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FCC Ups Penalties For Caller ID Spoofing

purduephotog Political Robo-calls (68 comments)

How about making it a crime to have a robocall from a politician that has spoofed caller ID?

I'm pretty sure when I was getting phone calls for the 000-000-0000 was not a valid phone number.... and was simply used to block anon call blocking.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Tests a Home-Delivery Service For Groceries

purduephotog I'd do it in a hearbeat- (176 comments)

Heck, I'd even do it if I had to drive to a local spot and pick them up. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of having to goto one local store (Wegmans) with their idea of sale prices - 2 for $5....

Let me order or queue what I need during the week and I'll decide when to go get it. No lists, no coupons.

more than 3 years ago

Inducement To Piracy, Adobe Style

purduephotog Reverse Engineering, of course- (272 comments)

Not the software, but the file format.

A former engineer at our company ran into a problem- his 'mac' produced help files would only work in version 1.0 of the context software, and the minimum upgrade was to 3.1. 3.0 was the last version that was backwards compatible with 1.0.

In short, it was a cluster f.... but he solved it brilliantly.

Looking at the header of the file... he discovered that the FIRST damn byte was off by 1 hex code. So all of the tech support calls, all of the demands for fixing this- all of these issues and being told there was NO WAY to make the earlier files compatible with the most recent ... were bullshit. He hex-edited the old files and they worked perfectly fine.

I wish he still worked for us instead of being laid off. His intelligence is missed.

more than 3 years ago

How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

purduephotog Just buy hard drives. (680 comments)

I've tried a few dozen different methods of making backups and nothing ever really works- if you want cheap, it won't be automated or simple. If you want simple, it won't be cheap. If you want automated, you might miss something.

While 16 gb of data seems like a lot there are days I shoot 16 gb before lunch- when mentoring HS students and filming events you can blow through 16gb very quickly. Now there are some great photo applications that offer you opportunities to back up everything, but I'm just really not into those as I don't trust them.

My suggestions, which work for me-

DIM (Digital Image Mover). Download, rename, renumber, date, and CRC check your files.
(I really wish.... it had a dual copy method).

Immediately burn a DVD backup. I've gotten lax here because I started shooting more... otherwise... ...insert another 500gb to 1tb drive into an external e-sata or usb3 reader and copy all files that you just downloaded (or run DIM again) to the external device.

Duplicate that a third time.

Disconnect both copies.

When one is full, add another drive and store off site.

I have about 10 different HDs in rotation and store images on my media server as well as the internal hardware RAID-5 system. Hard drives go to my Father-in-law's place for backup.

about 4 years ago

Nintendo Warns 3D Games Can Ruin Children's Eyes

purduephotog No kidding. Known for years. (229 comments)

This has been covered half a dozen times yet no one in the media gets it: 3D that is being popularized strains the eyes and messes with the brain. I've yet to see a movie that states you shouldn't drive for 2 hours after watching it to let your depth perception recover- because it has been hacked at with the method of presentation.

Everyone LOVES 3D that really pops- and to get that level of pop the eyes must be further and further strained outwards. While this is fine for the short term, immediate needs doing it for any length of time is a huge stressor.

Unfortunately I am at home and don't have any of the papers that were published in the late 80's and 90's about these issues. Sega (damn memory) had a unit that was going to be 3D capable but ended up canning it for a variety of issues- including the health of children. Obviously now adays that isn't a concern and money, as always, comes first.

I know of some military groups that prohibit their members from operating a vehicle for 8 hours after performing 2-4 hours of stereo work. They must be driven home by a buddy. That's not over-reacting in my opinion.

Crewmen of submarines must recover their 3D vision after spending so long cooped up with nothing 'far' available to be seen. They're also banned from operating vehicles while in port for some duration.

Why is it any surprise that a developing brain can be traumatized by seeing something that it wasn't wired to see?

Go ahead- screw your kids up. Mine won't be. I've got hundreds of other ways to mess them up :)

about 4 years ago

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

purduephotog SLightly more pressure than a balloon. (571 comments)

Contrary to the humorous jokes about popping balloons, mentos and coke, etc- these do have significant explosive force. When they're at full pressure they can maim. While the first google search of "dry ice bomb accident" turns up a youtube video of a small bottle, one can also see videos from Mythbusters where they used 2 liter containers.

Very quickly you can see that putting one of these inside of a mailbox can do serious damage.

These are no different than the drain bombs of my 'youth' when kids were stuffing them in mailboxes everywhere. Those did cause serious injuries- given the reaction of the lye and the shrapnel from the explosions.

Should Mom be charged? No, she shouldn't, and there should be some common sense applied. But since a 14 year old can't exactly buy dry ice (at least not at the places I fill my CO2 tanks at) then she was supplying him- and if she wasn't supervising him doing this... there is a degree of recklessness that needs to be addressed.

