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Comment Re: Nothing is new under the sun? (Score 2) 65

Yeah, reminds me of sparse imaging / compressive sensing too. Nothing new here except perhaps they aim for a consumer product. I would still welcome any device capable of imaging at high resolution and wide dynamic range without a lens. Lenses are so medieval, we should do better.

As their paper points out, these pinhole systems really suffer from the fact the the imaging aperture is TINY. This produces a low resolution, high depth of field image like a camera with a very "high / slow" F/# .
High degrees of multiplexing also require high bit depth measurements and low noise, driving sensor cost up.

Comment Nothing is new under the sun? (Score 4, Interesting) 65

The way the NPR article describes this, it is no different from Uniformly Redundant Arrays, i.e. Coded Aperture Imaging: see If you look at the 1998 paper, "Uniformly Redundant Arrays" by Busboom et al, the first sentence describes work from the 1960s:

Coded aperture imaging (CAI) (Mertz and Young, 1961; Dicke, 1968) has matured as a standard imaging technique in X–ray and Gamma-ray astronomy. It is capable of combining high angular resolution with good photon collection efficiency by using a mask consisting of transparent and opaque elements placed in front of a position sensitive detector (Figure 1).

So is the only innovation here using more pinholes, more pixels, and more processing than were around in the 1990s?

Comment War was not invented 10k years ago (Score 4, Interesting) 151

The title is pretty honest: this is early evidence of war. I agree that we likely cannot observe too many battlegrounds 10,000 years later. The annoying thing about these reporting on this article is that it makes it sound like humans invented war 10,000 years ago! A human 10,000 years ago is virtually identical to us today, so why would we expect them any less capable or motivated to commit mass murder than someone today?

Comment Re:Go for servers (Score 1) 197

Having done this twice in the past 4 years, my suggestion is to use rack mounted x86 PCs/servers with dual graphics cards. With ATI cards you can go to 8 or 16 monitors per server and as long as you keep a ratio of 1 screen / cpu, you should be fine (capacity wise). Using PCs (a) will allow for easy maintenance and (b) will be easy for others to work on them. PCs are also much easier to upgrade (hardware wise) as they keep the manual effort needed to a minimum. We've done this with PCs and PIs. PIs are a fun project and so far they work well, but you *will* be swearing in the process as you will have to figure out many things, including power, cabling, mounting, etc.

I built a setup like this (50X LCDs) closer to 10 yrs ago with a rack of servers, and I think it was a mistake. I should have used small desktop PCs. I was somewhat budget limited, so it was a bit of a stretch to get all the monitors driven by the limited set of servers + multiple video cards. In the end I had an array of client machines network-booting from a single server. I could have used a rack of small desktops as the clients and had 2x more CPUs and higher performance graphics cards for the same price. I would have kept an extra ~10% desktop computers on hand to swap in if any failed. Since they were network booting, there was minimal setup to add a new client to the system.

Comment Re:Hooked too... (Score 1) 110

I agree -- I read the first volume of the Baroque Cycle and couldn't find motivation to read any more. It had some great moments, but they were too few to make it a good book. I wonder if he did so well with Cryptonomicon that he decided to write the Baroque Cycle without an editor. Maybe if I was really bored or didn't have any other books to read I would pick it up again.

Comment Re:Double tassel ... (Score 1) 216

No. You can't. We offer very good salary and benefits. The people just aren't out there. There are no coders in Southern California. Every coder I know has a really great job right now and every company I know has 4-5 job openings that are unfilled. And there's nothing anyone can do except raise salaries and steal coders away from another job.

Translation: We want to hire coders but do not offer benefits that are as good as the competition. We need to import foreign workers who will work for less $$$!!! It's not our fault that employees can't afford a mortgage with our current benefits package -- that's just the cost of living in the area!

