Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Old predictions

Predictions from 109 years ago.
"The American will be taller by from one to two inches. His increase of stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine, sanitation, food and athletics. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five as at present – for he will reside in the suburbs. The city house will practically be no more."

35 years was the average lifespan in 1900?! What a change in a century! (I think it's now about 80.)

Patient Charts

Patient Chart misstatements.

  • "Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year."

  • "On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely."

  • "The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pogue’s Productivity Secrets Revealed

Pogue’s Productivity Secrets Revealed, article.

I suspect that the real secret for productivity is internal, rather than external, but still, these are a few good tips.

Perpetuum Jazzile - Africa

[Thanks to Tom B.]

E-P1 picture samples

More Olympus E-P1 picture samples.
I'd call 1600 ISO mission-critical quality, something you certainly can't say for any small-sensor camera.
And the 17mm lens (34mm equivalent)... look at the full opening (F:2.8) samples. That is damn sharp for full opening! And a super-compact lens too. Well done, Oly.

Update: sadly, according to early reports it seems autofocus speed is not quite as exemplary as that of the Panasonic G1. If true, this is a shame, for it's pretty important for candid photography use, which this camera would otherwise be ideal for.
Related report. (Use of Panasonic M4/3 lenses is an interesting thought. Their long zoom is nicely compact, for example. And I think they should be fully compatible.)

Update: another good article. Also this one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


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The barrel monster

Art or sport... or crime?

Many years ago I saw an exhibition of American graffiti art in the famous Louisiana museum north of Copenhagen (It has a wonderful location by the sea). I overheard a conversation between a upperclass middle-aged lady and one of the young graffiti artists, who'd been painting art on subway trains in NYC. She asked him if the art was being preserved. He said with indignation that no, they'd spend a fortune cleaning it off. Well, personally I could kind of see their point of view. It might be good art, or it might be bad art, but the fact remains that the guys had been painting on other people's property without permission.
If you're a decent artist, many companies will be happy to let you decorate their property if you ask them. They might even pay you a little, whereas if you don't ask permission, you're not only a criminal, you're just out of pocket too, and the art will be removed much sooner.

Of course it is clear that many people feed emotionally off the idea that they are doing something forbidden, and that's an issue all onto itself.

Update: Joe R points to this, a naughty word hidden on a yearbook cover. Personally I think it's a mistake to make such a big deal out of it.

What happens if you talk with your phone in a concert?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Pen is released (updated)

The long awaited "big compact" from Olympus has arrived. Article -- article. Official site.

IR article.
DPr article, with image samples. The few high-ISO samples (why do they always make so few of those?) look surprisingly good. Not super-sharp, but that could be due to shutter time.
This is from the 35mm (equivalent) compact lens. Nice.

The Amazon page has a lot of tech info in a concise form.
Funny enough, Amazon UK sells a kit with both lenses, which US does not seem to do.

I hope we can really get it in black, as this photo hints at. (Some sites say we can. On the other hand, this photo may be fake. The shadow from the lens seems to be in negative!)

More pink

Magnetic Mary linked to this under the pink post.
I don't know Aerosmith well, but this is a pretty good song.

Rules of thumb

The Human Body

  • It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
  • One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lb).
  • The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.
  • Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
  • A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
  • There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
  • Women blink twice as often as men.
  • The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
  • Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
  • If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
  • Women reading this will be finished now.
  • Men are still busy checking their thumbs.

Too right! 3X? No friggin way, except for John Holmes, if he had small hands.

Calvin Klein p**n

This is an ad campaign from a major US clothes label?
It has more sex than I ever had on Domai. And yet because Domai has no clothes at all, it's relegated to porn territory. Effed up.

Talking about R-rated, I notice now that on season 12 of South Park DVDs, they can now use the word "fuck" (at least in expressions like "what the fuck"). Do you know if it was like that when they ran on TV too?

And talking about South Park, they produce a show in a week. And that's from rough idea to actual airing!! That's totally insane. No wonder the show is a bit uneven. But considering that schedule, it's amazingly good. An episode of The Simpsons takes like half a year to make.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lead me not into temptation

Bert tells me: "That button is said to shut down all of Microsoft's North-American online gaming servers (the whole X-box live community)."


My lovely friend Bettina has a sweet little daughter. When the girl was about three, one day she was sitting at the dinner table looking out the window at the wide world outside. And she said very thoughtfully: "Mom, wouldn't it be beautiful if everything was pink?"

Taste questions aside, I think that's very precocious. And funny. Gotta love it.


"And imagining the world being different shows ability for abstract thought, instead of just reacting."

Joe said:
All kids talk that way. We forget, so that when it comes to our kids or someone else's, we thinking "How precocious!" when it isn't.
Your example is still funny, though.

 eolake said...

I a-fear you're right, Joe. 

There are many signs the rigid "logical" mind gets a lot more rigid and in the way of imagination as we grow up.

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video Version

Many music videos seem to have little to do with the actual song. Now you know why: they totally changed the lyrics after the video was made. :-)

More by the same guy.

Ugress - Reminiscience

Ugress - Reminiscience. New album. Free tracks.

Haha, one of the songs is called "It Was A Great Year For Movies With Robots".

One of my favorite songs is related, an early one from Ugress.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bag a pirate video game, only for real

Bag a pirate video game, only for real, article.
Probably a joke, but good fun. In my book, pirates are the scum of the Earth. And I don't mean people selling unlicensed copies of software either.

Software and pricing

David Pogue has some comments on Win7 and Snow Leopard, and some philosophizing on pricing.
Basically he theorizes that the reason Apple will price SL as low as $29 (a hundred bucks lower than normal) is because the iPhone app store has shown that the cheaper something is, the more money you make.

I'm glad he is making the point. I've bitched before that, for example, selling ebooks or audiobooks for $30 or $50 is idiocy. Much cheaper would be better for both seller and buyer. I've also experienced this in my own business.

However, I must add that Pogue perhaps over-simplifies a little, he makes it sound like an infinite street. Obviously that's not true. There's a limited number of potential customer no matter how cheap you make something, so there will be a point where profits fall if the price falls further.

The theory is that there is the classic statistical bell curve: the top of the bell curve is the optimal price, where profit is highest, so that's the price you choose.
The exceptions are that you might want to price it lower if you're trying to expand your market share quickly at the expense of some profit. Or you might want to price it higher, so as to position your product as a high-end product, again sacrificing some immediate profits for future good-will.

TidBITS actually ran an article some weeks ago, they hoped that Apple would pursue exactly this cheap pricing with Snow Leopard. Simply because it has few new features, and it would not sell otherwise, but it's necessary for the future of the platform that it sell well. I agree, and it's good that Apple thinks so too.