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Category Archives: Technology

Robots and inequality

Amazon’s new automated store in Seattle. Source: Wikipedia Trump voters and consumers of Fox News are having the time of their lives these days, glorying in how their big man is sticking it to liberals, immigrants, and brown-skinned people. They actually feel safer, now that a con man is in the White House who feeds […]

Analog photography, here we come

A portrait of the abbey’s new Mamiya RB67 single lens reflex camera. • Click here for high resolution version Sentimental as some of us may be about older, high-quality professional cameras, analog photography is not obsolete. There’s no longer a camera shop in every town. But good film is still made by companies like Kodak […]

High dynamic range photography

HDR photo, adjusted in Photoshop. Click here for high-res version. I am just beginning to experiment with high dynamic range photography. I won’t go into detail here about what that is, but the short version is that the camera shoots multiple versions of the exact same photo, at different exposure levels. Then, special tools in […]

HughesNet Gen5 satellite service: 6-month re-review

Dec. 18, 2016: HughesNet’s EchoStar 19 satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, Cape Canaveral, Florida HughesNet Generation 5 satellite Internet service ★★★★★ After eight years of living in a crippled and slow Internet hell, for the past six months the abbey’s Internet has been the fastest I’ve ever used. I owe it all to rockets […]

Darn you, Apple

Normally, Apple product rollouts don’t phase me. I take note of Apple’s new stuff and carry on without the slightest trace of lust to buy. My old iPad works just fine, my iPhone 5 works great, my 27-inch iMac will last for many years, the Apple TV is old but still useful, and I have […]


Library of Congress I have never used Twitter. I never will. If I take off my snark cap and put on my nice cap, and if I try to come up with a reason to justify Twitter’s existence, then this is the best I can do: Twitter is like texting, but it’s a broadcast rather […]

Informed delivery??

Back in April, the U.S. Postal Service rolled out a new feature called “Informed Delivery.” If you sign up for it, then each morning you’ll receive an email from the postal service with a scanned grayscale image of each piece of mail that is to be delivered to you that day. I wasn’t aware of […]

Some speculations on Whole Foods

Whole Foods Winston-Salem, before the lunch rush It’s interesting how much buzz there has been about Amazon buying Whole Foods. Even people who’ve hardly ever been inside a Whole Foods and who don’t use Amazon (people like my brother) have been talking about it. Everyone seems to suspect that this transaction may be the leading […]

Rich young creeps and their creepy visions

What is it about young tech billionaires that makes them so creepy? Partly, I’m sure, it’s the character flaws that they seem to have in common — hubris, arrogance, the assurance of superiority that goes along with their being very smart and having made themselves very rich. They also see themselves as visionaries who have […]

Too hot to fly

This is a nerd post! The Washington Post has an interesting story today about how flights in and out of Phoenix have been canceled this week because of the heat: It’s so hot in Phoenix that airplanes can’t fly The story is misleading in that it suggests that particular models of aircraft have maximum operating […]