Friday, October 21, 2011

Quantum... magnet... something...

Don't know what the heck it is, but is' kewl.

Tel-Aviv University demos quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field ( For an explanation of the physics behind this demonstration, visit here.

van Gogh, an alternate theory

[Thanks to Norm and others]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lytro’s Camera Shoots First, Focuses Later

Lytro's non-focus camera is for sale now, delivery after new year. (Only delivered to US, and until further notice, it needs a Mac to process the images.)

Focus-free street shooting, might be kewl, if the quality is indeed up to other quality compacts.
Update: there are indications that the resolution is quite low on this camera. Caveat emptor.

Bruce said...
This could be the beginning of a major change in still photography, perhaps bigger than the switch to digital from film.
Of course it won't be perfect to begin with, but this is definitely something I'm keeping an eye on.
Was the very first cart with wheels all that much better than the good old, dependable sledge? Maybe not.

 Eolake Stobblehouse said...
Interesting point.
The dependance of cameras and lenses to have all the light hitting in exactly the same spot exactly in the film plane has been a big technical bottle neck all along. It's spectacularly difficult to make a lens which does it well, and even then the bulk of the subject will be out of focus normally.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I, Partridge

In the new UK Google ebook store, "I, Partridge", told by a fictional character, is labelled as non-fiction. That's hilarious. And according to reviews, so's the book, so I bought it.

It's funny too that Alan Partridge is the archetypical example of a character so successful that the actor Steve Coogan just can't get away from it no matter how hard he tries. What's funny is that for people like that it seems to be highly frustrating, while millions of media hopefuls would sell an eye to get that kind of success.

iPhone 4S photo samples

iPhone 4S photo samples. (Well down on the page, full-sized samples available.)
Since the predecessor already had an excellent camera, it's not surprising that this one is even better (higher resolution and supposedly better low-light capacity).
I'd say it can easily replace compact cameras for most people's use. Especially now that with iOS 5 you don't have to log into you phone to take a picture.

By the way, TidBITS has a great summary article of various reviews of the iPhone 4S.

In the other end of the scale, Canon has announced a new flagship camera, the 1DX. What's amazing is that they actually listened to my prayers (sort of), and kept it to 18MP! Well done Canon. I'll bet it can shoot black grizzly bears fight in a cellar at night. 

... Now to see what the 5D mark III will be like. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pills for chills

When I was little, sometimes when I couldn't sleep, I'd go out to my parents and say "I can't sleep, can I have a sleeping pill?"

They'd say OK, kiddo, and give me a little mineral pill, and say "now don't forget, it works better if you relax". And I'd go to bed and sleep.

A better jock?

I'm not a nerd, I'm a jock who's too cool for sports. - Bart Simpson


Btw, I like the Simpsons' Harry Potter parody, Angelica Button.

  • Angelica Button and The Deadly Denouement
  • Angelica Button and The Dragon King's Trundle Bed
  • Angelica Button and the Teacup of Terror

Tori Amos - A Sorta Fairytale

Amazon's long memory

I came across an article I had posted in 1997, where I recommended the novel Hard Drive by David Pogue. I checked the link, and what do you know, you could still get the book! Not only that, but the site informed me that I had bought it on Sep 11, 1997!

Useful service. Before they got that, I occasionally bought something twice.

Leonard Cohen - You have loved enough

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Social network invitations

As if I was not irritated enough about social networks, they have now also become the source, directly or indirectly, of a big percentage of the spam we see. Invitations, always from people I don't know, from Facebook, LinkedIn, and many sites I haven't heard of, coming in, in a steady stream. It's like these parasites (para sites) simply won't stop until they have infected every living organism on earth.

Deep Forest - Walk Like An Egyptian

I think this is an exceptionally good cover, and not something you'd have expected from Deep Forest. (And oddly, it's found at the very end of an Asterix movie (Cleopatra, obviously).)

And you probably know Matt's adventures.

Family first?

I have noticed that even people who clearly spend enormous amounts of time on their work, like Tom Hanks and Steve Jobs, always say: "family is the most important thing in my life". Everybody says that.

It may be true for them. Or it may not, but they really believe it anyway. I think it's a social acceptance necessity for people to say it and believe it though. It's universally believed, and very strongly, that personal relationships are the most important thing in the world and in anybody's life, and that family is the most important one of those. Anybody who acts or says different is seen by most people to be antisocial to a suspicious degree and to have something wrong with them inside.

And yet many of the people who have made great accomplishments up through history didn't even have a family, or children of their own at least. (Including Jesus and Buddha.)

I'm not saying that friends and family are not important, clearly they are very important to anybody's emotional health. I'm just saying that the universal insistence that they must be the the single most important thing to every person in the world is just ideologically narrow-minded and draconian. For people for whom this may not be true, it often makes them feel that something must be wrong with them.