Fujifilm lets you virtually test all of their lenses

Fujifilm has slowly been making inroads as favorite alternative to Canon and Nikon among photographers with their X-series cameras.   From providing firmware updates to older cameras that actually add significant features, to building a stable of some of the best optics in the business for their X-system, they have done a lot to impress me over the past couple of years.

This new website is yet another cool thing that is so obvious, that I'm surprised it's never been done before.   Fuji is letting you take a test drive of all of its lenses,  letting you select the focal length and aperture of each lens to see what the results look like with any of Fuji's X lenses as they would look taken with the X-T1.   Having used the Fuji X-System, I have to say It actually gives you a pretty good feel for the results you can get.   Definitely worth checking out, if not just to see what Fuji has been doing with their stellar series of lenses lately.

Posted on January 30, 2015 and filed under Photography.

FCC Changes the definition of broadband

It seems the FCC is on a bit of a roll lately!    Today they have reclassified the definition of "Broadband" internet access to service that is 25mbps or faster downstream.    A significant raise from the previous definition of broadband at 4mbps.  This will force a lot of service providers to increase their minimum speeds in order to continue referring to themselves as broadband providers.   From the FCC:

We are never satisfied with the status quo. We want better. We continue to push the limit, and that is notable when it comes to technology,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said. “As consumers adopt and demand more from their platforms and devices, the need for broadband will increase, requiring robust networks to be in place in order to keep up. What is crystal clear to me is that the broadband speeds of yesteryear are woefully inadequate today and beyond.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants to increase the minimum broadband standards far past the new 25Mbps download threshold, up to 100Mbps. “We invented the internet. We can do audacious things if we set big goals, and I think our new threshold, frankly, should be 100Mbps. I think anything short of that shortchanges our children, our future, and our new digital economy, Commissioner Rosenworcel said.
— http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7932653/fcc-changed-definition-broadband-25mbps

That is a seriously impressive take from an agency that has been charitably called "innovation-averse" in the past.  My question now is how strict are they going to be with ISPs that ADVERTISE speeds of 25mbps and then refuse to / are unable to deliver speeds like that.

I'm still holding out for Google Fiber to show up where I live eventually.

Posted on January 29, 2015 and filed under Technology.

Wall Street's Unrealistic Expectations for Apple

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Apple has done nearly the impossible.  From nearly going out of business in 1997; they have helmed a historic turnaround and as of this last quarter have made THE MOST profit of ANY company in HISTORY.    Let that sink in for a minute, please.   Apple has made THE MOST QUARTERLY PROFIT OF ANY COMPANY IN HISTORY.    One would think that Wall Street investors would be satisfied with literally the largest profits in history.   And yet,  the Wall Street Journal today has begun the drums of expectation, not-so-subtly saying that Apple better keep up that growth curve lest they start the gloom and doom diatribe again.

I'm not really sure how anyone can expect huge growth from a company that has has already made more quarterly profit than anyone else.  Quoting from the article:

A year ago, Apple Inc. announced disappointing iPhone sales that seemed to confirm long-simmering concerns that the company’s best days were behind it.

Now, after reporting the largest quarterly profit ever for a publicly traded company, the question about Apple is very different: How fast can it grow and for how long? More specifically, do the results Apple posted Tuesday reflect a short-term blip driven by the company’s first larger-display phones or are they the start of a new growth trajectory?
— http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-apple-keep-up-its-growth-spurt-1422493028?tesla=y

I don't pretend to understand Wall Street, but this obsession with growth over anything is anything but healthy.   I understand that investors want the stock they invested in to go up, but to what end?   I am starting to think that if Apple literally took in every last bit of money in the world, the next day's headlines would be about how Apple's "best days are behind them".

I have to give Tim Cook and Apple a LOT of credit.   Managing the expectations of these lunatics has to be like herding cats.   The fact that they've been able to do it so well for so long is a miracle.  Maybe some investors will realize that making such ridiculous profits will mean that in fact the company they invested in is not actually going out of business tomorrow...

Maybe not.

Posted on January 28, 2015 and filed under Technology.