Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine's Day Solar Flare

I missed this class X solar flare that erupted on Monday.

IMAX 3D Still Isn't Worth It

We saw Tron Legacy last weekend and I've concluded that IMAX 3D still isn't worth it.  I had actually already decided not to see any more IMAX 3D movies but, because I heard a recommendation that Tron was particularly worth it, I tried it again.

It wasn't.  The movie was okay, as most reviews said, but the 3D was terrible and just in the way.  Maybe something was wrong with my glasses, but I tried another pair with no improvement.  There were multiple reflections of high contrast images, bright white on black, off axis.  I suspect this might have been a result of 3D glasses over my regular glasses, but I never noticed it before.   There is a lot of high-contrast coloring in Tron.

Still the biggest problem is that 3D makes a giant, five-story-tall IMAX screen look like a small screen in front of you.  This is necessarily true since it's a property of 3D photography.  I still love the IMAX experience of the giant screen and the incredible sound.  3D simply destroys the giant screen experience.

I'll grant that Avatar was really amazing in IMAX 3D, but I don't intend to see another IMAX 3D movie regardless of what people say.  From now on when I make the rare trip into a movie theatre, I'll seek out the digital, e.g., DLP, high-resolution projections and will avoid 3D altogether for the most part.

Google Art Project

I finally got around to spending a little time looking at the amazing Google Art Project.  Zoomable, high-resoution images allow you to zoom down to the cracks and brush strokes.  Street view techniques let you walk through virtual representations of great museums of the world and look at the exhibited pieces.

Friday, February 18, 2011

In The World of Firesheep

When in a hotel room, it's nice to be able to use your Android Nexus S to set up your own private, secure wifi network to use your laptop on.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Planet Tyche?

Four Jupiters and out in the Oort cloud.   It's possible that WISE could detect such a planet if it exists, according to Mike Brown in this Universe Today article.

My first response to seeing the tweet for this article was to say, Bah!, Humbug!, and ignore it.  However, this theoretical outer body has some basis in patterns of comet orbits.

Actually, the most fascinating part of the article is the diagram.  Look how evenly spaced the planets appear when put on a log scale!   (Well, yes, with Uranus omitted).

Image originally from NASA/JPL.

Phantom of the Floppera

[VIDEO] You have to love a computer with three power switches on front.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HP Desktop Computer (Refurb) $99

HP Compaq DC5750 Desktop, Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0 GHz, 1GB,80GB, DVD-Rom, Windows XP Pro - Refurbished at Buy.com,  if you need a cheap, desktop.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

OO Design for Testability

An excellent talk by Misko Hevery on writing OO code to make it easier to test—highly recommended if you are an OO programmer in any language.

3D Will Never Work

Walter Murch explains to Roger Ebert why 3D movies will never succeed due to the physical realities not matching what our eyes and brains expect.  It's quite simple when you think about it.  In a 3D movie, our eyes aren't focusing on the point they are converging on.

The secondary effects he mentions I've already noted myself, e.g., the 3D view makes the screen effectively smaller.  I've already concluded it's a waste to watch a 3D move on IMAX for that reason.  Scott Wilkinson aruges effectively that 3D IMAX is worth it because the resolution is higher, they use two projectors making the resulting movie brighter, and the screen is more likely to fill more of your field of view.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

IPv4 Countdown

Follow the depletion of unallocated IPv4 addresses at @ipv4countdown.

Bing Copying Google Search Results?

Danny Sullivan on Search Engine Land tells the story of how “Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.”