Thursday, 31 January 2008

World's Largest Swimming Pool


Take a deep breath before you try swimming a lap in the swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo in Chile. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, and has a 115ft deep end and holds 66 million gallons of salt water.

Yesterday the Guinness Book of Records named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world. Chile's monster pool uses a computer- controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other. The sun warms the water to 26c, nine degrees warmer than the adjoining sea. Its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that you can see the bottom even in the deep end. This monster pool uses a computer- controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other.


Video

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Tagged in Motion: Welcome to Virtual 3D Graffiti


DAIM a well known graffiti artist has developed a way of shooting or smearing a virtual spray of fluorescent light.

Equipped with the appropriate technology, DAIM sprays graffiti into empty space. In a large hall, three cameras using Motion Capturing record DAIM's position and the movements he executes with a virtual spray can. The assimilated data is shown to him in real time in a pair of video glasses - as free-floating 3D graffiti in space. In this way he can decide how and where to apply his strokes, and via a Bluetooth controller can also determine the colours, strength of brushstrokes and textures of his work.

The software used is the ARToolKit (or Augmented Reality Toolkit), which is an open source project.

Source

Monday, 28 January 2008

Robovie, Helps Lost Patrons Navigate in a Shopping Mall

The Osaka-based Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) has developed a crowd-monitoring humanoid robot that recognizes when people are lost and helps them find their way.

In a series of demonstrations conducted from January 22 to 24, a souped-up version of ATR's Robovie humanoid robot monitored people as they passed through a 100 square meter (1,076 sq ft) section of the Universal Citywalk Osaka shopping center. Relying on data from 16 cameras, 6 laser range finders and 9 RFID tag readers installed in and around the area, the robot was able to watch up to 20 people at a time, pinpoint their locations to within a few centimeters, and classify each individual's behavior into one of 10 categories (waiting, wandering, walking fast, running, etc.).

Whenever Robovie spotted people who looked disoriented, the child-sized droid wheeled up to them and asked, "Are you lost?" If so, the robot provided simple directions to the destination and pointed the way. If not, the robot proceeded to recommend nearby shops and restaurants.

At the time of posting this story there appears to be only one video of Robovie which has a tasteless tag pasted on it for most of it


Source

Aquaduct: Google Contest Winner Delivers Clean Water via Tricycles


You may not have heard of Google's Innovate or Die competition, but it was a $5000 contest for inventing a method to provide rural communities with water—an endeavor that doesn't sound glorious, but is quite important to thirsty people. Aquaduct, the winning team, created a tricycle that transports, filters, and stores water for the developing world.

A peristaltic pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large tank, through a filter, to a smaller clean tank. The clean tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home storage and use. A clutch engages and disengages the drive belt from the pedal crank, enabling the rider to filter the water while traveling or while stationary.


Video

Seeing Machine: Assisting People With Macular Degeneration Diseases.





Here is a video of Elizabeth Goldring a visually impaired artist/poet introducing; The Seeing Machine which allows her to see text for the first time in months via images from a computer projected onto her retina.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

The Tangiable Ball Bearing Music Sequencer

Peter Bennet refers to his devices as Tangible Enactive-Interfaces :

Enaction is one of the possible ways of organizing knowledge and one of the forms of interaction with the world.

Enactive knowledge is the one that comes through action and it is constructed on motor skills, such as manipulating objects, riding a bicycle or playing a sport. The Enactive knowledges of entities are the ones acquired by doing.

The aim of the research on Enaction is the construction of Enactive interfaces, that are interactive systems that allow to organize and transmit this particular type of knowledge. Multimodal interfaces are a good candidate for the creation of Enactive interfaces because of their coordinated use of Haptic, sound and vision.

Thus we have Peter Bennet's tangiable Ball Bearing Music Sequencer

Here is a link to Peter Bennet's Blog.

More enactive technologies.

