Computational photography overview

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Published on: November 8, 2020

An interesting 3 part article by Vasily Zubarev at dpreview on Computational Photography (CP). CP means many things, involves all aspects from sensors to optics to signal processing..

From the article, “Everywhere, including Wikipedia, you get a definition like this: computational photography is a digital image capture and processing techniques that use digital computation instead of optical processes. Stanford Professor and pioneer of computational photography Marc Levoy (he was also behind many of the innovations in Google’s Pixel cameras) gives another definition - computational imaging techniques enhance or extend the capabilities of digital photography in which the output is an ordinary photograph, but one that could not have been taken by a traditional camera.” …

He concludes..

“Throughout history, each human technology becomes more advanced as soon as it stops copying living organisms. Today, it is hard to imagine a car with joints and muscles instead of wheels. Planes with fixed wings fly 800+ km/h — birds don’t even try. There are no analogs to the computer processor in nature at all.

The most exciting part of the list is what’s not in it. Camera sensors. We still haven’t figured out anything better than imitating the eye structure; the same crystalline lens and a set of RGGB-cones like the retina has.

Computational photography has added a “brain” to this process. A processor that handles visual information not only by reading pixels through the optic nerve but also by complementing the picture based on its experience. Yes, it opens up a lot of possibilities for us today, but there is a hunch we’re still trying to wave with hand-made wings instead of inventing a plane. One that will leave behind all these shutters, apertures, and Bayer filters.

The beauty of the situation is that we can’t even imagine today what it’s going to be….”

How Can We Pay for Creativity in the Digital Age?

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Published on: October 11, 2020

With the age of internet and expectation that we get many services for free, this is an interesting question of how can artists and creative folks make money or earn a living. Explored further in the book by William Deresiewicz - Death of an artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech.

From article on the commentary/review of the book.

…”Online, it might be easier for artists to catch a break—but not to turn a profit”

More of this from the article in New Yorker: [The Link]

Another review of the book from LARB: [The Link]

…” Scott Timberg’s Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class and Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy cover much of the same ground.”

 

From Deresiewicz, earlier (from 2015) article on this topic:

..”birth of creative entrepreneur” (seems he is moved away from this opinion)

..”Creative entrepreneurship, to start with what is most apparent, is far more interactive, at least in terms of how we understand the word today, than the model of the artist-as-genius, turning his back on the world, and even than the model of the artist as professional, operating within a relatively small and stable set of relationships. The operative concept today is the network, along with the verb that goes with it, networking.”

More of this here from the article in the Atlantic (2015): [The Link]

 

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Number 42

Categories: Articles, SciTech
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Published on: September 27, 2020

The answer to life universe and everything else. Ever since I read Douglas Adams HHGTG, the number 42 has become such an interesting & funny reference to bring up in all contexts. Here is an interesting article from Sciam on various ways number 42 has captured the interest of sci-fi fans.

Few tidbits from the article

“…The author’s choice of the number 42 has become a fixture of geek culture. It’s at the origin of a multitude of jokes and winks exchanged between initiates. If, for example, you ask your search engine variations of the question “What is the answer to everything?” it will most likely answer “42.” Try it in French or German. You’ll often get the same answer whether you use Google, Qwant, Wolfram Alpha (which specializes in calculating mathematical problems) or the chat bot Web app Cleverbot”

“..The number is the sum of the first three odd powers of two—that is, 21 + 23 + 25 = 42.”

The number 42 is the sum of the first two nonzero integer powers of six—that is, 61 + 62 = 42.”

A lot more references to 42 here: [The link]

Interesting how audience naturally extrapolate new sounds in harmony

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Published on: September 6, 2020

The audience even extrapolates to new sounds in harmony from r/Damnthatsinteresting

[McKinsey] Principles for an R&D organization

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Published on: August 25, 2020

How to organize an R&D team/department? There is not one answer, depends a lot on industry, culture, type of product, ..etc. An interesting article from McKinsey on some useful principles/guidelines.

