Photography & the Where 2.0 Conference

Where 2.0 Conference I’m at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco today and tomorrow. The conference is really interesting; Udi demo’d the A9 Maps product (which they finished at 2am last night) and we also got to see a splashy marketing-oriented preview of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth poduct.

As a recent Flickr subscriber, I was intrigued by the use of Flickr to host Where 2.0 conference photos. It’s a great way for the official conference photographer to post his pictures online, but other people can also publish their own images there, too. Kinda like a shared blog, or a visual messageboard, or something.

Adding EXIF data to Treo 650 cameraphone pics

I just got a Flickr Pro account and I’ve been uploading my digital photos. My Treo 650 doesn’t stick EXIF data in the JPEG images it captures, so Flickr assumes that the “posted on” date is the same as the “taken on” date.

The file attributes of the Photo_MMDDYY_NNN.jpg files accurately reflect what time the picture was taken, so here’s a short Perl script to embed that data into the EXIF part of each file:

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w

use strict;

use POSIX ();

foreach my $file (@ARGV) {

my $mtime = (stat($file))[9];

my $ts = POSIX::strftime("%Y:%m:%d %T", localtime($mtime));

system("exiftool", "-P", "-DateTimeOriginal=$ts",

"-Make=PALMONE", "-Model=Treo 650", $file);



I tried using the jhead tool to do this, but it won’t create an EXIF header if one doesn’t already exist. The Image::ExifTool perl module had the functionality I needed.

There’s certainly a way to use the Image::ExifTool perl module directly, but it was easier to just shellout to the command-line utility.

Burton Group report on P-Languages for Enterprise Scripting

The Burton Group published a report entitled The P-Languages: PHP, Perl, and Python for Enterprise Scripting yesterday. I’m quoted twice in the article.

Page 11 (PHP in Web Development):

Not only is PHP used extensively throughout the Web, it is also used by some of the busiest websites in the world. For example Yahoo!, which serves up 2.85 billion page views a day and supports 345 million visitors a month, uses PHP for all its presentation logic. For Yahoo!, searching and delivering web content quickly is a mission-critical issue, as is the ability to quickly add new features and maintain existing code. According to Michael Radwin, engineering manager in the Infrastructure Group for Yahoo!, “All of our presentation logic is in PHP. We avoid putting presentation logic in C/C++ because of the longer code-compile-debug cycle.” Other busy websites that use PHP include the social networking site Friendster (, which switched from JSP to PHP in 2004, and, an open source resource site that uses PHP to process between 600,000 and 700,000 page views a day.

Page 12 (Perl in System Administration and Integration):

Burton Group found that Perl, more than any other language, is heavily used in UNIX and Linux system administration. Ford Motor Company, for example, has been using Perl with their UNIX systems in this capacity for years. In fact, it would be difficult today to find an organization that has a number of UNIX boxes that do not use Perl in some capacity. Michael Radwin of Yahoo! told Burton Group: “We use Perl all the time here for almost everything that’s not web-related and not super performance-related. It’s a superb general-purpose scripting language. We use it for all of the typical uses (text processing, system administration, algorithmic prototyping, automation, light data crunching, report generation).” Yahoo! owns 90 web properties (Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Store, etc.) and supports 345 million visitors per month.

Those Yahoo! statistics (pageviews, visitors per month) are from December 2004.


Ever since we moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area, one of my favorite places to eat has been Amber India Restaurant in Mountain View. I was delighted to find papri chaat and pav bhaji on the menu. My colleagues in India call it “Indian junk food”. I call it delicious.

This past week’s Chronicle has an article entitled “It’s time to have a little chaat” which lists a half-dozen local restaurants that specialize in chaat. Next time we’re in Berkeley we’ll have to check out Viks Chaat Corner and see how it stacks up to Amber.

In the meantime, I can always remind myself of the goodies I ate last May.

Battleground, MN

battleground-minnesota-dvd.gif I just watched the 8-minute web video of Battleground Minnesota. It’s a Get Out the Vote documentary aimed at young voters which aired on public television last fall.

We didn’t know why Gabriel had been so delinquent in updating his blog last year. We figured he was working on some other project. Now we know he was busy directing a rather cool documentary and inspiring Drew Barrymore to do the same.

If you like the video, vote for it at INdTV.

Or buy the video of the 30-minute version for $14 plus shipping & handling.