Today only: Olympus XZ-2 camera just USD $179

This is a fantastic deal – I own this camera and its my “walk around” camera – I love it. It shoots RAW, it shoots macro close ups, it has a fast f/1.8 lens, and a 1/1.63″ sensor, amazing low light capability, and it’s small, shoots 1080p video, and shoots much better photos than any “point n shoot”. Super convenient. I highly recommend this camera for anyone seeking that feature set.

You can see some of my XZ-2 photos on my Flickr XZ-2 album page.

This deal ends in 12 hours after I post this!

Flying Magazine notes collateral damage caused by model aircraft bans

Flying Magazine notes that many, many of today’s pilot’s developed their early interest in aviation through the model aircraft hobby. Increasingly draconian government regulations against “drones” threaten the entire model aircraft hobby, which in turn, threatens the future of the general aviation industry.

At this time, the use of recreational model aircraft for personal – and any commercial use – is buried beneath a threatening and oppressive rules regime with the United States.

I have suspended use of my Hubsan X4. I live within 5 miles of an airport and the FAA’s rules are a mishmash of contradictory statements, contradictions with Federal law and outright absurdities.

Using 3D viewing systems to restore binocular vision

Diplopia is one such virtual reality game from San Francisco. The game, which is still in beta testing, is designed to help people with lazy eye amblyopia and crossed eye strabismus. It recently closed a $700,000 seed round, led by SOS Ventures.

While many will tell you that playing video games are bad for your eyes, the founder, James Blaha, fixed his own lazy eye with the game he invented with Manish Gupta.

via Virtual reality game aims to fix double vision.

Basically, the system restores binocular vision so that patients may again see in 3D. Contrast the above story with the (often badly sourced) claims that 3D TV or 3D movies harm vision.

FAA: flying model aircraft inches above backyard patio may be illegal

If you live within 5 miles of airport, flying a model aircraft – or a kite or helium balloon on a string– just inches off your patio deck – is a violation of Federal regulations says an FAA representative – and can incur a $10,000 fineThe Federal Government Thinks Your Backyard Is National Airspace And Toys Are Subject To FAA Regulations.

Forget hobbyist photography let alone commercial uses. Since I have a Private Pilot’s certificate, I wonder if I can get my Hubsan X4 classified as an “Experimental” aircraft? 🙂

The FAA asserts that flying kites and holding helium balloons on a short string are subject to regulation by the FAA! Last week, a dozen crows were on my roof or in the front yard – each is physically larger and weighs more than my Hubsan X4! One is regulated a danger to aviation and the other is not!

Continue reading FAA: flying model aircraft inches above backyard patio may be illegal