Saturday, September 29, 2007
YouTube Extension which offered a way to place YouTube (or Google) videos inline in a wiki page. That, of course, got me thinking that it must be possible to do it with any Flash Video file (FLVs)....
Friday, September 28, 2007
| Suggested viewing distances for HDTV-capable TVs. |
We provide a range because the ideal distance will
depend on several factors, including signal quality.
| Screen |
| Viewing |
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) recently tried to focus on what's at issue by proposing a carbon tax to tackle climate change. "I sincerely doubt that the American people are willing to pay what this is really going to cost them," Rep. Dingell said at the time. And so he called for the tax "just to sort of see how people really feel about this."
We know how Congress feels about it at the moment. There is little enthusiasm for an explicit carbon tax, even though this is the simplest and most transparent way to begin reducing greenhouse emissions. It's this simplicity and transparency that makes it less palatable in Washington than the cap-and-trade alternative. But if there are environmental costs to energy use, Americans should be told what those costs are. And a tax will do just that.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The following is a collection of anecdotes about innovations and inventions I've collected over the years [writes David Swenson]. While persistence and the "scientific method" produce innumerable products, the real breakthroughs more often come from inspiration, accident, and discovering the exceptions to the rule. In the following examples, note how the products were developed from new conceptual frameworks. The second section cites some of the remarkable resistances to changes that were later overcome. A new section provides some interesting links.
~ In the 1960's at 3M, developers were trying to find a powerful glue. The chemist assigned to the project, Spence Silver, often experimented with variations in formulas--one resulting in a substance that would only weakly stick and could be easily pulled apart. He worked on it for ten years but despite improvements in its stickiness, it went undeveloped. In 1974 Arthur Fry, one of Silver's co-workers, was trying to make a bookmark stick in his church songbook and in a flash of recognition discovered the application: Post-It Notes. Silver later stated, "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." Oscar Levi Strauss saw the need for tough pants in the gold rush era of 1849 California. To respond to the miners' complaints that the knees wore out of regular pants he used tent canvas. The fabric was ordered from Nimes, France (de Nimes, or denims). An old miner named Alkali Ike complained that the pockets ripped off too easily when he stuffed his pockets with heavy tools. As a joke, Ike's pants were taken to a blacksmith and the pockets put back on with rivets. The idea worked so well that Strauss soon put them on all the jeans. In 1762 a gambler named John Montagu had the habit of becoming overinvolved in card games and was reluctant to take breaks to eat. Prepared for such an event he brought slices of bread and meat and played while he ate. His invention was named after him (his formal title was the fourth Earl of Sandwich). many more.... Scotsman Dunlop's first tire was not only inspired by the flexibility of a garden hose, it was a piece of garden hose wrapped around a wheel.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sanyo’s breakthrough short throw projector design may well revolutionize the front projector market. By radically altering traditional projection optics, they’ve been able to design a projector capable of filling a wall from as little as 3-inches away.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Warning, this is too cute... Link.
You can do it. Everyone can, with the right kind of help.
The Idea Behind Useractive Learning
The O'Reilly School of Technology has developed an online learning technique for courses, called useractive learning. This means that you, the user, are actively engaged in building and creating projects while material is being presented. We avoid the use of presentation-heavy videos and simulations, and instead provide you with tutorial-style content and Learning Sandboxes® containing easy-to-use, real, and open programming environments in which to try examples and work on projects.
Of course, besides you, the most important part of each course is your Instructor, who coaches you with feedback, motivation, and encouragement throughout. It's our goal not just to teach you about Information Technology, but to help you become an Information Technology expert who enjoys programming and system administration.
About Immersive Education
Immersive Education, a Media Grid initiative, is an award-winning learning platform that combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when attending a class or training session in person isn't possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Originally available only to university students, the next generation of Immersive Education is focused on a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic users (higher education, K-12 [kindergarten through high school], and corporate training).
Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems, Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today’s best video games grab and keep the attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and enrich the Immersive Education experience.
Since 2004 students at Boston College have had the opportunity to participate in courses conducted entirely within Immersive Education, which has the potential to fundamentally reshape education by providing on-demand learning and simulation technology that can engage and instruct at a level far beyond that of the typical in-person or online course. Following an award-winning 2 year pilot, Boston College (in cooperation with the Grid Institute, Media Grid, Burke Institute for Innovation in Education, Media Machines, City of Boston, Sun Microsystems and other organizations) is now preparing to make Immersive Education available as a community resource for the benefit of educators, students, and researchers.
