Monthly Archives: November 2009

Coolness of the Day

Ever wonder what a real, three-dimensional Mandelbrot-type fractal might look like?

Well, here’s a site devoted to one possibility: Mandelbulb.

Appearance-wise, it doesn’t look all that much like a 3D Mandelbrot (except when you look closely in some spots—see a subheading on the 2nd page of the site for more about this issue), but in terms of complexity, it’s apparently the best 3D approach to the infinite complexity of repetition and variation seen in the Mandelbrot set that anyone has yet found. The function used is very similar to the Mandelbrot set function, except z is raised to the 8th power on each iteration, rather than simply squared. Also, due to the fact that three coordinates are needed on each point, rather than just two, the exponentiation of the coordinates is not the same as the simple complex-number multiplication used for the Mandelbrot set (this is really the central issue with finding a “3D Mandelbrot set”—the problem is finding an analog to complex multiplication that can be used to define points in space, rather than just on a plane). Details on the formula can be found here.

However, the main reason I am linking this is because of the pictures. There are some really fascinating, beautiful pictures. Wow. Definitely a must see—I commented on Flickr this morning that it’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen on the internet in quite a long time. I’m tempted to hotlink one of the smaller images…but that would be rude. Besides, the one I pick might not be the one you like best anyway. So just go there already. :)

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RIP: My old Flickr account

Well, for reasons that I’m not going to go into, it was necessary to delete my original Flickr account, the one located at http://www.flickr.com/photos/68079097@N00/.

This is a bit of a bummer, but I’m well along in getting started with a new stream. In fact, things are going so swimmingly that I may soon have to break out the plastic money and get myself another pro account.

All of the pics I have posted on this blog so far come from the old stream, so at the moment they will appear as broken. I’ll fix that as soon as I get a chance.

The link to the new account is http://www.flickr.com/photos/44497532@N08/. I will miss being one of the elite “@N00” people! :(

My old account was started in February of 2005, and had received over 17,000 views. I wonder what kind of viewage I’ll get on the new stream. As of this writing, I have 21 views. :) That’s the count for the stream, not the count for the individual pics. Once I reactivate my pro status, I’ll be getting a better look at the stats situation.

Another question is Flickr’s Explore. My old stream only had three photos reach permanent “Explore” status (another two were “explored” and then removed later, for some mysterious reason). A lot of the reason for this was that, for quite a long time, my workflow consisted of a final JPG for upload which contained no EXIF data at all. It’s fairly well-known on Flickr that you’ve got to have EXIF data in order to be considered for Explore. I know most of my old pics will still have the no-EXIF problem when I upload them again, but moving forward, all the newer stuff will have it.

Finally, I offer a suggestion to anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future: If you want to “recover” some of the text data from a deleted Flickr account, use Google’s cache feature. But be careful doing that—if you access too many cached pages within too short a time, Google’s servers will decide you are committing a TOS violation and you’ll be banned from using cached pages. How long will the ban last? Who knows. I suppose it varies depending on how nasty they think you are. So be careful. As of last night, I was unable to access any cached Google page from my home internet account, even after waiting a couple of hours. I hope they lift the ban, but I’m afraid now that if I do even a little bit more, it’ll set off their alarm again and I’ll be banned forever. (Or at least until I get a new IP address, which could be months from now.) It’s possible I may already be banned forever. I hope not. :(

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Google stupidity

Months ago, when Microsoft came out with their new search engine, Bing, I laughed. What could possibly cause me to abandon Google, I wondered?

As of yesterday, this question has been answered. When I pull up Google’s home page, instead of the usual buttons, there’s just some text that reads “This space intentionally left blank.” It stays that way until I move the mouse.

I am not sure why, but this annoys the living shit out of me. Seriously. Unlike other sites ([cough]Flickr![cough]), Google has implemented a lot of minor, incremental changes to their user interface over the years without ever bothering me, until yesterday when this crap started happening. This is the first time in over ten years of usage that they’ve actually managed to piss me off.

So now I’m setting my browser start page to Bing, instead of Google.

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