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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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
That photo is absolutely amazing! And thank you for the shout-out. :)

I got my Permanent Account way back in 2005, and as far as I know that was the last time they ever offered them. Best $150 I ever spent.
Thanks! ^_^ I really must continue to review the rest of them, of course. I ought to put up a bit of a.. well, maybe not so much a travelogue, so much as just photos of some kind of significance. One I know must be present is my sake bento. =:) It had lain unused, waiting, for a bit over five years. I was.. well, delighted to be able to surprise Charlie, the chef, at said sushi bar (and pause to dab away the tears =:). I wouldn't claim it's the absolute pinnacle of sushi, but - it's a good place, and we always leave happy, which is what good food's all about, ne?

Aah, I so wish I'd been able to hop onto that! That must've been earlier in the year - if it'd been September or later, I'd surely have taken advantage of the opportunity. What icon limits come with a permanent account? As is, I pay for the account, and two 70-icon packs, so it's about $40-45/year. (I've always enjoyed that aspect of LJ: there's so much one can say in just an icon, even before you're typing, or someone's reading your words)

I think if they did happen to open up such sales again (though I suppose I don't expect them to do so), I'd leap at it. I've been on LJ since 2003, and I don't see myself leaving. It's certainly true there's been churn, especially around 2008-2009, which saw quite a few furries depart LJ, but - I actually seem to find myself spending much the same amount of time keeping up with LJ as even then. And FSM knows, I've met some amazing people as a result of being here. ^_^

Out of random curiosity, when did you take up photography? For me, it's been quite a slowly simmering thing - I'd always borrow Dad's simple 35mm when travelling, but of course, that could only do so much; likewise the holiday 110 affairs. It sort of got started, for me, with a hand-me-down Canon A200 from a LJ friend who's since left. Fixed focus ("prime lens" is perhaps overstating it =:), horrible battery life, but good enough for wandering around and capturing scenes. When the next gig came along, I borrowed a co-worker's bridge zoom, and explored what was possible with that, soon picking up a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 superzoom, which helped get me into wildlife photography - enough reach, but with poor higher ISO performance, and no manual control over shutter speed. Then, one day, another coworker brought in their shiny new Sony DSLR and 18-200mm. I asked if I could give it a try, and as soon as I saw that photo of a crow on the fence, them in perfect focus, the fence falling off into the distance, not to mention such clarity and detail, even down to 100%.. I knew I had to go that route. Cue several months of learning just how complex it all was, and all the makers were completely incompatible, followed by a used D90 and a new Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3.

It didn't take too long for me to realise the Tamron was a bit wanting in various regards, and I wound up plumping for a Nikkor 300mm f/4D AF-S for wildlife, which remains my mainstay - ridiculously sharp, and light enough to wander around all day with, or focus on a warren for a couple hours. The D90's been replaced by a D7100, and here we are. ^_^

(Which is probably way more detail than anyone needed, but then, this is why I'm here and not on Twitter =:)
Hey, much better here than on Twitter (or Facebook or anyplace else)!

Anyhow, the nice thing about Gmail is that it likes to keep copies of everything, so I can report that I received a receipt for my paid account on June 6, 2005. (I have space for 235 user pics!) I'm not using most of the user pic slots or the storage space, but it's still been nice to have the perm account, and I'm happy to support the place. Like you, I've met some great people here, and like you, I'll be here till the end. :)

I've been taking photos a good chunk of my life, with varying levels of interest. I had a little instamatic when I was a kid, and took a photo class in high school with my Dad's borrowed 35mm Minolta. I bought an Olympus OM-1 back in college, and loved that camera for many years, finally dropping and breaking it on a trip to Finland. But my interest really took off with the advent of digital, since there was instant gratification and minimal cost and it became much easier to practice and work on technique. I had a couple of Pentax compacts and then a Nikon D80 DSLR, but now my "real" camera is an Olympus OM-D. I like it because it has the features and image quality of the big Nikon, but is a lot more portable. I have several lenses for the thing, but mostly use an 12-50 zoom, which is the equivalent of a 24-100 zoom in the 35mm world.

Honestly, though, probably 2/3 of the shots I post here are just from my iPhone. You can do amazing stuff with a good smartphone camera nowadays, and I think "real" cameras are going to become a niche market before too long. Kind of makes me sad.