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January 13, 2016

Fun with expanding foam

Filed under Science | permalink | January 13, 2016 at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)


An alternative 360° camera for still photos only is the Panono which uses brute force to achieve 360°. That is, it's a ball made up of 36 cameras for a total megapixelage of 108! The camera costs €1,500 (about $1,633). As an extra little surprise, the camera uses a nonstandard tripod mount, so if you want to actually mount it on a tripod, you can buy an adapter for €35 ($38).

Here's a sample image shot at CES.

Filed under Photography | permalink | January 13, 2016 at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

The World's First 360° 4K Action Cam Is Coming From...

[drumroll please] Kodak. You can buy it from Kodak for as little as $500. But, if you want 360° video you'll need two of them, which Kodak will sell to you for only $900. See, you're already saving money!

In this video you will be able to see a stitching glitch - when your view is flat in relation to the horizon, the glitch appears to run vertically. It's not always visible, but really jumped out at me as they came closer to the lighthouse.

Filed under GoPro,Photography | permalink | January 13, 2016 at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2016

Check Out These Windows

Here's the latest video-by-drone update on the construction of the Apple 3 campus in Cupertino.

The glass for the windows is to be noted; curved and very big.

At least the top three floors inside the red box are glassed in
. In the photo above, that's only three sheets of glass. Below, it looks like we've got two sections windowed on the exterior.


Filed under Architecture | permalink | January 9, 2016 at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

What If They Legalized Medical Marijuana And Nobody Came?

New York State's medical marijuana program is officially really open for business now, and hardly anybody cares. You can only get into the program if you have at least one of these ailments: "cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington's disease." People with glaucoma can just go blind, I guess. You have to approved by one of the 150 doctors in the state who have been authorized to approve it. The doctors have to pay $249 for an online course on the subject of MMJ. No other state has this requirement. (So far, only 51 patients have gotten approvals). Only 20 dispensaries will be permitted throughout the state. Finally (and here's the killer), the only products permitted are those for vaping. No edibles; no green weed. Any patient who thought they might get started with as little as a package of rolling papers and a lighter may be taken up short by the requirement to buy a vape device first. Taking a quick look at VapeWorld I see that the cheapest device they offer is the Innokin Cool Fire IV for $50, better models are much more expensive.

Columbia Care New York was the first dispensary to open in New York City – in Union Square – at noon, and nobody showed up for the first hour! Patients have to make an appointment before visiting the dispensary.

Net result: the black market continues unabated.

Filed under Marijuana | permalink | January 9, 2016 at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 8, 2016

Kodak Bringing Out A New Super-8 Motion Picture Film Camera!

Kodak Super-8 Camera
The new Kodak Super-8 film camera which will hit the market in time for Christmas 2016
. It's made from sheet metal and leather. On the front end is a C-mount lens. But apart from that it looks digital. It has a video viewfinder and a removable microphone that records to an SD card. When the 50-foot roll of film is full, you mail it off to Kodak who mails you back your developed film along with a link to a digitized version that you can download.

More about the concept here.

For this incarnation of Super-8 the target market will not be families taking an automobile tour of the western national parks, but film students who want to become the next great movie maker. Kodak has a list of endorsers that is pretty impressive: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, Steve McQueen (from beyond the grave!), Robert Richardson (Kill Bill), and a lot, lot more.

It is expected to be priced for the prosumer market, which means expensive, but not so expensive that you can't actually buy it if you want it bad enough.

But no, they are not bringing back Kodachrome Super-8. It's gonna be Ektachrome and Tri-X.

Filed under Photography,Technology | permalink | January 8, 2016 at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2016

Save $250 On A MacBook Pro

The mid-range MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 256GB flash storage) is $1499 from Apple. Somebody on eBay is selling that model for $1249.99 (so you actually save only $249.01).I don't know the seller at all. But if you want to try saving some money and then tell me about it later, I'd appreciate it.

