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Date: 2016-10-14 14:03 Security: public
Doctor Who is getting the Mr Men treatment - and it's all official. =:D

The kind of processing power we have, perfectly routinely, in our lives is really quite awesome, ne? Consider just panorama stitching - you can take dozens of photos, and have some program accurately spot matching points between them, with no instruction necessary, and warp them as necessary to make for a perfect match, even blending out differences between them, such as objects in motion. That's some fairly intensive processing - and yet, it's easily performed by any system in the home, and even on phones, to a more modest extent. Imagine trying to pull that off in the age of film!

For photographers: what apps do you use for HDR? I'm not thinking of overt HDR, so much as the more classical style, simply enhancing the extremes of range. AutoPano will perform such, but its design emphasis is really panoramas, where it does a particularly good job. I'd particularly like the ability to control the degree of contribution of the different exposures, to gain a look I'm comfortable with, given automatic HDR creations can often be dreadfully surreal. (And for me, that's not normally a bad thing =:)

Not really a story of import, as far as substance goes, beyond the fact that it's something that happened: Tim Cook met up with Shigeru Miyamoto, who can be described as influential in Nintendoland. =:)

An interesting little game idea: Really Bad Chess. "Chess is one of those games I always wished I enjoyed, but its commitment to beauty, elegance, and perfect balance always turned me away. Really Bad Chess removes these boring restrictions and flips chess on its head. As much as random pieces change the game in some ways, I was really surprised to notice how much the game remains the same, and how powerful some pieces are you've never truly struggled against a pawn until you've struggled against a pawn in the back row. For chess pros, Really Bad Chess will give you a new type of challenge the pieces & the moves are the same, but you'll have to throw out your openings and your understanding of normal patterns of play."

Sadly, I missed out on the recent New Scientist convention at the ExCeL - did anyone else I know go along? The roomie attended on Saturday, and it sounded like it lived up to every ounce of its promise, like a sci-fi con stuffed with much more of the "sci". =:) I'd hoped to get along, but the trip got in the way. Oh well. ^_^

Via huskyteer, a music video that's simply fun: TMBG, Walking My Cat Named Dog.

Here's a look around the Bay Area, in a 360 degree panorama from Inspiration Point. You reach it by half-killing yourself clambering up the peak from Nimitz Way, which is a gorgeous walk (across one of many different routes through Tilden Nature Area) from the ridgeline above Berkeley, which you can easily reach courtesy of the 65 or 67 AC Transit buses departing from the stops by the downtown Berkeley BART. (Note that during weekends, the 67 dips down into the park, but also ends earlier - about 7pm) I'd very much recommend viewing the full size version fullscreen, for a better feel for just how large the view is. ^_^ (And even that version isn't the full size - the stitched output from AutoPano Giga 3 is 50926 x 7808. Very temping to try printing that out.. hm. At 300dpi, that'd make.. just over 14' x 2' =:)

And if you'd prefer something more subdued, but no less grand, head on over here for a gorgeous pre-sunrise in Colorado, courtesy of kishenehn. ^_^

Yay! Just managed to renew my LJ account for another year. (Am I right in thinking LJ hasn't offered permanent accounts in a while now? I know they've only ever been available for limited periods now and then, but I haven't seen that in a few years now) Always a nice sort of feeling to have that squared away.
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Thanks. ^_^ That was a wonderful afternoon indeed. I'd been worried I might not have time, as I didn't actually get off my tail until something like 1.30pm - add in a little time to get to BART, then over to Berkeley, then up on the 67.. and I recalled one occasion back in 2011 when I wound up missing the last bus back, making for quite an extra walk, on top of having been tromping around all afternoon up and down the hills. ^_^; But it worked! Got to the welcome center about 2.30pm, where I had the forethought to pick up two cans of apple juice (which were very welcome - first one halfway up, second once I reached Nimitz Way), and reached my target somewhere around 4.30pm, thankfully not needing to hurry along the way - the views all the way were just gorgeous. (I must post a few! Of course, you can't really capture the expanse, the sense of having that majesty all around, but it's fun to try)

Oh, indeed, there are some superb views around - I've got a few shots from the ferry from SF to Alameda, including some panoramas I need to try stitching together, and another from Inspiration Point, but with the 300mm, looking down upon the distant Golden Gate Bridge, bathed in the late afternoon's glow. I didn't get back to the peaks along San Bruno Mountain Park this time, but, I certainly don't intend to leave it anywhere near as long until my next orbit. ^_^

Mmm, I know the feeling.. it's a deeply fascinating game, but that ability to see the game several moves deep - maybe I'm wrong, but that seems like a relatively rare talent. Of course, there's nothing to say you need to be good at a game to enjoy it - I love pinball, even if I'm mostly quite hopeless with any table you'd care to name. =:) That said, I'm approaching okayness with Scrabble - that's an iOS title I revisit on the iPad several times a day, albeit always on just the "Normal" difficulty mode. Go up to "Expert", and it takes its virtual gloves off - you'd never realise how many arcane seven letter words exist. =:) Still, I can usually manage to surpass the 350 point level, though there are the inevitable games where the letters just aren't coming, or in clumps of all syllables or all vowels. =:P Backgammon's also proven to be good fun, though sometimes intensely frustrating, when a seemingly overwhelmingly good position suddenly crumbles as the iPad gets just the roll it needs to escape, and maybe trap me in the process. (FWIW, I use iGammon - a fairly old app, and might not even still be on iTunes any longer, but it plays a decent game, and importantly, the animations are fast, and the way in which it implements the usual "can only drop a piece in these positions, given the dice roll" feature means it's possible to play a game quite rapidly. But, it has no facility for playing against others remotely, nor any means to save particularly fun games, where maybe the lead's swapped around a few times, eventually resulting in a hefty victory =:)

I wish I'd still had the rooftop access as in 2011 - there was quite a nighttime cityscape from there, down in North Beach, by the park. I do have a couple shots, but the tripod I was using was a very cheap affair, and conducted the street vibrations a bit too well for really sharp results. (Hmm. Nope, I don't have that one up on Flickr yet)