The secret of HDTV

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Popular Mechanics has an excellent article of the dirty little secret of HDTV: that there are no true standards or specifications in place defining what exactly is “high definition TV”. Because of this, the article’s writer, Glenn Derene, writes, the quality of broadcast we get from providers, varies. Considerably.

For instance, compression techniques can differ, with fast action shows needing more updates than “talking head” shows. Compression can degrade with the faster shows, than the ones that are more “static”, and with fewer moving parts. This explains to me why the news shows are the best looking shows on my HDTV.


Liar, Liar

Scott at Lazycoder writes on his recent job interview experiences.

Certification and licensing should be about setting a base level of competency. You shouldn’t have to ask someone what the difference between a div and a span element is during a phone screen if they are a licensed web developer. You shouldn’t ask a C++ developer to find the memory leak in a given piece of code. What you really want to know are the intangibles. Are they a cowboy coder? Are they continuously trying to improve their skills or are they set in their ways? Will they speak up during a meeting if they see a bottleneck or problem coming or will they just ignore the problem? We, as a group of professionals, need to determine a structure and governing body that will allow us to not wonder if an applicant is lying on their resume, but instead focus on whether or not a person will be a good fit with the rest of the team.

Most tech interviewers haven’t a clue how to interview. Instead, they set up some code, and allow the code to do the interviewing. Worse, they set up the interview in such a way as to make themselves look good, while making the process as difficult and painful as possible for the interviewee. Rather than a co-worker, the interviewer sees the interviewee as a potential competitor, and acts accordingly.

It’s the only field I know of that uses this approach. Most other fields are populated by people who genuinely care about finding the best person for the job.

Social Media

Dr. Horrible and twittering under the table

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The sparkling new site has coverage of the Dr. Horrible panel at the SDCC (Comic-Con).

All the cast members showed up, including “Penny” who spent the first part of the panel Twittering under the table—an event sure to follow her throughout her career.

Whedon has hinted that there will be more Dr. Horrible shows. Not surprising considering the popularity of the shows. Hopefully Dr. Horrible won’t go the same route as the “Sanctuary” web-based series—staged to use the enthusiasm of web fans only as a means to grease the way to a “real” show on a “real” TV channel (more on Sanctuary in a later posting).