Category Archives: Software

Audio/video sync testfile

Here is a 60 fps audio/video timer file of 10s duration with a 440 Hz beep every 3s to test latency in OBSDirect download here.


Continue reading Audio/video sync testfile

Remote control of any Phase One from a tablet

While it is straightforward to connect a new Hasselblad X2D 100C to an iPad for viewing high res images, it’s a pain with older Phase One backs like the p65+. These older backs including the p45+ haven an excellent image quality that is a decade after it’s introduction on par with some newer IQ backs. Unfortunately the old backs have only a small screen with a menu system from the 1980ies which is basically unusable. The biggest issue, however, comes by the Firewire connection that has been abandoned by Apple preventing older Mamiya/Phase One cameras from any LAN or WLAN access. Nevertheless I tried  a Firewire dock as recommended by Phase One only to find out that it does not work with any current macOS.

So why not going back and using some contemporary computer? What finally worked here was a Mac mini from Ebay from late 2012 (100€). This unit still has firewire ports and works perfectly with Capture One 12 under Catalina. Bothe packages are in the archives (if not already pre-installed as on my Ebay purchase) . I tried to control the Mac mini remotely with VNC from the iPad but this was not an option as the connection was neither responsive nor did it scale correctly. There is however a better solution for so called “headless use” of the Mac mini without any display and keyboard.

The installation needs of course display and keyboard. Both devices need to be in the same WLAN with the same GHz band (in my case 2.4 GHz due to the mini), VPN and firewall should be set off before installation of the luna display app on both machines. We also need a small display port dongle from (50€) that connects the devices.

iPad screenshot connected to Mac mini using luna display app. All icons can be reached.
iPad screenshot connected to Mac mini with Capture One open.

But then we can remove keyboard and screen from the Mac Mini, while it is super nice to control now the Phase One by a touch display. This should work with any Phase One camera and best of all, even an iPhone with C1 Pilot will work.

The only drawback:  this current solution is not fully portable as the Mac mini needs 220 V. But luckily, there are 12V DC conversion kits in the high end audio market (120€). After adding  some 12V power bank it may be even a portable . Or you just use your big flash power unit.

A real, no-fake Springer Nature press release

Springer Nature continues its focus on tailored solutions for academics with acquisition of researcher-created writing tool, TooWrite (14 Feb 23)

Developed by researchers for researchers, the TooWrite platform streamlines and simplifies scientific writing by guiding researchers through the process as if they were answering a questionnaire. In addition, expert how-to guides are attached to each question, supporting researchers as if they had an editor by their side. By structuring it in this step by step way, researchers’ time is freed up by making the writing process more efficient.


the comment that hits the nail

At some point there will be nothing left to buy. But then there will be no way out for researchers anymore from ready-made workflows that suck them dry at every stage of the research life cycle. 16Feb23 


the strategy is from “cradle to grave” 17Feb23


in the original full version 17Feb23

How to stream from your phone

Wireless transmission worked perfect for me with Elgato’s EpocCam transmission from iPhone to Macbook where I am using OBS . And well, the native USB connection works now out of the box since macOS 13 Ventura.

But how to attach the mobile cam under Linux? So far I connected only DSLRs but found only recently DroidCam that  includes not only Android and iPhone but also a Linux client. As a bonus multiple remote actions are possible from setting white balance to focus mode or using flash settings.


How to regulate ChatGPT use

With the even increasing use of ChatGPT there is also a debate not only on responsibility but also crediting findings to individual authors.

The artificial-intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT that has taken the world by storm has made its formal debut in the scientific literature — racking up at least four authorship credits on published papers and preprints.  Journal editors, researchers and publishers are now debating the place of such AI tools in the published literature, and whether it’s appropriate to cite the bot as an author.

Software recognition of AI generated text is not 100% accurate in particular if there are less than 1000 characters available. And of course, scientific texts will be always edited to evade the classifier.

Having discussed here this issue yesterday, we think that we need some kind of software regulation – sending the generated AI output not only to the individual user but keeping a  full logfile of the output that can be accessed, indexed and searched by everybody.




DPI and PPI in scientific publications

It seems that also graphic design tasks are more and more shifted to the authors. A journal asked me to revise my R “figures with >6 px size fonts at 600 dpi” which does not make so much sense to me as it mixes apples and oranges (DPI and PPI) and does even give me any size estimate of the final image.

Fortunately, there is a great website that has a lot of helpful explanations and demo code.