  • Clearly delineate responsibilities for systems and end-to-end work
  • Keep functional interfaces across work sites to minimum
  • Synchronize software and hardware development
  • Strike balance between old and new technologies
  • To be future-read, adopt new ways of working

More of this here: [The link]

EEtimes: interdisciplinary integration (projects+teams)

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Published on: August 9, 2020

An interesting conversation with Yole ceo about current trends in product development in semiconductors (ee design in general). Few snippets below

“..Meanwhile, product development is becoming exceedingly complex, both because multiple processes must occur in parallel, and also because many new products require disparate technologies combined in new ways. So agile companies commonly form teams that bring together specialists with distinct areas of expertise, and it is sometimes a challenge to get them to speak the same language to solve engineering problems at the intersection of different disciplines. ”

 

” Eloy: Companies try to hire people with the competencies that they lack, and interesting discussions start between people who just don’t understand what the other is talking about. They use the same words, but their meaning differs.

Integration is essential to collaboration, and multidisciplinarity is an essential contribution. If you put one person in the optics department, the other in the electronics department, you are dead, because they will stay in their own silo and not work together. It’s important to show teams working together, solving issues together, never bowed by the challenge of integrating photonics with electronics or whatever. “

“By putting together people with different backgrounds on the same project, you give them the same goal and help them work together. Not on big projects but on small projects where they can have fast results, and move from one success to the other success. It’s more rewarding than trying to climb a mountain where everybody gets exhausted after two weeks. Being successful together instills a team spirit.”

More of this here: [The Link]

Take on conspiracy theories, john oliver

Categories: Blogs, Talks
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Published on: July 22, 2020

Entertaining take on Conspiracy theories by John Oliver. An apt video for these corona-times.

  • 1. Is there a rational, non-conspiracy explanation?
  • 2. Has this been held up to scrutiny by experts?
  • 3. How plausible, is this conspiracy, as a practical matter?

also check out: http://thetruetruetruth.com/

What makes something a good idea?

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Published on: July 14, 2020

Intuitively we are aware of what makes a good idea. It is good to visualize and articulate that explicitly. Here is good representation found in a McKinsey article.

 

What makes something a good idea

 

More of this from the article here: [The Link] 

Also interesting, Eight Essential Aspects of Innovation

In praise of solitude

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Published on: July 5, 2020

Many things have been written about in praise of boredom and idleness, how it fosters new ideas and how it simmers in the unconscious, just in time to emerge at the time of need. In these corona times another aspect has taken front stage – solitude. Here is an interesting book – In Praise of Solitude, by Stephen Bactchelor. Below is a link to an interesting review of this book. A quick excerpt from this review

“..As new as this situation feels, the frustrations it provokes are ancient. The question is how to be alone, and the answer, as Stephen Batchelor suggests in his new book, The Art of Solitude, ultimately has little to do with the place one inhabits or the other people in it. Batchelor considers solitude not as a state of mind, but “as a practice, a way of life — as understood by the Buddha and Montaigne alike.” It is not isolation or alienation, though these are its shadow side. Rather, it is a way of caring for one’s soul, of sheltering it from noise and agitation, of directing it toward its authentic purpose. Batchelor is less interested in defining an ideal form of solitude than in meditating on the ways it can be practiced and exercised, lost and regained.”

 

More of this review here: [The Link]

Pop-science writing is metaphysical self-help?

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Published on: June 28, 2020

Interesting article about popular science books. Are they becoming more like religious texts? here is an excerpt from the article..

“…….By writing about concepts like quantum entanglement and cosmic background radiation, physicists are trying to help us acclimate to a modern metaphysical reality that remains permanently new and challenging, even though its essence has been clear for centuries. That’s because we are all born with an instinct to find human meanings in the universe. The scientific revolution isn’t a historical event that happened a few centuries ago, but a process that takes place in the life of every person who learns scientific truth.

The final irony, however, is that this piety toward the truth is itself a legacy of the old, religious metaphysics that science rejects…..”

More of this here: [The Ontology of Pop Physics]

 

 

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