Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Code Red!!!

From someecards.com:


That's me right there. I am done with the weather. All of it. Bring us the caves of steel!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Kindle Killer Strikes Again

Let's recap:
  1. Ivette's first Kindle, murdered because she (who blames PJ) sat on it. This was a first generation Kindle.
  2. Ivette's second Kindle, sort of died while in her custody. No physical signs of abuse, the thing just turned itself into a brick. I am almost sure this was a Kindle 2. 
  3. Ivette's third Kindle, a Kindle 3 Wifi, dead under suspicious circumstances. It looks almost exactly like #1, but she is too willing to blame PJ for it instead of owning up to it.
So there we have it, three dead Kindles.

Here's #3:


Amazon's warranty doesn't cover accidental damage, and a new Kindle Wifi with offers is just $114. Today we have our usual weekly shopping trip with PJ so we picked one up at BJ Wholesale for $109. After sales tax it was $114.45. My "old" Kindle 3 Wifi is now hers:

She didn't like that it said "Pedro's Kindle" on the title bar, so I changed it :-)
Now, people are curious about what is different about the "sponsored" Kindles. Basically you get ads on the screen saver, and a tiny ad strip on the bottom of the home page:

Screen saver ad
Home screen ad
Notice the home screen ad strip is barely as tall as two book entries. Except for these two changes, I can't find anything else different. From the "Manage Your Kindle" screen there is an additional choice to fine tune the kinds of ads that you would like to see less or more.

As for the 3G + Wifi with offers version, I really don't see the point in spending the extra money for a feature I will never use. I only use my Kindle at home, when I am on the road I read off my phone. If I ever go on a longer trip I will simply bring the Kindle too and make sure it is loaded before I leave, no need to rely on the 3G.

On patterns and shadows

This is one of those shots that is trivial with a modern camera (this was done with a Sony DSC-HX9v) but would had been a pain in the ass with an old-fashioned film camera. There is a diagonal shadow area on the bottom right quadrant. The camera correctly figured out the right exposure so both light and shadow sides show rich details. If you take this shot with a film camera and its auto exposure is not smart enough, you'll get either details on the light side and a dark area for the shadows, or detail on the shadow area and over saturated light area.

Oxymoron?

Never been to this particular station, but the way business is done in this area, "service" departments are there to provide one particular service: removal of moneys from your wallet.

Herndon, VA Town Hall

Friday, May 27, 2011

Enhanced Interrogation

From Virtual Shackles:


This is the hardest part of LA Noire, what really sets it apart: the interrogation system forces you to pay attention and use your head, instead of mindlessly navigating through linear story lines that have basically zero branching. Every interview branches out and affects the outcome, and for you to pass a case with the highest mark (they are rated with one to five stars) you would need to get every clue, hit every question right, etc.

Not a game for button mashers or for people that burn through full games in 10 hours. It IS very entertaining, but it will also give you a headache. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

About this rapture thing ...

From Rapture Party Jesus Saturday Funny Ecard | Weekend Ecard | someecards.com:

Funny Weekend Ecard: Let's party like the world's ending Saturday and continue partying when it doesn't.

100 Years of Awesome Indy Cars

From 100 Years of Awesome Indy Cars:

This is the 1965 Lotus 38, driven by Jim Clark. It won Indy 500 that year and marked the shift to rear/mid engine cars. I can't make up my mind if this car is prettier than a Lotus Super 7.

In case of procrastination plug in the USB microscope

Well, not really. I was activating a replacement check card and about to go through my usual card destruction routine (file off the magnetic strip, file off the signature strip, cut the card into little bits, melt the whole damn thing) when I got curious as to what I could find with the microscope:

The main number at 10x

Center of Master Card hologram at 150x. 

Signature strip at 150x. Notice the overlap of the signature lines, whenever signing a card I always feel like the strip is too hard and it won't take the ink, but obviously the material handles the ink perfectly, this card was signed at least two years ago and the ink looks pristine. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Random samples: Sony DSC-HX9v

These are mostly random shots set in one of the automatic modes while I learn how the camera behaves:



This is the first time I get any obvious distortion in the panorama modes, note the back window of the Jeep



This is shot using the blur background mode. 

Most of the following were shot from a moving car, through dirty glass:

















Shot in HDR+ mode. 

Overall the camera behaves almost exactly like the DSC-TX9, except the lens is much nicer, and the vibration reduction is more effective. It is really hard to take a bad shot with this camera. Colors are usually warm, except on video. I uploaded a sample in AVCHD 1080/60p here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Micro samples: Celestron 44302

These are my first attempts at micro photography, thanks to my new toy:

US quarter

US quarter

Gap on Army ID tag, this was the result of my near electrocution many years ago. 




6mm screw

6mm screw head

6mm screw thread

McDonnald's French fry

US dime

Amazon Kindle 3 e-ink screen

24" Samsung LCD

Casio AWG-100

Casio AWG-100

Casio AWG-100

US dime

US dime

US dime

US dime

US dime

US current $5 note

US current $5 note

Nail scissors