The next-generation Immersive Education platform will be announced in the United States and Japan this fall at the following conferences:
Participate in the Immersive Education standardization process
MediaGrid.org launches the Immersive Education initiative with an open call to educators, students, and professionals who have experience using virtual learning environments or video game technologies (such as Second Life, Croquet, Extensible 3D [X3D], Panda3D, Quake, Unreal, Torque Game Engine, and so forth)... <read the complete news release>
Educators, students, and professionals who have experience with virtual reality learning tools or video game technology are encouraged to participate, and can do so in two ways:
- Contribute to the Immersive Education charter using the "contribute" links in each section
- Join the Immersive Education Technology Working Group email list and discussion forums to participate directly in the standards-setting process. To join contact the Media Grid standards group director.
The Immersive Education Technology Working Group is responsible for defining requirements, standards, best practices, and related materials for the third generation of the Immersive Education platform. The first generation was built upon the open Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and Extensible 3D (X3D) standards, whereas the current (2nd generation) platform is based on the commercial and award-winning Unreal game engine. The 3rd generation Immersive Education platform is now being defined as an open and freely available standard.
- Daniel Adams, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- Dan Atkins is Head of the Office of Cyber-Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation.
- Peter Brantley is the Executive Director for the Digital Library Federation.
- John Seely Brown is currently a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center at USC.
- Dennis Cheek joined the Kauffman Foundation in 2005 as vice president of education.
- Kim Fatton is the Assistant Director/Project Manager for the Synthetic Worlds Initiative.
- Dexter Fletcher is a Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses.
- Colleen Girten manages and directs KnowledgeWorks Foundation's web strategies and projects.
- Graham Johnson is a certified medical illustrator and works as an NSF predoctoral fellow in the Molecular Visualization Lab at The Scripps Research Institute.
- Henry Kelly is the president of the Federation of American Scientists.
- Jay Larson is an Education Program Officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
- Daniel Laughlin is currently the NASA Learning Technologies Project coordinator and leads the games research effort for NASA's Education Office.
- David Levinson is a veteran online entertainment and video game professional.
- Marcia Linn is currently a Professor of Cognition and Education at University of California, Berkeley.
- Dennis Liu is the Senior Program Officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- Christopher Mackie is an Associate Program Officer in the Research in Information Technology program at the Mellon Foundation.
- Tim Magner is the Director of the Office of Educational Technology in the Dept of Education.
- Bruce Milligan is the Project Manager for Learning Technologies for the Federation of American Scientists.
- Michelle Roper is the Learning Technologies Project Director at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC.
- Herbert Schorr is the Executive Director of Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California.
- Mike Smith is the Program Director for the Education Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
- James Spohrer is Director of Almaden Services Research at IBM Almaden Research Center.
- Andy van Dam, the Thomas J. Watson, Jr., University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science, Brown University.
- Aaron Walsh is faculty at Boston College and Director of ImmersiveEducation.org.
- Phoenix Wang is a Program Officer in the Education Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
- James Werle is the Director of Special Projects within the Computing & Communications Department at the University of Washington.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As parrots can, he also picked up one-liners from hanging around the lab, like “calm down” and “good morning.” He could express frustration, or apparent boredom, and his cognitive and language skills appeared to be about as competent as those in trained primates. His accomplishments have also inspired further work with African gray parrots; two others, named Griffin and Arthur, are a part of Dr. Pepperberg’s continuing research program.
Even up through last week, Alex was working with Dr. Pepperberg on compound words and hard-to-pronounce words. As she put him into his cage for the night last Thursday, she recalled, Alex looked at her and said: “You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.” He was found dead in his cage the next morning, Dr. Pepperberg said."
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
See also http://www.n55.dk/MANUALS/TABLE/TABLE.html
Manual for SUSPENDED PLATFORM
Plates of polycarbonate are attached to the core module.
Obituary: Ingvil AarbakkeScandinavian artist whose N55 group challenges the way we live today
Friday December 2, 2005
Born in Bergen, Norway, Ingvil was the daughter of academic parents: her mother, Jorunn Hareide, is professor of Nordic literature at Oslo University; her father, Jarle Aarbakke, is a medical researcher and currently vice chancellor of the University of Tromso. Ingvil studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen from 1991 to 1997, and exhibited 510 Drawings and Letters to the Dead at the graduation show, Exit 94. It was her only individual exhibition; she quickly went on to make an impact on the Scandinavian art world by participating, in 1996, in the founding of N55, whose name has become far better known than those of any of its members.
