Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography? -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography? -Hexbyte Glen Cove News

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News 1 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

I’m sure you’ve heard of “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” or GAS for short. Photographers usually consider GAS to be negative; frivolously spending money that you don’t need on equipment that won’t make your photography better. However, I’m here to tell you that sometimes a new piece of kit is exactly what you need to inspire you to do something different with your photography.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News White rose in a gold basket. 2 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Getting out of your comfort zone

It’s easy to become complacent with the equipment that you already own. You’ll get to the point where you know it inside out, and you’re completely comfortable using it to create the kind of images that you love. Many photographers have gone for years always using the same system, the same set of lenses, and just upgrading to a new camera body every once in a while to keep pace with new technology.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that approach. Sticking with what you already know produces results that can be a wise use of your limited time and funds. However, sometimes a piece of new gear can push you outside of your comfort zone, forcing you to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News A modernist piece of architecture. 3 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

A modernist piece of architecture. © Charlie Moss

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News New gear for a new style

For me, it was a combination of a new Fujifilm mirrorless camera and a 50mm equivalent lens that forced me into trying new styles. Lugging my dSLR camera around with me always felt like a chore; it was so big and heavy. The Fujifilm X-T20, on the other hand, is small and lightweight. It feels much more like the small Yashica rangefinder that my Grandfather used to bring with him on every family holiday. I found that I would shoot much more spontaneous and joyful images with my new little camera, rather than the “serious” images I shot on my larger dSLR.

But what really changed my photography, and could change yours too, was the investment in a new lens. I didn’t spend a fortune – a secondhand Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 lens found its way into my possession. It is a 50mm equivalent lens (on the Fujifilm X-T20 crop-sensor body), so it’s the classic length for many styles of photography. It’s a great focal length for portraits, street photography, food, and still life. So as soon as it arrived, I began to test it extensively. I should point out that I shot every image in this article with the new lens.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Two images of bright yellow classic cars. One image is of a chrome-trimmd wing mirror, the other is a Humber logo. 4 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

Bright yellow classic cars – a chrome-trimmed wing mirror, and a Humber logo. © Charlie Moss

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Do you really need new gear?

I get it; not everyone has the money to go out and pick up a new lens or camera just to see if it helps them be more creative. And maybe it wasn’t even the lens or the camera that inspired me to change the way I photograph. Plenty of people manage to change up their style without spending any money at all.

So with that in mind, I have a few suggestions for breaking out of your comfort zone before you break out your credit card.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Two images of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. 5 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. © Charlie Moss

Look at more photography

I don’t just mean on social media. Get out and about in the real world. Take yourself off to an exhibition of photography or an art gallery with a photographic collection. If you live anywhere near a major city, photography exhibitions shouldn’t be too hard to find. Have an open mind about the kind of work you could see. Try to remember that you’re looking for something to inspire a new way of working!

Take a notebook with you too. Make notes in it while you’re walking around the gallery looking at images. Think about how the works of art make you feel or if there’s a particular detail you love. Perhaps there’s a subject you hadn’t thought about photographing before. Or maybe a new use of color that you hadn’t considered for your own work.

Don’t forget to look up the work when you get home too! Many photographers now have a social media presence so that you can keep up to date with their current projects. Historical photographers often have lots written about them on museum and gallery websites for you to read.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Two street images of Oxford, UK. One is at the Botanical Gardens looking through a doorway at a wheelbarrow. The other is a woman walking in front of a science lab. 6 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

Two street images of Oxford, UK. Left: Botanical Gardens looking through a doorway at a wheelbarrow. Right: a woman walking in front of a science lab. © Charlie Moss

Try a new genre

Pick something you’ve never done before in photography. Do a bit of research online and then go out and try shooting it. Be brave – what’s the worst that can happen?

For me, it was street photography. I read some tutorials, talked to a few friends, checked out some images on social media and then went out for the day and just had a go. If the images were rubbish, I’d still had a nice day out photographing!

It’s too easy to become very conservative with your approach to photography. Staying with what you know works well is an easy approach, but you might miss out on a new kind of photography that you absolutely adore. Becoming more fearless and trying new things is something that can benefit all photographers – from beginners to professionals! We all need a kickstart every now and again with our work.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Two images. One is a self-portrait with out-of-focus fairy lights. The other is a white and red doorway. 7 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

Follow a trend

Of course, we’d all like to be trendsetters rather than followers. But every once in a while it’s good to experiment with something that is clearly capturing the imagination of lots of other photographers!

