Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:September:19 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>
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2008/9/19-23 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:51235 Activity:nil
9/18    it would have been pretty awesome if Grover Norquist and his demonic
        minions had managed to privatize Social Security and had let everyone
        invest their SSI funds in the open market.
        \_ Why is that?
2008/9/19-23 [Uncategorized] UID:51236 Activity:nil
9/19    Is it my imagination or gmail has been really really slow and
        unreliable? It's very choppy and doesn't send email several times
        a day and says "please come back later." I also can't even connect
        to it once a day. Is it just me or everyone's having this problem?
        \_ Could be due to people switching to https
        \_ I'm going with imagination.
           \_ Seriously, it's been slow. It doesn't apply to you?
2008/9/19-23 [Consumer/Camera] UID:51237 Activity:high
9/19    Do you guys use a prime lens (fixed length)? Which ones do you use
        and which ones are useless?
        \_ I don't understand why 35mm f2 is $300, but 35mm f1.4 is $700.
           The difference is minute. Why would you pay double for slightly
           better bokeh capability?
           \_ You're not paying for bokeh, you're paying for speed.
              If you're shooting in low light, that can make a huge
              difference in the feasibility of getting a good shot.  -tom
        \_ I love 50mm on 5D (really 50mm) and 28mm on 350D (~45mm
           equivalent).  Other than that, I use 100mm macro a lot.
           135mm is possibly the best lens I own, but I haven't had a
           chance to use it very much.  I also like my 85mm (not the
           expensive f/1.2L, but just f/1.8).  It should be obvious by
           now that I like primes.  I also have 200 f/2.8.  I stick to
           zooms on the wide end, though.
           \_ What can you do with a bunch of prime lens that you can't
              do with modern zoom lenses today?
              \_ shoot at 2.8 and wider. 300 f2.8 is really expensive.
        \_ I use a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens quite frequently. I am considering
           getting the Canon 24mm f/2.8 b/c the 50mm isn't wide enough for
           my outdoor photography.
           \_ In the old days, 50mm was the defacto prime lens because
              it was a natural 1:1 ratio with what the normal human eye
              would see. Today, 50mm on a DSLR is really 75mm, because
              digital CCD is smaller than 35mm film by 1.3-1.6X. Therefore,
              50mm on a DSLR is simply too focused.
              \_ This is precisely why I want to get the 24mm f/2.8.
           \- nikon and canon both have 50mm reasonably fast lenses [f/1.8]
              at good optical quality [so-so build quality] for very cheap
              ~$100. so it's a decent investment. the 1/3 stop faster 1.4
              has much better build quality, but is about 3x as much. lens
              pricing can be kind odd with lenses with similar specs being
              in different quality tracks [e.g. nikon 18-35 vs 17-35].
              i also have a 105/ 2.6 prime 1:1 macro ... which is a decent
              i also have a 105/ 2.8 prime 1:1 macro ... which is a decent
              portrait lens. so fast primes with shallow DoF have their uses
              [fast zoom are really heavy and expensive]. I have to say I dont
              use my 24mm prime much any more ... but it is small and good
              quality. Also note it takes a much smaller filter than my
              18-35zoom ... so stuff like that adds up both in $ and weight.
              \_ what f-stop is your 28mm? A Nikkor 28mm f1.4 costs $3000
                 \- if you are talking to me: my *24*mm is a landscape lens.
                    not f1.4. what is a wide angle f1.4 for? as you no doubt
                    know, the purpose of the 24prime is less distortion than
                    the zooms in that range ... and much, much lighter [some
                    what of an isue when climbing/on expedition].
                    \- oh i see: the 28 f1.4 is a way to get ~50mm on a DX
                       sensor. as ken rockwell says: "Because it was
                       so expensive, no one bought them. Because no
                       one bought them, Nikon stopped making
                       them. Because Nikon stopped making them,
                       photographers and collectors now want it"
                       Those are people with too much money.
                       \_ Yes you got it, that was what I was asking.
                          I really want one too, I want a 28mm prime.
        \_ I have a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 MF  that I used on my FM2, N70 and now
        \_ I have a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 MF that I used on my FM2n, N70 and now
           D80.  Quality was good, but now a very small bug (insect) seemed to
           have crawled inside the lens and died on one glass surface, although
           I have no idea how that could have possible happened.  However, I
           don't notice any quality degrade in the 4"x6" pictures.
           don't notice any quality degrade in my 4"x6" prints.
