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July 27, 2019

Fuji's new camera can read a license plate from half a mile away

Screen Shot 2019-07-25 at 6.57.50 AM

But let's not get our baggies in a twist: spy satellites have been doing this from 40 miles up since the 70s.

What I want to know is how long till the iPhone has a camera as good as Fuji's.

From the Verge:

Fujifilm is getting into surveillance cameras with the SX800, a long-range surveillance camera with a 40x optical zoom designed to offer security at international borders and large commercial facilities.

It's got a built-in lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 20mm to 800mm, and an additional digital zoom of 1.25x.

Combined, Fujifilm says this gives the SX800 a total equivalent focal length of 1000mm, which is enough to focus on a car's license plate from 1km or roughly 0.6 miles away (top).

We've seen consumer cameras with support for more zoom than this in the past (Nikon's P1000 has a 125x, 3000mm-equivalent zoom lens for example), but the difference here is that Fujifilm has equipped its commercial security camera with a number of features that will make its footage more usable when filming at these extreme distances.

It's got a fast autofocus that can focus in as quickly as 0.3 seconds, optical image stabilization, and an image processing engine that's able to reduce the effects of fog and heat-haze. The camera also supports ISO levels of up to 819200 for filming at night.

For an idea of what this amount of zoom is capable of, the video below

shows how the camera is able to just about read a handheld sign from 2.2km (around 1.36 miles) away, and get a clear shot of the viewing platform of Tokyo Tower from 3km (around 1.86 miles) away.

Price TBD.

July 27, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stairways to heaven


From Atlas Obscura

We recently asked readers


to tell us


about the most amazing staircases


they'd ever encountered.


The results are wondrous.

July 27, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The wonderfully subtle Easter egg of Atlas Obscura

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Right up top of this great site's home page is the most subtle Easter egg I've yet to discover.

Look at the site's icon/favicon (top).

Now look at the version below.

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See the difference?

When you move your cursor over the icon on the home page (top), the pointer shifts from leaning left to straight up.

I love this so much....

July 27, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tears in the rain

Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, whose dying monologue in "Blade Runner" (above) riveted me to my seat when I first saw it in 1982, died July 19 at home in Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands.

He was 75.

From the Verge

"Blade Runner" was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples and was based on a book by renowned science-fiction author Philip K. Dick, but Hauer famously wrote his iconic monologue himself.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe," Hauer begins when delivering the speech in the film.

"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.... Time to die."

Every time I watch and listen, I'm rapt.

July 27, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lyric Speaker Canvas — "See the words while the music plays"

Karaoke made easy, right in your own home.

From the Verge:

Japanese company COTODAMA has teamed up with luxury brand Saint Laurent for a limited-edition all-black version of its Lyric Speaker Canvas, which displays a song's lyrics while the music is playing.

When it plays music, the front panel links with databases like PetitLyrics to grab a song's lyrics.

It then displays the lyrics in time with the song, and analyzes the song's mood to pick fonts and animations.

Blocky text that bursts on the screen might be paired with a bold pop song, and a drifting, handwritten script would go with a slow ballad.

If no lyrics can be found, the screen shows abstract animations that move in sync with the music.

An interactive demonstration on the COTODAMA website lets you see how it visualizes lyrics for different kinds of songs.

The display and speaker are one unit but look like two pieces, meant to evoke the idea of vinyl record jackets leaned against the wall.

The size is a bit bigger than an actual record sleeve: 18.7"W x 14.7"H.

Available only in the fashion house's Rive Droite stores in Paris and Los Angeles.

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July 27, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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