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Chris Dolan
Works at Sony Creative Software
Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Chris Dolan

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(I work for Sony but not for the camera sensors division. I just think this is interesting)

Who makes the camera sensor for the Apple iPhone 6? Sony.
Who makes the camera sensor for the Samsung Galaxy S6? Sony.
Motorola just announced its new Moto X with a much-improved camera. Whose sensor did they switch to? Sony.

In fact, I think (but I'm not certain) that all of the DxOMark top-10 rated mobile phones use Sony camera hardware inside.
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Well, it looks like I'm sticking with my 1st-gen Moto X for a while longer. The +Motorola Mobility announcement today is a huge disappointment. Because I want a phone smaller than 5.7" and I care about waterproofing, I would need to step down to the inferior Moto G. The Moto X Play looks interesting (longer battery life, smaller screen, better water resistance) but won't be available in the US. What??
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No manufacturer can figure out the sweet spot for features and size.  Want specs, get huge screen.  Want battery life, get slower processor.  It's a disaster lately in this last cycle.  Bigger isn't what we all want.  Keep it hovering around 5" and just spec the shit out of it.  You'd sell a ton. 
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This caught me off-guard and I laughed loudly in my office...
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This article is a good read. Quite unfortunately, this is not at all a new topic, just the next step. What gets me is: who are these programmers and software architects who make these absurd design choices?? Isn't it obvious to them that bugs are unavoidable, and a fully-connected network in the car will inevitably be exploited?

This makes me a little happier with my own lower-tech 2002 vehicle!

(I am a little surprised the word "robocar" never appeared in the article)
 
Unbelievable. #infosec folks have been warning against this for YEARS. They said: separate infotainment from steering/breaks etc. Do not implement wireless control over this. Have good security measures. This can kill people. It can turn cars into weapons.

And here is a car you can control over the internet - COMPLETELY. From CD player to brakes - thousands of Jeeps can be turned into remote murder weapons, for both the people in them and those around them.

EVERY Jeep Cherokee should be immediately grounded. And let them pay a 500 million fine - just to ensure no car maker tries to save 5 bucks on a 50K car by not separating driving from the fscking entertainment system!!!

Or are we going to wait until a few people are killed? Or for a cyber war where cars are used to take down bridges by driving into them?
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Hey, my old constellations webpage is back to #1 in a google search for "constellations"!

The SEO lesson learned today is to create your webpage in 1996 and don't touch it. :-)
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Well, I'm seeing videos I've watched on YouTube recommend when looking at it from a browser that is not (never) logged in to Google. So do they do some magic around that.
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Chris Dolan

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I agree with JBQ that there's an interesting duality about customer service in the USA, where we expect companies to bend over backward to provide good service but aren't surprised when they don't. When they do provide good service we hardly notice it, but when they don't it's really noticeable and irritating.

But there's one point that always puzzles me about the Uber debate: quality of service from incumbent taxi companies. Maybe I'm an outlier, but only one time in my life have I experienced bad service from a taxi company (in LA). I've ridden in a taxi perhaps 100 times in my life -- not a lot, but a pretty good sampling I think. Is it just that I'm lucky to live in a good city like Madison where our taxi market is stable and competitive?

If I think of all the places where I've had surprisingly good service, car repair and maintenance places come to mind. Is that also strange, or have others had similar experiences?
 
Comcast, United, and Uber

We've all read horror stories about Comcast's legendarily horrible customer service. I'm in the middle of moving, and my wife had to spend almost 15 minutes on the phone with them to move our existing service as-is without adding on anything else on top. That doesn't mean that all ISPs are that hard to deal with, Sonic is famous for being great to work with.

Major airlines also have a bad reputation about the way they care about customers, with United leading the charge. Personally, my worst experiences have been with Air France. Other airlines do better, Southwest routinely makes the news for doing the right thing for its customers, and I've been happy flying Virgin America, Alaska or Jetblue.

The reality is that we in the US are spoiled with good customer service, and the Comcasts and Uniteds are exceptions. By and large, business small and large usually try very hard to provide a good experience.

That's where Uber comes in. For all the discussions and controversies about Uber, at the core they're here because customers who need point-to-point on-demand transportation expect good service, and the taxi incumbents don't provide such service and aren't even trying. I've had my own share of bad experiences with taxis in San Francisco, in San Jose, in Las Vegas, in Kansas City. By comparison the very few times my wife or I used Uber (in our case UberX), it was pleasantly unremarkable, it just did things right, in line with the kind of service I've come to expect in the US).

In the service industry, it pays to provide good service.
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You might be really lucky with taxi service. I've probably taken taxis even less than you did, but for me a majority of the time it's been a poor experience, and the best I've had was probably not worth more than "meh".
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Chris Dolan

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This seems like a really clever technology. Their glasses use a notch filter to block the frequencies of light that most confuse the red vs. green cones of colorblind people.

"The general class of filters that are designed by our method are called multi-notch filters: they contain one or more sharp “cutouts” in the visible spectrum. To make a lens that helps with red-green color blindness, the notch filtering occurs primarily in the spectral region corresponding to the maximum overlap between the red and green photopigments. Effectively, this drives a kind of wedge between the L-cone and M-cone signals, thus improving the separation of their signals and providing better color vision to the deficient observer."

h/t/ +Daniel Mack via https://plus.google.com/u/0/115882966144514285637/posts/8WQkxWwJhfk which links to an interesting video of a user being surprised and excited by how effective the lenses are.
Introducing EnChroma. EnChroma lenses look like ordinary tinted lenses, but when you look through them something amazing happens: your experience of color vision is fundamentally transformed. Colors appear more vibrant, saturated, full, and yet without compromising the accuracy or color balance ...
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That is cool.
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Ha! I really like this cartoon.
 
h/t +Michael Kleber.  This may be my second-favorite print about children and books.
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Chris Dolan

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From Dylan O'Donnell: "I was super happy to catch the silhouette of the ISS over the disc of the moon last night! ... The ISS only passed over the moon for 0.33 seconds as it shoots by quite quickly. Knowing the second it would pass I fired a “burst” mode of exposures then crossed my fingers and hoped it would show up in review – and it did!"

h/t +Larry Phillips 
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Here's the original G+ post from +Dylan O'Donnell with a better picture: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DylanODonnell/posts/7vo8Bf981eW
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Chris Dolan

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This is a cool short movie (7min). There's some funny uses of live-action portal gun tricks.
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Have them in circles
615 people
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Education
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Astronomy, PhD, 1994 - 2000
  • Cornell University
    Astronomy, 1990 - 1994
  • Derryfield School
    1986 - 1990
Story
Tagline
programmer, cyclist, gamer, former astronomer
Bragging rights
#1 Google result for "constellations"; Toughest bicycle ride: 125 miles + 11,000 ft climbing
Work
Occupation
Programmer, software architect
Employment
  • Sony Creative Software
    Staff Software Engineer, 2012 - present
  • Avid Technology
    Sr Principal Software Engineer, 2007 - 2012
  • Clotho Advanced Media
    Sr Software Developer, 2001 - 2007