Filed under Shopping | permalink | January 7, 2016 at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

Death Profits

Police in Turkey have raided a business that was making non-buoyant lifejackets to sell to those transporting refugees to Greece. This came a day after the bodies of 36 refugees were found wearing non-buoyant lifejackets. Do you think it would work if those found guilty were made to wear t-shirts saying something like "infidel" or "blasphemer" and then dropped by helicopter amongst the crazies of ISIS.

| permalink | January 7, 2016 at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2016


From the DHS Police:

January 6, 2016

Sgt. G. Paiz

760-329-6411 x 325 gpaiz@dhspd.com

Kidnapping/False imprisonment arrest

On Tuesday January 5, 2016, at about 12:32 PM, Officers responded to Desert Regional Medical Center, regarding an adult female kidnapping victim. Officers spoke with the victim who said her ex-boyfriend, Marshall Jones, kidnapped her and held her against her will at his home for several days. Officers responded to Jones' home and conducted a surround call out. Jones walked out of his home in the 9700 Block of San Rafael where he was detained without incident. Jones was booked for the above charges and he was transported to RCJ-Banning jail.

Marshall Eddie Jones 48 years old
M, Black, 5'11, 175, Black, Brown
Desert Hot Springs resident
Sgt. G. Paiz 325

Marshall Jones
Marshall Jones

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | January 6, 2016 at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

Finally, Real Competition For GoPro

The Nikon KeyMission 360 may do what none of those other supposed competitors ever did: make a camera better than a GoPro. The Nikon KeyMission, to be released this spring at a "reasonable" price has two lenses, front and back. Both are wider than 180°, so the camera is capable of 360° video. One hopes that the 360° stitching happens either in camera or in some very nice to use software to be provided by Nikon.

The camera also has "vibration reduction" which they obviously are not calling "image stabilization." This makes me think it's such a little bit of vibration reduction, they can't honestly call it stabilized.

Nikon offers a video shot with the camera here. Unfortunately, they have not made it interactive, so you can't really experience the 360°. It also suffers from some serious low-res or compression problems. Yet I'm sure Nikon would put up only the best video it could show. Also, it seems to indicate that Nikon did not find a way to reduce the wide-angle weirdness that comes with these lenses, which are wider than anything GoPro offers.

Nikon KeyMission 360

The reporter in this video agrees on the image quality, but thinks the 360° feature offsets that.

Filed under GoPro,Photography,Technology | permalink | January 6, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2016

El Niño Prep

The City of Los Angeles has prepared an El Niño map to help residents during the expected heavy rains. When it first comes up it shows you the locations of weather warnings and advisories, shelters and where to get sandbags. You can turn on additional layers to show the locations of hardware stores, roads where flooding may prevent trash pickup, flooding and the old LA standby: traffic on the freeways.

Filed under California | permalink | January 4, 2016 at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 1, 2016


At last week's Economic Development meeting, Councilmember Joe McKee shared some of the information he brought back from his official visit to Dalian, China.

First, there is the pamphlet about DHS prepared by Councilmember Russell Betts and his wife. For anyone who is worried, Mr. McKee said one of the first things they did in China was to ask one of their hosts to take a look at it to assure it didn't say anything we didn't mean to convey.

The Chinese returned the favor with a book illustrating many of the attractions in the area.

Dalian booklet - front cover
The cover of the book

Dalian booklet - Preface
Its preface


Jinzhou New District is home to a cluster of pearls: the romantic Jinshitan, the fashionable camp, the lofty Dahei Mountain. the thousand-year-old Jinzhou city... If you come here, you will be enchanted by her glamour, considering its being endowed with the coastlines of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea, with the ancient Jinzhou city and the fast emerging New District, with the natural scenery and cultural landscape. which make New District a colorful scenic tourist resort with a blend of history and modernism.

Jinzhou New District of Dalian is constituted by the original Jinzhou District, the Development Area of Dalian, the National Tourist Resort -Jinshitan, and Dalian Export Processing Zone. She is favored by nature with abundant tourist resources, embodied by several "GuoZiHaos" (places of interest recognized by the nation): the National Tourist Resort, the AAAA Class Scenic Spot, the National Scenic Attraction, the National Forest Park, the National Natural Reserve, etc.

