Thursday, June 26, 2008


  • Krugman questions whether we as a country place too much importance on home ownership. It certainly felt strange when I bought my first house...the subsidy given by the government was huge by allowing the deduction of interest and property tax. I had a vague feeling of crossing some threshold from being held down to being helped up. Of course, I think they've since moved the line now!
  • Gizmodo has some cool pictures of a damper...Maybe a good problem for intro mechanics to calculate the motion of an idealized building with such a damper.
  • I'm glad this aura of intelligence associated with Justice Scalia appears to be feeding. Wherever one stands on gun control, Scalia's defense of his latest decision is not defensible.
  • I've wondered whether our IT department monitors our browsing as discussed by the CHE. In part I wonder because I occasionally click on stuff labeled NSFW (mostly from Oliver). Some faculty here are paranoid that such "monitoring" extends such that our emails are being read!
  • Camera update: There were no SLRs sub-$600 that I really liked. I had a film SLR (actually still do), but I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to the bulk and the expense...and in today's digital world, SLRs have two other disadvantages: (i) very susceptible to dust collecting on the CCD and (ii) none record movies which can be handy even if not up to the standard set by cheap camcorders. So then I looked at so-called bridge cameras...high-end cameras with lots of manual control but not interchangeable lenses. The Canon G series has generally set the bar in this category but the current model, the G9, isn't particularly well reviewed. So then I figured I'd wait for a new model, e.g. the G10. But then somehow I got researching a bridge to a bridge a point-and-shoot. Since I started with cameras near $600, a $300 point-and-shoot sounded pretty cheap. I was pretty set on the $300 Panasonic TZ5...a wide angle, good video recording (high def at that!), face detection, and optical image stabilization. I just can't pull the trigger. It's not clear how happy I'll be with the quality of the images, and because it's pocketable, the sensor isn't big so its low light performance won't be great. And it doesn't have any viewfinder. So while I'm debating that, I'm seeing all these deals on the various incarnations of the Canon ELPH series for around $175. Uggh, so difficult.

1 comment:

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