Instagram is great for checking out what’s fashionable in the world of photography right now. That could be portraits with out-of-focus fairy lights that create bokeh, or beautiful doors and pretty houses. Even if you don’t love the images that you create, each trend will give you the opportunity to experiment with a new technique. You might learn more about the technical aspects of photography, about composition, or even about styling. The key is to take these new things that you’ve learned and use them in your own authentic way.

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News A photograph of new buildings on Albert Embankment, London. 8 - Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography - Charlie Moss

A photograph of new buildings on Albert Embankment, London. © Charlie Moss

Hexbyte – Glen Cove – News Whatever you do – do something!

If there’s one thing I’m certain about, it’s that if you never try anything new in your photographic practice, then you’ll come to regret it. So take a leap of faith and try something new.

Start by working out what you’d like to try photographically. See if you can try it without investing in any new gear. However, don’t be afraid to think about if a new piece of gear might bring you a new way of working. A lens, a flashgun, or a new lighting modifier. Perhaps even a new camera.

Also, don’t forget to let us know in the comments what you’re planning on trying out. Or if you’ve changed things up in the past let us know what you did to try and reinvigorate your photography and how well it worked for you!

Hexbyte - Glen Cove - News Can New Gear Kickstart Your Photography?

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired Tram Bowling Is an Actual Sport. Let’s Look at the Physics

Hexbyte Tech News Wired Tram Bowling Is an Actual Sport. Let’s Look at the Physics

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Last week Europe’s tram drivers had their annual championship. They showed off their precision braking skills. They tried to estimate their speed without the luxury of a speedometer. But the most amazing event by far is tram bowling.

Yes, tram bowling. A tram drives along its track and hits a large stationary ball. That ball then flies off to knock over some giant pins. It’s just like normal human bowling except with a tram. I’m not sure who thought of this idea, but I do know who is going to model it.

So, what is going on here? Why does the ball go flying off like that? What does the speed of the ball depend on? There are so many questions—that’s why we need a model. Let’s start with something simple. Suppose I have a tram and a ball. Both are on a horizontal surface with no friction. The ball is stationary and the tram is moving at some constant speed. Blam-o: The tram hits the ball. During this impact, the ball is compressed such that it exerts a force on the tram. But since forces come in pairs, this also means the tram pushes back on the ball with the same magnitude force (but in the opposite direction).

Rhett Allain

Of course F is the force on the objects. The B-T subscript is for “ball on tram,” and the T-B means “tram on ball.” But what does a force do to an object? A net force changes an object’s momentum, where momentum is the product of the mass and the vector velocity. I’m not sure why we (physicists) always use p for momentum, but we do.

Rhett Allain

If I know the force, I can find the change in momentum. The force between the ball and the tram can be modeled as a spring force. The most basic spring exerts a force that is proportional to the amount the spring is compressed or stretched. We call these Hooke’s Law springs, named after Robert Hooke. The proportionality constant between compression and force is called the “spring constant” and is represented with the variable k.

Rhett Allain

In this expression, I am using s for the amount of compression (instead of x), because it could be compressed in any generic direction. Now we can build a model. It goes like this:

  • Make a “tram” and a “ball.” The tram starts off moving while the ball is at rest.
  • If the distance between the tram and the ball is such that they overlap, determine the overlap distance. This is the compression distance.
  • Use this overlap distance to calculate the force on both the ball and the tram (same magnitude, different directions).
  • With the force, calculate the change in momentum of both the tram and the ball over a short time interval.
  • Calculate the new position of the ball and tram using the momentum (and velocity).
  • Keep repeating the above stuff.

That is the basis for a numerical calculation. Here’s what that looks like. Yes, this is an actual calculation. The code is right there—you can even change it if that makes you happy. Just click the pencil icon to see and edit the code.

Yes, this just keeps rerunning the collision over and over. Oh, if you want to change some things, there are three variables I suggest (in the code). You can change the effective spring constant and the masses of the two objects. See what happens. For my initial model, the tram has a mass of 10,000 kilograms compared to the ball at just 1 kg. This gives the the ball a final velocity of about 10 m/s (the tram was moving at 5 meters per second).

Next, as a physicist, I am legally required to create a plot of momentum vs. time for these two objects. If I use the same masses as before, the graph is boring. The change in momentum of the tram is so tiny, you can’t really see much. So, just for educational purposes (don’t do this in real life), I am going to use a ball mass of 1,000 kilograms. Here is the plot.

Rhett Allain

Notice that the tram decreases in momentum by the same amount that the momentum of the ball increases. That’s physics. Of course in real life there would be another force on the tram since it’s still driving forward. However, the collision is so short that this wouldn’t really change much.

But, like I always say, you don’t really understand something until you model it. In this case, however, I still don’t understand how someone came up with this game of tram bowling.

