Bunker bulldust day 155

Mangroves near Cairns. Kodachrome 64 film. © PJ Croft 2020

Oooaaarrrgh, 7Byoots today, eh? A bit cool, 20C, but nice blue skies with wispy clouds. A bloke should get outside.


A couple more comparisons from the photo enhancements:

The mouth is not quite right. That doesn’t look quite like Dad. Also, look at the hairline – that’s wrong.
This is Mum from the Kalbarri shot yesterday. It can’t do miracles every time.

I’ve got another photo where it’s clear that the software enhances the face, but not necessarily the rest of the scene. It’s very obviously programmed to look for faces.


All this makes me think about what will be possible in 20, 30, 50 years time. I’ll predict even better enhancements very soon, such that we’ll be able to see details we can’t see now. Then 3D, possible now, probably, such that we can move around a 100 year old scene. Animation that will make old photos “come to life” with movement of the characters (that would be weird).

By the way, have you seen the restoration, rejuvenation and colourisation of the 1914-18 War film done by Peter Jackson, the NZ director?

It’s remarkable! And this is today’s technology. Prepare to be amazed. Notice the addition of new sound to silent film.


I’ve found a few more books written by Walter Isaacson, the author of the Einstein biography that so impressed me and I’ve ordered two (see below). No wonder he’s such a good author, just look at his qualifications:
Rhodes scholar, Oxford; Time magazine – political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996; chairman and CEO of CNN; president of the Aspen Institute; advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm; honorary degrees from Tufts University, Cooper Union, William & Mary, Franklin University Switzerland and a dozen others; and more than I can write here. He has a Wikipedia entry. Rarely have I seen a man with so many past and present eminent roles.

Anyway, I’ve ordered two more of his books today, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made; and The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Follow the links if you want to see what the books are about. He’s also written biographies of Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Kissinger, Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin, among other works. He’s a powerhouse.


For the past few months I’ve been suffering from what the doctor calls chillblains on my fingers. I was sceptical that they are chillblains as they don’t look like what I remember from childhood.

But twice now, I’ve come across news clips that mention them, the latest just yesterday. From Crikey.com.au yesterday (I subscribe):

Cough, fever and frostbitten toes — the list of potential symptoms for COVID-19 goes on and on. Now, Australian doctors have reported an uptick in patients with chilblains — a rash appearing on patients’ feet. 

The link between COVID-19 and chilblains was first reported in May, with one study finding itchy small red bumps and blisters appeared on up to 9% of patients in the study. The rashes sometimes appeared in the absence of other symptoms. 

New research has also found COVID-19 patients in Perth recovered from the virus only to develop signs of a “post-COVID syndrome,” consisting of diabetes, liver dysfunction, acute inflammation and increased cardiovascular risk.

I’ve put it in purple because it’s also referred to as Purple Toe Syndrome. Mine are not on my toes or feet but my fingers. It’s very painful, not all the time but very sore to touch and if knocked. Itchy at night too.

It’s odd, I’ve never had chillblains since childhood in winter, but they were more like dry blisters and only on my ears. The doc has prescribed a blood pressure drug to open the veins but I can’t see any effect. Another person has enthusiastically recommended Evening Primrose for the same effect, improved blood flow. I’ll try that in the next few days and report. Strange to read that it’s linked to COVID. In my case, how? I have no other symptoms and Perth is virus free.


I’m incensed by Google’s actions regarding the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s proposal that they should pay for the use they are making of news produced by Australian news sources. Google and Facebook take news without paying for it for use on their web pages, with no acknowledgement of the source.

The result is massive loss of jobs in news and journalism as newspapers lose their advertising revenue. Something like 240 newspapers have been closed down to date this year. These American companies are taking Australian content for free and re-using it on their own channels. At the same time, because young people don’t read newspapers any more and get all their news (in little dribs and drabs, easy to read, requiring no intelligence or effort), all the advertising dollars are moving to Facebook and Aussie companies are dying.

This is the American way: they not only want to compete and dominate, their aim is to drive the local competitors completely out of business, to close them down. They want 100% of the market, not just 70% or whatever.

Now, when you go to Google search, you get a bogus note asking you to read how the ACCC is being nasty to this US company. Don’t believe it! They are lying.

Sorry to my USA readers, but the USA can be a really shit country in so many ways. I’ll never set foot in the USA again.


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