Maybe she doesn't understand how dangerous these things can be? I doubt the kid was wearing a face shield with gloves and an apron to protect himself incase of premature detonation.

As a society we all would pay if this child was injured. That's the overriding concern- and society would be screaming right now if the police had showed up, said "Oh, OK, keep at it" and left... and then the kid was in an accident and cost (lets say an eye) his sight.

You can't have it both ways.

more than 4 years ago

Toyota Robot Violinist Wows At Shanghai Expo

purduephotog Flight of the Bumblebee (121 comments)

When it can play Flight of the Bumblebee, better than Itzhak Perlman and/or Joshua Bell, then I'll take notice...

Or better still, when it can have new music 'downloaded' into it and interpreted based upon previous styles (such as baroque style)...

more than 4 years ago

Why Computer Science Students Cheat

purduephotog I once caught students cheating (694 comments)

Our course was easy. Given some inputs, make them match exactly via the diff command to the outputs. It was really pathetically easy to pass, unless you mis-implemented something (happens).

Code review was checked via a number of methods- usually more hype than reality, but it still happened.

I had a couple of different students submit the same code- different names, variables, orders, etc. What gave it up? They had extra spaces at the end of the lines. Usually two, sometimes three- as if the tab was replaced and rounded up. This matched, space for space, for each function regardless of the name of the function or the variables.

100$ fraudulent. Global search and replace.

Prof passed them both. No warnings, no nothing.

I stopped being a TA at that point.

more than 4 years ago

Virtualizing Workstations For Common Hardware?

purduephotog Specialized requirements (349 comments)

Not always is a common solution the right one. Many times they lack the requisite low level IO needed to do the job right.

Take, for instance, DDC/CI. I don't know what you're doing and that's fine, but in my line of work we have to talk to the monitor. You ain't doin' that on a virtual machine.

Just because it's virtual doesn't mean it's better.

more than 4 years ago

Ubisoft DRM Problems Remain Unsolved

purduephotog Re:Demand a Refund (430 comments)

Yes, I understand it needed to be connected to the internet. However UBISOFT has failed in their promise to provide the necessary connectivity to execute the game.

Reminds me of a Dilbert- where Dogbert sells tickets on his 'Dogbert Air', but there are no planes.

more than 4 years ago

Ubisoft DRM Problems Remain Unsolved

purduephotog Demand a Refund (430 comments)

Of course since the game has been opened, it can't be returned. It would be interesting to go the Credit Card approach that the item was not substantially as promised and provide the attempts at resolution that have been made.

Execute a chargeback, and then when you're in the clear destroy your copy of the disk.

(Personally then go outside and get some fresh air, but not everyone can do that)

more than 4 years ago

DNA Cancer Codes Cracked By International Effort

purduephotog I'll take whatever advancement we've got. (106 comments)

I was diagnosed with stage 5 cancer at age 17. I'm still alive at age 33.

There's not a day that goes by when I don't look at my disfigured face and wonder what thing would have been like if I'd caught it sooner- according to one doc, I'd have been dead because my body wouldn't have fought it off. Who knows.

But anything that gets a genetic component and allows them to focus better on killing off the cells that have tormented me for over a dozen years I'll be more than grateful. There isn't a trip to the doctor that doesn't send shiver of fear down my spine, whether or not I'll be able to continue to provide for my family- whether or not that cough that started was due to pollen or something else... whether or not that pain in the side is a kidney stone or something more sinister.

Cancer is a killer. Even the survivors die a little every day.

more than 4 years ago

Chicago Debates Merits of ShotSpotter Technology

purduephotog We have it in Rochester, NY (385 comments)

It works great, or so I'm told. They're able to get cops to where the shooter fired within minutes- and in plenty of time to round up witnesses who swear they "saw nuttin".

There's been at least one drive by in my 'work' neighborhood, and about a dozen+ deaths within a mile. Two bullets in our building. One in the front door within 5 minutes of me entering it (now THAT will freak you out- come into work, forget something, go back to the car and the door has been shot).

more than 4 years ago

Carbon-14 Dating Reveals 5% of Vintage Wines May Be Frauds

purduephotog Lack of details, other sources of carbon... (336 comments)

When I read the article I came up with over a dozen questions, none of which were adequately explained. Thus:

Other sources of carbon in the batch- You've got oak, the toasting process, blending of different types of oak/wines, reuse of barrels, different toasted barrels, different types of oak in the barrel, the possibility of a really old oak barrel (neutral) used for fermentation and combination of items such as StaVin's Oak Cubes or Oak Staves, (two different sources of carbon)...

Oak is aged anywhere from 2-3 years before toasting. Toasted oak could be years different than what the year of the vintage is. Oak Trees are significant sources of variability. (Toasting oak releases sugars and flavours into the wine).

