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Steven Johnson
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Steven Johnson

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"The past couple of years have seen a surge in conservatives demanding special rights to disobey universally applicable federal laws on the grounds that they simply don't believe in them…"
From Hobby Lobby to the Nevada rancher, members of the far right share a dangerous, anarchic pathology
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Steven Johnson

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It's bokeh-licious!
 
Lens Blur in the new Google Camera app
Posted by Carlos Hernández, Software Engineer

One of the biggest advantages of SLR cameras (http://goo.gl/XeAhti) over camera phones is the ability to achieve shallow depth of field effects (also known as bokeh, http://goo.gl/xHR774), which makes the object of interest "pop" by bringing the foreground into focus and de-emphasizing the background. 

Achieving this optical effect has traditionally required a big lens and aperture, and therefore hasn’t been possible using the camera on your mobile phone or tablet. That all changes with Lens Blur, a new mode in the Google Camera app (http://goo.gl/UpMubk). 

Lens Blur  replaces the need for a large optical system with computer vision algorithms and optimization techniques that are run entirely on the mobile device, simulating a larger lens and aperture in order to creating a 3D model of the world. 

To learn more about the algorithms and optimization that makes Lens Blur  possible, head over to the Google Research Blog, linked below. We hope you have fun with your bokeh experiments!
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Feinstein is outraged. Oh, not at the torture! At the leak.

Please, give me an alternative to her next election. 
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Fantasic read! Far beyond my abilities, alas.
Caving is both the oldest of pastimes and the most uncertain. It’s a game played in the dark or on an invisible field. Deep caving demands what Bill Stone calls siege logistics. It’s not so much a matter of conquering a cave as outlasting it.
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The NSA, in unusually strong and unequivocal language, flatly denies this.  If true, they will be shredded over this by the rest of the community.

But I want to address something else in this.

The Heartbleed flaw, introduced in early 2012 in a minor adjustment to the OpenSSL protocol, highlights one of the failings of open source software development.

No.  No, no, no.  This is wrong.  the Heartbleed bug highlights one of the failings of software development, full stop.  Open source has nothing to do with it, and demonstrably makes things like this less likely, not more likely.  This is a smear against open source, nothing less.

Which makes me a lot less inclined to take this report at face value, I must say.
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.
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Steven Johnson

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Nice footage! If only we had more caves of this sort in California... 
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Never (yet) had the opportunity to go caving in Wales. It's on my list :-)
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An extraordinary (and unreasonable, and pointless) proposal for massive cave closures in the Southeastern USA: *all* caves and mines in the Southern Region (KY, VA, TN, NC, SC, MS, AL, GA, FL, LA, TX, AR, OK) for a period of FIVE years, due to WNS concerns. (Despite the fact that there is no evidence that humans are a transmission vector for WNS.)

I urge all cavers to voice their polite-but-firm objections; the email address is comments-southern-regional-office@fs.fed.us. Be sure to reference "2014 Southern Region Caves and Mine Closure" in your subject line.
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Sarah Truebe (NSS #61563) needs your help to complete part of her dissertation research! Consider taking this Speleothem Sampling Methods Survey: http://buff.ly/1ijD6gV

Sarah is looking for responses from cavers, cave owners, cave managers, & cave scientists other than paleoclimate scientists to gather a variety of opinions about paleoclimate research & how it impacts caves. Paleoclimate scientists were surveyed earlier to produce a list of current research practices, which was used to build this survey.

Stalagmites are one of the best sources of paleoclimate information, which includes the reconstruction of past climate, temperature, rainfall, etc., especially where other sources (like lakes, trees, ice cores, and ocean sediments) don't exist.

Sampling stalagmites for this type of research requires looking along the growth axis, down the center of the speleothem. Generally, this means the stalagmite must be sliced open & measured down the middle. Many scientists are trying to minimize their impact on caves while doing this sampling, but as a community of cave stakeholders, Sarah thinks that we can do better.

Sarah hopes that your participation in this survey is the first step to initiating a community-wide discussion between paleoclimate scientists & other cave stakeholders, including recreational cavers, cave managers, cave owners, & other cave scientists. The goal of this discussion is to emerge with a set of current "best practice" guidelines for scientists & managers to be able to pursue valuable past climate information while conserving valuable cave resources.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary. You may stop at any time.

This survey is anonymous.

There are no risks to participating in this survey.

The survey will take from 30-60 minutes.

At the end, you will be asked if you would like to enter your contact information for a drawing for one of seven $100 gift cards to a vendor of your choice. Your contact information is stored separately from your survey responses.

For ease of use, please take the survey on a computer or tablet rather than a mobile phone.

Thank you for your participation in this survey: http://buff.ly/1ijD6gV. If you have any questions during the survey, or have any problems taking the survey, please feel free to contact researcher Sarah Truebe (struebe@arizona.edu).
#research #speleothem #survey #stalagmite # paleoclimate
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At this point, you'd think people would know to always decline wedding invitations in Westeros. 
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Have him in circles
294 people
Warren Harris's profile photo
Brad Lutzenberger Phillips's profile photo
Leah Zagreus's profile photo
Karl Johnson's profile photo
Chantae Lucero's profile photo
Rebecca Johnson's profile photo
Iván Cavero Belaunde's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • Adobe Systems
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2011
  • Macromedia
    Software Engineer, 2003 - 2005
  • Electronic Arts
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2003
  • Macromedia
    Software Engineer, 1995 - 2001
  • Altsys
    Software Engineer, 1989 - 1995
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Coding, Caving, Comics (not necessarily in that order).
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