Take great panoramic shots


pic courtesy: Digital Photography School
pic courtesy: Digital Photography School



DPS (Digital Photography School) is at it again. Wonderfully detailed tutorial on how to take panoramic shots. The stitching would be done later on the computer. But there are quite a few things, that one needs to remember, while taking the multitude of shots, so that the final results will be awesome. 

In summary:

  • Use the panorama mode if your cam supports it
  • Overlap amply
  • Keep it on the same level
  • Take care of metering (DSLR only)
  • Check the scene for movement (no movement is best -no blurrs)
  • Be careful with wide angle lenses
  • Look up, look down, look all around.
  • Yes vertical panoramas exist

Read the full article here.

Check out an awesome set of panoramas here.

POTA in the US ?

Looks like President Obama is considering Preventive Detention (more familiar to us Indians as the POTA – Prevention of Terrorism Act). This gives the state the power to detain terrorism suspects without a trial for a period of time, if law enforcement thinks so.

Read the NYTimes article here.
Read more on POTA on wikipedia here.

First picture on the web !

firstpicAnd the quote that goes with it.

“Back in 1992, after their show at the CERN Hardronic Festival, my colleague Tim Berners-Lee asked me for a few scanned photos of “the CERN girls” to publish them on some sort of information system he had just invented, called the “World Wide Web”. I had only a vague idea of what that was, but I scanned some photos on my Mac and FTPed them to Tim’s now famous “info.cern.ch”. How was I to know that I was passing an historical milestone, as the one above was the first picture ever to be clicked on in a web browser!”

(via kottke)

Google Trikes

A Google Trike
A Google Trike

A trike is just another cool term by the Google Folks – nothing technical about it. I think some folks wanted Bikes, and the others wanted Tricycles. And since grown-up folks dont ride tricycles (unless they sell icecreams), they named these three wheeled bikes as trikes. These are going to be going around all around UK – where there still exists a lot of places where the Google Street view cars cannot go – and I mean places like side walks, walkways etc. One thing I noticed that would prove useful from this, is going to be castle tours and tourist attractions of the likes. People can now get a street view of these attractions, before even going there (or for lazy folks, they can see these from their couches and satisfy their touristy appetites).

See the cnet article here.

Read translated emails

Wow. Google never ceases to amaze me. Yes, I know, I have this as my starting line in multiple blog posts until now. But thats how it is. Now, if you get an email in one language, you can press the “Translate to English” button, and lo ! behold ! your email in your language. (You have to enable the google labs feature for translation though). How cool is that ! I really do agree with their ‘claim’ to better world integration now. Multiple people speaking to each other in their own language, and yet, everyone understanding each other. Isnt that wonderful. (You cannot even do that in real life speech conversations!).

(image courtesy: gmailblog)
(image courtesy: gmailblog)

Now, I can read my chinese spam emails. ROFL !!!

Luxury vs Premium

Seth Godin has a nugget of a post in his blog about Luxury vs Premium. The post itself is small, and hence I am paraphrasing it here. All credit to Seth ofcourse.

Luxury goods are needlessly expensive. By needlessly, I mean that the price is not related to performance. The price is related to scarcity, brand and storytelling. Luxury goods are organized waste. They say, “I can afford to spend money without regard for intrinsic value.”

That doesn’t mean they are senseless expenditures. Sending a signal is valuable if that signal is important to you.

Premium goods, on the other hand, are expensive variants of commodity goods. Pay more, get more. Figure skates made from kangaroo hide, for example, are premium. The spectators don’t know what they’re made out of, but the some skaters get better performance. They’re happy to pay more because they believe they get more.

A $20,000 gown is not a premium product. It’s not better made, it won’t hold up longer, it’s not waterproof or foldable. It’s just artificially scarce. A custom-made suit, on the other hand, might be worth the money, especially if you’re Wilt Chamberlain.

Plenty of brands are in trouble right now because they’re not sure which one they represent.

[link to original article]

Auto logic – II

Welcome tomy latest edition of Auto Logic. Some nuggets of conversation with autorikshaw drivers in Bangalore.

Me: Where are you from (in Tamil)?

Auto driver:  (Instant smile) Senji Sir

Auto driver:  Was born here in Bangalore sir. Mother and brothers have gone back to Senji to do agriculture. With the rate at which, traffic is increasing, and people riding in auto’s decreasing, I am also planning to do the same Sir. If I get a good price for my auto and my house, I will go.

Me: Your children studying ?

Auto driver: Yes Sir. Son is studying 8th in a good school in Koramangala. Will probably remain in Bangalore until he finishes atleast PUC. THen he can teka care of himself Sir.

Me: It is good that he is studying. Make him study more, and make him get a good job. He will take care of you in Bangalore, or in Senji, wherever.

Auto driver: Sure Sir.

He then went on Tamil Nadu politics and vote count, and how CNNIBN says something, and TIMES NOW says something else. And ofcoure, SUNTV and JayaTV say something totally different. I was impressed that this guy sees so many news channels to keep abreast of  happenings. The wide spread of television and rapid reduction in cable tv prices, has contributed to this. I usually dont write about politics here, but yes, there were a lot of strong opinions from him towards MK, and against J. He called her an airbag – which looking at her physical appearance, seems pretty appropriate 🙂

Anti-trust Intel ?

Intel has recently been slammed a huge fine by the European Union for monopolysing the market and filed anti-trust litigations against it. But, is this really wrong ? A company (say, such as Intel) establishes a good market, by being superior. The motto of capitalism is “May the fittest survive”. Intel was good, it survived, and AMD is getting better, and that is why coming up a second. No one else dared to get into that market, for fear of losing. Who asked them not to? Not Intel.

If Intel had done something (and the European courts had evidence) that, Intel went and killed competition by bribing the registrar of companies, (for example), to not accept their company registration, or if Intel went on a tarnishing advertising campaign against AMD, then you say that, it sounds unfair. Do note, I say ‘sounds’, and not ‘is’. What have your parents taught you? You should rise and shine, despite anything that your peers may say to discourage you. What did your cricket coach teach you about sledging. You, as a company, are supposed to weather all these roadblocks, if you want to succeed.

Do you think, Intel had a cushy road ahead to the place where it is. Intel had to convince human kind that desktop home PCs were real. At the time, when Intel came in the world, people only thought, they build room-sized computers to bomb the other side of the ocean. We have come a long from  there. Intel faced so many hard ships. It weathered several economic downturns. It captured emerging markets. It almost lost to AMD a few years ago, when their Itanium chips got delayed. AMD almost got over them. And then they recovered. Their reputation was severely hit, when the floating point bug hit them – which made some simple mistakes in arithmetic division. They weathered it. And now here, they are, chugging along.

I wonder what pseudo-socialist cause, this whole anti-trust game is serving. I now see a EETIMES article, saying, “Let us see how honest Intel is.” I wonder where honesty comes into the picture. If it is to see if Intel will go and haggle with lawyers and reduce the fine amount, in my opinion, that is not dishonesty either. That is good capitalist chops.

Go Intel! I (as an EDA engineer and Computer Engg PhD grad), have been proud of what you guys have been achieving. As a researc student, I followed your research. Now as a programmer/manager (and a part-time MBA student), I still follow your technological growth) ; and I will continue to do so.