Monday, 27 June

02:00 EDT

The cloud-tops of Jupiter [Boing Boing]

jupiter-cloudtops

Shot by New Horizons on its way out of town. [NASA, via]

This picture provides a vivid illustration that Jupiter's atmosphere has more color contrast than any other atmosphere in the solar system, including Earth's. Data obtained from these and other New Horizons images taken during the encounter will provide valuable insight into the processes occurring on this gas giant.

Video and Speed [ongoing by Tim Bray]

I’m sure you know the feeling — you see a link to something that looks interesting, follow it, and when it turns out to be a video clip, you shake your head and kill the tab. The problem with video is it’s just too slow. But sometimes slow is OK, and maybe video can be fixed.

This was provoked by I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything by Jeff Guo, which recommends watching video, by default, in fast-forward mode. The pitch is compelling, I’ll probably pick the habit up. Right now I watch almost no Web video, but maybe that’ll change. Seriously, go read Guo’s piece, it’s challenging. Out-take: “In a way, what’s happening to video recalls what happened to literature when we stopped reading aloud, together, and started reading silently, alone.”

Voice too!

Overclocked audio is one of the big features in Marco Arment’s super-successful Overcast pod-catcher; you can get through a voice presentation immensely faster than you’d think without information loss.

Which I’d known since the Nineties. Way back in the day I was working at Open Text, which at that time was pretty well 100% server-side software. Our QA lead was this brilliant guy who happened to be blind. He was one of our major assets, but most people didn’t want to sit too near him, because he did everything with audio, only speeded up by some huge factor, so there was this continuous high-pitched gabble of ultra-fast voice reading server logs and source-code listings.

Video sucks

As a method of communicating information, I mean. When you’re using the Internet to learn about what’s happening in the world, you want words in a row.

Not everyone agrees. Check this out: “The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn said. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.” That’s Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn.

But I’m pretty sure she’s wrong. Check out these two Tweet sequences from US political uber-blogger Josh Marshall, the first of which starts with the Mendelson assertion. Outtake: But the reality is that news consumers don't want video. It is sometimes successfully forced on them.

The second sequence, just as interesting, starts with A lot of reactions to my comment on video for news/politics sites. Some oddly sensitive from certain VC-backed outlets.

I suspect most Net-head news-junkies will agree fervently.

It doesn’t always suck

There are exceptions, chiefly live cameras pointed at live news. To this day I remember, in June 1989, sitting for hours like a garden vegetable, watching the live feed from Tiananmen Square. Same story with Gaza wars and legislative sit-ins and Olympic torch-lighting. And of course live sports; baseball can be agonizingly slow, but that’s the price of love.

What can’t you speed up?

To start with, some video. The British Film Institute helpfully lists sixteen great cinematic long cuts. I found that page by searching by “long take Tarkovsky” which will tip you off that I was profoundly moved by the six-minute one-shot (but sadly, not one take) finale of The Sacrifice.

Here’s another example: Recently Sigur Rós offered Route One (hm, that link currently doesn’t work), 24 hours of live-streamed video of a drive round Iceland, backed by their space-fluff ear-candy. The video was kind of low-rez and I’m not even a huge fan of their music, but I spent 90 minutes on Route One with them and don’t regret a second.

And so, music. Speeding up recorded music would be the lowest philistinism imaginable, but messing with a song’s speed is a long and honorable tradition. Cosider J.J. Cale’s original lilting lope through After Midnight, and compare Clapton’s live hell-for-leather dash through it on 1979’s Just One Night. I wouldn’t want the world to be without either.

The rest

For your convenience, here is a comprehensive list of things for which there’s a proper pace that really oughtn’t be sped up.

  1. Eating

  2. Drinking

  3. … or really any path to altered states of consciousness

  4. Walking in the woods

  5. Any activity for which beds are designed

  6. Dancing

  7. Considering alternatives

I’m sure you can think of more.

Fujifilm announces a newer, faster instant printer for your phone [The Verge - All Posts]

Fujifilm has announced the second version of its portable instant film printers, the Instax Share SP-2. It's the first update to the company's tiny printer lineup since the first Instax Share was released at CES in 2014, and the new model is supposed to be faster, more reliable, and comes with more customization options.

