How I got rid of a LinkBucks ReDirect

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I haven't touched a PC in years, so I haven't ever really had to worry about viruses and things like that.  But a couple months ago, my browser was highjacked by something that kept redirecting me to a site called LinkBucks, which is just a page with a bunch of spammy links that pays referrers every time they send someone there.  The worst part of it was, I'd google the issue, and then this virus (or whatever it was, I'm not sure it was a virus I guess) would block all virus scanning sites, and even support forums that described how to solve the problem!

I was happy to find and support another one-man business on the hill,  Computer Love , who  helped me out through some of this.

I was happy to find and support another one-man business on the hill, Computer Love, who  helped me out through some of this.

It sounds like this is something a lot of other people are experiencing, so I figured I'd share how I've dealt with the problem.  Without getting in to too much detail -- all you have to do to get rid of the re-direct is clear your browser cache, re-set your browser to default settings, and reset your ROUTER to factory settings.  None of the virus scans ever found anything, because the virus lives in the router (apparently they can do that?!) so that's why you have to reset the router to factory settings.  

One more note: if this problem is happening on one computer, don't connect any others to the wifi network until you've reset it!  Otherwise they'll get it too.  I made that mistake before I realized the router was the issue.  

Mike McGinn Interview

It was a really exciting and optimistic time when Mike McGinn was elected as the Mayor of Seattle in 2009, with his election following shortly after Obama's swearing in (remember how excited we were about that one?!).

His urbanist positions on density, bike improvements and transit are exactly what we need in Seattle and are what a majority of Seattleites say they support.  So I have never understood why, even in liberal Seattle, so many people become anti-density, anti-bike and anti-transit when it comes time for real-world implementation.  I thought that McGinn's take on this would be interesting to hear, as someone who more than anyone else right now, personifies urbanism in Seattle.

So, yesterday I asked Dominic Holden, the smart and telegenic (a rare combo for journalists in Seattle) News Editor at The Stranger, to interview him on this topic at my studio.  It's still up for debate what form this project will take, because it all came together really quickly (I didn't think he'd say yes when I asked for an interview!).  So stay tuned for updates and let me know if you have any suggestions for relevant articles, interviews, people, ideas, etc that I should be aware of.

Below is a behind the scenes look at the shoot, in the form of a pop-up video.

New Year, New Look

Happy 2014 everyone!  I finally decided that it was time to put some energy into my branding.  Rather than designing everything myself as I've done in the past, I hired my friend Tony Tran to design this logo for me.

The triangle is a play on the "play" button (a little expected, I know), but I really like how it feels both structured and organic, with the geometric lines countered with the shades of blue.  I think it's a great representation of my style.   

Matching website, and reel (my first one!) coming soon...

Blue Chalk Website

I'm working on re-designing my website, so I've been looking at websites of other freelancers & video production companies for inspiration. 

Blue Chalk's website stood out to me. For one, because the way they describe themselves sounds more like how I would describe myself & my business (if I were better at describing myself) than any video company I've come across. 

I love this nugget:

Blue Chalk arrives at a complicated time in the evolution of the visual media industries. We embrace this moment of disruption and encourage blue sky thinking about the technologies and approaches needed to create and convey picture-led stories in a digital world.

...and I totally agree with it.  This part confused me a little though:

The world of visual communications, once a largely individual endeavor, is rapidly becoming a team sport. Blue Chalk specializes in building teams to accomplish the ambitious multimedia and video projects that clients now demand.

I think that in video production at least, things are moving in the opposite direction.  I frequently get the comment that I "came in WAY below the other bidders" on projects.  I have to assume that it's either because other freelancers are inflating their bids because they think they can, or (more likely) because I'm bidding against companies that default to hiring a full production team for everything.  They'll hire a director, camera operator, sound guy, grip, script writer, editor, etc... because "that's the way it's done," whereas I typically do all of those roles myself or with one or two assistants.

