Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re: Watches are worn as bling (Score 1) 319

I like Skagen, and they're a rare example of clean design at an affordable price. I especially like an Ancher model -- the arabic version with leather band for general wear and the baton dial for dress. The Holst with day/date dials combines two things I don't usually like (subdials and day/date complications) but does it in a way that I actually like quite a bit. For me it's not the existence of the complication per se, but the readability of the watch. Unfortunately the Holst is a bit on the thick side, but you can't have everything. Shave 3 mm off the thickness and you'd be looking at a $1000 watch.

There are few odd missteps in the lineup. Their rectangular dress watches have batons in a circular pattern, which is a bit... unusual. They also have a watch that has a month calculation. It's done nicely, but it's an utterly ridiculous feature.

Overall Skagen designs remind me of Baum et Mercier at about 20% of the price, and just little bit more Scandanavian if you know what I mean.

Danish Design watches seem pretty similar; I wouldn't be surprised in they came out of the same company. They almost certainly use the same movements. Ironically the faces seem less Scandinavian to me but what do I know? One of their designs reminds of the famous Swiss railway clocks.

I don't have watches from either of these companies because I focus on vintage pre-80s watches.

Comment Of course there is. (Score 1) 72

Smart people usually spend slack-ish time examining things they *might* want to do. It doesn't mean they *do* want to do those things, but one thing most of us know by now is whenever you're asked to do something, "in a hurry" is the default pace, and yet "slapdash" is not acceptable. So you don't want to be in a position where you use time figuring out how to use Material Design that you need for coding or testing.

And even if you don't use those little hypothetical forays, they're still valuable in understanding your competition, both weaknesses and things you can learn from them.

Comment Re:How dare you try to get around us regulating (Score 2) 69

And yet other companies manage to stay in business without committing fraud.

The reasons for emissions regulations are so that when consumers make the cost/performance tradeoff when buying a car, they don't externalize costs -- which is an economist's way of saying make other people pay for their choices. A car would be cheaper and perform better if it didn't have a catalytic converter (just dump your partially burned hydrocarbons on everyone else), EGRs (just dump your NOx on everyone else), PCVs (spread engine oil over everyone else) and mufflers (dump your noise on everyone else).

All of that stuff you'd be dumping on everyone else costs everyone else. You can argue about precisely how much it costs them, but it is certainly not zero.

So let's turn your little rhetorical device around: How dare you fraudulently make the public subsidize your business?

Here's the thing about markets: they're not about making everyone happy. They're about efficient distribution of resources. If costs go up producers are unhappy and some of them go out of business. That makes the owners and workers unhappy, but it is a rational response to costs going up. Dumping those costs on others and pretending they don't exist isn't rational; it's hysterical.

Comment Re:Please use 'bokeh' in a more useful way (Score 1) 50

I'm not too worried about that. Not least because an important part of the "portrait" aesthetic that they're going for, here, is the more flattering portrait perspective. Which is achieved by shooting from a decent working distance. The focal length on phone-cams is far too short to even come close to filling the frame with a well composed portrait that doesn't over-emphasize noses and whatnot. There's no hard and fast rule about distance, but generally you don't shoot decent looking portraits from arm's-length selfie distances.

Further: it's going to be very difficult for software-faked shallow depth of field to handle things like stray hairs, raggedy clothing textiles and other detailed bits against exactly the sort of complex backgrounds that photographers use shallow DoF to throw out of focus in the first place. To the casual observer at relatively low resolution, the faux shallow DoF may appear at least more interesting than no treatment at all, but to an eye that looks at such things even occasionally, it's going to ring false. Further, it's going to be extra-not-good if there's an attempt to apply it to video, looking for a more cinematic result from control of DoF (racking focus, that sort of thing). No, there won't be anybody who bought a $1000 85/1.4 for their Canon or their Nikon suddenly wishing they hadn't because their phone can do the same thing. Just isn't going to happen.

Comment Re:Watches are worn as bling (Score 2) 319

Watch collector/restorer here.

I don't like the huge, fat watch thing either. Nor am I a fan of subdials and other complications for daily wear. And here's the thing: for the most part ostentatiously big, fat, complicated watches are a low-end phenomenon. As you go higher hundreds and then into thousands of dollars, visual complexity shrinks until you are looking at something like a Rolex Milgauss for about $5000. The Migauss is somewhat fatter than I'd prefer because it's very robust -- it's designed for every day use. For dress use, if cost were no object, I'd wear something like a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, which is 2.6 mm thick and 20.6 mm across. It's small, but the clean design means it doesn't have to be big. For that reason I wouldn't spend the additional $10,000 for the date complication.

