6 months to a better Iraq

During the boom, if you asked any startup in the Valley when they planned on going public they’d tell you “about 18 months.”

Come back in 18 months and you’d hear the same talk. This continued until IPO’s become radioactive. Post boom you hear these same people espouse having a “path to profitability,” which is a sure barometer for the fact that they actually have no such plan.

After working at four startups, I can see clearly from the inside that most of these strategies are wishful thinking tied together with two matchsticks: that’s why luck is so important.

A lot of startup people spend an inordinate amount of time messing with their Excel spreadsheets of revenue and growth projections until the numbers say they’re going to be profitable. When you read, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” a startup person knows this is what you get when you elect a CEO president: someone simply forgot to prefix the word “failed” in front of his title.
Continue reading 6 months to a better Iraq

My Human Race

Human Race logo

Last Saturday I took some photos at the Human Race, this was my first attempt at sport photography, something my camera (and background) is not suited for at all. I learned a lot of things that day, mostly about how stupid a photographer I am.

Caitlin was the official videographer of the event and I tagged along in order to practice some sport and candid photography.

What follows is a discussion of that and as time goes on, I’ll post and process more photos. If you can’t wait, you can view the view the official photographs or look at Caitlin’s set of the photos I took.

[more discussion after the jump]Continue reading My Human Race

Is my camera “professional”?

A recent thread on Flickr about the unavailability of the D70s devolved into a question about whether the Nikon D70 is a “professional” camera or not.

It started with an comment by davehodg: “The camera is the hammer, the photographer is the craftsman.”

A point I agree with.

sam_ fired back: “Nikon currently produces five digital SLR models, including two “professional” models and three intended for consumers. The professional models include the D2X and D2Hs. While the consumer models include the D50, D70s and D200. Regardless of your personal opinion davehodg, this is how Nikon markets the mentioned cameras.”

A point I also agree with.

Then a whole slew of posts followed using durability to distinguish professional and non-professional cameras.
Continue reading Is my camera “professional”?

APS-C videocameras

Caitlin talks about a particular dream of hers: high-definition APS-C sensor videocameras in two articles: here and here, including the much-awaited mention of Sony’s new CMOS sensor.

I’ll go even a step further. I think that such a manufacturer should standardized on a modified Nikon F, Canon EF-S, or Olympus 4/3 (if 4/3″ instead of APS-C) mount. This way, out of the box, a whole set of lenses will work with such a camera and they can still make gobs of money on their own custom “kit” lenses that allow zoom control (and other features cinematographers need but film camera lenses don’t have).Continue reading more about large sensor video cameras after the jump

So this is what passes for Creative-ity in the music player market

If you remember from an earlier post, I pointed out that Creative’s strategy just doesn’t understand the iPod market. With over $1 billion in iPod-related accessories sold last year alone, the iPod is not just a device, it is a platform.

It seems Creative has given up trying to compete with Apple, and is suing Apple on the “Zen Patent.” This smacks of desperation to me.

One thing not noted by a lot of blogs linking this lawsuit: although the patent was only recently awarded, Creative applied for this patent before the iPod existed (they applied for the patent in January 2001, the iPod was released that October). Back then, Creative had the Nomad: a shitty player if there ever was one—I borrowed a friends at the time and decided to stick with my Rio and wait it out. It was probably the first hard-drive based MP3 player (there may have been one other).

It is fine debating prior-art and the triviality of the patent (how else are you going to navigate a hierarchical menu except sequentially?), but don’t dismiss the lawsuit out-of-hand.Continue reading So this is what passes for Creative-ity in the music player market

The best advertising database in the world

It’s making the news now and really should have come as no surprise if you have been following the news. It’s a reducto ad absurdum of the Administration’s “creative” interpretation of the Constitution.

If you parse the up-to-date denials and spin, you will see they’re not denying it. The only claim is that the profiles are anonymous. Their interpretation of the law seems to be as long as its not tied to your social security number, no warrant is needed and the 4th is not violated. (There is this separation in their minds between “unreasonable search and seisure” and “probable cause” along the lines of “these are terrorists, this is war, it is not unreasonable to search these records without warrants in times of war.)

I’m not interesting in talking about the legality of that. Instead I want to think about two things: 1) Why the outrage now? 2) Even if you take the most restrictive definition of what that database does, how useful is it?

Continue reading The best advertising database in the world

Noise as a GUID

An interesting article from the Discovery Channel about using noise to match digital images to the camera that shot it in much the same way bullet markings can be used to match to the gun that fired it.

My Nikon D70 has a really hot pixel in the lower left of the sensor (upper right). And D70’s in general on long exposures have a large amount of dark current digital noise in a distinct area caused by off-chip processing unit heating up.

The only problem I see is when one applies statistical noise reduction processing on the image (a la Neat Image or NoiseNinja), it should make noise identification very difficult. Heck, even in-camera noise reduction should make this hard? I wonder the impact of long exposure NR in my camera.Continue reading Noise as a GUID

Applying common sense to what you read

As has been mentioned many times on the blogs already, The Apple v. Apple lawsuit ended in favor of Apple Computer.

And to everyone who claimed that that Apple Corps were sure to win, I’d like to point out more of us need to do a common sense parse of the news we read.

Look, if Apple Computer actually expected to lose this lawsuit do you think they would have merged their countersuit in California (home turf) into the one in Great Britain (enemy turf)? Did you miss the part where Apple didn’t “lose” the last two lawsuits, but settled? That because they were settled, people could only deduce the implications of the settlement and nobody besides the two Apples and the judge actually could actually be qualified to make a ruling?
Continue reading Applying common sense to what you read