Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Feeding Frenzy Begins in Digital Imaging Marketplace

Looks like the big lumbering fish are swallowing the tasty little fish in the world of digital imaging software.

First, Adobe bites off Rawshooter by Pixmantec. This little software wonder is a great Raw converter with the best workflow for digital photographers. It looks like Adobe is going to dump the RS workflow but copped the color rendering system for its new LightRoom software. This is bad news for users of RawShooter especially those using the free version. Premium users might get an upgrade offer for Lightroom. Some may say Adobe is buying out the competition, burying the intellectual property and dominating the market (a la Microsoft). Then we end up with blah products, packed with useless features, but stifling to the user. Where else do we go? Apple's Aperture? It's good and has scared the life out of Adobe but the overall product is not there yet plus no Windows version.

I can't help but think this is more of a corporate move to bolster Adobe's sagging stock. Earlier this year it rocketed up to around $41.00 a share then plummeted back to under $30.00.

Next, the biggest shark of them all, Microsoft chomps down on iView, a pretty decent digital asset management (DAM) system. Photographic assets are exploding everywhere and keeping them organized in a mind-boggling task. At our office many of the laptops are flooded with personal and business photographs. One sales rep had over 40 gigs of pictures on his drive. So it looks like Microsoft is making a play to improve the DAM in their core imaging product . iView also has workflow features as well.

My hope is that innovation and competition will continue in the digital imaging and workflow software space. No longer does the Adobe or Microsoft logo on a product ensure that it is the best in its class. It only means it's the biggest.

Copyright 2006 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mark Cuban: A classless loser

Thank goodness Miami won NBA finals (Miami Heat 95 - Dallas Mavericks 92).

A tech guy, Mark Cuban, owns the Mavericks. Cuban sold his company to suckers Yahoo for billions of dollars during the boom. Yahoo overpaid by 90% and will never recoup its investment. Cuban acts like a lottery winner who wants to flaunt his wallet.

Cuban craves attention. He sits behind the bench at the Mavs home games. He acts like a raving fan. He portrays himself as the superstar owner of his super team. His money got him into the NBA but that doesn't mean he belongs. Jerry Johnson was a rebel owner but he never acted like Cuban.

After watching clips of Cuban's foul-mouthed tirade to the officials, the NBA leadership, and the journalists after Game 5 all I can say he is completely classless. To be fined over a million dollars is unbelieveable. Maybe the league could suspend him too like baseball did to George Steinbrenner.

Cuban complains about phantom fouls or fouls not called against his players. Miami's players were hacked pretty good at the end too. Remember the Washington Wizards crying about LeBron's "walk" in Game 5? But what about the three hacking fouls the Wizards hit him with on the way to the basket? This is how the NBA is played. Forget the referees and get over it.

When Dan Gilbert bought the Cleveland Cavaliers I thought here was a personality who would fight for the spotlight with LeBron and the team. He addressed the crowd at the Gund (now the Q) during a timeout and said he would never address the crowd again until the team won a NBA title. His ego is in check.

I hope Cuban gets to ruminate long and hard this off-season about what woulda-shoulda been his (NBA trophy). Maybe he'll start acting like an adult rather than a showboat.

Copyright 2006 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Walt Disney Concert Hall: A Photo Dash in Los Angeles

This is one of the finest buildings by Frank Gehry. He also designed the Weatherhead School building on the Case Western Reserve University campus. I was able to grab a few shots before returning to the conference hotel. Enjoy.

(click on any image to enlarge)

Walt Disney Concert Hall was designed by Frank Gehry and is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Stairway outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Plaza outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Entrance to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Sidewalk view.

Copyright 2006 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

The Getty Museum: A Photo Safari to Los Angeles

During an open afternoon before attending a conference we took a visit to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This is one of the few museums where its building and gardens competes with its collection. In the case of the Getty, it succeeds its collection! Take a look and enjoy!

(click on any image to enlarge)

A beautiful terrace greets visitors to the Getty Museum.

A plaza at the Getty Museum with the city of Los Angeles in the background.

Walkway along the hill in front of the Getty Museum.

Not much of an art collection at the Getty but what is there deserves a closer look like "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh.

Lots of fountains keep the kids happy at the Getty Museum.

This is the ceiling view in the Colonnade at the Getty Museum.

Another incredible interior scene from inside the Getty Museum.

The beautiful gardens match the imposing architecture at the Getty Museum.

There are plenty of walkways in the gardens surrounding the Getty Museum.

Fathers and daughters can roll down the lawns at the Getty Museum.

It's fun to watch the Los Angeles freeways from the Getty.

Or watch the visitors mill about the courtyard.

A view toward Los Angeles from the Getty Museum.

Copyright 2006 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.