Ariel

Just like other have said, the original film is actually much higher quality than what we consider HD. Think of the actual original film roll as the master print, the highest visual quality rendition of the movie that exists anywhere.

Now its only when we try to copy this master print that the quality decreases because of technology limits. At first we copied it to VHS, then to DVD (yes I know I'm missing some stuff like laser disk but bear with me) and now we are putting it on a blu-ray disk and player. Its like taking a picture of the Sistine chapel with your old cell phone camera, then later coming back and taking a picture of it with our brand spanking new Canon DLSR camera. The quality is much better, but still not as good as seeing it in person.

As our disk and player tech continue to improve, we will continue to approach the level of resolution of the original master print. That's why for now we are at 1080, but in the future will have even higher resolutions!

The way we've defined HD today is 1080p (720 as well but let's pretend it's only 1080 for now). This means that we have a pixel grid with a vertical height of 1080. Following the hd aspect ratio standards we need to have our width follow the ratio of 16:9.

So we have now defined our tv screens to follow this standard. Imagine 2,073,600 tiny dots, arranged in a grid (1920x1080) each with a color. When we zoom out we can see a very detailed and clear image. To keep up with standards and to be "on the cutting edge", many companies switched their cameras to digital sensors. Since we can define how many pixels will e in a sensor, companies used the bare minimum to pass those standard and call them "HD" (which is not a bad thing).

Lets step back a bit. Before, we were recording movies with film. What you need to know is that film works off of emulsion. Essentially light hits the film in a certain way and devours parts of the film. These are how images are formed.

Now we are not recording how many dots there are in a grid, but how many atoms in a grid. That number is much higher than 2 million. If we were to project the same image that was taken by one film camera and one digital camera, all variables being the same, the film camera would look better.

So when they restore old movies, they scan in all of the film, do some digital touch-up work, and in fact, shrink it down to 1080p. So the process is actually trivial and does not require the entire film to be redone.

Part of this is that when you downsize the image to standard "HD" quality it looks much better when you start with a huge image. The other part is future proofing. The fewer times you need to re-scan the same film for better resolutions the lower the cost of switching to new formats.

It's like taking a huge picture from a really good digital camera and then viewing it on the tiny little LCD that they have. It can look amazing on that 3" screen, but when you look at it on a higher resolution and larger screen it looks terrible.

Ariel

When I was a kid I loved the idea of a huge snow. Then you grow up and think, dear Lord, what happened?

Then you resolve yourself to going out and taking care of it.

The joys of shoveling snow.

I really agree with as my friend Vivian seems to find the mater humorous. When she explains why it is more enjoyable to watch people go about the most illogical ways of handling the confrontation with snow, you will see a lot.

For reference this morning: my next door neighbor tried to shovel a foot and a half of snow in a mini (it was above the knee) skirt and highheel boots this morning.

That is my next door neighbor, she is generally alright, but ditsy. And what made it worse was that she was wearing a skirt that came up above the knee. When I went out she hadn't gotten far. I put on my snowmobile suit, boots, thick gloves, and a hat. When I was done I was sweating, but I had anticipated that. I would rather have that than loose a toe to hypothermia.

When I finished our sidewalk and drive I went and helped her. She actually thought I was my husband. Which I got a kick out of since my suite is a very feminine color that my husband would never be caught dead in.

My kids were happy though. Snow days still hold their magic for them.

Ariel

I received an invitation to a baby sprinkle. Thankfully it is just a sprinkle because I am a little low on funds right now. The card was cute, I would show it but I don't want to give away people's personal information. The rhyme, I would call it a rhyme, was so cute. It went like this:

Baby smiles and giggles galore
_____ and _____ are having one more
Big Sister _____ has plenty to share
This is only a <em>sprinkle</em> to show that we care
Please join us to celebrate before Baby is due
They’ve got lots of pink, so think plenty of blue

I thought, wow, I never knew they were so creative. That was pretty cute. They were able to tell me that they needed something for little boys. I really don't get into those guess games at all. So this was nice. Just like the text, it reads nicer with the actual names. But it is personal, sweet, and gives you all of the information.

