Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.
Using techniques from the field of computer vision, Photosynth examines images for similarities to each other and uses that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point each photo was taken from. With this information, we recreate the space and use it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos. Photosynth was inspired by the breakthrough research on Photo Tourism from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research. This work pioneered the use of photogrammetry to power a cinematic and immersive experience
Providing that experience requires viewing a LOT of data though—much more than you generally get at any one time by surfing someone’s photo album on the web. That’s where our Seadragon™ technology comes in: delivering just the pixels you need, exactly when you need them. It allows you to browse through dozens of 5, 10, or 100(!) megapixel photos effortlessly, without fiddling with a bunch of thumbnails and waiting around for everything to load.
Check it out. I enjoyed trying to make a little vision of our entry way, piled with books so we could paint shelves and the living room. Cool!
I took these photos the day after the election. On the one hand, the skimpy leaf fall of the tree to the right in our yard, gray and pale, and to the left, the luxury of abundance, still with the vibrant pigments of fall, blanket the ground with the surety of their success.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Animals with brains of a squirrel can be pretty darned tricky. I brought out the bird feeder to lure the pretty birds to our east window, and it worked until the squirrels discovered the tasty seeds, which they could enjoy by leaping onto the bracket, then hanging upside down with their faces in the bird food. I began by banging the window to scare them away, but that only worked briefly. Those sunflower seeds were just too tasty. So I got out the shepherd's hook and hung the bird feeder on it, but it was still too close and the squirrels could leap from the bracket to the feeder. I took the bracket down and moved the hook yet further away, and that's where things stand. It should be higher.
The wife is keeping score. So far I think it's squirrels--1, human being--1. Birds are paying attention, enough so that after two days the feeder needs replenishing. Whew!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've made a lot of jokes about being in the Armed Services when I was a young man, but I joined ready to serve my country however the Army saw fit. I took the oath on October 19, 1974, when I was still a senior in high school, then graduated and went active duty on July 2, 1975, which made me just outside the Vietnam Veterans era. They sent me to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training, then to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for advanced individual training (AIT) in track vehicle mechanics. Then I found myself in Friedberg, (West) Germany, where I went to work for the 122 Maintenance Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division. There I stayed until July 1, 1977, when I walked off the base in Friedberg and went on with the next part of my life.
The service was good to me, though. I wouldn't be where I am without the GI Bill that helped put me through much of my schooling.
Thanks to those who serve or served, no matter how bad they looked in their military issue.