Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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JudeMorrigan
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:15 pm UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:today i learned how to conjugate latin verbs in the perfect, pluperfect, & present perfect tenses! i like my latin class. it's interesting.

Are you sure you don't mean perfect, pluperfect and future perfect? (e.g. amavi/amaveram/amavero) That's the traditional grouping, and Latin doesn't really have a present perfect which is distinct from the perfect tense.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

On the contrary, it's hosting the images just fine. It's providing them with all a guest's needs, especially privacy!

A rock:
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image


The dodging of waves:
Spoiler:
Image


Another chilly view:
Spoiler:
Image


Today, it seems that photobucket is working ... at least for me. I checked yesterday and "wtf is wrong with Photobucket today?" is actually a known search term for Google.

Another prickly bush with yellow flowers, in its own home:
Spoiler:
Image


One more pretty one, which somehow turned out crisp enough to be left full-size not scaled down to 1080 high:
Spoiler:
Image


Today I learned that one of the male blackbirds is more horny than hungry. Instead of pouncing on the food when I put it out, he flew across to it, stood over it and sang like made to attract the females so he could show off "his" awesome garden before the starlings got in and scoffed the best bits.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:23 pm UTC

Today I learned that, despite having posted in many threads (Profile -> search user's posts), I've only ever posted in five threads (egosearch).

I also learned that Radovan Karadzic has been sentenced to 40 years in jail. He was born in June of '45, so that's "until he's nearly 111 years old." It could be considered ... lenient.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:32 am UTC

I'd hold off on any sort of counting where and how you've posted until the index is rebuilt.

Then again, search is working, so maybe it's done. Huh.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby chridd » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:43 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'd hold off on any sort of counting where and how you've posted until the index is rebuilt.

Then again, search is working, so maybe it's done. Huh.
It's not working for me. Of the things I've tried, only searching topic titles and searching by username (and searching text+username) work, and only if it's set to display posts rather than topics. Topic searches by username give very incomplete results (as has already been noted), other topic searches give SQL errors, and ordinary text searches spend forever loading (though it's possible it's just very slow and I just haven't had the patience).

Edit to add: searching the thread also seems to work.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:05 am UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
WilliamTheConqueror wrote:today i learned how to conjugate latin verbs in the perfect, pluperfect, & present perfect tenses! i like my latin class. it's interesting.

Are you sure you don't mean perfect, pluperfect and future perfect? (e.g. amavi/amaveram/amavero) That's the traditional grouping, and Latin doesn't really have a present perfect which is distinct from the perfect tense.


oh god, yeah i meant future perfect - i had been going through my conjugation charts earlier that day so my brain was kind of fried from that :)
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:15 pm UTC

Today I learned that I have awesome ninja powers. Someone drove into me at work. Not in the literal sense of causing me to ingest him and his car, but in the sense of "WHAM!" His explanation: "I didn't think you were in today."


I'm fine ... and apparently visible again now, which is probably for the best as I need to go shopping.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:11 am UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
WilliamTheConqueror wrote:today i learned how to conjugate latin verbs in the perfect, pluperfect, & present perfect tenses! i like my latin class. it's interesting.

Are you sure you don't mean perfect, pluperfect and future perfect? (e.g. amavi/amaveram/amavero) That's the traditional grouping, and Latin doesn't really have a present perfect which is distinct from the perfect tense.


oh god, yeah i meant future perfect - i had been going through my conjugation charts earlier that day so my brain was kind of fried from that :)


Yeah, excessive study can make a person two tense.

BA-DA-BING!

