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Wednesday, October 26, 2011



An interesting new game from Toasty Games called Parallax:


Then there is Lytro.


This is a camera that does not take pictures as we know them.  Instead it takes information about an image and stores that information so that later on you can change the focus of the original image.

This link is to an image of a butterfly in a woodland scene at the lytro site.  If you click once anywhere in the image the focus of the shot changes to the location you clicked.

Normally the focus is set when a picture is taken.  With the lytro camera the focus is set when you look at the picture on a computer.

How this happens is complex and requires complex software and optics in the camera.

Basically there are no more out-of-focus shots (not that modern cameras let you do too much wrong).  If you don't like the focus of the image you simply change it later.

Prices start around $400 USD.

Very cool...


For those interested in firearms theirs a nice review of "Chicks with Guns" by Lindsay McCrum.

This is not at all what you might think.  There's a nice write-up here at Wired.  The book is available at Amazon.  According to this USA Today article some 15 to 20 million women in the USA own guns.

IQ Tests

If found this article on IQ tests the other day at the WSJ.  Some points they make are a teenager's IQ can rise or fall 20 points over a few years - of course they don't know why.

If you tested out at, say an IQ of 110, this means you could swing between "substandard" and "gifted" as a kid and no one would even notice.

The tyranny of these tests is that they control all sorts of things that happen to you in your life - if you let them - potential jobs, schooling, etc.

Now, the immutable IQ, is suddenly not so immutable.

What causes the change in IQ?  Changes in your brain - no doubt as you grow and learn.  Do these idiots really believe that your brain does not change over the course of your life?

I ask what about all the kids pigeon-holed into crappy classes, jobs and lives because of this kind of testing?  What about all the lost self esteem because some test said you were an idiot and in fact you are a genius?

Apparently the geniuses who create and study these tests recently figured out that, surprise, your brain changes over time and you can learn to be smarter (or dumber)!  Would you react the same way to a test at age 10, 20, 30 or 40 years old?  I doubt it very much...

Mrs. Wolf, for example, is a genius at mechanical repair.  Disassemble any sort of complex mechanical machinery, e.g., an old VCR tape mechanism, hand her the parts and she reassembles it - not having ever seen how it works in the first place.  Now does the standard IQ test measure this sort of thing?  No, of course not.  It requires you to monkey around with stupid diagrams like the one above to decide what fits where the question mark appears.

Will someone please email me an example from life that works like this IQ test question?

Before IQ tests adults observed offspring and found them trades and work in areas where they observer little Jr. had a talent (apprentice).  You didn't take the kid who's a whiz at mechanics and set him to work painting.  No, you found him a job doing something that his talent was helpful with.

Perhaps when the "old man" told you you'd be nothing but a failure he knew that was just what you needed to get you off your ass and learn to be smarter.  Motivation.  Being told you can't.  So you do it anyway.

Unfortunately not something you see in today's world...

Will wonders never cease.

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