The more I thought about it the less I thought that it was from the hostess. She just isn't that type of person.

And before you get worried that she will read this, she doesn't know that I have a site. And thinks that facebook in the Internet. You can read it like this quote from Quartz: “It seemed that in their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook.” And while they talk about people outside of the US, I can tell you, if the person wasn't really tech savvy, they think the same thing here.

Well, anyway, when I called to confirm that I would be dropping bye the party I dug a little bit around.

She insisted that she had written it. But in that sort of way that means, I know you know.

So I got busy and did a little digging. The closest I found the text was for a girl named Ashley's baby sprinkle. I don't generally dislike the woman but she does have a history of stealing credit. Which is why my interest was peaked. She also told me how trying the whole baby shower, this is a sprinkle mind you, is. I know for a fact that she has two other women helping her so it can't be that bad!

When I did the shower for my sister's first, I did it alone and more than 50 people showed up. That is five-zero!

That was the first and only time I ever volunteered to help.

Ariel

Let's start with a simple explanation of the goal of an SVM, and a simple explanation of each of those terms. In the end they will give you an idea of of what a vector machine does. Here is a very good 45 second video that shows how a linear hyperplane in a higher dimensional space can be curvy in a lower dimensional space.

Imagine you plot a bunch of points on a graph. Some of the point's are labeled X and some are labeled O. An SVM wants to draw a line to separate the X's and O's. Then when you get a new point on the plot, you can see which side of the line it's on and decide if it should be an X or an O. The line that separates them can be straight or curvy. If it's curvy, then you need to use a kernel.

Now lets go over those terms:

space: this refers to the group of axes (plural of axis) you are using. So for example, if you have just X,Y axes for your plot, this is a 2-dimensional space. You can be in a 3-dimensional space if you have X,Y,Z axes.

Kernel: This is how you map your data into higher dimensional spaces. Why do we want to do this? Remember the straight and curvy lines I mentioned before. If our data can't be separated by a straight line we might need to use a curvy line. Here's the secret: a straight line in a higher dimensional space can be a curvy line when projected onto a lower dimensional space. So what we are really doing is using the kernel to put our data into a high dimensional space, then finding a hyperplane ("straight line". not exactly, but I'll explain it next) to separate the data in that high dimensional space. This straight line looks like a curvy line when we bring it down to the lower dimensional space that our data lives in. EXAMPLE TIME! Let's suppose our labeled data ("X and O's") live in a two dimensional space (think X-axis and Y-axis plot). We need to separate the data with a curvy line, but since the SVM can only use straight lines, we need to use a kernel to bring the data into a higher dimensional space and separate it with a straight line, which looks like a curvy line in the low dimensional space.

hyperplane: this is how we generalize the concept of a straight line in two dimensional space, because we don't always use two dimensional spaces. A hyperplane just means something straight that splits the space into two parts. Imagine our X,Y space again. A straight line would split the space into two parts, so it is a hyperplane! Now imagine X,Y,Z space (3-dimensional). A flat piece of paper (a plane) would split the space into two parts, so it is a hyperplane! Now you can imagine even higher dimensional spaces, there is something that will split the space into two parts. That thing is a hyperplane!

To summarize: an SVM uses hyperplanes (straight things) to separate our two differently labeled points (X's and O's). Sometimes our points can't be separated by straight things, so we need to map them to a higher dimensional space (using kernels!) where they can be split by straight things (hyperplanes!).

This looks like a curvy line on our original space, even though it is really a straight thing in a much higher dimensional space!

Ariel

I did something different. I made tea with cold water. The results?

I learned that tea does not need hot water. However, different varieties of tea need to be steeped for different amount of times at different water temperatures in order to get optimal flavor. Steeping for too long at too high or low a temperature will make the tea bitter.

