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Comment: Re:comparison is out of whack (Score 2) 122

by JWSmythe (#46831405) Attached to: NASA Chief Tells the Critics of Exploration Plan: "Get Over It"

That's funny that you express that there's no reason to put people on Mars, but you quote Carl Sagan in your tagline.

I ran across this a few days ago.

Maybe you're there because we've recognized we have to carefully move small asteroids around to avert the possibility of one impacting the Earth with catastrophic consequences, and, while we're up in near-Earth space, it's only a hop, skip and a jump to Mars. Or, maybe we're on Mars because we recognize that if there are human communities on many worlds, the chances of us being rendered extinct by some catastrophe on one world is much less. Or maybe we're on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we're on Mars because we have to be, because there's a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we've been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you're on Mars is, I'm glad you're there. And I wish I was with you.

Comment: On, to Mars! (Score 5, Insightful) 122

by JWSmythe (#46830799) Attached to: NASA Chief Tells the Critics of Exploration Plan: "Get Over It"

I have one thing to say. Hurry the fuck up.

When I was a kid, there was so much "by the year 2000". Space stations. Moon bases. Mars colonies. Mining asteroids. Deep space missions. Fleets of spacecraft. Hypersonic travel around the earth.

The only thing resembling a real space ship has been retired. 1960s tech is back as the best thing anyone can come up with, and it's totally owned by the Russians.

I am impressed by probes. They are cool toys. But they can't replace a person standing there, making decisions. Asking "what if..." We learn from being and doing. The rover we have on Mars now has a mostly busted wheel. A wheel that a human could have riveted a patch over in a few minutes. Or maybe some duct tape. You know, what the Apollo astronauts did, because they were there. Where humans can improvise, and grab a roll of tape.

If we hadn't given up on the space race, maybe we'd have most of those things. So we slacked for 20 years, lets get back on track.

Comment: Re: Well, what did we expect? (Score 2) 304

by rk (#46829789) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

There are people who have built VPNs and proxies to Netflix in a data center host they control who got fine performance while using the VPN to their house, but would get crap performance when going direct over Comcast. I've said it before that the line between good traffic engineering and breaking net neutrality is a blurry one, so it's not a smoking gun by any means, but it's very interesting information nonetheless.

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 2) 257

by Cyberdyne (#46827511) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

Others such as Eli Lily or the UK Gov Dept of Pensions really don't need so many addresses

Someone in the UK government pointed that out recently - it turns out that "Dept of Pensions" allocation is actually used across most of the government as some sort of VPN extranet with various external contractors. Apparently, since they all use different RFC1918 blocks internally, they can't all be VPNed into any single RFC1918 block: they needed a globally-unique block for that purpose.

British Telecom uses the block for managing all their customer modems - that block is actually allocated to the US DoD, but they don't allow external access to it anyway, so there's nothing to stop you using that block internally yourself as long as you don't need to communicate with any other networks using the same trick. Better than wasting an entire /8 of global address space just for internal administrative systems - or a /9, like Comcast grabbed back in 2010.

My inner geek - who cares about efficiency - would love to see all the legacy blocks revoked. I'm sure the DoD could use 10/8 instead of 30/8 quite easily for their non-routed block; the universities could easily fit in a /16 instead of a /8, or smaller with a bit of NAT. Still, we should be moving to IPv6 instead now: give each university and ISP a /48, or /32 for big complex networks needing multiple layers. I just have a nasty feeling we're in for a long time of CGNAT spreading instead - where we currently have ISPs that don't offer static IP addresses, in a few years they'll be refusing to issue anything other than a NATted 100.64/16 address.

Comment: Re:Hackers (Score 4, Insightful) 85

by JWSmythe (#46827509) Attached to: The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

Check your dictionary. Lots of things have two or more meanings.

Among readers here, the preferred IT meaning is roughly "an expert who uses his knowledge to do things requiring extraordinary skills." It's not "the kid who tricked you into giving him your Facebook password."

I'm curious, are you just a confused child, or a troll?

Comment: Re:Still hoping they make a movie camera (Score 1) 124

by JWSmythe (#46826707) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

Well.. I count myself as one of the manual focus crowd, as well as anyone who uses anything but a point & shoot camera. As you said, it's the focus point gets you. The "bird in flight" photo you describe is a great example. Are you managing to keep the bird on the auto-focus point (or the majority of points for multipoint focus)? While you're tracking it? Including when you press the shutter?

I've seen a lot of photos like that, and they do a wonderful job of some very pretty well focused cloud photos, with a blurry spot in the foreground.

Most people will mangle the bird in flight on an auto camera because the shutter speed was too long and the photographer's tracking wasn't perfect (and the bird did something silly like flap it's wings). Most of the point and shoot I've used refocus when you actually shoot, so there's an extra second while it adjusts, while the bird disappears from your view. Most of those either focus on the clouds, some tree on the horizon, or tall grass in the foreground.

Manual focus, you can set the focus with the bird on the ground. Your effective ISO (for most decent DSLR) and shutter speed were already set. If you use manual focus cameras, you intuitively readjust while you're shooting, so a change in distance isn't a big deal.

This camera actually looks pretty cool, since it will compensate for that. "damned close" becomes "perfect +- a good bit". Did I want the birds wingtip or his eye to be focused? I can look at the options later. :)

I'm annoyed more than anything, when I only have a point & shoot (like at an amusement park, or other places that I don't want to carry gear), and the perfectly framed snapshot (heh) ends up focusing on the wrong thing, is hopelessly blurred, or just took too long to auto-adjust before actually taking the shot.

Like, if you're taking a photo of your kids on a roller coaster. You snap when they come into view. It adjusts and takes the photo either as a blur of the last car, or a perfectly focused and exposed shot of the tracks. "Ya kids, I saw you rolling down *those* tracks!".

I'll admit, sometimes I do get lazy, and leave everything on auto. When I want the good picture, I switch to manual.

In your "bird in flight" example, sure, if the camera is set to all auto, I'll track and shoot, and hope it comes out. If I see the bird getting ready to fly, I'll take the time to get the good shot.

Comment: Re:Still hoping they make a movie camera (Score 1) 124

by JWSmythe (#46818619) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

Focus is a horrible problem to solve.

"real" photographers don't use auto-focus, because you're almost guaranteed that it will focus on the wrong thing. When I'm taking point-and-shoot pictures with pocket camera, I have to be careful, and hope that nothing distracts the camera. When I'm doing serious photography with my nicer cameras, it stays in manual mode.

Unfortunately, this camera looks cool, but it would be relegated to use like my nice DSLRs are. I bring them with me when I'm doing a shoot. It's silly to carry it with me everywhere. I did for quite a while, but eventually it became too much trouble, and I realized i was taking snapshots with my phone more than the DSLR. Eventually, it was more like thief bait, because it just sat in the back seat of my car waiting to be used.

I'd love to give this iiium (lllum? lilum? ilium?) a test drive. I'll let my friends know, if they happen to win the lottery, I'd like one to be delivered in my new Bugatti Veyron (I hope my newly rich friends will be generous).

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson