Jun 302010

During the previous week I spent my time in three areas.

1) I tried to turn the “dots” that were recognized as the road into an actual highlighting of the road in the image. I did this by using the square used to detect space in the image into “the road” instead of only marking the center pixel. i.e. after marking each road pixel the program goes back through and for any pixel marked as the road it marks the space around the pixel as the road.

2) 640×480: I figured out how to make my camera capture images at 640×480 instead of at 320×240. Unfortunately when testing this, processing one image took 3 full seconds. This prompted me to investigate how long it was taking to process a 320×240 image.

3) Speed: I added timing information to the algorithm and found out that processing the 320×240 image was taking about 700ms – far too long. I sped it up by separating out various parts of the algorithm, like converting the image to black and white. I further sped things up by caching the addition of rows in the density/road/pixel detection algorithm, which really just adds the total number of pixels in an area of the pixels.

Next Week: I had planned on working on the map data transformation to a perspective view, but Dr. Choi has asked me to work on the edge detection algorithm so that’s what I’ll do.

 Posted by at 8:36 pm
Jun 182010

TV is the death of productivity. Not the productivity of the folks who created the programs, just that of those who watch the programs.

I cite reason one as the fact that it is virtually impossible to do anything productive while watching TV. Some will argue that they watch TV all the time – while they work, do homework, knit, read, etc. Any activity that can be done while watching TV cannot be productive. Knitting, for example. Normally knitting is productive because you produce something useful for wearing or just for looking at. How many people do you know that can knit blind?

What actually happens when people watch TV and do other tasks at the same time is that they do not give their full attention to either watching TV or the task at hand. i.e. they are multitasking with a single processor (their brain / body) and time slicing. Something that normally could have been done in an hour will take two hours, or five, while watching TV. This is not being productive while watching TV – this is being productive while not watching TV and taking frequent and unnecessary breaks to watch TV.

This should be enough to convince anyone, but I’m sure someone will say “I don’t even watch TV, I just listen to it (and I can still be productive).”

No, you can’t listen to TV and be productive at the same time. You can listen to music and be productive, but not TV. Music can be listened to while concentrating on something else specifically because it can be blocked out. TV cannot simply be “blocked out” and listened to at the same time because there is dialog. In order to hear and understand the dialog, you have to give some attention, i.e. some thought, to what is being said and what it means. If you are giving thought to the dialog, then that is time you are not spending on the task at hand, thus you are time slicing.

“Well, I have the TV on and I don’t listen or watch, and I’m still productive!” This, in fact, is exactly my point. If you are productive, then you are not listening to or watching TV. You should turn it off to conserve electricity. Turning on a radio for background noise is much more efficient than TV (and much cheaper than cable).