April 26, 2016

Drone With Improved Safety

Lightweight, "follow-me," and a safety enclosure. It's not available yet, but they are aiming for a retail price under $600. It does not have image stabilization, which shows in some of these sample shots.

Engadget article here.

permalink | April 26, 2016 at 07:46 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2016

Apple Patents Glass Doors

Actually, they've gotten a design patent on large glass doors without handles for their "Next-Gen" stores. The lack of handles will allow crowds of shoppers to flow more smoothly when a new product is released. [sarcasm]

Apple's large glass doors
Here you see them in use at the new Apple store in the Chestnut Hill mall. Boston readers are invited to go inspect these and report back on their magical properties. They can't just be doors, can they?

permalink | April 17, 2016 at 12:53 PM | Comments (1)

April 14, 2016

Nixie Watch

Quite likely, you recall this video from the naked pub crawl at last year's Burning Man. It does contain nudity so, you know, if you don't want to see it, don't click it. It's only to show you this overpowered sound system on a bicycle.

Fast forward to today, and here's Techmoan's review of the new Nixie tube wristwatch.

Steve Wozniak wearing Nixie watch
Here's Steve Wozniak showing off his Nixie watch.

From Techmoan's video I jumped to Cathode Corner where you can buy a Nixie watch. Scroll down that page and whadda ya see? The overpowered bike sound system that I videoed above. In short, the Nixie watch designer was on the naked pub crawl with his loud bicycle.

permalink | April 14, 2016 at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

April 8, 2016

GoPro Not Included

The Volocopter:

Volocopter.com

permalink | April 8, 2016 at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2016

Finns Developing Military Applications For Drones

This was posted on March 31, so it must be true!

permalink | April 1, 2016 at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2016

The Bequinox Robot

And I got to find out how iMovie handles video where I go crazy and hold the phone in portrait mode.

permalink | March 24, 2016 at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2016

"you won’t be building a quantum computer and putting it on your desktop anytime soon"

Why does that sound like one of those quotes we'll all be knowingly chuckling over 20 years from now? MIT builds a 5-atom quantum computer. And, oh yeah, the University of Innsbruck in Austria helped.

I predict that with a few more atoms the computer will become self-aware and design quantum computers that anyone can build on his or her own desktop.

permalink | March 6, 2016 at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2016

Discounts On MacBooks

B&H Photo is selling various MacBooks at $300 to $350 off.

1.1 GHz, 256 GB, $999.

1.3 GHz, 256 GB, $1,249.

1.2 GHz, 512 GB, Space Gray, $1,249

Same model, but Silver or Gold, $1,299

1.3 GHz, 512 GB, Silver, Space Grey, $1,399

Same model but in grey, $1,449

permalink | February 14, 2016 at 03:40 PM | 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.

permalink | January 8, 2016 at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2016

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.

permalink | January 6, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2015

Birdlike Flight

You've seen old films like this plenty of times, laughing at these early misguided attempts to fly like a bird.

Laugh no more. They've gone and done it.

permalink | December 29, 2015 at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

Alexander Graham Bell Invented Wireless Telephony

And he did it 19 years before radio.

permalink | December 29, 2015 at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2015

60 Minutes Visits Apple

permalink | December 21, 2015 at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)

December 9, 2015

This May Have A Use

Cortona is Siri-like software from Microsoft that is for the iPhone! After you have recovered from the shock and horror of the idea, you should know this is probably a pretty good idea for iPhone users who are still using Windows devices. It allows the user to sync reminders and other necessary stuff between the iPhone and a Windows PC.

Here is a link to Cortana that might not help you at all. My searches of iTunes and the App Store on my iPhone turn up zilch for Cortana. I can find it in iTunes using my desktop Mac, but that wouldn't help me get it on my phone, which is where it would be used. If anyone has more experience with iTunes and can explain this to me, that would be nice. I don't think this is a Microsoft screw-up. But it could be. I should never over-estimate Microsoft.

Nevertheless, if you follow the link above on your iPhone, you will be able to get Cortana.

permalink | December 9, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2015

You'll Love This

Technology that allows phones and tablets to detect what ads you watch on TV and then set up for some customized advertising on your mobile unit. An ultrasonic sound is inserted into the TV ad and then heard by your mobile. Some apps use it and the developer will not disclose which ones. The user is not permitted to opt out.

Here are some workarounds:

  1. Don't watch any TV that has advertising.
  2. Watch TV with the sound off relying on captions.
  3. Use headphones to listen to TV.
  4. Put your mobile devices far enough from your TV that they can't hear it.

permalink | November 15, 2015 at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2015

Coming Next?

Here’s an Indiegogo for a company that dreams of being the next GoPro, like so many have, but this one is interesting. A 3D stereoscopic action camera and accessories. Think of a GoPro with a full 180° lens and then double it. The LucidCam.


A sample, sort of. I'm able to form a crosseye-ed 3D image in the middle of these.

permalink | November 13, 2015 at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2015

UAVs in China

China is rushing right ahead preparing for a drone boom without wasting time on all that pesky regulation. Well, some regulation I guess. You've got to have a license. This will provide an excellent opportunity for American regulators and insurance companies to learn all the ways things can go wrong at much less expense and risk to Americans. Go China.

permalink | November 4, 2015 at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2015

Stanford's Autonomous DeLorean...

…can cut donuts.

News article.

"In our work developing autonomous driving algorithms, we've found that sometimes you need to sacrifice stability to turn sharply and avoid accidents," Gerdes said. "The very best rally car drivers do this all this time, sacrificing stability so they can use all of the car's capabilities to avoid obstacles and negotiate tight turns at speed. Their confidence in their ability to control the car opens up new possibilities for the car's motion. Current control systems designed to assist a human driver, however, don't allow this sort of maneuvering. We think that it is important to open up this design space to develop fully automated cars that are as safe as possible."

permalink | October 21, 2015 at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2015

Tesla Autopilot

With a nervous guy in the driver’s seat.

permalink | October 20, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2015

Hairwashing Machine


He's got a patent in China (does that mean anything?). And this is better than washing with your hands because...why?

It would be good for somebody lacking two arms, if its whole operation can be designed to be worked by something other than hands.

permalink | October 14, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)