But basically compounds in the tea leaves get released and mixed in with the water. Hotter water makes this happen faster.

Hot water has more energy at the molecular level than cold. This causes its molecules to more efficiently penetrate and soak into stuff it touches, and as a result it's better at dissolving things and pulls the molecules responsible for flavors and colors out of those dried tea leaves faster. So immersing your teabag or leaves in hot water extracts the flavor more completely and more quickly.

Further, warm temperature liquids taste different, often stronger, and smell different and stronger too. As tea a usually a mild drink, a warm tea will have a stronger flavor and a stronger scent than a cold one.

Tea can be brewed in cold water, it just takes a lot longer and results in a cold beverage with a different taste.

It's very similar to food. Certain foods need to be eaten hot because the aroma is half the taste.

Ariel
Cover Image

I remember old games with better graphics than they actually had, the reason, nostalgia.

And there are a couple factors.

The first is the fact that you didn't have the new games of today to compare them with. Obviously if you took DOOM and put it up against Battlefield 4, then DOOM would look awful. But back in its prime, DOOM was the best of the best. Those were cutting edge graphics and that was a cutting edge game.

A lot of it boils down to comparative thinking and gradual progression.

Graphics are perpetually increasing in quality, with some combination of improved technique and Moore's Law doing the driving. We've never, however, meter real time content (e.g. games) against reality; even the most graphically stunning titles today aren't close to photorealistic - you can tell you're playing a game, but it's at the forefront of what can currently be achieved, and that is the standard we care about. No doubt at some point you'll think that a game made in 2012-4, at the pinnacle of what can currently be achieved is visually stunning, because it exceeds our previous measure for games; you've never seen a game with better graphics. Similarly, it's easy to remember a game made in 1994 as visually stunning because it did the exact same thing. Now, you can't really picture the graphics from 20 years ago (unless you have an eidetic memory) so your imagination fills in the blank. Of course, now when you go back to said older game, it's certainly not visually stunning by modern standards; we're used to considerably better, thus the older game looks terrible, and the gap between your misremembered perception and reality closes sharply.

The other is imagination. When you play a game and really get lost in it, then it's like reading a book. You're not only playing the game and looking at pixels on a screen but you're building this image in your head as well.

You can actually demonstrate this process to yourself over a much shorter time scale. On a decent TV, sit and watch a standard definition channel for a while - rate the picture quality out of 10. Most people say around 7 or 8. Swap then to a high definition channel. You'll probably think it looks a little better, but the difference between SD and HD is mostly minimal, maybe rating it 1 higher at 8-9. Now swap back to SD and rate it again; you'll find that by comparison to HD it looks awful; far worse than it did before, with most people revising their rating to around a 5. This is much the same process.

It's quite interesting to consider that even the most visually spectacular games today will be considered retro, or even ugly in a few years time, and people will probably still be talking about this, but using Crysis 3 as the outdated example.

For really old games there is another reason: Cathode-ray tube TVs -- you know, the big chunky ones, pre-LCD -- were a bit blurry.

Back in the NES, SNES, and N64 days, developers were actually banking on this blurriness to cover up the harsh lines of early 3D models, and the blurring smoothed out the pixels in pixel-art SNES games. When you play those games on a modern LCD, the harsh lines and square pixels show up with sharp clarity and can look a lot clunkier. If you go into the menus of consoles that offer retro games in there stores, many of them have video filters designed to blur things a little, add scanlines, and otherwise mimic the look of older TVs, which can make a lot of things look, unintuitively, nicer.

Likewise, the stuff you were comparing those games to was of a similarly low quality. If you were watching your movies on a long-play VHS on a 20" TV, then you would've never really seen a ton of background details, and you would've been used to some blur. So putting on a good N64 game like Perfect Dark wouldn't have seem as far from the movies as it does today, when you've been watching 50" Blu-rays.

Some fuzziness and a lack of background detail would just be par for the course.