ck's Weblog: My World, Dressed Like a Sailor

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Stakeholder

Thursday, March 20 2014

Today I learned:

  1. Not too long ago, "stakeholder" referred to an uninvolved third party who could be trusted to hold something (which is "at stake") while its ownership was being determined.
  2. There's a name for a word which has multiple opposite definitions: "contronym."

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Smartphone Display Progress

Sunday, December 8 2013

I just got a Nexus 5 to replace my Galaxy Nexus, and I've been amazed by the display. I grabbed my original smartphone, an HTC Droid Incredible, and did my best to photograph the difference in legibility.

I loaded Wikipedia's English-language mobile main page on each of them, and set up my micro lens with a pair of extension tubes on a state-of-the-art adjustable mounting system:

Yes, those are Samantha's blocks.

The Incredible uses a PenTile AMOLED screen at 252 pixels per inch:

Incredible

The alternating red/blue subpixels are pretty clear on the right vertical edges of each letter. It's hard to remember that it was a top-notch display in 2010. PenTile displays have twice the number of green subpixels and red or blue, so these photos take on a green hue. They appear white to the naked eye at the intended viewing distance.

The Galaxy Nexus has a 720p 316 ppi screen, but is otherwise pretty similar to the Incredible:

Incredible

Simply packing the pixels in more closely goes a long ways toward everyday readability. I was quite happy with 2011 technology until I got spoiled with the Nexus 5.

In keeping with other flagship phones, the Nexus 5 uses a 1080p screen at 444 ppi. It's a switch from AMOLED to IPS LCD, and between the two changes, the photographic gear I have isn't able to distinguish any subpixels:

Incredible

I'm impressed, and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go, both in terms of making small displays nicer and adapting these pixel densities to large displays.

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Babolat Play First Impressions

Tuesday, November 26 2013

I was invited to playtest Babolat's next big thing: Babolat Play. As such, I was sent a Play Pure Drive last week:

Pure Drive Play

It looks pretty much like the standard Pure Drive with orange highlights swapped in for the usual blue, but there's something odd about the butt cap:

USB port Power LED

The frame is outfitted with sensors and a minimal embedded computer which collects data during play. That makes this the first racquet I've ever seen which:

  1. needs to be charged prior to use.
  2. comes with a quick start guide.
  3. must be recycled properly (due to its lithium battery).
  4. can be ruined with a standard heat-shrink grip build-up.
  5. has an FCC ID:

FCC ID

So far, it's been easy to pair the racquet with my phone and tablet (via Bluetooth) and pull the data into Babolat's app. The app itself is still in development and has some rough edges, so I'll at least wait until it's publicly available before evaluating it.

As of tonight, I've broken into the top 25:

Top 25!

It's not entirely clear what that's evaluating, but I'm going to celebrate it while I can.

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US Open

Friday, August 30 2013

I stopped by the US Open on Wednesday and ended up on ESPN 2:

US Open Broadcast

I'm way up in the cheap seats, in the upper right-most corner of the screen, wearing a red Fila shirt and a white Nike hat:

Zoomed in

Tim, who arranged the trip, is two seats to my right, wearing his Space Mountain hat.

This was our view from up there. The grounds crew is drying off the court for Juan Martin Del Potro's first round match:

Grounds Crew

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Chromecast

Wednesday, July 24 2013

I have an HDMI cable set up as an alternate input to my receiver so that I can plug in my Chromebook and watch any content that's not available on the Roku (YouTube, for instance).

Now that Chromecast is a thing, I've suddenly become aware that my setup is incredibly inconvenient. For about 7% of the cost of an HDMI cable at Best Buy, I can do all that without leaving my chair.

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