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:17 am UTC

Today I learned that, the more expensive version having been discontinued, these things will now be showing up in my Saturday paper:
Spoiler:
Image


At least it wasn't a squashed rat, eh? I'd hate to find one of those in my paper every week.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Whizzkid1024 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

Today I learned some new folk dance moves and improved dancing stance for the scottish dance. The teacher made me stop using my standard Lindy Hop positions and learn the new ones. 'No, you shake your behind too much, you should be more static', 'no, stand parallel, not in a V position', 'No bouncing!'. Still, very enjoyable and educational workshop of 5 hours.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Deva » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:19 pm UTC

Learned that turtles (and other reptiles) often carry Salmonella. Banned sales of turtles with shells under four inches because of it.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby doogly » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:13 am UTC

Whizzkid1024 wrote: 'No, you shake your behind too much, you should be more static'

Lies and perfidy
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:45 pm UTC

The duck who has been taking birdseed from my garden all year has converted some of it and some other resources into fifteen adorable tiny ducklings.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby addams » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:46 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:The duck who has been taking birdseed from my garden all year has converted some of it and some other resources into fifteen adorable tiny ducklings.

That is the best news all day.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:38 pm UTC

Yesterday I learned that my garden fauna includes a blackcap, and that my new webcam does not have a single-click still image button, so I can't use AutoClicker to take pictures at 10-, 15- or 20-minute intervals with it to monitor stuff.

Today I learned that Automatically Take Screen Pictures Software, when told to take pictures every 6 minutes and 10 seconds (because it won't do "and 0 seconds") actually takes pictures at rather irregular intervals:

irregular_intervals.png


... so maybe the way to get a proper smooth time-scaling effect is to use AutoClicker to click the Test Capture button on the Automatically Take Screen Pictures Software to get screenshots including the webcam software ... *headdesk*
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:12 pm UTC

Yesterday I learned that I can't scan recepits to email them in for expenses claims without the scanner lid nudging the webcam cable and spoiling my attempt to create a time-lapse movie gif ... and that the LEDs on the webcam are bright enough to cause positive phototropism:

Spoiler:
Image


Now trying again with a different species, from a higher angle.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:57 pm UTC

... that if I turn off auto-updates to stop the pop-up asking whether I want to allow my antivirus to update ruining said animated .gif and drop the screen resolution to make the task of opening hundreds of screenshots as layers that little bit easier on my computer, the pop-up telling me my antivirus hasn't been updated in 24 hours will get in the way instead.

Anybody want to code a new webcam driver for me?
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:43 pm UTC

... that Janet Street-Porter:

Image

... thinks the Duchess of Cambridge:

Image

... looks drab and dowdy in those ordinary clothes and not-very-ostentatious earrings.

Mm-hmmm.

Image

Drab.

Dowdy.

Right.

Image

... and that this browser on this forum loads data from photobucket even when it's behind a spoiler tag.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Zohar » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:46 pm UTC

Yey, let's promote women-against-women.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:42 pm UTC

Everyone ... against ... EVERYONE ... with frickin' laser beams on their heads.

I wonder whether it'd be reasonable to build a "newspaper" website that would let people subscribe to just the news sections that interest them and the columnists whose output is actually worth reading, so someone could subscribe to UK News, World News, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk and Mark Steel without having to subscribe to all the drivel and football.

The actual page of drivel (I'm not giving it more hits but I'm sure you can find it if you want to) asks what message the Duchess of Cambridge was trying to send by wearing those clothes and those earrings.

Tough one to answer, that.

Maybe if you really want to know what she's trying to say you ought to stop looking for the label in her dress, forget about finding the price of those earrings online and try listening to the words coming from her mouth.

Yes, believe it or not, that's the Duchess of Cambridge in those photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, and she's there in person. It's not just a mannequin she dressed and sent along in her place. It's the real person, with the actual personality, brain, thoughts, opinions and feelings ... and there's actually more to her than a dress and a pair of earrings.

No, I didn't mean "she's also wearing shoes." Really.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Zohar » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:25 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:I wonder whether it'd be reasonable to build a "newspaper" website that would let people subscribe to just the news sections that interest them and the columnists whose output is actually worth reading, so someone could subscribe to UK News, World News, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk and Mark Steel without having to subscribe to all the drivel and football.

