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Comment Re:Depth Field Camera? (Score 1) 56 56

I stand corrected. Last time I'd checked out their software all it could do was refocus. Once they finally support simultaneous refocusing and wiggling (which is technically possible, by limiting the amount of each)... their cameras will still be just as useless.

Comment Re:Not exactly new, and pretty limited (Score 1) 56 56

No, it isn't. The only information you can get is the one from the light hitting the lens. That's effectively limited to parallax information between the edges of the lens (in reality, less than that, but let's pretend). In other words, as I wrote above, "unless the lens is wider than the distance between two eyes, you can't really use this to create realistic stereoscopic images at a macroscopic scale".

Comment Not exactly new, and pretty limited (Score 3, Informative) 56 56

Having two lenses is not a requirement to capture stereoscopic images. It can be done with a single (big) lens, and two slightly different sensor locations. But you're limited by the distance between those two sensors, and a single large lens isn't necessarily cheaper or easier to use than two smaller ones.

What this system does is use the out-of-focus areas as a sort of "displaced" sensor - like moving the sensor within a small circle, still inside the projection cone of the lens - and therefore simulating two (or more) images captured at the edges of the lens.

But, unless the lens is wider than the distance between two eyes, you can't really use this to create realistic stereoscopic images at a macroscopic scale. The information is simply not there. Even if you can extract accurate depth information, that is not quite the same as 3D. A Z-buffer is not a 3D scene; it's not sufficient for functional stereoscopy.

Microscopy is a different matter. In fact, there are already several stereoscopic microscopes and endoscopes that use a single lens to capture two images (with offset sensors). Since the subject is very small, the parallax difference between the two images can be narrower than the width of the lens and still produce a good 3D effect. Scaling that up to macroscopic photography would require lenses wider than a human head.


Ask Slashdot: Scientific Research Positions For Programmers? 237 237

An anonymous reader writes "I recently (within the past couple years) graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and currently work as a programmer for a large software consulting firm. However, I've become gradually disillusioned with the financial-obsession of the business world and would like to work for the overall betterment of humanity instead. With that in mind, I'm looking to shift my career more toward the scientific research side of things. My interest in computer science always stemmed more from a desire to use it toward a fascinating end — such as modeling or analyzing scientific data — than from a love of business or programming itself. My background is mostly Java, with some experience in C++ and a little C. I have worked extensively with software analyzing big data for clients. My sole research experience comes from developing data analysis software for a geologic research project for a group of grad students; I was a volunteer but have co-authorship on their paper, which is pending publication. Is it realistic to be looking for a position as a programmer at a research institution with my current skills and experiences? Do such jobs even exist for non-graduate students? I'm willing to go to grad school (probably for geology) if necessary. Grad school aside, what specific technologies should I learn in order to gain an edge? Although if I went back to school I'd focus on geology, I'm otherwise open to working as a programmer for any researchers in the natural sciences who will take me."

Comment Swiss Tony (Score 1) 1051 1051

> Being a Kernel Developer is a lot like being a Navy Seal [...]

Being a Kernel Developer is a lot like making love to a beautiful woman. First you PEEK, then you POKE. You think you're doing great, but suddenly she tells you that you're too BASIC, and gives you a C. Treating her like an object can be a plus (or two), but if you get linked to her publicly you might have to commit. And if you fail an interrupt and some of your bugs make it into the kernel, you'll end up supporting that mistake for the rest of your life.

Comment Re:Not even 60 FPS (Score 2) 710 710

Not sure if you're trolling or just very ignorant.

Any good 35 mm film camera in the market can do up to 120 FPS, usually 240 (and these aren't even specialized slow motion cameras). Slow motion is far easier and cheaper to do with film than digital sensors. All you need to to is speed up the camera motor, and compensate the exposure by using higher-sensitivity film.

Comment Re:Not just video footage which suffers from 30fps (Score 1) 710 710

Because some idiots think the stuttering look of lower FPS gives it a more "film-like" look, which looks more intellectual.

It's even worse when the original animator rendered it at 60 fps and someone decides to change it later, because then they make the 30 fps version by deinterlacing, which means they don't just lose fluidity, they also lose vertical resolution, and you end up with something that stutters and looks pixellated or blurry.

Comment Re:Woudln't a 3D projector would pull it off easil (Score 2) 710 710

If you remove the polarizing filters both eyes will see both images and you lose the 3D effect (you just get ghosting). The polarizing filters (on the projectors and glasses) are what makes sure each eye only sees images from the correct projector, they're not related to the projection speed.

Alternating frames requires active shutter glasses, which are more expensive. And, indeed, that's how active shutter 3D works, but, until now, one eye was seeing the film 1/48th of a second behind the other, since the two cameras were typically in sync to make post-production easier. With 48 fps cameras, active shutter systems will finally be able to feed each eye 24 "correct" frames per second (i.e., one eye will see frame 1L, then the other eye gets frame 2R, then 3L, 4R, etc.). Of course, if they just speed up the current system, they'll be doing 96 updates per second and one eye will still be slightly behind the other (but now just be 1/96th of a second), but my point is that 48 fps cameras have an advantage for active shutter stereo 3D even if that final movie is played at 24 fps.

Comment The actual claim seems a bit dodgy (Score 1, Insightful) 296 296

Here's the problem with Teller's claim:

"As a direct and proximate result of such unfair competition, Plaintiff [Teller] has suffered, and will continue to suffer, monetary loss and irreparable injury to his business, reputation, and goodwill."

I give him the last one; his goodwill definitely comes out of this injured, but how exactly has Teller suffered "monetary loss and irreparable injury to his business [and] reputation" ? Teller wasn't selling a kit with the trick, so he's not going to lose any "potential sales". No one seriously believes that people planning to go see or hire Penn & Teller will change their minds and hire Gerard Bakardy instead, and Bakardy made it perfectly clear that his trick was inspired by Teller's, so there's no damage done to Teller's "reputation", either (i.e., there's no suggestion that Teller may have copied Bakardy).

In other words, this smells like a pure "copyright troll", trying to deny someone else a chance to do something similar even though that person is in no way a competitor or a threat.


Should There Be a Sci-Fi Category At the Oscars? 309 309

An anonymous reader writes "In this chat with the originator of the light-saber in Star Wars and the Nostromo in Alien, director Roger Christian argues that the Academy Awards needs a special category for 'best science-fiction film.' It's a thorny subject, since such a new category would inevitably either get lumped in with fantasy/horror or further 'ghetto-ise' the genre. But with 2001 and Avatar snubbed for best picture, among many others over the years, does ANY sci-fi film ever have a shot at Best Picture?"

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig