The other day I was using an ATM with a color touchscreen and I was thinking how if it had a skimmer attached I wouldn’t have a clue. They all look different, with different forms, materials and behavior.
Then it came to me: Why not have an option on the atm where it will show you a photo of itself on the screen? It seems like a great solution to a ridiculous problem. Other than ATMs that don’t have color screens are there any issues?
I just got back from the Sparkfun AVC. It was a blast! I shot a lot of video, but that will take a while to get processed edited and uploaded. In the meantime here are the things I thought were cool on the ‘factory tour’ with a few AVC shots thrown in.
This pond instill fear in a lot of AVC owner/operators. Strangely enough the airborne division didn’t seem to mind the water as much as the trees.
This lil guy broke down the day before the big race. Sigh. It’s not easy being autonomous.
Known for it’s blazing speed, Bluebot held it’s own. It eventually claimed first place in the DNF division!
So, like many of my readers I spent the morning watching firefox time out on sparkfun’s website. Eventually the clouds parted just in time for me to see the ticker go from 70k to 98k, to 100k. Just like that the first ever (annual?) sparkfun free day was over. I was bummed. Then I started thinking about it. Everything in my cart was something I wanted, and I did have a good time this morning, and I had a good time thinking about what I was going to get, and why. I have always thought sparkfun is a really cool company, and the fact that I can’t get this stuff for free isn’t going to stop me from buying it.
Right now there are probably a few thousand people still crashing the gates of sparkfun.com trying to get in on free day. It is over. They rewarded us with the chance to get free stuff. I personally am going to thank them by buying it anyways.
The other night I was out filming traffic. I ended up getting a really weird camera artifact. It looks like a dark bar that rolls through the shot from bottom to top. At first it made me freak out a bit, thinking that the camera was somehow broken. I eventually figured out that it is the result of A) a flickering light source and B) the right (wrong) shutter speed. I think the streetlights were tungsten bulbs, but they may have been HID bulbs. Whatever they were they definitely had a flicker to them.
I read somewhere that ideally you should shoot a shutter speed that is double the frame rate. This gives you a 180 degree shutter and it should look very similar to film. The way that I made these bars appear was by changing the shutter speed away from 1/125 when I was shooting 720p60. I have ideas as to why this creates the banding, but they are all theories. If you have any more insight pleas tell me in the comments! Moral of the story: keep the shutter speed at twice the frames per second. Change the aperture, or buy a faster lens!
I can only hope that there will be a lot of other happy people unwrapping new cameras this christmas. I bought my 7d about a month ago, and the best/worst thing is that now I realize buying it is just the beginning. I want to buy sooo much gear to use with it, and it is tough to find well recommended, modestly priced gear. Here is the short list of what I have or want to buy, to wet your creative whistle.
bogen tripod with fluid head.
If you buy nothing else on this list, get a tripod and a fluid head. The 5d/7d do not have ANY image stabilization capabilities, so if you plan on using any lens longer than a 50 you will need to use a tripod. The fluid head is also critical because many other types of heads are built for still photos. They are easily adjustable, but not in smooth movements. A fluid head is designed for video, and is the only real way to get a smooth pan.
There were a few different stages of excitement that I went through after getting my Canon 7d. First I played around with all of my manual nikon lenses (using an adapter of course). Next I marveled at the settings and the live view feature. Finally I decided I wanted to go out and shoot some slow motion video. This is fairly easy to do seeing as the camera shoots both 720p and ntsc at 60 frames a second. The software side of slowing things down required some thinking, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
Here is what I (and the wisdom of the internet) have come up with.
UPDATE – I just spoke with the VP of customer service at media temple. It seems as though there is a lot in the works. He wanted to reassure me that their reaction to this has been very carefully thought out, and that they are currently investigating the hacks.
While I generally want to know everything about anything immediately as it happens, I understand that if MT handled this that way it could lead to a situation where an exploit was widely disseminated before the vendors had a chance to patch it. There are an incredible number of pieces of hardware and software involved, and it only takes one exploitable piece to create a problem.
In short, sit tight. Media Temple will hopefully release more info when the time is right. In the meantime you can rest assured that their measured reaction is the result of careful consideration, not sloth.
I will leave the original post below quoted for reference.
There aren’t many answers here, but recently this site was hacked (which is bad) and my host Media temple saw errant behavior, (and recognized it) changed the ftp password, and restored backup to the site (which was good!)
At first I was not very upset. These things happen, and it seemed like media temple did the right thing in a timely manner. Then today I searched for one of the php files the hackers had put up on my site and discovered this page (google cache) which has quite a few other sites that had been hacked in a similar fashion. Something very fishy seems to be going on here.
Media temple sent out an email blaming the hacks on old ftp passwords. That would make sense if it was a handful, but hundreds of sites? That sounds like something only Media temple could screw up.
Introduction - just in case you haven’t renewed your geek card for the past year (decade?) Arduino is a term that refers to a microcontroller on a board that has certain hardware and software ‘shortcuts’ figured out. It was designed to be as plug and play as possible, and to lower the barrier to entry for people who want to let their computer interact with the physical world. The programming language is fairly simple and very well documented, and it is a matter of minutes between installing the software and uploading your first program! Like I usually do, there is an amazon store here in case you don’t want to read my witty banter.
arduino – the meat and potatoes of this whole shebang.
The cool thing about arduinos are that even if you already have one, you canalways find a use for another! You can set them up to ‘talk’ to each other. You can leave a project set up after finishing it, or be able to prototype multiple projects at the same time. Also, there are a wide array of shapes and sizes (and prices) of arduinos, and each one is suited for a different application.
You can start out with the ‘classic’ Duemilanove. It is the original form factor, and most of the shields are built to fit this one. This is a great one to use for prototyping, and if need be you can use a smaller board in your finished project. If this is your first arduino I would recommend getting the kit which includes jumper wires, a breadboard, some LEDs, resistors and a pushbutton. That way you can start making things blink as soon as you get it out of the box!
MEGA -The arduino mega is just like the Duemilanove except that it uses a bigger chip, is a bigger board, and has more inputs and outputs. Most of the code is portable across the two. If you have a project that needs more i/o’s than the smaller chips, then this is right up your alley!
I have really had a lot of fun shooting pictures of things and learning about photography in the last few years. One thing I love about digital photography is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to take a lot of pictures. I have had an absolute blast playing around making pinhole lenses, taking infra red pictures, and playing around with garage sale flashes.
Here are a lot of ideas (and links!) for gifts for the photographer in your life, arranged by price from low to high. Most of these links are nikon-specific, but if you like the idea, there is definitely a canon version to be found out there! Side note: if you don’t want to read my interpretation, then you can just click here and find the list at amazon.
ir remote – You can control your camera with a remote! These little guys are good for group photos, stop motion work, and for the times your camera is way out of reach. They’re cheap too!
flash slave – This is a neat tiny little bit of electronics that you pop onto the bottom of a flash and it will fire whenever it sees another flash fire. These aren’t as good as the high tech versions out there, but they still do the trick a lot of the time. These can be found for $8