I'm pretty sure sites like this exist. For one thing, you could set up a bunch of google alerts on things, but I think there's also more specialized places.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sizik » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:30 pm UTC

That's pretty much what an RSS feed reader does.
she/they
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:27 pm UTC

True, but neither of those affects the cash-flow situation. The short versions available online to non-subscribers are still all available to everyone, the paper version still contains all the paper-version stuff and the long versions available online to subscribers are still bought on an "all or none" basis, so I still don't have a way of paying to read Robert Fisk in full without also funding Grace Dent and wossname who's determined to make sure we all keep up with the Kardashians. It's a bit like BBC TV. You pay a licence fee to be allowed to watch all sorts of crap at all hours, and they decide how much of it to spend on Eastenders, the Antiques Roadshow and Wildlife on One. The BBC have produced some wonderful stuff, including but by no means limited to their wildlife documentaries, Walking With Dinosaurs and Warriors (Part 1, Part 2), but they also produce EastEnders, so there is no way to "subscribe to" David Attenborough without also "subscribing to" a bunch of old hags telling each other to shut it and leave it out.

TIL that the footpath downstream from here into the city ... could use some work. A little light pruning in a few places, a little heavy pruning in others, a half-tonne of quarry run-off here, a half-tonne there, a new stile building at one crossing, maybe some stepping stones or a bridge in a couple of other places, 20l of glyphosate carefully sprayed onto certain plants, that kind of thing. No track-laying vehicles required.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:55 am UTC


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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Magnanimous » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:27 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:True, but neither of those affects the cash-flow situation. The short versions available online to non-subscribers are still all available to everyone, the paper version still contains all the paper-version stuff and the long versions available online to subscribers are still bought on an "all or none" basis, so I still don't have a way of paying to read Robert Fisk in full without also funding Grace Dent and wossname who's determined to make sure we all keep up with the Kardashians. It's a bit like BBC TV. You pay a licence fee to be allowed to watch all sorts of crap at all hours, and they decide how much of it to spend on Eastenders, the Antiques Roadshow and Wildlife on One. The BBC have produced some wonderful stuff, including but by no means limited to their wildlife documentaries, Walking With Dinosaurs and Warriors (Part 1, Part 2), but they also produce EastEnders, so there is no way to "subscribe to" David Attenborough without also "subscribing to" a bunch of old hags telling each other to shut it and leave it out.

Fortunately, this also means the people who pay to watch EastEnders are paying the BBC to produce wildlife documentaries.
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in loads of people from the Pacific Coast of the USA. (Me!)

Those plants do very well here.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:28 am UTC

Sableagle wrote: ... and that the LEDs on the webcam are bright enough to cause positive phototropism:

Spoiler:
Image


Now trying again with a different species, from a higher angle.

Interesting! I was going to ask you why you aren't doing any dithering when converting your frames to GIF, but then I remembered that most such algorithms suffer from "flying pixels" when used on animations - slight frame to frame differences can lead to major differences in the results of the dithering algorithm, which looks annoying. I have my own dithering algorithm that reduces that problem. It's not publicly available, but here's an example of its results on a ray-tracing I did in POV-Ray:
Spoiler:
Image


The main reason I haven't made that dither code available is that it also needs a good colour quantization algorithm to choose the palette, and standard colour quantization algorithms aren't optimized to be used on dithered images. I've spent quite bit of time playing with various algorithms over the years, but I'm still not completely happy with what I've found / discovered.

However in my research I learned that there's a (relatively) new colour quantization algorithm that's so good that it generally doesn't need dithering. It's called NeuQuant, and you should be able to incorporate it into your image processing pipeline.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:31 pm UTC

Most flying pixels in that are the results of actual flying things getting into the shot. The "ocean surf" effect on the radiator and wall is annoying, yes, but ... eh, check out those seedlings!

It's also quite a small lens, so it suffers horribly from low-light noise, and it washes out to white in bright light. I tried a similar .gif of another species and they were blazing white like sci-fi weapons fire when the sun was shining directly on them.

The oddest parts of the process have been the "ghost processes" I found in Task Manager, producing their own screenshots at strange intervals, and the way some screenshots come up plain #000000. There was one when I first started recording, which could be just after the screensaver kicked in, but what happened to make the 10:57 screenshot black? That's presumably in the software I'm using to get screenshots including the webcam feed, because the whole desktop is there in others and missing in those.

