Friday, December 15

Tech

Go Home Siri, Germans Don’t Boil Their Rooms

Go Home Siri, Germans Don’t Boil Their Rooms

Personal, Tech
Our house is partially automated. We started with lights* and a couple of power outlets**, then recently began to adda few thermostats*** into the mix. That's the extent of it. No locks, no blinds. Our automation system of choice is Apple's HomeKit. And it's been fun so far. And a lot more useful than I thought. "Set the living room to cozy" brings up a pre-programmed scene with dimmed lights, while "set the hall lights to brightest" is perfect if you're looking for your keys. Of course you can also give the lights percentages from 1 to 100. "Set the living room to 100" sets the brightness of all living room lights to their maximum. At least it used to, until we added the thermostats. Now the same command "set the living room to 100" results in the thermostats getting cranked up all the wa
The Future of Photography – The Revolution is NOW

The Future of Photography – The Revolution is NOW

Photography, Podcasting, Tech
Ideas take time to take shape. This one began dawning on me a couple of years ago when a friend of mine showed me a picture out of a good digital camera that was all bent out of shape. When I looked at it on my computer, it wasn't bent at all. That was the moment I began to realize that camera manufacturers more or less secretly had begun to routinely modify pictures in camera, way beyond than what "traditional" JPG processing would do. We are in the middle of a revolution in photography. Computational photography is hidden in plain sight. Your DSLR does it, your mirrorless camera does it and – to a much larger degree – your smartphone camera does it. Let me make a bold prediction. About a year ago, I bought two pro-level DSLRs. I'm sure I won't ditch those anytime soon, the last one
Mein MOTU darf gehen

Mein MOTU darf gehen

Podcasting, Tech
Seit zwei Jahren ist mein Audio-Interface das ein MOTU Ultralite AVB. Quasi alle Podcast-Episoden von z.B. Tips from the Top Floor, Happy Shooting oder Curiously Polar während der letzten 2 Jahre wurden darüber aufgenommen. Aber ich werde mich von ihm trennen und biete es hiermit zum Verkauf an. Gleich vorweg: das Teil ist in top Zustand, es hat sich als Interface an meinem Rechner aber leider immer nur gelangweilt. Da es für meine Anwendung (pre-amp für ein bis zwei Mikrofone und Ausspieler für Kopfhörer und Boxen) von den Features deutlich zu viel kann, will ich es jetzt gegen was kleineres tauschen, vermutlich was mit Thunderbolt. Die Verbindung zum Rechner per USB oder AVB (das steht für Audio Video Bridge, ein IEEE-Standard mit dem man Audiosignale über Ethernet schicken kan
The DSLR Shutter and the 100 Year Old Lens

The DSLR Shutter and the 100 Year Old Lens

Photography, Tech
Last year when Monika bought an old old lens, I started a project to attach it to a large format camera. Problem was, the lens didn't have a shutter. After some discussion on the Happy Shooting Slack, Jochen Möller (of flying 4x5" fame) came up with a solution: the shutter from an old DSLR. Of course it features an Arduino and I'll have to do a bit more work to integrate it with the camera and be able to change shutter speeds. Here's the first test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVtWJA7o_sM
Standing at Stage 3 of Augmented Reality

Standing at Stage 3 of Augmented Reality

Tech, VR/AR/MR
Photo: Samuel Zeller Benedict Evans is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, an investor company who has their money in a good number of well-known tech businesses. And in Magic Leap, who I've written here about before. He just released an interesting article regarding Augmented and Mixed Reality, in which he talks about the first decade of augmented reality and where he sees this going. Among other things he makes a good comparison with the mobile phone transition from keys to slabs of glas and multi-touch. Here are a few excerpts from his article... ...on discovery of what AR/MR is/will be: "In the late 1990s we argued about whether 'mobile internet' devices would have a separate radio unit and screen, plus an earpiece, or perhaps a keyboard, or a clamshell with a keyboard ...
AirPods – My Verdict

AirPods – My Verdict

Personal, Tech
When the AirPods were finally out in December 2016, I got my order in for the first batch. The cabled EarPods always fit my ears well, so they've got that going for them. While they don't cover all use cases, they worked well for me and so my expectation for the AirPods was to do pretty much the same, but without the cable mess. I have two main things to say about the AirPods: they are probably the most convenient and comfortable pair of earphones that I've ever owned. Seemingly endless battery life if you're willing to give them a quick rest in their tiny charger box after several hours of listening. And I've had several occasions where I was walking around the house searching for them, just to realize that I was wearing them all along. they have one really big quirk that's
You go, Mastodon!

You go, Mastodon!

Personal, Tech
Another social network. Open. Decentralized. Getting a bit of hype lately. I'm there. Dipping my toes in. As chrismarquardt@mastodon.network - giving it a fair shot. I'm a fan of open and decentralized, so I wish it all the best. You go, Mastodon! Ping me here.
Rejiggle all the things

Rejiggle all the things

Tech
Update: making progress, the list now includes tipsfromthetopfloor.com (took a bit longer because I had to make sure there was no interruption or side-effects on the podcast delivery). Once I'm back from Russia, I will get to work on the rest of the sites. It's about time to revamp my web hosting. So far, it's all on one dedicated server (as in a hardware box with spinning disks, mirrored albeit) and the system has served me well in the past. It's getting a bit long in the tooth though and the cloud offers everywhere are quite intriguing. Especially as many of them run on really fast hardware, SSDs, quick networking and the flexibility is beyond anything I've ever had. Fire up an instance with the click of a mouse. Add a temporary server for a special purpose, delete it later and pay by
AI, you still got a long way to go…

AI, you still got a long way to go…

Tech
...either that or my photography is boring. Enter: Keegan, the photo coach. Keegan is an AI that will critique your photos and give them ratings. I uploaded a few of my favorite pictures to test it: Keegan doesn't like detail in photos.   Keegan loves blur. I get a ribbon. Must. Do. More. Blur.   Oh, first time Keegan calls it my colors pleasant. At least that.   Yep, they're hiding in the shadows. Those buddhist monks.   Okay Keegan, I'll keep trying...   My colors are weird. *sniffle*   Yeah, the colors are off. The guy is all orangy and yellow.   😂😂😂   Did I mention Keegan loves blur? Oh, and guess I better apologize for the guy in the background.  
Nach dem Kongress is vor dem Kongress

Nach dem Kongress is vor dem Kongress

Tech
Das Küchenradio hat hier einen schönen Rundgang über den 32. Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg gemacht. Sehr hörenswert! Alleine schon, weil z.B. viel Einblick in die Hintergründe gegeben wird. Da ist zum Beispiel das VOC (das Video Operations Center), die es durch Automation erreicht haben, dass die meisten Videos kurz nach der Aufnahme bereits geschnitten, betitelt und online verfügbar sind.     Hier hören: http://www.kuechenstud.io/kuechenradio/episode/kr387-chaos-communication-congress-2015/