This is the sound of the aurora on Saturn. Pretty eerie, no?
There is no sound in space. Outside planets and stars, molecules are spread out too thin for sound to propagate. It follows, then, that we can’t really hear sounds planets emit into space. But radio waves—electromagnetic waves with wavelengths longer than infrared light—are, as we know, handy for representing sound. And so it makes sense for us to interpret radio waves, whether originally encoding sound or not, as sound. These are radio waves emitted in conjunction with auroras around Saturn’s poles, similar to the northern and southern lights on Earth. They were picked up by the Cassini spacecraft and then interpreted as sound. But the sound was not in the audible range, so it has been downshifted by a factor of 44. And finally, so as not to bore us to death, it has been speeded up by a factor of 22. Realize, then, that many human choices were made in order for us to be able to “listen to space.” But if you can accept that, you can enjoy this.
They reversed the direction of mouse scrolling! Crazy! But really, they needed to. With Lion, Apple is trying to change the user experience metaphor that has governed OS design since the 80s. It was a symbolic move, but one, to me, that ties together the new interaction paradigm — you interact with the content, not the OS.
Lion — at $29 — seems like an incremental upgrade. But I guarantee that it will prove to be one of Apple’s boldest moves in defining how we interact with computers of the future.
“…capitalism is basically a system where everything is for sale, and the more money you have, the more you can get. And, in particular, that’s true of freedom. Freedom is one of the commodities that is for sale, and if you are affluent, you can have a lot of it. It shows up in all sorts of ways. It shows up if you get in trouble with the law, let’s say, or in any aspect of life it shows up. And for that reason it makes a lot of sense, if you accept capitalist system, to try to accumulate property, not just because you want material welfare, but because that guarantees your freedom, it makes it possible for you to amass that commodity. […] what you’re going to find is that the defense of free institutions will largely be in the hands of those who benefit from them, namely the wealthy, and the powerful. They can purchase that commodity and, therefore, they want those institutions to exist, like free press, and all that.”—
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville
3D displays cause extra eye fatigue, according to a study published by the Journal of Vision today that was funded in part by Samsung’s R&D arm. A group of researchers from the University of Califonia-Berkeley found that when test subjects watched 3D displays, they reported more eye strain and fatigue and less vision clarity afterward than when they watched 2D video. The disparity between the depth of the screen and the depth of the 3D image caused the most problems, though researchers also found the relationship between image depth and nearness of the screen also played a role in eye strain.
Twenty-four participants in the study were shown 3D and 2D video at various viewing distances, and then responded to questionnaires on their eye fatigue, neck and back pain, and vision clarity. In the video clips, the authors were varying the focal point, which is the surface of the screen, and the vergence distance, which is where in the image the eyes are trying to focus on. For 2D video, these points are always one and the same, but in 3D video the vergence distance varies, and can be either deeper than the surface of the screen or in front of it.
The participants responded that they experienced more eye strain and fatigue from the video with different vergence and focal distances, a feature of 3D that has long been supposed to cause eye strain. The self-reported differences between 3D and 2D were not drastic, but they were significant.
A second part of the study found that though 3D was fatiguing in general, the participants had more problems with distant displays showing an image with a vergence distance deeper than the screen and with near displays showing images popping out of the screen.
This research is highly relevant to 3D content designers, who could determine what to recess or pop out of the screen based on the expected viewer distance. However, the study also means that 3D video that is more comfortably viewed in a movie theater is necessarily much more uncomfortable to look at when viewed in a living room.
Unfortunately for Samsung, financial supporters of the study and manufacturers of 3D TVs, the research appears to indicate that they’re hurting the eyes of their customers.
*Thank you, sweet baby Jesus. I hate this technology and hope it dies.
I am very aware that Coolinate is a dumb name for anything ever. Sadly, my other ideas— Line-shadowify, Manystuffify, and Bloginate — all seemed dumber. There weren’t many options really. Putting some lines under text isn’t an activity that conjures epic war-hero-style action verbs. If you are that smug person who has already come up with better names, you can find a contact link in the site map. Otherwise, quit whining.
…You can still be intelligent AND naked. You can still be full of soul AND naked. You can still be responsible, accountable, respectable AND naked. We don’t have to separate our sexual bodies from our brains and our hearts in order to be considered GOOD. Don’t demand that of people, don’t demand it of yourselves. Because it’s bullshit….