Monday, November 30, 2009

Denying is not always anti-green

OK, I'll briefly weigh in on Climategate, as it is now coined. And my best point of reference is George Monbiot's blog in the Guardian.

Poor George, he found himself in a bind. But at least he recognized it, unlike most of his followers who could only chastise him for "making things even worse". Good science is what is needed, not clever fabrications now revealed by hacked e-mails. Climate science has demonstrated itself to be far from good science, as I have often claimed. As a PhD scientist myself I am deeply saddened by some of the comments made in the e-mails - it sort of becomes a "buyer beware" mentality which pure science should never bow to.

Coming just before the 100% political Copenhagen climate change summit, this may be good news for us "deniers". Of course, we never were deniers, that was just a moniker applied by those with more faith than science, who now find themselves in a similar situation.

The conference itself will prove to be an interesting exercise in politicized science. Meantime, let the show begin!

Don't do this with your average point and shoot. . .

Waterproof and shockproof, it says on the label. Well, it is certainly waterproof, having been dipped in the Rieve Heric for a close up of the stream bed! The Pentax Optio W80 may not be the best point and shoot but it does do some things rather well.

The other French Apple Store

At the Odysseum, Montpellier. Very impressive.

I Duz Windoze (7)

Yes, I do. Courtesy of Parallels 5.0 and the installation was relatively easy once I had worked out which version of Windows I really needed (hint, read the box and decide what you will never use). The Coherence Mode is interesting in that you can literally switch from Snow Leopard to Windows 7 with a click of the mouse.

Why bother with Windoze? Well, there are those programs that Microsoft has chosen not to port to OS X, such as Project. And there are still software designers out there who honestly think that the Mac OS isn't important. Example? IKEA - but at least they are honest enough to admit the shortfall.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A new camera!

During the summer my Canon SD1000 failed me. Apparently this is a common feature with small Canons that have a mechanically protruding lens. One speck of dust and the mechanism fails. Whole websites are dedicated to the problem but Canon refuses to accept any responsibility.

So I decided that a more reliable camera should replace it and a waterproof, shockproof camera seemed to be the best solution. There are a number of them out there but the one that suited me best was the Pentax Optio W80. This was partly because I would be able to use my existing SD memory card. The W80 has formidable specs but it remains a point and shoot camera, so it is always interesting to see what happens when it is pushed to the limits. The photo below was taken at the telephoto limit (5x) of a jack up rig some 24 kilometers off shore from Pointe Noire, Congo. The fishing boats in the foreground are much closer. Conditions were not ideal for good photography, so the result really isn't bad at all. If you click on the photo you will see a maximum quality jpeg which is 9MB large.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Steve Jobs, CEO of the Decade

The man who saved four industries? Well, there's a lot of truth in that. But for a retrospective, here is a link to Jobs' 2005 Stanford Graduation Address. Says more about the man than all the eulogies, mainly because the man is saying it himself!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Back by Popular Demand!

Four and a half months, but the time has really flown. Lots of other priorities came along and in many ways it was good to say au revoir to the internet for a while. While "gone" I did renew my Flickr membership, thereby retaining the 4000 plus images. It has been interesting to see that the photostream still gets lots of visitors.

I think I am going to revamp and simplify focalplane.com but I will not start on it just yet.

And now I have made 1,000 posts to this blog!