It looks like Blue Chalk offers a wider range of services than I do, so maybe that's where the difference lies.  I definitely make a point of sticking to what I know, video production, so I don't branch out into all the areas that Blue Chalk does. 

But anyways, keep up the good work over there in Brookyln, Blue Chalk!  And everyone else, stay tuned for a website redesign in the not too distant future. 

Patrón Secret Dining Society

This was a really fun one to shoot. I was hired to document Seattle's Patrón Secret Dining Society Dinner, which featured Chefs Holly Smith and Ben Closson of Cafe Juanita, and mixologist Mark Sexauer of Artussi creating a six course dinner that revolved around Patrón Cocktails.

This was my first shoot with a new camera... I finally jumped on the DSLR bandwagon and got a Canon 5D Mark III. Here it is all set up and ready to shoot at Cafe Juanita.

Busy Busy... cakes & coffee etc.

It's been a crazy past couple of months for me, personally and professionally... hence the lack of updates here and elsewhere.  So I figured it was about time I check in again.  

that's cake... all of it.Allrecipes has been going gangbusters with the videos this year... in the past couple of months, I've produced a series of 6 "how to brew coffee" videos (here's How to Brew French Press), as well as 45 (!!) "how to decorate cake" videos (see pic at right), which are still in progress.  I also started work on "Welcome World Cuisine," an international foods web series (the pilot is below), and shot a 3 episode reality style mini-series... both of those will probably get their own posts at some point, so stay tuned. 

Storm season is also just about to get underway.  Media Day is this coming Wednesday and our first game is May 18.  So basically I'm coming out of the busiest couple months I've ever had, and heading into what's usually my 'busy season!'  here we go!! 

Office Nomads

For about the past 6 months or so I've been a member at Office Nomads, the "Capitol Hill coworking grandaddy" that happens to be about 3 blocks from my apartment.  The coworking concept is defintely not a perfect fit for a video production business, but I'm making it work, and I'm loving it here for the time being.  I suspect that as video production continues to get leaner and meaner, coworking will become a more viable option for video producers like myself.  

Anyways, the point of this post is that the folks that run Office Nomads are launching a "big initiative to clean up, revamp, upgrade, organize, structure, and just generally over-all improve the coworking wiki," and I produced this video for them to get things going.

3 new videos

Been fairly busy lately.  Here's what I've been up to...

Allrecipes: The weekly web series that had me traveling the country is on hold for the moment, while Allrecipes focuses on developing some new shows.  One of those shows is Shortcut Cooking, which I'm directing and editing for them out of the Allrecipes kitchen.  The Allrecipes kitchen, by the way, is right above Westlake Plaza, so the Occupy Seattle protests caused us some problems on these shoots. 

Blue Nile: On Veterans Day this year, Blue Nile help Veteran Timothy Strobel propose to his girlfriend on live TV, in the middle of Times Square.  If you happened to be watching Fox News (...sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little) at the time, you may have seen it.  I edited this video for them.


Shellie Hart: I grew up listening to Shellie Hart on KUBE 93's old school lunch, then got to know her through the Seattle Storm, so I was more than happy to help her put together a reel of her best on screen moments.

Quantified Self

I had the chance to get out and shoot the Quantified Self Seattle Show and Tell last week down in Belltown.  What is Quantified Self? Here's how they describe themselves on their website;

Are you interested in self-tracking? Do you use a computer, mobile phone, electronic gadget, or pen and paper to record your work, sleep, exercise, diet, mood, or anything else? ...

Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking. We exchange information about our personal projects, the tools we use, tips we’ve gleaned, lessons we’ve learned.

I found all the presentations fascinating, esspecially the one below where Robby MacDonnell tracked his transportation habits, and made some really cool visualizations with the data.  Check out the rest of the presentations here.  And stay tuned, maybe some day I'll share my own self-tracking experiment that I just started!

Production Note: I usually don't have a problem telling if shots are in focus because the EX1s have such a sharp built in monitor, but it was REALLY hard to tell if the shots of the projector screen were in focus... so, appologies for the bluriness at times.