Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Millionare

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Sometime over the last 24 hours, I clocked the millionth view of my photos at flickr.  Which doesn’t include the punk picture from funkaspuck.  Technology empowers us in ways our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.  How long did it take Ansel Adams to get a million views of his photographs?  How much harder did he have to work for those million views?  And how much more time did each of those views last, compared to those I’m “counting”?

Modern marvels of bandaging

Monday, May 6th, 2013

After a recent motorcycle accident, I’ve been dealing with a wounded knee, and the joys of trying to keep a moving joint clear and clean.  Two modern miracles of medicine have made this process much easier than it used to be.  The first is ‘the goop’ of modern antibiotic gels.  Keeping the damaged area moist yet free of infection has led to faster recovery and none of the itchy scabs of childhood.  But of course, to keep things moist, without turning into nastiness, means a bandage to cover the wound.  At far too large for any sort of band-aid, we are into the realm of rectangles of gauze and tape, which is where modern materials are again making the difference.  The non-stick pads are impressive in their ability to absorb body-fluids, and yet not pull away healing skin when their time is done, but the real ‘stars’ are the new non-stick tapes.  The first brand I bought was first-name (Johnson & Johnson), and seemed good enough, definitely not sticking to skin/hairs, and doing an OK job of being re-position-able, but with very strict parameters on re-use…even slight soiling left the tape unable to stick to itself again.  The second brand I tried was pharmacy-store-branded (Rite-Aid), and seemed equivalent to the name-brand; good for first usage, but of limited value for a second application.  The final brand I’ve tried is grocery-store-branded (Kroger), and is certainly the cheapest in many respects, and yet the most desirable for actual usage.  Unlike the more expensive brands, there’s zero possibility of re-using the tape, or even re-positioning a mistake during application; this tape practically fuses with itself, which means it stays on, but also means you can’t undo it without scissors….but it’s so cheap, it’s totally OK to toss after just one use.

Science ignorance abounds

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I was visiting a friend, who had other friends of  his over as well, and we are watching football on TV.  An advertisement for a cell phone comes on, which mentions DNA, and one of the FOAF’s says something about how he’d never even touch one of those phones, or else the government would have his DNA on file and be able to ????  That part wasn’t clear.  As the discussion went on, what was clear, with each mention of a technology, real or imagined, that they thought could be used against them, was how little they understood, what is science-fiction, and what is actual science.

I used to get very frustrated, and try to explain things to people.  Now I just smile and nod, and blog about it later.  I don’t have so many stomach problems anymore.

King David’s Spaceship

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

The first time I tried to read this book, I nearly burnt down a motel in New Zealand, because I was so into reading the book, I didn’t notice a fire on the stove until my Dad came into the kitchen yelling at me (and taking away the book).

I am quite certain I did eventually finish it, though I don’t remember when.

This time reading through, I’m noticing a few things I didn’t think about before, like how much of a ‘sci-fi’ novel is really just a historical military fiction, set in a far away place, but otherwise basically low-tech. The other part that’s standing out is an assertion near the end, wherein the authors basically say that the end of the age of slavery had more to do with the technology of the horse collar, than it did with any societal change of heart over the treatment of fellow mankind.

That and I really need to get around to reading the mainline of the Moties books.

Dream Head (unit)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Car stereo that connects to ipod as if it were a bluetooth headset.

There are lots of car stereos that will act as a speakerphone for your iphone.  I want to be able to get in my car, hit the blue-connect button on my car stereo, and start playing music from the ipad, without having to take it out of my gear-bag, just like how it auto-plays when I turn on my bluetooth headset.

