Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

“The Next Generation” in Home Theater

I think MCOJ needs an “Awesome” category because… 

HOW AWESOME IS THIS!?!

next-gen-home-theater.jpg

Equipment List
    Display

  • Gefen CAB-HDTV-30MM HDTV DVI Exreme Fiber Optic Cable (30 ft.)
  • Sony Q004R1 Qualia 004 SXRD Front Projector
  • Sony VPLLZP550 Long Throw Lens for Qualia 004
  • Stewart BRIC Masking Screen Control Interface
  • Stewart EMSNH135H 135-inch Horizontal Masking Screen w/Micrpoerf
    Control System
  • Crestron C2ENET-2 Dual Port Ethernet Card
  • Crestron PRO2 Professional Dual Bus Control System
  • Crestron TPMC-10-DS Docking Station/Charger
  • Crestron TPMC-10 Isys i/O WiFi Touchpanel
    Audio/Video Sources
  • Crestron CNXRMC Room Solution Box
  • DirecTv HR10-250 HD Satellite Receiver w/ TiVo
  • GuiFX Game Server Computer Gaming System (Custom)
  • JVC SR-VS30U Mini-DV / VHS Combo Player
  • Kaleidescape KPLAYER-2500 Kaleidescape Digital Movie Player
  • Marantz DV9600 Progressive Scan Universal DVD Player
  • Mitsubishi HSU748 VCR, S-VHS
  • Pioneer DVL-909 DVD/LD Player
    Processing/Amplification
  • Algolith Mosquito HDMI 3D MPEG Noise Reducer
  • Gefen EXT-HD-441 4 HDMI x1 DVI HD Switcher
  • Key Digital KD-MSW8x3 Component & RGBHV Matrix Switcher
  • JBL S100IC Synthesis Interconnect Kits (2)
  • JBL S800 2-Channel THX Powered Amplifiers (9)
  • JBL SDEC2500A THX Digital EQ/Crossover
  • JBL SDP-40 THX Digital Surround Processor/System Controller
  • JBL Synthesis K2 Synthesis Hercules System
    Speakers
  • JBL K2S1000DG 3-way Dual 10-inch Hercules Center
  • JBL K2S9800DG 3-way 15-inch Hercules Floorstanding (2)
  • JBL S1A Dual 8-inch Dipole Ambient THX Surrounds (4)
  • JBL S1S-EX 18-inch THX Subwoofers (4)
    Power Conditioning/Surge Protection/Battery Back-up
  • Panamax M1500-UPS Battery Back-up/Surge Protectors (2)
  • Panamax MAX4400 Rack Mountable Surge Protectors, 20A (9)
  • Richard Gray RGPC1200 Power conditioner
    Miscellaneous
  • Middle Atlantic ERK-4425 44-Space 25-inch Deep Stand-Alone Rack
  • Middle Atlantic RRF-45 45-Space Rack Rails, pair (2)
  • Moto-Fab Aluminum Seating Frame for D-Box (Custom)
  • Odyssey 340c D-BOX Series 3 Controller
  • Odyssey 4600p D-BOX XL-series Actuator Set
  • Pacific Digital MF-810SW 8×10 Memory Frames (2)
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January 31, 2008 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Movies | Comments Off on “The Next Generation” in Home Theater

Nuclear Warhead or Insanely Long & Fast Telephoto Zoom Lens

I’ve always turned up my nose at Sigma Lenses, I guess you can call me a Nikon Snob. But Sigma keeps putting out these really Exotic Lenses that even the hardcore Nikon or Canon Fanboy can’t ignore.

200-500mm f2.8!!!

sigma_200-5001.jpg

And I’m guessing it is about a couple grand cheaper than a Nikon or Canon equivalent (if they even have something like this).

Update:

“The lens (which is cosmetically reminiscent of a piece of military hardware) weighs nearly 16kg and uses a dedicated Li-ion battery to provide power for focusing and zooming. It will be available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts”

It’s so big it needs a separate power source to run.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Photography | 4 Comments

Gmail Paper

Gmailpaper
Gotta love Google. 🙂

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Oddities, Software | Comments Off on Gmail Paper

Picnik AutoFix

Thought I’d give Picnik a try. 

Hmm…

This is actually not bad.

Shot on my Nikon D2x, here is the Exif. (I like to use the least amount of in camera processing and do all the tweaking in post)

before-picnik.jpg

 After running thru Picnik AutoFix & Sharpening (kinda went overboard on the sharpening)

after-picnik.jpg

After PhotoShop CS2 using my typical workflow

after-photoshop-cs2.jpg

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Photography, Software | Comments Off on Picnik AutoFix

Vernor Vinge’s “Focus” Becomes Reality

 Assets Resources 2008 01 Ocddrug
One of my favorite sci-fi authors of all time, Vernor Vinge, wrote about an advanced form of slavery in A Deepness in the Sky (a prequel of sorts to his most excellent A Fire Upon the Deepwhich you should read first, btw). The slavery involved virally inducing a form of autism in an individual, Focus it was called, in order to have them operate at beyond-OCD like performance in their jobs. Individuals would be so focused on their work that they wouldn’t care about freedom, personal hygiene, eating, etc. Scary stuff.

Now imagine having the ability to induce that sort of autism by taking a pill, and then taking another pill to turn it off. Need to do some serious number crunching? Trying to meet a huge deadline?

What do you think?

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Science and Technology | 5 Comments

“Canadian” Is a New Racist Euphenism?

This is news to me. Has anyone heard about this elsewhere?

From Boing Boing:

The Canadian National Post looks on with mild horror as American linguists report on the growing trend in the American south to use “Canadian” as a masking euphemism for black people, so that white racists can say socially inappropriate things without tipping listeners off about the cancer in their souls.

January 29, 2008 Posted by | News, Oddities | Comments Off on “Canadian” Is a New Racist Euphenism?

Convert a 2D Image Into a 3D Fly-through


Pretty snazzy stuff.

From Stanford:

Make3D converts your single picture into a 3-D model. It takes a two-dimensional image and creates a three-dimensional “fly around” model, giving the viewers access to the scene’s depth and a range of points of view.

It uses powerful machine learning techniques (more details here), to learn the relation between small image patches and their depth and orientation. This allows it to model 3-d structures such as slopes of mountains or branches of trees.

After uploading your image, you can “fly” in the 3-D scene (requires VRML viewer or Adobe Shockwave), or watch a rendered 3-d movie (flash required).

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Photography, Science and Technology, Video | Comments Off on Convert a 2D Image Into a 3D Fly-through

A Carbon Fiber Cello?

Hey… If it’s good enough for Yoyo Ma

yoyo-ma81106411.jpg

“I really love this instrument… we can play music that is traditional, but actually we are using technology to make it better.”

Yo Yo Ma, Cellist

Any first impressions?

Sacrilege or That’s COOL!!!

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Music, Science and Technology | 5 Comments

Happy 50th Birthday, LEGO

capture.jpg

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Legos | 1 Comment

Francis Scott Key turns in his grave

Why Francis Scott Key?

Why did you compose arguably the most difficult anthem of all time?

The Star-Spangled Banner

When done right, it’s beautiful…

But more often than not, it’s awfull…

Good Lord!!! Shocked

“… Home of the Brave”, indeed. You have to be brave to attempt to sing this anthem.

What is it about this anthem?

Is it the verbosity of it? (yup… your eyes are not deceiving you, there are actually 4 verses to the Star-Spangled Banner)

Or its insanely wide range?

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Music, Oddities, Video | Comments Off on Francis Scott Key turns in his grave