Been getting over one of the worse flu’s I’ve ever had, still recovering but here’s a few blog entries to read.
HDTV, DLP LED TV’s
An engineer from one of our local tv stations (WWNY) has been posting a small blog about their station’s transition to HDTV, a good little reference if you’re looking for one. Link.
He too, seems frustrated that there us so much misunderstanding among the citizens of the US when it comes to the whole HDTV and Digital TV thing. See my previous blog entry for a general explanation if you need one.
We recently upgraded from a very nice HD-compatible rear projection tv to a pretty good DLP LED tv with an HD tuner. The quality of the HD signal is excellent, and we have not had any drop-outs from weather or anything else. We may not, as the signal strength for the local signal is nearly pegged.
The tv itself was a bit of a compromise. Of course, if money were no option we would have gotten a plasma. But they are not only more expensive, by a lot, but WILL fade eventually.
This DLP is slightly smaller then our old one, which is a great disappointment to me but it was the largest DLP LED we could find. And we definitely did not want to go with the DLP that used the lamp instead of the LED (who wants to replace that lamp every few years, despite the display’s slight increase in response time with the lamp).
We have no experienced any of the rainbow effects that a small number of people seem to be able to see with DLP’s, though the LED may slightly decrease this chance.
I also haven’t the pixelization during heavy action/high quality audio that some people notice and that I noticed on my wife’s mother’s tv (similar model but smaller). That television had some bad pixelization. Then again, it was strictly being used through the local cable systems – negligible quality at best through the Time-Warner system, so that doesn’t mean much.
We haven’t seen it through the six or seven local HD stations we receive, nor the DVD (upconverted DVD player) nor through our digital satellite service.
I like the HD, but I wish everything were in the full rez 1080 as this doesn’t seem to be consistent.
You can even see Obama’s muscle twitch when a question stumps him. Now that’s good TV!
Thirty-Two GPS Sats
I believe that we have a full 31 or 32 GPS satellites opened up the civilian GPS nav system now. Combined with WAAS we have the ability for some fairly accurate positional measurements with the GPS’es sold now. Our local TV station (WWNY) even did a little story on Geocaching.
Benefits of the Space Program
We’re all ignorant about some things, no matter how well-informed we think we are as Americans. But there’s some things that some of us should at least be marginally more aware of, at least basically.
Like the basic principles of how some of our everyday items work so that we can better use them – electronics, phones, cars, tv’s, etc. Do most of us have the smallest inkling of the principles behind them. Do you know why your phone fades out in certain areas or why your car’s oil needs changing?
Probably not, and likely it won’t hurt you not to know. I’d like to go into this in a later blog with an idea I have. But now; talking about the average American’s ignorance – the Space Program.
I think an overwhelming opinion is that it’s a waste of money, a boondoggle, there’s not going to be any benefit from it, etc – have your pick.
Fortunately this is far from true, and a little quick research on the Internet allows any person to make their own INFORMED conclusion versus an UNINFORMED opinion. There’s way too many uninformed opinions going around as it is.
Basically, any high technology – no matter how small – usually brings benefits to humankind. Sometimes directly, many times indirectly, and sometimes with unintentional or side-benefits not envisioned initially.
Take the war in Iraq, for example. No matter how much we may detest it in general there are many technological, science, medical, offensive and defensive, safety and protection, etc benefits coming out of it.
Anything that pushes technology, scientific principles, medical advances and hundreds or thousands of other corresponding and related and sometimes unrelated and unintentional – will at least have some good side benefits.
And the Space Program sure does all of the above. The aspects that go into getting people into space cover a wide, wide spectrum of science and technology. And our subsequent direct and indirect benefits are immeasurable. There’s not one person who’s reading this who hasn’t gotten some benefits from one of the technologies that were direct or indirect spin-offs or by-products of the space program.
Windows Live Writer
What, did Microsoft actually create a piece of free software that is damn usable? Like Windows Live Writer?
Yes, I would say so. Basically, it’s a standalone blog editor that supports any of the standard blogging formats, including Google’s Blogger.
It’s kinda what I’ve been looking for (and how did I not run across it before). Forget Scribefire and Flock, or blogger’s sometimes-awkward online editor.
Give Windows Live Writer a try, it’s a snap to download and set up and should work with most any blogger (but not all). Spell checker, formatting, draft saving; the same stuff you’ll find elsewhere but implemented in one package that works well.