The video camera of my dreams has received an upgrade. Welcome the Phantom Flex, capable of up to 1450fps at 2560x1600. @.@ Of course, that has its downsides, such as a 16GB cartridge getting filled, at that maximum rate, in 1.8 seconds. =:D But it's variable, and can be used at more routine framerates as well. Needless to say, this is a piece of equipment you either buy out of corporate or institutional need, or hire at around £2,000 a day. ^_^;
Just in case you hadn't heard: Doctor Who returns on Saturday, March 30 2013, in a Moffat tale. And Neil Gaiman's will, it appears, be named The Last Cyberman.
And in film: Brad Bird's next production has been titled "Tomorrowland" (formerly "1952"), with the director of photography from Life of Pi; and the director of the 2010 Pixar short, Day & Night, is working on a new project with the writer of Safety Not Guaranteed.
Finally got to see Wreck-It Ralph the other night - true, it's not the most challenging or surprising of storylines, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and want to be one of the Racers. ^_^ (Which led me to Hello Cosplay, offering an excellent range of cosplay-related wares, such as these Evangelion boots, all custom made. I'm wondering if they might be able to make up my favorite boots in SL..)
Everyone's already tried it, I'm sure, but just in case you've not noticed it yet: try a traceroute to 184.108.40.206. =:D
A photography competition some folks might be interested in, with the prize: "The winners and one accompanying guest will spend the day with the Wolf Trust Team learning about wolves and photographing the Trust’s ambassadors. Winners will have access to the photographic viewing areas and platform throughout the morning and then will join some of the wolves on their afternoon walk. The day will finish back at the Trust where the winners can watch the wolves being fed and will go away with a memento of their day. The overall winner will also receive a signed copy of Jim and Jamie Dutcher’s ‘Living With Wolves’ which will be presented to them by the UKWCT staff during the exclusive Photography Day on Saturday 12th October." The theme of the contest is "British Wildlife": "The competition is open to everyone with a camera and a passion for wildlife! We are looking to promote an eco-friendly ethos while out photographing wildlife in their natural environments." It's open for a while yet, so there's no hurry - entries close on Aug 5 2013. It's free to enter (one photo per entrant), though they do unfortunately claim the right to use any entries in publication or publicity.
And, there's the ZSL Animal Photography Prize, closing on April 15 2013, with category winners receiving £1,000. £5 to enter, one photo max per category.
I was a little saddened to notice, rather belatedly, that BART Plus tickets are, effectively, coming to an end. They'll still exist, but without being accepted by Muni, VTA, and SamTrans, now leaving just a few of the smaller agencies, it's relatively pointless. A pity, as previously it'd meant having unlimited use of most of them (excluding AC Transit, who dropped out of the scheme years ago) for a very modest fee. Instead, it's all Clipper Card, at whatever rate each agency charges per trip. That said, I see there are Muni passes available - monthly "A" passes for $74, also covering BART within the City, or the tourist-oriented Passport and CityPASS, for $28/week or $69 for 9 days respectively, the latter including admission to various attractions.
Potato Otter recently pointed out an amusing contrast in wielding blades. Compare this individual with axes with this rather more accomplished swordsman. =:D
Hey ho - I'll soon find out how much it might cost to have the old Tamron lens repaired. *sigh* It's since been mostly supplanted, of course, by the Nikkor 300mm f/4D for wildlife, and a 28-80mm for walkabout shots, but it would be nice to have it in full working order again, all the same. It's not especially good at the long end, but at the wider end, it's not a bad lens at all, and the stabilisation did work well, until it didn't. =:P (Joined not long after by its AF motor dying) It all depends how much it'd be, of course - there'd be no sense in spending a great deal on it, given it doesn't go for a huge amount used, let alone similar lenses with lesser reach. Anyway, I've sent it off to Tamron's repair agent for an estimate.
And lo - nope, not really practical. *sigh* They wanted £254, with a majority of that being, perhaps unsurprisingly, labor. That's about as much as a used similar model would cost, with a newer, silent wave motor, rather than the coffee grinder used in that model. Hey ho.
I recently realised the RAID box I've been using as my master repository for my photography files (a simple affair, with two 1.5TB drives mirrored in a dedicated enclosure) was full, and started on the tedious task of finding something reasonably cheap as a replacement or addition. After weeks of sifting through variously specified enclosures, and internal drives more expensive than externals (!), I realised - OS X can perform the RAID functionality. ^_^ So, three 3TB USB3 externals are on their way. (Two for the new RAID 1, one simply for extra network storage) Not sure what I'll do with the existing unit - I'll likely keep it around for a couple months, just to be sure the new drives don't flake out early. Beyond that, I may well sell it, as I don't really have much other need for highly resilient storage - Time Machine provides enough of a safeguard against internal drive failures, and the other externals are mostly just assorted media. As for where from, this time I looked around a little further, as I'm tending away from Amazon and their tax cheating ways. eBuyer were competitive, but CCL Computers, in Bradford, were about the cheapest, as well as offering delivery by DPD - easily the best courier service around - for a modest fee, or free delivery within a week or so via Yodel. I went with DPD, as I've always been impressed with their seemingly unique ability to keep the recipient in the loop, by email and SMS, rather than leaving it to you to check their tracking information. The day before delivery, they'll confirm they have it, and what day it's meant to arrive, along with options (on the SMS) to reply to ask for it to be left with a neighbor, delivered the next day, or a couple days later. Then on the day, they'll let you know a one hour slot in which they'll be delivering the package - so you're freed of the usual vagueness of "between 8am-6pm" beloved of the bigger names. And, as a welcome bonus, DPD runs a carbon-neutral scheme for all packages in their five main countries. Quite how companies the size of FedEx, UPS, and DHL either haven't realised, or can't be bothered, that giving people a vague "any time from the start to the end of the day" isn't much of a delivery window, puzzles me - so when a company offers DPD, that's a distinct bonus point. ^_^
However! There is an important caveat, which I only discovered after it bit me: when creating the RAID set under OS X, do not choose the 256K block option. If you do, you'll be greeted with a tastefully designed kernel panic as soon as the set is created, and as long as either drive is connected. (To recover, launch Drive Utility, and connect one of the drives. As soon as it appears in the sidebar, immediately erase it - you'll have perhaps ten seconds before the panic sets in; then the same for the other drive. Once done, you can create the RAID set with any other block size than 256K)
Just to finish off, how about the trailer for The Power of Few. It looks intriguingly quirky, with five threads weaving together, plus a certain highly appropriate actor who's pretty much a furry of some kind. ^_^ "Spies, cops, holy fools and well-armed children cross paths on a day of danger, mystery and possible transformation. 'The Power of Few' unfolds through the lives of five unusual characters who unknowingly are connected to an extraordinary smuggling operation on a day when religious conspiracy and urban crime collide." Supposedly it's out now - has anyone seen it? (Unfortunately, being an indie production, it's a very limited release, rather than one plastered across multiplexes)