Source

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Micro-miniature Surveillance: Robotic Fly to Descend on New York

So Its Now Down To Really Being The Fly on the Wall Technological Time

Harvard Professor, Robert Wood and his team have developed a tiny micro-robotic fly, that is actually able to fly using the wing structure and motions based on a fly. Most impressively, however, is the actuating composite motor that powers the wings is 5 times more powerful for its weight than the muscles of a real fly.

This is the first robotic fly that is able to generate enough thrust to takeoff, and will be showcased at New York's Museum of Modern Art starting Feb. 24. The life-size Flybot has a wingspan of 1.2 inches (3 cm) and weighs a mere 0.002 ounces (60 mg). This project has received funding from DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which hopes to gain access to micro-miniature surveillance technologies.

Manipulation of 200 micron and smaller components using the OrthoTweezers manipulator is the key for automated millirobot assembly. They are also developing a low cost (<$1000)) desktop factory which will allow users to build millirobots from a kit of components.



Sources One and Two

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

DJ Spooky: Multimedia/Performance: Terra Nova: The Antarctic Suite


DJ Spooky’s Terra Nova – The Antarctica Suite will premier at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22nd 9pm.

The video linked here sketches an historical and geomorphological approach for his
visual project with a beautifully crafted tune sampling riffs from Steve Reich and Tangerine Dream's tripling apreggio's. This study will contribute towards tthe making of his eventual full-scale multimedia performance:

"Terra Nova: The Antarctic Suite."

Paul (DJ Spooky) Miller's field recordings from a portable studio, set up to capture the acoustic qualities of Antarctic ice forms, reflect a changing and even vanishing environment under duress. Coupled with visual material from Getty Images' vast collection. The Antarctic Suite is a live performance, creating a unique and powerful moment around man's relationship with nature.

The whole vibe is getting people to think about the planet itself as a record or a document that is always changing.


Artist's Statement


Chat between DJ Spooky and, MorphBlog


Quicktime Small video (32mb) or Large video (177mb)

Simple Pen Locates Wifi Access Points Up To 30 Meters Away




James Bond'esque spy type gadget that looks tres ordinaire when trying to track down an open wireless signal, This gadget is a fully functioning pen with a built in 2.4G,802.11b/g Wifi hotspot finder and it finds where Access Points are and how strong the signal is.

The pen features 4 LEDs that will show the strength of a wireless signal that is up to 30 meters away. It is powered by two button cell batteries and activated by a small button positioned just below the LEDs.

Buy direct from Chinavasion fort $8 each.



Sources One and Two

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

New iPhone IV: Battery Extender Accessory Via GeekBrief.TV

Cali Lewis interviews an employee at
FastMac about their new iPhone iV

The iphone accessory extends battery life of the iPhone
by three hours, and it has a light that can be used either
with the camera, or just a light. It provides 24 hours of talk time
and 21 hours of video playback.

It also has a USB port and dock connector for other types of input.

Why the heck didn't they just call it the shoe ?

The second part of this podcast is an introduction to Dream Cheeky,
it's home to lots and lots of crazy USB toys, including a USB green house.

Many more geeky toys here.

The Future of the Blues: 8-Year-Old Guitar Prodigy Stuns Audiences





Eight-year-old Tallan Latz, of Elkhorn, is billed as the youngest performing blues guitarist in the world and is playing gigs and racking up endorsement deals.

Interestingly though, pay attention to how he expresses himself about his music ?

Monday, 21 January 2008

Pocketguitar: Virtual Guitar for iPhone and iPod touch



Free software called PocketGuitar transforms your iPhone and iPod Touch into a guitar!


The idea of this software is simple, it allows you to play the phone like an actual instrument, as well as strum along to your stored music -- thus fulfilling a number of your twisted fantasies.



Sources One and Two

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Potato Salad: Triplet Contortionists, Singing, Dancing



Blessed are the Flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.



More about the act of contortion.




Source

Friday, 18 January 2008

Seductively Subtle: Lust, Caution

One of the most versatile directors in contemporary cinema, Ang Lee who created films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Hulk, and shepherd drama Brokeback Mountain.

Lust, Caution is based on the short story by Eileen Chang,

Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei) is a student who begins her studies in Hong Kong following the Japanese invasion of China, where she meets Kuang (Wang Lee Hom), another student who is putting on a dramatic production in order to raise support for the resistance against the Japanese. Finding that they hadn’t aroused enough support, the student actors hatch a plan to go one step further and hatch a plan to assassinate a collaborator with the Japanese, Mr Yee (Tony Leung). Wong Chia Chi then assumes the role of a wealthy tai-tai (wife) who tries to get close to Yee, drawing them into an emotional affair.

Poignant critique

Exotic Accoutrements

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Touch the Invisible Sky: A Multi-Wavelength Braille Book


Touch the Invisible Sky (a book about astronomy for the blind) is filled with color images of nebulae, stars, galaxies and some of the telescopes that captured the original pictures. It was written by astronomy educator and accessibility specialist Noreen Grice who created .

Each image is embossed with lines, bumps, and other textures. The raised patterns translate colors, shapes, and other intricate details of the cosmic objects, allowing visually impaired people to experience them. Braille and large-print descriptions accompany each of the book's 28 photographs, making the book's design accessible to readers of all visual abilities.. It has images from Hubble, the Spitzer (infrared) Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Watch an embedded video of Noreen Grice's story on this page.


Source

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Cloud Computing via A Future of Post Co-operative Devices


The next generation of computers or post co-operative devices, will cohabit a collective terrain of wireless interface connectivity and may not even need/use processors almost every function a computer presently performs for users will be performed on servers;

When Google develops - the switch to cloud computing will be like the switch to electricity, computing is moving from being a tool to a utility.

To get a sense of how big this Big Switch is, Carr points to a similar revolution: the advent of electricity. The real electrical innovation, he argues, wasn't Thomas Edison's idea of installing individual power plants in factories. It was Edison's financial clerk, Samuel Insull, who thought of creating a central plant that powers an entire region, turning electricity into a utility and vastly dropping its price.


So the future looks like turning the glorified typewriter into a tap from which we drink ?

Wired: When does the big switch from the desktop to the data cloud happen? Carr: Most people are already there. Young people in particular spend way more time using so-called cloud apps — MySpace, Flickr, Gmail — than running old-fashioned programs on their hard drives. What's amazing is that this shift from private to public software has happened without us even noticing it.

Thus instead of storing documentation of ourselves on personal devices and media, the future server will act as everyones safety deposit box, thus making our lives less dependent on machines ?


Sources one and two and three

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Illuminated


Is a videogame-style anime series/film that tells the story of Aya, a young cyberpunk in the not-too-distant future, who gets launched on a mind-blowing journey around the world - only to have her consciousness totally rebooted and updated by the spiritual masters of the planet.


Source

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Some New Departures in Computer Graphics Techniques


Here are three different examples of contemporary computer graphics

Lift Motion Design and Creative Chaos created this slick intro video for the Motion Graphics Festival 2008.


1st-ave-machine hit the 'next' link to watch slides or quicktime videos.

Check out the natural looking animation of this one , with the most realistic use of computer graphics ever.


Here are some essentials of computer graphics.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Troika's Tool For Armchair Activists; Automated Remote Protest


Moritz Waldemeyer (who created the By Royal Appointment chairs from yesterday) and someone named Troika worked together to create this handy tool for armchair activists, which is a machine for remote protest.

It consists of a loudspeaker connected to a computer that can receive text messages and convert them into spoken words. The text to speak conversion is made possible by some sophisticated speech synthesis software, which presumably was customized for this application. The hardest part of using the device is having to mount it on a lamp post or other hard to reach area. But once it’s running you can simply relax at home and text in your opinions, without the fear of tear gas, high powered water hoses or even having to stand for a couple of hours.

