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Comment Re:Why are they using a Nikon lens on a canon? (Score 1) 171

I don't know what you mean by "old", but my father's old Canon (film) SLR's EF-mount lenses pop right onto my relatively new Canon EOS Rebel T2i (EOS 550D for you non-Americans) which takes EF-S-mount lenses.

EF-S is a subset of the redesigned-from-scratch EF lens mount from 1987 - still considered terribly modern 'cause it's fully electronic with no mechanical linkages between the camera and lens. New EF lenses are definitely still being designed, but yes - EF-S lenses won't fit on an EF-only camera, be it film or full-frame digital.

Canon's 'old' system is the FD lens mount, from 1971. The newer EF mount is almost completely incompatible - you'd need that overly-complicated-adaptor-with-included-optical-elements to get an FD lens to mount on an EF camera.

Compare Nikon's F-mount - lenses from 1959 are potentially mechanically compatible with the latest Nikon dSLRs, but there are huge compatibility charts describing which features may or may not work from any particular lens on any particular camera.

Comment Re: Now that is a kickass hack! (Score 2) 171

I have other CanonDSLRs that do the "video thing" out of the box, but it sounds. like an interesting experiment.

The particularly exciting thing about this hack is that it's not just a previous non-video-capable camera recording video, it's a camera recording 14-bits-per-channel linear uncompressed RAW video. Much better highlight and shadow recovery, white balance defined afterwards, much more information to work with in general. Some really tricky shots are now possible.

Comment Re:Now that is a kickass hack! (Score 3, Insightful) 171

It does not have enough RAM to buffer frames continuously at uncompressed DNG format rates for continuous video recording to SD card, whereas other cameras that were designed specifically for video recording have enough memory to be capable of doing this.

The buffer is important, but it's more about being able to stream a metric shitload of data to a unwholesomely speedy memory card - once you can do the latter, the buffer helps smooth over hiccups but won't let you record indefinitely. The 50D's CompactFlash interface probably shares a design with a higher-end camera, Canon not wanting to waste effort in building a second, deliberately crippled version.

Thus my interpretation is that this camera model's hardware specs were deemed insufficient by the manufacturer for this specific capability, and considering that it can only do burst mode up to $X$ frames before capping out its memory buffer, the manufacturer may have been correct.

Being able to record RAW video is a pretty new feature on any vaguely consumer-oriented camera - it's more sheer luck that Canon's dSLRs have features which make it possible, albeit in a hacky manner. I get the impression that on the 50D, it's grabbing data from the sensor in a manner intended for the rear display or for feeding into the (non-existent) H.264 encoder, and then streaming it out to a big file on the memory card before the memory runs out.

When you've captured the data, it's in a big, opaque file that needs post-processing on a PC to do anything with it - in this case, it gets split into sane DNG files for further processing in software like Lightroom or similar. You can record the video on the camera, but you can't (unless I'm horribly mistaken) play the video on the camera - you need to do plenty of subsequent processing to get it into video form.

Don't get me wrong, it's an incredibly cool hack - partly because it gives access to a feature which few high-end cameras have even today. It's not the manufacturer deliberately locking users out of an easily-implemented feature, it's the manufacturer not even realising that such a feature was possible - albeit in a restricted, but still usable, form.

Comment Re:Let's DMCA the pants of this guy! (Score 4, Interesting) 171

Canon's actually pretty cool about the use of custom firmware. Plus projects like CHDK and Magic Lantern (and the thing that hacked the 300D into something fancier) have been around for quite a few years, and Canon hasn't tried squashing them.

(Although apparently their hacker-friendly nature most definitely stops when it comes to the EOS-1 line.)

Comment Re:Too good? I think not (Score 1) 397

A (cheapskate) friend of mine had an old Russian Lada which inexplicably came with a keyhole for engaging a 'launch mode'. Of course, he didn't have the key, but eventually he managed to pick the lock.

It would appear there'd been some kind of mixup in the relevant Soviet factories and it actually was a launch mode - and this peculiar Lada-Soyuz hybrid launched straight up into the sky, friend included.

He's probably still up there. Wonder if he ever tried docking with Mir?

Comment Re: Start here (Score 1) 1145

Temperatures took the longest to get intuitively as I had to live through the various weather patterns before I could feel it. But, even then there wasn't really any advantage to it as I was still comparing it to what I consider a comfortable temperature.

Temperatures are easy.

-18degC: typical freezer.
0degC: freezing! Literally.
4degC: typical fridge.
10degC: bit parky out, definitely put a jumper on.
20degC: room temperature.
30degC: really quite warm.
37degC: human body temperature.
40degC: really bloody hot innit.
100degC: boiling (literally!)

Comment Re:Congratulations! (Score 1) 446

Not so in Los Angeles, where in many areas the peripheral traffic jam is well in session by 6am and doesn't abate until 7pm or later. If I had to be in L.A. by 9am, I had to be OUT of my bedroom community, nominally an hour away, by 6am, and ready to jump to the alt-surface route at the halfway point if the freeway was already thoroughly jammed up by 7am.

Conversely, midmorning to early afternoon, and most of the night -- no problem! (Unless you're on the 405, which seems to have become a 24 hour traffic jam in recent years.)

Comment Re:Requires more metal (Score 1) 521

You'd be amazed what a hunting dog's nose can detect. I've seen Labradors dig up aluminum cans that were buried two feet deep some years previous, homing in on that single point. They regularly find cellphones wrapped in plastic and hidden in toilet tanks (prison trick, so I'm told). Covering up a scent doesn't work nearly as well as you'd think, either... the original scent is still there and detectable by the dog.

As to whether the sniffer dog cues on the scent or the handler's expectations, that's another issue. :(

Comment Re:Or (Score 1) 273

Last time I got a flu shot I inquired about tetanus and whatever. About fell over when I was quoted $160. Which would come out of my personal pocket. Another $60 for pneumonia shot, ditto.

Well, that's what happens when you sue all but one of the vaccine manufacturers out of existence. :/

Comment Re:OK, so this vaccine needs a booster (Score 1) 273

That depends entirely on the virus. Some require a large innoculating dose (thousands of live particles); others require only a handful (parvovirus leaps to mind; I can't find a cite offhand but I vaguely recall the innoculating dose is as few as six particles, possibly because it's a fast-replicating virus).

Comment Re:Having had a whooping cough outbreak in the fam (Score 1) 273

So your daughter eventually marries a fellow who wasn't entirely pre-marital celibate, or was previously married (caught it from his wife, and has since divorced) ... and he gives your daughter HPV...

Now what?? Your daughter, virginal til marriage, is now infected through no direct fault of her own and perhaps not even of her spouse.

It's not about behavior; it's about mitigating future risk that might nail you despite your best behavior.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?