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So, you may be asking yourself, "What kind of things can I find on aDeepBlue.com"? Well a little bit of everything. If you are an Adobe developer, you will find information about ColdFusion and Flex. You might like my pictures. You might see some design work that I find interesting, or just a link I came across that I want to share. Whatever it is, you can rest assured it is most likely nerdy and hopefully interesting.
Great article by James Duncan Davidson about why at large apertures the focus and recompose doesn't work the way you might think. This is why the 1Ds Mark III has a 45-point autofocus system, and why some are not happy about the new 5D Mark II's 9-point autofocus. Also, make sure you check out the depth-of-field calculator that he links to at the bottom.
This has got to be one of the best ideas I have come across in a while. From the New York Times:
But first he had to get there alive. He parked his car a couple of blocks away and started the treacherous walk, his only friend of late tucked under his black shirt, a curiously damp bulge.
His yellow-and-orange Uzi-style squirt gun.
Mr. Deane, a freelance audiovisual technician, was becoming a player to be reckoned with in this year’s StreetWars tournament. With only a few days left, he stood a fighting chance at being the last person standing, the $500 prize in one hand and his dripping gun in the other. But with the pool dwindling, his own would-be killer could not be far.
More on Mechanical Turk later, but the basic idea here is that they paid 1 cent a piece for 10000 small drawings of a section of a $100 bill. Each person working on the project was unaware of the end result, just seeing an image and trying to match it themselves. This is the result. Make sure you check out the interactive bill. There were several results that were not great, but overall it looks like a very positive response and the final result is very convincing at a macro level.
So they take a Lebanese weevil petrified in amber, open it up, find yeast in its stomach from a very long time ago, and they take it and grow it and brew beer from it, which several describe as spicy. Yeah, that's not strange at all.
Very well done for someone who really isn't a videographer. But the real star here is the quality of this video. Remember that this is not manipulated in any way except that it is resized down to 1/4 of the original size. Also see the behind the scenes video of how it was made. Very exciting stuff. It really does make that $2700 price point very compelling.
Apparently some new fad going around to walk on a treadmill while working. Interesting concept, although I would think you would get tired pretty quickly. I would like to try it though just once to see how it went. You would probably feel better throughout the day.
As someone who values their sleep and appreciates quality bedding, this is good information.
In a quality product, the incremental comfort value of increasing thread count over 300 is very little. A 300 thread count can feel far superior to a 1000 thread count. Thread count has become a simple metric used by marketing people to capture interest and impress with high numbers. The problem with mass produced high thread count sheets is that to keep the price down, important elements of quality must be sacrificed, meaning in the end the customer gets a product with an impressive thread count but that probably feels no better (or even worse) than something with a lower thread count.
Some of the nicest sheets I own are some of the lowest thread counts. But after reading that article, who knew there were so much jargon around sheets...
I can't really try it out right now, but this seems pretty impressive. Analyzing the audio of candidate speeches to find clips of them actually saying something and putting it all into a search engine. Google really is trying to take over the world...
Try this out and let me know what you think. How well does it really work?
PDF Warning. Article from 2006 by Maureen Stone. If you are ever designing data visualization (charts, graphs, infographics, etc) the colors you choose for your data sets are very important. It is amazing how wrong some software such as excel gets this right out of the box.
Now this is what I am talking about! A full frame 21MP sensor, 1080p HD video and ISO 25,600 equivalent mode are the headline specs. This is the link to the dpreview hands on preview. At a suggested retail price of US$2,699 it really is a bargain, even though that means I probably wont have one for a while. More on this later after I have had a chance to read more.
Another home furnishings design that is pretty cool. I wish I would have had these back when I was a kid, it would have been a lot of fun. I like the concept picture better than the actual sandbags though. They don't need the edge on them. It would be a lot of materials, but it would be great for nerf wars...
I don't really condone graffiti, but this stuff is remarkably well done. It is by an British, pseudo-anonymous artist named Banksy. A website of his work lists his manifesto. Certainly thought provoking if nothing else.
Originally seen on Reddit, it seems that GIMPS or the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search has found two Mersenne Primes in the last couple of months. The verification of the first has not been completed before the second one was found. They haven't even released the numbers yet but this is quite impressive. According to wikipedia the last Mersenne prime that was found was back in 2006. So two years to find one, but then less than a month to find the next. Also, it is likely that both of these numbers have over 10 Million digits, the first Mersenne primes to have that many.
If you are unfamiliar with Mersenne primes, they are prime numbers that are one less than a power of two. 3, 7 and 31 are the first three. They are useful in cryptography and other maths, but are also useful for finding Perfect Numbers.
Congrats to the GIMPS team and here's hoping that the verification goes smoothly.
And then once you are done thinking to yourself how crazy this really is, realize that this is basically an add for fashion week. Apparently Adam Kimmel the designer of the suits had this done. I would rather watch this than some anorexic model walk down a runway, but still, this is what you call taking it to the next level. Check out this topo map of the route they took. They had to be doing at least 60mph easy. Anyone good with math and timing like that enough to figure it out for sure?
So, who wants to help me make a video like this?;)
Suppose you're on a game show and you're given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. The car and the goats were placed randomly behind the doors before the show. The rules of the game show are as follows: After you have chosen a door, the door remains closed for the time being. The game show host, Monty Hall, who knows what is behind the doors, now has to open one of the two remaining doors, and the door he opens must have a goat behind it. If both remaining doors have goats behind them, he chooses one randomly. After Monty Hall opens a door with a goat, he will ask you to decide whether you want to stay with your first choice or to switch to the last remaining door. Imagine that you chose Door 1 and the host opens Door 3, which has a goat. He then asks you "Do you want to switch to Door Number 2?" Is it to your advantage to change your choice?
If you think you know the answer, follow the link to the wikipedia entry to find out for sure. But I will warn you, most people, even mathematically inclined individuals get this wrong the first time.
As a follow-up to the previous lexigraphical exercise (and I think its great that my spell-checker does not know the word lexigraphical), Erin McKean also wrote an article for boston.com. I completely agree with her, just because you can't use it in scrabble, doesn't mean that it isn't valid for speech or print. As long as it gets the meaning across to the consumer, who cares?
Are there any words that you or your friends have come up with that has entered into your daily speech or writings that aren't really part of the bonafide English language?
If you are not familiar with TED Talks this is a great way to be introduced. Erin McKean discusses the English language and the dictionary as we know it. Plus you get to hear a lot of really great words like lexigraphically.
A new study out studying the placebo effect in depression patients:
The number of patients entering the continuation phase and percentages relapsing during this phase were determined. Based on the total number of patients entering the continuation phase 79% of placebo responders remained well (did not meet relapse criteria) during this phase compared to 93% of antidepressant responders.
The Placebo effect has always been something that has interested me. The ability of suggestion to modify our experiences that much is striking. I don't believe these people are making up their depression symptoms in the first place and so if we acknowledge that, the only explanation is that it is our own minds and consciousness doing this to us, and that we have the ability to turn it on and off. That is a powerful statement.
"The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago," said Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel said.
"There is speculation that we may be approaching an inflection point where the rate of technology advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason, in the not so distant future."
Everyone that has ever seen me shoot pictures always comments on how many pictures I take and how few pictures I actually end up with. With digital photography today, you can shoot hundreds, even thousands of images an hour without really thinking about it, for relatively cheap. Here is a link where Vincel Laforet talks about how many images he shot at the Olympics. This does not surprise me at all. Sure, its not fun going through all of those images, but you would certainly rather have too many than not enough.
Last week, Google release Chrome, their new web browser. My initial note about it's release can be found here. Google came to play with this release and after using it for a week or so I wanted to weigh in with a little more information. Here is a little bit more of a review.
What happens when you try to cut corners to save a couple of bucks? You turn the polar bears green. I admit that I don't change my fish's water as often as I should, but you would have thought they would have noticed the bears turning shades a little before it got that bad.
The experiment went like this: 10 basketball players, 10 coaches and 10 sportswriters, plus a group of complete basketball novices watched a video clip of a player attempting a free throw. Not surprisingly, the players were significantly better at predicting whether or not the shot would go in. While they got it right more than two-thirds of the time, the non-playing experts (i.e., the coaches and writers) only got it right 44 percent of the time.
Pretty cool stuff, but not all that surprising. Still, the idea that the empathy of the person watching can be that accurate, even through video (or video game maybe? or film?) is impressive.
Google Chrome has been released, to much fanfare and much grumbling. After using it for about a day, both at work and at home, I am happy to report that I am very pleased. I had a little trouble importing my bookmarks into chrome from firefox at work but had no trouble at home and finally got them in at work as well. The browser is very fast and although there seems to be a few rendering issues with images it is overall very mature for a google product we only heard about a couple of days ago. I will follow up with a better write up after using it a little more, but I will recommend downloading it and trying it out if you have the slightest curiosity. It is worth the try.
I will put out a better review later next week after some more usage, but in the meantime, those of you that have tried it, let me know what you think.
Just a quick note that Google is finally going to do it. Today they are supposed to release the beta of their own browser. Built on webkit, and with plenty of new and some might say revolutionary ideas, it should definitely be something to watch. I will update later on when it gets released and post some initial impressions.
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