Category Archives: Cameras

Follow up in 2022: The Christmas and Thanksgiving “superspreader” forecasts

I have seen forecasts that Halloween will be a superspreader so of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are back on the list (neither were superspreaders in 2020 per the data):

COVID-19 is not going to disappear nor is it going to be safe any time soon to declare definitively the worst is over, he said, especially with winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching that encourage indoor gatherings where the virus can be more easily spread.

Source: The latest COVID-19 surge may have peaked. Will the virus surge again?

Let us follow up after those dates have passed. As noted several times, past forecasts of “superspreaders” have been universally wrong. But they are great for scaring people and encouraging animosity towards participants or those having wrong political thoughts.

Old news! “Sony ditches DSLRs, moving the camera industry beyond film-era designs – CNET”

I have only shot with mirrorless digital cameras. I bought my first high quality digital camera, a Lumix GH-2, which I still use, in 2011.

It’s taken a decade for others to catch up! Heh – I’m usually at the tail end – or past the tail end of product adoption but in this case, I was ahead of time 🙂

Commentary: The future of higher-end photography is mirrorless.

Source: Sony ditches DSLRs, moving the camera industry beyond film-era designs – CNET

Surge in Good News: “Covid cases fall sharply in U.S.”

Scott Gottlieb said that a drop in new Covid-19 cases was likely to continue, predicting a “relatively quiet summer when it comes to coronavirus spread.”

Source: Covid: Gottlieb says cases will decline, vaccinations monumental achievement

I think that by June, this is mostly over with in the U.S. But – I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I make observations and ask stupid questions. So what do I know?

Efficiency in Agriculture

Many think the quaint and tranquil working the land by hand is the future of agriculture. Uh, no, its ont.

In some ways, it is not surprising that many of the best fed, most food-secure people in the history of the human species are convinced that the food system is broken. Most have never set foot on a farm or, at least, not on the sort of farm that provides the vast majority of food that people in wealthy nations like the United States consume.

In the popular bourgeois imagination, the idealized farm looks something like the ones that sell produce at local farmers markets. But while small farms like these account for close to half of all U.S. farms, they produce less than 10 percent of total output. The largest farms, by contrast, account for about 50 percent of output, relying on simplified production systems and economies of scale to feed a nation of 330 million people, vanishingly few of whom live anywhere near a farm or want to work in agriculture. It is this central role of large, corporate, and industrial-style farms that critics point to as evidence that the food system needs to be transformed.


in a modern industrialized society, most people will live in cities and suburbs and will not work in agriculture. As a result, most food will need to be produced by large farms, with little labor, far away from the people who will consume it.

Many sustainable agriculture advocates tout the recent growth of organic agriculture as proof that an alternative food system is possible. But growing market share vastly overstates how much food is actually produced organically. In reality, organic production accounts for little more than 1 percent of total U.S. agricultural land use. Meanwhile, only a bit more than 5 percent of food sales come from organic producers, mostly because organic sales are overwhelmingly concentrated in high-value sectors of the market, namely produce and dairy, and fetch a premium from well-heeled consumers.

Source: U.S. Industrialized Agriculture Is Better for the Environment—and the People, Too

People are disconnected to how food is produced, and are oblivious that their local well stocked produce section of their local supermarket depends on a large network of food production and delivery.

You can’t actually “eat plenty of fresh produce each day” and “buy local” at the same time – in much of the country – without a large and diverse agricultural system. People in California, where the growing season is about 10 months long, are oblivious that in much of the northern parts of the U.S., the growing season is 3 to 5 months long!

When I was in college (1970s), a group of students were discussing a related topic and it turned out most everyone in the group had at least one grandparent (sometimes parents) who grew up on farms, ranches, or if not, had lived on large plots of land where they grew or raised much of their own food. At some point in the 20th century, people became disconnected from how food was produced.

One couple discovered their Big City friends had no idea where food came from – which led to their creating the True Food TV Youtube channel that explains it all. Worth checking it out if wondering where and how your food comes from.