Largely for its embedded mobile telecommunication device, the machine is able to receive incoming sms messages and speak them out loud through its megaphones, thus allowing the armchair activist to shout out its rants and protests in the comfort of his sitting room, thus allowing the armchair activist to express his/her opinion from anywhere in the world. And to assist you further with these endeavors are: The Electroprobe, The SMS Guerrilla Projector and One Free Moment

Source

Is This Where The Hyper-sub Lives ?




Coastal garages will be popping up everywhere soon, huh ?




but I doubt this one will fit in that space ?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Hyper-sub: Worlds First Submersible Powerboat


The Hyper-sub is capable of high speed surface travel over long distances. The video, however moreso shows it submersing and surfacing, accompanied by some action guitar playing.

.... the Hyper-SubTM Submersible Powerboat, a revolutionary new vessel with a design flexible enough to open the seas to industry, individuals, and the military in ways never before thought possible. The Hyper-Sub is the first small craft built with the horsepower, sea-keeping, and range to allow operation on the high seas, which also functions as a self-charging, autonomous, one-atmosphere submarine.


The Hyper-Sub is a dual function surface boat and submarine. It holds 4 people, travels at 40 knots on top, has a range of 500 miles and can dive to 250 feet.


Source & Gallery

Remote Controlled Steampunk Powered Centrepede


This is both bizarre looking and a remarkable piece of model making engineering. It’s a steam powered locomotive with a centipede like locomotion method.

Game animator I-Wei Huang loves steam. The San Francisco Bay Area resident is so obsessed with steam that a year ago, he began making steam-powered robots by hacking together small hobbyist steam engines, toys and radio-control kits.

Steampunk is a genre of writing that posits Victorians with advanced technology based on steam and coal not oil. The steamtoys site shows many other marvellous mechanical steam driven toys including the steam driven ancestor of R2D2!

Also this one device probably is among the most important gadgets ever created for the industrial age.


Source

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Global Climate Destabilization: From little things big things grow


On the You Tube Video page click the word more which will reveal hours....

..... of "Expansion Pack" videos, answering every single criticism, objection, "What If," "How About," and "You Missed a Spot," to this video........ then try to poke a hole in the argument.

And if you can't, then you may find yourself with a strong agitation to do something about the potential threat. In my experience, the only way to calm that agitation is to act on it.





Source

Siphoning Heat from Asphalt


If you've ever blistered your bare feet on a hot road, you know that asphalt absorbs the sun's energy. A Dutch company is now siphoning heat from roads and parking lots to heat homes and offices.

Ooms Avenhorn Holding BV, a Dutch civil engineering company, has developed a thermal energy system, which collects solar energy from a 200-yard stretch of road and a parking lot, powers a 70-unit 4-story apartment complex in the small village of Avenhorn; the heat stored from 36,000 sq ft of pavement during the summer helps keep a 160,000 sq ft-industrial park warm in the winter. Heated water is pumped deep underground; it can then be retrieved, months later, to keep winter roads ice-free.

The technology consists of a network of flexible pipes held in place by a grid and covered over by asphalt - which helps magnify solar heat. Heated water coursing through the pipes is pumped deep underground into aquifers; it can then be retrieved, even months later, to keep the road ice-free during the winter. Alternatively, the system can pump cold water from a separate reservoir to cool homes or office buildings in the summer.

The installation cost is about twice as much as normal gas heating, but the energy required is about half of what would otherwise be needed. That translates into lower monthly heating bills and a 50 percent savings in carbon emissions.


Sources; One Two Three

The 2008 8 Core Apple MacPro


The 2008 Apple MacPro has up to 2 times faster than the Quad core Macpro's of last year. The internal design of the box makes installing massive amounts of memory, adding expansion cards and increasing storage surprisingly simple and intuitive.

Installing more memory by easily locating the riser cards which slide out and will accept up to 32 Gigabytes of 800 Mhz EEC fully buffered DIMM memory.

Four full length Expansion Slots, including a higher performance PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot which is doubly wide. Expansion pr ad on cards can be exchanged by simple in and out snapping.