In summary PPI are number of pixels per inch. Pixel is the smallest unit that can be displayed on a screen, the picture x element. So my screen has about 227 ppi which is super sharp while for historical reasons not the physical but a logical PPI of 96 is being assumed for screens. Continue reading DPI and PPI in scientific publications

PHP update issues: Goodby miniflux, welcome freshRSS

With a forced upgrade of my provider from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.1  miniflux v1  did not work anymore with Reeder 5. After trying to  correct all issues with phan, I decided to switch to a freshRSS install that has even a more modern Google API.

BTW I find it quite helpful to debug PHP 7.4 code by intentional throwing a javascript error to block any ongoing action with

throw "SimulatedException"

and setting PHP more verbose with

error_reporting(E_ALL | E_STRICT)

While it was quite straightforward to replace all “each” with “for each”, or “read_exif_date” with “exif_read_date” the main issue were unquoted “$_SERVER” variables and functions that need to be checked for missing variables

$rows= (is_countable($ret) ? count($ret) : 0

The biggest problems came by Nextcloud update to version 25. It turns out that there is a file limit of 262.144 of my internet provider.

Any Nextcloud update always needs about 30.000 files. Whenever it encounters any other error, a restart produces  another 30.000 files, basically killing my account.

In contrast to the documentation the issue is also not at the root nextcloud updater directory but in the data directory.

superfluous Nextcloud backup files hiding in the data directory

If Etcher dies silently

Balena Etcher dies silently on Mac OS 13.2 Ventura when creating a rescue system (rescatux 0.74) for the repair cafe. It seems to be a problem with missing rights, so only

sudo /Applications/


FFMPEG with NDI support

Unfortunately, FFMPEG does not support NDI due to copyright issues but wait there is a recent Github tutorial that brings back NDI support on Linux machines.

For MacOS several patches/versions are outdated while I now found that the old method posted by Johan Els on Github several years ago still works.

As I can stream now basically every camera under macOS and Ubuntu using gphoto2 and ffmpeg, I am ready to sell my whole HDMI setup including the Atem Mini – at least at sometime in the near future ;-)

Language models need to be regulated

Shobita Parthasarathy in a recent interview

I had originally thought that LLMs could have democratizing and empowering impacts. When it comes to science, they could empower people to quickly pull insights out of information: by querying disease symptoms, for example, or generating summaries of technical topics.
But the algorithmic summaries could make errors, include outdated information or remove nuance and uncertainty, without users appreciating this. If anyone can use LLMs to make complex research comprehensible, but they risk getting a simplified, idealized view of science that’s at odds with the messy reality, that could threaten professionalism and authority.

Teresa Kubacka

So ziemlich alles, was beim Verfassen eines wissenschaftlichen Textes nicht schief l�aufen sollte [ist hier passiert]:
Die Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) kann wissenschaftliche Quellenangaben nahezu perfekt fälschen.
Und zwar so geschickt, dass selbst Fachleute auf dem entsprechenden Gebiet Mühe bekunden, die entsprechenden Falschinformationen als solche zu erkennen.
Die als «Datenhalluzinationen» bezeichneten Kreationen der KI können auch, aber nicht nur, auf die vom Menschen gestellten Fragen zurückgeführt werden.

Es ist ein ethisches, nicht ein mathematisches Problem

Ein hervorragender Insider Kommentar zu Gebru und Mitchell, der Frau die von Google wegen ihres AI Papers gefeuert wurde.

Michaela Menken schreibt dazu

Bias in/bias out. Sprich, die gelernten Modelle verstärken die Positionen und Stimmen, die in den Trainingsdaten am meisten vertreten sind. Und das sind selten die Positionen und Stimmen von Minderheiten …

Reporting Bias … implizite, ontologische Kenntnis der Welt steht der KI nicht vollumfänglich zur Verfügung…

Selection Bias also … die durch die Auswahl der Daten entstehen können…

Confirmation Bias …  ob der Output für qualitativ gut oder schlecht gehalten wird, korrespondiert natürlich mit dem Weltbild und den Erwartungen desjenigen, der die Überprüfung durchführt.

Automation Bias. Menschen neigen dazu, Ergebnisse, die algorithmisch herbeigeführt wurden, schneller und leichter anzunehmen

Es sind also massive ethische Probleme, die mit dem Einzug der KI entstehen. Nicht umsonst wurde in Augsburg im letzten Jahr ein “Center for Responsible AI Technologies” gegründet.  Dazu wurden 100 neue Lehrstühle geschaffen, selbst der bayrische Ethikrat hat sich vor 2 Wochen einschlägig wenn auch wenig konkret dazu geäussert.