More Great WIRED Stories

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Hexbyte  News  Computers Before Ethiopian Crash, Boeing Resisted Pilots’ Calls for Aggressive Steps on 737 Max

Hexbyte News Computers Before Ethiopian Crash, Boeing Resisted Pilots’ Calls for Aggressive Steps on 737 Max

Hexbyte News Computers


An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 in Miami. The airline’s pilots union asked Boeing in November to take an emergency measure that would likely ground the Max. Company executives pushed back.CreditCreditJoe Raedle/Getty Images

Weeks after the first fatal crash of the 737 Max, pilots from American Airlines pressed Boeing executives to work urgently on a fix. In a closed-door meeting, they even argued that Boeing should push authorities to take an emergency measure that would likely result in the grounding of the Max.

The Boeing executives resisted. They didn’t want to rush out a fix, and said they expected pilots to be able to handle problems.

Mike Sinnett, a vice president at Boeing, acknowledged that the manufacturer was assessing potential design flaws with the plane, including new anti-stall software. But he balked at taking a more aggressive approach, saying it was not yet clear that the new system was to blame for the Lion Air crash, which killed 189 people.

“No one has yet to conclude that the sole cause of this was this function on the airplane,” Mr. Sinnett said, according to a recording of the Nov. 27 meeting reviewed by The New York Times.

Less than four months later, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 people on board. The flawed anti-stall system played a role in both disasters.

Boeing is facing intense scrutiny for the design and certification of the Max, as well as for its response to the two crashes. There are multiple investigations into the development of the Max. And in recent days, unions representing pilots from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have received federal grand jury subpoenas for any documents related to Boeing’s communications about the jet, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also under fire for its role in approving the Max, and its decision to wait for days after the second crash to ground the plane. At a Wednesday congressional hearing, lawmakers will grill federal regulators about how the Max was certified.

Boeing declined to comment on the November meeting. “We are focused on working with pilots, airlines and global regulators to certify the updates on the Max and provide additional training and education to safely return the planes to flight,” the company said in a statement.

American Airlines said in a statement that it was “confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the Max, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon.”


Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, balked at taking a more aggressive approach to issues with the 737 Max during a meeting with American Airlines pilots in November.CreditTed S. Warren/Associated Press

The hourlong November meeting, inside a windowless conference room at the Fort Worth headquarters of the American Airlines pilots’ union, was confrontational at times. At the table was Mr. Sinnett, along with Craig Bomben, a top Boeing test pilot, and one of the company’s senior lobbyists, John Moloney. They faced several union leaders, many of them angry at the company.

Michael Michaelis, an American pilot, argued that Boeing should push the F.A.A. to issue what is known as an emergency airworthiness directive.

The F.A.A. had already issued one directive after the Lion Air crash, instructing airlines to revise their flight manuals to include information on how to respond to a malfunction of the anti-stall system known as MCAS. But Mr. Michaelis pushed Boeing to consider calling for an additional one to update the software.

Such a procedure would have required Boeing and airlines in the United States to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the Max, and would have likely taken the jet out of service temporarily.

“My question to you, as Boeing, is why wouldn’t you say this is the smartest thing to do?” Mr. Michaelis said. “Say we’re going to do everything we can to protect that traveling public in accordance with what our pilots unions are telling us.”

Mr. Sinnett didn’t budge, saying that it remained unclear that the new software, which automatically pushes the plane’s nose down, was responsible for the Lion Air crash. He added that he felt confident that pilots had adequate training to deal with a problem, especially now that pilots — who were not initially informed about the new system — were aware of it.

“You’ve got to understand that our commitment to safety is as great as yours,” Mr. Sinnett said in the meeting. “The worst thing that can ever happen is a tragedy like this, and the even worse thing would be another one.”

The pilots expressed frustration that Boeing did not inform them about the new software on the plane until after the Lion Air crash.

“These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else,” said Mr. Michaelis, the union’s head of safety.

Another American pilot, Todd Wissing, expressed frustration that no mention of the system had been included in the training manual for the 737 Max.


At the meeting, Boeing executives acknowledged they were looking into potential flaws in the design of the jet.CreditJoshua Roberts/Reuters

“I would think that there would be a priority of putting explanations of things that could kill you,” Mr. Wissing said.

The Boeing executives, Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Bomben, explained that the company did not believe that pilots needed to know about the software, because they were already trained to deal with scenarios like the one on the doomed Lion Air flight. All pilots are expected to know how to take control of an aircraft when the plane’s tail begins moving in an uncontrolled way because of a malfunction, nudging the aircraft toward the ground.