Google introduces mask filter for Android photos

April 1 – Google has updated its Android OS default camera app with a new “mask filter”. The apps uses AI techniques to automatically identify face masks and then filters them out of the photo, using AI to automatically generate the missing face area.

The update is available on all Android phones as of April 1.

Reviewers say the mask filter works as effectively as masks work in real life, which is to say, not that good. Google suggests applying the mask filter twice for more effective mask removal.

Samsung demonstrates 3D holographic display

Samsung scientists have created an interactive slim-panel holographic display that increases the viewing angle for 3D videos by 30 times.

Source: Thin display increases the viewing angle for 3D videos by 30 times | Daily Mail Online

Note – stereoscopic 3D – used by existing 3D TVs and movies – is not the same as 3D holography. A hologram creates images by recording the interference pattern of light across, traditionally, a film.  Viewing a hologram is somewhat like looking at a 3D world through a window. As you physically move yourself to the left or right, the scene appears as if it were a real scene on the other side of the window – this means you can look slightly to the left and right of the object too.

A stereoscopic 3D image, on the other hand, presents two images – one to your left eye and one to your right eye. You cannot move your head around and see anything other than what was recorded in the two images.

The news article is not entirely clear but my interpretation is that Samsung has developed a digital equivalent of a holographic film that  presents images via the interference pattern waveform of a hologram.

This would be a significant advance because holograms do not required 3D glasses for viewing.

When was the last time the media hyped a “drone sighting”? I can’t even remember.

Reports to the FAA of “drone sightings”, used by Congress and the FAA to drive forth draconian remote identification and mandated national surveillance networks using drones, with the goal of pricing drone flying out of the public’s reach – were based on bad data and media hysterics, much of which was false reporting.

  • Remember the Aeromexico flight in late 2018 that had a collapsed nose cone? The media blamed that on a drone. Six months later the official investigation found it was due to a maintenance defect on the nose cone.
  • Remember the Gatwick Airport fiasco? The only confirmed drone sightings were of the fleet of surveillance drones operated by the Sussex Police over the airport.
  • Remember the temporary Newark Airport closure due to a “drone sighting”? That drone report was from 20 miles away from the airport and may not have even been a drone at all.

Take a look at this – drone sightings have magically disappeared: Drone Sightings: The Actual Non-Hyped Numbers Analyzed (Graphs, Trends, etc.)

After awhile, when the FAA isn’t stealing Youtube content, they seem to have been busy making up fake drone reports to justify a remote ID proposal that mandates all drones be connected to the Internet cloud, in real time, and used as part of a massive national surveillance program, collecting imagery and telemetry and potentially sending it to China. Brilliant. Not like any drones would so something like that.

The FAA’s primary goal is to make hobby flying of radio control model aircraft so expensive and cumbersome as to eliminate it entirely. The reason is to clear the low altitude airspace for AmazonGoogleUPS delivery drones. The FAA asserts that it and it alone owns the airspace in your front and backyards from the ground up. Literally, the airspace below your head when you stand outside is controlled by the FAA and they intend to use it for corporate delivery and surveillance networks. (See my comments to see how that works.)

Facial recognition’s 96 percent false positive rate

Close enough for government work, eh?

“If we would use the software only [to identify subjects], we would not solve the case 95-97 percent of the time,” Craig said. “That’s if we relied totally on the software, which would be against our current policy … If we were just to use the technology by itself, to identify someone, I would say 96 percent of the time it would misidentify.”

Source: Detroit police chief cops to 96-percent facial recognition error rate | Ars Technica

YouTube reviewer Sean Cannell made $40,000 in April from Amazon

This is why there are numerous review channels, especially for high value items like cameras – affiliate marketing is lucrative:

Sean Cannell makes tens of thousands of dollars a month as a professional Amazon reviewer. As part of the Amazon Affiliate program, Cannell reviews camera gear on his Think Media YouTube channel and makes a cut of every sale those reviews generate on Amazon. Here’s what his life is like.

Source: YouTube reviewer Sean Cannell made $40,000 in April from Amazon

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