But in case you're not familiar, let's rewind real quick. The Instax Share printers use Fujifilm's 2-inch-by-3-inch Instax Mini instant film, and they're made to be used with your smartphone. You can use them to print photos from your camera roll or from services like Instagram and Facebook, and the prints can be customized to show stats like the amount of likes or hearts each photo got, or even where it was taken.

T...

Continue reading…

01:00 EDT

TDK Trek 360 Bluetooth Speaker New/Open Box $44 via Blinq [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

TDK Trek 360 Bluetooth Speaker New/Open Box $44 via Blinq

Thumb Score: +32
Blinq has TDK Life On Record Trek 360 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (New-Open Box, TREK-3600) for $43.89 - $4.39 with coupon THINKBLINQ616 = $39.50. Shipping is free. Thanks jleblan1

Blinq via eBay also has TDK Life On Record Trek 360 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (New-Open Box, TREK-3600) for $43.89. Shipping is free.

Lord of the Rings: Theatrical Trilogy (Blu-ray) $11.99 + Free Store Pickup @ Best Buy & Amazon [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

Lord of the Rings: Theatrical Trilogy (Blu-ray) $11.99 + Free Store Pickup @ Best Buy & Amazon

Thumb Score: +22
Amazon.com has for their Prime Members: Lord of the Rings: Theatrical Trilogy (Blu-Ray) for $11.99. Shipping is free. Thanks persian_mafia

Bestbuy.com also has Lord of the Rings: Theatrical Trilogy (Blu-Ray) for $11.99. Select free store pickup to save on shipping, otherwise free shipping on $35+ order.

Play a new episode for old Quake from the Wolfenstein: The New Order studio [The Verge - All Posts]

MachineGames has released a new episode for the original Quake to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Id Software’s wildly influential first-person shooter. You can download the chapter for free here; you’ll need to extract the package into your Quake folder, then set "-game dopa" as a launch option in Steam. Quake is $2.49 in the Steam summer sale right now, in case you don't own it.

Quake came out on Saturday June 22nd, 1996 — just one day before Super Mario 64, which pretty firmly cements that weekend as the most important in the history of 3D games. Quake’s revolutionary 3D engine set the standard for FPS games in the ‘90s, and was one of the earliest good reasons to buy a 3D graphics card.

The new Quake episode is particularly...

Continue reading…

00:00 EDT

PSA: all Costco members can shop for free at Sam's club through 7/4 [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

PSA: all Costco members can shop for free at Sam's club through 7/4

Thumb Score: +81
Costco Members can give Sam’s Club a try for Free using Costco Membership card at Sam’s Club valid through July 4, 2016. [Store Locator]. Thanks Juliestoli

Deal Editor's Notes & Price Research: Not valid online. All major cards accepted. Offer valid Through July 4, 2016 ~ persian_mafia

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate Xbox One $18.99 from Amazon.com [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate Xbox One $18.99 from Amazon.com

Thumb Score: +19
Amazon has Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (Xbox One) on sale for $18.99. Shipping is free with Prime or on $49 or more. Thanks davemoseley

Deal Editor's Notes & Price Research: [LIST][*]Don't have Amazon Prime? Students can get a free 6-Month Amazon Prime trial with free 2-day shipping, unlimited music, unlimited video streaming & more.

Klymit Cush Inflatable Pillow & Seat Cushion $11 & More [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

Klymit Cush Inflatable Pillow & Seat Cushion  $11 & More

Thumb Score: +46
Amazon.com has select Klymit Gear on sale from $10.99. Shipping is free w/ Prime or on orders of $49 or more. Thanks hokarida[LIST][*]Klymit Cush Inflatable Pillow & Seat Cushion $10.99
  • Note, ships in 2 to 4 weeks (make sure Amazon is seller)

Wisconsin's Prison-Sentencing Algorithm Challenged in Court [Slashdot]

"Do you want a computer to help decide a convict's fate?" asks Engadget, telling the story of a Wisconsin convict who "claims that the justice system relied too heavily on its COMPAS algorithm to determine the likelihood of repeat offenses and sentenced him to six years in prison." Sentencing algorithms have apparently been in use for 10 years. His attorneys claim that the code is "full of holes," including secret criteria and generic decisions that aren't as individually tailored as they have to be. For instance, they'll skew predictions based on your gender or age -- how does that reflect the actual offender...? [T]he court challenge could force Wisconsin and other states to think about the weight they give to algorithms. While they do hold the promise of both preventing repeat offenses and avoiding excessive sentences for low-threat criminals, the American Civil Liberties Union is worried that they can amplify biases or make mistakes based on imperfect law enforcement data. The biggest issue seems to be a lack of transparency, which makes it impossible to determine whether convicts actually are receiving fair sentences.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sunday, 26 June

23:00 EDT

IMG_0912b copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

mingthein has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_0912b copy

Objects in monochrome

www.mingthein.com

IMG_3579b copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

mingthein has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_3579b copy

Objects in monochrome

www.mingthein.com

IMG_0243b copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

mingthein has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_0243b copy

Objects in monochrome

www.mingthein.com

IMG_9886b copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

mingthein has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_9886b copy

Objects in monochrome

www.mingthein.com

IMG_5071b copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

mingthein has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_5071b copy

Objects in monochrome

www.mingthein.com

Preflight [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

J_W_C has added a photo to the pool:

Preflight

great blue heron (Ardea herodias) 3115x2150 px (for larger viewing)

The Venn Cat [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Hafizuddin Darman has added a photo to the pool:

The Venn Cat

Street art at Georgetown Penang - OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10

protected goals [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

tpuukko has added a photo to the pool:

protected goals

Fuji Neopan 1600 film shot with Nikon F5 + 24-120/4 and developed in ID-11. Digitized with Nikon D700.

three blobs of snow [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

tpuukko has added a photo to the pool:

three blobs of snow

Fuji Neopan 1600 film shot with Nikon F5 + 24-120/4 and developed in ID-11. Digitized with Nikon D700.

a place to enjoy January [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

tpuukko has added a photo to the pool:

a place to enjoy January

Fuji Neopan 1600 film shot with Nikon F5 + 24-120/4 and developed in ID-11. Digitized with Nikon D700.

Towering [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Carol How Photography has added a photo to the pool:

Towering

Vancouver, BC

oversaturation .. [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

m_lars_k has added a photo to the pool:

oversaturation ..

.. Luisenpark Mannheim

26" Kent Terra 21 Speed Mountain Bike (Men's or Women's) $59 + Free Store Pickup [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

26" Kent Terra 21 Speed Mountain Bike (Men's or Women's)  $59 + Free Store Pickup

Thumb Score: +75
Target.com has 26" Kent Terra 21 Speed Mountain Bike: Men's (Blue, Pictured) or Women's (Silver) for $58.99 when you choose free store pickup & apply offer code PLAY & TGTJB4DD at checkout. Thanks bdepot

New Balance 1980 Fresh Foam Zante, $40, plus tax, dollar ship [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

New Balance 1980 Fresh Foam Zante, $40, plus tax, dollar ship

Thumb Score: +34
Joe's New Balance Outlet.com has Men's New Balance 1980 Fresh Foam Zante Running Shoe (M1980GY, Gray w/ Yellow) on sale for $39.99. Shipping is $1 w/ promo code DOLLARSHIP (apply at checkout). Thanks mildewman

Deal Editor's Notes & Price Research: These running shoes were Competitor Magazine's "2015 Road Shoe of the Year", Triathelete Magazine's "Best in Class" award winner & Running Network's "Best Performance Shoe" Award Winner. -Corwin

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Blu-ray) $13.60 + Free Store Pickup [Slickdeals Frontpage RSS Feed]

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Blu-ray)  $13.60 + Free Store Pickup

Thumb Score: +63
Update: Store pickup only.


Best Buy has Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Blu-ray) on sale for $13.59. Select free store pickup to save on shipping. Thanks persian_mafia

How many catch phrases did you catch in the Game of Thrones finale? [The Verge - All Posts]

Most of the dialogue for Game of Thrones' season six finale was catch phrases. Did anyone else find that distracting? Not that there weren't beautiful visuals and beautiful plot twists and beautiful libraries, but the dialogue was constantly winking at me and it made me feel weird!

[SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES BELOW]

Let's see:

  1. Tyrion said "the great game" referring to the proverbial "game of thrones," twice.
  2. Varys finished Ellaria Sand's very dramatic sentence for her with the Targaryens' house words "fire and blood."
  3. Sansa and Jon had a good LOL about "winter is here," which was off-putting both because Jon's laugh is unsettling and because both of them fully know that winter is prime White Walker season. And because "winter...

Continue reading…

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