Domestic spying reframed

The new watchword is to replace “domestic spying” with “Terrorist Surveillance”. It consisted of a three-pronged assault of the news: Bush speaking at Kansas, A.G. Alberto Gonzales speaking at Georgetown University Law Center, and Karl Rove speaking at the Republican National Committee.

I won’t get into a defense or attack about this issue because it won’t convince anyone—we’ll rationalize our own view even in the face of facts.

Instead I don’t think this new frame will work. To me, at least, “domestic spying” sounds a lot more catchy than “terrorist surveillance” Continue reading

Fake or Photo fun

A fun discussion on Flickr pointed me to this site that contains a quiz where you guess images as “fake” or “photo”?

Is it Fake or Foto?

The site is sponsored by Alias, they have been the king of 3D graphics for many years now. I remember visiting my friend at Alias/Wavefront’s offices in Santa Barbara (back when they were a division of SGI) and seeing all the movies posters up on the walls there—each one had parts that were rendered with their software.

If you take the quiz and get a 10/10, there is a 4 question bonus round. Continue reading

Canon’s 30 millionth

DPReview posted that Canon built their 30 millionth EF lens. This is quite a feat since they only introduced the mount in 1987 (a new mount to go along with a new “EOS” body which added Minolta’s auto-focusing ideas into their previous auto-exposure (AE) design), just under twenty years ago. This is great stuff!

Canon EF lens lineup

“Canon lens lineup” by Canon USA

For reference, Nikon built their 30 millionth in 2001 and introduced that mount in 1959, or just over forty years. Continue reading

Scanning resolution…

Canon 9950F

Here is a question I received today:

We’re planning to buy the 35mm film negatives from our wedding photographer, and we would like to have them scanned into digital format (as a back-up, and so friends/family can order prints). A friend of a friend offered to help us out—and “scan them at 16-bit resolution” for free.
Does that refer to bit depth (i.e. 65,536 colors) – or something else?
Would 11″x14″ prints from a “16-bit resolution” scan look ok?

Continue reading

Moving to the Front Row

I’m always amazed that so many Mac users haven’t seen Front Row just because it is installed only on an iMac (G5 and Core Duo).

Now that the MacBook Pro is out with the Front Row installed, I recalled that there was some way to hack other Macs to run the software. I wondered what the status was and a quick web search shows that it is alive and well.

Following the instructions, I got it working on my Powerbook G4. As you can see from the video, it is a little sluggish when you are running it and SnapzPro to record it, and I think it may be related to some issues I might have with DVD Player crashing the first time I launch it. But other than that, the behavior is full of the usual Apple eye-candy goodness.

“Moving to the Front Row” by me
Front Row running on a Macintosh Powerbook G4 (sped up 2x).

Continue reading

Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year eCard - Dog 06
“Dog ’06” by Mnemonix

Michael Rowley whom I know from work designed some kick butt Chinese New Year images for Plaxo eCards. You can check them out here (they’re the one’s marked “new”).

He uses his mad pict-o-graphics skills on one of them. There is another clever one from with an image kindly provided by Marya Figueroa. Look for them.

I can’t wait to see more.

They’re all premium cards but you can send them via a 30 day free trial.

BTW, Chinese New Year is on January 29th, 2006, so you can postdate your e-cards to send on that day. (I really should make that automatic in a future release.)

Feeding the Canon trolls

I hate how nearly every discussion that mentions Canon and Nikon in the same breath degenerates into a pissing contest. Yes, I’ve been guilty of this myself, but I like to think my rants are of a different quality than mindless cheering of “my team.”

Having said that, I wanted to piss on another troll here in my blog, because of something I read in this Flickr thread. It is typical of many things I’ve seen spouted. Continue reading