Nice round-cut diamond. Do you have Princess and Cushion cuts too?
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:23 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Nice round-cut diamond. Do you have Princess and Cushion cuts too?


Thanks! No, I only have variations on the Tolkowsky brilliant cut. There's an old POV-Ray include file for a brilliant cut, but I wasn't happy with it, so I made an improved version by referring to Tolkowsky's book: A Study of the Reflection and Refraction of Light in a Diamond.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:24 pm UTC

TIL that, between all the instructions for taking clean stuff out of the dishwasher, then loading dirty stuff into it "upside down" so it won't fill up and stay full and all the instructions for closing the door, turning the thing on, choosing a program and starting it and then leaving it alone to do its job, all of which sometimes seem to be beyond the comprehension of my co-irkers, it is, in fact, necessary to include these instructions:
Take the wrapper off the dishwasher tablet.
Put the tablet in the dishwasher.
Put the wrapper in the bin.


:roll:
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:02 am UTC

Well, there are dissolving dishwasher tablet wrappers. The ones I use have them. You don't need to take them off.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:42 pm UTC

We had some of those. They looked like little cakes, sort of meringue, lemon curd and a cherry in miniature. The wrapper was from a Finish tablet, which is fairly obviously NOT the soluble kind.

Eh, no flood so far.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:35 pm UTC

TIL that standing up, leaning on the shed, with a 40x optical zoom is enough to see that Jupiter is in about the same "phase" as the Moon, but not enough to see stripes and not enough to be sure I'm seeing Jupiter's moons.

Image

I got a better one, once, sitting down and leaning back against a rock, but I think it's a 600x-magnification-telescope-and-tripod job really.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby ucim » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:25 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:but not enough to see stripes
Try underexposing until you do.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:29 pm UTC

I shall give that a go if we get another clear night. Lyrid meteors being at their peak and Mercury being at its greatest angular distance from the Sun, it's cloudy.

The seedlings are doing fine.

Image

Newer, better animated .gif is still a work in progress.

This does bring up a question: what do I do with the 20 apple tree seedlings in it after I finish creating the .gif file? I don't know their final size, flowering season, cross-fertility or hardiness or what, if any, kind of apple each one will produce. I wonder whether a local school has a Grow Your Own thing going on.
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:39 pm UTC

Surprise! Tonight's turned out clear enough for this:

Image

Stripes? No. Four visible moons? Yes!
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby freezeblade » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:45 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:This does bring up a question: what do I do with the 20 apple tree seedlings in it after I finish creating the .gif file? I don't know their final size, flowering season, cross-fertility or hardiness or what, if any, kind of apple each one will produce. I wonder whether a local school has a Grow Your Own thing going on.


Apples are notoriously not-true-to-seed. This means that the vast majority of apples (something like 99%) produced from seed will not show desirable characteristics (bitter/sour/russeted/small/infertile). This is especially true of apples bought in a grocery store, as in orchard environment crab-apples are commonly plated between rows for cross fertilization (which increases volume of crops). It would be possible to use these apple seedlings, once they are a year old or so, as rootstock, grafting a known variety on top of the seedling. This also has a problem though, as most rootstock varieties are very localized, and chosen for their environment and disease resistance (not to mention not grown from seed, but though other means of propagation), and the hardiness of your resulting grafted tree would have lots to do with the type of tree you grew. This could work out, as a hybrid of the Northern Spy variety is one of the most commonly used rootstocks (M111), but then, it may not.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/grafting-and-budding-fruit-trees/ for thoughts on grafting apples. I personally have a M111 root stock, with wickson and courtland apples grafted on it, I plan to get a few more varities next year (I'm thinking Ashmead's Kernal)
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby ucim » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:35 pm UTC

What if we tried less power?

Awesome that you got four moons! (They will come in handy after we off ours with lasers.) But keep underexposing and I'm certain you'll see stripes. Jupiter is pretty bright. It's just that it's small and surrounded by black sky.
Spoiler:
(insert: These are small.... those are far away)
You're doing this with just a camera lens?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

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Sableagle
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:09 am UTC

The apple issue I knew, but thanks for the link.

