Swatch Group, Richemont, Movado Group, LVMH

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 29th, 2009
Sep 29

All Your Brands Are Belong To Me!

With apologies to all those who cringe at vastly over-used Interweb memes like this, it’s an accurate reflection of the Swiss watch industry. Many of the top luxury Swiss watch brands are concentrated in the hands of a few companies.

swatch group richemont

movado lvmh

Never mind that modern Swiss watchmaking was actually created from the borrowing of American manufacturing technology and import of US tooling, both of which were easily beating the Swiss horological industry in the late 1800s, and that most of the “value” we associate with many of these supposedly high-end watch names has been marketed to us rather than being the product of cold reality. One of the other less known aspects of Swiss watches to new buyers, is how few companies control a large number of the many brands in this category.

Continue Reading »

Halios BlueRing & Seiko SR15 in a Pelican 1120

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 24th, 2009
Sep 24

So what does this picture have to do with the soon-to-be released Halios BlueRing, both the Seiko 6R15 and ETA 2824-2 based models?


Continue Reading »

WPtouch – Seiko Champion for iPhone

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 22nd, 2009
Sep 22

If you are reading this blog on an iPhone it should look a little different now.


Continue Reading »

The march of technology – pictures of electrons

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 21st, 2009
Sep 21

Yes I thought the fact that I could see an actual picture of a molecule where you could make out the individual atoms was cool enough. Now comes this.

Image from In The Pipeline

You’re looking at field emission electron microscope image of the electrons in a carbon atom – the s and p orbitals if you’re into the details. Yes, somebody took a picture of electrons. For us geeky ex-lab types, definitely cool.

Ghost Fleet of the recession

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 19th, 2009
Sep 19

Avenue Q – “It Sucks To Be Me”

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 18th, 2009
Sep 18

Coming locally (Centre In The Square in Kitchener) this November, I believe I have to see this show …

Okay, so we’re talking about a Broadway musical that has puppets, a “not for children” rating, a song titled “The Internet Is For Porn” and another titled “It Sucks To Be Me” making fun of a cross-gendered Gary Coleman.

No matter what else it’s going to skewer so many things I think people are going to laugh for sure (although I think you have to be a little into alternative or edgy shows to like this sort of thing, it’s not your parent’s Broadway).

Seiko Interweb Tidbits Summer ’09 – part 1

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 17th, 2009
Sep 17

Here is this quarter’s collection of miscellaneous Seiko postings and links and articles that caught my eye, for your reading pleasure.

Only one vintage one … to start, an amateur restoration of a Seiko 6105-8000, story (and before and after images) from a post on the Seiko Citizen Watch Forum.


The new Seiko Ananta site. Not my “cup of tea”, far too “Inspector Gadget” looking a watch line for me, I much prefer the clean looks of their dressier models (from Champions to Grand Seiko) and divers. And I can live without the (present in all watch brand sites unfortunately) overkill multimedia, especially the forcibly projected sound. However these watches are still of interest, perhaps a great intro to quality Seiko watches for a Breitling lover.

One note of interest, you can buy the Ananta line outside Japan, including in the Toronto Seiko Boutique now as well. See Paul Hubbard’s quick article on WatchReport, and the Seiko press release on TimeZone, for more announcement info.


Continue Reading »

Google acquires reCaptcha

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 16th, 2009
Sep 16

I don’t have a captcha currently in use on this blog (other security measures are installed instead), but I’m sure you’ve seen them, the “please type in these characters as you see them” box that tries to prevent robots and other phishing/spam engines from pretending to be people online. Captchas can really help prevent improper online contest entries, document downloads, database access, blog comments … well, you get the idea.


Well, one of the larger players in that industry sub-segment, reCAPTCHA, has just been purchased by Google (aka the “non-evil empire”).

One of the problems with Captcha systems is that hackers have learnt how to handle the simpler ones. That’s the reason you now see more complex ones in a lot of places (animation, gray scale, and other techniques being used). I never thought of the flip side of that though, and found it very interesting to read in the Google Blog that they are using these “learned lessons” of captcha validation as a way to improve OCR (Optical Character Recognition). And why would they be doing this?

Image from Wikipedia

Continue Reading »

Next »