Critical Section

Archive: August 14, 2008

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Thursday,  08/14/08  10:08 PM

So what do we-all think of NBC's coverage of the Olympics?  It is fashionable to criticize them, on the grounds that they 1) show only a few "main" sports, 2) show only U.S. athletes, 3) do too many "human interest" spots, and 4) show too many commercials.  I guess this is true on all fronts, but I haven't been that bothered and actually have quite enjoyed the coverage so far.  First I have to say, once you've seen sports in HD you are not going to watch them any other way; it is wonderful to see everything in HD (with 5.1 sound, too!, although for sports sound isn't as crucial).  And then I have to add, once you've used Tivo for an event like this, you are not going to watch "live" ever again.  As far as the points above, 1) showing "main" sports is mitigated by the video streams on the NBC website (requiring Silverlight was a bit obnoxious but now that I've got it, I love seeing, say, the Laser racing (sailing) even though it isn't covered in the broadcasts, 2) the U.S.-centricity is a problem, but again, it is mitigated by the video streams, 3) human interest spots, what human interest spots (he says, clicking the 30-second skip button on his Tivo remote), and 4) commercials, what commercials (he says clicking some more).  So net net I've enjoyed the Olympics a lot.  The announcers seem good and the video coverage has been excellent.  Those super-slow-motion replays of gymnastics, for instance, are really cool.

Nastia LiukinAnd by the way I love the Nastia Liukin story, with her father being a ex-Russian champion and all that...  and she is really good.  Her kind of gymnastics - emphasizing style - appeals to me more than the Shawn Johnson / Chinese style which emphasizes athleticism.

One more thing - as the father of four girls, including one who is 11 and one who is 15, there is no way at all that those Chinese girls are 16.  You can argue about whether having younger kids on the team should be illegal - after all, they are great gymnasts, apparently, regardless of how old they are - but you can't argue they are 16.

[Update: I am reminded that Nadia Comanici was 14 when she won gold...]

TP52 rock and rollRock and Roll!  Sailing Anarchy posted this wonderful video showing a TP52 blasting along...  and of course the excellent Led Zep sound track is just okay, too.

This is kind of cool; HealthImaging reports on a study which shows 3D JPEG2000 compression "works" for radiology images.  Garden variety 2D JPEG2000 has been used in digital pathology from day one, because of the large file sizes and the need to reduce data for remote viewing performance, and as 3D scanning becomes more routine (capturing multiple Z-layers) 3D compression will be needed.

Typepad Camtasia-ed bug reportThis applies to .001% of you, but in case you have a Typepad blog you've probably noticed their "new composer" sucks.  It is slow, buggy, and tries to out-think the blogger with frustrating results.  I will say that Six Apart is listening and they respond to every email and trouble ticket.  Today I found a great way of giving them bug reports; I record myself blogging with Camtasia, digest the result into a Flash movie, and email it to them.






the ceremony

Thursday,  08/14/08  10:12 PM

the ceremony


(If you have to ask, please don't :)



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