Smartphones haven't eliminated the usefulness of wristwatches; they've just eliminated the usefulness of all the gee-gaws on watches for purposes other than telling time. You don't need the day/date complication, and you don't need the stopwatch or countdown timer, that stuff just makes a watch complicated to operate and hard to read. All you need is the hour, minute and second hand. I also make extensive use of a rotating dive-watch bezel for timing things like runs. When I rebuild watches I sometimes replace the face to cover up the day/date complication because it just clutters the design.

That's the problem with watches: it's hard to find a thoughtfully-designed, stripped down watch for under $500. But you can find them. One of my favorite cheap watches is a Casio that costs only $15 on Amazon -- I think of it as a disposable watch. It is very, very cheap in every respect, but it tells time as well as a $5000 Rolex and has similarly clean design. The only changes I'd make would be to improve the lume and remove the day/date complication.

Anyhow, if you showed up wearing a Patrimony I'd be impressed -- not because you spent $12,000 on a watch, but that you'd spent $12,000 on a watch whose value only a serious connoisseur would recognize. If you want to impress the ignorant, go big. If you want to impress the sophisticated, go simple.

Comment Re:Waiting for the "just as good as a dSLR comment (Score 1) 50

The problem isn't the 'bokeh' of the tiny lens and sensor. That's a discussion about the quality of the out-of-focus area rendering. No, the problem with the tiny sensors and tiny lenses with their very small apertures is that they cannot produce shallow enough depth of field in the first place to even produce an out of focus background in the first place. Basic physics. So there's no point trying to compare the OoF rendering quality (is the bokeh harsh? smooth?) of that tiny platform to a larger format sensor with a quality fast prime lens, because simple physics makes that comparison pointless. That's why they're faking this in software: because there's no physical way to do it with the tiny camera. Light doesn't work that way.

Comment Re:Have fewer babies. (Score 1) 152

Yes, yes. You're either actually a fool, or just pretending to be one so you can score some sort of lazy rhetorical points with an imaginary audience of lower-information-than-you audience.

If you do the things that make you a first-world country, you'll have fewer babies and need fewer resources (like water) so you don't have to chase your tail trying to squeeze water out of the air. As usual, everyone is so paralyzed by political correctness that their afraid to point out that places like India are suffering a culture problem, not a water problem.

Comment Re:Is this the same "One Decade" we were promised. (Score 2) 342

From 1997 to 1998 there is no warming..

Year to year warming is dominated by statistical noise, which is what I suspect you are trying to say when you say that there was no warming between 1997 and 1998; however for what it is worth 1998 was significantly warmer than 1997, so by your definition there is "warming".

The 'warming' in 2016 is insignificant. It is as straight of a horizontal line between the two points as you can make on a graph

If you choose two points you will always get a straight line. If the end point is 2016 and the start point is any prior year in the instrumental record, the slope will be upward.

If the temperature doesn't reach 1998 or 2016 levels until the next El Nino, then there will still have been no warming.

This is what logicians call "equivocation", which is making up your own definition of a term to make your argument true. What most people understand "global warming" to be is an underlying upward trend in temperature created by increases in greenhouse gases. This is overlaid on both year-to-year variability and of course ENSO. Comparing an El Niño year to a La Niña or non-ENSO year is an apples-to-oranges comparison. If you want to compare individual years to determine whether there's an underlying warming trend, then you need to compare El Niño years to prior El Niño years, etc. Or you an take a moving average with a window that's large enough to average out any ENSO events.

If you take a ten year moving average, in the last 40 years that ten year average has dropped three times: in 1975, 1993, and 2008; remained the same as the prior year once: in 2000; and has increased 36 times. If there were no underlying warming trend then the ten year moving average would be equally likely to go up or down in successive years; in fact it's ten times more likely to go up than down. 2008 by the way was an anomaly in not only was it an unusually strong La Niña, it was a rare ten year period with *four* La Niña years in it. If you take a twenty year moving average the last time that average went down was 1965.

Slashdot Top Deals

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.