Posted by colby

Subject: Suggestion

In light of recent Facebook purchase of Instagram, please consider adding the following "feature":

Assignable filters for photos that include friends that can be the default filter used on a photo of that friend by another friend in their social circle.

Person A takes a picture that includes Person B (who is later determined to be within Person A's friends list)
Person B has a preference of filter to be used by any friend who takes a picture that includes Person B.
These filters could be merged as more persons are noted in the same picture who happen to have a filter preference.

Preferences could be based on the various social circle hierarchies/organization:

family/friends/stranger/g+ style circles in the future.

Person A will have the authority to reject the application of a filter (which could include blurring Person B out entirely).

Cheers and you can have this one for free,

- Colby

Tournament market

09 Feb 2012
Posted by colby

From a 2008 article on an almost Nobel laureate who followed a career path that many researchers end up in and is how the science labor market in the U.S. (and I think globally) really works:

Taken for Granted: The Man Who Wasn't There

But a fourth man, Douglas Prasher, played what Tsien has called "a very important role" in the GFP story, making it possible for Chalfie and Tsien to do their work. "They could've easily given the prize to Douglas and the other two and left me out," Chalfie has been quoted as saying in numerous media reports. But they didn't give it to Prasher, and for anyone interested in understanding the scientific labor market, the tale of Prasher, the protein, and the prize serves, rather like a glowing body within a cell, as a marker revealing realities often obscured by misconception and myth.

In the mythic version, science rewards effort and ability, so Prasher's predicament must be some inexplicable mistake. In the real world, casting off large numbers of extremely capable people is no anomaly but simply how a tournament market works.

origin unknown

16 Jan 2012
Posted by colby

Message left at 03:26 January 14th, 2012 PST on the main line voice mail @ Hat Creek Radio Observatory.

Posted by colby

May 2011 - Jan 2012 web cam images, 5 minutes apart, excluding darkness. Taken from the ATA Man Lab Cam. Merged at 60fps. Songs mixed: Keep Asking, Vangelis; Measuring Mass, Luke Twyman; From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, The Cure.

Posted by colby

About 7 months of web cam images taken 5 minutes apart, excluding darkness. Taken from the ATA Lab 1 Cam. Merged at 60fps. Song by Laurie Anderson, "O Superman"

On April 18th, the site went into "hibernation", laying off all but 2 on site staff and stayed in hibernation until October 2011. More of these to come.

Posted by colby

credit: Anonymous and Lions Gate

I am posting this here because I've noticed that the parody/satire video of Don Draper selling Facebook Timeline is obviously fair use and it deeply disturbs me that the video has been disappearing from across the web due to DMCA take-down notices.

Posted by colby

Ctein, The Online Photographer: No One Cares How Hard You Worked

When I showed this photograph to Bob Nadler, of Camera 35 fame, the better part of 30 years ago, I started telling him everything I gone through to make that wonderful print. He cut me short, saying "Nobody cares how hard you worked."

- Ctein


03 Aug 2011
Posted by colby
Posted by colby

At the risk of some copyright infringement, I link to an article published in Nature today (27 July 2011). First, please read the article. All the way through. It's 3 pages. I'll wait.

The article points out that the Allen Telescope Array was a big effort compared to other SETI related research. Fair enough. The scale at the ATA is larger than anything else being done that involves SETI research. The article also downplays that the ATA was designed to be exceptionally good as a multi-role instrument.

Waldrop is correct in saying that the NSF cut off funding to the ATA because it was not big enough. That's right. You heard me. Had the ATA been able to have, say, another 40-86 antennas (yes, there's a magical 128 number in there), then the power of the instrument would and could justify larger operating funds from the NSF. The ATA has an exceptional potential for doing fundamental astronomy research. The work on the ATA has already made huge contributions to the next generation of radio telescopes (especially the Square Kilometer Array or SKA). And yet, the conceit of the article is that the ATA is and was too big and that perhaps it is better to do SETI research in cheaper ways. The dissonance here is frustrating.

Don't just take my word for it. About 147 of the top astrophysicists and astronomers in the United States put together a report called the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey and included:

"Progress on development of the SKA-mid pathfinder instruments---the Allen Telescope Array in the United States ... will provide crucial insight in the optimal path toward a full SKA." [page 92] and that the ATA is amongst, " observatories [that] have been judged as world-leading, on the basis of both their technical performance and the desire of radio astronomers to use them. ... The small facilities provide unique scientific capabilities, training and technical development..." [pages 168-170] (my emphasis) while those same small facilities receive a pittance in funding ($10 million/year across a dozen facilities vs hundreds of millions spent on ALMA and the NRAO supported big instruments like the EVLA [again, pages 169-170]). (see: Astro2010: The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey)