Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More links

  • Looks like U. Chicago has begun the process of finding Sean's replacement. I would think you'd have to be pretty confident to go in there expecting tenure.

  • I wonder what history will ultimately say about so many things related to 9/11, and it would seem the released tapes concerning United 93 will help unravel some of these.

  • Here's a neat toy that would probably make for a good gift for a kid. I had seen mention of it once somewhere and had meant to get for someone. Never did, and saw it again today on Gizmodo.

  • The NYT (free reg. reqd.) has an article up about a photographic post-processing technique I hadn't heard about: high dynamic range photography. You take a series of photographs with a wide range of exposures which are (as close as possible) otherwise identical. The software then combines these so that the brightest and darkest spots are similarly captured. Here's an example.

  • I am a bit dumbfounded by Lubos's commentary about some rich guy named Jeffrey Epstein involved with some female minors. I've got no idea if this guy is guilty or not but the Crimson article reports

    According to a police report, the Palm Beach Police Department believes it has probable cause to charge Epstein with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and of lewd and lascivious molestation.

    What does Lubos think? He seems to think the guy should get off because the whole prostitution must have been a misunderstanding common among the billionarie-set and regular folk:

    The kids and others who have had some kind of contact with various billionaires almost always think of possible ways to get a lot of money from their partners. The billionaire always thinks that every single act is consensual and supported by mutual feelings and permanent confidentiality - except that the non-billionaire frequently reveals that everything has been a theater.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding Lubos, but is he saying that the kids faked interest in this guy, had consensual relations, all with the intent of getting some money? Surely he has a problem with an adult having relations with young minors (if that's what happened) whether or not they get paid?

    Update1: Lubos has added a clarification about his position, and thankfully does want protection for minors:

    ...let me make it clear that I am absolutely supporting important laws protecting children from sex and from other activities for which the children are not ready.

    Update2: Peter Woit (see the comments as well) and Tommaso Dorigo also discuss this episode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HDR rocks.

256 levels of grey can't capture the detail in most scenes; one difference between a cheap digicam and a good digicam is that a good digicam deals better with wide ranges of brightness. Digital SLRs shoot RAW mode images that have 12 or 14 bits of intensity resolution. This isn't considered real HDR, which has 24 to 32 bits or uses floating point.

Read this book for a good introduction:

Companies like Pixar and Dreamworks use HDR to create synthetic images. It's necessary for realistic modeling of light in scenes.

HDR processing gives superior results when images are displayed on 8-bit output media; however, next generation HDTVs and computer monitors are going to support more grey levels: the latest revision of the HDMI spec supports HDR, and HDTVs with 1:3000 contrast ratios are already on the market.