Thursday, November 23, 2006

Digital Camera Carnival

Since everybody's sharing their experiences with digital cameras, including Chester and Glenn Reynolds, here's my own two cent contribution. A few weeks ago I had considered getting a digital SLR, mainly on the strength of its ability to take good pictures under low-light and fast moving conditions. But digital SLRs have one key weakness: they can't take video. But the higher end "prosumer" cameras do; and one camera that works pretty well is the Canon S3 IS. And I've had its older brother the S1 IS for two years now, which while it lacks the features of its descendant is representative of cameras which can switch nearly instantly between still and video with sound.

The existence of YouTube means every blogger can post video as well as still. Having a digital SLR as your sole carried camera forgoes the video option, and that's too much of a price to pay. So in the end, I opted to pass on the digital SLR and keep the S1 IS. A sample in panoramic (you have to use stitching software to use this feature) is posted below the "Read More".


Blogger Charles said...

By Sharon Gaudin
Tue. November 21, 2006
Ray Kurzweil: Computers Will Extend Human Lifespan

In just 15 years, we'll begin to see the merger of human and computer intelligence that ultimately will enable people to live forever. At least that's the prediction of author and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil told a keynote audience at last week's SCO6 supercomputing conference that nanobots will roam our blood streams fixing diseased or aging organs, while computers will back up our human memories and rejuvenate our bodies by keeping us young in appearance and health.

The author of the book The Singularity Is Near, Kurzweil says within a quarter of a century, non-biological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. He predicts that it will then soar past human ability because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge.

See the rest of the article here

11/23/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess they are only my own guarded superstitions, but whenever I hear Kurzweil's predictions, I figure his place in history is not a prophet, but a high-water mark of optimism, before a darker tide turnsover.

Love to be wrong though. I'd gather more Kerry voters believe in Kurzweil than Bush voters, though maybe those demographic groupings no longer matter as of earlier this month.

Does that mean the majority of people in the US believe Kurzweil?

11/23/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I don't know that Kurweil's predictions will prove true in their particulars; but as a general proposition I think it is likely that we can't predict the future with any degree of confidence. Two examples. Cell phones in the Third World and the 21st Century as the new era of Religious War. Who would have known that?

After the Democrats won the election, I personally concluded that although I couldn't tell what might happen next, it was a fair bet that volatility would increase. And so far I have not been disappointed. What volatility implies is that, counterintuitively, you have to shorten your horizons. Increase your near term capabilities because the long term requirements are vague. When you are in uncertain circumstances you have to be "ready for anything".

And in a way its soothing. Because one thing we all know more or less how to do is check the batteries in the flashlight, build up our social networks, run the extra half mile and buy better digital cameras. Hey, maybe it'll be the last one you get. Just kidding. So Kurzweil is good, but maybe Popular Mechanics is better.

11/23/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard wrote:

So Kurzweil is good, but maybe Popular Mechanics is better.

Ah, but there's a leveling influence on technology too. We'll still be flying B-52s very nearly to their century mark. Our flirtation with sexy oil may soon end and send us packing to old, reliable coal again. The shuttle is about to be retired as we return to Gemini/Apollo type space capsules. Don't be misled just because one sector of human engineering (computers) hasn't reached stable maturity yet.

11/23/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

wretchard noted: "So in the end, I opted to pass on the digital SLR and keep the S1 IS."

I have done the same. While the S1 IS is slightly large for a 'pocket camera' I have been impressed with the optics. I bought a Canon PowerShot A530 for use, as I had to send in my S1 IS for a repair. I have found the PowerShot a very nice unit for putting in my pocket.

I will admit that if I going out for that special picture, I pick up either my old Canon FP (dating myself) or a 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 for the film experience. For some things, the older is still better. Which of course, brings us to the actual comments for this thread, somewhat off topic.

It seems we always look forward to the new and better, whether Kurzweil's predictions (none of which seem to have been worth much)or w.c.'s examples.

I, for one, am at the point of welcoming the OBVIOUS unknowns. Or as you neatly called it .. volatility. I think we, as a people, tend to do better 'off the cuff' than work our way through the Big Plans. As an engineer, I am a problem solver and like the challenge.

I actually think the Big Plans distract us from the realities. We look at our lofty goal and don't see the problems coming at us from the side. We refuse to see the lies we are told and our opponents as they really are.

11/23/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

For a look at thanksgivings past: Here's mark styne memorializing
Frank Sinatra's piano player Bill Miller.

Mark Steyn: One for the road: Bill Miller; 1915–2006 - ^ | October, 2006 | Mark Steyn

For thanksgivings present. Here's styne discussing why its likely not such a good idea to interview a country's leaders.

Mark Steyn: The last youth standing -
Western Standard - Canada ^ | November 20, 2006 | Mark Steyn

What the West and Islam share are elites detached from their own demographic realities

11/23/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger demosophist said...

Thunder Bay? Thought I recognized the lighthouse.

11/23/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

What volatility implies is that, counterintuitively, you have to shorten your horizons.

Yes. The corollary is that many people will make incorrect long-term decisions based on short-term fluctuations.

11/24/2006 10:51:00 AM  

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