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Comment: The theories defined (Score 1) 534

by Jeremy Erwin (#46819337) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

This is what confidence in evolution, the big bang vaccines, etc mean in the context of the poll.

Smoking causes cancer
A mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain
Inside our cells, there is a complex genetic code that helps determine who we are
Overusing antibiotics causes the development of drug-resistant bacteria
The universe is so complex, there must be a supreme being guiding its creation
Childhood vaccines are safe and effective
The average temperature of the world is rising, mostly because of man-made heat- trapping greenhouse gases
Life on Earth, including human beings, evolved through a process of natural selection
The Earth is 4.5 billion years old
The universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang

Except, perhaps for the "mental illness" question, there's not much room for quibbling over the meaning of each, imho.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 122

by Jeremy Erwin (#46819051) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

From the AP Code of Ethics

The content of a photograph must not be altered in Photoshop or by any other means. No element should be digitally added to or subtracted from any photograph. The faces or identities of individuals must not be obscured by Photoshop or any other editing tool. Only retouching or the use of the cloning tool to eliminate dust on camera sensors and scratches on scanned negatives or scanned prints are acceptable.
Minor adjustments in Photoshop are acceptable. These include cropping, dodging and burning, conversion into gray- scale, and normal toning and color adjustments that should be limited to those minimally necessary for clear and accurate reproduction (analogous to the burning and dodging previously used in darkroom processing of images) and that restore the authentic nature of the photograph. Changes in density, contrast, color and saturation levels that substantially alter the original scene are not acceptable. Backgrounds should not be digitally blurred or eliminated by burning down or by aggressive toning. The removal of “red eye” from photographs is not permissible.


Comment: Re:Meh (Score 2) 122

by Jeremy Erwin (#46817949) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

The Chicago Sun-Times decided to replace its photographers with iphones-- the result was notably less dramatic photos. I'm not sure what became of that experiment, but the Illum might be more useful than an iphone, as a trained photo editor could take the raw illum files gathered by print reporters and refocus them appropriately. I'm not sure that this would end up being ethical, though.

Comment: Re:ignorant (Score 1) 122

by Jeremy Erwin (#46817811) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

I prefer the old ways.

To change focal length, change the lens.
To change the aperture, twist the aperture ring.

To focus the lens, twist the focusing ring.

To zoom, move closer to, or farther from your subject.

It may not make for better pictures, but it makes the process of taking them more enjoyable.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 5, Insightful) 126

by Jeremy Erwin (#46796409) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

Consider this picture of a spider dining on its prey--possibly a cricket.

What's important? the spider, the web, the meal.
What's not important? the storm drain, the foliage

It's not completely successful, but both the foliage and the storm drain are out of focus, while the spider, the meal, and the web are in focus. The aperture control on a large sensor camera lets the photographer select where the blurriness ends, and where it begins. Generally, the longer the focal length of the lens, the more dramatic the effects of opening up the aperture. Since camera phones use short focal length lenses, the blurring effect is quite subtle, and is often insufficient to draw in the viewers eye.
In this particular case, it's a macro shot, so even a very narrow aperture (f/16) involves some blurriness. Quite often, macro-photographers use very narrow apertures-- f/16-f32, in an attempt to resolve all of the interesting aspects of their subjects.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?