Category Archives: Technology

Because the cloning stamp was too hard for some folks…

16 years ago I was thoroughly impressed by the power of Photoshop/Photostyler’s cloning stamp tool in the hands of a decent artist. Soon, however, we’ll have content-aware fill, which is really cool, despite the fact that I see myself uttering the words “back in my day” entirely too soon. (followed, of course, by “we had to manually sample/paint image elements!”)

Testing out streaming surround audio via divShare…

Put on your headphones.

Seriously. Go get them.

Ok, now take a listen to 3L3TRONIC playing at the Robot Heart Bus at Burning Man.

I recorded this using a Zoom H2 velcroed to my shoulder and converted it to binaural stereo using Vortex Zoom Encoder.

This is an unedited clip, hence why you can hear me adjusting the velcro at the beginning as I walk towards the bus. Stick with it, things’ll get more interesting in a sec 🙂

Why binaural stereo (simulated surround) and not true 5.1 channel surround audio you ask? Because I can’t stream full surround, and most likely you can’t play it. (The binaural surround simulation is very effective on (good) headphones, but will just sound like regular stereo when played over your computer speakers) Hear the those intermittent whooshes behind you? Yeah, big fire jets being shot from the latest sculpture by the Flaming Lotus Girls.

Anyway, this was really just a quick post to make sure everything works right. All systems go.

Stay tuned for lots more (edited) surround recordings.

The Nonameyet Theme for WordPress

I created the Nonameyet theme to be simple and modular with a wide area for presenting media, and to teach myself the CSS and PHP involved in creating WordPress themes. User-facing options include custom headers and backgrounds, and with a bit of CSS “find & replace”, the entire site skin and “logo” image can easily be changed. The Nonameyet theme will constantly evolve, as well as be the basis for for future custom sites.

Apple TV: the next big multiplayer gaming system?

Shortly after Apple announced that it would be releasing an iPhone SDK in October of 2007, I mused that the iPhone would be a major gaming platform by Christmas of 2008. The SDK finally appeared  in March of 2008, and by December, even Apple was touting the iPod as a competitor to the Nintendo DS.

A large percentage of the of the 27,000 apps currently available to the 30 million iPhones & iPod Touches that Apple has sold are games, and Apple in on track to break the billion download mark soon. iPhone/iPod Touch games recently swept the IGF Mobile Game Awards, and features in the new SDK, such as the addition of peripheral support, in-app purchases, peer to peer connections, push notification, and media library integration will allow games, as well as other apps, to become even richer and more complex. The iPhone/iPod is certainly a relevant, if not “major” gaming platform, and will only continue to be more so.

But what about Apple TV?

Apple has long called Apple TV a hobby, giving it little fanfare, and letting it seep into the living rooms of early adopters who simply wanted to stream media to their HDTVs. However, if Apple were to create an SDK for the Apple TV, it would open the doors for developers to create a myriad of useful apps as well as games, all of which could interface with with users’ iPhones and iPod Touches. The video hardware, which can easily handle high def movies with surround sound, is lacking for Xbox-level graphics, however simpler games are certainly possible. Board games such as Scrabble are an obvious example, as the TV can be the “board” and each player can view their pieces and interact with the game using their iPhones, however, the real potential lies in utilizing the multitouch, motion sensor, camera, and other abilities available in the iPhone. I would not be surprised if within a year Apple introduced a combined (or complementary) SDK for both iPhone and Apple TV. The next iPhone is already rumored to have a significantly more powerful graphics chip, and a similar upgrade to the next Apple TV could make them quite a pair, for gaming or otherwise.

iTunes was just the beginning

Apple has already built the framework for a full digital ecosystem to stream and control a variety of media across a plethora of devices, and they have created an SDK & App Store that has, within a year, birthed a major software platform. All they need to do now is connect the dots and provide an SDK for an upgraded Apple TV. The result: programs on computers, iPhones, iPods, and Apple TVs will network together not only to stream photos, music & video as before, but to do anything else a developer can dream up, whether it be using an iPhone to control a Keynote presentation on an Apple TV, or for multiplayer 3D games that surpass the combined features of the Wii & Xbox 360.

Mucking about with Google Friend Connect

One of the things I love about WordPress, is, of course, the huge amount of flexibility it provides. In addition to constant updates and improvements to the system and CMS, its modular nature allows me to plug in all sorts of new features and abilities with minimal coding.

Google Friend Connect is the latest handful that I’m throwing at the wall that is, and so far, I like how it sticks. The idea behind GFS is simply to “make the web more social” by building a social networking system (based on your GMail account) that exists outside of any one website.
For example, instead of my Facebook “wall” which is private and on Facebook, I can now have a “wall” on where anyone (or just approved friends) can write public comments. (Notice the modules to the lower right) Furthermore, I can use the GFC comment system instead of the WordPress comment system for comments on every post or page on my site.

And there’s the rub: Now I’ve reached a point where WordPress and Google Friend Connect overlap. As you’ll notice if you view any particular page or post on this site, at least for now, I have 2 forms of feedback on every page. Both can be completely open, allowing anyone to write an anonymous comment, or both can be locked down to only registered users. (Currently, only the WordPress comment system is active on each page)

For now I’ll keep both around: Google Friend Connect is still in its infancy, and has great potential, but I ain’t givin up on WP’s built-in commenting system yet!

Seriously, when is Microsoft going to learn?

Next Windows to get multi-touch

Microsoft’s next version of Windows will support complex multi-touch features, according to a claim by company test engineer Hilton Locke. So far referred to only as Windows 7, the operating system will receive a Windows Technology update that should allow multiple points of contact and significantly more complex input options than the iPhone. Users of the Apple handset will be “blown away” by the additions to Windows, Locke hints without providing specific details.

Really guys? Really? Come on.
Based on Microsoft’s track record, the next version of Windows won’t be out for another few years, and if they pull it off at all like they did with Vista, it will be slow and buggy as hell until… um.. hey, when’s SP1 supposed to come out, anyway?

So, ok, maybe touch technologies in the Windows PC of 2010 will blow the 2007 iPhone away… but what about the 2-3 versions of iPhone that are sure to come out in the meantime? What about the years of Mac OS & computer updates that will have come out by then? What about the foretold Apple multitouch gadgets that may be released as soon as next year or possibly next month? Does Microsoft thinks this industry is standing still without them? Do they really think a one-up to the iPhone’s technology half a decade later is going to be their killer app?

…And if they do, why the hell are they telling us about this? I mean, I love juicy tech news as much as the next geek, but guys, take a tip from Apple (or just about any tech company): Don’t brag about what you’re working on until you have a shiny new product that works and is ready to sell to the public.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

Cambodian schoolchildren using the XO laptopIf you’re not familiar with the One Laptop Per Child program, the concept is simple: In the information age in which we live, computers and the internet are critical learning and communication tools. However, many parts of the world don’t have access to such technology. The OLPC project aims to create an inexpensive laptop that is fully capable, networked, rugged, and accessible to children in developing countries that may have never even seen a computer.
The fruits of the project’s efforts are about to be released all over the world, but they need our help, which also provides an interesting opportunity. For a limited time, you can buy 2 laptops: one is your to do with as you desire, and the other goes to a developing country that needs it. I personally think this is an amazing initiative, and I’m as eager to bring the 3rd world into the 21st century as I am eager to have a new gadget to mess around with. This program won’t last, so on Nov 12th, I suggest you nab one of these. Better karma than an iPhone, dudes.

OLPC Give One Get One program
OLPC main informational website