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New Superconductor Theory May Revolutionize Electrical Engineering

vmxeo Re:Good Stuff (92 comments)

Whoa there buddy. I'm not against "super"conductors. I just think we should suspend all research, development or mention of them until they've been proven completely and absolutely safe. We wouldn't want them accidentally polluting our good, clean, natural, organic conductors, now would we? Think of the children!

about 4 months ago
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West Antarctica Warming Faster Than Thought

vmxeo Re:WEST Antarctica? (247 comments)

I'm having a little trouble visualizing this concept.
I can imagine North, or South Antarctica, but those don't seem very useful either.

And here I thought the cardinal directions for that continent were North, South, More South, and Suddenly North Again.

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows.

You'd know better than me, but I suspect recording at higher frame rates then digitally down converting the rate down would allow you to get more than 360 degrees of shutter angle. So you could get a blur like 24 fps with 24 fps speeds. Of course that would be expensive today, but in a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if it become common place.

I've done the same thing with our radar system. Our raw "frame rate" is 1/200 of second at a 348.75 degree shutter. Post processed we usually use 1/5 of a second and the shutter angle varies depending on what we're trying to see.

You're right, there's ways of cheating around it after it's been filmed. You have the luxury of simply needing it to be accurate rather than just look good to someone else though ;)

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

So could one film at 48fps with a higher shutter rate to get a smoother (i.e. more motion blur) effect?

Theoretically 24fps with a 180 shutter angle and 48 with a full 360 shutter angle would have the same amount of motion blur, as they'd both expose the individual frames at 1/48 second. I'm not sure how'd that'd look, or if its even possible to do with a camera. Might be fun to try.

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows.

Post processing by averaging frames is definitely practical, especially as these were shot on digital cameras to begin with. Of course, you loose most of the benefit of the higher frame rate if you do that, but it is entirely possible if they decide they don't like the raw results.

"Practical" in film terms has a very precise meaning which I kinda glossed over. It means something that can be done in camera. What you're referring to is what would be referred to in the past as a "special" effect. Today I mostly hear it referred to as a post effect, digital effect, or more commonly, expensive. :)

but yes it is possible

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

It sounds like you're saying that this formula holds:

disk spin rate ~ (proportional to) shutter angle * frame rate ... and that if you keep the speed at which the disk spins fixed, then as you bump up the frame rate, the shutter angle falls.

Why not simultaneously make the disk spin faster, and increase the frame rate, so can keep the same shutter angle?

Ehh... its more like (1/framerate) / (shutter angle/360) = shutter speed. So at 24fps at 180 degree shutter angle you'd have a shutter speed of 1/48 of a second. Compare that to 48fps, where you have 1/96 of a second exposure. You now have twice the FPS with half the motion blur. You wouldn't think it would look much different but it does. That's the difference between "dreamy" 24fps and "more realistic" 48fps.

Though since you brought it up, you could theoretically shoot at 48fps with a full 360 shutter angle and would have the same motion blur as 24fps at 180. I have no idea of how it would look, or if thats even possible with any camera, but it'd be interesting to try.

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

Hi there. Technical director here. Just need to step in a clarify the relationship between frame rate and motion blur... Here's the catch though: because your film stock is rolling by at 24 frames per second, each frame can only be exposed for 1/24 of a second or less. If you use a smaller shutter angle, or faster frame rate, you get less motion blur.

That sounds like it used to be true for old-fashioned film photography, but is surely irrelevant in a world where we can post-process to get any effect we want, and can use CCDs on digital cameras to be exposed for as long as we want.

Not at all irrelevant. I can't expose frames for a full second if I expect to be filming at 24 frames per second. In fact, to actually record 24fps, I need to expose and record 24 frames per second. I can of course, lower the frame rate in post through a variety of methods, and there are even some tools for interpolating higher frame rates (e.g.Twixtor for AE). But there are no straight forward ways of exposing longer than your frame rate allows.

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (599 comments)

I recently played a game called Nitronic Rush (fast free Wipeout clone, with tron-esque graphics, great fun btw). I set it to 60fps, but the graphics are 'enhanced' by motion blur, which 60fps normally doesn't 'need'. We're talking at least a couple of frames worth, and maybe up to 5 frames worth of artificial motion blur. However, I find this actually gets the best of both worlds. You get the smoother motion so that your eyes don't ache, and any fast panning looks convincing. But you also get the cinematic 'blurry' look that 24fps films provide (24fps film techniques employ motion blur naturally, or at least something similar to motion blur).

I think 60fps with this kind of motion blur may have a big future for it.