Jinzhou New District borders on the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea, rich in mountain and sea, sand and stone. She boasts several types of landscape as follows. Her natural scenery includes the coastline, stretching for over 322 kilometers, the coastal Karst landform of prehistoric Sinian and Cambrian, the National Scenic Attraction, the Jinshtan and the Dahei Mountain known as the First Mountain of South Liaoning province; her cultural landscape covers the historic Bei Shacheng city, the site of battle between Japan and Russia in Nanshun Mountain, and the former residence of Guan Xiangying, a respectable revolutionary Martyr; besides, she also has various plant bases, such as the nationwide largest base of large cherry and yellow peach, the bases of orchid, chrysanthemum, and lily, and the Ziyun Huaxi lavender field covering a thousand mu of land [about 165 acres], which presents a purple sea of flowers and becomes a landmark of the romantic and modem metropolis-Dalian. Also, you can enjoy pastoral scenery here, as described in the verses from Tao Yuanming, a renowned ancient poet, that "Picking chrysanthemums Dongli, I unexpectedly see Nanshan." The tourist resources here range from ancient ones to those of modem times. The ancient ones are amazing and beautiful, like the unique costal national geopark; the historic ones are eternal and profound, like the historic and cultural sites that have lasted across time and space; the modem ones are fashionable and energetic, like the Discovery Kingdom, the Tangfeng Spring, the RV camping encampment, as well as other leisure activities, for instance, playing golf, yachting, hunting, equestrian sports, etc.

Jinzhou New District is well equipped with tourism facilities, and now, she prides herself on five national A-class tourist resorts, six national agri-tourism sites, four streets for characteristic tour provincially, four tourism-oriented countries, nineteen households for star-rated agritainment. twenty-one star-rated hotels prepared for tourism, as well as twelve travel agencies.

The tourism activities in Jinzhou New District never cease to be held for all year round. The Temple Fair of the Dahei Mountain, Dalian International Cherry Festival, Dalian International Beach-culture Festival, Dalian International Winter Swimming Festival, together with other wonderful branded festivals and tourism activities, enjoy a high reputation home and abroad.

Jinzhou New District is a glamorous and brilliant place. And your coming will be greeted with a heartedly welcome from the hospitable people here.

Dalian booklet - large cherry festival
The very aptly named "large cherry festival."

Dalian booklet - hot springs
The one hot spring photo in the book

Golden Pebble Tang Dynasty International Hot Spring Resort-one thousand year dream back to Tang Dynasty, oriental culture health spring.

"In early spring, princess Yang baths in the huaqing pool' which warmed and smoothed the creamy-tinted crystal of her skin." it comes from Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi's "A song of unending sorrow", gives the hot spring culture connotation, Golden Pebble Tang Dynasty International Hot Spring Resort is surrounded by mountain and near the sea, moving Huaqing Hot Spring to the picturesque Jinshitan, and hot spring culture deduces to perfection. Everywhere embodies Tang Dynasty's style of 56 Chinese courtyards, spa resort collects from the stone, bamboo, pine gardens and other landscape, Huaqing palace, Princess pool, Rose pool, etc. 76 hot springs bubble pool, it becomes an independent spa resort, unique style, as the advertisement says, "one thousand year dream back to Tang Dynasty, oriental culture health spring."

UPDATE: Councilmember Betts shares this:

Russell Betts
6:55 PM (28 minutes ago)
to me, Joe
That probably is the stupidest thing I've seen you write Ron.

"At last week's Economic Development meeting, Councilmember Joe McKee shared some of the information he brought back from his official visit to Dalian, China.
First, there is the pamphlet about DHS prepared by Councilmember Russell Betts and his wife. For anyone who is worried, Mr. McKee said one of the first things they did in China was to ask one of their hosts to take a look at it to assure it didn't say anything we didn't mean to convey."

I have asked him to clarify what part of it is stupid:

Which part? It's all accurate.


Mr. Betts clarified:

Russell Betts
7:29 PM (11 minutes ago)
to me
Don't waste my time

He was the one who wasted his time by emailing me, and he probably could have clarified his comment using just as many syllables as "Don't waste my time."

What's the problem? Has he gotten tired of bullying everybody else in town?

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Travel | permalink | January 1, 2016 at 05:02 PM | Comments (2)