           \- If you are in the Yeah Area, Horizon Electronics in Union City
              [?] can fix this for you. However, you may be better off just
              buying a Nikkor 50 1.8D ... or ignoring, if as you say it is
              small enough not to affect anything. If plausible you can ask
              for the "professional discount" ... plausibility I suppose
              depends slightly on documentation [business card] or gear
              [i.e. F5 vs D80]. I would just get a D lens for the D80 AF
              if you want to stay with FullFrame lenses. BTW, this is one
              semi-win for Nikon: no physically incompatible mounta change...
              semi-win for Nikon: no physically incompatible mount change...
              although in the case of people our age, Canon mount change
              decision would have probably been a plus.
              \_ what age is that?
                 \- If you didnt learn to shoot on a Canon F-1, then it
                    applies to you ... your photographic life would have
                    likely been all in the EF era.
           \_ Don't you notice a big zoom difference (1.5) going from film
              to D? It's more like 75mm.
              \_ Yes I do.  The angle of view is smaller on the D80. -- PP
2008/9/19-23 [Recreation/Dating] UID:51238 Activity:nil
9/19    Does http://Amazon.com do IP+browser tracking now? I was browsing on a guest
        computer for Sex in the City DVD (for my girlfriend's bday) and
        logged out, cleared cookies, reset history, etc. Then when I
        went back, it started giving me Sex in the City recommendations
        along with other girly stuff. I'm really pissed right now because
        I cleared all the cookies and history and it should not expose
        me as the guy who likes Sex in the City stuff. Really pissed.
        \_ Where you logged in as the same user both times?
        \_ Were you logged in as the same user both times?
2008/9/19-23 [Politics/Domestic] UID:51239 Activity:nil
9/19    http://bigpicture.typepad.com
        We now see that the grand experiment of deregulation has ended, and
        ended badly. The deregulation movement is now an historical footnote,
        just another interest group, and once in power they turned into
        socialists. Indeed, judging by the actions of the conservatives in
        power, and not the empty rhetoric that comes out of think tanks, the
        conservative movement has effectively turned the United States into a
        massive Socialist state, an appendage of Communist Russia, China and
        Venezuela.
        To paraphrase Floyd Norris, we have become Marxists, but of the
        Groucho, not Karl, variety . . .
        \_ The government always overcorrects, which is why their best policy
           should be to do nothing.
           \_ No, the best policy is to wait until overcorrection is better
              than doing nothing.
           \_ ooh, yeah, and free markets *never* overcorrect... -tom
        \_ More proof that we need to do away with the government. We
           should have continued to bleed the beast, but thanks to Democrats
           it has become too powerful.
2008/9/19-23 [Finance/Investment, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:51240 Activity:nil
9/19    bumped for discussion:
        \_ My financial advisor says to not try and time the market.
           \_ what else did your financial advisor say?  did you ask them about
              getting more of your portfolio into safer, lower yielding assets?
              \_ No, actually he told me that the latest recommendations for
                 someone my age was to be 50% in overseas stocks. He also seems
                 to think that I have a bit too much in dividend paying blue
                 chips and that I should buy more small caps, but he hasn't
                 said anything like that in a few months. He also said that
                 there was no reason to be concerned about Pimco Total Return
                 anymore, since the Fed guaranteed all the FNM debt.
                 \_ re PIMCO Total Return:
                    - ask him why funds seem to be selling agency paper this
                      week if there is no risk
                    - ask him what about the MBSs inside
                    re overseas:
                    - what is the breakdown by country/region?
                      (Europe/UK/Japan/China/India/etc.?)
                      \_ Can regular individual give PIMCO money to manage
                         or is it just for the super-rich and institutions?
                         \_ Anyone can buy Pimco Total Return, it is the
                            largest fund overall, in terms of assets. Ticker
                            is PTRAX.
                     \_ Get him as your advisor yourself and ask him all these
                        questions if you are so curious. Who told you that
                        funds are selling all this agency paper? I just looked
                        and it looks like PTRAX is 80% in cash right now
                        anyway. I will eventually ask him the country by
                        country breakdown, probably by email next week. If
                        you are curious, I can post it to the motd.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:September:19 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>