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Comment Re:Saw this coming years ago. (Score 1) 202

Which is why Internet access should be a public utility, and not left to the private sector.

The last thing I want is local, state, or federal government being my ISP. Customer service from any of those entities, for anything in which they engage, is worse than any ISP, mom-and-pop or national. It's like watching Medicate or the VA, and then saying that going to the doctor for an ear infection should be a trip to a government office.

Comment Re:The 6th gen was a spike above the normal trend (Score 1) 226

Opposite here. I was skeptical about buying a 6+, but I wanted a replacement for my iPad Mini that I could easily read while my commuter bus was bouncing along the freeway. It felt HUGE for about a week until it became the new normal. Now I can barely type on an SE because it feels like I'm jabbing at a tiny little Barbie phone. Now that I've acclimated to the Plus's form factor, I'd hate going back.

Comment Re:Stallman right yet again (Score 1) 158

He's been saying for years that our phones are being used as spying devices. Most wrote it off as an extreme view, even those who are sympathetic to Stallman's causes.

Do you have any evidence for this? Because tracking data wasn't exactly a secret, but I think most people put up with government (and corporate) intrusion on privacy as the government being government, and what are you going to do, gotta live your life, convenience, etc. I didn't see anybody calling Stallman out on this.

Comment Re:Obama (Score 2) 158

A little refresher for you. AT&T spying on behalf of the government is nothing new, and had the whistle blown a long time before Snowden.

Obama used Bush's warrantless wiretapping as a club against Bush's policies when running for election in the primaries, then voted for telco immunity after the primaries and facing McCain -- because he didn't want to look weak on security and he no longer needed to appease his base. While he's given lip service to the Constitution and the privacy of citizens, once he got in power he used the same tools as Bush.

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: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) 156

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:Companies that never made money and never will (Score 1) 105

Twitter is a pure money sink that is trading on their fame. I'm not even sure how they would monetize it and I don't think they know either.

They reportedly get somewhere between $2 to $3 billion per year in advertising revenue. They are probably an extremely bloated company geared for growth. It looks like they are starting to trim the fat. Just how much money would it take to run Twitter on a budget? My guess is not much.

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

Yeah, yeah. That's what the word means. But since it was fashionably inserted into discussions among actual photographers, it's been used in the context of discussing the quality of the blue, not the existence of the blur. It's useful - it's a succinct word that conveys that specific meaning. Trying, here, to preserve that clarity (if you'll pardon the pun) instead of letting it dumb down like so many other terms do.

Comment Please use 'bokeh' in a more useful way (Score 4, Interesting) 50

'Bokeh' is used when referring to the quality of the out-of-focus background (or foreground) of the image, not the fact that it is out of focus. Shallow depth of field images have blurry elements. By definition. But different lenses render that OoF area differently. Some lenses have a jittery, doubled-up, or ring-like pattern, or render OoF highlights as oblong smears or as hard circles. It just depends on the lens design. So when we talk about this, it's about the quality, not the quantity or existence of blurred areas.

Think of it like this: every lens of a given format, focal length and aperture will produce essentially the same mount of OoF areas. It's just physics. The focal plane is where it is, and the meaningfully in-focus area (say, on the subject's face) is going to be a given depth (for a given display size and resolution). Period.

But that's like saying all pianos can play a middle C note. They can. But some sound twangy or harsh, while others sound more pleasing to the ear. Likewise with the OoF rendering by some lenses. With the piano we can say "it plays middle C, but the tone is harsh" - and with the camera, we can say that the lens when wide open can render shallow DoF and thus blur the background, but the bokeh is harsh (or, creamy, or busy, or smooth - whatever... it's the "tone," the visual quality of the blur rendering, generally considered to be more appealing the more creamy it is - though sometimes harsh, nervous bokeh is desireable for certain cinematic moods, etc).

Sorry, pet peeve. "Shallow depth of field" doesn't mean "has bokeh." That's like saying the car's suspension has ride. All cars do! But what's the quality of the ride? More like a sports car, or a limo? Better bokeh usually comes from much higher quality glass, and more of it in the design of the lens. Big, fat, fast prime portrait lenses are built - among other things - to play that visual note more elegantly than cheaper lenses do, even though they both hit the note when told do if they can achieve the same aperture at a given focal length.

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