Another nail in the coffin for 35mm film

Ethan pointed out to me this press release from Nikon UK that points out that Nikon Japan is getting rid of most 35mm SLR film bodies, all large-format lenses and enlarging lenses, many manual focus 35mm lenses and related accessories.

I emphasize the word “most” because many people are reading this as “all” when, in fact, the Nikon F6 is still being manufactured and sold worldwide along with the Nikon FM10 for some markets. The former is the latest (and possibly last) in a long line of 35mm cameras that people like me used to dream about owning as kids. The latter is an all-manual camera that has a special place in my heart because I hijacked an eyepiece from its grandfather, the FM2 to build my D70 eyecup replacement. Continue reading

Aperture 1.0.1 update

Drew mentioned that Apple released an update to Aperture. This is probably the first of many though don’t expect anything major:

  • White balance adjustment accuracy and performance
  • Image export quality
  • Book and print ordering reliability
  • Auto-stacking performance
  • Custom paper size handling

Aperture depends on the ImageIO Framework to do the file handling and Core Image to do the majority of the heavy lifting in the UI. So the largest changes should be expected when Apple updates the operating system, not Aperture.

Another war lost

It is sad that I have to resort to foreign outlets to be able to read a writeup of Iraq’s elections that is free of pundit sound-bites. That sadness is a different and deeper sort when I read the Independent’s analysis of the Iraqi election.

The neo-con justification for the Iraq War has always been to create a Reganesque “City on the Hill” for the Middle East and cause a reverse domino effect. Many of the brightest minds on the right were willing to sacrifice any means to create that end, even if it meant lying to us.

Though I worried this might be a March of Folly, I hoped I would be wrong. We put America on the path of an empire and all trajectory of all empires contains the fall of it. Maybe those who actually didn’t just use poly sci to fill a humanities elective would prove me to be naïve, for how could one college quarter of game theory compare to a lifetime of agenda setting? Continue reading

Setting opacity in CSS

Last week, I wanted to create a translucent layer to grey out functionality on the site. To do this, create a div that covers the window and set the background color to black.

But how to make it translucent? This webpage on CSS opacity covers how to do this and many other useful things:

.grey_background {
	background: black;
	filter:alpha(opacity=25);
	-moz-opacity:.25;
	opacity:.25;
}

The “filter” rule is for IE (taking advantage of a very old feature that dates back at least 5 years) and the “-moz-opacity” rule is no longer needed for newer versions of Firefox and Mozilla which support the CSS3 spec. Safari also supports the spec.

HP under new management

The business section of the Merc today has two articles on the front page about HP’s nascent recovery under interim CEO Mark Hurd.

So many people base their measure of a person on what they heard about them than the evidence staring them in the face of incompetence of their actions—people’s high opinion of ex-CEO Carly Fiorina is an example of that.

What I found so interest was not the articles themselves but in the inset graphics. One part of one inset was fascinating:

Where HP intends to grow

  • Distributed Computing: Companies increasingly are moving data off mainframes and onto distributed servers in multiple locations. HP sells servers and storage technology and services to help companies manage big computing tasks. It is also developing ways to automate data centers.
  • Mobile Computing: HP already develops mobile technology such as notebook and handheld computers. Security features and its management software will becoming increasingly important
  • Digital Printing: HP sells a wide range of printers for consumers and businesses, including pritners for digital cameras. It entered the commercial and industrial digital printing arena with acquisitions like Indico and Scitex and is also developing multifunction copiers/printers.

Continue reading

Adam Tow: Mac, mobile and photography

Annoture

I met Adam Tow only once, briefly at the Apple Store Palo Alto opening in 2001. He was on the roof next door taking photos of it.

From what little I know about him, he has three obsessions: Macs, mobile devices and photography. That gives him a special star in my book. So it should come as no surprise that he announced Annoture which allows round-tripping between Aperture and iView Media Pro. Continue reading