With just one 8 Core Macpro you can run up to eight, 30 inch Apple Cinema HD Displays at the same time.

With 2 processors each has 12MB of L2 cache and each pair shares 6MB. 1600MHz 64 bit dual independent frontside busses. More Tech details here.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Panorama: Giant Inflatable Horns At Sydney Festival


Airvag is a French company that installed a collonade of giant inflatable "horns" at the top of Martin Place in inner CBD for Sydney Festival.

Here is a panorama captured on the eve of nightfall when these giant inflatable horns become light filled marker buoys as they begin to glow transforming familiar spaces.

And here is another location of an Airvag installation.


Source

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Is This Really A Demo of a Perpetual Motion Machine ?


The OC MPMM - Alsetalokin's Video [2008/01/04]


And here is the same video that has been rendered with a little more light


One commenter states:

This violates one of the most fundamental laws of our physical universe, the 2nd law of thermodynamics. even in out space, perpetual motion is impossible. gravity withstanding, friction and other energy dissipation forms take effect. in essence, you can NEVER get out more than you put in. end of statement.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Turning a sphere inside out


In differential topology, Smale's paradox states that it is possible to turn a sphere inside out in 3D-space with possible self-intersections but without creating any crease, a process often called sphere eversion, (i.e.to turn a sphere inside out).

Here's an interesting video of how it's possible to turn a sphere inside out, it's 20 minutes long but fun if you're in to topology, geometry or simply just curious.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Axiotron & OWC "unveil" Modbook: Suggests Paradigm Shift in the Apple Equation


Axiotron today together with Other World Computing (OWC) unveiled the ModBook, the first Mac OSX compliant Hand Writing Recognition Tablet computer. .The 13.3-inch slate has gained the distinction of being one of the few pieces of non-Cupertino, Apple-approved hardware since its announcement at Macworld 2007. Hence the world's first OS X tablet is available now for US$2,300.

Built for mobile users, artists, students, medical practitioners and professionals, the Axiotron ModBook enables its user to draw and write directly on the screen, while the handwriting recognition built into Mac OS X Tiger not only turns hand scribbles into text in every application, but also provides extended control of the system through gesture recognition, said Andreas Haas, president of Axiotron.

The Axiotron ModBook is an after-market hardware modification of Apple's MacBook, adding pen input with a LCD and an optional Global Positioning System in a satin chrome-plated magnesium top shell. Users can select up to a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor to accompany the integrated iSight camera and CD/DVD combo drive.

Just can't imagine how quickly a plethora of new add-ons to the Modbook will flourish. Here's a possible tablet input in process of taking off example via The Raw Feed.

Sources: One Two Three Video Review

Update

If you have tinkering abilities then you may prefer to make your own Mac Tablet.


Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A Herd of Monsters Filmed On Lake Tian Chi, Jilin China


Bringing the Loch Ness monster immediately to mind, a new film has emerged apparently showing a herd of underwater creatures in China.

According to those who have seen it, the monster has a head somewhat like a human's, except with big round eyes, a protruding mouth and a neck about 3-1/2 feet long. It also has a white ring separating its neck and torso and smooth, gray skin. As many as 20 of the creatures were spotted swimming in the lake, which is in the Changbai mountains near the Korean border.

Nevertheless after checking the wiki; observations of this so called monster have been recorded since 1903.


Source

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Hang Drum TheArtOfFusion - Inner Voice


This video was made in the highlands of Scotland. The song "Inner Voice" is the first part of a trilogy composed in the traditional japanese akebono scale. "The Vibration Of The Hang" produced by das modular music, more about this piece, here.

There are only two people in the world that make these drums the inventors Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer. They have a little workshop in Berne where every Hang in existence was made. Since 2006 the Hang Makers do not ship instruments directly nor do they sell them through any retailers. To obtain a Hang prospective customers must send a letter to request an invitation to the workshop in Berne. Worldwide offers for used Hanghang are rare, and prices in Internet auctions have been very high.

Read more about the Hanghang, here.

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