Apple trees aren't self-fertile, so they have to be pollenised by (pollinated with pollen from) a tree that isn't closely related but flowers at the same time of year, so you get half the genome of the kind of apple you ate and half the genome of you-don't-know-what ... and the result probably can't even be a pollen source for the kind of apple you ate.

Pretty flowers, I guess.

The problem with under-exposing is that my camera doesn't have "reduce white balance." It has "capture white balance." I got last night's pictures by pointing it at two white vans and a floodlight to do that. Jupiter's got kind of an Anglo-Saxon colour blend, so maybe I should point the camera at something pale blue to get the balance and heighten the reds and yellows.

Yes, those pictures are from this camera, hand-held. The white balance thing can be put alongside it having no manual focus as "annoying little details." Also it drinks battery charge. £10 for a set of 4 AAs and they'll take 100 images from single-use or about 80 from rechargeables, so if I take it for any long walks I carry £30 of batteries with me for a £200 camera. Still, I like it. Big lens, 40x optical zoom and it works as a card reader for the memory cards from my dashcams. Came with a free 1080p video camera built in, too.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Today I Learned

Postby ucim » Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:07 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:The problem with under-exposing is that my camera doesn't have "reduce white balance." It has "capture white balance."
Underexposing isn't about balance, it's about shutter speed and aperture. Let the white balance fall where it may, just reduce the shutter speed. You might have to reduce it a lot; you want the same shutter speed as you would if you were in orbit around Jupiter with the entire planet filling the screen. You'll get bands.
Spoiler:
Not rock bands though; the thing's a gas bag.
Can you even control the shutter speed? I notice in modes it has:
the specs wrote:Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Beauty Mode, Panorama, Hand-Held Starlight, Photo+Video Clip, Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet (Cat), Pet (Dog), Backligh HDR), HD Movie
I don't see "manual", but "Pet (Cat)" and "Pet (Dog)"? What if you have a pet hamster - you're out of luck? And which mode are you supposed to pick if you want a picture of your family (including the cat and dog) dining on the beach during an early fireworks display at sunset in winter, with people playing vollyball in the background?
Sableagle wrote:...so if I take it for any long walks I carry £30 of batteries...
I guess you don't really take long walks. :)

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

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Sableagle
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Re: Today I Learned

Postby Sableagle » Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:55 pm UTC

Yeah, the cat and dog modes seem a bit ridiculous to me, and "hand-held starlight" is a bad joke. I suspect they included that just to have an excuse to put a hand held up like a "STOP!" sign in front of the star and crescent moon on the mode wheel.

The camera automatically copies its user manual in disc-munching .pdf format onto any computer to which it's connected, and the manual says this:
Auto Release: When your pet (cat or dog) turns its head towards the camera, its face is recognized and the picture is taken automatically.
No love for hamsters. :(

Registering one touch white balance
Select [ One Touch 1] or [ One Touch 2], face the camera toward a piece of white paper or other white object, and
press the  button.
● The camera releases the shutter and the white balance is registered. When the white balance was previously
registered, the registered data is updated.
● The registered white balance data will not be cleared by turning off the power.
● Perform this procedure under the light where the pictures will be actually taken.
● When the camera settings are changed, the white balance must be registered again.
I think maybe I'll do better if I take plain white paper out with me, get a "white balance" under a floodlight and then move into the dark to get the sky shots.

So, yes, it can crop and rotate pictures, make panoramic images, record video, recognise cats and dogs, use a TV as its interface via HDMI, fix red-eye, add sparkle to teeth and show you the aperture, exposure time and ISO number for each image it's taken, but it can't be told what shutter speed and aperture to use, can't be told at what distance to focus and can't make a decent cup of tea.

For the price difference between this and a good DSLR, I can get myself a really good telescope on a tripod, aim it in front of Jupiter, line the camera up through the eyepiece and wait for the Earth's rotation to frame my picture.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.


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