Sorry, but while you can do high frame rates with large motion blur values on the computer, it doesn't work like that for film/video. I've written a whole long post as to why it doesn't in a thread below, but the short of it is this:you can't get more motion blur than your frame rate allows. If you're shooting 60fps, that means 1/60 second or less of motion blur, which isn't much. In the CG and gaming world, there are cheats around this. But again this doesn't work for film/video (unless you add it in post, but again that's a CG cheat ).

about a year ago
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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

vmxeo Re:Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap oper (599 comments)

Hi there. Technical director here. Just need to step in a clarify the relationship between frame rate and motion blur. I'm seeing a lot of posts that are calling for higher frame rates with more motion blur, as if they are two completely independent things. They're actually closely linked. Let me explain:

Motion blur is the effect of a moving object in the frame while the shutter is open. In photography, the time the shutter is open is called the shutter speed, and is used along with iso and aperture to control the overall exposure. If you know anything about photography, this is pretty basic stuff.

In the film world, the equivalent of shutter speed is what's known as shutter angle. This is because the shutter for film camera is a spinning disk, of which a portion lets light through and a portion blocks it as it spins. The portion, measured in degrees, that lets the light in is the shutter angle. Typically, the shutter angle used in film is 180 degrees, meaning during half that 1/24 of a second frame rate, the film is being exposed. In photographic shutter speed terms, that would be the same as 1/48. Again, not too complicated.

Here's the catch though: because your film stock is rolling by at 24 frames per second, each frame can only be exposed for 1/24 of a second or less. If you use a smaller shutter angle, or faster frame rate, you get less motion blur. What this means is there's no practical (the film industry definition of practical) way of getting more motion blur than your frame rate and shutter angle allows. The faster you go, the crisper the action will be.

So at this point you're probably wondering who cares about the amount of motion blur in a movie? The answer is: the audience. The industry has shot film at 24fps with a 180 degree shutter angle for so long that's what everyone is used to. The last thing you want is to distract your audience away from enjoying the movie because there's know there's something different about the picture quality but they can't figure out what.

Finally, I'd like to point out that this choice of frame rate, like many other subjective decisions that are made during a movie production, are made at the director's discretion. Peter Jackson is going out on a limb by shooting a movie at this frame rate, and doubtless he has his reasons for doing so (mostly due to it being shot in 3d as I recall) but it's still his call. The industry talk I hear views it as an experiment, and everyone's curious as to how it will work (or won't). If audiences do get used to it and like it, expect to see more movies shot like this, and in enough time it will be the new standard.

about a year ago
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Large Hadron Collider May Have Produced New Matter

vmxeo Re:New Matter? (238 comments)

I know its just the heading, but the whole "new matter" vs "new TYPE of matter" is kind of an important distinction.

Does it *really* matter?

about a year ago
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Fabricating Nature and a Physical Turing Test

vmxeo Right conclusion, wrong reasoning (36 comments)

CG artists and designers know very well the limitations and tediousness of modeling with polygons. Mesh models tend to have all kinds of problems such as cracks, holes and self-intersections. This is due to a disconnect between the real world being represented and the modeling software's attempts to represent real, volumetric, complex and “messy” objects by only surfaces.

The attack on polygons is rather unwarranted. True, surfaces are only able to visually represent an actual solid object, but then again for most visual media that's all you need them to do. Ever been on a movie set? The walls are thin wood supported by flimsy frames. Floors are painted on. Props and set pieces are often foam. Materials are cheap, lightweight, and easy to handle. There's no way any of that would work for an actual building, but again, it doesn't need to. It just needs to look like it could work.

Printing real world objects will need to account for much more than simply surfaces, much as a real structure requires more design and construction than a movie set. Developing procedurally generated materials and processes is an important step in making that happen. This goal of this project is to do just that.

In short: It's new media. New media requires new ways of working.

about a year and a half ago
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World's First 3D Printing Photo Booth

vmxeo Re:should be faster... (60 comments)

I don't get why it would take 15 minutes?

If it's laser based (lidar), you should be able to have a single lidar rotate around your body in less than a minute.
If it's IR based (think Kinect) you should be able to image in less than a minute.

The required CPU power and data storage are non issues on any modern computer.

15 minutes seems about right. I'm guessing they've simplified the article a bit by lumping the acquisition and cleanup stages together.

about a year and a half ago
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You Can't Print a Gun If You Have No 3D Printer

vmxeo It's like the old adage... (632 comments)

When all 3d printers are outlawed, only outlaws won't care because they will still have ready access to guns through illicit channels

...or something to that effect

about a year and a half ago
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LightSquared Wants To Share Weather-Balloon Frequencies for LTE

vmxeo Nice choice of spectrum (141 comments)

I suspect the request to "share" frequencies with weather balloon transmitters has less to do with available bandwidth and more to do with a relative lack of industry who will be able to stand up this time to object. Weather balloons typically transmit at less than 300 milliwatts. If they couldn't figure out how to keep their land based-transmitters from overpowering 50 watt gps signals, I don't see how high-altitude balloons signals will fare any better.

about a year and a half ago
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Want to Change the Slashdot Logo? For 1 Day in October, You Can

vmxeo Ugh. Spec work. (128 comments)

Sorry, but not from me. The powers that run Slashdot probably have good intentions, but more often that not, these design contest are really just cheap ways to get work for nothing (or relatively little). Considering graphic artists are already chronically underappreciated and underpaid by clients, this really isn't fair.

