Jul 302006
 

I’m a fan of autostitch, and use it quite a lot to make panoramic shots. Microsoft Labs has hit on a great idea that takes this to a new level: Photosynth. Of course, the name tells you nothing. The product sorts through a bunch of photos, and figures out their relationships with each other. It then takes all these photos and places them in a 3d world, trying to replicate the exact way they were taken. This is sort of backwards from the GPS & direction EXIF information that will be coming with cameras in a few years, but it is still very cool. When it is done, you can fly through the 3d world of photos, enlarging some, or taking a virtual tour.

Photosynth

I want.

PS – Sony just put out a GPS tracker. It logs where you were and the time, then you can sync that up with your photos after the fact.

Jul 282006
 

I’ve been a fan of Bourdain’s travel shows for a while. Always up for anything, and ready to explore the worlds outside resorts and english menus. He was in Beirut for two days, filming on Lebanon. Then the bombs started. His article on Salon is a good read:

Watching Beirut die – We went to Beirut to film a TV show about the city’s newly vibrant culinary and cultural scene. Then the bombs started falling, and we could only stand on the barricades of our hotel balcony and watch it all disappear — again.

Jul 262006
 

Unsatisfied with a dearth of town & area maps for the Bahia de los Angeles, I’ve made my own. Like lazy water, I took the path of least resistance and did it all in Google Earth. Please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes in the file, and I will correct them. I’ve exported the info and published it here:

Google Earth kmz map of Bahia de los Angeles, Baja Mexico
or Google Earth KML map of Bahia de los Angeles, Baja Mexico

It seems to kill a lot of birds with one stone, but I have a nagging concern. I don’t like tying information to one particular software system. Graphics or text can be easily read and parsed by all kinds of software and users. A Google Earth kmz file… Not so much. This will be my test. Is this information useful to anyone? Can anyone even find it?

Update: Well it seems that KMZ isn’t the best way to distribute, so I’ve unzipped the file to KML. That way it is easy to import into a lot of applications. Google has updated Google Maps to display KML files, so now you don’t even need Google Earth: Google Map of Bahia de los Angeles, Baja Mexico

You can also read about our trip here: Chris & Anna’s Bahia de los Angeles trip

Jul 252006
 

Just before the release of Intel’s Core Duo desktop chips, AMD slashed its prices on its dual core cpus to stay competitive. I had been eyeing Intel’s new chips, but couldn’t justify the required full upgrade. I picked up an AMD 64 X2 4200 (dual 2.2ghz) to add to my system for under $200. With Cool N’Quiet enabled, I should use slightly less energy than I did before, with a little more horsepower under the hood.

I really wanted to use the X2 3800 SFF/EE chip, as it burns at a leisurely rate of 35w. Unfortunately, AMD only made those available for the new AM2 socket. Perhaps it was platform technology limited, but it would have been nice to see lower power CPUs available as an upgrade option for the thousands of existing AMD64 platforms.

I’m excited about the possibilities of the ultra low power chips on the horizon. Amazing things have already been done with Intel’s mobile chips, and VIA is doing a decent job on their processor embedded motherboards. I can’t wait to see what they can do with the next generation. Under two pounds, and 20 hours of battery life? Solar charging on the lid? Or maybe we can do away with plugs all together, and just pull strings to charge the battery.

Jul 242006
 

The war in Lebanon is such a waste, on so many levels. One understands that Israel believes that they are at war with terrorists. But it seems to be obvious to everyone else that they are laying waste to an entire country, rather than a few terrorists. Good thing the USA is around to calm the situation down:

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

Or not. Lets hope Rice brought her A game.

Jul 192006
 

Anna and I are back from Baja, and back into the work grind. We had a good time at Bahia de los Angeles, and I hope to write a bit about it soon. I had mixed success gathering information for our trip, so I hope some of my info will be helpful for others.

One thing is for sure, we need to spend more time in Baja. We spotted a lot of places on the drive that we would love to spend some more time exploring.