It’s too soon to say whether anything Lady Gaga did tonight will resonate, but at least she offered something new: An army of dancing drones, ducking and dodging over the Houston skyline, transforming from stars to a fluttering flag.
It’s probably the first time you’ve seen 300 drones flying in formation, but it’s almost certainly not the last. The technology underpinning the Intel Shooting Star drone system is fascinating in and of itself, but its potential applications are even more so. The same drones that accompanied Lady Gaga will one day revolutionize search-and-rescue, agriculture, halftime shows, and more.
I was wondering how they were doing it. I thought I was animation/CGI. Drones are way cooler, and a neat piece of tech that might be Actually Useful™ one day.
Even though I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, I loved Deep Space Nine and mostly enjoyed Voyager. This interview with Robert Meyer Burnett, who was deeply involved in The Next Generation and Enterprise Blu-Ray sets
reads like a detective novel, and caused me much stress.
Unlike TNG, which shot both all of their live-action and all of their model photography on 35mm film, which made scanning the original elements possible, both DS9 and Voyager made extensive use of CGI for their visual effects, especially in the later seasons. Those visual effects were rendered in standard NTSC resolution, with a maximum of 525 scan lines of resolution per second, split between two interlaced video fields of 262.5 scan lines running at 60 fields per second. So, the original resolution remains far, far below what audiences used to today’s HD, and now UHD resolutions, are accustomed to. These VFX could be upscaled 5x, but they’d have no detail. The Starship Defiant would look like a fuzzy, grey blob.
The bottom line, kids: work at the highest resolution you can, for as long as you can. And keep your originals.
My lovely wife came home feeling stressed from work. She really needed a drink and asked me to make her one. Her only requirements were “sweet” and “whiskey”.
After taking a look around at my collection of stuff, I settled on the bottle of Galliano I had sitting around doing nothing. It’s a sweet Italian liquor that has a root-beer-y, vanilla-y, slightly anise-y flavor. It’s also bright yellow.
After some consideration, I decided to pair it with Bourbon, Woodford Reserve to be precise.
I thought adding some orange flavor might round things out. I poured in some orange juice, but after tasting it, realized that tarted up too much, and needed some taming. Grand Mariner to the rescue!
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.
Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and three of his top officials. It’s not clear if they resigned on their own, or if they were pushed out.
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry. “Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”
Regardless of whether they chose to leave or not, it’s a statement on the Trump administration. Either these career officers couldn’t bear to work under Trump (and he was unable to convince them otherwise), or Trump decided he didn’t want (or need?) their expertise.
Either way, their departure leaves the State Department worse off, and U.S. diplomats less safe.