“The assumption is that the flight crews have been trained,” Mr. Sinnett said in the meeting. He added later: “Rightly or wrongly, that was the design criteria and that’s how the airplane was certified with the system and pilot working together.”

When the pilots pressed Boeing to consider encouraging the F.A.A. to issue an emergency airworthiness directive, Mr. Sinnett made the case against moving too quickly.

“We don’t want to rush and do a crappy job of fixing the right things and we also don’t want to fix the wrong things,” Mr. Sinnett said, later adding, “For flight-critical software, I don’t think you want us to rush, rush it faster.”

Mr. Sinnett acknowledged that the company was looking into potential mistakes in the design of the jet.

“One of the questions will be, is our design assumption wrong?” Mr. Sinnett said. “We’re going through that whole thought process of, were our assumptions really even valid when we did this?”

But he remained steadfast that pilots should know how to handle a malfunction of the new software on the plane, given their existing training.

As the meeting was concluding, Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the union, asked the Boeing executives whether they were still confident in the Max.

“Do you feel comfortable that the situation is under control today, before any software fix is implemented?” he asked.

Mr. Sinnett replied immediately: “Absolutely.”

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Hexbyte  News  Computers America’s loneliness epidemic: A hidden systemic risk to organizations

Hexbyte News Computers America’s loneliness epidemic: A hidden systemic risk to organizations

Hexbyte News Computers

Much has been written about America’s loneliness epidemic, including in the workplace. The word “loneliness” in the work context is a misnomer. It doesn’t capture the whole story.

What about all of the individuals who might not think of themselves as lonely and yet the demands of work and task-oriented activities such as time in front of screens have crowded out time for anything more than superficial relationships? Many people lack sufficient, positive human connection (or social connection) and may be unaware of the ramifications. Left unchecked, the deficiency of connection today presents widespread risks not just to individuals but to organizations. 

From a biological standpoint, social connection is a primal human need. Its presence appears to improve the cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems’ performance. In contrast, studies have shown that “disconnection” is unhealthy for individuals:

Given these findings, it follows that researchers found greater employee loneliness leads to poorer task, team role and relational performance. One might assume that the higher up the organization you go, the more connected you feel, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Research reported in Harvard Business Review found that half of CEOs report feeling lonely and 61% of those CEOs believed it hindered their performance.

Hexbyte News Computers Prevalence of social disconnection

A considerable amount of evidence suggests that social disconnection is prevalent today. Based on its research findings, Cigna reported data in 2018 that chronic loneliness in America has reached epidemic levels. This is consistent with an earlier analysis on the potential public health relevance of social isolation and loneliness.

Looking forward, it would appear that over the next decade the workforce may become even more disconnected. Since 2011, research on adolescents has found they spend more time interacting with electronic devices and less time interacting with each other, while also experiencing declining well-being. As artificial intelligence further increases the presence and role of machines in people’s day-to-day lives, an unintended consequence is that technology may diminish people’s ability to connect

Hexbyte News Computers The role of chronic stress

Why is social disconnection problematic in the workplace? In answering this question one ought to address the topic of stress. While it is a term we often hear, it is difficult to fully comprehend the far-reaching psychological and physiological consequences associated with stress.

In measured amounts, stress serves to ready the nervous system for the task at hand. Here, odd as it sounds, stress can be a good thing. However, as Dr. Ted George of the National Institutes of Health describes in his book Untangling the Mind,” stress can have negative effects. With increasing levels of stress, the nervous system processes the stress as a threat. In extreme circumstances, stress moves the individual from being guided by rational thought processes to the instinctual responses characterized as “fight,” “flight” and “shutdown.”      

When people experience chronic stress, they don’t feel well and often resort to ingesting substances or engaging in behaviors that provide temporary relief. The danger is that this may lead to developing addiction. In a review of 83 studies on addiction with at least 500 subjects, Sussman et al. (2011) found that nearly half the adult US population suffers from one or more addictions that have “serious negative consequences.” The addictions studied included substance addictions (alcohol, eating disorders, mood-altering legal and illegal drugs, and tobacco) and process addictions (dependence upon busyness and work, exercise, gambling, online gaming or social media, shopping, love and sex).

One of the best-known means to cope with stress is to increase positive social connections. Being in an environment that fosters supportive relationships and human connection serves to stabilize the responses of the nervous system, preventing it from processing the stressor as a threat.

Hexbyte News Computers Cultures of connection 

UCLA neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes social connection as a “superpower” that makes individuals smarter, happier and more productive. Leaders at all levels of an organization would be wise to assess workplace culture through the lens of connection. Are attitudes, uses of language and behaviors drawing people together and connecting them? Or are they creating a stressful and/or relationally-toxic environment that pushes people apart?

