I sat on the phone and talked to some friends while snapping photos of the sunset. I used my new 720nm filter, and got a pretty neat contrast in the clouds. I think I still have to figure out the white balance, maybe feed it an engineered image to get the proper color gradients. As it is, I am kinda happy I stayed out there so long, I did get a couple of good shots. 18-55 Canon kit lens, 20D.
I smoke outside, so I was there when the postal carrier delivered my 720nm filter. I took a few minutes to try it out by pointing my camera directly at the sun, and shooting a few test pictures. This time, I made sure not to look into the viewfinder, like I did with the 850nm filter. Here, you can see sunspot 1445 in this blown-up image, the little dim dot.
On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. When you are a dog, or Drew from Zhrodague in my case, Google+ will find out and block you. I can hardly blame them. Not many people have the Americanized prefix ‘from’ in their last names, which I am sure was easy to weed out from the massive volumes of other people with chosen names who’ve used them to sign-up for Google+.
Even my old friend, Ladyada, had trouble using her widely known pseudonym, as I read in this article at CNN. And for those of us that have chosen our names, and spent years building our online identity, we’ll be left out in the cold until Google+ can get around to reading our truncated sob stories in the tiny URL boxes provided in the Google+ Profile Name Identity form.
Could Google+’s enforcement of this policy be a method of combating identity theft? I can imagine people signing-up with a fake name that looks real. But who is going to want a real name that is fake, other than those of us who have cultivated an identity and online presence. Not using a real given name is one way to avoid identity theft. Another is to not use social-networking sites. I’d prefer to stretch my online presence to include Google+, and I’m sure they’ll let me back in after they’ve had time to review the links to Google Scholar, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and others that I’ve included.
UPDATE: Google has UNBLOCKED my profile – Hooray! Drew from Zhrodague on Google+
I have noticed that there is an increase in the number of websites using Facebook or Twitter as an authentication and identify-verification method. I don’t know that I like this. I haven’t done any research on this or other popular methods of identity management. Authentication to me means PAM, LDAP, Kerberos, or *other*. Facebook is the last thing I think of. Which Star Trek bridge officer would have the correct plan?
This is one of the few examples of trans-human or cyborg sexuality that I have seen in Television. In this clip, from Lexx, a post-human robot head is taunting Stanley Tweedle. This is SFW, but a great example of good sci-fi. Just after Stan’s dance routine, the robot head speaks.
Everything you can imagine is real.
- Pablo Picasso
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.
- Groucho Marx
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
- Lily Tomlin
An old coworker from about 12 years ago, pays all of her real-life expenses, by making jewelry in Second Life. The graphical client program runs pretty well on my giant MacBook Pro, which was given to me in lieu of a severance package. But as it turns out, there are a couple of different viewers for Second Life, like Phoenix Viewer, which I am still getting used to. It is quite immersive, and I find myself just standing in places looking at some of the architecture and people for however long I’m in there.
The Sims is another game with similar qualities. In The Sims, there are virtual people that a player directs to do various things. Players first play dress-up with the virtual people. Then the player directs their little virtual people to do things like make dinner, pee, shower, and go to work to meet some game-related goals. Neighbors wander by and knock on the door sometimes, as there are points to score by getting a neighbor to like your little virtual person. Second Life is similar to the Sims, in that it is required to play dress-up, and that the player is directing their little virtual person. Unlike The Sims, there isn’t a requirement to use the toilet all the time, or shower, or eat. Eating is pretend eating, as is the sex, real-estate, and some other functions of Second Life. The points, I suppose, are Linden Dollars, and the challenge is to figure out how to earn them. Another difference is the scale of the virtual world, and also the volume of places to go, and things to look at.
I am having a blast seeing the stunning sights, and wacky creations. It is really neat to explore a virtual world without getting killed all the time. I will have to check out the social functions, and meet some other people. I’m also intrigued with the programming language, and how some others have made agent processes, which will go and perform a task for you. Mostly, it is advertising, but my imagination is certainly sparked when I look at some of the examples.
This is certainly not for everyone. There is a large investment of time involved just to figure out how to do things. This fills my need for casual gaming. It is also a more futuristic form of social networking.
This is a test of the multi-posting capabilities of this wordpress thingy.