Tag Archives: birds

No, those aren’t brush strokes. It’s just digital zoom.

After several days not being able to see any of the birds I could hear when I went for a walk on break from work, I saw a whole bunch of them hanging out on a lawn, eating seeds or bugs or whatever it is that these particular birds eat. Of course since I’d been walking to lunch, the only camera I had with me was my phone. No optical zoom, and I couldn’t get too close without spooking them. I figured what the heck, I’d give it a shot (or several) with the phone and see if I got something clear enough to post to iNaturalist.

I didn’t, as you can see, but it’s a great example of something I’ve found fascinating about digital zoom: The way it can make a photo look like it’s been painted with brush strokes rather than captured with pixels.

Personally, I’ve never understood why digital zoom is implemented as a resize instead of just cropping to a lower resolution. Even back when the full resolution on cameras was low, I’d rather have a clear 640×480 image than a blurry 1280×960. The only reason I even enabled digital zoom on an actual camera (rather than just cropping it later on my computer) was because it made a difference to the auto-focus, exposure, etc. choices the camera would make.

I suppose it’s marketing: They promised you however many megapixels, after all!

Man-Eating Birds, Algae-Powered Cars, and Googly Androids

  • Fossils linked to Maori legend of man-eating bird. # The giant Haast’s Eagle, which died out at least 500 years ago, was originally thought to have been a scavenger, but new analysis of fossils indicates that it was a lion-level predator…making it the probable basis for the Maori Te Hokioi legend.
  • Top Cyber Security Risks 2009. # Operating systems are becoming less and less of a problem, as attackers focus on client applications like Adobe Reader, QuickTime, and so forth.
  • Odd headline combo: “The algae-fueled Prius hits the road” and “Flesh-eating bacteria hit the beach.” (ZDNet newsletter) #
  • I like the sound of “Googly Android devices” #
  • Not sure what this song is, but what I can hear of it sounds like the chorus from Gethsemane – over and over and over. #
  • WTF? Allergy recall of “Fannie May Milk Chocolate & Almonds” due to undeclared almonds. How is that undeclared? #

Pop-Up Design, Bird Buzz, and What is…the Thing?

  • Running system restore on my Windows box at work. Just how I wanted to spend Monday morning. #
  • Dear HaloScan users: Please do not use the Javascript-only pop-up for your comments links. I can’t open that in a new tab. #
  • Grr. Dialog boxes should not pop up while typing. I hate accidentally saying OK or Cancel. Who runs only one app at a time these days? #
  • Just got buzzed by a bird on the way to the car. #
  • I don’t know why yesterday’s Real Life is so funny. #