In our research, we found that cultures of connection are best for individual well-being and for helping organizations thrive too. Specifically, cultures of connection convey several performance advantages upon organizations including higher employee engagement, tighter strategic alignment, superior decision-making, greater innovation and more adaptability to cope with rapid change taking place in the world today. These advantages add up to a powerful competitive advantage.

Hexbyte  News  Computers

Hexbyte News Computers World’s best hospital has connection in its DNA

The power of connection is on full display at Mayo Clinic, America’s top-ranked hospital and arguably the best hospital in the world. From the time of its founding in 1889, Mayo Clinic has been intentional about cultivating connection and community. Will Mayo, one of the earliest leaders, communicated an attitude that valued connection and warned about the dangers of isolation when he stated: “Our failures as a profession are the failures of individualism, the result of competitive medicine. It must be done by collective effort.”

One of the ways this is manifest is in Mayo Clinic’s practice of compensating physicians through paying a salary rather than by an activity-based system. Not only does this promote collaboration for the good of the patient but it also alleviates the financial and time pressure of trying to see too many patients in a day, which often serves to diminish the physician-patient connection.

Mayo Clinic’s stated mission and values point to being guided by the intent of its founders, the original Mayo physicians and Sisters of St. Francis. Mayo Clinic’s mission is “To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research” (italics mine). The language used to describe its values includes the following: 

  • “Compassion … [that treats] patients and family members with sensitivity and empathy,”
  • “Healing [that nurtures] the well-being of the whole person, respecting physical, emotional and spiritual needs,”
  • “Teamwork [that values] the contributions of all, blending the skills of individual staff members in unsurpassed collaboration,”
  • “Innovation [to] infuse and energize the organization, enhancing the lives of those we serve, through the creative ideas and unique talents of each employee,” and
  • “Excellence [that delivers] the best outcomes and highest quality service through the dedicated effort of every team member.”    

Notice that words and phrases that reflect and enhance connection are woven throughout: sensitivity, empathy, treating the whole person (including emotional and spiritual needs), teamwork, blending skills of the team, unsurpassed collaboration, each employee and every team member.

Mayo Clinic’s belief in the importance of connection goes beyond attitudes and language to practical steps taken to see that connection is infused in the culture. Mayo Clinic’s onboarding process for physicians and scientists includes extensive training in professionalism and communications, and assessments to help them develop emotional intelligence which is instrumental to connecting with others.

Physician leaders are selected, developed and assessed based on their ability to connect, which includes listening, engaging, developing and leading other physicians. Informal opportunities for connection among colleagues is encouraged by providing dedicated meeting areas for physicians to gather in.

Mayo Clinic’s intentionality and commitment is evident in a program called COMPASS (COlleagues Meeting to Promote and Sustain Satisfaction). Under this initiative, self-formed groups of 6-10 physicians get together for about an hour every other week, usually over breakfast or lunch, with up to $20 provided to each participant to cover the meal cost.

During the meal, physicians spend at least 15 minutes focused on discussing assigned issues related to the physician experience, such as resiliency, medical mistakes, work-life balance and meaning at work. Mayo Clinic’s research has found that participants in COMPASS experience statistically significant improvements in multiple domains of wellbeing and satisfaction that will help reduce the risk of physician burnout and reduce medical errors.

Hexbyte News Computers Conclusion

For-profit organizations can develop cultures of connection, too. Consider the connection culture of Costco, which Forbes and Statista research has consistently recognized as among the best large company employers in America, or the connection culture Alan Mually cultivated when he led the turnaround of Ford.

Our current epidemic of social disconnection has arisen from multiple avenues including loneliness, social isolation and the busyness and increased screen time of modern life crowding out time for face-to-face human connection. Social disconnection is making people more vulnerable to the negative effects of stress. After one considers the prevalence and effects of social disconnection throughout an organization, it can be argued that social disconnection presents a systemic risk.

Connection matters. Organizations should be intentional about developing and sustaining cultures of connection that provide the structures and needed psychosocial support to foster inclusion and teamwork, minimize stress and reduce error — all of which will promote superior organizational outcomes. The net benefit amounts to better employee and organizational health, resilience and performance.

Michael Lee Stallard, president and cofounder of Connection Culture Group, is a thought leader and speaker on how effective leaders boost human connection in team and organizational cultures to improve the health and performance of individuals and organizations. He is the author of “Connection Culture” and “Fired Up or Burned Out.” To receive a 28-page “100 Ways to Connect” e-book, sample chapters of “Connection Culture,” and Stallard’s monthly email newsletter at no cost, sign up here.  

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