Tuesday, September 13, 2016

iPhone Seven review by Pogue

This year it's hard for many to decide whether to upgrade their iPhone or not. But I think this review by David Pogue outlines it well. David has a way of cutting things down to brass tacks.

Living canvas

Here is a cool story of two artists who actually create photographs on plates of living grass.
(It's not painted on the grass or something, it's actually developed by projecting a negative onto young grass, so it grows richer and darker where it gets more light.)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ben Franklin and the Internet

Ben Franklin and the Internet [Satire]
By Eolake Stobblehouse

Did you know that Facebook was invented on the same day as the Internet? ... Don't feel ashamed, very few people do, yet.

On the dusky June day in 1752 when Franklin flew his famous kite, when the lightning struck, a picture and a sentence formed in Franklin's mind; the image of a bearded man and the thought "Ach du lieber got".

Unbeknownst to him at the time, this was the thought and the face of German scientist Herman Liebstmirnicht, which was coincidentally conducting the kite experiment at the same time as Franklin, half way around the globe!

Remarkably, the Leyden Jar which stored the electricity from the lightning strike also stored for several hours Liebstmirnicht's thought and his picture, thus providing the very first electronic memory. Benjamin Franklin printed out the thought and image on rice paper from the "ur-RAM" of the jar, using a jury-rigged printer made from rubber stamps and a loom. And so this was the world's first "face-book" page!

Also not publicised widely is the fact that the Zuckerberg family, after a protracted legal battle, has a contract with the Franklin estate to pay 2.5% in royalties a year for the next five hundred years from Facebook  profits. Dr. Liebstmirnicht sadly did not survive his lightning strike and left no heirs, so Zuckerberg is still comfortable.

Thankfully, due to today's wire-traveling electricity and the safety of modern "eye-phone" PDAs, we can communicate with our global friends without being electrocuted.

[Not a word of this is true, but who knows, it might have been.]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Simulated shallow depth-of-field

I've been saying that one of the next steps for phone cameras would be simulated shallow depth-of-field for blurry backgrounds. And here it is, a review of the Huawei-Leica phone. Good stuff.
[Update: there are even iPhone apps for this.]
The next important step would be an extra lens, for tele- and portrait-photography. (I think this will be easier than making a good zoom lens in the tiny space available.) My wish is for a 100mm-equivalent lens. This would be a good portrait lens, and give a bit of reach, unlike the 70mm which is so common on Normal zoom lenses, 70mm is just a longish normal, not a tele. (In my view it's the downfall of the last two generations of the otherwise great Sony RX100 camera, they shortened the zoom to 70mm.)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Great camera offer

The much-praised Olympus OM-10 is currently for sale at a great price, including kit zoom.

(Update: Ken spotted this seems to be the mark 1, not the more current mark 2. I'm not up on the differences, perhaps a mark 2 is worth the $200 premium. I think they are both very good value for money.)

"I’m so glad that I don’t have to choose between performance and portability anymore." (From the article above.)

From our ol' photographer friend EmptySpaces:
"I have had this camera (mark 1) for a year now and love it more all the time. I believe that, other than some reconfiguration of the dials/switches, the big upgrades to the mark ii version ares 5-axis stabilization (vs 3-axis on the original), the addition of a couple custom slots on the dial, and a big upgrade in EVF [electronic view-finder] resolution. Plus some smaller upgrades, too, I'm sure. Same sensor, same rear screen, same battery life, though. The 3-axis IBIS works awesome."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The purpose of literature

It is said that in the minds of academia, the purpose of literature, fiction, is to teach us more about ourselves.
I think that's like saying that fine arts painting has the purpose of teaching us about nature or architecture.

Fiction can certainly explain our minds about man. It just seems to me that many in academia thinks it can do so in an explainable way, as if all the lessons can be literal and logical and be disected, and have final, single explanations. I think that fiction and art expands our minds on a higher and more complex level.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

CAD new generation

This shows highly interesting vistas for the future as to how AI can help us in very broad areas create the products we dream up, even highly complex ones.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Around the world on solar power!

It didn't happen fast or in one stop, but nevertheless a solar-powered manned airplane has made it all around the world!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


The SOLARPUFF is an amazing little device, a small, bright, foldable lamp driven purely by sunlight.
I own several of them myself, from their Kickstarter campaign, it works well.
It can do much good and fun for us, but the real boon is what it can do in the large parts of the world without an electric grid.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fork, a new macro pic

(Click for big pic)

Russ thought it might work as B/W too, so let's see: 

Also I wondered a bit late if a bit more contrast might be good:
Less subtle, but more punch.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Sheep view 360"

If Google street view won't come to the Faroe Islands, then the Islands will come to Google, sheep and all!
(The girl behind it is beautiful too.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

New macro pics

[Click for big pic]

(They are all better in full size, but especially Buddha here.)

(Olympus Pen-F, M-Zuiko 60mm Macro lens.)

Friday, July 01, 2016

Three girls and a Kite

I can't find out to get an embed code for this, but trust me, this is an unusually fun/funny video.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A site for asking about differences

I found an interesting site, diffen.com, for finding out the differences between things, for example a CEO and a president.


I hope all a'youse are enjoying your summer, however and whereever it's taking place. (Even if it's a winter on the Southern hemisphere.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Virtual car ads

A specialized kind of car now exists explicitly to allow car makers to make photo-realistic car ad videos without having the actual car they are advertising! Info and video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

There are two of you in your head

Thanks to Bert for finding this amazing (spooky?) video of brain weirdness.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"How are you?"

It's a normal greeting in many languages to say "How are you?" or the like. (Locally here it's often "are you okay?".)  Since I have the odd tendency to believe that people mean what they say, and to not lie if avoidable, I've been long confused as how to answer that. The answer may be complex, or it may be negative on a bad day. And do people really want to hear about it?

I think not, generally. What they want, I think, is to show that they care (which is surely true to some degree or other) and to reassure themself that you are one less thing for them to worry about.

And of course they usually can't help you anyway if you're having a bad day. So in that case I've developed a kind-of solution which does not involve any lies. I simply nod and smile and say: "And you!" That seems to be perfectly acceptable.

I'm reminded, it seems a common idea that "Good morning" means "it is a good morning." But it seems obvious to me that it means "I wish you a good morning."