Saturday, March 17, 2018

My Disneyworld vacation - the food

No comments:
Part 3 of 3

This article describes all the great stuff we had to eat on our vacation. If you haven't gone to Disney World with a dining plan, you might be unaware of the fact that they have incredibly great restaurants all over the place. They're probably too expensive to go to if you're traveling on a budget, but I think they make the overall vacation experience so much better.

This article is a quick review of all the places we dined at on our vacation.

Friday, March 09, 2018

The Verge: Your nose isn’t really as big as it looks in selfies

No comments:
Your nose isn’t really as big as it looks in selfies
By Rachel Becker | @RA_Becks |

Noses in selfies may be smaller than they appear

Your nose isn’t actually as big as it looks in selfies, says facial plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover. So maybe hold off on that nose job — at least, until you’ve seen a decent portrait photo of yourself.

Last year, more than half of plastic surgeons were approached by patients who wanted to look better in selfies, according to a survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. But selfies don’t actually reflect what people look like in the flesh, says Paskhover, who works at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “They take out their phone and they say, ‘Look at this picture, look how big my nose looks,’” he says. “I went out to prove why selfies don’t look like the real person, why they’re distorted.”
...
Most smartphone cameras have wide-angle lenses, says The Verge’s creative director James Bareham, and close-ups with wide-angle lenses cause distortion that makes objects closer to the camera — like, say, a nose — look larger. “It’s kind of one of the basics of photography: don’t shoot portraits on a wide-angle lens because you will look terrible,” Bareham says

Seems pretty obvious now, but I'm sure I'm not the only non-photographer who was unaware of this fact.

I think phone manufacturers should take this into consideration. It's probably not best to use a wide-angle lens for the front ("selfie") camera, the way you do for the normal (back of the phone) camera. On the other hand, if you're holding at arm's length (or less) for taking a selfie or for video-chatting, a portrait lens might not be able to capture you're entire head.

I wonder if the advanced image processing software of a modern smart phone could correct these wide-angle lens effects. Given that there are already software packages for other kinds of lens corrections, this might be a viable option.

Is anyone at Apple or Google reading this? If you are, please take this article as a feature request on my part.

Friday, February 23, 2018

My Disneyworld vacation - the parks

No comments:
Part 2 of 3.

This article describes the things my wife and I did at the parks in Disney World.

This was not our first trip. It was my sixth (since the early 80's) and my wife's third trip. As such, there was no compelling desire to rush through and see everything as quickly as possible. We were both familiar with the main attractions and as such were able to focus on recent additions and our favorites.

With that in mind, here are the highlights of what we saw at each of the four parks.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

My Disneyworld vacation - overview

No comments:
Part 1 of 3

My wife and I just returned from a week vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was a great trip. A lot of fun, but unfortunately not without its share of headaches as well.

This article is the first of three, describing our trip. This one is an overview of the trip, discussing the planning, dining plans and travel. Subsequent articles will discuss what we did there and about the restaurants we ate at.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Washington Free Beacon: MSNBC Shows Error-Ridden Graphic on Trump’s Approval Rating

No comments:
MSNBC Shows Error-Ridden Graphic on Trump’s Approval Rating
BY: Katelyn Caralle,

Host Katy Tur said she usually does not like to "rely too heavily on numbers" but wanted to discuss this poll in particular.

But the graphic that appeared on screen, showing seven states and their corresponding approval and disapproval ratings for the president, was laden with errors.

According to the graphic, only two percent of Pennsylvanians approve of Trump's job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. The actual poll shows that 42 percent of Pennsylvania residents approve of the president.

Furthermore, five of the seven states' names on the MSNBC graphic were paired with the wrong image of a U.S. state.

Very embarrassing, especially given the fact that the previous day, MSNBC slammed the Republicans for a typo on invitations to the State Of The Union address.

You know what they say about people in glass houses...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nine (and a fraction) short movie reviews

No comments:
I recently had to take a business trip to Singapore. This is a very long trip from Virginia (about 24 hours each way, including a connection), and since I can never sleep much on a plane, I had the opportunity to watch a lot of movies. I ended up watching nine and drifted in and out of sleep watching a tenth.

Because I'm crazy enough to think others might want my opinion, here's the list of films, complete with trailers and my comments. No plot-summaries (you can follow the IMDB links and watch the trailers for that), just my random comments and opinions.

Enjoy

Thursday, January 18, 2018

GM to offer fully autonomous ride-sharing in 2019

No comments:
No pedal to the metal in GM's planned self-driving Cruise AV car
Nick Carey, Paul Lienert, Reuters, January 12, 2018 / 1:07 PM

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) is seeking U.S. government approval for a fully autonomous car - one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal - to enter the automaker’s first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019, executives said.
...
GM is part of a growing throng of vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and tech startups seeking to develop so-called robo-taxis over the next three years in North America, Europe and Asia. Most of those companies have one or more partners.
...
GM wants to control its own self-driving fleet partly because of the tremendous revenue potential it sees in selling related services, from e-commerce to infotainment, to consumers riding in those vehicles.

At a Nov. 30 briefing in San Francisco, GM’s Ammann told investors the lifetime revenue generation of one of its self-driving cars could eventually be “several hundred thousands of dollars.” That compares with the $30,000 on average that GM collects today for one of its vehicles, mostly derived from the initial sale.

GM’s Cruise AV is equipped with the automaker’s fourth-generation self-driving software and hardware, including 21 radars, 16 cameras and five lidars - sensing devices that use laser light to help autonomous cars “see” nearby objects and obstacles.

This is amazing. Two years from now, we will be seeing true driverless cars on the road, at least in some cities in the US. It may be a while before the tech matures enough to let us have this capability for ourselves - to own one and use it everywhere we currently drive, but this is still an incredible next step.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meteor lights up Michigan sky

No comments:
"Likely" meteor lights up sky over Michigan, National Weather Service says
By Peter Martinez, CBS News, January 16, 2018, 10:09 PM

The National Weather Service in Detroit said a flash seen over Michigan and the boom heard was not thunder or lightning -- but instead a likely meteor. According to CBS Detroit, residents have been calling in to report what some describe as a boom or blast heard just after 8 p.m.

That must've been a sight to see. I should get a dash-camera installed in my car, just in case something similar happens when I'm around.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Classical Music Mashup

No comments:
I just ran across this incredible set of mash-ups that combine lots of different pieces of classical music together. Thanks much to Grant Woolard for this really fun work.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

MacRumors: Source Code for Apple's Lisa Operating System to be Released for Free in 2018

No comments:
Source Code for Apple's Lisa Operating System to be Released for Free in 2018
Wednesday December 27, 2017 5:57 pm PST by Juli Clover

The Apple Lisa, released in 1983, was one of the first personal computers to come equipped with a graphical user interface, and soon the operating system that ran on the Lisa will available for free, courtesy of the Computer History Museum and Apple.

As noted by Gizmodo, Al Kossow, a software curator at the Computer History Museum, recently announced that both the source code for the Lisa operating system and the Lisa apps have been recovered. Apple is reviewing the source code, and once that's done, the museum will be releasing the code publicly.

This is really awesome news. Hopefully it will spur some people in the emulation community to make a Lisa emulator we can run on our modern computers under macOS, Windows and Linux. I, for one, would love to be able to try out this historic computer and compare the experience with what I remember from the early Macs, with the design ideas Jef Raskin developed, and other contemporary computer systems.