Advantage of a webcam mirror…

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Thanks to the delay caused by the computer, unlike a real mirror, you can see yourself with your eyes closed =p

Killer iPad Accessory to-be

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Please oh please, let someone build a set of stereo bluetooth headphones that are:

a) waterproof enough to go lake kayaking with.  no significant immersion, just occasional splashes…and I guess roll-overs for newbies =p

b) comfortable for someone wearing glasses and a hat.  I found a non-waterproof pair of headphones; they sound nice, but crush my glasses into my ears in a way that discourages usage.  They still look more comfortable that the only other option on sale.  I’m hopeful that the magic Chinese gods of consumer goods will come thru sooner than later.

New Camera (Nikon D90) for Christmas

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

My big self-gift for the year is my first proper Digital SLR.    Back in the long ago days, I had a film SLR, even got paid to take pictures with it for a while.

When digital came around, I held off on buying a decent camera, in hopes that they would eventually make replacement back-frames for my existing camera, so I could upgrade to digital without changing the basic hardware.  Well, despite some initial positive press, that market never seemed to come together.  In the meantime, I bought a series of mid-range digital point and shoot cameras that did a good enough job.  The last one was even waterproof, so I could take it everywhere.  But I missed the control and expandability of the SLR.

Tempted by Best Buy’s 18 months no interest deal, I finally settled on the Nikon D90.  I got a package deal, with a decent wide-to-zoom lens, and a proper zoom-to-super-zoom lens.  I haven’t had a chance yet to do any significant shooting with it, the size and weight are too much for any bag I’ve got currently, and the bag that came with the package, while fitting the body and two lenses inside, does so in an ungainly and annoying way.  You can’t store all the items in the bag if any lens is actually attached to the camera, and with my cat and his fur, I hate the idea of having to open and close the body up so often.

It’s odd, how much heavier and bulky the digital cameras are, versus the old school film SLR.

The coolest thing I’ve discovered about the camera so far is the depth of data it adds to the EXIF.  Amongst the many bits of data it records and stores with an image is something called “Focal Length In35mm Format”.

So tempted to get the little GPS dongle.

UPDATE:  Finally got word back from Nikon tech support, they are aware that months after Snow Leopard was released, they still don’t have a compatible version of their RAW format viewer program, ViewNX.  They do have it scheduled for release by the end of January 2010.   Strikes me as an annoyingly pathetic effort on their part, but then again, I noticed that some part of their program is still written in PowerPC code, and requires Rosetta installed to run.  Sounds like they really don’t give much attention to their software devs outside the camera.  I can only hope they show more care with the software inside the camera, though without a way to use the RAW images, it’s all an exercise in futility.  If you are thinking of buying a Nikon D90 for someone this year (who has a MAC, and Snow Leopard), don’t bother, they aren’t ready for you yet, and you will only annoy the person you give it to.

UPDATE2:  Major points against the Nikon tech support drone “David”, who failed to mention that Apple’s own photo programs have support for the NEF format used by the D90.  That’s the difference between quality support, who goes the extra 2 inches, not even a mile, to find a workaround, and the kind of crap support you get from Nikon, where they just want to find the quickest way to close out your question, regardless of how helpful the answer is to fixing the problem.  Another reason not to buy from Nikon this year.

Obsolete Tech Lives On

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I wonder how many kids will ask their parents why there’s a bump on the back of the Tivo plush doll, having grown up in a world with CRTs, and their range-requiring electron guns.

The Kool-Aid Tastes Good

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

I have tasted the Kool-Aid, and I have to admit, it’s a pretty tasty beverage.  I’m not talking the real kool-aid, I’m talking the metaphorical, in this case, the Apple-way.  I picked up an airport express, and spent the $10 to get access to the app store for my touch.  I have to admit, while there were some problems getting it all set up, once it was, it just works.

Finally, I can listen to the same music in the bathroom, as I am in the living room.  It’s synchronized, no distortion, no static, just music.  And the itouch’s remote software lets me select, pause, and rate music from anywhere in the apartment.  If only they had a built-in time-shifting plug-in for audio.  I guess life can’t be totally perfect.

Random seems really unrandom, but maybe that’s because I haven’t loaded so much music in yet.