Technology

Category archives for Technology

One of the endlessly recurring topics around here is the use of PowerPoint and comparable presentation software. Usually because of some ill-informed rant against the use of PowerPoint. It’s come around yet again in a particularly ironic fashion, via an online slideshow at Slate, the only medium more consistently exasperating than a bad PowerPoint presentation.…

Computers and Shades

In comments to the post on computer display colors, Will Slaton notes that Mac displays emit polarized light. And, indeed, this is an inherent part of the backlit LCD technology– the individual pixels are bits of liquid crystal between two polarizers, and an applied voltage causes the liquid crystal molecules to flip between a state…

On Computer Color

This year’s “Flame Challenge” is to explain color in terms an 11-year-old can follow. I have opinions on this subject, a background in AMO physics, and access to scientific equipment, so I’m putting something together. In the course of this, though, it occurred to me to wonder how my different portable computing devices process color.…

Video Editing Software?

Both SteelyKid’s kindergarten and the snow-day day-care program that the kids go to were closed today, which kind of threw a wrench in things. But it’s also kind of fun, as I got to spend some time playing outside with SteelyKid on her play set in the snow. The “featured image” above is a cell-phone…

In which we look at how the Brave New Publishing World makes it really hard to find something good to read. ———— In a recent links dump, I included a link to this post about the current state of publishing, which is a follow-up to an earlier post about the current state of publishing. Elsewhere…

EBooks and Agencies

The big publishing news this week is the US Department of Justice bringing an anti-trust suit against the major book publishers and Apple for allegedly colluding to force the “agency model” of ebook pricing on Amazon and other retailers, resulting in higher prices for consumers. I already links dumped an article about the detailed charges,…

My timekeeping course this term is a “Scholars Research Seminar,” which means it’s supposed to emphasize research and writing skills. Lots of these will include some sort of poster session at the end of the term, but I decided I preferred the idea of doing in-class oral presentations. Having assigned that, of course, I felt…

As I keep saying in various posts, I’m teaching a class on timekeeping this term, which has included discussion of really primitive timekeeping devices like sundials, as well as a discussion of the importance of timekeeping for navigation. To give students an idea of how this works, I arranged an experimental demonstration, coordinated with Rhett…

Lap Desk?

It’s apparently a good day for asking questions of the readership, so here’s another one: as SteelyKid has gotten older and more active, she’s become a real drain on productivity, especially at bedtime. Bedtime is now a process rather like a certain spoof book, extending well over an hour, and involving repeated requests to come…

Simple Video Editing Software?

So, back when How to Teach Physics to Your Dog was coming out, I did a few “dramatic readings” of bits of the book, such as this one on the Quantum Zeno Effect: This was made with Windows Movie Maker, because it was free (came with the computer) and dead simple. However, Movie Maker on…