But hey, don't let me discourage any of you aspiring artists out there ...;)

Btw: yes, this is a real concern: http://www.no-spec.com/ http://www.aiga.org/position-spec-work/

CAPTCHA: usable

about a year and a half ago
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Google Killing Off Mini, Video, and iGoogle

vmxeo What exactly am I suppose to replace it with? (329 comments)

Reading over the sunset annoucement, I don't think they realize how people really use it. It's not a mobile service, and it isn't simply a redundant link to stuff, it's a dashboard of what I'm interested in and a portal to all of Google's other services. It's also not just a homepage, it's the page I have open on my desktop all the time.

about 2 years ago
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DHS Sends Tourists Home Over Twitter Jokes

vmxeo Re:Context is important (709 comments)

So, you're saying, "It's OK because they're white and thus obviously not a threat?"

No, I'm saying absent any contextual information, 140 characters can be widely interpreted as different things by a global audience. An audience who subconsciously fill in the context based upon their own individual culture, background, beliefs, ideas, worldview, etc.

Happens both in Tweets and in Slashdot posts.

more than 2 years ago
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DHS Sends Tourists Home Over Twitter Jokes

vmxeo Context is important (709 comments)

'They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093796/British-tourists-arrested-America-terror-charges-Twitter-jokes.html

Context is very important. Especially when dealing with a different culture, even though they may share a common language

Of course, as these young Brits discovered, this works both ways.

more than 2 years ago
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Android Tricorder Killed By CBS

vmxeo They Yanked an iPad app too (247 comments)

A similar story made the rounds last April. CBS claimed copyright infringement on the "DiagnosticPADD" app for the iPad. Specifically, CBS claimed

“the Application uses the ‘PADD’ trademark and the interface is substantially similar to CBSS’ copyrighted LCARS interface. Your use of the Series’ Properties improperly trades on the goodwill and reputation of CBSS and the Series and is likely to cause confusion among consumers that the Application is affiliated with or licensed by CBSS and/or the Series. CBSS has concluded that such use constitutes trademark infringement, dilution, passing off and misappropriation under the Lanham Act and applicable state laws, as well as copyright infringement under applicable U.S. copyright law and counterpart laws around the world.”

What's confusing to me is they seem to flip back and forth between copyright and trademark infringement. I'm not sure how either would apply here anyway.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

vmxeo hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Philadelphia Requiring Business Licenses for Bloggers

vmxeo vmxeo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

To Marilyn Bess, her website is a hobby. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she'Âï½Â½ÃÂ(TM)s made about $50. To the city of Philadelphia, it'Âï½Â½ÃÂ(TM)s a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license. According to Andrea Mannino of the Philadelphia Department of Revenue, in fact, simply choosing the option to make money from ads â" regardless of how much or little money is actually generated â" qualifies a blog as a business.

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New MacBooks include HDCP; Won't let you watch iTunes Movies

vmxeo vmxeo writes  |  more than 5 years ago New Macbook users have been introduced to another level of DRM recently when trying to watch some movies downloaded from iTunes. Ars Technica first picked up the story after a teacher complained he couldn't watch Hellboy 2 on a classroom projector. (It was not mentioned whether he intented to watch it by himself or show it to his class). Many users on the Apple Support forums have also reported this same problem. New Macbooks include HDCP, and a number of new and older movies on iTunes are flagged not to play if a non-HDCP compliant display device is attached to the notebook.

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Microsoft Office 2007 Fails OOXML Conformance Tests

vmxeo vmxeo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Alex Brown, head of th ISO OOXML standard group, revealed in a blog posting last week that Microsoft Office 2007 fails conformance testing with its own ISO OOXML standard.

In short:

"Word documents generated by today's version of MS Office 2007 do not conform to ISO/IEC 29500"

Alex goes on to wonder at the end of his posting how well most other word processors would fare with ODF.

Groklaw has also weighed in with comments on the not-entirely-surprising reveltation.

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Microsoft's fast track bid for OOXML standarization rejected

vmxeo vmxeo writes  |  more than 6 years ago Microsoft's push for fast-track approval of its OOXML document format as an ISO standard has failed, according to a news article from PC World. The proposal now must be reworked to address comments made during the voting process and will be up for another vote by ISO members early next year. Details on the voting outcome can also be found at Groklaw, and you can read Microsoft's spin on the outcome here.

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