Saturday, August 24, 2013

"I forgot my phone" (updated)

Already ten years ago I was astounded by the number of phone stores in town. Downtown here at that point no longer had a single video store, but maybe a dozen phone stores.
And it has only escalated. I don't think anybody but Ray Bradbury had predicted a world were everybody permanently has a phone/media-device glued to them. It's odd.

Neeraj pointed to:

The Joymaker is a fictional device invented by Frederik Pohl for the novel The Age of the Pussyfoot, first published in 1965. It bears a remarkable resemblance to devices in common use in the years following the start of the 21st century.
The remote-access computer transponder called the "joymaker" is your most valuable single possession in your new life. If you can imagine a combination of telephone, credit card, alarm clock, pocket bar, reference library, and full-time secretary, you will have sketched some of the functions provided by your joymaker. (from the novel.)

OK, so my iPhone can't make drinks yet, and it's a bit dumb for a secretary. But then it costs far, far less than a car, remarkable for something which for many easily could pass for "the most valuable single possession"!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Warm brains

Normally I'm not so impressed by raw intelligence, because most of it seems to be wasted. But here is a guy who built a working fusion (fusion, not fission) at 14! And even better, he seems to have also an exceptional feel for what could be productive. (For example he invented a better way of detecting if nuclear material is smuggled in a ship.)

Kevin Spacey says smart things

What he said.

Goshawk Flies Through Tiny Spaces in Slo-Mo

[Thanks to Henry]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Google on Debussy


Wooden cars

I've been wondering, sadly, where all the wooden toys have gone.

With these, I think the plain white tops make them look a bit unfinished. But they probabably have a good feel, especially if the weels run well.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Typewriter (Song)

[Thanks to Henry]

Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. As with all his other compositions, Leroy Anderson wrote The Typewriter for orchestra, completing the work on October 9, 1950.

This particular orchestration was performed in a June 12, 2011 concert by members of the National Orchestra and Chorus of Spain in Madrid.
The (typewriter) soloist is Alfredo Anaya. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Breaking news: New Olympus flagship: OM-D E-M1 (updated)

[Thanks to Bert.]

Like many expected, Olympus has made a new flagship model. A real professional model, despite the E-M5, had been missing from the Micro Four Thirds line, and I think this will do them good. I think it will boost the public perception of the whole Olympus line, and will sell to serious photographers like hot Danes. (If they are not silly enough to price it over two grand. That would be dumb.)

It's not exactly pretty. But otherwise it seems like the dream cameras for pros/semipros. The faintly silly grip is a great way of making it bigger and more userfriendly without making it seem much bigger. (I think the newest Panasonic GH is too big.)  And it will use the outstandingly good lenses Olympus made for the Four Thirds line before Micro Four Thirds was invented. It uses dual autofocus modes to take advantage of both the newer and the older kinds of lenses, and should be very fast either way. 

They must have been working on this for… like four years. One always got the feeling that the em5 was not meant to be the flagship model. (I wonder if they will "do a Nikon" and name the next one E-M2, etc, or "do a Canon" and keep the E-M1 moniker for all eternity for the flagship?) (If the former, they'll have a problem in about 8 years.)

We have almost no data yet. Currently it seems like a strengthened E-M5, tougher, frost-safe, better to hold in tough conditions, and with strong remote control abilities via tablet. 

Next: Updated pictures per 24 August. Looks better, I think. Wonder why.
The lens is upcoming high-end lens in the popular type, fast, big, short zoom, wide to long-normal, expensive, top optics. I'm not interested in the short reach (80mm), but certain pros like them, I'm guessing photo journalism, who are close to people all day long.

I wonder if they will bring out a silver model? It doesn't really seem designed for it, somehow, doesn't have that straight-line metal-plate look. It would be a pity, I think the silver E-M5 is gorgeous. But of course how it works is primary.

The earlier E-M5. I think the black E-M1 looks cheap somehow next to it.