Comment Definitely a HOAX (Score 2) 175

1. Bogus idea: They are going to build a UAV from scratch, fly it from CA to NK and back, all for $10K? They could barely afford the fuel they need for $10K! 2. Arbitrarily using the word "Tesla" -- might as well jump on the Tesla Meme Bandwagon promoted by The Oatmeal to get some popularity. 3. Going after a political hot topic, North Korea, to get some more press attention. 4. Yep, it's a bogus kick starter.

Comment Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (Score 1) 646

If you correctly parse the original comment you will note that I was referring to a person's appearance, not their country of origin. I have met some Indians that share characteristics that some people consider to by stereotypically middle eastern. From a visual perspective, you could confuse the two.

Comment Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (Score 1) 646

Depending on a person from Indian / Pakistan / Bangladesh / Afganistan looked, you might hear them called Indian, Middle Eastern or just Asian.

Also, I would consider "Oriental" to be an archaic term that I would never hear in modern conversation. Chinese people tell me that "Oriental" is a racist term when applied to people, and should only be applied to rugs. This fits with AthanasiusKircher's above post about older terms used to describe a racial group becoming offensive as language evolves. Perhaps some people take offense because "Oriental" combines all racial subsets in the "eastern" hemisphere into a single group. In historical terms, I believe that Orient / Oriental and Occident / Occidental basically divided the world between the East (Middle East through Asia) and the West (Europe, or longitudes once covered by the Roman Empire).

Comment Re:Speculation... (Score 1) 455

Volvos will be made in China and exported to the US beginning next year.

*one* model of Volvo will be made in China and exported to the US late 2015. This model is the S60L, which is currently only built in China for the Chinese market. I've read about no other models coming to the US. I'm sure they will come eventually, though. If it wasn't for Geely (Volvo's owner), the company would probably heading for the same fate as Saab given their shrinking market share.

Comment income and parents' education (Score 1) 688

The BBC article shows a table of countries and their ranks. I'd like to see a couple more columns in the table, including the number of years the parents spent in school and some number relating the average income to the cost of living for the particular area in question. I bet the statistics for certain areas of the "Deep Southern" US would show families below the poverty line with parents who did not complete high school. Also, I'm shocked that Israel (rank #29), a country with a modern and high-tech reputation, is actually ranked below the United States (rank #27).

Comment Re:As opposed to the shining example of US democra (Score 1) 557

17.8% of the U.S. population voted for George W. Bush in 2000 [0]. 21.0% of the U.S. population voted for Barak Obama in 2012. [1]

Seems to me not very far off from the abstract's note that "15% of all Crimeans voted" to secede. If it's legitimate in the US, why not elsewhere?

[0] Yes, Al Gore did better by winning 18.1%.

[1] Percentages calculated mainly using Wikipedia's numbers, which admittedly are not a primary source, but I'll guess are probably "close enough" to make my point: (for 2012 population)

You assume that every citizen of the US is eligible to vote. Some are underage, some are ineligible due to being in prison. If you look at the correct numbers, you get:

Eligible voting population: 221,925,820
Total votes for Obama: 65,915,796
Percent of population voting for Obama in 2012: 29.7%

Comment Re:Jewelry (Score 1) 399

I wear a watch 1) to tell time and 2) as a piece of jewelry. Besides a wedding ring it's about the only piece of jewelry a guy can wear, and if you buy something nice (I have an Ebel Brasilia) it'll last forever, retain its value, and you can pass it on to your kids as a family heirloom.

That's the target market for luxury watchmakers. A smart watch is never going to compete with watches worn as jewelry.

High-end jewelry watches will retain some value, but I doubt I could buy one today and sell it for the same price next year. Long term it will probably retain 50-75% of its inflation adjusted purchase value, *if* you get a good deal on it and *if* it is in like-new condition. I'm sure you can find ultra-limited production runs of watches that go for over $25k that will retail full value within a set group of collectors, but i doubt an average Rolex will do to well as an investment.

Comment Eye / Head tracking required(?) (Score 1) 172

I think this would require eye tracking. The image projected on the windshield would change depending on the height of the driver, and would also change as you move your head up and down. It's a clever idea, but it could be very distracting as the image is continually adjusted for the height of your eyes.

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