May 22, 2013
One More Step In The Perfection Of The Internet
May 6, 2013
Popeye Doyle Nails iPhone Thief
Only this time Popeye Doyle was New York Police Officer Haaris M. Hamid. Justice was served quickly, after the cinematic high speed subway chase. The perp sits in Rikers Island today.
April 30, 2013
Successful Virgin Galactic Test
Carried aloft from Mojave yesterday by WhiteKnightTwo, SpaceShipTwo was released at an altitude of 14 km. It fired its rocket engines, went supersonic and climbed another 3 kilometers, before safely returning to earth. Future passenger flights can be bought for $200,000; but the craft is intended to go only to 100 km, about 62 miles, which is defined as the border of space. Me, if I was spending a big pile of dough and endangering my life, I'd want to be able to say I really went into space, not just to the edge of it, like this was 1959 or sump'n. I'm saving my money for the half-million dollar orbital journey that I'm sure is coming just a year or two down the road.
April 29, 2013
April 22, 2013
Must Have Accessory For The iPad
If it's gotten to the point that no one stares when you hold up your iPad to take a photo, then here's the thing to fix that! The iPad Telphoto Lens from Photojojo.
They've got two models - 10x for the iPad and 12x for the iPad Mini. Camera amateurs should note that these are true telephoto lenses, not zoom lenses. Fixed focal length. And all for an amazing (seriously, I'm amazed!) low price of $25 each. The fine attributes of this piece of precision equipment include "a manual focusing ring to give you added control over its delightfully shallow depth of field. It also adds just a bit of vignetting and a dreamy lo-fi look."
The vignetting and "dreamy lo-fi look" are the expected results from that $25 price tag. It's not just a lo-fi "look." This is genuinely lo-fi.
The factors that define depth of field are (1) focal length and (2) aperture. The focus (whether manual or automatic) has nothing to do with it. It's just physics. This lens simply has no aperture control, so it's fixed at whatever it is. The focal length, likewise, is fixed. This means the depth of field will always be the same, but you'll only notice the effect when you focus on something close.
They really need to market this more like Instagram or Lomo where the low quality image is the desired result. That means their models should be dubiously scruffy hipsters, not clean-faced girls with Prell hair. Imagine the artistic thrill of hitting your favorite Silver Lake dive bar and photographing the arrangement of PBR cans with your iPad using one of these telephoto lenses. The irony is so intense I can hardly keep my credit card in my pocket.
April 21, 2013
Palm Springs Air Museum
I visited the Palm Springs Air Museum a few weeks ago. Some of the photos:
April 18, 2013
Google Fiber Beyond Olathe
Google Fiber will expand to Austin, Texas, with hook ups starting in mid-2014.
And Google Fiber will acquire iProvo, an existing, municipally-owned fiber-optic network in Provo. Google will upgrade the network. Wouldn't it be nice if somebody brought old WordPerfect back as a cloud app for Provoans.
Google Glass Enters The World
Google Glass is being shipped now to some pre-release customers. Brandon Allgood writes about his and includes a photo of what comes in the box. It includes clear and dark lenses to mount on the frame so it looks like you're wearing nearly normal sunglasses. Gizmodo has links to some videos shot with Glass including this one which has to be the nerdiest unboxing video I've ever seen. "Here's the box the lens comes in. It says 'Glass' on it. It's white. It's rectangular. The corners are all right angles."
I've seen nothing yet that addresses the primary practical issue, as I see it. You'll be walking around with a very obvious, but small, lightweight camera on your head. It is not secured in any way. In about one second it could be off your head and in the hands of a 17-year old track star and all you'll see is his backside as he zooms away. How about some skull modifications that will accept security spikes that are attached to the temple pieces. Seems reasonable.
If I don't see at least a couple of these at Burning Man this year, I will be VERY disappointed.
The terms of service for Google Glass indicate that even after paying $1,500, you don't own them. At least in this pre-release phase, Google forbids the "buyers" to sell or give them away. Who do they think they are? Apple?
April 11, 2013
Can The Google Fiber Juggernaut Be Stopped?!
The news flash is that Google Fiber is going to expand from Kansas City, Kansas, out to Olathe, Kansas! This is gonna totally piss off those snobs in Overland Park.
Olathe is southwest from Kansas City, Kansas.
Can Paola be far behind?
March 22, 2013
Why with all the slick, amazing electronics we have today, does the system that provides music while I wait on hold on the phone still sound like it's feeding me an AM radio signal that we're getting from the other side of the mountains while somebody who's really fidgety holds onto the antenna to try to get better reception for a radio that has a loose connection somewhere? I'm not complaining (yet) about the musical selections or the fact that telephones have limited audio frequency ranges. It's the crackle-crackle, in and out, "Must be a tornado comin', Ma!" quality. Takes me back to my childhood when FM radio and color TV were the newest things.
How about a law? Phone system administrators will be strapped down, have earplugs inserted (in the ears), and be forced to listen to their own hold music for one hour while TOTALLY SOBER! It's a public health as well as interstate communications issue. I'm sure it's constitutional.