives ne nous amènent pas à nous fréquenter régulièrement. Combien d’ex-collègues dont on était finalement devenus assez proches, mais que l’on a pas revus depuis qu’on a changé de travail? Combien de cousins, de neveux ou même de parents et d’enfants qu’on adore mais qu’on ne voit qu’une fois par an aux réunions familiales? Combien d’amis perdus de vue suite à un déménagement, ou simplement parce qu’il a fallu annuler la dernière rencontre et que personne n’a rappelé l’autre? Et à l’heure d’internet et des vols low-cost, combien de ces rencontres fortes mais qui se dissipent dès que la distance y remet ses pieds?

C’est ici qu’intervient Twitter.

Twitter me permet de diffuser auprès de mon entourage ces petites parcelles de vie si anodines mais au final si importantes pour les liens que l’on crée — et de recevoir de la part des gens qui comptent pour moi les mêmes petites bribes de quotidien. Cela permet de rester en contact, et même de renforcer des liens.

Ceux d’entre vous qui chattez le savez: échanger quelques banalités de temps en temps, ça garde la relation en vie, et on a ainsi plus de chances de prévoir de s’appeler ou de se voir que si on avait zéro contact. Les chatteurs savent aussi que les fameux “statuts” (“parti manger”, “disponible”, “ne pas déranger”) jouent un rôle non négligeable dans la communication avec autrui. C’est d’ailleurs en partie inspiré par ces statuts que Jack a eu l’idée qui est un jour devenue Twitter. (Un autre ingrédient important était la page des “amis” sur Livejournal.)

Une des qualités majeures de Twitter et que ce service n’est pas limité à internet. En fait, à la base, il est prévu pour fonctionner par SMS. On peut donc envoyer (et recevoir!) les messages via le web, via un service de messagerie instantanée (Google Talk), ou par SMS — selon ses préférences du moment.

Concrètement, cela se passe ainsi: on s’inscrit et on donne à Twitter son numéro de portable et/ou son identifiant GTalk, ce qui nous permet déjà d’envoyer des messages. Ensuite, on invite ses amis (ou bien on les ajoute depuis leur page s’ils sont déjà sur Twitter — voici la mienne) afin de se construire un petit réseau social de personne que l’on “suivra”. Tous les messages de ces contacts sont rassemblés sur une page web (voici la mienne), et on peut choisir de les recevoir en plus par SMS ou par chat.

On peut envoyer des messages privés, bien entendu, et il y a toute une série de commandes qui permettent facilement d’ajouter ou d’enlever des contacts et de contrôler les alertes que l’on reçois — même si on est loin de son ordinateur. Un billet consacré à ces considérations plus techniques suivra.

Il faut aussi préciser que recevoir les SMS de Twitter ne coûte rien (enfin cela dépend de l’opérateur, mais en Suisse c’est gratuit), et qu’envoyer un message par SMS coûte simplement le prix d’un SMS envoyé à l’étranger (à ma connaissance, de nouveau, en Suisse cela revient au même prix qu’un SMS envoyé à un numéro suisse).

A venir, donc, un billet avec des informations techniques et pratiques sur l’utilisation de Twitter, et un autre qui poussera plus loin la réflexion sur le rôle d’un tel service, la façon dont les gens l’utilisent actuellement, et certaines critiques qui lui sont faites.

Mise à jour 09.2007: une explication audio avec la complicité de M. Pain.

Mise à jour 03.2010: depuis mi-2008, nous ne recevons plus de SMS Twitter en Europe. C’est nettement moins important aujourd’hui qu’à l’époque, vu l’explosion des iPhones et autres téléphones similaires.

Mise à jour 04.2010: à lire aussi, Comment démarrer avec Twitter, moins technique et plus stratégique.

CASH Cards and Cellphone Train Tickets [en]

[fr] En Suisse, on a la carte CASH (avec laquelle je paie parcomètres, billets de bus, et parkings souterrains), le numéro court 222/999 pour recevoir les horaires de train par SMS, et maintenant les billets de train par MMS (pour certains trajets, commandables en ligne ou par téléphone).

Near the end of the latest Cranky Geeks episode there is some talk about paying things through cellphones, general lack of quarters (change) in the world, and concert ticket barcodes sent by MMS.

Here are some of the things we already have in sometimes-backward Switzerland.

First, the CASH Card. It’s basically a chip which is added to nearly all the current debit cards banks provide their customers (people here use debit — Maestro — much more than credit). It’s specifically designed for the payment of small amounts. You “put cash” on your card at the ATM through your debit account (30-300CHF). Then, off you go, your pockets full of virtual change.

I use CASH to pay my bus fares, feed the parking meter, underground parking, payphones, and even small purchases in kiosks or the baker’s. It’s cheaper for the vendor than either debit or credit, and doesn’t require an authentification code. It’s fast.

Second, train tickets on your mobile. For certain trips, you can order the ticket online or by phone (I called them to make sure I’d understood things right, as the web page is a bit confusing), and receive the barcode for this ticket by MMS. This does require going through a somewhat cumbersome sign-up process, but hey, you only need to do it once (and I did manage to follow through to the end).

One very useful thing the SBB/CFF have been doing for sometime now is they allow you to query the train timetables by SMS. Send “Lausanne Geneva” (without quotes) to 222 or 999 (depends on carrier) and they’ll give you the timetable of the three next trains for that trip. It gets smarter, too: “Lausanne Geneva 1500” gives you the first three trains after 3pm, and “Lausanne Geneva” the three last trains to arrive before 6pm. If you want platform information, try “Lausanne Geneva 1700 g”. You can also ask for trains departing in 2 hours, for example: “Lausanne Morges 2”.

I’m waiting to see a merge between these two last services: ask for timetables via SMS, and then order the MMS ticket directly for that trip (when those will be available for all trips). But actually, it’s not too bad as it is: you can order your MMS ticket by calling the free number 0800222211. They answer fast and are friendly (I called them three times with nasty questions as I was writing this post).

When I was in Lisbon, I was totally impressed by the little black box that my host had under his windscreen, and which let him in and out of paid parkings, sending him a bill at the end of the month. That would be fun and practical to have.

What useful mobile/card services does your country have?