Chaptalization is another source- sometimes wines are started with diluted or various mixes of sugar and water to strengthen the yeast growth. You have a grape must that is a little low in sugar- so add more sugar. Where did it come from? Who knows. Probably not beet sugar, if you know what I mean.

Say you have a stuck fermentation- you take some wine out, dilute it, add more sugar, wine, repeat- eventually bringing up the level until the yeast are strong enough to take back over.

Finally, you have blends. To the best of my knowledge a blended wine doesn't have to state the year or can state the year of the major component - depending on the laws of the region.

All in all... not the best article.

more than 4 years ago

Carbon-14 Dating Reveals 5% of Vintage Wines May Be Frauds

purduephotog Re:-1 wine snobs (336 comments)

Actually, my wife and I make our own wine. We compare with other neighbors that do- and sometimes the 'vintages' are expressed in single digits- representing the number of WEEKS it's aged.

(And not all homemade wine is crap. I follow the same processes the big wineries do- even down to a sub-micron filter for clarification and stabilization. I use the same chemicals, same oaks, etc. My wines tend to be very good)...

more than 4 years ago

Surgeon Performs World's First 4X HD Surgery

purduephotog We own a 4x HD monitor (101 comments)

Well, actually, it's around 3.5 HD, but it's the thought that counts.

This baby is awesome. I get to look at tons of displays for work and this one still takes the cake- it's made by Barco, is incredibly bright, has a built in calibration puck, comes with some decent software (ie, easily 'configured' for our purposes), and all around blows the socks off of everything on the market.

Don't mind the $16K price tag.

The diffuser used is so clean you could eat off it- none of that nasty subsurface artifacting that looks like dust on your screen (speckle). Just pure, rich, saturated colors that are accurately represented with no TFT structure to worry about.

Now, IBM had the T221 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors) which had a native resolution of 3840x2200- at 200ppi- so that your eyes could never make out the substructure of the pixels. Best of all the monitor had hardware interpolation- it could be used at 1/2x to basically present the user a clean screen with nothing to distract your eyes from. IBM did this back in 2000!

more than 5 years ago

Linear measure of books on shelves in my dwelling:

purduephotog Re:300+ (576 comments)

I'm pretty sure the fire marshal would want to talk to you. Your bedroom is probably limited to 15 individuals or less, you kinky bastard.

more than 5 years ago

Software To Flatten a Photographed Book?

purduephotog Re:What does "and patented" have to do with it? (172 comments)


How you stitch together a book doesn't matter if it's for your own personal use.

Now, if you want to go commercial you've got quite a few things to figure out.

Regardless, what you're wanting to do is basically orthorectification. There is an open source package out there that does that. Figuring out how to do so would be left to you, but I'd recommend using some sort of yellow projection grid (or red from a red laser) to map the distortion and correct it by treating it as a DEM.

Poor man method- so long as you only want bw scans :)

more than 5 years ago

Fungivarius Beats $2 Million Stradivarius Violin

purduephotog The most beautiful sound (210 comments)

When I was much much younger I was purchasing a violin. While at this shop the owner had a 'cheap' Stradivarius. After I had selected the instrument I wanted (this had been going on for weeks of trying them) the owner let me hold, and play, his 'cheap' Stradivarius.

The sound that effused out of that instrument can not be put into words to hear and feel... it made the one I selected sound as if it were a cheap knockoff made of plastic. The tones could not even be compared in the same room- one was transmitted through steel cups and a string, the other was singing in front of you.

To this day that is one of the more emotional feelings of music I have ever felt.

To have that sacred sound reproduced for everyone to have access to- I don't know. It is such a beautiful instrument that, currently, only the elite can have and play (most instruments are endowed to players- on 'loan'). Should everyone have access... would it be the same?

more than 5 years ago



purduephotog purduephotog writes  |  more than 8 years ago

purduephotog writes "CNN Writes: Former Vermont Sen. Robert Stafford, a staunch environmentalist and champion of education whose name is familiar to countless college students through a loan program named for him, died Saturday. He was 93.

In 1988, Congress saluted his dedication to education measures, renaming the Federal Guaranteed Student Loan program the Robert T. Stafford Student Loan program. The low-interest loans are now known almost universally as Stafford loans to the millions who qualify for them each year.

Many of us owe our college experience to the loans granted in his name- I know I would not have been able to finance my college without it."



purduephotog purduephotog writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just watched the Pianist. Unbelievable. I've heard it compared to Schindler's List- it's not. I've heard it compared to Saving Private Ryan, it's not. It's an unbelievable mixture of pain, suffering, hope, and strength... powered by a detachment to the realm of the beauty of music.

I wish I could write more eloquent about the setting, the director, but I can't. I'm just dumbfounded that everythign that happened was allowed to happen... and incredibly saddened by the loss that is suddenly apparent.

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