They claim you can focus after you shoot:

The breakthrough is a different type of sensor that captures what are known as light fields -- basically, all the light that is moving in all directions in the view of the camera. That offers several advantages over traditional photography, the most revolutionary of which is that photos no longer need to be focused before they are taken.

Lytro's camera works by positioning an array of tiny lenses between the main lens and the image sensor, with the microlenses measuring both the total amount of light coming in as well as its direction.

There are some neat demo photos on their site, where clicking in the Flash app moves the focus point, which show you the theoretical end result, but I don't understand how this works at all. Their "simple explanation" just says,

"Recording light fields requires an innovative, entirely new kind of sensor called a light field sensor. The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This directional information is completely lost with traditional camera sensors, which simply add up all the light rays and record them as a single amount of light."

which I'm pretty sure is the same as saying:

Their paper is mostly about how you simulate N different cameras once you have the light-field info, but I still don't understand how you de-focus light that has already passed through a lens (and there is a lens in front of this array of tiny lenses) or how having one lens per pixel gets you the direction of the ray. Because throwing away that information is what lenses are for.

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DareDroid 2.0 cocktailmaking dress

Or, why "artists' statements" fill me with rage.

The DareDroid is a biomechanic cocktail making dress that uses medical technology, customised hardware and human temperament to provide you with a freshly made cocktail. The human host and robotic dress work together to provide you with a cocktail in exchange for a game of "Truth or Dare". The robotic performance playfully transgresses and explores human interaction in public spaces and inverts the normal social experience by asking people to reveal personal information.

Ok, it's kind of a neat looking dress, but the pseudo-intellectual nonsense of the "statement" and the dumb performance wrapped around it -- be humiliated by a cute blonde! maybe get a drink out of it! -- are truly cringeworthy. It's a fucking automated beer-bong wrapped around a plastic dress, triggered by unpredictable sensors. And that's fine! There's nothing wrong with that! Why must you screw it up by talking?? Why??

"Artists", man.

Here's a more honest version:

Also: someone recently said, "Any time you see a headline that ends with a question mark, you can be certain that the answer is no." I mention that in the context of the link you've probably been sent a hundred times from the execrable io9 with the subject, "Is the Rise of Wearable Electronics Finally Here?"

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"Return the book we sold you, or we will charge you with possession of kiddie porn."

Charges possible for alleged sex crime depicted in Big Bear yearbook

Sgt. Jeremiah MacKay of the Big Bear sheriff’s station said Tuesday that although his investigation was not complete, it showed that sexual penetration of a minor had occurred.

The Press-Enterprise reported Monday that the two students appeared in the background of the photograph, which was taken at a winter formal, and the boy had his hand up the knee-length dress of the girl.

School administrators notified sheriff’s deputies about the photograph, which was discovered after yearbooks were distributed nearly two weeks ago.

The yearbooks were immediately recalled, and students were ordered to bring them back to the school so the page with the photograph could be removed.

Officials warned that those who did not return their yearbooks could face charges of possession of child pornography.

MacKay said that as of Tuesday, all but two of the yearbooks had been returned. The owners of the unreturned yearbooks had been contacted, he said, and had agreed to hand them in.

The most disappointing part of this story is that every single student returned their yearbook. None of them happened to "lose" it in the meantime. And the most meta-dissappointing thing is that that's the most disappointing thing, since the rest of it is so predictable.

Apparently the photo in question is here.

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Charlie Stross farts in Nerd-Church

Three arguments against the singularity:

I periodically get email from folks who, having read "Accelerando", assume I am some kind of fire-breathing extropian zealot who believes in the imminence of the singularity, the uploading of the libertarians, and the rapture of the nerds. I find this mildly distressing, and so I think it's time to set the record straight and say what I really think.


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Sinister PSYOPS Mission Patches

Vigilant Citizen has a round-up of his favorite mission patches, mostly culled from Trevor Paglen's awesome book, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me. (I thought I had posted about this book a few years ago, but apparently not. Anyway, it's awesome, buy it.)

The Latin phrase Si Ego Certiorem Faciam … Mihi Tu Delendus Eris roughly translates into a cliché commonly heard in the vicinity of “black” programs: “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

But the phrasing here is unusual because it is written in the passive voice: a more accurate translation of the Latin would be “I could tell you, but then you would have to be destroyed by me.” By employing the passive voice, the patch’s designer makes two references that would not exist in other phrasings. The first reference is to the Greek god of Chaos, Eris, about whom Homer wrote in Book Four of the Iliad: “[Eris] whose wrath is relentless … is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven. She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men’s pain heavier.”

The passive phrasing of the Latin also echoes the words of the second-century BCE Roman senator Cato the Elder, who roamed the Senate repeating the words Carthago delenda est—”Carthage must be destroyed.” In 149 BCE, Cato got his way and Rome attacked the North African city, located near present-day Tunis. Three years after beginning their assault, the Roman army overran Carthage, tore down its walls, and sold its inhabitants into slavery. After the Roman Senate declared that no one would ever again live where the city had stood, legend holds that Rome salted the earth around the city in order to ensure that Carthage would remain a wasteland.

Previously, previously.

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The 1Password folks have some good advice on picking passwords:

Toward Better Master Passwords

In particular avoid personal secrets. Twice in my life when I’ve been asked to find weak passwords where I worked, I had the embarrassing task of telling my friends and colleagues to change passwords that also revealed their secret crushes.
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graphic design help

I need to come up with a "sandwich" logo.

So, there's this:
And, there's this:

And I recently made this, which I'm not totally happy with, but it kind of matches:

But now I need a logo in this style that communicates "Sandwich". And I am having a hell of a time coming up with anything. I'm finding it hard to say "Sandwich" without something that's far more complex and realistic-looking than these abstract glyphs, which makes it look very out of place next to them.

Suggestions, please?

Useful suggestions will be in the form of images or sketches, not words...

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