Groundbreaking camera lets you shoot now, focus later

This new camera technology  is going to revolutionise the way we take photos.  Spend the time to work through the photo examples and click on new photo areas. 

Lytro allows post-shot refocusing by taking advantage of something that conventional cameras cannot: the light field. The light field consists of all of the light rays in a scene, meaning every single light ray traveling in every direction through every point in space.

Scientists have fantasized about light-field cameras for a century, but previous experiments in creating one required the equivalent of 100 digital cameras connected to a supercomputer.

The Lytro takes that 100-digital-cameras-plus-supercomputer capability and stuffs it into a regular-sized point-and-shoot.

The company does this with an innovative sensor called a light field sensor. The light field sensor takes in three pieces of data about each ray of light: its color, intensity and direction. Conventional camera sensors just add up all the light rays and record them as one amount of light instead of recording information about each ray.


Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover Ups

I am just over half way through this astonishing 688 page book by Chapman Pincher that summarises in excruciating depth the breadth and depth of the Soviet penetration of the British Intelligence Services for over 30 years and the impact on so many lives.  The book covers the Cambridge 6 as well as Philby in MI6 and builds an unassailable case against Hollis who rose to the very top of MI5.  The most striking thing for me has been how English cultural attitudes of old boy networks, a chap having the right background, allowed for such mind-boggling ‘incompetence’ to largely go unchallenged by the UK authorities that people are taught to trust with the protection of their society.  Add to that the systematic, deliberate lying that then took place across a wide section of the civil service and politicians to protect “reputations”.  It says so much that Americans had to exert huge pressure to get even the slightest public acknowledgement that there was a problem and usually that occurred only when the traitors had fled to Russia and were unavailable for interviewing by either the authorities or the press.

When you read this you understand why there is such widespread disillusionment with political, military, civil service echelons in the UK.  So many people criticise the Americans and American culture but there is a much more effective set of checks and balances in the US than in the UK.  I think there will be many people in the UK who lost relatives in WW2 and the Cold War who might question the sacrifices made by so many to defend such a morally corrupt outcome.

Heathrow T4 – a fitting gateway to the UK?

This morning I flew into Heathrow T4 once again.  What a complete shit fight.  We arrived on time at 7.30am and I promptly marched down to the arrivals area.

Oh shit – IRIS machine is broken AGAIN.

The queue for “Other Passports” stretches as far as the eye can see.  From the immigration desks, it snaked back through the 8 or 10 queueing loops then down a long corridor back to the T1,2,3 transfer corridor.  I negotiated my way into the “Fast Track” queue which also stretched down the same corridor but only half as far.  As I stood in this painfully slow ‘Fast Track’ queue I became aware of a public announcement system highlighting the next free desk.  The ‘courtesy’ announcement was happening with considerable frequency, but it only ever announced “Desk 22”, whether that desk was free or not.

 Sixty minutes later I hit the immigration desk.  Compare this to when the IRIS machine is working and I can get from the door of the airplane to a taxi in 10 minutes.  This entire sorry episode took me 90 minutes.

I cannot wait to see how this works when London has the Olympics.  It will be a complete fucking shitfight because I am convinced that in general when it comes to executing infrastructure, the English haven’t a bloody clue.

Even though I dont agree with much that is written by Tyler Bruhle in the FT Weekend, his observations about Heathrow are spot on.  It would be an embarrassment to any country that prides itself on being a major transport hub. 

What adds insult to injury is the presumption on behalf of immigration officers (once you reach the desk), is that you would be stupid enough to want to stay here  – recession, credit cards to the max, bad schooling, ‘russian-roulette’ health care, sub-standard infrastructure, over priced everything.  Yes, sign me up!

Fathers Day Reflection

The following text by the Prophet Gibran is something that should be memorised by all parents.  I read this often to remind myself that as a father I owe my daughters this.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

“Animal Friendly Meat”

Here is the content of the email that I was compelled to write to a sandwich manufacture here in Holland.

Last week as I transited through Schiphol I purchased on of your sandwiches and I am compelled to inquire about the reasoning for adding a sticker stating “Animal Friendly Meat”.  I have assumed that someone has suggested that this is a great idea because you have actually done it, however if English is not your first language, you may want to reconsider this.  Essentially you have used an oxymoron which is a rhetorical device in which two contradictory words are used together.
The implication of the term “Animal Friendly Meat” is that the farmer made friends with the animal before butchering it for your sandwiches which is implies a significant level of insincerity on behalf of the farmer.  It also leads the purchaser of the sandwich to consider to what degree the friendship developed prior to your order for fresh meat being recieved.

It is also worth sharing with you that when I asked the shop attendant at the counter the degree of friendliness involved she said “Oh god, you wouldn’t believe the amount of comments we get”. 

I am sure that this was a well thought through marketing based decision, but it is one that you may want to re-consider because it doesn’t exactly add ‘brand value’.


Paul Draskovich

Jerusalem rabbis ‘condemn dog to death by stoning’

God bless idiots

A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a
stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges,
reports say.

The dog entered the Jerusalem financial court several weeks ago and would not
leave, reports Israeli website Ynet.

It reminded a judge of a curse passed on a now deceased secular lawyer about
20 years ago, when judges bid his spirit to enter the body of a dog.

A court manager told Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot the stoning had been
ordered as “as an appropriate way to ‘get back at’ the spirit which entered the
poor dog”, according to Ynet.