Named after both a street address and the latitude of Copenhagen, N55 came into being with its half dozen members sharing their living space and holding all things in common, with the minimal of "private life" or property. The challenge to private property was focused through the need to preserve and extend the public domain; N55 holds that material objects ought to be shared and saved from the constraints of private ownership. Rights and power - above all, the right to resist the power of ownership - are central to the group's endeavours.
Ingvil's own thinking on these questions was shaped by the work of the Danish philosopher Peter Zinkernagel. What N55 has published is also freely accessible: their manuals, manifestos and images can be seen online and are not copyrighted, nor is the book in which they were gathered in 2003.
N55's work ranges from the domestic to the terrestrial. From the outset, living spaces, furniture, hygiene and plumbing, the cultivation, preparation and distribution of food, have all come under creative scrutiny, as detailed in ingenious, quirky and distinctive fashion in their manuals, with examples to be seen around Europe and north America. Each of N55's redefinitions of the shop, factory and rooms is efficient, witty and aesthetically challenging.
In the project they called Land, N55 began to acquire and dedicate to public use small plots of land, from northern Norway to the Californian desert, in less sparsely populated places in Denmark, Holland and Switzerland, and in waste patches of cities such as Chicago. On each is erected a steel polyhedric cairn (characteristic of much of N55's design) by which the area is declared to belong to "the commons". Anyone may use it as long as it is acknowledged that "Land gives access to land."
While N55 has not been subject to serious legal harassment, it has received favourable attention from those concerned to protect the public domain, and from those looking for workable and just alternatives to patents and copyright. The aim has been not to antagonise capitalists but to present alternative ways of existing on the planet.
The group's work can hardly be described in terms of shows, installations or performances, for there is nothing for sale and often no object to look at. What we are presented with are everyday routines, done differently. In 2002, with support from the Henry Moore Institute, Ingvil attracted interest when she rolled, through the centre of Leeds, N55's Snail Shell System, a cylindrical polyethylene tank to enable people to move around and live in various environments. That same year, N55's Shop caused some consternation at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts; goods were exchanged, borrowed and taken, but no money was involved. The Shop enjoyed further success in 2003 with an apexart exhibition in New York.
From 2002, Ingvil and other members of N55 lived in the Spaceframe, mounted on a raft of their own tessellated tetrahedric construction, in Copenhagen harbour: a truncated tetrahedron, with a floorspace of 20 square metres, the Spaceframe requires no foundations and can be assembled by hand. N55 appreciated the possibilities that modern technology provided for a revival of nomadic living. Their Micro Dwelling, for example, is a minimal space in which one person might live, supported on a tripod, thus minimally disturbing the Earth; it can also be floated or submerged.
Prior to her death, Ingvil had already contributed to N55's participation in the Space Soon project, in collaboration with Arts Catalyst, which is scheduled for the Camden Roundhouse next September. Based on the Micro Dwelling, it is called Space on Earth Station - a title that embodied much of Ingvil's vision: the fascination with space, with the dynamics of the mobile and the static, and, above all, her sense that there may be very little that is "natural" about the way we live on this planet.
Ingvil was a woman of extraordinary radiance and grace, her intense vision matched by a pragmatic determination. Every action of living, each moment of the everyday, posed a question: how it might be lived differently, more truthfully and more respectfully. Death was approached without regard for convention; in her dying, she was a model of composure, offering a lesson in dissent as the way of utmost harmony. An eloquent and persuasive speaker, she was also a prolific writer. Many of the 400 pages in the N55 Book are hers.
She leaves her parents, her brothers and sisters, and her husband and their one-year-old son, Frode.
· Ingvil Hareide Aarbakke, artist, born July 26 1970; died November 23 2005
Friday, September 07, 2007
GUESS is an exploratory data analysis and visualization tool for graphs and networks. The system contains a domain-specific embedded language called Gython (an extension of Python, or more specifically Jython) which supports the operators and syntactic sugar necessary for working on graph structures in an intuitive manner. An interactive interpreter binds the text that you type in the interpreter to the objects being visualized for more useful integration. GUESS also offers a visualization front end that supports the export of static images and dynamic movies.
Because GUESS is Jython/Java based you can also construct your own applications and applets without much coding. GUESS is distributed as GPL and makes use of a number of great open source packages and contributions. Feel free to explore the website and download the application or read on for more details.