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Comment: Re: Just (Score 1) 159

by TellarHK (#49152753) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

I'm not a kid by any stretch, but Rock Band did let me live the rock star lifestyle in a small way. Toward the end of the craze, a local radio station had a contest up at Lake Tahoe where the brand prize was $400 worth of bottle service at one of the fancier nightclubs at Harveys casino. My boyfriend and I went up on stage with two random guys we met that night to fill out the band and won with a rendition of Aqualung. A couple weeks later the four of us went up there and got absolutely blasted. Just like rock stars!

Comment: Re: Now they just need intensity from the actors. (Score 3, Interesting) 165

by TellarHK (#49058921) Attached to: Star Trek Continues Meets Kickstarter Goal, Aims For Stretch Goals

Destroyed. At the end of every season, the CG models for Babylon 5 assets were deleted according to contract requirements with the Prime Time Entertainment Network who distributed the show. Probably as an asset reduction thing for financial BS in the era of protoCG-era production.

Comment: Re:Can anyone really see the difference? (Score 1) 94

Diablo III @ 5120x2880: 31 fps. That's with the R295X (mobile) card, and presumably also with the i7. I'm not sure if that's average, or minimum. Some games may be playable at those sorts of framerates, but they might not be enjoyable.

Text and photos on the iMac look as high resolution as those in a glossy magazine-- that's the main benefit.

Other possible benefits include editing 4K video with room for palettes and the like.

Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 4, Informative) 248

by TellarHK (#49050711) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

I think the missing key in current smart home options that most people can actually afford to purchase, is reliable voice control. I know Google's acquisition of Nest (and whatever Apple gets around to doing) will make a big difference here, but I can already say that I'd be a lot happier with my "smart" lighting if I had:

A: More money for more components such as light switches and socket replacements.
B: Voice controls that were as responsive and reasonably reliable as the Amazon Echo, which gets it right a surprisingly large amount of the time.

Comment: Do they work? Usually, but the writer got it right (Score 2) 248

by TellarHK (#49050665) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

Last year, I picked up a Wink Hub and four "TCP Connected" brand (which is a horrible name for obvious reasons) daylight LED bulbs to see how dipping my toes into home automation would work out, and it really has been a seriously mixed result just like the author of the the original article says. I'm using a very simple setup, two lights in my home office, and one light in the rear of the living room. The only "smart" part I have set up, is a group to let me control the office lights all at once.

And it's really not all that stable. The TCP Connected bulbs actually require the use of a home gateway and online service to control, and Wink ties into that. When that service is glitchy, things will either work or not work. There's no apparent reliable activity confirmation set up in the protocols from what I can tell, so the software never knows if a device is on or off. A fairly simple schedule I have set up dims my lights for a period before bed, and then turns them off later. This usually works, but not always. It's also supposed to turn them back on, and it doesn't appear to do that about half the time.

Is the problem the TCP bulb integration? Is it Wink? Is it the signal in my house? Is it a bug? There's no way to tell for sure, and systems just aren't bulletproof enough to rely on just yet. But is it a nice step? Absolutely.

The big thing I feel that I should do in my personal case though, is replace the light switches so I don't always have to pull out a smartphone or tablet. Is it a pain to do that? Yes and no. It's more of a pain than it should be for something advertised as super simple, because of the article's mentioned process of unlocking a device, loading app, swiping to control you need, and then hitting said control.

The prices can definitely be appealing, but once you realize that a light switch is going to be $50, it adds up.

Comment: Re:Sort of like shitposting... (Score 1) 307

by Jeremy Erwin (#48927167) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I use my iPad to stream Amazon Prime video to my AppleTV-- technically I could use my Macs to watch the same streams, but they wouldn't be HD. This proved a welcome surprise, as many of the other services like Macs-- but demand additional payment for streaming to the iPad.

Comment: Re: Technically DSLR doesn't specify a mirror or n (Score 1) 192

by Jeremy Erwin (#48862139) Attached to: Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

The shutter was a mirror. At the time did they have a shutter behind the mirror, or use the mirror as the shutter?

Wikipedia's article on the history of SLR camera


Early 35 mm SLR cameras had similar functionality to larger models, with a waist-level ground-glass viewfinder and a mirror which remained in the taking position—blacking out the viewfinder—after an exposure, returning when the film was wound on. Innovations which transformed the SLR were the pentaprism eye-level viewfinder and the instant-return mirror—the mirror flipped briefly up during exposure, immediately returning to the viewfinding position.

Now, when the viewfinder blacks out, that means that the mirror has been raised to take a picture. If the mirror did not return instantly, or even worse, did not return until the film was rewound, this would mean that the shutter would be the only thing keeping the film from being overexposed. To solve this problem You could add a film door, and use a leaf shutter, but this complicates matters.

Mirrors are heavy. Shutters are light enough to be moved in small fractions of a second.

In a twin lens reflex camera, the mirror reflects the light entering the viewfinder lens, to the viewfinder screen at the top of the camera. The mirror doesn't need to move. because there's another lens below for the film.

Comment: Re: Yet sensors have improved (Score 1) 192

by Jeremy Erwin (#48856005) Attached to: Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

You are happy with an f2.8 lens? Seriously? If they could make a f1.8 or faster lens without making it insanely big, they would. It's a compromise and not necessary with the better sensors/smaller bodies.

Sigma has recently released a f 1.8 zoom lens. It's merely the 17-35mm range, though. f2.8 is useful because many of the existing bodies have focal points that are extra precise at f 2.8 or faster. So if a photographer uses the existing "holy trinities", that functionality is never lost. As for faster apertures,

Nikon does have a 200 mm f/2.0 that is big, heavy, and expensive. It once produced a 300 mm f2.0 that had those three qualities in spades. Apparently, they were quite useful in cinematography, and many of them were converted to different mounts.

The problem with long, ultrafast lenses is math.

Want a f2.0 85mm lens?The effective aperture must have a diameter of 42.5mm.
Want a f2.0 300mm lens? The effective aperture must have a diameter of 150 mm.

And of course, the front element must be large enough to let that much light through-- the afforementioned 300 mm lens has a 160mm front thread-- big, and heavy. (Photographers have slightly different expectations about the 400mm 2.8 lens, which requires a similarly sized effective aperture.)

Comment: Re:Sensors are only part of the equation (Score 1) 192

by Jeremy Erwin (#48854325) Attached to: Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

Someone asked why the 300mm/2.8 lens was significant. The reason for it is the 300mm/2.8 and the 70-200mm/2.8 lenses are pretty much lenses that set the bar or standard for optical clarity, so to speak, for both the Nikon and Canon camps.

According to DXOMark, the top scoring lenses for both the Canon 1Dx and the Nikon 810E are both made by Carl Zeiss-- e.g Carl Zeiss Apo Planar T* Otus 85mm F14 ZF.2.

The top scoring Canon is, indeed, the 2.8 300mm. But Nikon's best lens is the 2.0 200mm. Now, it has a 2.8 400mm and 2.8 300mm that are almost as good-- but it has a number of portrait lenses up there as well.

(The 70-200mm zooms are almost second rate in comparison. Besides, people have accused the Nikkor of being slightly short.)

If you're a sports photographer, I suppose I understand why you might judge a lens manufacturer on the basis of its 300mm f 2.8. But that's not necessarily the most exquisitely designed lens in the lineup.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley